10/19/13 10:59am - On my way to Eagle Lake, I thought why not swing through Wharton and try an old 1997 Top 50 joint. If you have ever driven out of Houston down Hwy 59 you mostly drove past this joint thinking "I wonder if its any good; I should stop sometime". Its worth one stop and lunch on the way to your South Texas destination.
I scored Hinze's Bar-B-Que a 74 out of 100. This is Regional Texas BBQ.
Smoke: Pecan. One of the saddest things is to see an old smokehouse retrofitted for a gasser. Yes behind the stacks of pecan are two commercial gassers. I hate to admit it, but gassers save a lot of family businesses. Its hard to pass down passion to the next generation or investment buyer. The low cost of push button efficiency is a smart business decision, saves jobs and saves restaurants.
Brisket: Good. A gasser 1/8in smoke ring beneath paper thin bark (is it really bark if its only paper thin?). Tested tough of tender but was surprising moist. Good smoke flavor. Use the sauce.
Ribs: Fair. Not a good gasser product. A St Lious cut spare rib, tough of tender with noticeable tearing and dirty bone. It had a mild black pepper rub, thin bark and smoke ring. Use the sauce and a toothpick.
Sausage: Good. A course ground pork/beef country link. Good traditiaonal spice and mild black peppery after taste. Casing was snappy. No sauce needed.
Sauce: Very Good. A thick tomato tangy semi sweet sauce with onions. Had citrus or cider vinegar flavors, brown sugar. A little different but good. Gave everthing a nice flavor boost.
PS: Inside decor is worth a lunch stop. Interesting taxidermy and folksy antiques. They expanded the restaurant around a living tree.