Adrienne says Brother Jimmys is not real barbecue. I suppose that for a Texan it wouldn't be... In light of this I tried her favorite place: Hill Country. As a first time visitor the large, cafeteria-style set-up is overwhelming. You go from station to station selecting your food while they complete your card. Thank goodness it wasn't busy on Monday at 7:00 pm.
I ordered a quarter pound of lean brisket, Adrienne's favorite, with a slice of very thick, white bread, a small side of longhorn cheddar mac'n'cheese, and the sweet tea (it just isn't barbecue without sweet tea). The fork tender meat was sliced into 1" wide strips thin like ribbon. The sauce, while made in Virginia Beach with high fructose corn syrup, was delicious. The mac'n'cheese was good, but didn't have enough of a cheese flavor for me. The sweet tea was very good, but not your traditional Southern-style as it had just a (perfect) hint of sweetness. Each item was roughly $5.00.
Realistically after all that, I was too full for ice cream, but Hill Country serves Blue Bell. I had it once before, in July 2006 visiting Britt in Mooresville, NC. Ever since then I have raved about it. I even have a picture on my cell phone. Bliss. It was a one time thing, because they only sell it where it can be shipped overnight. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see it on the menu. I got a generous hand-scooped portion to go for $4.00. It was melt in my mouth mint chocolate chip. So good although a bit fierce with the green food-coloring.
Hill Country is really good, but I can't help but like best what I know - places like Lancaster's with hush puppys, pulled pork, and lots of great sauce. I still want to go back to Hill Country though to try some other sides, the ribs, and have more ice cream. Eating locally be darned, in this case, as Blue Bell ice cream is the best.
Location: 30 West 26th Street (Between Broadway and 7th Avenue)
Hours: Sun-Wed 12:00p-10:00p, Thurs-Sat 12:00p-11:00p (Kitchen hours...The bar is open later)
Cost: $ to $$ (depends on your appetite and extras)