Hill Country is a good spot to know about because it works for just about any situation, assuming it’s a situation when you’re looking to eat dry-rubbed, slow-smoked meat off of butcher paper. The upstairs at this massive spot in Flatiron has outdoor, bar, and communal seating, all with a direct view of at least one TV playing sports. It works for casual group dinners or drinks and a bite after-work, when there are $6 well drinks and shot-and-beer combos during Happy Happy (4-7pm and 10pm-close). There’s also an equally large downstairs with a stage for live music. No matter who you come with or where you sit, you order food at a counter upstairs, where meats are sold by the pound and sides change daily. There’s a pitmaster special - brisket, pork ribs, chicken, sausage, and two sides for $32 - but we recommend focusing your attention and stomach space on the peppery ribs and spicy sausage, which, along with the cornbread, are the best things here.
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If you live in the neighborhood, Novita is a nice local hang with great service and reasonable food; we just wouldn't recommend going out of your way for it.
I once saw a man at Shake Shack, dressed in a suit and setting a formal table. On the small metal table he placed a white tablecloth, fine silverware, a candle, and some flowers. For a moment, I was overcome with joy at the beautiful event that was about to unfold before me...this man was about to propose to a burger.
LPQ Party Roof
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John Brown Smokehouse
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