There are plenty of private event spaces in DC but I recently came across a gem where I least expected it: in a restaurant I’ve been many times! Hill Country BBQ is a staple of many DC’ers restaurant rotations. They serve Texas style BBQ and are no frills – you order from a cafeteria line where they slice the meat in front of you and place it on a scale, then wrap it in butchers paper with a slice of white bread. The drinks are served in mason jars and the only napkins you’ll be provided with are a roll of paper towels on each table.
Not exactly what you think of as an events venue, right?
A colleague recently booked a private dinner for about 45 people at Hill Country and I admit, I was skeptical. Despite being there a few times I couldn’t remember a private room. And I wasn’t sure that the kitschy-ness would translate well for a business dinner.
I was wrong.
Hill Country has two floors, and if you’ve been there before you know that the basement houses the stage for bands and karaoke. But the basement can also be rented for private events, and it can even be split into two smaller spaces using sliding barn doors which I thought were adorable.
My apologies that my photos are blurry – I took these on my phone since I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by the set up and didn’t have my camera!
Our group was on the side of the barn doors with the stage – but no one got up to sing karaoke – this time!
The private dinner menu is served family style and it’s just as no frills as the cafeteria line upstairs. It’s pretty reasonable for DC – $45 to $55 per person++ including dessert. I’m not from Texas but I think the BBQ is pretty tasty. I highly recommend the Longhorn Cheddar Mac and Cheese and the Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash. And the corn bread is great too. That’s actually my only complaint – the cornbread was preset and was just a tiny little muffin. I wanted more cornbread!
Obviously this isn’t going to work for every group, but if your group is more laid back and casual, the family style meal coupled with the kitschy decor can make for some fun ice breakers. It would also be a really fun place for a family reunion or wedding rehearsal dinner.
What are your thoughts on Hill Country BBQ?Top photo (the only decent one) via HillCountryNY.com