Big time BBQ lands in Penn Quarter

There's nothing to do after conquering New York but triumphantly return home, unless you're talking about the chick from VH1, as the majority of the dudes on that show are homeless. Bringing much-lauded 'que back home after dominating the Big Apple: Hill Country.

Opening tomorrow, Hill Country's a Texas-sized temple of counter-style BBQ from a Bethesda-born en'que-siast whose first locale's already a New York institution; the two-floored, saloon-rustic spot's slathered in reclaimed Virginia barnwood and Texas limestone, and stuffed with neon signage, a downstairs stage (with the Lonestar State's flag made from blue jeans), actual longhorns, and seating from pickup benches wrapped in boot leather, the first time you'll actually feel quite comfortable getting your ass kicked. The meat's all dry-rubbed (no sauce) and smoked "low and slow" in giant Ole Hickory brand pits with post oak specially shipped from Texas, with handcarved morsels (cut by the slice, rib, or link) including a brisket served lean or mouth-wateringly moist, short ribs (a DC-only add-on), pork spare ribs, and sausages done original or with jalapeno cheese shipped from Lockhart, TX's Kreuz Market, which translates from the German for "White Cross", and affirms these bad boys are holier than cow. Fixins' run from "Cowboy" pinto beans braised in Negra Modelo, to White Shoepeg corn pudding baked in a water bath, to "Longhorn" mac & cheese w/ sharp cheddar & Gruyere, to a sweet spuds/Maker's Mark potato bourbon mash, which fittingly, turns everyone into a monster.

To ensure things get adequately honky/tonky, they've got twelve inventive cocktails ranging from a Buffalo Trace/ spiced rum concoction served over ice with Big Red strawberry soda, to the tequila and vodka Bloody Mary "8 Layer Dip", to the dog-like "Salty Longhorn", also a good way to describe a viking-helmet'd Flavor Flav after seeing his girl fall for Tailor Made.