A little off topic this morning, but an important question nonetheless. Why, in a city which is purportedly southern, can we not get decent barbecue?
Saturday night, I headed down to the new hotness in Chinatown, Hill Country BBQ. Now, I knew I was in trouble when I saw the massive star on the wall and ubiquitous Texas decorations. This was not a barbecue place. This was a brisket place. I’m not saying there’s no good brisket in this world, but I’ve never had it. I’m beginning to think that either it can only be made in Texas or Texans have never had decent BBQ and are deeply confused individuals.
To make matters worse, the option for pork BBQ wasn’t even on the table. No pulled pork sandwich for me. But, hope sprung eternal–they did have pork ribs. And that’s when the second warning sign should have had me turning around and leaving, fleeing for a McRib at the McDonald’s across the street; the ribs were sold by the pound, not by the slab like every other God fearing BBQ place in the world. And they were $14 a pound. For the uninitiated, a slab of ribs (what I normally eat) weighs four pounds or more. You see, they have bones in them, and that dead weight meant that if I wanted to have a slab of ribs, I was going to have to shell out more than $50 bucks. So I got three ribs instead.
But hey, at least there are sides, right? Nope, you have to pay for those. So I got a small cup of BBQ beans…for 5 more dollars. Now, I don’t know what kind of pork and beans they have in Texas, but these were pintos, and not well cooked pintos either. Even the sauce was a bad, watery, bland take on Memphis style sauce without the kick or the sweetness. It was a very disappointing, very expensive, meal.
I know some of you are going to think I have bad taste, but that was my first and last visit to Hill Country. I hold out hope that one day, I will find decent BBQ in DC. Until then, I guess I’ll just dream of Dreamland.