Texas BBQ - at DC prices

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by SmartCookie on September 9, 2011

The DC branch of NY restaurant Hill Country has opened in Penn Quarter (good access to Capitol Hill, Verizon Center, etc), but that fancy real estate (and high quality food) translates into big bucks by Texas standards.

If you have ever been to a BBQ joint in Texas (or really, any other normal restaurant), this service set-up is baffling. There are stations and cards that must be marked for each item. Even when the restaurant is not crowded, this is confusing. When it's packed, forget about it - it's chaos. Delicious, delicious chaos.

Sausage is flown in from Kreuz Market in TX (jalepeno is my preference - not super hot but flavorful). The brisket is yum (but get the "moist" aka fatty - you're eating BBQ, why sweat the calories). People love the chicken, and the ribs are not the high point. There are lots of places to get good ribs - seek them out if you love ribs. The sides (do not confuse these with vegetables of which there are very few at Hill Country) are pretty decent - mac and cheese, corn pudding, beans with burnt ends (the best, in my opinion).

The prices - what to say about the prices. Ouch! In any place other than Manhatten or downtown DC, a plate of BBQ and a side would cost you under $10. Expect to pay more. A lot more. On the plus side, the management seems to have noticed that they are getting some strange looks at the prices, and there are weekly, daily, and lunch specials. And even an all you can eat special. Check them out on the website before you go to make sure that you get there on a night when your preferred deal is available!

There is live music and karaoke (ick!) some nights, and there is a nice space in the basement (with a bar and a stage) if your are looking for a place to host a casual event (and have money for the catering which is - again - not cheap).

They bring in Big Red soda from Texas (an aquired taste) and Coke made with sugar instead of corn syrup from Texas (see if you can taste the difference). The deserts are fab - worth a trip on their own. Texas Sheet Cake, cupcakes (yes, I know that cupcakes are over, but try the PB&J), pecan pie, red velvet cake and banana pudding. And Blue Bell ice cream in a variety of flavors flown in from Brenham, Texas. Some people say that Blue Bell isnt that delicous or special so maybe it's just a Texas ex-pat thing to love it.

For what this little adventure in Texas dining costs, they should serve you food at a table. But it's cheaper than a trip to Texas!
Hill Country Barbecue
410 7th Street NW
Washington, D.C., United States, 20004


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