Over the weekend my boyfriend and I went to check out Hickory’s Smokehouse in Southport. Opened just 5 weeks ago, the restaurant is located in the Kew area of Southport and if you’re travelling by car, is a doddle to get to. Our ears pricked up when we heard the restaurant catered to all-American dining and we were excited to peruse the menu and get stuck in!
The Service and Starters
We arrived at the restaurant and pulled up in the spacious car park to make our 1 o’clock lunchtime booking. The restaurant is super spacious and has lots of seating areas, perfect for families, couples or friends catching up over food and drinks.
We were shown to our seats overlooking the restaurant and open grill, showcasing the large cuts of ribs and brisket brought straight from the smoker to go into the grill, as ordered.
A nice welcome touch was a bag of popcorn to snack on whilst we assessed the menu, ordered drinks and decided just how indulgent we planned on being…spoiler alert, v v indulgent indeed!
The restaurant is open from early morning for breakfast and brunch, straight through to lunch and dinner.
To start, I opted for the three bean chilli nachos and my partner went for the suicide wings. The wings came in three different flavours and the spicier dishes on the menu carry a spice rating. Underneath the suicide wings, is a warning….
Darren is a fan of hot, spicy food. And often requests extra chillies. Thus far in our four-year relationship, nowhere has beaten him. Until now….
Just one wing into his sizeable portion, his face began to redden and the spice grew hotter. Whilst he commented on the sweetness of the sauce and the chicken is tender and soft to eat..he began to change colour in front of my eyes. The extra helpful staff were on hand with a glass of milk and ice cream as he worked his way through the entire portion, plus the red chilli garnishes to complete his starter. Hickory 1, Darren 0.
As this was going on, I enjoyed my nachos and scooped up the fantastic ratio of nacho tortilla chips to bean chilli, sour cream, beans and jalapenos. Served piping hot and straight from the kitchen in front of us, I devoured the entire portion and could easily head straight back for a second right now.
Main Courses, Sides and Drinks
Ok, so we’ve completed phase 1 – the starters. Next up, after a helpful breather from the waiting staff, our main courses and ample sides began to appear. And around about the same time, we began to salivate at the feast in front of us…
I went for the Barbecue Pulled Pork (£11.95) with a side of fries topped with Hickory’s own magic dust – a unique blend of 16 herbs and spices. Inspired by the CEO’s trip to the States years ago, he tweaked and perfected the recipe to make it what it is today. Damn delicious, that’s what!
Darren couldn’t resist the ribs when they’re on the menu and after chatting through the options with the delightful helpful Toby, the Kansas Style Barbecue Style Ribs, half slab (£14.95) were his final choice. Oh and with a choice of three different types of fries, he went for the chilli cheese topped fries. I had a mouthful of the fries and in the words of Janice from Friends. Oh. My. God. Melted cheesy, naughty goodness.
The ribs were huge. For a half slab, we ended up taking a few home. I have it on great authority that the ribs were very flavoursome and the extra fat left on the meat added additional flavour, which he didn’t mind. You could really taste the BBQ flavour from The Smoker.
And the sides?
Well, we went for a portion of Mac & Cheese as it’s my kryptonite and I cannot resist when I spot it on a menu. And I had a sneaky suspicion it would be good at Hickory’s. I was correct.
Our second side was recommended to us and it’s the dish you can see above. Go back and take a look, I’ll wait…
Mallow Mash. Yep. Sweet potato mash topped with marshmallows and toasted slightly under the grill. You couldn’t make it up. It was just as you’d expect. Gooey, expertly melted and a real mix of flavours. But in the very best way. All available in Southport, who would have thought it?
To drink, I opted for one of the cocktails. It was Sunday lunch, it would’ve been rude, not too! Dasiy Duke was my poison of choice – as soon as I spotted gin and peach, it had me at hello. Perfect for washing down a treat of a feast.
Darren opted for a pilsner shandy or two as he was our designated driver. Served in a Hickory’s branded beer glass, it was a real thirst quencher. Guessing he needed it after the suicide wings….
Room for dessert?
…We were asked. And somehow, for some mental reason, we said yes. The cinnamon sugar coated churros with melted chocolate sauce were the tonic to complete our meal. The presentation on this hanger device was fab and they were so sweet, so chocolatey, completely unnecessary after all the food we’d already consumed….but we soldiered on and shared between us.
Extra Special Touches
As we made our way home to lie on the sofa, avoid the dog who wanted a walk and generally pass out in a food coma, we sang the praises of Hickory’s. Darren exclaimed it may well be the best review he’s ever attended with me.
The location is spot on, in relation to local family’s and easy to get to from Liverpool. The restaurant made excellent use of the seating areas, has a Movie Room for kids, a pinboard displayed the film times, which is the perfect excuse if you fancy a few cocktails and the kids are entertained in a safe space.
The restaurant stands apart from other Smokehouse / BBQ style restaurants as they have a huge smoker in the back, where they smoke all of their meat on the premises. It was impressive to see. The head chef explained that the meat is marinaded as soon as it’s delivered from the central butcher in North Wales and then smoked for up to 18 hours, which is super impressive and great to know everything is cooked on site.
From the popcorn on arrival to the helpful staff and even having the option to take home leftovers for later, (which we totally did), it’s a great addition to the Southport food scene.
With multiple other restaurants, including one in Chester, the Wirral and North Wales, we will certainly be back. Maybe taking advantage of the Monday-Friday two courses for £10 offer, it’s an absolute steal. Thanks, Hickory’s!
If you fancy heading along to Hickory’s Smokehouse in Southport, or checking out the restaurant in West Kirkby or Chester, head over to the website to salivate at the menu and check out the opening times!