5. Rothko & Barbecue

I’d like to hear Iain Sinclair’s thoughts on the psychogeography of Texas.   How important is barbecue?

I’m trying to be vegetarian but I took a one day lapse on a rare visit to Austin.  My brother in law (and Radio Mary Executive Producer) Irl drove me to Lockhart, Texas for barbecue.

Some barbecue joints stretch back a hundred years and have a history worthy of the Borgias.  In Lockhart, a family feud split Kreuz’s (which kept the name) and Smitty’s (which kept the building, off the town square).

The walls of Smitty’s are a deep purple-black, the closest thing in the natural world to the somber palette of the late Rothkos (in the Rothko Chapel in Houston).  Nothing quite like the chiaroscuro of a 100 years of mesquite smoke.

The meat tradition of the town is that a hunk of smoked flesh is sliced to order on to butcher paper.  The meat is served with slices of white bread.  As a point of local pride there is no fork.  Fingers, knife, meat.

We had barbecue at 3 places and I promised myself to never eat meat again (until my next trip back to Texas).

Smitty's Barbecue, Lockhart, Texas

Smitty's Barbecue, Lockhart, Texas