I had heard some really good things about Charlie Graingers-Hickory so my wife and I decided to give them a try. The owner greeted us right as we entered asking if we had been there before. When we said no, he explained many of the items on their menu to us and asked if we had any questions or if we would like to taste any samples of any of their menu items. I asked how the Jamaican relish was made and he explained how they make it fresh right there and then offered me a sample if I wanted. So I did that and, man, was that stuff good!! I knew I had to get something with that on it.
We perused the menu. My wife chose the pork barbecue sandwich. I chose two of the "All The Way" hot dogs and had them add the Jamaican relish to them. I also love baked beans so I ordered a side of them. And we proceeded to find a place to sit while waiting on our food to be prepared.
The seating here is a bit of a curiosity. They have a long bar-like table on one wall with stools to sit on. However, if you sit there, you face a wall. Sort of odd. The other choice for indoor seating is to go to the rear of the restaurant and go through a door into the adjacent business where there are regular tables and chairs. There's nothing wrong with that except that it makes for a fairly long walk to refill your own drinks. The other option is outdoor seating at some small tables but on the day we went there, it was over 90 degrees so that was not an option for us.
But back to the food; the owner brought our food to our table. It looked and smelled delicious. I bit into my hot dog and oh my it tasted so goooooood! The Jamaican relish made it perfect. My wife's barbecue sandwich was huge! She wasn't sure how to go about biting into it. But she managed and said that was probably the best barbecue she had ever eaten. I tried the Brisket Baked Beans and they were fantastic! The brisket was so tender and the flavor it added to the beans was perfect. My wife does not care for baked beans but when she heard me bragging on these, she gave mine a try. And loved them!! That is really saying something for her. The owner happened to be coming back to check on us and asked how we liked our food. My wife told him how much she liked her food and my baked beans. He asked if she would like a side of them on HIM! She couldn't refuse that. He came back with them and we both enjoyed our baked beans along with our other food.
As we were leaving, the owner personally thanked us for coming and invited us back. I assured him we will. And he shook my hand as we left.
So, not only was the food excellent at Charlie Graingers-Hickory but the owner and employees were so friendly and so helpful. This is almost a lost art these days.
If you want great food and want to feel as if the place where you eat values your business, Charlie Graingers-Hickory, NC is THE place to go!
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