Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hill Country BBQ in DC

another iPhone photo post, sorry, didn't feel like lugging my real camera into a crowded restaurant

After about a month of planning, some coworkers and I finally made it out to Hill Country BBQ for dinner. We could not have picked a more crowded night as it was election day so everyone was out to watch the results and drink. Luckily my friend Randolph got there early and managed to score us a table. 

When you are seated, each person gets a meal ticket/passport like thing. The waiter takes your drink orders, you decide what you want and then you walk to go get your food in a cafeteria like setting. The meat is first, and then the sides. After dinner if you are up for it, you can go back and get dessert. 

After debating for awhile what all of us were going to get, we finally just decided to go up and see what everything was about. I wanted to look at all of the meats before I decided and I got lucky with the guy who took my meat order. He let me try the moist and the lean brisket before deciding what I wanted. The moist was the clear winner, flavorful-no BBQ sauce needed (2nd half of the photo below). The lean wasn't bad either. As much as I did enjoy the moist, it did have some fat on it that kinda grossed me out, so it depends on your preference. A coworker and his lady decided to split the Pitmaster $25 (for 1) 1/4 lb Lean Brisket, One Pork Spare Rib, One Beef Rib, Quarter Chicken (white or dark meat), Any Two Good Eatin’ (8 oz .) Sides...clearly made for 2, and a great deal (top half of the photo...just looks like a pile of meat). They enjoyed it, and the coworker said he liked the chicken the best.
There are a plethora of sides to choose from and between the 6 of us we tried a whole bunch of things. The winner was the Mac & Cheese. We all agreed that we would get that again in a heartbeat. We also tried the Green Bean CasseroleGerman Hot Potato Salad, Chili, Sweet Potato Mash and the Cucumber Salad (not shown). They were all decent, but none of us would do repeat orders.
Some of the table got desserts as well. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake. The two guys that split this were in LOVE with it. The joy on their faces from eating this cupcake was a little intense. The chocolate pudding special was decent, but everyone who got it said it was very rich.
Everyone was pretty happy with the food and I have to agree the BBQ was pretty darn good. You didn't even need to put sauce on it, that's how flavorful the meat was. The sides were ok, the only thing I recommend is the Mac & Cheese and experiment with the rest. The Pitmaster is probably the best deal, get it and split it with someone. 

The concept of the restaurant was different, a little intimidating to go through the cafeteria like line...some of the servers are really patient and the others are just trying to get you through as quick as possible. Prices are decent for the meat, a little pricey for the sides...$5 for a small side of mac & cheese seems a little extreme to me. The experience was overwhelming too because we were seated right by the bar, and I was on the side of the table with my back to the bar so I constantly had people hovering over me while I was trying to eat, not an ideal experience. I don't like being yelled at and over crowded.

This is also not a good place if you want to talk to your dining companions  we had 6 people but we might as well just have been eating with ourselves because unless you were right up on that person you couldn't hear anything.

However, ambiance aside, if you are craving BBQ in the area then give this place a try, one of the better places in the NOVA/DC area that I have had BBQ from.

410 7th Street NW
Washington, DC
Penn Quarter
Hill Country Barbecue Market on Urbanspoon

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