For those of you who are from the South — or, if you’re anything like me, have spent an inordinate amount of time in South — you’re probably well aware that despite the best efforts of some of the most talented culture gormandizers, restaurateurs and chefs in the country, New York still can’t produce certain Southern culinary cooking the way the Real McCoy can. There’s an egregious lack of chicken biscuits available in this town. Sure, you can get your Cheerwine fix, but do you really want to have to go to the B & T fratboy-infested Brother Jimmy’s for one? The BBQ in this town? Pretty good. The grits, the scrapple, the important sides? Not so much. But one place, it seems, has managed to transport a solid Sweet Tea to this town, packaging and all.
Hill Country, the Flatiron BBQ joint, actually specializes in Texas BBQ, but they can channel the energy of the Carolinas fairly well. Now, for those of you who don’t know what Sweet Tea is, it’s not just sweetened iced tea. No. It’s Sweet Tea. Get it right. Tea gets brewed with sugar, traditionally while the water’s hot. It steeps at room temperature, and then gets poured over ice. And the result’s nothing short of incredible: it’s refreshing, has a sweet kick to it, and doesn’t taste like the bottled piss Lipton sells at bodegas across the city (and country, sadly). There’re a select few places in town who make a decent Sweet Tea. My favorite’s actually The Smoke Joint, out in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. But since I can’t, uh, hit the ‘Joint for lunch, as BlackBook HQ resides in Union Square-ish Manhattan, there’s Hill Country for our BBQ fix. But the genius touch? Hill Country delivers its Sweet Tea in Mason Jars. Which are yours to keep. $5 for Sweet Tea in a Mason Jar, delivered. Tax and tip not included, natch. Still, if home’s south of the Mason-Dixon line, you miss it, and if you’re in the delivery range, by all means, you now know where to go.
[Image via Houseofsims’ Flickr.]