Located in the middle of a residential street, Pennie’s is truly a mom-and-pop operation. The little kitchen turns out barbecue and Mexican staples the equal of any you would cook for family and friends (if you knew how). Originally known for their homemade tamales, Israel and Connie Ochoa closed their business in the wake of Hurricane Ike, in 2008. Now they’re back, and they’ve expanded their menu to include Hill Country–style barbecue. Everything is cooked fresh daily: the famous tamales are an awesome blend of pork and beef seasoned to perfection and wrapped in delicious masa. Brisket is sliced to order, and it’s tender and juicy, with a sweet smoky flavor, good with sauce but also on its own. (And the pinto beans are incredible, full of flavor, with a hint of cilantro.) Mostly a takeout joint, Pennie’s has a small patio where folks can eat at a picnic table. Tip: pick up your order early; they often sell out.