Disclosure: The great people at Hill Country Pierogi put out a call to arms for Austin food bloggers to come to a private lunch to sample their goods. I answered that call and was treated to a complimentary lunch.
Austin food bloggers out to try a sampling of their menu, I jumped on it. Now, I think it’s a great idea to share your product, whatever it might be, and let others decide how to get the word out, if at all. Well I’m here to get the word out some more.
Brit, the HCP mastermind, recipe-maker, and head chef, sat with us to talk about everything from her Polish family background, respecting local ingredients, and filling an gap in the Austin food scene. To cleanse our palates she provided us with a Smokey Denmark (their local meat vendor) jalapeño kielbasa and sweet-and-spicy mustard. Talk about starting off lunch the right way with a great, spicy meat-tizer!
While explaining about the journey and evolution of the trailer, Rob, Brit’s partner in
crime pierogi and the man who rolls all the dough, brought out the first course. The Traditional, based on Brit’s grandma’s family recipe, is filled with potato, Cheddar, and onions. In one bite you can see how an entire nation was built on this modest peasant food. Everything blends together in a great balance and smooth texture.
The Veggie is anchored by Gorgonzola and accompanied by mushrooms, spinach and potatoes, with walnuts on top for crunch. For me (not a fan of bleu cheese in general), the cheese was too strong. But in perspective, I still ate most of it; it just wasn’t my favorite. Rounding out the trio was the Bacon. Huge pieces of crispy bacon inside and out make this a crowd pleaser. Some of the lunch group thought it was a little sweet from the onions, but I welcomed the sweet and salty combo. My favorite of this bunch was the Bacon, though it was a toss up among the group between the Traditional and the Bacon.
While we discussed how good they were, Rob brought out a menu special Golabki (aka Stuffed Cabbage). Loaded with meat, rice, and veggies, the hearty cabbage leaves make a great wrap for all the flavorful ingredients hidden inside. It’s only on the menu when Brit and Rob have extra time to make them, which is to say, not often. It’s topped with a tomato sauce that makes it all come together like a delicious meat sauce.
If When you go to Hill Country Pierogi, if they have it that day, get it. It’s a very special treat that will make any belly smile.
At this point I was satisfyingly full from all the food, but what was I to do when Rob came out with our second flight of pierogi? First in the less traditional lineup was the Pizza-rogi. I liken it to a classy Hot Pocket, loaded with pepperoni, cheese, and marinara sauce inside and out. A solid choice that ranked somewhere in the middle of everything we ate. In the center was the special Maker’s Mark Pulled
Pork. In a word: outofthisworld. It was so smoky, savory, and just a little bit sweet. And that should have been it, but the Maker’s Mark, brown sugar sour cream left half of the table speechless. It sounds simple. It tastes heavenly. No question my favorite of the day.
Last on the tasting menu was a brand new Korean beef and kimchi filled pierogi. They make it is because everyone else is doing it… but in a good way. Austinites have proven their love for the Korean-fusion food truck, so as a way to make pierogi more accessible, Brit and Rob are introducing familiar flavors in a new form factor. As if that wasn’t enough, the Sriracha sour cream was just pandering to the crowd. I mean, my favorite condiment mixed into sour cream. Game over.
A huge thank you to Hill Country Pierogi for treating some of Austin’s local food bloggers to a tasty lunch. I’m happy to share my thoughts about such a customer-friendly food truck that just wants to serve good food to the local crowd. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend you get some Polish lunch, dinner, and/or late night snacks. I’d be willing to wager your first visit won’t be your last. #GetPolished