BBQ in the Big Apple
The look in Hill Country is really unique, particularly for being in Manhattan. It’s a huge restaurant with plenty of light and open space and it’s designed with a western style - lots of hardwood and waitresses dressed as cowgirls. You are given a meal ticket when you walk in and then order your meat from one station and your sides from another station.
At first, we took a look at the food and the menu and I still couldn’t bring myself to have BBQ in NYC. Then, I looked around at all the press and accolades on the wall and started to change my mind but still stood firm. Even though Hill Country was named one of the Top 10 BBQ Restaurants in America, I decided we should keep walking.
Then, we got to the end of the block and I was disgusted with myself. I told my wife, “I write a blog called “From Ballparks to BBQ” and I’m passing up an opportunity to eat at one of the most highly rated BBQ restaurants in the country. What’s wrong with me?”
With this embarrassing realization, we turned around and prepared for a BBQ feast.
The presentation of the meat is incredible. It’s measured out and then served on a large sheet of brown paper that is then wrapped up and placed on a tray. The sides are placed in two generous serving containers alongside the meat on the tray.
I usually prefer Pork BBQ over beef, but the beef was the winner at Hill Country. Even though it was considered the “lean” brisket, it was incredibly juicy and tender. And the beef rib had a beautiful bark and flavor. It was firm but not too chewy or fatty. Surprisingly, I thought the pork rib was too tough and had too much fat. The chicken was also delicious with a smoky skin that added a great flavor with the juices of the meat.
The sides were very impressive as well. The chili had a great combination of beans and a variety of meats, including some pieces of what I believe was smoked sausage. The baked beans were smoky but not too sugary and went perfect as a side for a large platter of BBQ.
If I were eating this under normal circumstances, this would have been enough food to last me for three days. But because we were traveling, I ended up eating most of it in this one sitting. The quality is great, but I wouldn’t recommend it - particularly if you’re planning on moving at all in the following hours.
I almost chickened out when I had the opportunity to try Hill Country. I’m glad I didn’t...and I’m glad the BBQ was as good as it was.
Yet another example of how you can find ALL kinds of great food in New York City.
30 W 26th Street, New York, NY 10010
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