Hannah’s BBQ South – Hickory, NC

Hannah’s BBQ South
3198 S. 127 Hwy
Hickory, NC 28602

I arbitrarily came across this place when looking online for a bbq joint to serve as a pit stop on the way to Asheville. Not knowing Hickory from a hole in the ground, I took a chance on Hannah’s, hoping I didn’t choose the area’s red-headed stepchild of bbq joints. You know, the one the locals laugh at you for saying you ate there. Luckily for me I was impressed and recently made a return visit on another road trip.

The Hickory location is one of four Hannah’s in the area, the original being the Lenoir spot which opened in 1982. They feature the usual Western NC bbq fare, but also ribs, beef bbq and some other unique dishes and sides including a number of good-looking salads—not common at places like this.

My first visit, I had the Baja Bobby Burrito. I like Mexican, and I like pork bbq, so this was an obvious chance to try something different. Although the subtleties of the pork are a bit hidden by the other ingredients it was still a delicious dish. The cornbread hushpuppies were excellent and they give you the choice of Western NC “red” slaw (vinegar and ketchup) or the more common “white” slaw (mayo) found in the East and most other areas of the country. Never being a huge fan of white slaw (blasphemy, I know), I go red when I can. It and the other sides on the table were all tasty.

On my second visit, I wanted to really taste their bbq on its own, so I went with the combo (see photo) that included chopped pork, barbecued bone-in chicken and ribs. All were solid in their own right. The bbq passed the test—smoky and moist. The chicken was a tad dry, but had a very unique and tasty flavor that allowed me to overlook that. My fiancé was also thoroughly impressed with it.

Outside of the BBQ Mecca of Lexington, I’ve found the bbq joints in Western NC hit or miss. Hannah’s is definitely a hit, and even though it’s a few minutes off I40, it’s worth the side trip.

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