Comments from our joint finder app.
Nice little place to eat some Q. It is a pretty drive in the hill country to get there. Check and make sure they are open on the Saturday you plan to go. Decent chicken and brisket .
Woodwill Smokers @ Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse, 2016-10-25 23:53:02
Almost forgot about my stop here awhile ago. The beef rib was massive and great flavor. The brisket was good but for some reason left me wanting more smoke. Pretty good spot.
Woodwill Smokers @ Louie Mueller Barbecue, 2016-10-25 23:48:22
Stopped here for dinner after a training class. Was a little puzzled when the manager asked me what was in my cup since no outside drinks were allowed. Oh well. I would say this is mediocre BBQ, not bad but not so great. Had the three meat combo (ribs, brisket and sausage) and for the price you got a good meal. Brisket was a lil dry and not that tender. The sausage was seemed mushy when you chewed it. The ribs were cooked great, not over cooked and you had to bite them off the bone, not fight them off the bone. The ribs also had a shuttle sweet flavor. The ribs were my favorite of the three and the cole slaw was good.
Woodwill Smokers @ Vic’s Bar-B-Que, 2016-10-25 22:30:26
Not there that I could find @ saddlebags, 2016-10-25 18:07:10
Had a lean sliced lots of smoke moist and tender like it will be back for a full lunch @ Boatman’s BBQ, 2016-10-25 18:06:10
Shishkabob and ham both good @ Hard Eight BBQ, 2016-10-25 17:48:46
2nd visit in a week, both visits pretty plain BBQ brisket was bland no smoke no spice. Spare ribs dry and sausage no flavor sides are nothing to brag about I see a lot of folks eating stuffed bake potatoes sorta like you would get at Jason's Deli
@ Hinze's BBQ Bay City, 2016-10-24 17:15:30
Brisket today was a bit dry and flavorless. Still deserved 3 stars. Out of beef ribs
Terry r @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2016-10-23 02:37:10
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Hickory House BBQ 03

June 10, 2014

Johnny Doyle cooks on a gas-rotisserie, but he’d do it differently if he could. He takes pride in the barbecue he puts out in his nearly forty year old Denison restaurant, so when he had pit fire that destroyed his Oylers, he wanted to replace them. “[J&R Manufacturing] told me it would be a couple months before I could get an Oyler built, so I bought two Southern Prides instead.” Now he just can’t get the bark to set on his ribs like he’d like to. I can’t be sure if it’s the cook or the cooker, but he’s right.

Hickory House BBQ 01

The ribs were tender and came away nicely from the bone. They even had a good smokiness, but the rub sat atop the meat like wet sawdust. The meat and rub had not become one, and there was no bark to speak of. That textural variation of crisp crust and moist meat is what makes a dry-rubbed rib so pleasing, but this rib was crying for some sauce. Luckily, they make a couple good ones here. The tomato-based version wasn’t too sweet with just a touch of vinegar, and livened up the ribs nicely.

Doyle’s other sauce is a regional specialty. He makes a brown gravy sauce from the flour-thickened pit drippings. It’s thick and heavily seasoned, and makes for great Texas toast dipping.

Brown Gravy 13

Hickory House brown gravy sauce

Johnny and his wife Shawn make all the sides too. In fact, there isn’t much here that’s not from scratch. If you’re used to beans from the can, a trip through Sherman, Denison, Bells, and Bonham will be a pinto bean revelation. They know how to cook them in these parts. There are few ingredients and they aren’t fortified with leftover chunks of barbecue. They’re just beans that are well cooked in a pot for long hours and seasoned with just enough salt. A side of potato salad was anything but store-bought. Chunks of egg, nearly-mashed potatoes, and good kick of yellow mustard made for a bright counterpoint to the beans. Side are also self-serve along the cafeteria line, so you can get a few spoonfuls if you like.

Hickory House BBQ 02

Then there’s the brisket. In these parts you normally need to beg for any crust to be left on the meat. The fatty end is usually chopped for sandwiches, and the sauce on the side is a foreign concept. But Johnny Doyle does it differently. A nice line of rendered fat hid beneath a crunchy bark created from hours in the pit, and few on the steam table. Brisket in the mid-afternoon is usually dried out when held in this manner, but the Hickory House beef was juicy and tender. There was plenty of smoke, pepper, and salt to flavor it too.

Maybe the ribs were better back before the pit fire, but it looks like Doyle has found his sweet spot with the brisket. He recognized me just before I left, and asked me for some tips on the ribs. I’m not sure if it was for flattery or if he was really looking to improve, but it’d be worth returning to find out as long as he keeps serving brisket like that.


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