Lockhart's BBQ, 202 E. Third St., Royal Oak, (248) 584-4227
was named not for the proprietors, but for the town in Texas that is famous for its smoked meats. In the months since it opened in its sturdy, free-standing building, it has been attracting a crowd to its wooden tables set around an open kitchen.
Dry-rubbed pork and beef ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken, all smoked over Michigan oak and hickory in a smoker imported from Texas, headline the menu. There is also a worthy supporting cast of choices including a version of shepherd's pie topped with macaroni and cheese instead of mashed potatoes and a long list of sandwiches. A choice of two sides is chosen from a list of 14.
Four housemade barbecue sauces are on the tables and so is a jar of pickles – a nice little touch. Many Michigan craft beers are on tap and there is a full bar as well.
Co-proprietors Drew Ciora and Rick Ghersi can take a bow for a welcome addition to downtown Royal Oak.
Recommended dishes: Burnt ends, beef brisket, pork ribs
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday
Prices: Appetizers, soups and salads $3.29-$9.99, sandwiches $7.99-$13.99, barbecue plates $9.99-$20.99, sides $2.99, desserts $4.50
Credit cards: All major