Comments from our joint finder app.
I have been here many times, the Brisket is the best I have had...
Packer @ Pecan Lodge, 2015-11-24 20:17:12
Great Brisket and BBQ Quesadillas
David Monasmith @ Old 300 BBQ, 2015-11-24 17:24:05
Average at best
David Monasmith @ Smokey Mo's BBQ, 2015-11-20 17:17:06
I rate it a zero for lack of a lower score FYI my baseline is always Rudys which I rate at a 2 for consistency.
Randy Deputy @ City Meat Market, 2015-11-19 18:23:23
The lady at the front was nice but it was all downhill from there. I like antique and homestyle places but this place was dirty and disgusting and deserted looking. The staff in the back was un-helpful and surly to put it nicely. The brisket was in water which diluted the taste but in the end The two bites I took were not all that bad. I just threw the rest of the $25 of barbecue away because I could not eat after going there.
Randy Deputy @ City Meat Market, 2015-11-19 18:19:10
Second stop of the evening and thought I'd round out the day with a beef rib and some of their amazing sides. Brisket looked perfect but was on a mission for some of that velvety beef on a bone and was not disappointed! Love these folks here and everyone's happy demeanor and attitude.
Adam Murray @ Black’s Barbecue, 2015-11-19 00:30:36
First trip to this hallowed institution and very impressed. A photo shoot in the pit room just added to the mystique! Brisket had great flavor but lacked that thick, crusty bark I crave. Really enjoyed the sausage!! Perfect snap and love that beefy, peppery flavor!
Adam Murray @ Kreuz Market, 2015-11-18 23:41:59
brisket like velvet, ribs you literally need no teeth to eat, and killer sausage. rub on brisket and ribs perfect, sauce spicy and delicious, homemade pickles spicy and crunchy.
thehighepopt @ La Barbecue, 2015-11-18 19:24:51
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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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