Texas Hill Country Cooking Takes Manhattan, Sort Of

Hill Country, the wildly popular New York City barbecue joint that's been busily indoctrinating Yankees in the ways of traditional Texas 'cue, is now garnering attention for a dish of less certain provenance.

As Grub Street recently reported, the menu at Hill Country Chicken -- an homage to buttermilk-fried chicken and homemade pies, slated to open down the street from Hill Country Barbecue Market next week -- includes a Texas hand roll. Grub Street describes the dish as "fried chicken tenders, coleslaw, sesame seeds, crushed almonds and hot-pepper jelly wrapped in a flour tortilla" and surmises owner Marc Glosserman's grandmas might not approve. The blog even took to Twitter to ask whether eaters would dare eat the sandwich.

But the more pertinent question might be where Glosserman and chef Elizabeth Karmel found their inspiration. I haven't yet encountered anything exactly like the hand roll, although I've spent scant time in Hill Country. A Grub Street commenter today claimed the idea originated with an Austin restaurant, writing in an all-cap screed, "Texas hand roll is stolen!!! It's called a Mighty Cone from Hudson on the Bend."

Stolen and borrowed are relative terms in professional cookery, but should a Texas restaurant get some credit for the roll? And does the roll deserve to be called Texan? Do you know of any preparations similar to the Texas hand roll?


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