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Hill Country BBQ coming to DC

MrsWheatie Jul 1, 2009 01:52 PM

Seems the NYC joint is coming to DC next year to Penn Qtr. mmm Blue Bell Ice Cream!


  1. m
    maypo Jul 2, 2009 06:02 AM

    I've had mixed impressions with Hill Country in NYC.........very expensive.....inconsistent food.....

    1. 4
      4X4 Jul 2, 2009 06:03 AM

      If it's anything like the NYC one, I'll pass.

      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bl... (read the second comment.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: 4X4
        Bob W Jul 2, 2009 06:36 AM

        So let me get this straight: An inconsistent New York purveyor of Texas-style barbecue is going to open a branch in DC? Forgive me for not getting too excited 'bout this.

        It's tough enough for legendary barbecue joints to open branches that don't suck (see, e.g., Maurice's Piggy Park (SC), Fresh Air (GA), Dreamland (AL).

        1. re: Bob W
          mc22 Jul 2, 2009 07:29 AM

          No! No! Get excited! I'm Texan and was living in New York when Hill Country opened. It's not as good as the original Kruez's, sure, but soooo much better than anything DC currently has to offer. Like 300% better. Y'all will see when it opens - Austin Grill and Capital Q will just suddenly seem so NOT TEXAN. They don't get everything right, but they are pretty darn close on a lot.

          This is exactly what DC has been needing. Now if we could only get good Vietnamese (inside the district), Korean BBQ (inside the district), Tex-Mex, mom and pop style Italian a la Frank or Max in New York, and if BYOB was allowed, I'd be happy. Oh yes, and a German beer garden. Whew.

          1. re: mc22
            Dennis S Jul 2, 2009 09:15 AM

            Nam Viet is pretty good for one of your requests.

            1. re: mc22
              littlew1ng Jul 2, 2009 05:05 PM

              mc — did you see they're planning to serve big red and BLUE BELL! I don't give a whip about the barbecue — i'm looking forward to the ice cream :)

              1. re: mc22
                agarnett100 Mar 21, 2011 12:09 PM

                MC22 - There is a German Beer Garden on H St NE

            2. re: 4X4
              Raids Mar 21, 2011 12:07 PM

              I think I like the 6th comment better.

              I plan on checking this place out this weekend. It's not like there's any better BBQ in my neighborhood. :-) I'm not looking to compare it to the stuff I had on day long Saturday road trips around central Texas or anything, I just want some decent meat.

            3. s
              Sean D Jul 2, 2009 09:37 AM

              For the benefit of those not familiar with Hill Country, would some of you please elaborate:

              - What kind of BBQ do they feature? Texas? Kansas City? Carolina?
              - What do you you consider "expensive"? How much is a full rack of pork ribs, for instance?
              - What kind of sides do they have?

              Also, its a pretty broad statement to say that they are better than anything in D.C.. Better than what? Famous Dave? Rocklands? Urban BBQ? Why?

              22 Replies
              1. re: Sean D
                zebcook Jul 2, 2009 04:14 PM

                Okay, recent Austinite moved here willing to give it a try.

                Texas BBQ is beef brisket, with sausage (hot guts), ribs, chicken and turkey a follow up in more or less that order. Pork is not common and is almost always ridiculously thick pork chops. No rubs, no sauce during cooking, just lots of time and wood. If you can't smell wood smoke when you go in the door, it's not a good sign. Smoke ring on the meat is a sign of quality. White bread, sliced onions and sandwich dill pickles are a must, along with some kind of sauce (usually tomato-vinegar-spice based). You order by pound or part pound at a lot of places. Fairly typical sides -- coleslaw, ranch or borracho beans, potato salad, etc. Meat should be moist, good smoke ring, very tender and not require sauce to be good. Chewy brisket is a bad bbq place.

                Can't address the NYC expensive bbq question and there's little point comparing prices from Texas to here.

                1. re: zebcook
                  littlew1ng Jul 2, 2009 05:07 PM

                  zeb — i'm nodding along with your near-perfect description and i do believe there's a little drool on my face. don't know if you saw salt lick on the best thing i ever ate barbecue episode but man it made me miss texas. but if this place has big red and blue bell ice cream, which it allegedly intends to, I'll be one of the first knocking down their door.

                  1. re: zebcook
                    monkeyrotica Jul 7, 2009 05:02 AM

                    Texas BBQ is also about clod (beef shoulder). The only rubs should be salt, pepper, maybe cayenne, and the wood is either oak or mesquite.

                    I have to wonder what kind of licensing you need to operate a wood smoker in Penn Quarter. I can easily see neighborhood condo dwellers complaining about the second-hand smoke hazard.

                  2. re: Sean D
                    jac0077 Sep 30, 2010 11:00 AM

                    I'm very late to this discussion based on the date of this post but wanted to chime in. Is Hill Country going to make a splash in DC? You're darn right it will. I have eaten at the NYC store recently and it is very authentic TX or better yet, Lockhart, TX style BBQ. As for the other spots mentioned like Rocklands, I hate to inform you but they all stink. I have eaten top BBQ all over the country and the fact that those places may be popular, doesn't mean they are good cause they aren't. Urban BBQ, a fairly new comer, is about the worst of that list. What's more, their location is terrible behind a crappy strip mall in Rockville.

                    Urban BBQ
                    10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                    1. re: jac0077
                      MikeR Sep 30, 2010 01:07 PM

                      Always nice to hear from another BBQ fan that we don't have anything good to eat here. Hope one of your favorites opens here soon so wee can see what you like.

                      Those of us who have lived in the DC area for a long time perhaps have become accustomed to what they call BBQ here, just as you have wherever you come from. It's a regional thing.

                      I ate at Hill Country in NYC probably about 10 years ago and thought it was good for New York. So there! <g>.

                      1. re: MikeR
                        jac0077 Oct 6, 2010 06:21 AM

                        Some Chowhounders take comments personally which is too bad. Wherever I'm from is DC and have lived here all my life. That's right, I'm a native Washingtonian as our both my parents. I currently live inside the Beltway. The BBQ joints here are just not up to snuff there's no way about it. If they were, they'd be lines out the door and that just isn't the case at Rockland's or Urban or any other place in this general area. Sure BBQ is regional but that doesn't mean that it should be mediocre. What BBQ style is DC anyway? The places in NYC or anywhere else that are considering coming here get it done and have taken the time to learn what it takes to turn out great product. Hill Country is good BBQ for NYC but won't do well here? I doubt it. I was in NYC when BBQ first came with Blue Smoke from Union Square Hospitality Group and people sent the food back thinking it wasn't cooked not realizing it was smoked. Now NYC is full of great BBQ places and New Yorkers from Midtown to Brooklyn absolutely love it. One thing that may happen is these outsiders may force the local joints to step up their game and that's a good thing for all diners. Hill Country opened in NYC in 2007 so 10 years ago you may have eaten somewhere else thinking it was Hill. Blue Smoke was open then.

                        1. re: jac0077
                          Steve Oct 6, 2010 07:18 AM

                          If you haven't tried the chopped pork sandwich Fridays at Breadline or have recently been to Rocklands in Arlington for their chopped pork, I can tell you that you're absolutely wrong about having only mediocre bbq in the area. In addition, the ribs at Rays the Steaks East of the River are impressive: I never thought I would like baby back ribs, but these are serious.

                          My one visit to Urban BBQ, a few years back now, produced some impressive ribs, so I know they are capable of it.

                          I can tell you from having BBQ in the family, that different visits can produce different results.

                          1. re: Steve
                            daves_32 Oct 6, 2010 08:12 AM

                            are there any ideas about when Hill Country may open?

                            1. re: daves_32
                              jac0077 Oct 6, 2010 11:53 AM

                              Opening pushed back and best scenerio is end of the year. Interestingly, the owner of Hill Country is a Bethesda native. That bodes well for me as that's my area. There isn't any BBQ joint in the heavily food laden town and the future could bring a location there. You never know.

                            2. re: Steve
                              jac0077 Oct 6, 2010 11:48 AM

                              I agree that different visits can result in a different product. Overall though, there still isn't anyone that is consistantly knocking this stuff out of the park. You mention Ray's and look what they've done. You wanna talk about a line? That's a great example of putting out quality. All his places are very good. It's amazing to me how few food establishments in the casual dining sector like BBQ joints, don't take the time to make it good and really good mostly every time. BBQ, for the most part, isn't rocket science. Today, you can even go to one of the top cooks on the BBQ circuit and take their class for $500-$1000. That may seem like a lot but you're learning from the masters who earn hundreds of thousands in competiton and know what they're doing. You take back 10% of what you learn and you're ready to have people stand in line for your food. I'll try Rocklands again maybe but don't think I'm itching to go to Urban any time soon.
                              I hear Chubby's in Emmitsburg (North of Frederick) and Black Hog in downtown Frederick are authentic joints and damn good. Thanks for keeping the thread going.

                              1. re: jac0077
                                flavrmeistr Oct 6, 2010 12:26 PM

                                Chubby's is...okay. Black Hog has stepped up it's game considerably since they opened 3years ago. It's probably the best of the local joints, especially their dry-rubbed ribs. Nothing around here holds a candle to the wood-fired pits of Luling, Lockhart, or even Ft. Lauderdale. The smoke blower contraption things they use around here just do not produce real barbecue. Mostly, you can do better in your own back yard. I know I can.

                                1. re: jac0077
                                  MikeR Oct 7, 2010 06:46 AM

                                  I think that you'll find that those masters who teach $1,000 classes in BBQ aren't seeing any competition. They can teach you how to make a decent brisket or pork shoulder at home in your back yard, with a lot of time and patience, and willingness to eat when it's ready, not when you want it. They might even give you some tips that will let you do better in a competition. But BBQ in restaurant proportions is very different - just as any restaurant preparation is different from how you'd make it at home.

                                  The little roadside shacks can turn out a good product because they operate on a small scale. A restaurant that needs to serve several hundred customers a day in order to stay in business has to work differently, and they also need to be sure that they'll have those several hundred customers a day in the long run. In Austin, people who eat out probably go for BBQ once every week or two, but in DC where people wear white shirts and watch their cholesterol, for most fans, it's a few times a year treat. I'm not sure that even if there was a universally acclaimed US's best BBQ restaurant, it could prosper in the DC area. And if it doesn't prosper, it isn't going to last long.

                                  I don't go to Penn Quarter so I don't know how the restaurants there are doing, but there sure are a lot of 'em and if I was going to open a specialty restaurant that was really special, one where people from all over the Metro area would come to eat on a fairly regular basis, I wouldn't open it there. We'll see.

                                  I heard here that Chubby's was good, and I stopped there for lunch once when I was driving up to Pennsylvania. Not surprising why they call it Chubby's - the smallest thing on the menu was a pulled pork sandwich that was huge (and cost $10, I think), more than I could eat. The meat was a bit damp and soggy. I would have been reasonably happy with half as much food for half the price, but, since I see no reason to make Chubby's a destination, that if I eat there it will be on the way to somewhere, I doubt I'll eat there again. I go to Rocklands for lunch about once a month or month and a half, on Monday, if I remember, when they have a special where you get a free sandwich when you buy a beer. Decent sandwich, they have some good beers, not too much food, not too much money, and I'm a happy camper. $25 for a rib dinner, plus tax, tip, parking or Metro, at the maybe-to-be Penn Quarter Hill Country is something that I probably will never try.

                                  1. re: MikeR
                                    jac0077 Oct 7, 2010 07:21 AM

                                    Yep. The Hill Country price point will discourage some folks. I ate at their location in NYC and thought it was high but figured it was NYC prices. Not sure folks will pay that here. One of the reasons that Five Guys Burgers does well is that their prices are reasonable. Even though DC has affluent residents, they won't pay $15.00 per person for that kind of place. BGR Joint in Bethesda is very near me but I won't go because you'll pay about what I stated above for a burger, fries and drink. If you add-in the milkshake for a little indulgence, it pushes it slightly higher if I remember. Price point does matter. We'll see what happens. NYC places are coming there's no two ways about it.

                                2. re: Steve
                                  jac0077 Oct 6, 2010 11:54 AM

                                  I posted a reply in the wrong place. See below.

                                3. re: jac0077
                                  MikeR Oct 6, 2010 02:59 PM

                                  I don't know that Washingtonians would be lining up outside the door for good BBQ. They line up outside the door for cupcakes and burgers. I just don't thing that DC is much of a BBQ town, no matter who cooks it. A new place might be a novelty for a while, but I'd be surprised if one or two outsiders coming to town will start a trend.

                                  Red, Hot and Blue started out like you described, when a bunch of Congressional staffers coming in with the new administration (was it Carter? I can't remember that far back) wanted good BBQ in town. They decided that they liked Corky's in Memphis best, and went there to learning about equipment and techniques from the cooks there, and had them help with the sauce. When they opened, it was as good as the best Memphis BBQ restaurants (I'm talking real restaurants here, not a guy by the roadside with a smoker) but the original RH&B team is long gone, probably most are dead now, and it's not the same any more. It was a pretty hot item when they first opened up, but the crowds dwindled long before the quality of the cooking did.

                                  I know I've eaten at Hill Country, because I saw an article in the Washington Post about it and I was going to New York around that time. I've also eaten at Virgil's in NY and a place around 7th avenue and 14th street, and thought they were both pretty decent, but I didn't really try to compare them to anything other than my own preferences.

                                  It'll be interesting to see how Hill Country does. Being that the plan (at least according to the Washington Post article) is for it to be in Penn Quarter, I probably won't eat there very soon, and if I ever do, it'll probably be lunch some time when I have to go to the Convention Center. So I really can't get very excited about its coming. But I hope it arrives, and I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoy the original. I'll be looking for your report.

                                  1. re: MikeR
                                    DanielK Oct 6, 2010 07:08 PM

                                    I think the real question is whether people are going to pay $25 for a plate of BBQ in Penn Quarter that they can go to the aforementioned places in the burbs and get the same plate for half the price.

                                    1. re: MikeR
                                      Lori D Oct 7, 2010 06:59 AM

                                      One of RH&B's original owners was Lee Atwater (Reagan administration).

                                      1. re: Lori D
                                        MikeR Oct 7, 2010 03:50 PM

                                        That's the name I was trying to remember when I was scrounging up old memories. I guess 1981 or so would be in the right ballpark. I was hired to record a show that Atwater's blues band did back in the early 80s. The band was pretty good, but they didn't feed us any BBQ.

                                      2. re: MikeR
                                        alkapal Mar 23, 2011 04:32 PM

                                        mike, lee atwater, one of the creators of red hot & blue is rolling in his grave with you 1) calling him a congressional staffer and 2) associating him with carter. LOL!

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          MikeR Mar 23, 2011 05:49 PM

                                          Hey, it was ancient history, awright! I can't remember who was the last president of the US.

                                      3. re: jac0077
                                        Mississippi Snopes Oct 6, 2010 09:42 PM

                                        jac0077 - This idea that just because you've eaten Texas barbecue, you're somehow especially qualified to say that DC has no good barbecue is just silly. I think Rocklands and Urban have very good barbecue -- and I've eaten at Kreuz's and Black's in Lockhart and City Market in Luling (not to mention Oklahoma Joe's, Gates, and Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City; Lexington No. 1 in Lexington NC, Wilber's in Goldsboro, NC; Moonlite and George's in Owensboro; Rendezvous, Interstate, and Payne's in Memphis; Sims in Little Rock; McLard's in Hot Springs, Ark.; Angelo's and Railhead in Fort Worth; and a bunch more less famous barbecue places.

                                        If I've eaten a lot more barbecue than you (and I almost certainly have), does that make my judgment of Rocklands and Urban right and yours wrong? No, but it does mean you're not entitled to say our local barbecue is bad just because you've eaten in a few Texas barbecue places.

                                        This is food. People's opinions differ, even people with a lot of eating experience.

                                        1. re: Mississippi Snopes
                                          jac0077 Oct 7, 2010 06:26 AM

                                          DC is becoming a great food town serving all kinds of stuff at all kinds of prices and that's a good thing. Being a native, I know that wasn't always the case. Rocklands and Urban and all the rest in this category will step up their game as I said before. Competition has a way of doing that. It's possible if not probable in the food business that if you don't get better you risk great danger of going out of business.
                                          You can have your opinion and I can have mine and I am entitled to it by the way. You've eaten at some great bbq places but so have I. I have been to many of the places you mentioned and more. Yes, Hill Country is TX or Lockhart, TX style but my BBQ experience is much broader than that for what it's worth. I hope many more of these places come to town. The DC area would certainly accept these joints and I suspect they'd do well. I like your handle by the way. I've had bbq all over MS too.

                                4. c
                                  cookie44 Jul 2, 2009 10:31 AM

                                  I was cautiously optimistic about this...not being familiar with Hill Country in NYC, I was wondering what to expect and how good this might be. I'm a Kreuz girl at heart - tried much in/around Lockhart and their brisket is by far the best!

                                  Any other thoughts on how good this place is? It's got to be better than Whole Foods (Fairfax) which we find currently is our best option.

                                  1. MsDiPesto Sep 11, 2009 10:49 AM

                                    Anyone else notice a pattern to every single BBQ post on DC food boards?

                                    1) New BBQ joint opens
                                    2) Enthusiasts check it out
                                    3) It's compared to the archetypal BBQ found in Memphis, N.C., Texas, St. Louis, and on back roads in the rural South, preferably in a shack.
                                    4) Newcomer is declared to be crap

                                    The dishes that make other regions famous are naturally gonna be a lot better in those regions. Like trying to find NY Pizza in Roanoke, or decent deli in say, Moab, Utah.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: MsDiPesto
                                      WestIndianArchie Sep 11, 2009 11:03 AM

                                      This particular BBQ joint is modeled after the famous Texas ones. Having gone to the NYC location as well as Kreuz, Smitty's, Black's, Chisholm Trail, City Market in Luling, Gonzales Market, Southside BBQ in Elgin, Mueller's in Taylor, et cetera ....- it's decent, but not like it is back in Texas. And price wise....you'd swear BBQ was the food of kings and not commoners.

                                      I'm just hoping it's better than Capital Q.

                                      1. re: WestIndianArchie
                                        Mississippi Snopes Oct 6, 2010 09:43 PM

                                        It has to be better than Capital Q. It's baffling how that place stays in business.

                                        Capital Q
                                        707 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                        1. re: Mississippi Snopes
                                          bachman1953 Oct 9, 2010 07:11 PM

                                          Why does everybody knock poor old Capital Q? I spent last year going down to Texas for work on an extended basis, two-week trips every month and a half or so, and I ended up eating a lot of barbecue. OK, so I never got to the legendary places in Lockhardt, but I ate at a lot of local joints, plus frequent lunch trips to Rudy's, which is were most San Antonians seem to go, if I can believe the guys I was working with down there. Capital Q serves up stuff that's just as good as what I had down there, and the ambiance was pretty authentic. I usually get the brisket, but I've also had the chicken, both of which were pretty good.

                                          The main difference is that the Capital Q had betters ides than the mushy veggies served up in Texas, in fact their corn salad with choped green chiles, tomatoes and cilantro is one of my favorite BBQ sides, and its found nowhere else I've ever been. The other non-authentic feature is that they serve the sandwiches in decent kaiser rolls instead of using that god-awful soft-white bread served up in the Lone Star State. Oh, yes, they also omit the pickles and onions, but that's a minor quibble, and anyway, we have our staff meetings after lunch, and I'm not going in to talk with the boss with onions on my breath.

                                          And you can't complain about the prices, either, a sandwich and two sides, plus a can of Dr. Pepper is only about $12, not bad for downtown DC.

                                          Capital Q
                                          707 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                          1. re: bachman1953
                                            Steve Oct 9, 2010 07:41 PM

                                            What can I say? Capital Q is just plain bad food in almost every way. It's been a looong time since I've been, but I think the pork is chopped way in advance and smothered in a sauce which makes me doubt the meat was ever smoked at all. In an area with so much other good food, it's the last place I'd go eat. The very last.

                                            1. re: Steve
                                              bachman1953 Oct 11, 2010 07:52 PM

                                              OK, I can't say anything about the pork, but as far as I could tell, Texas BBQ is all about the brisket and maybe the sausage, and from my experience, the brisket at the Capital Q is as good as what I got in Texas.

                                              Capital Q
                                              707 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                              1. re: bachman1953
                                                DanielK Oct 12, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                Well, I agree with you that Texas (where my wife is from) BBQ is all about the brisket (with beef ribs second, and sausage somewhere behind. pork ribs? chopped pork? not so much).

                                                I'll also add (with my wife's backing) that Capital Q wouldn't last a single night in Texas. There's absolutely no smoke or flavor in their brisket.

                                                Urban's brisket is good, not great. We're interested in finding out about Hill Country, but as I said above, brisket BBQ in Texas is a cheap night out. It probably won't be here.

                                                Capital Q
                                                707 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                                1. re: DanielK
                                                  maypo Oct 12, 2010 07:46 AM

                                                  I was in the Houston area during the weekend and enjoyed excellent barbeque at a Rudys restaurant. Have to say (based on my extensive experiences) that Hill Country is about 75% as good -- but the NYC prices are way out of bounds. Hope the DC prices are more reasonable.

                                                  1. re: DanielK
                                                    monkeyrotica Oct 12, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                    If clod (beef shoulder) were more readily available, I'd be smoking that nonstop.

                                              2. re: bachman1953
                                                littlew1ng Oct 27, 2010 09:07 PM

                                                us Texans love that "god-awful" soft white bread...it's simple, just a vehicle for the meat, sauce, pickles and onions, doesn't compete for your palate's attention, just an pleasant and understated textural addition.

                                                now y'all have me craving brisket.

                                                1. re: littlew1ng
                                                  fudizgud Oct 28, 2010 02:57 AM

                                                  I always thought it was there to collect the grease & sop juices in an easily edible form! In Tennessee its colonial white bread right out of the bag!

                                          2. re: MsDiPesto
                                            4X4 Sep 11, 2009 11:18 AM

                                            I usually compare it to barbecue I can cook at home on my Big Green Egg. I haven't found any local places really worth going to.

                                            1. re: MsDiPesto
                                              RobertM Sep 11, 2009 12:11 PM

                                              What I find almost a certainty is those that drink the "Holy Gail" Koolaid of it is better there, and go to those places almost always return thinking, ;'what was all the fuss about"?
                                              This wasn't worth the trip!!!! Yep sometimes it IS great there, but somehow you hit it on a bad day. It happens. I agree with big green egg man, 4x4, most local offerings, if you can cook, with our without an egg, are 2nd best. But folks cooped up in high rises in the city, that want to walk, or bike around have no choice. How many years have we been told Capital Q was the right stuff? More KoolAid please......

                                            2. monkeyrotica Mar 2, 2010 05:04 AM

                                              Update: Looks like they're digging out the basement and applying for a liquor license.


                                              1. n
                                                nickdanger Sep 30, 2010 11:21 AM

                                                How does that compare to Blue Bunny ice cream/

                                                1. Mister Big Oct 6, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                  I have a friend who is a displaced Texan living in NYC, and Hill Country is his go-to.

                                                  1. d
                                                    dcbbq Oct 6, 2010 07:14 PM

                                                    This is a not promising. The key to barbecue anywhere, and espcially Texas-style brisket, is very slow cooking over real wood. (Beef is much less forgiving than pork) DC will not let a restaurant cook over real wood. That said, the sausage in Texas is terrific, as is blue bell ice cream.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: dcbbq
                                                      monkeyrotica Oct 7, 2010 03:56 AM

                                                      I have high hopes for the new BBQ place opening on H Street called Chuck's Wagon BBQ. They're a catering operation, but they're supposed to offer carryout on the weekend. And they smoke over hickory, apple, and pecan. By the look of the smoke ring, this is the real deal.


                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                        jac0077 Oct 14, 2010 07:12 AM

                                                        Looks like he uses a La Caja China Roaster for whole hog BBQ. I've always wanted to try pork that way. I hear it's extremely moist and tasty. The photos on their website look appetizing.

                                                        1. re: jac0077
                                                          flavrmeistr Oct 18, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                          It is an extremely tasty way to do hog. Two days of soaking in mojo criollo followed by 18 hours in the box. Crispy, golden, delicious Pig of the Gods. If Chuck gets it right, I'll be over there a lot.

                                                    2. m
                                                      maypo Mar 12, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                      Opens this weekend!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: maypo
                                                        DanielK Mar 12, 2011 11:18 AM

                                                        More specifically, opens at 6p tonight.

                                                      2. s
                                                        Steve Mar 12, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                        I stopped by at 6:45pm tonight, but there was an hour wait.

                                                        They take reservations!!!! Call first, as I think it's the only way to get in without an awful wait.

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: Steve
                                                          maypo Mar 13, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                          Had lunch there today (Sunday) -- opened at 3PM, waited maybe 15 minutes.....

                                                          I was impressed -- they seemed to have their act together......the food prep was excellent......

                                                          Had lean brisket, geman potatos, mac n cheese........all delcious and cooked correctly....

                                                          Hope they can keep up this level of quality food and service......

                                                          A bit pricey -- but a good representation of Lockhart/Hill Country/Austin style barbeque

                                                          1. re: maypo
                                                            RobertM Mar 13, 2011 05:51 PM

                                                            What is the address to this place?

                                                            1. re: RobertM
                                                              woodleyparkhound Mar 13, 2011 05:55 PM

                                                              It's in the 400 block of 7th - just north of D.

                                                            2. re: maypo
                                                              monkeyrotica Mar 14, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                              They also have honkytonk karaoke every other Tuesday night.


                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                CapitalSpice Mar 14, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                Sorry to mislead, Monkey. Turns out the Karaoke is every other WEDNESDAY, not Tuesday. I misread their live music schedule because they're dark on Sundays and Mondays, so they leave them off the calendar.

                                                              2. re: maypo
                                                                iatethesandbox Mar 21, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                ate dinner here friday. place reminded me of a clean tx bbq (like rudy's) - clean is not necessarily bad nor good! surprising to finally get edible bbq in dc, so its definitely welcome. for someone who's lived in the south and gets frequent bbq cravings (and usually failed to satisfy these cravings), i was happy to see it open.

                                                                we had:
                                                                moist brisket: bit too fatty for my taste, also mean wasn't smokey throughout.
                                                                beef ribs: not fall off the bone which made it slightly difficult to eat / smaller than expected
                                                                prime rib: i don't know if i'd go to a bbq to get prime rib.
                                                                pork ribs: tasty, meaty and juicy. still not a great amount of smoke, but decent.

                                                                and several fixins that were decent, but no must-haves.

                                                                hopefully their smokers will gain 'seasoning' the longer they're around. In any case, its worth checking out (45 minute wait on a friday), so seems like may have discovered it already. There were empty tables, so they're probably just gauging waitstaff / traffic which may ultimately help out the wait times (but bring in more people!)

                                                                i'd go back!

                                                                1. re: iatethesandbox
                                                                  RobertM Mar 21, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                  Downloaded the menu for the DC location:
                                                                  Geez us H Christ everything seem's priced to [Gouge] hurt, if you want to savor the flavor. Are the prices this high in Texas? I dont see how them ol boy's can come up with this kind of money on a routine bases, and buy gas too. $12 per pound for pork ribs: that works out to $4 - $5, per rib? $22 per pound for brisket? Holy Alamo, Sam Houston could not afford to eat here, unless he had one of them garsh darn oil wells. Kudoo's to those that can join the fray. If I hit the lottery, I may find out how good it is. These are Amusment park, or Nationals park prices, in town.

                                                                  1. re: RobertM
                                                                    DivaDog Mar 21, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                    RobertM -- those expensive prices are NY and DC prices, where the restaurant is located. Good BBQ in Texas isn't that expensive. I've only eaten at the NY branch and it was very good. The brisket was a bit fatty I'll admit -- but it still tasted great. I've had fatty ribs in TX.

                                                                    1. re: RobertM
                                                                      Raids Mar 21, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                                      Yeah, well the "Mexican street food" I had from one of the food trucks today probably doesn't cost $9 on the streets of Mexico either. And they're not paying a commercial lease. I think I'd probably get the pitmaster's combo, add one rib, and split it. That would be about $15/person for some brisket, pork rib, chicken, and two sides. Or I'd split a lb of brisket and order two sides.

                                                                      Goode BBQ was the closest BBQ to my apartment in Houston. The brisket there was $15/pound, and the chicken was apparently about a third of the cost, but the pork ribs are priced about the same?

                                                                      1. re: Raids
                                                                        agarnett100 Mar 21, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                                        The place is located in Penn/Quarter which has a high commerical rental cost thus the high prices.

                                                                        1. re: agarnett100
                                                                          cb1 Mar 21, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                                          What place in Glenn Dale agarnett?

                                                                          1. re: cb1
                                                                            agarnett100 Mar 21, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                                            Roadside stand off of 193. Its $20 for a full slab of ribs and large side of rice and bean. He also does chicken and steak all cooked over wood.

                                                                            1. re: agarnett100
                                                                              RobertM Mar 22, 2011 03:17 AM

                                                                              Humm, 193 is a pretty long road. What is the nearest crossing street?

                                                                              1. re: RobertM
                                                                                agarnett100 Mar 22, 2011 06:59 AM

                                                                                193 and Prospect Hill Rd he is usually there after 4:30pm Thur - Sun

                                                                        2. re: Raids
                                                                          iatethesandbox Mar 21, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                                          yeah, unfortunately, the brisket doesn't hold a candle to Goode BBQ or thereabouts, I could go for one of their brisket sandwiches right about now.

                                                                          1. re: iatethesandbox
                                                                            Steve Mar 21, 2011 02:10 PM

                                                                            All you need to do is go to Wagshal's. Excellent smoked brisket. Serious stuff.

                                                                2. m
                                                                  mdpilam Mar 21, 2011 05:40 PM

                                                                  I tried this place this last weekend, and was impressed with the brisket, but not much else. I got the moist brisket and a couple pork ribs as well as some mac n cheese. The brisket was fatty - which I expected, but it was tender and fairly flavorful (could have been smokier), but I really enjoyed it. The pork ribs however, were just ok. They had quite a bit of pull to them, and were not that flavorful (not much smoky, porky goodness). The sauce (only one), was solid, but I very much prefer a hot BBQ sauce (not a hot sauce, which they did have). The mac n cheese was also solid, but not stand out.

                                                                  I will most likely return for the brisket, and will try a few other items, but am not holding out too much hope.

                                                                  PS - I also agree on the price, but everything here is expensive (recent LA transplant).

                                                                  PSS - Could anyone compare this to Capitol Q (or is it worth trying)?

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mdpilam
                                                                    Steve Mar 21, 2011 06:47 PM

                                                                    Capitol Q is the KFC of BBQ.

                                                                  2. h
                                                                    hppyheather Mar 22, 2011 04:55 AM

                                                                    So after reading this thread last week, I had a serious craving for good BBQ. It was Friday afternoon and I thought of hitting up Hill Country to check it out, but thought that it may have been crazy busy due to the beautiful weather and new opening. So DH and I jumped in the car mid-afternoon and decided to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Richmond We decided to try out "Q Barbeque" -- Tuffy Stone's restaurant.

                                                                    I don't want to hijack this thread, but I will say that the food was DELICIOUS and definitely the best BBQ I've had in a very long time. If you're up for a roadtrip, I'd recommend!


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: hppyheather
                                                                      RobertM Mar 22, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                      Man, next time Im down there, or the Tidewater area i will check this place out.
                                                                      The prices look as good as I hope the food is flavorfull.

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      paticia Mar 23, 2011 10:06 AM

                                                                      There are some REALLY good ribs at the Stewart's BBQ & Catering Truck at South Dakota Ave NE & Bladensburg Rd NE. You smell the smoke long before you arrive at the place. I prefer the backyard barbecue anyway. DC has a lot of GREAT ones. It's all in who you know.

                                                                      1. r
                                                                        Raids Apr 7, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                                        Okay, I went here last weekend. And man do I hate this place. The food is actually okay. But the country music is LOUD, the bartender was a smug jerk, and the place was jammed with tourists (which is probably why the bartender was acting like a smug jerk). And they were out of Shiner Bock!

                                                                        We had the cornbread and moist brisket this time, and it was...not bad. I have one major beef: the BBQ sauce is wrong. Seriously wrong. It's not bad, it's just wrong. It's tangy and tomato-based. Totally wrong with brisket, since in Texas BBQ sauce is basically spiced beef broth and vinegar. When used on brisket, their sauce tastes like ketchup. Also, in Texas, brisket has smoke flavor. And seasoning. And...flavor generally. But the texture was good.

                                                                        I guess I could buy their brisket, season it myself, and make my own sauce, but at that point I might as well make my own brisket since they're not allowed to smoke theirs properly anyway.

                                                                        Also, did I mention how much I hated the ambience? If Disneyland opened up a Texas-themed restaurant at the Epcot Center World Showcase.

                                                                        Having said that, I'll probably come back to order the sausage and try the chicken, but I'm not eating it there.

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Raids
                                                                          agarnett100 Apr 7, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                          How does a Texas BBQ spot run out of Shiner Bock? WTH

                                                                          1. re: Raids
                                                                            VaPaula Apr 7, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                            We stopped in for a couple beers on Sunday (it was convenient) and the Shiner was still available. We (and other people at the bar, apparently) were disappointed with the lack of beer selection. I know it's Texas-themed, hence the Shiner, but it's also BBQ and it seems to me there should be more than 2 beers on tap.

                                                                            I hadn't given the bartender a 2nd thought, but now that you mention it, he was a little smug, wasn't he?

                                                                            I agree with your ambiance comment except that I think Disney might have more class. ;-)

                                                                            1. re: VaPaula
                                                                              Raids Apr 7, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                                              See...there *were* exactly two beers on tap when I was there, both Shiner, but *not* Shiner Bock. I drank my Shiner Blonde, but it was not what I was there for. Strictly speaking, they had Shiner Bock in a bottle, but come on.

                                                                              Anyway, the other bartender was nice.

                                                                              So, you know what would be awesome? If they stuck with Texas beers, but also offered St,. Arnold Amber and maybe the Summer Pils. That stuff is amazing.

                                                                              I'm really glad I'm going to Houston in a couple of weeks. I'm heading straight to Goode and getting some brisket and jalepeno cheddar bread. And St. Arnold Fancy Lawnmower.

                                                                              1. re: Raids
                                                                                flavrmeistr Apr 8, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                I've never seen any but bottled beer in any respectable barbecue joint, if they had beer at all. The point of a barbecue joint is the barbecue. I can go to any bar for a beer. Is the barbeque any good, or not?

                                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                  Raids Apr 8, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                  I reviewed the brisket in my initial post that was the start of the side-discussion on the beer.

                                                                                  And no, now that you mention it, I've never seen anything but bottled beer in a BBQ joint either, but if you're going to put a bar in the BBQ joint (which I've never seen either) and have Shiner on tap, and serve pitchers, don't run out of the Bock.

                                                                                  Also, the pitchers were $20. No idea what they were charging for bottles of Shiner, but I'm guessing it must have been around $6. Texans would laugh their asses off at that.

                                                                                  1. re: Raids
                                                                                    DanielK Apr 8, 2011 12:15 PM

                                                                                    Well, let's be fair here. Real Texas BBQ is not in downtown Houston or Dallas - it's in the far-flung burbs. If this place was 30 miles outside the Beltway, their rent would be a lot lower, and prices too.

                                                                                    1. re: DanielK
                                                                                      flavrmeistr Apr 8, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                      Well, here is the menu from a decent barbecue in downtown Austin, TX for a price comparison. http://www.ironworksbbq.com.

                                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                        DanielK Apr 8, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                                                        So the prices in downtown DC are about 40-50% higher than those in Austin - which honestly tracks pretty closely to real estate price differences as well. Land is much cheaper out there...

                                                                                      2. re: DanielK
                                                                                        Raids Apr 10, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                        Daniel K - $20 is a lot for a pitcher in DC for a beer like Shiner, period, which should be priced like Yeungling. Also I believe the pitchers were on special. I get that it would be more expensive because of the shipping, etc., but that's still too much.

                                                                                        1. re: Raids
                                                                                          DanielK Apr 10, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                          I was actually referring to the food prices, not beer.

                                                                                          It's unbelievably expensive to transport kegged beer. Local California beers on tap can be twice as much here, or more. $20 isn't worth it for a pitcher of Shiner, I agree, but I'll bet the profit margin is minuscule at that price.

                                                                                          Everyone in Texas drinks it in the bottle, anyway.

                                                                                          1. re: DanielK
                                                                                            Raids Apr 10, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                                                            Ah, this confused me because I thought it was in response to my post, and I didn't complain about food pricing - quite the opposite upthread actually - I'm with you on it being totally reasonable considering the cost of commercial leases/labor in DC.

                                                                                            Don't know about everyone in Texas drinking it in a bottle, generally - I had Shiner on tap plenty of places. But not in BBQ joints. Also, I've had BBQ everywhere from Houston to San Antonio to Austin and plenty of places in between, including towns with populations of 700 or so (taking off and driving around the countryside was a favored weekend activity when we lived there), and what they serve in Houston at places like Goode is not any different, IMO. In fact, it's a little bit better than a lot of what I had elsewhere. Kreuz is Kreuz, but it's not like they marinate everything is faux urban hipster-juice before they serve it out in the cities. They don't really believe in regulating anything in Houston, which is bad for the looks of the city and the air quality, but great for BBQ. Goode has a huge wood pile sitting right outside, as you can see here:


                                                                                            Not likely to see that around here.

                                                                                            1. re: Raids
                                                                                              DanielK Apr 10, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                                              I think we're saying the same thing - I didn't clarify that people drink bottles of beer at BBQ joints, so I agree with you.

                                                                                              It's been a long time since I've been to Houston, but I know that in Dallas, the immediate downtown area is completely bereft of decent BBQ. Houston I remember being a little more spread out - I don't recall a single big-city downtown area, but a lot of smaller clusters.

                                                                                              1. re: DanielK
                                                                                                flavrmeistr Apr 10, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                                                                Houston has a huge downtown. I spent a lot of time in South Houston (Deer Park, Pasadena, Telephone Road, etc.). Every ice house, convenience store, Mexican grocery and gas station sells a brisket sandwich that would put any place in this area to shame. That's about all I can say for Houston.

                                                                                                1. re: DanielK
                                                                                                  Raids Apr 10, 2011 06:36 PM

                                                                                                  Houston does have a downtown, but it's a 9-5 downtown for the most part, although they have a flying saucer, which is great (still, I prefer the Ginger Man in Rice Village).

                                                                                                  Most people in the "inner loop" live and hang out elsewhere, and all those places do have a less urban, more suburban kind of feel, sort of like Chicago's neighborhoods, only way, way more so. I mean, there are plenty of big box stores in the inner loop in Houston, if that gives you an idea. The tex mex and the BBQ are superb, as is the South American cuisine - check out Americas and Hugos. Americas is catering the wedding I'm going to in a couple of weeks - I'm stoked.

                                                                                      3. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                                        maypo Apr 8, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                                                        The food is excellent........but pricy........a good representation of central Texas barbeque.......compares well to Rudys.......

                                                                                2. ktmoomau Apr 8, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                                  I almost hoodwinked my Catholic friends into joining me at Hill Country tonight... but alas they remembered they couldn't eat meat, even succulent BBQ :( Another day.

                                                                                  1. h
                                                                                    hamster Apr 8, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                                    Was in the neighborhood yesterday so I tried it for lunch. I was impressed by the quality of the food (lunch special: beef sandwich, hot potato salad, sweet tea) and the friendliness of the staff, but what is up with the ordering system? I walked in around 1:30 when the restaurant was maybe 30% full. Why I had to wait 5 minutes just to receive an "ordering card" so I could walk into the (near-empty!!) ordering line to get my food was beyond me. Although there were so many staff members walking around, they only had a couple at the front desk where they both give out the cards (like at Vapiano, except they have to take like an entire minute to explain the system to you as if it were so hard to understand???) and also ring up people (take-out orders?). The staff members were ringing up people on their way out, and ignoring the mounting line of people waiting to get into the freaking restaurant. The whole thing was so inefficient I almost lost it. There were so many happy, unstressed staff people wandering around, the restaurant was maybe one-third full, and yet I had to wait in line while no one even cared to notice my presence? Thank god I offered to sit at the bar, so the bartender rang up my check and I didn't have to stand in the check-out line that seemed stymied by computer problems. Train wreck.

                                                                                    1800 M St NW, Washington, DC

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: hamster
                                                                                      mdpilam Apr 8, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                                      Grrr. I share your frustrations - I ate at the bar and didn't know or was told that you could pay there too.

                                                                                      Still think the food was decent not great. Good brisket, but subpar ribs. Though I guess Texans do beef better, I did have some really good (pork) ribs in TX.

                                                                                      1. re: mdpilam
                                                                                        hamster Apr 8, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                        Thanks! This is just the kind of thing I have way too little patience for. It probably didn't help that I was starving!

                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                      Steve Apr 9, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                                      My report card:

                                                                                      Moist brisket: outstanding, luxurious, very fatty, very salty. A little goes a long way. What looks like not enough on the scale looks like too much when you get it back to the table. Order with caution. I am tempted to try the lean next time to see if it is less salty.

                                                                                      Prime Rib: Nice, but it's not what you're here for. Not as good as Pioneer Pit Beef in Baltimore. And more expensive

                                                                                      Pork Spare rib: this was a monster, like from some sort of prehistoric creature. Not at all my bag: too flabby on the outside, too dense and bland on the inside.

                                                                                      Campfire beans with burnt ends: outstanding. As good as it gets.

                                                                                      Blue Bell ice cream: I've heard so much on the internet about this. i tried the caramel turtle fudge. About like a million other packaged ice creams, so not worth the money or calories.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Steve
                                                                                        Raids Apr 10, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                        Interesting. Moist brisket was not even slightly salty when I was there. Must have been a particularly salty batch. Agree with you 100% about the texture though.

                                                                                        1. re: Steve
                                                                                          ahack Apr 16, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                                                          I went there on Friday had the moist brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, corn bread and sweet tea. The moist brisket was clearly the best, I didn't use/need any BBQ sauce. The ribs were passable but nothing great compared to the brisket. The mac and cheese was fine, but very heavy/rich. The green bean casserole was delicious, but then again, I'm a sucker for green bean casserole. The corn bread was dry and probably the worst thing I had there.

                                                                                          I made it out of there for $50+$10 tip = $60. Not exactly a cheap dinner, but definately full. I could definately get a pound of the moist brisket and make sandwiches out of it at home.

                                                                                        2. f
                                                                                          fisherdm Apr 22, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                          OK, after reading this entire thread, I finally went on Saturday.

                                                                                          No wait, sailed right in. Easy enough ordering process, I had a combo which included lean brisket, 1/4 chicken, one spare rib, corn bread, mac 'n cheese.

                                                                                          The food was incredible - I wanted to sub moist brisket for the lean in the combo, something the carver told me he's getting a lot of requests for, but currently, they can't do. All the meat was flavorful and smokey, the mac 'n cheese (uses penne) was just about the best I've had in DC (although I haven't had Levi's and some other heavy contenders). The corn bread was mediocre.

                                                                                          The biggest hit was the jalapeno sausage link that my buddy ordered and we split. Holy cow, amazing.

                                                                                          It ain't cheap, as other commenters have stated - my lunch, with tax and tip, ended up being $25. Not an everyday BBQ outing, but for DC, the place is at the top of the list.

                                                                                          If you're a pulled pork and baby back ribs kind of BBQ fan, this ain't for you, but if you're open to Texas style, it's worth the trip.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: fisherdm
                                                                                            Steve Apr 22, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                                                            If you ever get up to Wagshal's, order the smoked brisket sandwich. It will set you back $9 or so, but it is every bit as good as Hill Country.

                                                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                                                              fisherdm Apr 22, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                                              Good tip - will do.

                                                                                              1. re: fisherdm
                                                                                                agarnett100 Apr 22, 2011 07:43 AM

                                                                                                Holy cow $25 bones for a BBQ lunch did that include any drinks?

                                                                                                1. re: agarnett100
                                                                                                  mdpilam Apr 22, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                                                  Yeah, I find it expensive too, but I chalk it up to DC (everything here is expensive). In LA and the Bay (both of which are expensive places to live as well), I can get a 3 way combo plus sides for about $17. This is enough for 2 meals - and I'm a big eater. At Hill Country, I spend about $20/meal and don't end up full.

                                                                                                  I will say they have delicious brisket (I tried the lean, which was better than I thought it was going to be, but the moist is where it's at), but I am underwhelmed by everything else I've had there (pork ribs, jalapeno link, mac n cheese, beans, and collard greens). Plus, I still think their "system" is dumb.

                                                                                          2. v
                                                                                            vinouspleasure Apr 23, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                            ate at the one in ny 2-3 weeks ago, great fatty brisket, good sides, good chicken, ribs were not edible. had a similar experience here in dc. Yhe ribs I had in texas hill country were great, so I'm not willing to let them off the hook for the terrible pork ribs.

                                                                                            here's the thing about the price...you can complain all you want but how many places in dc are serving food of this quality for $25-$30/pp?

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: vinouspleasure
                                                                                              agarnett100 Apr 23, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                                              I will stick with the Amish Market off 198 or my local guy off 193 $30 buys me a full rack of ribs plus sides enough to feed a family of 4.

                                                                                              1. re: agarnett100
                                                                                                RobertM Apr 23, 2011 05:37 PM

                                                                                                Amen to that!
                                                                                                God only knows a lot of places out side the DC Trorist Trap bounded by MCI / Verizon Center and Penn ave
                                                                                                Let them eat Cake?

                                                                                                1. re: agarnett100
                                                                                                  vinouspleasure Apr 23, 2011 10:00 PM

                                                                                                  if the amish market or your local guy floats your boat, good for you. I judge kcbs bbq contests and hill country brisket would have won every brisket competition I've ever judged.

                                                                                                  1. re: vinouspleasure
                                                                                                    flavrmeistr Apr 24, 2011 01:38 AM

                                                                                                    Somehow, I can believe it.

                                                                                                    1. re: vinouspleasure
                                                                                                      RobertM Apr 24, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                                                      I agree with you both, not doubting what ever any may like, but for my meager funds, Hill Country, IMHO, is very high priced Q. And yep it is in a high priced part of town. Top Brisket, cool, not fussing. So far it is the only real game mentioned in town. Over the summer I'm sure some other new comers will up the anti. I can only hope their price is a tad lower for a very cheap cut of meat. We've enjoyed $10 burger war's, pizza war's, now, maybe a Brisket battle royal.........Let us pray. Or Rib's the other Q meat.

                                                                                                      1. re: RobertM
                                                                                                        Steve Apr 24, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                                        Here is my suggestion: if you want to know what the fuss is about, go down there and get a third of a pound of moist brisket and a side of beans. Should send you back about $12. Water to drink. Do it once and you'll know. It's a serious operation and worthy of your attention.

                                                                                                        1. re: Steve
                                                                                                          RobertM Apr 24, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks! $12 isn't too bad in a tourist trap once in a while. But, I hope some other new comer to the district cooks a $1.99 / pound piece of beef you season and lazy cook you don't have to stand over and sells a sandwich for @ $5 tor $7. Any Food truck drivers need a hint? Beans / Rice: More walk away come back later talented-less formula stuff. Not worth $3 a 6/8oz side bowl. I want to be amazed, to eat without the tourist or Texas novelty fad craze mark up. Not too many rocket scientist in cooking Texas, or BBQ in general. NYC to DC, from Texas, incredible, in the sense no body else is doing it, and the china town H street place garnered raves for years? Although it Sucked. Things do change, and prices do go up in chow town. Texas BBQ shops exist at every local mall food court. Like the BB King's house of blues, RH&B, FD's, Q is heading for formula ville. Like the Baltimore pit beef, a $5 drive away is gong to $9 fare. Or the DC half smoke at $6/$9, with no complaints from tourist or new comers, for this $2/$3 fare. Great taste is what it is all about, savor at will. Or YMMV, learn to cook. Although cooking a brisket is a lot of meat. Back to my main point, IMHO, not worth $9+$3 side, plus tip, and parking.
                                                                                                          The entire price of the brisket for a sandwich you can go to sleep cooking and watching the game to wake up cut up and eat. Hill country may as well be boot hill country, or Disney world Q in these days of high unemployment and $5 gas. But in our land of any price to satisfy a need, any thing close, is gold. Priced accordingly too. Like our $10 Burger wars, expect other Texas 'Hill country" style places next. I can wait. You?

                                                                                                          1. re: RobertM
                                                                                                            Steve Apr 25, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                                                                            I hear ya. But if great bbq were really that easy, it would be everywhere. My wife's first cousin twice won the Memphis in May bbq competition. When he had his restuarant, he would be firing up the smoker by 4am to have something to serve for lunch.

                                                                                                            I've made it a habit of eating cheaply at some very good places, so although it is never as easy a I'd like, it's just the lay of the land. At least the National Gallery of Art is free, so a cheap family outing.

                                                                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                                                                              RobertM Apr 25, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                                              Steve, Im on board with on that. Good, consistant BBQ is not that easy to do or find, nation wide. I love hitting the good spots, Blood Pressure concerns sit aside for a minute. When you travel a lot, business or pleasure, quality stuff is hit or miss. You arrive at the right time, or the ship just left. We used to cook a lot and yep, 4 /5 AM sounds about right, even for diner. My favorite were rainy days with that smoker doing it's job, and the crew trying to hold out till chow time. And yeah, living in DC on a METRO line, would make for a great outting. Like happy hour 3PM till & 7PM w 1/2 price osyters at that new place on 8th street SE! Living or eatting cheap is hard work these days!

                                                                                                2. p
                                                                                                  paticia Apr 24, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                  Totally unimpressed. Regular brisket too dry. Moist brisket too fatty. Green beens good but half bacon instead of being seasoned with it. My friend had chicken that was too dry. Won't be going back.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: paticia
                                                                                                    RobertM Apr 24, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                                                    Another have you been yet, I hear this and that rave, you have that Is it just me, but , I don't get it feeling? Folks all acting like Disney world, Hard Rock Cafe, Johnny Rockets, or fill in the franchise blank. Expect better, cheaper stuff over the rest of the year. I can only hope.

                                                                                                    Hard Rock Cafe
                                                                                                    601 E Pratt St Ste 2, Baltimore, MD 21202

                                                                                                    1. re: RobertM
                                                                                                      paticia Apr 25, 2011 08:00 AM


                                                                                                      1. re: paticia
                                                                                                        ChoppinBroccoli Apr 25, 2011 10:04 AM

                                                                                                        Finally made it to Hill Country. As a Texan who's eaten way too much BBQ over the years, I'd say that this place is legit. People are right, the brisket is the best thing on the menu. I also really liked the chicken (oddly enough), and the sausage (I happen to love Kreuz sausage though). The ribs I found to be a little too fatty and chewy, but still some good flavor. I thought the ordering process was way too complicated. I understand the complaints about the high price, but you can also get away for a decent price if you go in the afternoon. They have lunch specials for either $10 or $15. These were more than sufficient.

                                                                                                        Regarding all of the "DisneyWorld" schlock. Yes, it is a bit overdone. But, it didn't strike me as anything out of the ordinary in terms of what you'd find at tons of BBQ places in Texas. Actually, just better done and extremely coordinated and clean. The architecture of the place is also something to marvel. My wife is from Louisiana, and there is also a ton of really "cheesy" decorating at tons of restaurants and bars. But somehow if it is in the spirit of things, I think they can somehow get away with it. I actually like that he made such an effort to make it feel like you have somehow slipped into the Hill Country of Texas in the middle of DC. Finally, I loved the mason jars for drinking beer! And three kinds of Shiner on draft, fuggedaboutit. Terrific.

                                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                                    dcbbq Apr 25, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                                    I just ate at Hill Country - a quarter pound of moist, a jalapeno-cheese sausage, pickles, white bread, cornbread, collard greens, adn a Shiner Bock. I prepared by having mediocre brisket and sausage at the Salt Lick place in the Austn airport on Friday to set fair but reasonable expectations.

                                                                                                    On the plus side, the brisket was moist and very tender, and the Shiner Bock was good.

                                                                                                    On the minus side, the brisket lacked flavor. There was no hint of smoke. The sausage - and let me say that the sausage at the Kreuz Market is the best sausage in the State of Texas - was a heartbreaking disappointment. I was cinfident that the Kreuz sausage would be unaffected by the barbaric DC area ban on cooking over an open pit. Apparently the sausage doesn't travel well, or maybe they left it sitting out for a couple of days. The greens were undercooked. Liek other places that try to make slow food quickly, they tried to cover it up with by adding a lot of meat, but that just doesn't work. The greens were stringy and tasted of stewed bacon rather than seasoned greens. The cornbread was the sort of cornbread you get in DC, ungraced by cast iron or bacon drippings.

                                                                                                    Also on the minus side, it cost $31.25, plus tip.

                                                                                                    There were empty tables. I predict that here will be more.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: dcbbq
                                                                                                      RobertM Apr 25, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                                                      It, Hill Country Brisket, may indeed be good stuff, but I have to admit to a smirk.

                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                      MrsWheatie May 6, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                                                      MrWheatie and I ate here last night after hitting farmer’s market and are not planning to place it into rotation. The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful! I liked my mac & cheese it was very rich and creamy, and the cucumber salad was almost as good as MrWheatie's homemade. I had a jalapeno & cheese sausage which was fine, the lamb special was cooked well but lacked some punch, and my lemonade was basically water. Hubby had moist brisket-he likes Urban BBQ's better, he thought the beef shoulder was meh, and he thought the collard greens weren’t smoky enough since Hill Country seems to use bacon rather than smoked pork. We split a scoop of Blue Bell that had obviously been sitting in a freezer for awhile. The sauce on the table was a bit too sweet so had to cut it with the hot sauce. I know rent is pricey in this part of town, but it was a lot of money for what you get (ex. $5 for a small mac & cheese). Maybe they will fine tune their food to match the equipment and rules they are hampered with. I will note the bar was quite crowded and there were plenty of tourists in the dining room.

                                                                                                      Urban BBQ
                                                                                                      10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                        Steve Jul 1, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                                                                        My second visit to Hill Country produced some pretty bad results. The moist brisket was very lean but with large hunks of fat on the end. It was dense, sliced very thick, and chewy. Nothing pleasant about it. The beans were overcooked and served tepid.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Steve
                                                                                                          caitlink Aug 23, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                                                          Went there for restaurant week last week. Service was good and liked choice of having lots of sides.
                                                                                                          But being used to Austin prices, we found Hill Country to be quite expensive compared to Rudy's, Salt Lick and Stubbs. But I guess you can't compare. So we were happy to be able to get Texan BBQ in DC.
                                                                                                          Brisket was a bit lean for our taste. Ribs were smoky but not as tender was what we are used to. Chicken was good and so was the mac and cheese. They also had sausage and beer can chicken so at least variety is good.

                                                                                                          1. re: caitlink
                                                                                                            mdpilam Aug 24, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                                                            Are you talking about the lean brisket or moist? Because the first couple times I had the moist, it was a good amount of fat to meat, but since then it has been almost half fat and half meat.

                                                                                                        2. biscuit Aug 28, 2011 11:14 PM

                                                                                                          Went Friday night.

                                                                                                          Ordering system is bizarre and complicated. Total fail. You go in, sit down, order drinks, then you get up to go stand in line and order again? Who thought of this?

                                                                                                          Sides were good. Enjoyed the collards, pinto beans, potato salad and coleslaw.

                                                                                                          Brisket was decent, but super salty, almost inedible. I ended up cutting it up to get rid of the salt. If not for this, would be much better. Could see this place in Austin, but wouldn't match up to the better spots outside of town.

                                                                                                          Had to wait in line again to pay and noticed there was a tip jar at the cash register. For what? Serving drinks?

                                                                                                          Not a great operation, but if you're in dire need of an Austin fix, this might pass on a non-salty day.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: biscuit
                                                                                                            mdpilam Aug 29, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                                                                            I agree, except now when I need a BBQ fix, I go to The Standard on 14th. Better BBQ, beer and service (and alot cheaper).

                                                                                                          2. w
                                                                                                            Worldwide Diner Mar 23, 2014 08:44 PM

                                                                                                            Lunch was $34 but they sure do moist brisket right. I also had some of the special beef short rib (boneless) and a pork rib, and some green bean casserole. I just wish it didn't cost $10 to park. After many visits, I would just stick to eating beef, it's what's for lunch or dinner. And the moist brisket is ten times better than the lean brisket. The prime rib is good too.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                                              MikeR Mar 24, 2014 05:23 AM

                                                                                                              Take the Metro!

                                                                                                              I've only been there one time (when I was attending an event nearby), had the moist brisket, and it was delicious. I would have had a little on the side but since everything is a'la'carte, you get nothing with the meat but a slice of bread, and the sides are too big and too expensive for a solo not-too-heavy eater to have only one, and that was a strain to finish. I wanted the green beans, but they were sold out. I had the German potato salad, which I enjoyed.

                                                                                                              It would be better to eat there with about three others so things could be shared.

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