The Hickory Pit
- 322 Culver Street
- Saugatuck, MI 49453
- (269) 857-6020
- No Known Website
I didn’t really have a reason to go to Saugatuck today. I was in Hartford and South Haven for work and on my way back to Grand Rapids, I thought it would be a good idea to swing through Saugatuck and pick up some BBQ.
I first became aware of The Hickory Pit a couple months ago when I was in town for a different work assignment. I didn’t have time to eat that day but I filed it away for future use. Then, last weekend, J and I checked out downtown Saugatuck and again, walked by the place. I didn’t know when I would have the chance to go back, so I decided since it wasn’t too far out of the way and I could squeeze it in on my lunch break, I would make the detour and pick up some ‘Cue
The Hickory Pit is in Saugatuck’s beautiful downtown area. It’s on Culver Street near the corner of Griffith Street within a stone’s throw of Kalamazoo Lake. The story here is pretty interesting. The Hickory Pit was opened by a couple of Kentucky transplants who used to vacation in Saugatuck in the Mid-80’s, so when they say real Southern BBQ, it actually is real Southern BBQ.
It was just before noon when I found a spot to park on the street and walked to the small storefront. In my mind, I was picturing a roadhouse type of place where you order at a counter and eat out of plastic baskets with checkboard wax paper. The decor has the roadhouse feel, but it’s actually a sit down restaurant. I figured that when I walked in and saw menus on all the tables.
Since I was alone, I didn’t really want to sit down to eat so I headed back towards a cash register counter near the back of the space. I was greeted by a guy I’m assuming to be the owner who asked if I was planning on dining in. When I told him I’d rather do a take out order, he said, “We do that too.”
I flipped right to the page on the menu with the pulled pork sandwich. I should have looked a little closer to see that I could have made the sandwich a dinner and gotten a couple sides. Instead, I just got the sandwich which came with chips and a pickle.
Before I could even get my phone to connect to Foursquare to check in, I was being handed a bag with my sandwich and chips. The sandwich cost a little over six bucks and I passed on something to drink because they have Coke products and I was craving a Mt. Dew. I figured I could find a gas station on my way out of town.
I headed back to my car to eat because I had stuff in there I don’t like leaving unattended. I’m not super concerned about someone breaking a window out in Saugatuck, but I’d rather not take the chance.
I popped open the Styrofoam container and was very excited about what I found. The pulled pork is hand pulled pork slowed smoked over hickory wood and covered in a light Carolina style vinegar sauce. If you’re the type of person who likes a thick, sweet sauce, this may not be your thing, but I loved it…and I’m usually a sweet sauce guy.
There was just enough tanginess from the vinegar in the sauce, but it wasn’t overpowering the smoke flavor. The pork was so tender and still falling apart as I picked up the bun to try to take a bite.
I feel really bad about going to this place without J now. I think this sandwich would have been right up her alley. Oh, why does this place have to be so far from Kalamazoo. The Hickory Pit carries the Southern BBQ banner really well.