The Highline & Texas BBQ in NYC

Today is perfect. Sunny, a little cloudy, heading towards a nice 17 degrees. A good day to walk the 1.3 miles of the Highline, the abandoned, elevated section of rail that has been converted into a park. I have seen the Highline in the fall when it was home to grasses and late daisies. I wanted to see it in the spring, green and bursting with colour. Winter has been long and harsh everywhere in the north, and it appears that spring is a bit delayed here in New York City as well.

Highline2 003Many plants were about to bloom and that was a little disappointing. However as we progressed along the rail, a few plants had made the effort and all was not lost. The Highline boasts some remarkable views of the city in an area that is very industrial and where aesthetics is not even an afterthought. You can hop on and off the park at various spots to grab a bite. We went to street level at 23rd street and had a quick breakfast of heuvos rancheros on the sunny patio of The Half King, a neighbourhood joint, hosting locals, families and some pups.

Highline2 001After our tour of the Highline, we cabbed it to the Chelsea Market. The market is very crowded with locals and tourists. We managed to hop into a few shops we had visited before and settle on a bench to have a lunch of an authentic lobster roll.

Highline2 005Tonight we are headed to the Hill Country BBQ. Promises of Kreuz sausage dance in my head. NYC has experienced a real renaissance in BBQ recently, and the culture is real. When we arrive at 7pm, the place is boisterous. We are seated at basically a communal table.

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Blue Moons are ordered and cardboard troughs are delivered. At Hill Country you line up at the meat counter and then the sides counter. The line moves quickly. We order a pound of the pork ribs, a jalapeno cheese and a regular sausage link, burnt ends, corn pudding, potato salad and corn bread.

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The meat is wrapped in butcher paper like at Kreuz Market in Texas. Unlike in Texas, they provide forks. We unwrap and dig in. The ribs are perfectly smoked with a nice peppery crust and a deep, penetrating, rosy smoke ring. A dark, sweet, tangy but not smoky sauce is provided on the side.

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The jalapeno sausage is as delicious as we remembered. Spicy and juicy. The cheese is not evident but no matter. This is an awesome sausage with a great snap. The regular sausage is merely good as it must bow down in the presence of its spicy brother. The burnt ends are dry and hardly worth it. This is my second experience with this “delicacy” and I am hard pressed to see the allure. Our dinner is rounded out by some decent sides. The eggy, well made potato salad is good but the sweet corn pudding is better. Corn pudding is a lot like a corn fritter but not fried. The corn bread was good and made better by a butter with orange rind added.

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