Hickory House Bar-B-Que

630 W Woodard St.
Denison, TX 75020

Phone: (903) 463-3600
Hours: M-F 11-Sold Out (around 6), Sat 11-2
Website: http://www.hickoryhousebar-b-que.yolasite.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hickory-House-Bar-B-Que-Candy-Land/102348169809305

Opened 1975
Pitmaster Johnny Doyle
Method Hickory in a gas-fired rotisserie

TMBBQ Rating: 3.25

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Delicious!!! Beef rib is as big as my forearm! Brisket was fabulous, fell apart just looking at it. Peach cobbler was a nice finish.
Nicole Martin @ Louie Mueller Barbecue, 2015-07-28 18:00:52
Great beans sides. Best on their menu appeared to be the pork ribs fall of the bone tasted little sweet and not to smoked just right. Brisket good flavor but felt it was little dry.
Rudy Rodriguez @ Longhorn Cattle Company Barbecue and Steak Restaurant, 2015-07-28 14:18:04
Got the sausage, ribs and brisket! All really good. Brisket was moist and had good flavor. Side are good and I like the big slice of
Sherry Gaither @ City Market, 2015-07-27 18:05:14
The king of Lockhart; BBQ done right. Man their sausage links are so good I'd crawl over hot coals just for a link. Jalapeño cheddar sausage is handmade and out of this world. Pork ribs had excellent peppery taste and was tender as pork ribs can be. Brisket was almost perfect; moist and nice smoke ring; very slightly inconsistent and a little bit more crust would've been nice. For a town rightfully named BBQ Capital of Texas, this place is the golden star.
Rahul Yaratha @ Kreuz Market, 2015-07-26 18:34:44
Awesome Q!!!!
Craig Crossan @ Opie’s Barbecue, 2015-07-26 17:23:32
Great beef and fried chicken!
kyle craven @ The Slow Bone, 2015-07-26 17:12:45
Great
jeff hodges @ Hutchins BBQ, 2015-07-26 11:50:30
Been to the bunkhouse a couple times love there sausage
doug_wallace @ Bunkhouse Barbeque, 2015-07-25 23:10:09
More Buzz →

Review

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.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>