Just three weeks ago, two stars were bestowed upon Hill Country Barbecue from New York Times food critic Pete Wells, an accomplishment for any New York restaurant not in the fine dining genre. In the review he praised the fatty brisket (which Hill Country calls “moist”) and the juicy sausage, but this opinion was surely met with skepticism by Texans that read it knowing these were the barbecue opinions of a New Yorker.
My skepticism grew after seeing the photo of the beautiful slices of brisket draped atop one another on a butcher paper background, and I noticed the visible lines and nooks of opaque and underdone fat. Maybe New Yorkers without enough barbecue context didn’t know any better. I like to think that I have eaten enough Texas barbecue to know the difference, so I traveled to the Big Apple to see how well this meat from a gas-fired smoker in the middle of a city could really stack up to the smoked varieties here in Texas.
Based on ambience, it became clear that the folks at Hill Country Barbecue know the path to a Tex-pat’s heart. It only took three songs before “Deep in the Heart of Texas” came over the speakers, and menu items like Blue Bell Ice Cream, good iced tea and authentic Lockhart sausage could easily make a former Texan feel like they’ve found a Lone Star oasis in the middle of Manhattan. The