Fette Sau vs. Hill Country
OK-now I'm a huge Hill Country fan but heard that Fette Sau could be a contender. Went the other night. Fun open air community picnic tables. The inside is really cool. Great decor and smelled like the real McCoy. Felt like someone converted a factory garage. Loved the knives and cleavers that they use as beer tap handles. Great beer and whisky selection. The line for 'cue was too long with only one poor guy slicing. The beef ribs and brisket looked unimpressive as compared to Hill Country so I stuck to pork. Half a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs, 1/2lb of pulled pork, a spicy pork sausage and a 1/4lb of bbq pork belly. Unlike Hill Country which only offers bbq sauce "if you gotta have it", Fette had a sweet, a hot, a vinegar and a hot mustard sauce to mix n' match. They recommended the vinegar for the pulled pork (North Carolina style). Pulled pork was good but paled when compared to Ed Mitchell's The Pit which i had at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. The sausage was OK but didn't match the imported from Kreutz Market in Lockhart Texas jalapeno cheese stuffed red hot sausages that Hill Country offers. The ribs were very good though I prefer the babybacks at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem/Syracuse. The pork belly was a blackened strip and was too rich to finish. In summary-very cool place but no comparison with Hill Country.
Hill Country gets the nod on service, sausages and overall experience and food quality although you're right that I did not compare beef to beef because I think Hill would blow fette away on the brisket and beef ribs. Hill has great pork chops but being Texas, pork isn't its strength. I give Fette the edge on booze selection and outdoor seating is cool.
The last time I went to Fette Sau, they had duck breast. I normally wouldn't get that, but someone who had just finished recommended it. It was pretty succulent and fab. Definitely try it if they have it when you are there!
I know sides aren't the point of a 'cue joint, but Hill Country wins on that count (I'm a sucker for the bourbon mashed sweet potatoes, and, OK, the crazy margaritas).
Fette Sau has a great bourbon and beer selection, and a cool atmosphere, but I lean Hill Country.
> Pulled pork was good but paled when compared to Ed Mitchell's The Pit which i had at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party.
Ed Mitchell makes chopped whole hog, not pulled pork, so it's not really a fair comparison. Also he's one of the best in the nation. Of course other people's will not be the same level!
Ditto with Kreuz Market's sausages! :)
(Although if you haven't tried Southside Market's sausages, you should.)
I have also found that the type of smokiness at Fette Sau is a bit off, and not as interesting as the really nice smoke at Hill co. I like Sau's density and intensity, but maybe I am not crazy about the type of wood they use, I don't know. For that I like Hill.
But I don't think Hill Co has pulled pork at all, owing to their Texas orthodoxy. Since pulled pork is my favorite I go to Sau, so there you go. I still think despite misgivings about the smoke that Sau has the best PP in the city. But that is like making the best wine in the Ukraine.