To be honest, I was not expecting to love my meal at Hill Country, my expectations were low from both the hype of the place and some critics. I'm glad they were though, as I walked out very happy after my dinner, not to mention about 20 pounds heavier.
That being said, I think you need to be in the mood for cafeteria style eating. Thankfully I was. Get in line, place your order for items mostly sold a la carte, and pay at the end. Find seating upstairs or downstairs, and enjoy. The whole process is pretty fast, the place is mostly clean for a seat and bus yourself environment, and you can enjoy yourself in small or large groups. We went subterranean, and before we starting eating, a friend of mine exclaimed "this looks like my grandmother's basement, only better!" The wood paneling and board games did give the place a pre-80's feel, a good environment for southern food somehow.
As always, a healthy portion of side dishes (fixin's) is a good idea at a southern meal. The small portions are $2.50, the large $5. Add a cup of homemade fire-n-ice pickles for 50 cents. No side is better than the cheesy fried mashed potatoes (below), as you can imagine from the name.
The biscuits ($1 each) are light, fluffy, and buttery, but not very moist. Some people like them this way, like the two others at my table. I guess I prefer mine Popeyes style, or better yet, Loveless Motel style. But this ain't Nashville.
The main event of course is the chicken, and this chicken will satisfy you. It is definitely not a life-changing bird, but in either variety (Hill Country Classic or Mama Els') it is delicious. The chicken, even though it sits in a heater for a time, remains moist and not overdone. I tend to like the classic better, a crispy version that seems to have many of the same spices that Mama Els' version does.
You order by the piece, $5.50 breast, $3.50 thigh, $2.25 drum, $1.75 wing. Everything that you have seen here is plenty for two people to share, and costs under $20 total.
But if that is not enough, they have pies. 3" pie cups cost $3, and the cowboy pie (below) has candy bar, graham cracker, chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, and pecans. What else do you need in a pie?
1123 Broadway, New York NY