Goode Company Texas Bar-B-Q
This is the real deal, smack in the middle of town, with an open pit and smokehouse, rigged up in a glorified tin shack with well-worn wood floors and communal tables. Line up cafeteria-style, then take your tray to the extra-long picnic tables inside or outside, where, appropriately, Texas country and western music plays overhead. The basics (brisket, sausage, ribs, chicken) can't be beat—even by BBQ meccas west of here like Lockhart and Luling—but do try the more delicate pork loin, turkey, and duck. Mix your own home-brewed-iced-tea-and-lemonade combo or grab a longneck beer, then mop up the sauce with thick pieces of golden jalapeño bread hand-sliced from loaves, and you're in BBQ heaven.
Tip: A slice of pecan pie is worth the waddle back to your car
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.