San Marcos Like a Local

Fired Up For Kent Black's BBQ

October 15, 2014

By Katie Ogletree at Slow Down & Savor: A Food Blog.

You may know of a quaint little BBQ joint known for huge flavors and delicious meat called Black's BBQ, a family-owned restaurant in Lockhart, Texas. What if I told you that third generation pit-master, Kent Black, one of the brothers involved in Black’s BBQ, THE longest-running self-owned barbecue restaurant in Texas for over 80 years, moved a bunch of smokers into an old warehouse on Hull St. in San Marcos, and opened up a new BBQ spot based on that near century-year old BBQ history? You’d be fired up. Obviously. Well, this is real life.

When my husband and I heard that Kent Black’s BBQ was open here in San Marcos, we couldn’t WAIT to get over to sample what they had to offer. We arrived right at lunchtime on their 10th day being open, and knew we were at the right place just based on the smell alone. SO GOOD.

We made our way to the front door, and were warmly greeted by one of the nicest ladies ever. Once she gave us the low down on what’s what with Kent Black’s, grab a butcher paper lined tray, grab some sides, and order your meat o choice by the pound, we were on our way to flavor town.

We decided to split some potato salad, and coleslaw, and from the warm bar, we got some beans. Deciding on meat wasn’t hard either. We ordered one giant beef rib, half a pound of moist brisket, and one sausage link. Everything was gorgeous, and everything was crazy aromatic. There’s just something so special, so specific about the smell of smoked meats. It’s purely intoxicating.

After piling our trays high with pickles and onions, we found a seat in their expansive dining area, natural light splashing all over the floors and tables. While I filled my cup with some soda, my husband grabbed a John Daly one of their signature cocktails featuring Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, and lemonade from their fully and beautifully stocked bar. Yummy.

Once we were all settled in, it was time to get started on our first Kent Black’s experience. And what an experience is what it was. Wow.

The beef rib was succulent, juicy, and super flavorful. It didn’t need the help of the sauce that was on the table, but when slathered in the stuff, stars collided. Just superb. 

The brisket was absolutely perfect. The meat actually melted in my mouth. The smoke ring was a flavorful hug to our taste buds, and once again, with a dab of the sauce, nothing could have been better, except maybe with exception to that sausage.

That. Sausage. While it may not be everyone’s favorite, it sure was mine. When you cut through the crisp snap of the casing, and the glistening and fragrant meat and spice mixture is exposed, magic happens. Oh man. The flavor of that crumbly yet tender and perfectly smoky sausage is divine.

All three meats were perfectly balanced between smoke, seasoning, and we appreciated how the integrity of the meats were all kept intact. Stunning.

As for the sides? The potato salad was light, tangy and flavorful, and the coleslaw was nice and sweet. The crunchy textures and bright flavors were welcome in between bites of the super rich and tender meats.

All in all, we fell in love with Kent Black’s, the super friendly staff, comfortable atmosphere, fun outdoor patio, and of course, the delicious food. We’ll be back.

Katie Ogletree is the writer behind the blog Slow Down and Savor (SD&S). By sharing her experiences with food, whether at the eateries she visits or giving you a peek into the fun she has in the kitchen, Katie hopes that something you read sparks your interest into taking the leap to go somewhere new or become a daring cook and whip up a dish you never thought you could. Follow SD&D on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to see what’s new!