It isn't necessarily the worst, but every time I got to Smitty's the staff makes me feel like I am bothering them by patronizing their place. I call the joint Surly Smitty's, and they are the reason my crew and I coined the phrase "BBQ surly."
That's a common sentiment. And there are several others I'd put in that category.
It's not that I disagree abt the comment about Smitty's, or other places on similar occasion. Last time I was at Smitty's, though, they couldn't have been nicer. Older barbecues perhaps have earned a certain brusqueness which can also mean efficiency and letting you go to it on your own toute de suite. I wouldn't want that over-the-top bubbly customer service you have in those family suburban chains. It's just too much for me.
Oh that's easy. Thelma's in Hou. She don't give a f**k.http://twitpic.com/7fhiph
Interesting topic given that for me, one of the things I love about visiting BBQ places near & far is the warmth & friendliness I experience at most place. Most are sole proprietorships, family run & have many long term employees working for them. That being said, as much as I love Smitty's they do tend to be indifferent at best. Theo hity the nail on the head. Thelma is not just strict & rigid about ordering at her place, I've seen her bristle & yell at simple inquiries. The Q there is in my opinion not in any way worth enduring the Seinfeldesque experience of eating there.
God forbid you have any issues with your food at Kreuz-Lockhart. I had an issue there a few years ago and they provided a classic case of how NOT to treat a (then) loyal customer.I save gas and just go to Luling...they're actually NICE sometimes in the smoke room.
I had a odd experience at Burns BBQ in Houston. The people there seemed to be very friendly... just not to me? The lady at the counter talked on her phone and asked me to hold on while I tried to place my order. She then took the order of someone in line behind me and claimed they where their first? She also acted frustrated when I asked for sauce on the side. I asked a guy working the pits what wood he used and he told me he didn't know. They all had good conversations with other patrons however. I guess I just stuck out there. As a side note, ribs were good, brisket was mediocre. Sauce was nice to dip the bread in.
Broderick,You are dead on with Smitty's. They may be my favorite for food in Lockhart, but Black's is just a bit behind in food and way up in service.
Both of these will be first time visits (Recommended by friends and mag. write-ups) which one would hope to be pleasant and rewarding. Let’s start with our first time to Coopers, Llano TX. The cooking pits were right outside and the first stop on the way to what was hoped to be excellent BBQ. Standing there watching the guys at work vested a feeling of, "What the hell are you looking at" glares from the pit boys and a smart-ass comment of, "You need something". Blowing that off and going inside only got worse. Horrible attitude from the meat cutter (Burnt, end cuts from cold pork ribs and brisket was the same) and the cashier "Female From Hell" offered no help at all. Typical give me your money and don't bother me with your stupid questions about where stuff is. The "Q" was horrible!!!!! We'll never go back there- PERIOD!Second on our list was the highly acclaimed, "Opies" in Spicewood, TX. The only difference between here and Coopers was that the "Q" did taste good. Meat cutter again sliced up cold/ burnt puney pieces of pork ribs and the brisket ended up about 80% fat. The service once again had that, "Aren't you lucky to be here" attitudes. Exactly like Cooper's. Unfortunately we had our In-laws in tow with us who both said they’d never eat there again. In wrapping this up, Coopers was just plain horrible!!!!! Opie’s I’ll try one more time since the meat did taste pretty good. Oh I almost forgot the wonderful raw sewer smell you get to enjoy just as you pull into the parking lot of The Salt Lick in Driftwood. Yum! Oh yea one more, Stubbs in Austin. Guaranteed to be a extremely loud circus every time you drop by!
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