Smitty’s operates from the building in which Charles Kreuz opened his grocery store over a century ago. That store is what put Lockhart on the map as a destination for superb Texas barbecue. In 1948, Kreuz sold the business to the Schmidt family, who operated it until the mid-1990s, when a family feud split them up and sent the Kreuz Market out to a big new building.
In this old place, customers used to sit at wood counters against the wall, where the only utensil was a knife chained to a post so that everyone could use it to cut their sausage, if desired. The creaky wood counters are no longer in use; and you now dine at long communal tables in a front room that is cool, quiet, and comfortable.
In the back room, logs still smoulder in the old pit, which turns out gorgeous, juice-laden sausage rings, big-flavored brisket, and insanely succulent prime rib. Order food here and it is presented on butcher paper, which you carry up front to one of the tables in the air conditioned dining room. Most people know to eat this meat with their hands. It’s too tender for utensils, and too nice not to touch. Plastic spoons are available (for eating beans) as well as knives for cutting sausage.