If you ever feel cheated by the American experience, giddy up to Hill Country Barbecue Market. If you come out without a glorious meat headache, you’re doing it wrong.
Set in a backdrop of Lone Star flags, inexplicable walls of jars full of bottle caps and calm yellow lighting, the HCBM serves a shot of much needed bloodlust straight to the meat-loving carnivore in all of us, with a sidecar of gut-busting sides for all your vegetarian friends. The Supersize lives on, and it lives in Texas. Oh sure, there’s a calorie conscious specials menu on the back of your meal card, but this feeble attempt at portion control is defeated utterly by the slabs of juicy, flavorsome, fat-enrobed brisket they haul out for your approval. Dry rubbed and Texas wood-smoked, these protein drug lords of market-style servers parade juicy sausages, tender ribs, and enough beef to clog the front of a train.
Service is simple, and refreshing, in that you’re led to a seat, asked if you’d like a drink, and left with your meal card to do as you will. The service staff are polite, and well-trained, but it is a bit sad to watch a pair of cowboy boots and daisy dukes trying to squeeze an east coast model into submission. Approach one of two market-style stalls, and you have a choice: die by heart failure, or die by the itis. The meats are smoky, accentuated by the very ballsy selection of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, or salt and pepper in a one-stop shaker set on the table. What you have to contend with are the sweet, everloving corn puddings, the sultry bourbon sweet potatoes and the godly sizes these things come in. Good eatin’ indeed. Everything is marked on your meal card, and packed simply, the meats in butcher paper, and the sides in cups, but it adds to a pervasive atmosphere of independence befitting the lone star state. Not only is the wood shipped from Texas, but so are the beers, and even the ice cream, dished out of a darling chipped cooler next to the deserts. Did I forget to mention that? The jumbo-sized cookies and buckets of strawberry rhubarb disguised as ramekins? Cause there’s that, yea.
Apparently, there’s also live music, and a bar beneath the action, so this is also a great spot for parties. Add to that the individual payment option suggested by your personal meal cards, and this is also a good spot to leave uncooperative acquaintances. Or going Dutch, you cheap asshole.
When all’s said, and you’re sitting on that wooden chair, feeling your new food baby threatening to punch out your diaphragm, don’t be a wuss. Channel some of that American spirit. Pick up that last rib, lubricate with sauce, and use it to gesticulate when you say “Oh, no, I’m finishing this.”