Last week, my friend and I were looking to get out of our respective homes. So we decided to hit the recently opened Hickory Tavern on Sam Furr Rd. Just to the west of Birkdale.
Hickory Tavern has televisions. Lots and lots of televisions. Plasma, projector, you name it -- if it is HD and can show a picture, they've got it. Lots! My friend and I were seated in the bar area, and looked around. CNN, ESPN, and ESPN2 were everywhere we looked... I immediately decided that I love this place! :)
Once I was able to stop looking at the TVs, I started to look over the sizable menu. Burgers, steaks, fish, and wood oven baked pizzas are all available, along with standard bar appetizers. We placed our orders -- I ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich while my friend ordered the White Pizza -- and watched some TV.
After about 7 minutes my order was ready, and it was placed under a hot light, about 10 feet from where I was sitting. The waitress asked the pizza guy if the White Pizza was done yet. He hadn't started. So, I'm sitting there, watching my sandwich get cooked under the heat lamp, while the pizza guy starts making my friend's pizza. About another 7 minutes later his pizza is completed, and we are brought our food.
To be honest, this annoyed me. I realize that it wasn't the fault of our waitress or the cooks in the back. The pizza guy only had a pizza or two in the oven (which I could easily see from our seat about 20 feet away), and was mostly busy watching TV. So, I blame him for this snafu. That said, the restaurant is still new, so I'm sure that they're still working-out some bugs. Hopefully, they'll get somebody who pays more attention to the orders and less attention to the NASCAR stories on ESPN.
When the food got to our table, I was starving. (Having my mouth watering for 7 minutes while I looked at my sandwich, had taken it's toll!) I looked the sandwich over and was impressed. The chicken was an ACTUAL whole chicken breast, not a pre-formed chicken-like deli-meat. (That impressed me by itself.) And it was topped an amazing amount of cheddar and some large slices of bacon.
The chicken itself was moist and tender -- it was cooked perfectly. The lettuce and tomato were a bit warm from being under the heating-lamps. However, the chicken was so good, I really didn't care. In addition, my fried okra side was great. It was nice and crispy on the outside.
Hickory Tavern has a definite emphasis on the food. In my opinion, its a notch (or two) above the standard bar/tavern. Definitely worth a second visit.
Kid Friendly: Yes. High chairs are available, and kids eat for $3 on Fridays and Sundays.
Conclusion: High quality food, warm family friendly atmosphere, and lots of TVs. What's not to like??
Hickory Tavern (Birkdale)
9526 Birkdale Crossings Dr.
Huntersville NC 28078