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The ’mart of Texas: Downtown’s Hill Country returns as an Austin-style food hall

Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Room for seconds: The airy two-floor space gives Hill Country Food Park the feel of an outdoor market.
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Just like home: Hill Country began serving its famous barbecue again when the food park opened on Monday.
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Can’t go wrong: Hill Country Food Park has expanded beyond barbecue, with stalls serving fried chicken, Tex-Mex food, pizza, and more.
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Delicious: Hill Country’s Austino’s stall serves a Veg Out Pizza with squash, aucchini, arugula, and two kinds of cheese.
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Pizza my heart: Austino’s serves square “Texas slices” of pizza, often topped with smoked meats.
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Taco about yummy!: Hill Country’s Nickie’s Tex-Mex food includes tacos with pulled chicken, brisket, and gold bar squash.

It’s a whole mess of Texas!

A new food hall opened in America’s Downtown on Monday, serving Texas-inspired grub for every meal of the day. The founder of barbecue joint Hill Country, who transformed his former restaurant on Adams Street into the new food park, said that the new setup lets the company expand its culinary horizons while staying true to its Texas roots.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Marc Glosserman. “We’ve got a little bit of something for everyone here, any day of the week and time of the day — come Monday for chicken, Wednesday morning for coffee and a breakfast taco, and Thursday for ice cream.

Hill Country Food Park boasts six stalls, with designs inspired by food trucks in the Lone Star State. South Congress serves coffee from local roasters City of Saints, pastries from Williamsburg spot Du’s Donuts, and sweets from Brooklyn’s Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Other stalls include Nickie’s, which offers Tex-Mex food; Bluebonnets, with fresh salads and sandwiches; pizza spot Austino’s; and the Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken, where visitors can get classic barbecued meats and fried chicken, said Glosserman.

“They can expect a variety of really delicious foods at great price points, and they can expect some of the stuff that they were offered previously at Hill Country BBQ, and some really exciting new and innovative offerings,” he said.

Some of the booths combine Glosserman’s native Texas roots with his wife and partner Kristen Glosserman’s Italian heritage, he said.

“The pizza we’re doing, Austino’s, is gonna be our signature twist on pizza, doing rectangular oversized slices called Texas slices; rectangular pies topped with a lot of our smoked meats — traditional pizza and BBQ fused together,” he said.

The giant food hub will also feature a new iteration of Hank’s Saloon, the beloved honky-tonk watering hole and music venue, which will close its Boerum Hill location later this month, and re-open on the second floor of the food hall early next year. Hank’s will fit right in with the rest of the food hall, said Glosserman.

“We knew as part of this we wanted to have a terrific bar and bar program. We share a lot in common, it just felt like a natural fit,” he said. “What we’re doing here is not a full stop replica, we’re trying to keep the spirit of Hank’s alive.”

Glosserman said that he partnered with some vendors he already knew, while others were the result of researching the borough’s best foods.

“It was a combination of people we know and have had relationships with over time, and doing a lot of testing, eating your way through lots and lots of ice cream and donuts,” he said.

Hill Country Food Park (345 Adams St. near Willoughby Street Downtown). Open daily, 11 am–8 pm. South Congress opens at 7 am.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 8:19 pm, November 28, 2018
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