Yet more Texas influence in the Flatiron district, where you can expect southern comfort in this large space that capitalizes on both the supersize and barbecue trends so popular at present.
While Hill Country offers two levels of seating for more than 250, every diner is directed to a line to queue for the 'cue. Similar yet more refined than the punchcard systen at Katz's on Houston Street, you have your card marked at each station, which you must retain or else face a $50 penalty when leaving. Tip: arrive early for lunch, or else face Shake Shack length lines with infernal wait times.
Do try the ribs, brisket and prime rib, all priced by the pound, for the chicken does not measure up to the pork or beef offerings. You'll note that brisket can be had lean or slightly more fatty, and recall that fat means additional flavor. Your meat comes with crackers or white bread, both nice mopping-up options, especially if you go heavy on the sauces. Side dishes are fairly standard, ranging from black-eyed peas to macaroni (with or without chili) and sweet potatoes. Desserts are predictable, whether banana pudding or the familiar take on the pecan pie. The beer selection is below average for Manhattan, and you can order cocktails, wine and all other drinks at your table. Calculating the gratuity can be a challenge here, in particular if you procured your own beverages from the bar; we'll leave the bloggers to sort out this issue.
While we find the barbecue here to be one of NYC's top contenders, despite the ever-increasing popularity of BBQ in the flatlands of NYC, Hill Country lacks the quirky authenticity you would find in Kansas City, Oakland or Austin. On the other hand, since faux authenticity and sparklin'-clean floors delight New Yorkers of all stripes, Hill Country certainly succeeds in recreating this Austin legend, with its Texas-focused specialty cocktail list, all-Texas wine list (!) and near-daily live music on the lower level.
There are no events taking place on this date.