Gallery: Hill Country Chicken: Are Fried Chicken and Pie the New Burgers and Cupcakes?

Hill Country Classic (8pc and 4 biscuits, $27, or sold individually)
Hill Country Classic (8pc and 4 biscuits, $27, or sold individually)
It's got an extra layer of flavor from the chicken shake, and exhibits the cosmic one-ness between the crust and the skin that the great fried chicken cooks achieve—by rendering all the fat underneath the skin.
Mama Els' Recipe (8pc and 4 biscuits, $27, or sold individually)
Mama Els' Recipe (8pc and 4 biscuits, $27, or sold individually)
Plenty crispy, tasty, and moist, with a good crunch, but skinless fried chicken is always going to come in second in a fried chicken cooking contest.
Texas Tenders (3pc, $6.50)
Texas Tenders (3pc, $6.50)
I am philosophically opposed to prefabricated chicken tenders; they're usually dry, uninteresting, and not tender in the slightest. Not here. The hand-dipped and hand-cut chicken tenders at Hill Country Chicken have a great crunchy, well-seasoned crust and, shockingly, are tender. They actually live up to their name.
Tender tenders!
Tender tenders!
Chickwich ($8)
Chickwich ($8)
A piece of boneless fried chicken breast and a couple of slices of pickle on a squishy, soft hamburger bun. It's a perfect sandwich: crispy, crunchy, salty, meaty, and sweet in every bite. The Chick-fil-A of your dreams.
Biscuits ($1 each)
Biscuits ($1 each)
They're reasonably light and fluffy and though they won't change your life, they've gotten better and less greasy every time we've had them.
Fire-n-Ice Pickles ($0.50)
Fire-n-Ice Pickles ($0.50)
Like bread-and-butter pickles given a crazy pepper kick. Worth an order or two.
 Cheesy Fried Mashed Potatoes ($2.50 small)
Cheesy Fried Mashed Potatoes ($2.50 small)
Not as appealing as they sound; fluffier straight-up mashed potatoes would be better.
The counter
The counter
Order from the cheery yellow counter.
The downstairs
The downstairs
"Like your dad's rec room," Elizabeth Karmel told us.
The Sides ($2.50 small, $4 large)
The Sides ($2.50 small, $4 large)
All tasty, none quite memorable.
Pies ($3 cup, $5 slice)
Pies ($3 cup, $5 slice)
Our favorites? Banaca cream, coconut cream. The apple cheddar pie had a flaky crust, cooked through cinnamon-y apples and just the right hint of tangy cheddar flavor. A creme brulee pie was a pretty excellent idea but could have been a tad creamier, and the candy-strewn "Cowboy Pie" is recommended for kids and serious sweet tooths only.
Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Mercifully not too sweet and enlivened by orange zest and juice.
Boylan's Fountain Soda ($2.50 large)
Boylan's Fountain Soda ($2.50 large)
Hill Country Chicken serves Boylan's soda (all made with cane sugar) from a fountain—they're the first place to do so, they claim.