Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inhaling at the Smokehouse

Hickory Smokehouse Barbecue
Hickory, NC

Being Suit 420, it sometimes surprises people when I tell 'em how much I love pigs.

Smoked, fried, ham, in sausage form -- or even just running through the woods waiting for me to shoot them.

In fact, the reason I was in North Carolina recently was to do a little pig hunting.

But this wasn't an ordinary pig. This was a wild boar.

A big wild boar.

Of course, after a good hunt like I had, you work up an appetite.

And because I was hog hunting, I had barbecue on my mind.

Fortunately, there were a few barbecue places nearby, so after the hunt, I jumped in my truck and headed out to find something good.

On the way there, Suit420 noticed a small place called Hickory Smokehouse Barbecue.

Hickory Smokehouse is located in a shopping center, but in it's own stand-alone building.

I've eaten enough barbecue to know that's a good sign. 

Any time you see an old restaurant building right in the middle of a shopping center it's usually means it's been in business a while.

Another good sign, was that on the outside of the building, written with shoe polish, was the claim that Hickory Smokehouse was voted best barbecue in town!

It was about 2:30 in the afternoon when I rolled up, so the place wasn't crowded.

But it also wasn't empty.

And boy did it smell wonderful -- and make my stomach growl louder than the hog I'd just bagged.

For my main course, I had the chopped BBQ plate, with a side of baked beans, hush puppies and fries.

And Hickory Smokehouse also has fried pickles -- a North Carolina staple -- so Suit 420 ordered some of those, too.

To drink, it was Sweet Tea.  Anything else with barbecue just wouldn't be right.  I sat down at a booth, sipped on my tea and waited.

The table had multiple types of sauces.

There was sweet sauce, hot sauce, mustard sauce and vinegar.

Vinegar sauce isn't my favorite -- the main type you find in North Carolina -- so I'd just be trying the other three.

After just a couple of minutes my food was ready.

And Suit 420's food was on a Styrofoam plate.

Another good sign for a barbecue place.

I ate my fried pickles first.

They were hand-breaded dill chips with ranch sauce.

Crispy, tangy and salty, Suit420 was in heaven.

Then I dug in for the main course.

I was surprised actually.  The barbecue was actually delicious without even putting sauce on it.

But as a Suit, I knew that I needed to try all three of the sauces for a good review.

So I went with the mustard sauce first.

I've always thought Maurice's Barbecue in South Carolina has the best mustard sauce, but Hickory Barbecue's sauce was better.

I was shocked.

So I dropped a little on my plate and dug in.

As I mentioned, the barbecue had a great flavor without even having to put sauce on it, but the sauce made it out of this world.

Next up was the sweet sauce. Also amazing. And it was actually good combined with the mustard sauce.

Then Suit 420 hit the hot sauce, which was good, but not hot enough to make Suit420 chug his entire tea.

After it was said and done, I decided my favorite was the mustard.

So that's what I finished the rest of my meal with.

As for the baked beans, Hickory Smokehouse got it right.

They tasted like they had a touch of brown sugar, and were very good.

As for the fries, they were fries.  They worked real well as barbecue sauce delivery devices.

Needless to say, Suit 420 left Hickory Barbecue full and happy.

Since Hickory Smokehouse was wallet friendly, and the taste of the food even better, I had no choice but to buy a shirt.

And that's where the disappointment came in.

The owner, who was an extremely nice guy and happened to be in the kitchen (another good sign), told me that he had just ran out of t-shirts and would be getting some more in the next few weeks.

So even though I wanted to buy the shirt, I couldn't because they were out of them.

Too bad. I really wanted one -- especially because they were tie-dye which works well with the whole image I'm trying to convey.

The next time I go back to North Carolina to chase down a hog, I'll definitely make a trip to Hickory to eat at the Smoke House -- and probably order the exact same thing.

And if they have the shirts then, I'll try to buy one, wear it proudly and tell everyone I know to go there and grab a bite to eat.

Hickory Smokehouse is just that darn good.

Rating: Bought the Shirt (Well, would have)

1 comment:

  1. good review suit.. their mustard sauce is the best.. they sell their sauces too. I just ran out of the mustard sauce I bought so i need to get another bottle (or 3).