I made my way to the Hickory Grill today, on my way back from an overnight trip to Scranton (where I had not one, not two, but THREE versions of Old Forge pizza in one night!--more on that later.....).
My trip there was the most spectacularly scenic I could have ever imagined, south on Rte 81 through spires of cut shale and rock, alongside sweping vistas of the Endless mountains, and all those coal mining towns of days gone by, a beautifully sunny day, just perfect, and then onto Rte 309 South through tiny towns like Macadoo and Denly and then through Tamaqua, and onto rolling hills and countryside and farmland, sloping and basking in the sun. About a half mile away I could smell the hickory smoke, the winds blowing north I guess, and there was the bright white trailer on the left.
Sweet mother of God, what barbeque.
Got to talking to Dave Oliver and his wife, such genuinely nice people, and referencing all of you who have already been there, brought big bright smiles to their faces. Had a big chopped pork sandwich, fantastic, tasted some of the chopped beef and sliced beef, good golly it was fantastic. Took home some chicken, baked beans, a slab of ribs and lots of sliced beef and some of Dave's incredible BBQ sauce. I dont know how I made it home without dipping into the big box of food they packed for me. I'm warming the ribs and chicken in the oven now, per Dave's instructions, and the kitchen smells are already reaching the office upstairs. I can't wait.
The drive home was even more spectacular, down 309 South to Rte 100 south, with more stunning views of sloping farmland and perfect Grant Wood vistas, ihomey little farm stands and the smell of fresh cantaloupes and corn, it's a wonderful escape, until you eventually get to Rte 78/22 and of course, the PA Turnpike.
I cant wait to head back there already, it was terrific.