A few weeks ago, Denny and I found ourselves in a situation--driving toward the Texas Hill Country town of Junction shortly before noon on Sunday...hungry.
Anybody who knows Texas knows that timing is everything to eat out without a wait for Sunday lunch--you gotta beat the church crowd to the door.
More so if you're salivating for the king of meats, slow-smoked brisket. Especially if it's not just brisket, but the best brisket, tender and meaty with honest red smoke lines deeper than you've ever seen. The kind of brisket that slows time on your tongue so you taste the hours it bathed in the pure smoke of Texas oak.
So you can understand our concern about exiting the interstate to find Main Street and Lum's Bar-B-Que. We'd never been there before and weren't sure we'd spot it right away. Some great BBQ spots are more like smoke shacks, not easy to pick out.
We needn't have worried. Between the stars and flags and oil derricks on the building, it stands out.
We got the last spot in the parking lot.
Inside, there were football flags and posters. The place matches the down-home quality of the food, reflective of people who believe in doing things right.
You stand in line at a counter to order; sandwiches and plates (one, two or three meats and two sides). You watch the folks who look like they've done it all their lives cut your meat and dish your food onto a styrofoam plate.
The serving line ends at the cash register but the lady behind the counter tells you to come back and pay after you've eaten. She does not give you a ticket or check. Later, when you're sated and happy, you go to the register and recite what you ordered so they can charge you.
Your first bite makes you happy. The second and third and last do too, although the last comes too fast. The sweet smoke and tender meat, and the sauce that's the closest you've tasted to your mother's best-in-the-world BBQ sauce. Your only regret is you didn't try all the meats...why didn't you get the ribs? Which is when you begin to think about the next time you can find your way to Lum's Bar-B-Que in Junction.
2031 Main St, Junction, TX 76849
Sunday - Thursday,10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.