Zimmerhanzel's BBQ (closed)
I am slowly starting to run out of "good" barbecue joints to check out in Austin. That means I need to start taking more road trips. I keep finding myself referencing the Texas Monthly's Top 50 list to find some BBQ restaurants to try. It is a pretty good guide to follow. This time we were going to meet up with a friend at Zimmerhanzel's BBQ in Smithville who was on the way to Houston. My wife and I used to drive through here when we would visit my parents in Katy. When we pass through the area, all we ever saw was the hospital along the highway. As we were looking for Zimmerhanzel's, we realize there was more to the city. It has the feel of a small Texas town where everyone knows one another. The movie Hope Floats was actually shot here in Smithville.
The first I think I noticed was the affordable prices. I ordered a two-meat plate with moist brisket and sliced pork roast. They were out of pork ribs. Someone had come in and ordered all of them up. Bummer. Amber got a slice of moist brisket and sausage. I also ordered a half chicken in case we did not get full. The plate came with sides of beans, coleslaw, and macaroni salad. The brisket was solid. It was tender and nicely smoked with a good bark. It had flavor, but the fat was overly rendered so it was a touch dry. The sliced pork tasted good along the edges because of the fat, but it was dry in the middle. I needed sauce to eat the inner pieces. The all-beef homemade sausage was the star here. It is possibly one of my favorites. The snap from the casing and the coarse grit hit the spot. The peppery blend was heavy on fat. We ordered two extra sausages to-go because they were just that good. However the chicken was not. It was really dry, and my wife refused to eat it. I did enjoy the skin because of the tasty rub. There was nothing of note about the beans and coleslaw. I did like the macaroni salad. It was like eating a mustardy potato salad, but instead of potatoes, there were macaroni elbows. Our meal was under 20 bucks including the two extra links of sausage. That is pretty cheap.
Did you know that the owners tried to close Zimmerhanzel's BBQ once? The public outcry kept it from happening. The next time we are going through Smithville, we are going to stop back in. Just remember to bring cash because they do not take credit cards. We just walked across the street to the grocery store to get some. I have to try some of the pork ribs when we come back. Of course we would also load up on their sausage. It travels pretty well.
Until next time, happy smoking...