For the first 39-1/2 years they were open, Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue had been cooking their briskets completely untrimmed, then cutting the fat and crust off before serving. Now they trim off all but a thin layer of fat, then leave it all on when the meat is sliced, leaving the meat much more moist and perfectly tender. If you prefer your barbecue in a sandwich, you can order brisket trimmings cut finely into what resembles a smokier and more intense version of a sloppy joe. They also offer freshly chopped brisket, which provides the distinct bits of fat and slightly chewy bark that makes for a great bite of chopped beef. You’ve got to expect a few hiccups when a joint decides to change things up this late in life, but their charge toward excellence is admirable. Once they get their brisket consistency down, Big Al’s could be one of the better joints in the state.