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Lockhart's BBQ finally open - Royal Oak, MI

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Good news! While I shared RedTop’s skepticism (prev. topic) about Lockhart’s pub-grub peddlers turning “pit masters,” I gotta say, this is absolutely legit’ barbecue. Lockhart’s opened Thursday evening, and by last night there already was a half hour wait at this large place, surely in great part due to Facebook hype.

By the time my family was seated, popular dishes such as pulled pork, cornbread, jalapeno brown beans, etc., all were long since exhausted. But, I was thankful to hear that the burnt ends (edge trimmings from briskets which then get smoked a 2nd time; $9) still were available from the appetizer list. Unfortunately, though, they truly were burnt… I’m writing this off as grand opening mishap, and will again order these, with hopes that next time they won’t be blackened to the extreme ALL the way thru. As a preview, I did find a couple pieces in my basket that weren’t blackened at the core, and I must say that they were of the highest quality in cut of meat. (Sir Boagman: I did EXPLAIN the issue to my waiter, to no avail; but, I admit to not DEMANDING redress.)

Okay, well, let me get the other imperfections out of the way, while I’m at it. The prices were 5-10% too high for me (granted, I'm not responsible for their lease, payroll, etc.), the potato salad was average, and the admittedly good “vinaigrette coleslaw” was made with industrial Italian salad dressing. On to the good stuff….

The pork ribs and beef brisket were excellent! Among the best in Michigan. I’ll take flack for saying that, but it’s not out-of-hand an invalid assertion. Both meats had a good and tasty smoke ring, nothing over the top, but quite respectable. They were finished over fire after a dousing with a thin squirted basting that caramelized and darkened up nicely. I prefer my meats served more at room or smoking temperature, rather than made steaming hot, however too much moisture was not lost in Lockhart’s finishing steps.

I also tried a locally sourced (name=tbd) Red Hot sausage smoked in house, which I found superb in flavor and texture. As a novice sausage maker, perhaps I have “too” much appreciation for sausage, but I do insist that JanPrimus try this, when he makes it over to Lockhart’s.

The meats were served with the obligatory white bread and pickle slices. But, dinners ($14) also include a choice of various scrumptious sounding sides such as hush puppies, collared(sic) greens, deviled eggs, fried okra, sweet baked beans, corn on the cob and green beans, in addition to the depleted items mentioned earlier, as well as the two I tried--- sweet potato fries and mac-n-cheese. While neither was deeply memorable, they both were very good and I genuinely recommend them. I’ll first make my way through the other items, and then double back for these again (a juncture that will soon come).

All portions were average in size, and chicken, turkey legs, ham, salmon and big beef ribs also are available, as well as interesting sounding dishes such as Frito Pie, and deserts including Hermann’s (R.O.) custom fruit cobblers and pecan pie. Too, a variety of Michigan beers were leisurely on offer by a popular girl behind the bar.
www.lockhartsbbq.com
PS—I’d like to tip my hat to the architect who did a tasteful job on this building restoration.

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  1. We got take out on Friday for lunch and I must say that this was the worst BBQ I have had in my life. I ordered the brisket and it was dry and must have been left over from the night before. The collards were ok, but the mac & cheese was terrible. The baked beans weren't very good either, more like Mexican beans than BBQ baked beans.

    Also, the portions were horribly small for the price.

    We won't be eating here again. It was terrible.

    2 Replies
    1. re: VBHres

      I tried it back in the fall and have to agree. I got the smoked chicken breast and that thing was red. The waitress claims thats how a smoked chicken looks like but I didn't feel too hot the next day. I also tried some of the brisket and thought it was overseasoned and too salty.

      1. re: VBHres

        Thank God I'm not the only one who thinks this place is a waste of a meal! I've read so many great reviews of Lockhart's that I was sure it would be good. The restaurant itself is very nice, as is the ample beer list but the food, in my opinion, is not good bbq! We ordered beef brisket and pulled pork. The brisket was really fatty and the pulled pork stringy and dry. I took about two bites of the sides. I wanted a dinner do-over when we left. YUCK! I left scratching my head wondering why anybody would think Lockhart's food was good. I will file it with the majority of Royal Oak's wasteland of mediocre food! Harsh I realize but it shouldn't be that difficult to make good food!!