I have a problem… I think I’m addicted to steak. Actually I know I am and when Tuesday evening rolled around, I wanted beef despite eating a nice steak 2 days earlier. I assumed Haley would cook dinner Tuesday night but when she called me for dinner plans, she wanted to eat out. I made no suggestions until she said she wanted a steak for dinner. With her original choice being the steakhouse chain Logan’s Roadhouse, I suggested we try a restaurant we haven’t been to in a while… Hickory Falls Wood-fired Grill & Bar in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Hickory Falls a casual restaurant featuring American fare, much similar to its sister restaurant, Franklin Chop House in Franklin, Tennessee. Hickory Falls shares many items from FCH’s menu, but it adds its own personal touch by offering signature dishes cooked over a wood-fired grill or rotisserie oven. Such signature dishes include several variations of steaks, rotisserie chicken, and ribs and to further expand the menu, Hickory Falls features daily specials featuring items not printed on the normal menu. With pricing ranging from $9 – $20 per entree, Hickory Falls is aimed at providing quality food that compares with mid-to-upper range of table service restaurants.
Hickory Falls is fairly large with plenty of ample open seating available in spacious booths and tables. Large brick walls and wooden beams cover the span the building. The only light that fills the restaurant in the evening are either from dimly adjusted accent lighting or the glow of the open kitchen. Despite the calm ambiance, Hickory Falls gets quite busy… as there were 2 parties consisting of 10+ people there on a Tuesday night in addition to the other patrons. However, it never seemed excessively noisy… which is a good thing.
Our table service was average… the waiter being a young man who seemed slightly amateurish in his demeanor. Haley requested White Zinfandel for her drink and he carded her, but it never came. Luckily for him, other waiters & waitresses aided each other by tending our drinks and taking our empty plates.
As for the food, it’s definitely better than any mid-range steakhouse you’ll find. While not as good as my experience at Stoney River, it’s definitely better than those “peanut shells” steakhouses and cheaper too. With every entree, you get a freshly baked loaf of bread with butter and two sides. Getting a salad as one of your sides is an up-charge of 99 cents. The salad was a simple: greens, cheese, croutons, and tomato wedges with your choice of several in-house prepared dressings. I chose the bleu cheese, which was a little runny, but had lots of bleu cheese crumbles and tasted slightly vinegary. For my other side, I wanted to stay on the healthy side and went for the seasonal vegetables: carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, and broccoli with a dash of a pepper spice mixture.
As for the steaks, they’re a bit different but really good. Aside from the normal seasoning you that’s common on steaks at most mid-range steakhouses, they are topped with garlic butter and then sprinkled with chives. By the time you get your steak, this butter will have melted all over the steak creating a coating all over. This buttery coating provides a very faint creaminess (obviously from the butterfat) that Haley thinks reminds her of Alfredo sauce. I also tasted a hint of sweetness that reminded me of kalbi (Korean barbecue). I’m not sure if the steaks are marinated or if that sweetness came from the butter… but Haley and I absolutely love the way the steaks are prepared.
Hickory Falls is wonderful local restaurant that serves good food at a moderate price. So the next time you’re around the Smyrna area and you feel like dining out, give Hickory Falls a try. My friend Marty said that they are also open for brunch and have several really good options as well. I’ll definitely have to give it a try because I’m a sucker for breakfast food.
|Hickory Falls Wood-fired Grill & Bar
999 Industrial Boulevard
Smyrna, Tennessee 37167
Bill Total: $17 ($30 w/ Haley’s Meal)