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Old 01-08-2008, 11:50 AM  
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Hill Country Grill

I've been to Hill Country Grill (on the square) twice now over the holidays. I had written this place off some time ago as "lackluster" after a series of bad experiences on multiple visits (raw burger - sent back TWICE, bad service, rude bartender, disappointing lunch menu). Admittedly the lunch menu is still lame (sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads).... but, I have really been impressed with my two recent dinner experiences. The menu (which is pretentiously huge) has some really good entree choices, and the service has been "better than expected" for San Marcos. The only appetizer I really like is the crabcake. The safety deposit shrimp is a cute idea, and worth trying once. And calamari... well, uninspired. The salads are good, and I've had some great soups there. The atmosphere is one-of-a-kind, especially if you get seated in one of the bank vaults. Also, the bartender @ both my last visits was genuinely friendly.

Has anybody else noted that this establishment is poised for takeoff in 2008?

Side Note - although Hill Country Grill also does the kitchen at Quail Creek country club... I have yet to have a good experience there.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:21 PM  
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I will always give thumbs up to a place that goes out of their way to accommodate a customer. The last time we went I ordered a martini that called for grapefruit juice. The bartender apologized as they'd just run out of grapefruit juice...well, the owner overheard and sent someone to RUN over to the small H-E-B to get more grapefruit juice depsite my protests. A little of that goes a LONG way in a restaurant. And I think the safety deposit shrimp appetizer is really, really good. I think its a wee bit pricey but whatever...maybe they are trying to keep out the riff raff but we all know there is plenty of wealthy riff raff.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:50 PM  
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Been ther four times... four times of bad service and undercooked food. I think this place is HIGHLY OVERRATED!!
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:18 PM  
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Sandwiches

That Reuben is off the lunch menu now - but can still be ordered as an off-menu item. Tried the one across the square at Sean Patrick's?
Although lunch at HCG is ok (for lunch - if you like sandwiches), I think the dinner menu is "where it's at."
But I, like Immis, have had some bad experiences before - I've had some good one recently - and hope they can become consistently good.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:52 PM  
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On that note....

Has anyone been to that Wine Cellar Place? We popped by there New Years Eve to have a glass of something and it was $65 at the door, per person for steak and lobster and a full evening's entertainment, reservations only.....
So we didn't 'get in' but I was impressed with the concept. Any experiences? I would love it if this place was good......
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:48 PM  
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Wine Cellar

There are many great things about the wine cellar. Chef/owner Brian Montgomery used to have a place by the same name on Dutton (off Wonder World - next door to Curves). The food was incredible, the prices cheap, but the service was slow (one man kitchen!). Now, chef has some help in the kitchen, a larger venue, and a killer spot on the square (but ow! the parking). He has futzed around with the menu and made some changes I don't understand. There is a limited lunch menu (mostly sandwiches, soups, and salads). There is a tapas menu (think appetizers only) in the mid-afternoon. That menu looks great - but I work - and have not had those menu items yet (although some are a reprise of menu items from previous location). In the evenings there is a dinner menu with even more choices. Service is great, wines are tasty, and still - with the fair prices. Give it a try!
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:29 PM  
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oh see what you don't know about us is that we bought a home within walking distance of the square for that pesky parking problem and to eliminate the need to drink and drive....I mean, seriously, what is the point of one glass of wine??? :tongue:
Thank you for the suggestions! I will check it out and give my discriminating approval or poo-poo. stay tuned.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:26 PM  
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Yes, Sean Patrick's has good taste in artists. :tongue:
Anyway- we went to Wine Cellar...first experience wasn't that great. We were overcharged by a significant amount for the one bottle of wine we ordered. Our bill was corrected quickly but not before our server tried in vain to explain how her wine presentation justified the added expense.... (she split the cork while opening the bottle but that's another story.....) anyway. We will be going back because we didn't get to try any food. I like the looks of the menu and the wine was nice, with or without the 'presentation'. I will let you know how the meal goes.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:33 AM  
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Checked out Wine Cellar at lunch one day - I wasn't that impressed. Service was alright. Pricing is odd. $2.50 for tea that tasted like lipton instant? $8 for apple pie alamode? Service was alright, seemed a little slow, especially since we were practically the only ones there the entire time. The sandwiches were good, and reasonably priced, but $13 for tea and dessert is ridiculous. I don't recommend it for lunch, but it does seem to be a nice dinner/date place.

I've also tried Sean Patrick's. I would probably go more often if it were close to campus, but the service and the food isn't worth the walk from the Quad.

Tried to hit the HCG one day for lunch, but they were closed for some reason. According to the times on the door, they should have been open.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:32 PM  
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Still haven't been to Hill Country Grill. Maybe one day.

I suppose if I ever got romantic enough I'd take the wife to the Wine Cellar. Too bad I'm a jerk.

But, I have been to Sean Patrick's a couple of times in the last year. The servers have gotten more attentive, and the quality of the food vastly improves when you're not making a 1 mile hike down and back from campus. Last time I had the corned beef and cabbage - I'm a sucker for it. Next time I believe I'll have the Reuben.
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