Review of Chisholm Trail BBQ (Lockhart, TX)
Be warned: This is arguably the most divided of our reviews so far, thus proving the point that taste is subjective (and in James’ case, wrong! (J/K)). But we were definitely divided on two of the staples.
We’d mentioned previously that Mike likes to ask local law enforcement about their favorite local BBQ place. So when a Sheriff’s Deputy stated that Chisholm Trail BBQ was better than any of the more famous Lockhart places, we felt we’d better see if he was right.
Mike, James and I headed down late Saturday morning and arrived about 11:00. Chisholm, Trail is typical counter service, but they are open for breakfast hours, and in addition to the usual choice of BBQ meats (ham, turkey, sausage, brisket, chicken, pork ribs, beef ribs), they also offer salads, potatoes, and a pretty big selection of side. We order a variety of things to try.
Turkey: I’m the only one who tries the turkey, and when I did I was asked an unusual question: Did I want it warm or cold? I said warm (of course), and was treated to the sight of a plate of wrapped sliced turkey being taken out of the refrigerator and placed in a microwave. Hard to say what it would have been like otherwise, but this is very dry and chewy. It has a light smoke flavor, but no other noticeable spice. My suspicion is that the turkey is primarily used on salads, but no one said anything about that. Tom: 4.0/10.
Chicken: The chicken is also a little on the dry side. It is also very bland, with the only noticeable flavor coming from the sauce Mike added to it. Otherwise, even the skin doesn’t have much flavor. Tom: 4.0/10, Mike: 3.0/10. Avg: 3.5/10.
Brisket: The brisket looked a little dry when we saw it on the cutting board, and mine at least matches. I ordered moist, but it is tough, somewhat dry, and fairly bland. There’s not much smoke or flavor from the rub. Mike agrees with this. James likes his however, feeling that it has a good flavor. Tom and Mike: 4.0/10. James: 7.0/10. Avg: 5.0/10.
Sausage: I found the sausage hard to score. It was definitely well-made with a good snap in the casing. It was very tender as well. But (mine at least) had no flavor to speak of, so it tasted like I was eating a hamburger flavored hotdog with maybe a smidgeon of heat well at the end. As a result, the grease was very noticeable. On the other hand, Mike and James liked theirs a lot more, agreeing that it was well-made, but feeling it had decent flavor. Tom: 4.0/10. Mike: 7.0/10. James: 8.0/10. Avg: 6.3/10.
Pork Ribs: The pork ribs are a touch tough, but they have a good crust and an excellent flavor. A nice rub and there is some good smoke in the taste as well. These are quite good. Tom and Mike: 8.0/10.
As you can see, on everything all three of us tried there was at least one person who was throwing off the average. We’ve always said taste is subjective, and this review probably shows that more that any other review of a single place we’ve done.
Is it worth a visit? Splitting the difference, probably. James indicated he would go again if he lived in the area, and Mike would for the sausage and ribs. I probably would not (and would stick to ribs if I did).
Is it worth a trip? We all agreed it was not.