Austin/ Food & Drinks
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Published on April 05, 2024
Lockhart's Barbs-B-Q Nominated for James Beard's 2024 Best New Restaurant, Spotlighting Texas' Culinary EvolutionSource: Google Street View

Lockhart, Texas, a small town celebrated for its smoky barbeque heritage, has once again placed a spotlight on its culinary prowess with local joint Barbs-B-Q being nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s 2024 Best New Restaurant award. Known for its weekend queues of brisket devotees, this establishment stands as the Lone Star State's sole contender in its category, as reported by KXAN.

The accolade shines a light on not only Barbs-B-Q but also on Lockhart's evolving dining scene that has welcomed a surge of exciting new establishments since the beginning of the pandemic. In a city where meats have traditionally reigned supreme, the expanding roster, which includes spots like Commerce Cafe and Old Pal Texas Tavern, has been influenced by overhead costs rocketing sky-high in nearby Austin, causing chefs and business owners to set their sights on the more affordable, quaint streets of Lockhart, as detailed by Austin Eater.

The James Beard Foundation, recognizing the transformative power of a good meal, didn’t limit its attention to just this new darling of the barbeque world. Two other Texan establishments, Convenience West in Marfa and Mixtli in San Antonio, have also tipped their hats for the foundation’s top honors in the “outstanding” restaurant category. Barbs-B-Q, amidst this recognition, continues to serve up its classic fare of brisket, beef ribs, and Molotov pork ribs, alongside providing private culinary classes to enthusiasts eager to learn the ropes of Texas barbeque tradition, as per KXAN.

Sarah Heard, a Lockhart native and co-owner of Austin’s New American restaurant Foreign & Domestic, has cast her hometown in a surprising new light. Opting to open Commerce Cafe in the heart of downtown Lockhart, Heard along with other chefs has been drawn in by the town's reasonable prices and community spirit. "Lockhart had honestly not been on our radar," Heard told Austin Eater, "but that’s changing a bit now."

The winners of the James Beard Foundation's coveted awards will be showcased in a livestream event on June 10, collaborating with the web publication Eater to bring the ceremony to a national audience, according to KXAN.