Bar Tour: Olde Hickory Tap Room

Occasional Dispatches by Cueball and Eightball from bars around NC/SC.

Olde Hickory Tap Room, Hickory, NC

This is hopefully the first of occasional bar reviews from our journeys around North and South Carolina.

This first dispatch is from an impromptu Martin Luther King, Jr. Day visit to Olde Hickory Tap Room in Hickory, NC.

First off, it was an insanely beautiful and unseasonably warm January day.  If you have never been to Olde Hickory it is in a great spot in downtown (or is it uptown?) Hickory.  For a holiday at a business district restaurant there was a pretty good crowd, but we were able to find two good spots at the bar.

The place has a good dark oak beer inspired décor.  We did not have to wait too long for our bartender to find us and get us started with a menu and some beer suggestions.  We both started off with the Stone Brewing Double Bastard.  It is a nice big American Strong Ale weighing in at 11.2% ABV.  Luckily for Mr. Lankford (Eightball), who was driving, they properly serve such a big beer in a smaller Belgian Goblet.

We started the food off with the Pub Chips with Beer Cheese Sauce as an appetizer.  The chips were seasoned nicely and the cheese sauce was good.  I will say I prefer that sauce to ranch.

Once we finished our first round and were waiting for our sandwiches to arrive we had a cool discussion with our bartender and she went through a few of the beers we might like.  She offered us a taste of among others the Olde Hickory Brewery (OHB) Death By Hops.  I tasted it, and loved it.  Lankford on the other hand doesn’t like IPAs or the taste of really hoppy beers.  The bartender did point him into another direction and he settled on the OHB Hickory Stick Stout.  I loved the Death By Hops, but I thought it would overmatch my sandwich and selected the OHB Table Rock Pale Ale.

I ordered the Black Bean Burger with fries and Lankford got The Martin, a jerk chicken sandwich on sourdough bread, with fries.  The food did come pretty quickly and my sandwich was pretty good.  Maybe the patty was a little over cooked, but I actually like my vegetarian patties a little past well-done.  Lankford seemed to enjoy his since it went quickly.  The fries were not really hot, but it was during a bit of the lunch rush and they were probably sitting under a heat lamp for a few minutes.  However, they were still seasoned well and crisp.

If you have read any of the things I’ve written about reviewing things in the recent past you know I don’t like star systems or any other kind of ranking system, but I think recommendations should be much simpler:  would I recommend this to a friend.  So, yeah, I would wholeheartedly recommend Olde Hickory Tap Room to a friend.  Cool spot, cool atmosphere/décor, and knowledgeable bartenders.  I would love to go back one night especially when they have music and take a date (don’t laugh, that could happen).  That said, if you are passing through or near Hickory and need a nice meal and a good beer it is a great place.

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