Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All You Can Eat. No, Really.

Hill Country inaugurated "all you can eat Mondays" last night, a deal that will extend until the end of February. And what a deal it is. For the paltry admission price of $25, you get as much BBQ chicken, lean brisket, and pork ribs as you can eat. And then there are the sides. Choose from German potatoes, sweet bourbon mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, cole slaw, pinto beans, black eyed peas, green bean casserole, skillet cornbread with ancho honey butter, and, for two additional dollars, macaroni and cheese, Texas red chili, and bacon baked beans.

Not to mention all the white bread and fountain soda you want.

It was an excellent deal, I discovered last night. The pork ribs were dry rubbed and you could supplement the smoky, peppery flavor with Hill Country's barbecue and hot sauces. Chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender and the brisket was... well, we had to ask for more brisket. And even then, it wasn't enough for my carnivore companions.

I would have loved some beef ribs, pulled pork, and Kreuz sausage to round out the meatfest, but that probably would have been overkill.

I was surprised that our all you can eat menu offered so many unlimited sides. German potatoes resembled a cream-less smashed, with the welcome addition of some kind of crumbled meat. Sweet potatoes were more of a dessert like a side, and the cucumber salad was essentially a welcome cup of pickled cucumbers buttressed by thin slices of pickled white onion.

Baked beans with bacon were smoky and sweet. One member of our party, a Houston native, happily pronounced the experience authentic and praised the restaurant's brisket. That's a big deal, coming from a Texan.

Hill Country serves Texan delicacies all around. Peruse the beer list and you'll find Lone Star, the Texas canned shlock, and Dos Equis, a Mexican beer favored in the south and southwest. On the sweeter side, they serve Blue Bell ice cream, a company that has been churning out high-fat favorites in Brenham, Texas since 1907.

And there's always sweet tea, served in a mason jar, which, the Texan informed me, is not what Texans actually drink out of down south. But hey, it's all part of the rolicking theme-park atmosphere that is Hill Country, a slice of the Texas pits all the way up here on our little island.

Hill Country
30 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010

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