Octogenarian Vencil Mares has been perfecting his skills on the brick pit since 1948. We’d heard about his chicken, but the day we visited, the pork ribs were the highlight, with brisket not far behind. Mares’s trick is wrapping the meat in butcher paper and smoking it over post oak for eight or nine hours. “Don’t ever turn it over,” he says. After the meat is cooked, he rewraps it and stores it in an ice chest for seven hours.