In my comings and goings along the lower Texas coast I realized there was at least one prominent barbecue joint I had missed up until now. I have since rectified that error by stopping in Wharton at Hinze's.
Although there are signs from miles away advertising Hinze's, unless you're paying attention it's very easy to blow right on past the low slung building just outside Wharton, Texas. If you do, shame on you.
As is my custom I had a two meat plate -- brisket and sausage. I had pinto beans, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes on the side. The mashed potatoes were made with onions and bacon and were heavenly. The mac and cheese was a bowlful of velveeta-y goodness. The only thing missing was the banana pudding.
The brisket was firm and moist and had a very clean smoky flavor. I knew right away it had been smoked over oak. The sausage was cut on the diagonal and while it was good and smoky, the texture left a little something to be desired.
There was nothing special about the atmosphere - linoleum floors, old wooden tables, styrofoam plates and stuffed heads on the wall - but the food was worth the stop.