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Ole Hickory BBQ

Stop for



New Market


My insiders on the Huntsville barbecue scene informed me of a joint somewhere out in New Market. This pierced my brain like an archery broadhead, seeing how my wife grew up in New Market. She was a college student when we met, but she introduced me to her family at their New Market estate. Actually, it was a mobile home with deep shag carpet, the kind that swallows Lego’s then stealthily shifts them under your bare feet. It’s the devil’s carpet and probably a reason she prefers wearing sandals inside.

Mary graduated from Buckhorn High School, which probably had 500 students at the time. Now it’s close to three times that size. That’s tremendous growth in 30 years, so much so that I didn’t recognize any part of the area once I turned off 72. But unfamiliar familiar territory isn’t gonna scare away a true sportsman on the hunt for barbecue trophies. But stalking a tasty meal is more fun with my buddy, Lamarr. He’s my Madison County guide and has never passed up a good meal, except that one time during his colonoscopy prep.

From the outside, Ole Hickory fills the expectation of what a barbecue joint in New Market should look like. The roofline resembles an old barn and sits upon a block and lap board foundation. The red door pops against the earthy colors of the siding and a black and yellow sign announce you’ve arrived at Ole Hickory. A massive oak tree is the centerpiece of the concrete patio, which features a number of rusty colored, wooden picnic tables. At the far end of the building is a life-size, pink pig. Although just a statue, it’s static nature makes it easy to take some very amusing pictures.

Passing through the exterior door, you find something clever and amusing. A pulley system is rigged with a sandbag to function as the automatic closure apparatus for the interior door. It’s counter with another pulley system that’s strung behind the cash register. With a pull the staff is able to open the door for exiting customers without rounding the front counter. This courtesy was especially helpful to steady flow of patrons that were picking up their Ole Hickory Thanksgiving dinners. We got the biggest kick out of that.

With Lamarr, lunch is always divide and conquer. For meat, that usually means pulled pork and ribs. The pork lacked moisture and was bland. It definitely needs sauce but add the lightly spiced red sauce and the pork flavor comes through. There’s also a hot barbecue sauce on the table that sports a menacing red color but generously delivers heat without blowing out your palate. The ribs were beautiful, tender, and juicy with an easy pull from the bone and a nice crust. You could eat them without sauce, but the house red kicks it up a notch.

All the sides get high marks. The baked beans were on point. They were almost like a stew, cooked with onion and pepper to develop a deep flavor. In fact, they were excellent! The potato salad featured a fine cut on the potatoes making it nice and smooth. It’s creamy and peppery but does have onion in the mix. The mac n cheese was baked with a soft noodle, mild cheese flavor, and paprika or some other spice to add an unusual twist. The fried okra was classic, crispy outside, soft inside, and well-seasoned with big okra flavor. The slaw is a long cut with a mayo and vinegar base. It’s nice and crunchy but you have to like raw onions.

The real discovery of the day was the desserts. I’m talking real Indiana Jones stuff. It’s like finding King Tut’s tomb, if it were absolutely freaking delicious! Specifically, I’m calling out the coconut pie. The filling is thick and rich. It’s clearly baked but has a silky, custard feel, except for the loads of shredded coconut throughout. It delivers big flavor and is topped with baked meringue. Lamarr is a coconut pie fiend and we both were blown away. For me, hands down the best coconut pie I’ve ever had. If coconut isn’t your thing, get the pecan pie, banana pudding, or peanut butter chocolate chip pie, in that order. Whatever you do, save room for dessert. It was the star of the day.

Bonus points:

Order at the counter

Fountain Coke products

Sports on TV

Sauce on the table

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