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Review of Hickory Hog, Pt Pleasant, NJ

l
lomlfoml Oct 19, 2008 05:56 PM

3009 Rt 88, Pt Pleasant. http://www.thehickoryhog.com

We found it easily, a cheery, well-lit red&white checkered linoleum place. Friendly help. Nice looking menu. Quick negative response to the 'do you parboil the ribs' question. The menu indicates that everything is smoked for up to 12 hours.

They have 3 kinds of ribs: baby back, St Louis and Memphis rub ribs. We ordered two combo platters, which thus gave us all 3 types, and beef brisket. (Is that redundant?)

The best part of the meal was the amazing sweet potato fries. The baked beans were fine; the cole slaw not real wet (a good thing, I'm told) and the corn on the cob fine for end of season.

The ribs all had membrane. Though the two sauced rib styles had some pink, I couldn't taste smoke. The rub ribs were dry, not quite dried out, not pink, and the rub was very salty. The baby backs were cute little guys, meaty, with a reddish bbq sauce, though undistinguished. The St Louis were the real problem. One end was an end cut, which is great, and they'd been finished on a grill. That end tasted very much of gas. Not liquid fluid or anything. I asked if they had been finished on a gas grill and was told yes. I said they tasted of it, and they offered to replace them. My husband, recovering from a cold, couldn't really taste what I was reacting to, so we said it wasn't necessary. It was definitely on the part which had been crisped up. Anyway, for me it sortof ruined everything. I am not actually familiar with gas grill cooking, and it's possible, I suppose that this is part of it. But I can't really imagine it would be.

The brisket had been simmered in sauce so you couldn't see the coloration. It tasted ok. They have a neat mango bbq sauce but it's only served on their pork. We tried a little cup of it, ice cold but really interesting.

I saw other people get good-looking bbq chicken and sandwiches. They do quite a take-out business too. The pictures of the ribs on the web site are so gorgeous it's why we drove an hour to get there. They do look like the pictures.

I'd be interested to hear other folks experiences with gas grills, and at The Hickory Hog.

  1. t
    TomDel Oct 20, 2008 08:21 AM

    I have to tell you, you’re the first person I ever heard say that they could taste something unique or specific to a gas grill. The only complaints I’ve ever heard about gas grills is that they aren’t as hot as a charcoal grill or that they don’t impart the smoky flavor of charcoal but are otherwise neutral in terms of adding flavor. What do you detect, a chemical taste from the propane? Can you taste a difference if something is broiled in a natural gas oven versus an electric one?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TomDel
      l
      lomlfoml Oct 20, 2008 03:21 PM

      Hi. I have used gas ovens, and broiled in them, of course, and never had anything like this. I only can assume that maybe the flame was not properly igniting or something. I agree - they are supposed to be neutral, and so I figure this one was off, somehow. Yellow flame vs blue, or whatever. I mentioned that they were doing a lively takeout business because I had wondered if somehow they had maybe turned on the grill while the food was sitting on it, and thus some actual gas got on the food, but that seemed unlikely if they had takeout going, even though at 5:40, we were the only customers. This would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime bad luck thing.( It was also strange that it wasn't the baby back ribs.) Today, as bad luck happens, I had to go to Allentown/Bethlehem and drove by way of Clinton just so I could get takeout at lunchtime at Ol' West, and they were closed. :(

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