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Food: Hickory’s Smokehouse, Rhos-On-Sea, Wales – Review

Whatever you’re expecting to find in a quaint little seaside town in North Wales, it most likely isn’t a full-blown American Smokehouse. But that’s exactly where we had our Sunday lunch on our recent trip to Wales, and I seriously couldn’t be happier about it!

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There’s a danger when stepping too far from tradition and trying to emulate a style unfamiliar to an area that the whole endeavor could fall massively flat, but thankfully, Hickory’s is so far from that destination that it’s unreal. From the moment you approach, its grand and welcoming demeanor beckons you to enter its doors. Whilst the weather was perfectly lovely for our visit, and Hickory’s does have a great outdoor heated patio, we decided it would be best to eat indoors – nothing like a blustery chill to ruin your experience!

From the moment we were led to our seats (which we had a say in choosing, I might add), the staff were every bit as friendly as they are in a typical eatery Stateside. The hostess recognized that we were out-of-towners, and proceeded to gush about all the places we should visit later in the day – recommendations that were then followed up by our equally friendly server, and later acted upon by us!

Before your order is even taken, you’re given the cutest little branded bag of salted popcorn, and it is gimmicks like this that just added to the entire essence of the place. I especially loved the popcorn touch – Dougie’s not a huge fan and so I was easily able to stuff my face with the whole bag, no invitation needed! Our drinks at this point were brought to us – for me, a Tip-Top-Triple milkshake (basically a chocolate ice cream with a straw, topped with an Oreo) and for Dougie, some fruity thing that I made a face while trying – but only because I categorically and honest-to-godly despise fruit. I told him!

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The menu is overwhelming, but only in the very best of ways. Reasonably priced, especially compared to its London counterparts, the only real thing they missed the boat on was Sweet Potato Fries. I did have a slight bone to pick with the pretty ‘gendered’ text on the menu which read ‘Not For Girls’, which I assume was meant to be pretty tongue-in-cheek, but I guess I found it a little irrelevantly provocative.

Even so, the food looked too good to miss out on, and so I eventually settled on a hot dog, generously topped with pulled pork, bacon bits and cheese, along with a side of Mac’N’Cheese, ‘cause, well, ‘Merica! The entire thing was bloody amazing, and although I couldn’t possibly have managed another bite at the end, I really, really wish I could.  In fairness, I did help Dougie through his ridiculously generous helping of mouthwatering ribs, soooo this is acceptable.

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We didn’t quite have room for a dessert – much to the waitress’s dismay, but there were lots of treats we’d love to return for. There are also plenty of ‘discount’ nights coming soon, for example ‘Steak and Shake’, and if we lived closer, we’d quite possibly develop an addiction.

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We really don’t have a bad thing to say about Hickory’s, and I can’t stress how strongly I’d recommend a visit. Luckily, you don’t need to leave the country to have a gander – there are also two others, one in Chester, and the other in West Kirby. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if this list kept growing and growing….

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