Billy Ray Nelson is the former sheriff in these parts, but he had always dreamed of making real-deal barbecue his full-time gig once he retired. His wish came true four years ago, and boy, is that a good thing for the rest of us. Situated in a wide-open field on FM 350 and marked with a couple of banners (one sporting the joint’s name, the other advertising a ribeye special and what looked to be a poison ivy help line), the Hitch-N-Post is two metal buildings spanned by a cozy porch furnished with a few tables and more than a few Texas tchotchkes (some of which are for sale, by the way). Though we arrived at the tail end of the day, Billy couldn’t have been happier to set us up with a heaping plate of meat and a round of sweet iced tea. The juicy brisket came in big, thick pieces cut the way they’re supposed to be, with just enough rub to let the ten-to-twelve-hour-smoked-meat taste shine through. The hunky pork ribs were crowd-pleasers, lightly glazed, tender, and hot—pure meaty goodness. The sauce was a little dense, decent but unnecessary; the baked beans were standard; and the potato salad got two thumbs up. Next time we’ll leave room for some of Nana Nelson’s fine homemade buttermilk pecan pie.
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