The new Lockhart Smokehouse, right on Plano's main square, is up and running, and the crowds are already forming. Tuesday afternoon, your peak-time lunch wait would have been a good 40 minutes or so, which is cruel given that you can smell Plano's barbecue mecca from more than a block away.
After its attempts to subtly open last week by way of inviting locals over on Twitter to try a few things out, the Morning News burst the dam of smoked meat during the soft opening, and now the barbecue cat is out of the grease-soaked paper.
The place is open, in other (fewer) words, and it's pumping out brisket, ribs and sausage at a rate of knots, along with all the less normal favorites from the Oak Cliff location like shoulder clod, pork chops, and the brisket-stuffed deviled eggs. In a long and slim building decorated in the same Texas memorabilia old-school style as the Oak Cliff location, the new joint has twice the smoker capacity of the original. Owner Jill Bergus tells me they've now got enough space to give a whole smoker over to the brisket, giving it that love and attention it deserves.
They're not running the smokers at full capacity yet though. Plano fire restrictions mean their smoker is in an almost entirely separate building out the back, so they're slowly getting up to speed while getting their staff trained to deal with the ravenous Texas appetite for barbecue. And what an appetite it is -- while I was waiting in line on a Tuesday, members of staff were coming out to cross things off the 10-foot tall menu next to the line, to disappointed groans from patrons.
Amusingly, I'm told that they're selling out of turkey before they are brisket, which I guess is a suburbs thing. So by the time I got there, despite arriving at 12:30, 90 minutes after opening, we'd lost turkey, jalapeño sausage (I hear Mac's has a good one of those, though) and, most grievously, the ribs were all gone. Anyway, enough from me. To the pictures.
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