Friday, April 29, 2011
Hill Country BBQ
Last weekend I finally made it to Hill Country BBQ. The DC outpost of the New York restaurant that specializes in Texas-style barbecue. The process at this place is a little out of control. It's like a visit to Disney world. The decor is a little in your face. It's so overwrought that it reminds you of being in Austin as much as visit to Fado absurdly tries to make you imagine you are actually in Ireland. It's a bit of a farce.
There is a wait when you arrive and after a Shiner Bock out of a mason jar at the bar, you get to your long communal table where you can then order drinks, but virtually nothing else from your server. In amusement park fashion, you are given a meal ticket and then you are off to the meat counter where you try and order ribs, brisket, chicken, etc. by the 1/4 pound, but really find that your can't get anything short of a 1/2 pound or more. We unfortunately were told we couldn't get less than 1 1/4 of short ribs and that the game hens were sold out. We tried a few different meats and then got some corn pudding, slaw, plus mac and cheese. You also get white bread, which apparently is still made these days!
It was quite good overall: juicy and scrumptious bbq chicken, tender smoked lamb, phenomenal jalepeno cheddar sausage but fatty pork ribs. The sides were loaded with butter and delicious. It's no Salt Lick (my point of reference from Austin), but respectable for the Northeast US. I don't think I was hungry again for about a day. It was expensive for BBQ and especially considering the confusing and inefficient service model. Again, the overkill with the decor was annoying and ultimately inauthentic. I'd go back with a large group, but will more likely steer towards Rocklands (my favorite) or even Capital Q for less of a headache getting my meal.
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