It’s open! The highly anticipated Schmidt Family Barbecue finally opened its doors in Bee Cave this week. For fans of both Kruez Market and Smitty’s Market in Lockhart this is cause for major celebration.
There’s a long, interesting backstory about how Schmidt Family Barbecue came to land at Hwy 71 and Bee Cave Road. If you’re not familiar with the infamous Lockhart “barbefeud” here’s a cliff notes version: The first restaurant originated from Kruez Market, a local meat market and grocery store in Lockhart in the early 1900s. Years later, longtime employee Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt purchased it from the Kruez family. He successfully ran the restaurant until he retired and sold it to his sons in 1984. In 1999, Edgar’s son Rick moved the market to a new location about a quarter mile up the road. Shortly thereafter, Edgar’s daughter Nina Schmidt Sells opened Smitty’s Market in the old location.
As with most family feuds, there are different versions about the disagreement and what caused the move. But both sides agree the controversy was blown way out of proportion, and the family is past it and as close as ever. Lucky for us in the Lake Travis area, the family came together so we can enjoy what seems to be the best of both worlds. As if to prove it, the Schmidt Family Barbecue fire pit was ignited with burning coals transferred from both Kreuz and Smitty’s in Lockhart. In fact, the embers have been burning nonstop for over 100 years, since the original Kruez Market opened in the early 1900s. Pretty cool.
It almost goes without saying that the barbecue is phenomenal (years and years of practice to perfect the method and flavor). It’s served on butcher paper (who needs a plate?), with sides and desserts available to supplement. If you leave Schmidt’s hungry it’s your own fault. To drink you can of course go with tea or soda, or opt for the “vintage Big Red.” There’s also wine and beer.
And speaking of beer, Schmidt’s has a really cool, unique display. It’s a wall of old beer cans, which were donated and artfully displayed in the dining room. It’s an impressive collection and made we want to re-create one somewhere in my house. Though I have a feeling it wouldn’t have the same effect made out of hundreds of empty Miller Lite cans…
Anyway, if you’re looking for your barbecue fix and can’t squeeze in a trip to Lockhart during your lunch hour head over to the Hill Country Galleria location. If you can, I recommend getting there early. The lines were long today and I expect they’ll be that way for a while. Then again, we’ve been waiting so long for the grand opening, what’s a few more minutes? Totally worth the wait.
“We feel great pride in carrying on the third generation in barbecue and over 75 years of Schmidt tradition.” ~ The Schmidt Family
Schmidt Family Barbecue
12532 FM 2244 Bee Cave, TX 78738 (map)
Phone: (512) 263-4060