Kent Rathbun. (Not Ken Rathburn or Kent Rayburn.) However you may butcher his name … you know that he knows what he’s doing. We can thank him for the amazing concepts like Abacus, Jasper’s, and (formerly) Blue Plate … and now his newest venture, Hickory Plano, can be added to the list.
Their amazing PR girl arranged a bus to take us alllllll the way up to Plano to check out the new concept … which, if you know me, was a huge treat because I hate to drive. Like …I hate it real bad.
The drive took us up the Tollway just past The Shops at Legacy (the home of Kent’s Jasper’s). Upon arriving, Kent greeted us and showed us around the newly renovated space. Expect a lot of raw wood, metal, and deep reds and browns.
While Hickory is a BBQ joint, the drinks leave nothing to be desired (except maybe another one). They offer a full bar that can crank out anything from a Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned featuring Makers 46 to classics–Moscow Mules, anyone? If you want to get a little crazy, check out their Cactus Juice (Avion Reposado, Triple Sec, prickly pear nectar, and lime). And make sure to check out their Texas cocktails featuring Deep Eddy drinks.
If you’re into the beer situation, they have some great local options, but certainly not an extensive list–select crafts on tap and a handful of bottled options. Their wine list includes a couple Texas wines and a curated list of decently priced options.
When the food started hitting the table, we all knew we were in for a long night. I LOVED the salad options, which sometimes can be a bit lacking at a BBQ restaurant. I almost couldn’t get enough of the Shrimp & Crab Coleslaw that featured a spicy cilantro vinaigrette that I could just about take a straw to. I would also have to say that the Fried Green Tomatoes with charred jalapeño ranch were unreal. (We may or may not have been fork-fighting for the last piece.) A starter that cannot be missed is their Smoked Sausage Fondue featuring whichever of their house-made sausages they choose for the day with creamy, cheesy goodness.
When I saw the entrees, I was so thankful knowing that we had a bus to take us back as I knew I’d have at least half and hour to recover before getting behind the wheel. (I mean that not due to the drinks … but due to the sheer amount of meat I was about to consume.) Their options for mains range from traditional burgers and sandwiches (and some not-so-traditional ones) and meats. Some seeeeerious meats. Their “little red smokehouse” prepares heavenly cuts that are sold by the 1/2 pound like their Smoked Pepper Crusted Wagyu Brisket, Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, and Shaved Roti Pork Shoulder. All of the meats were quite flavorful and I’d return for any single one of them, but some were a bit on the salty side. That just means that you need to balance the meats with their Charred Corn Bread which was UNreal. Get into that and don’t miss the Round Rock Honey butter that comes with it.
All of the sides that we tried were good, but the Crispy Brussels Sprouts were in the only bowl that saw the light of day. These things, y’all, are f**king amazing. (And not just because I love Brussels sprouts.) Don’t miss the Blackstrap Molasses Baked Beans, too. I mean … these beans have bacon on top.
The meal was coming to an end (so we thought) when dessert came out. Instead of one of their Shareable Desserts for the table, they brought us all of them. We tried Maw Maw’s Buttermilk Pie, which was a light-ish option but wasn’t up my alley, the Texas Size Chocolate Cupcake, which had a bit of spicy bite to it, and the Skillet Cobbler, which I’d eat all day every day! The crunch on top was a perfect textural balance to the gooey fresh berries it hid.
Overall, the meal was overwhelming … and I don’t mean because of the amount of food, but because of how amazing everything was. I don’t know why I expected anything other than brilliance from Kent Rathbun!
Make the drive–just plan to give yourself some recovery time before driving anywhere after. Because … meat.
HICKORY BY KENT RATHBUN
www.hickoryplano.com | Facebook | Twitter
8100 Dallas Pkwy #115, Plano