Battle of the Potato Salad: R.U.B. BBQ v. Hill Country Barbecue
Rebecca Marx R.U.B. BBQ on the left, Hill Country on the right
Only July 4, perhaps the only thing more American than inebriation and the smell of smoking charcoal is potato salad, the kind that comes enshrouded in mayonnaise and basks in the sun, tempting passersby with the promise of starch and food-borne illness. Whether you love it or loathe it, chances are you won't be able to escape it. Owing to a few too many underwhelming specimens, we personally aren't its biggest fans, but recognize that some places do it proud. Those places tend to be barbecue restaurants, and since R.U.B. BBQ and Hill Country Barbecue sit within a few blocks of one another, we decided to compare the merits of their spuds.
First we went to Hill Country, where $4.30 buys you 8 ounces of PTL potato salad. The salad is actually a potato/egg salad hybrid, as segments of hard-boiled eggs mingle with tender chunks of skin-on potatoes and confetti-sized bits of red onions and red and green peppers. Everything's coated in an orange-hued dijon mustard-mayonnaise dressing, but it's applied with a light hand. The flavor is robust and slightly spicy, and the crunchy vegetables prevent the texture from becoming one-note mush. Their colors also make it aesthetically pleasing -- this is not the potato salad that images of lumpen, off-white mounds lead us to believe is our nation's heritage. "PTL," incidentally, stands for "Praise the Lord," and that pretty much summed up our feelings when we were eating this salad.