We went to Manhattan recently to meet with celebrity chef Jess Pryles at the restaurant Hill Country, a barbecue and market. She is described as a female Texas BBQ expert and “Hardcore Carnivore.”
The restaurant was like an old Texas barn house that smelled like smoke. The decoration was so on point of the theme of the restaurant.
When Jess came out to greet us for the tour, we went straight to the kitchen. We got to see the smoker first. The smoker had about 1,500 pounds of meat on the rotisserie wheels. The meat takes about 12 to 16 hours to fully cook. The wood they used for the smoker came all the way from Texas. As the old saying goes, according to Jess, “It’s ready when it’s ready. That’s the key to good barbecue.”
We also saw the pitmaster’s butcher block and how it has been worn down over the years. Jess explained that if the one side has been worn down more than the other, that’s the hand that the pitmaster uses to cut the meat. Also, she said, the reason the top of the block is so soft is because all of the fat and oils of the meat have seeped into the cracks of the wood block.
We sat down with Jess and ate something that she and market chef Ash Fulk had made prior to our arrival. We had ribs made with a glaze of Big Red soda, a popular drink in Texas. For all of us, they were the best ribs we’ve ever had! We also had a delicious brisket that Ash made, and it was so well prepared that it fell apart in your mouth. We had some cornbread muffins that were so sweet and amazing. “Do you like barbecue sauce or a rub on your ribs?” she was asked. “I think every good rack of ribs should have a seasoning — if not both,” Jess replied. We had such an enjoyable time with Jess Pryles and market chef Ash Fulk at Hill Country BBQ Market in New York City!
If you are in NYC, you should make a visit here. They are online: hillcountryhospitality.com