This Way In >>

Kent Rathbun’s Hickory restaurant stars excellent sausage, BBQ brisket

hickory--2 hickory--4

I don’t think chef Kent Rathbun (Abacus, Jasper’s) set out to open a casual place whose best dishes are smoked pork sausage and barbecued brisket, but those two items are the stars of his menu at Hickory, Rathbun’s new Plano restaurant.

Sure, he also serves more than a half-dozen burgers, crazy good mac and cheese (constructed with al dente elbow macaroni, cornbread crumbles and spicy queso as a sauce base) and damn good cocktails, but judging from a recent visit shortly after Hickory opened for business, Rathbun’s honeypot here is pork sausage and brisket.

“I didn’t set out to make pork sausage,” Rathbun told me after my visit.  “I developed the recipe for a rabbit sausage a few years ago, working out the ideal ratio of fat to meat and just the right spices, then translated it to pork for Hickory.” He coarsely grinds the pork, adding bacon to the mix then smokes the cased sausages till they’re plump and tender. Then he cuts them into one-inch segments and serves them with a cast iron ramekin of spicy queso. Pick up a link, dip it into the queso, then pop it into your pie hole. Your mouth will thank you.

It’ll also be mightily pleased with a few hunks of Hickory’s low-and-slow brisket — the moist, fatty part — fully rendered and protected by a dark, smokey bark from an overnight cook in Hickory’s wood-fueled J&R smoker.

“I tell my servers that anyone who knows their barbecue will want the fatty part, so that’s really all we serve when you order brisket. We cut off the leaner part in the kitchen, chop it up and use it in our chili,” Rathbun told me.

For dessert, opt for the “giant cupcake,” a four-inch flourless chocolate cake, or the seasonal cobbler, chockfull of blackberries and more crumble than cobbler.

Hickory, 8100 Dallas Pkwy Ste 115, Plano, (972) 712-7077.

Haywire Plano
The Ranch Las Colinas

Recently Published


Uber launches grocery deliver in Dallas

Uber will launch a new this month through its UberEats app and ...


2020 State Fair of Texas has been canceled, as COVID-19 concerns peak. Here’s what that means for the Cotton Bowl

The 2020 State Fair of Texas has been canceled. The fair’s Board ...


Chef Matt Balke to breathe new life this fall into former Bolsa restaurant space

Matt Balke, a strong presence in the Dallas dining scene and one of ...


Restaurants and bars throughout Texas can now mix drinks and sell them to-go

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced today that Texas ...


The best craft barbecue in Dallas is now available in grocery stores

Updated June 20 after tasting the products ...


Beloved Houston’s Restaurant in Addison to permanently close Saturday, which means no more Houston(s) in Dallas

June 12: The post was updated with information about the reason for ...


The 2020 Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival has been cancelled. Damn.

One of the area’s top food events has been cancelled for 2020, ...


Mot Hai Ba has opened in Dallas’ Victory Park

Chef Peja Krstic has finally opened a second branch of Dallas’ ...


Fort Worth chef Lanny Lancarte intros Eat Fajitas, a new fajitas-and-margaritas delivery resto

Fort Worth chef Lanny Lancarte has finally launched his new ...