By STEFAN MODRICH
As I have argued previously in this space, aesthetics are a crucial component of the dining experience.
Old Hickory Inn Barbecue has been a Houston-area institution since 1963. The Missouri City location has gathered a loyal following from generations of residents in nearby Quail Valley and beyond, in an idyllic location at Township Square filled with charming red-brick buildings.
Before my visit, I had heard and read much about Old Hickory Inn, so I had long been anticipating the chance to check it out. Alas, I’m not even sure it’s the best barbecue joint in Missouri City, let alone in Fort Bend County.
And though I always like to give credit where I think it’s due, you didn’t come here to read about above-average coleslaw or passable mac and cheese.
There was nothing egregiously wrong or amiss about my Brisket Dinner, which I had sliced ($14.50), not chopped ($12.95), just for the record. It was tender, but not the most flavorful I’ve ever had, and I did depend on the accompanying sauce an awful lot, which I’ve learned is not ideal by the lights of most Texans.
What was the reaction I was looking for? I always dream of the bite that is going to make me jump from my seat or stop to realize I should slow down and savor a memorable experience – think of all the times you’ve said “wow” aloud or to yourself after trying something delicious. But unfortunately, that moment never happened for me at Old Hickory Inn.
That’s not to say the whole trip was a waste, far from it.
The service at the restaurant was polite, friendly and prompt, and the staff has set up an efficient system for delivery and takeout orders.
I’m intrigued by several items on Old Hickory Inn’s menu, including the Fried Catfish Po-Boy ($8.95) and the Sliced Baker ($10.95), a baked potato with your choice of ham, sausage links, pork, turkey or chicken.
If you’re a big enough fan of turkey that you traditionally eat it not only on Thanksgiving but also on Christmas or throughout the holidays, smoked, fried and Cajun 15-pound turkeys are available for pickup for $64.94.
Have you been to Old Hickory Inn before? Got any recommendations for dishes to try there or anywhere else? I’m all ears. You can reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter @StefanJModrich.
Old Hickory Inn Barbecue
Address: 3334 FM 1092, Missouri City
Dining Options: Dine-in, takeout, curbside pickup, delivery via DoorDash and Uber Eats
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Entrée prices: $7.50-$16.50
Senior discount: No
Healthy options: None
Star of the show: Service