Hill Country Barbecue Market on 7th St NW is a fun, tasty, and okay, slightly touristy Texas-style beer hall and smokehouse. Upstairs, you can dine on Texas BBQ classics - the brisket is best, although the beer can game hen is worth a shot too - and country sides, plus an impressive array of home-style baked goods, including banana pudding and peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. The service is slow, and you will be eating from paper containers, but the ambience is fun and lively. You can linger as long as you like over Shiner Bock drafts or Mason jar margaritas, going back for as many extra helpings as you can handle.
Downstairs, Hill Country offers one of the best weeknight bar experiences in Penn Quarter. In the front of a single wood pavilion-style room there is a stage (complete with a Texas flag backdrop sewn from red, white, and blue jeans) for live music, and in the back there is a full bar lined with cowboy boots and craft beer. Ever loyal to its Texas roots, Hill Country only offers Shiner Bock on draft - but more varieties of Shiner Bock than any non-Texan will know exist. On Wednesday night locals pour in for karaoke night - you can reserve a table downstairs, and probably should if you want to sit with your group. Admission is free, and the live band is worth listening to whether or not you plan to sing. Whether you're craving decent ribs in the District, or just a little free entertainment, Hill Country is worth the trip.