Hill Country BBQ Restaurant Review: By the Pound Meat and Sides
A friend recently told me about a new BBQ restaurant, Hill Country, that opened up close to where I work. I'm pretty much always game for trying new places so it wasn't long before I gave this one a try during one of my lunch breaks.
The location at 30 West 26th Street isn't one that I would think appropriate for a BBQ joint, but what do I know? What was important to me was that it was a mere 5 block walk. Upon entering the establishment my co-workers and I were greeted by our hostess who, since this was our first visit, provided a description of the ordering process. Unlike a typical restaurant, you head to a common area to place your order very similar to how a buffet is set up. However, unlike a buffet, all meat items are paid for by the pound and sides are paid for by the size of the container.
I decided to get a pound of the pork ribs and a side of the bourbon sweet potato mash. Once at my table I gave the bourbon mash a try first. It was excellent! The only place I've had better mashed sweet potatoes is at another BBQ restaurant called Daisey May's on the west side in the 40's somewhere.
Next up were the pork ribs. Just by the luck of the draw I got some end pieces as well as some ribs from the middle of the rack. Normally this isn't something I would note except the end pieces were much, much better than the middle pieces. I'm not sure why that is other than perhaps the smaller ends contained a larger proportion of the rub/sauce they used. I liked the ribs, but I wouldn't say I loved them. I'll need to give the beef ribs a try to see how they compare.
On my second trip to Hill Country restaurant I decided to give the brisket a try. Two options were available — moist and lean — so I ordered a 1/4 of a pound of each. Both styles had similar flavor, but I found the moist cut to be way too fatty for my liking. A co-worker also had the lean cut and in the end we both gave it a thumbs up.
Because of the self-serve setup I don't have much to say about the service especially since I didn't get anything other than water to drink. Even paying for the meal was done at a counter (they must lose a lot of tips this way). Speaking of which, both lunch bills came out to around $17 each — a little high for lunch, but in line with dinner.
Overall I recommend Hilltop BBQ restaurant. If you can go with a small group of friends you'll be able to pull together a platter of items of your choosing so you can get the full experience. That's one advantage of ordering by the pound.