Last night around 7:00 I finally had a chance to try Hill country on 26 street. I could have just as easily stopped at RUB, which I love, but after all the posts on how wonderful the place was I wanted to pick up a sandwich and try it out. We wanted to test out the place before coming in with a party of diners in the next week or so.
You would think that at 7:00 on a thursday the place would be pretty busy. at least at the bar. It wasn't and I was able to walk up to the counter and get served instantly. I am not sure if it was the booming music that prevented anyone from wanting to linger, the lack of table service, the lack of plates and cutlery. I don't know. For me it was music that made conversation impossible that meant I couldn't stay more than a few minutes. It's one thing to have booming music at the bar while you are trying to impress women, it's another to try to sit though an entire meal and get deaf. (I feel sorry for the staff who are very nice). In any even I could not bring anyone I know to the place because with the noise and the lack of table service it's more work that it should be.
I got a 1/2 lb of the "lean" really leaner and poorly sliced and trimmed brisket. Wrapped up by a cheerful gentleman who doesn't know how to fold over and close a paper tray hot food (which should have been a lot hotter and was bone cold when I got it home). But what really got me is I wanted a sandwich, not two odd slices of white bread tossed in. At Katz's they can slice, make sandwiches, give a taste, and a pickle in about the same amount of time. I didn't like any of the sides so I didn't bother.
On the way home I picked up a Portuguese roll for the sandwich. THen I trimmed up the brisket a little more. At Katzes, lean is lean. here it ain't and I just don't like chewing fat.
The flavor, good, but nothing special, Give me RUB anyday, Take me to the little stand at the Houston airport any day too. but this place is hype and the lack of a crowd shows that folks are figuring it out.