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Rub or Hill Country????

Which one do you prefer?

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  1. Hill Country for superior brisket. Plus HC is bigger and therefore you have probably less of a wait to get a table. That being said, the line to get the meat can get pretty long.

    1. I went to Hill Country on opening night and it was pretty good. The only problem is that ordering was a little confusing. They ran out of brisket and a few other meats, but what I had was really good. I'm from Texas and it met my expectations. I'd say eat there now b/c I'm not sure NYC will support a BBQ place of that size - it's huge.

      Rub was not my cup of tea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BigTyme

        Being from Texas myself, I agree with your opinion of Hill Country. The meats, esp the brisket was tender and juicy. The atmosphere was great and the bartenders in the downstairs bar were friendly and talkative.

        My only issues were the confusion with ordering and running out of items. I've been twice and both times they were out of the corn pudding and some other sides, second time they had run out of brisket and it took 30 minutes for more to be ready. I thought the greenbean casserole needed salt and was generally underwhelming. I liked the other sides I tried... esp the mac n cheese. Hopefully these are just part of the opening kinks they need to work out. I'll definitely be back because all in its still better than most BBQ places in the city, IMHO.

      2. I prefer Hill Country. The brisket is much more tender as is the smoked chicken. I've had a few bad experiences at RUB, so may not be a good data point.

        5 Replies
          1. re: drumwine

            I don't like the fact that Hill Country seems to be one big gimmick. What you have to do to order your food is a little much. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of the ribs. I thought they were nicely smoked but lacked real distinct flavor. Also, I feel like the place is overpriced. I prefer RUB for they variety, consistency, and price.

            1. re: clashfan

              I don't know, I read the "gimmick" as being authentic. Whenever I've visited BBQ places in Texas, you get in a line, order your food from a counter, and take the big piece of butcher paper back to a picnic table. Seems pretty easy to me.

              1. re: kathryn

                I agree. It's kind of like calling a sushi bar a gimmick....It's not like they make everyone wear ten gallon hats or boots with spurs while they call everybody "cowgirl" and "cowpoke." Mars 2112, Hawaiian Tropic Zone....now those are some gimmicks.

              2. re: clashfan

                Often regionalism and anachronism have the same effect in NYC: the transplantation of an alien entity into the 'melting pot'. If so then everything is a gimmick. Although Hill Country is not as exaggerated as its anachronistic counterpart like 'Medieval Times' would be, it cannot be denied that it does stand out as an artificial attempt to re-create something from elsewhere. So what? This should be as much of an issue as critisizing the East India Company for re-creating a small Dutch city in New World Indian territory. The point should be the food. This place serves sausages to die for, and brisket almost exactly like Black's in Lockhart. In NYC, that's impressive.

          2. I prefer RUB.

            1. When you and your party get up from your table to get your own meat, you risk losing your table to eager bus boys looking to turn your table.

            2. I like pork, not beef, and RUB is better with pork ribs

            3. I hated waiting in line for my food. (I prefer waiting at my table for my food when I eat with my friends.)

            4. The fried Oreos are better than the PB&J cupcake.

            1. The baby back ribs at Rub are awesome.

              After reading this thread, I'm going to have to try the brisket at Hill country. my mouth is watering thinking about it!

              1. i have yet to visit hill country, but the burnt ends dinner from RUB was out of this world.

                1. I like them both but for different reasons. As of late, I've been addicted to RUB's Beans (with burnt ends). They are like a tangy, smoky punch in the mouth. The brisket is good, but a bit dry. His burnt ends are very tasty and I was able to get them as a 1/4 lb of meat deal. I do like Paul Kirk's sauces too. I went to Hill Country the other day with a buddy of mine. I took some pics and wrote about it on Roadfood.com. Here is the link.
                  I thought you might be interested in this post:


                  1. I've been to both recently, and HIll Country food is exquisite, the ribs, and moist brisket. Even the fat from the moist brisket was delicious. But I'll go back to RUB for their great ribs and their more reasonable prices, and I wont have to wait on a line like I'm at an amusement park. At least at RUB, waitresses actually earn their tips. I felt like a chump leaving a tip at Hill Country, when it was me doing all the walking back and forth! I dropped like $30+ just for a modest sampler.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: soultasto

                      Hill Country is just so much better. I live near both and have mostly had bad experiences at RUB. Have been 3 or 4 times. Went a few mos ago and food was brought out cold, service was atrocious, and the brisket was dry. HC is delicious and fun. Love the jalapeno sausage, pork ribs, and even the chicken is great.

                    2. Serious Answer to a serious question!
                      Hill Country's set up is what it is, get over and go to judge the food. I actually appreciated a wider and more comfortable setting, avoiding rush times can be a catch 22, the lines could be long, but the brisket is flying off the cutting board at high speed,. Even I need to repspect the fact that not every cut of meat, or slab of ribs is the best on every visit, and I have only been to Hill Country once, but I digress,..
                      So, my friend and I spent almost 75 bucks on almost every BBQ item, chicken, brisket, both sausages, and pork spareribs. With so much meat we only tried a few sides, beans, mac and cheese and cornbread. Seriously, with no exageration most of it was a let down!
                      The brisket was very good, and we went with the fattier cuts, I don't mind that at all! But after that the only other thing worth mentioning was the chicken, and really, who the hell goes out of their way at those prices to order chicken?? The sausage, bland, mushy and not good. This was our mutually agreed biggest dissapointment, especially just a month or two off Big Apple BBQ where we enjoyed both Elgin's and of course Salt Lick's sausages more than at HC. The sides were passable, except the mac was not good at all. It doesn't have to be buried in cheese, but it was terrible. We both made ugh faces biting into it. And the ribs, man, they were boring! not so overcooked or something like that, just bland and not very smoky bbq'ish at all.
                      On one particular trip last year, 10 friends joined me for dinner at RUB, several guests included other respected (in my opinion) BBQ aficianados and professional michelin level cooks who work here in the city. Now, BBQ for me is judged by Pork and Pork alone, so if you prefer beef, when the maybe Hill Country is for you. But if Pork products are as important to you as they are to me, RUB destroys Hill country. Seriously, I cannot imagine anyone really debating that issue. And that ALONE settles the issue, with finality!
                      We started with the meaty bacon bites, which were lovely, charry, but not overdone, meaty in texture, and the fried green tomatoes, which were just great while wating for the main events to arrive.
                      We had both spares and babybacks, there was a good split of which was preferable, with the spares getting the slight edge, I personally went through phases in the meal in my own choice, debating in those moments of rib perfection, meaty, tender, not too mushy coming off the bone, smoky, it was a tough call. And the REAL burnt ends were great, actual good sized chunks of brisket, and very tasty! honestly I didn't have much regular sliced brisket there at all, although a friend had a sandwich and said it was pretty good, not requiring much additional sauce. I enjoyed the more snappy texture and flavor of their sausage too. I am Carolina vinegar guy, and so for me the cole Slaw was perfectly executed. The beans were fine, if nothing special, stuff like that, as long as it isn't bad, gets a little lost in the mix anyways.
                      Desserts at BBQ places are always debatable, personal preferences run amuck, and the choices at RUB are more limited,but fried oreos, although simple were pretty good. Good luck deciding for yourself!