Hickory House, Aspen: Good Barbecue in High Places

As a man who’s often found more reliable bliss via elite barbecued ribs than from many of the women I’ve known in my life, I make sure I look for the nest barbecue joint in any given town before I arrive. From New Orleans to Memphis, Montgomery to Chicago, I can tell you where the best barbecue awaits.

I admit I didn’t think to look for such a fine, sauce-soaked institution when en route to Aspen, Colorado. That town conjures images of ski lodges and chic cafes, not checkered table clothes and plates of stripped bones. I should’ve kept my smoke-detecting nose to the ground because it turns out Aspen is home to one of the nation’s best barbecue joints.

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On a recent Aspen drive to test out the new Jaguar F-Pace, the journey brought me to Hickory House Ribs. I haven’t enjoyed better barbecue in any of those other cities I charted with sticky fingers. This joint’s menu will rival any pit master’s productivity.

With two locations in the Aspen area, this joint doesn’t bring any ski town pretentiousness to its offerings. There’s no artisanal cheesery in the back of the kitchen, and they don’t push organic unicorn meat on you. It’s top quality Colorado beef, pork and chicken smoked and grilled to perfection.

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The sauces are also en pointe, whether you roll with Original, Sweet, Tangy and Bold & Spicy. I prefer the Original and considered drinking it as a beverage with my meal. Perhaps that would lean more toward my obsessive side.

Now, none of these recommendations might mean very much unless you find yourself in Colorado. Fortunately, Hickory House ships their championship winning ribs anywhere in the country via their website. Do yourself a favor and throw in the house sauces in your order.

Then, it’s on you to heat them up properly. I can only lead you to barbecue heaven. I can’t handle everything for you.