You get to towns like Bryan, Texas by driving long miles. You drive past grazing cattle. You drive past trees of oak and mesquite. You drive past the ingredients, what the barbecue is made of.

Our visit to Schoepf’s was, more than anything else, an aberration. We didn’t explore Belton at all, we sat and took our time and didn’t even try their brisket. None of that, however, means that we didn’t like what Schoepf’s had to offer.

Zimmerhanzel’s occupies an orange, corrugated steel shack in Smithville, a town that attempts to distinguish itself by publicizing its appearance in a Sandra Bullock movie. But all anyone from Smithville should really need to mention is Z’s, and that would be bragging enough.