03/03/14 - Hannah and Heather Hit Up Hickory's

Today, Heather (of the Exploring Liverpool series) and I decided to change tactics and try somewhere on our side of the Mersey instead of venturing across.  The Wirral is jam-packed with great places to eat if you know where to look so we headed to West Kirby, which is known for being a bit more upmarket than where we live, to sample the delights of somewhere we'd both heard a lot about - Hickory's Smokehouse.

The main thing I'd heard about Hickory's is that they do the most amazing American-style breakfasts (the pancakes in particular look to die for!) but Heather and I were being ladies who lunch so that will just have to wait for another occasion.  We decided to treat ourselves as a little celebration; Heather has been offered a place on a graduate scheme which sounds absolutely incredible for her, and I am once again a gainfully employed human being!  So a big old three course lunch was most certainly in order and Hickory's did not disappoint.

The place instantly made a good impression as the waitress welcomed us to our table with a big bottle of water (something you normally have to ask for) and a bag of complimentary popcorn.  Having something to nibble on while you peruse the menu is a feature I think more restaurants should include!

As Heather was driving, our usual cocktail consumption was curtailed although there seemed to be a lot of very tempting choices.  Instead, Heather ordered cloudy lemonade and I had peach and passionfruit iced tea (each £2.50) which came served in these really cute jamjars and were definitely refreshing, a lovely compliment to the gorgeous sunny weather we've been having.

After much deliberation, we chose to share a giant pretzel served with hummus and spicy sauce (£4.50) as a starter, mostly due to the fact that we agreed that we would be unlikely to find it offered somewhere else.  The pretzel was delicious, the hummus incredibly more-ish and the spicy sauce was spicy but very tasty...I'm not good with hot foods, but even I found myself dipping into it several times!  The portion was very generous and just the right amount to share, I don't think I could have eaten it all myself especially not at a lunchtime.  We may have ended up with the little black seeds all over the table, but it was worth it!

After polishing off the hummus with the last of the popcorn (a killer combination, definitely try it at some point!), our mains were very promptly delivered to the table.  As Hickory's specialises in American-style barbecue, there are lots of meaty options for all you carnivores and Heather had BBQ pulled pork served with fries and coleslaw (£9.95) which was apparently delicious, but the incredible portion ended up being a little too much for her!

I had chargrilled vegetable fajitas (£9.95) in attempt to get some of my five-a-day...I figured it was marginally healthier than the mac'n'cheese I was tempted by!  The vegetables, which were sizzling away as they were placed in front of me which a warning that the pan was "really really hot", had a gorgeous smokey flavour and the range of different veg was impressive...who would have thought to pop carrots in there?  I made a decent fist of polishing it all off, but I too was defeated by the mighty American portions!

As the waitress cleared the table, we both commented on how full the food had made us and how disappointed we were that we hadn't been able to finish our main courses...before nodding effusively when offered a dessert menu!  We'd clocked the variety of sweet delights on offer as soon as we looked at the menu and nothing was going to stop us trying something.  We opted to share one and were immediately drawn to the chocolate and peanut butter tart with raspberry ripple cream (£5.95).  As soon as it was brought to the table, we knew that we'd made the right decision.  The chocolate filling was thick and rich and everso slightly bitter, complimented by the sweeter edge of the peanuts.  Splitting it was definitely a good idea, but I'm really glad that I got to sample one of the desserts...next time I go, I have my eye on the salted caramel and cappuccino cheesecake which sounds more than a little bit perfect!

I don't think I'll be able to keep away from Hickory's for long; I was really impressed by the speed with which each new course graced our table and the food was definitely worth going back for.  Hopefully having a job will allow me to eat out a little more (although I realise it must seem as though it's something I do all the bloody time!) and I certainly intend to get my brunch on with some of their incredible pancakes!  The portions are a little diet-destroying, but it's the perfect place for a treat.  If you want more information, I've linked the website at the top of this post...there's one in Chester as well, so if you're in the North West, I highly recommend you go and try it!

Do you have any restaurant recommendations?  Let me know in the comments!

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