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Hill's Barbecue market - Early report

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Went by Hill's BBQ on Steck yesterday. They appear to be doing a soft opening, and are only serving lunch right now. For the time being, they open at 11 from Monday to Saturday, and close when the meat sells out. I went by at about 2 yesterday, and they seemed to be cleaning up already.

Ordered the typical spread for me and the Mrs.: brisket, sausage, ribs, beans, and close slaw. Prices were decent. I paid a little over 20 bucks for a half pound of brisket, a sausage link, two pork ribs (about 1/4 pound), and two individual sides.

The brisket was tasty, if a bit under-seasoned. The rub was good enough, and the meat was still moist, meaning that the fat still melted. Unfortunately, the total lack of a smoke ring was the one strike against it.

The St. Louis style pork ribs were my favorite thing on the plate. They have two varieties - molasses and mustard. I had the mustard. The flavor was good, the meat tender, and there was no overwhelming sauce flavor to anything.

Sausage was decent enough. Two types here, too, a regular and a jalapeno. The regular was a fairly typical finer grind link. Good pop on the casing. Nothing amazing, but certainly not bad.

Barbecue came with two cups of sauce; a molasses and a mustard. The molasses was a little too sweet. Mustard was surprisingly tasty, and went well with the sausage in particular. Sauces are an aside, as far as I'm concerned, but they were there, so I tasted.

Beans were typical barbecue beans, simply prepared and with chunks of burnt end to give them a smoky flavor. Cole slaw was different - jicama and cilantro gave it a nice twist - but pretty tasty.

All in all, not a bad start. I would not put these guys in the top tier of local places yet, but they were certainly as competent as Rudy's for slightly less dough. As they continue to work with their meats, I can see a lot of potential for this place. They're being pretty low-key for now, but hopefully they'll start to crank out more food in the near future. I'm looking forward to hearing more reports, so bring 'em on. Hills is located on Steck, between MoPac and Shoal Creek Blvd., just next door to Lowe's.

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  1. Just did a drive-by. From the signage, it looks like this is an offshoot of Hill's Cafe. Tuesday through Saturday, lunch only for now.

    1. Thanks gilintx I'd seen the sign but your post is what made me go by. Yesterday. Really liked the molasses spare ribs and liked the mustard. Brisket was pretty good too. Didn't have the intense smokiness or the cooked down fat that Franklin and Mueller and now the improving Styles Switch share with the iconic Lockhart places, but I assume they will get better. It was tender and tasty beef. Sides were carefully done and the feel of the place is good -- some smart people that see what works at Rudy's and such, I think, are behind this. Not cheap though the half pounds of pork ribs were 8.99 each and the quarter pound of brisket was 3.75. Liked the cole slaw and beans. Two small sides and the meats was 28.00 and change. Happy to see it in the neighborhood.

      1. anyone been since? are they improving?