Hill Country Barbecue Market Review

Barbecue can be difficult to navigate for people with food allergies. With sauces, rubs, spices, and meats that are all at risk for hidden gluten (or other allergens), I have had limited luck in finding safe BBQ. 

When walking around Penn Quarter, Hill Country Barbecue Market caught my eye because they always seem to be busy. I did some research, which suggested that they were pretty gluten-free friendly, so decided to check them out for lunch. 

Hill Country Barbecue Market prides itself on serving Central Texas-style barbecue, complete with a full smokehouse in the restaurant. Promising succulent meats, hearty sides, and uncompromising flavor, I was eager to see if they would live up to recently earning the “Best BBQ” crown from The Washington Post.  

After consulting with their gluten-free/allergen menu (see that in full here), I was impressed that most of Hill Country’s offerings are both gluten and dairy-free. All of the meats except for the jalapeño/cheddar sausage and beer can game hen (discontinued), are safe on both a gluten and dairy standpoint. 

Since it was my first time visiting Hill Country, I decided to get a sampler of many different items to get a feel for the food. I ordered the market chicken, deviled eggs, pickles, jalapeños, and cucumber salad. 

I don’t normally go for bone-in chicken, especially the limbs (wings and thighs), but the market chicken totally won me over. The meat with succulent, tender, and juicy, with a distinct smoked flavor and delicious seasoning that had complexity but wasn’t overpowering. Unashamedly, I picked the chicken to the bone trying to eat every delicious morsel. 

The vegetable sides I ordered were the cucumber salad, jalapeños, and pickles. The pickles and jalapeños were flavorful, the latter packing a lot of heat with each bite. They weren’t overly impressive, but that’s okay because I came to Hill Country for the meat, not the toppings. 

The cucumber salad featured biting red onions in a white vinegar, which had a cooling effect after eating the jalapeños. If I could order over again, I would’ve skipped the pickles/jalapeños and ordered a larger size of the salad because it was by far the best vegetable side. 

Added to the mix was Hill Country’s deviled eggs. They were cooked perfectly, with a firm egg white shell holding the creamy yolk filling. I hate making deviled eggs so it was a treat to be able to enjoy them pre-made. 

I was surprised by how much I liked Hill Country Barbecue Market. While I expected a few items to be safe, it was a treat to be able to have so much to choose from and sample. I will definitely be back when I need my BBQ fix, and look forward to my next chance to get this hearty, authentic fare. Prices are a bit high, but in that neighborhood in town you won’t find many places that can compare quality-wise with Hill Country. 

The Basics

Address: 410 Seventh St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Cuisine: Barbecue
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: Prices vary by size and weight
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

Hill Country Barbecue Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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