New Yorkers are quite fond of the meaty BBQ emporium that is Hill Country—well, mostly—and so is Times critic Pete Wells, who gave it three stars earlier this month. But how does the Texas-themed restaurant stand up when visited by a real Texan? Not as well as you'd hope—which is to say about exactly as you'd expect.

Self-described BBQ snob Daniel Vaughn recently came all the way to town to check out the 'que for Texas Monthly, and while he loved the Lone Star State kitsch factor, he had some issues with the food. But not too many!

Vaughn's biggest gripe is that, he feels, the restaurant rushes its meat:

The flavors of smoke, salt and pepper were all there, but the all important ‘time’ quotient was missing from the equation. Most every cut of meat was tough and under-cooked. Clichés were easily reinforced in the city that is known for a lack of patience. A deeply flavorful crust and red smoke ring were pretty on the surface, but layers of solid opaque collagen nearly outweighed the meat in a cross-section of the slices from the point end of the brisket. The line of fat cap on the lean slices was in no better shape, although the meat beneath was tender and moist. A thick back rib of beef was so undercooked that it was just plain hard to bite into. A reward of fatty sinew was the reason that toothpicks were invented. The smokiness of the pork ribs shined in comparison, but they too had meat clinging fiercely to the bones. For an outsider like myself hoping to find some good barbecue in New York, this was just frustrating to see all of the elements needed for success squandered by a simple lack of patience.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, he liked it. "Close your eyes and soak in the sound of steel guitar while you wash that juicy link down with a cold Big Red and you can almost imagine that you’re back in rural Texas, that is as long as the taxis along 26th Street can lay off their horns." In other words: Hill Country isn't quite as authentic as it could be, but it'll do in a pinch. Whew.