Hill Country BBQ, NYC
It wasn’t that long ago that the number of good, authentic barbecue restaurants in New York City was pretty much zero. Today it’s a different story, after a smoked, spicy, saucy tsunami of first-rate BBQ restaurants flooded the town these past few years, led by the likes of Daisy Mae’s in Hell’s Kitchen, R.U.B. on West 23rd Street, Dinosaur up in far-west Harlem, Danny Meyers’s excellent Blue Smoke in the Gramercy area, Fette Sau in Brooklyn, and, in our opinion the best of them all, Hill Country.
Hill Country Barbecue, NYC, is modeled after the legendary Kreuz Market in Texas, from the meal ticket they hand you at the door to the way they serve your perfect slabs of meat, sold by the pound, piled into a untidy bundle of butcher’s paper, a few slices of white bread thrown in. Sauce is in bottles on the table, and, with meat this good and juicy, is for the most part totally unnecessary. We’ve sampled–gorged on, really–a fair amount of the meat menu, and it’s all pretty spectacular. We always get the wonderfully rich and fatty “Brisket Moist”, the sweet and tender Pork Spare Ribs, and a snappy Kruez Sausage or two, sometimes regular, sometimes jalepeno cheese. The Beef Shoulder is also a winner, as is the Beer Can Game Hen.
After your meats, slide on over to the Sides counter, and load up your tray with Southwestern delights. The Campfire Baked Beans are sweet and fiery and bursting with burnt ends. If you think Smokey Chipotle Deviled Eggs sound good, well? you’re right. The Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash, the Longhorn Cheddar Mac and Cheese, the White Shoepeg Corn Pudding? you really can’t go wrong here. In fact, the only danger at Hill Country is piling on too much, and so not being able to actually eat all the goodies.
Hill Country is made for after-work rowdiness–there are two full bars, two levels, big tables, live music, lots of longneck beers–and it definitely gets loud and crowded. Weekends, on the earlier side, tends to be more sedate, and no lines at the food stations is definitely a plus.
Hill Country Barbecue and Market details
Hill Country BBQ, NYC, is located on West 26th Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue, and is open every day at 12:00 p.m. On Sunday to Wednesday the kitchen closes at 10:00 p.m.; fro Thursday through Saturday it closes at 11:00 p.m.. The bar stays open every night until 2:00 a.m. For a complete menu and more information on Hill Country’s live music schedule, click here.