Wood-fired smoked meat is the highlight of a menu imported from the Lone Star State.
At Legacy Smokehouse in Old Hilliard, the enticing aroma of slow-cooked meat bounces off tidy rooms in a renovated 19th-century home on the suburb’s bustling Main Street. Owners and Ohio natives Chad Smock, Brian Jordan and Ty Sells, friends dating back decades, launched the Hilliard location nearly a year ago after opening a food truck and Greenlawn Avenue restaurant by the same name in 2017.
Legacy focuses on Central Texas-style barbecue, influenced by Jordan’s long stint living in the region. Various cuts of beef, pork and turkey are seasoned simply then cooked low and slow over indirect heat in a wood-fired smoker on the premises—gas is sacrilege to the style.
Smock says the operation’s beef cuts—brisket and the Saturday beef rib special—are rubbed only with salt and pepper prior to cooking. One secret to the terrific end product, he says, is the restaurant’s use of only high-quality meat. After the collagen in the protein renders during the hourslong smoke—for beef, the process can take 14 hours; for pork, the norm is 16—the result is flavorful and tender, but not soggy barbecue.Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
With Texas’ long history in cattle production, beef dominates barbecue in the state. The same applies at Legacy, where the chest-cut brisket ($10 sandwich, $19 per pound) is a staple at the top of the menu and at the heart of the restaurant’s sample platters. Succulent with a mild smoky flavor, the brisket is a worthy indulgence on its own, as a sandwich or layered with Fritos and mac ’n’ cheese in the restaurant’s signature Haystack entrée ($10). House-made sauces range from spicy to vinegar- and mustard-based.
Also offered at Legacy—and a telltale sign you’re in a Central Texas-style joint—are all-beef sausages ($5 per link). Available in jalapeño cheddar or mild, the sausages have origins in the state’s immigrant meat markets that sprouted in the 19th century and helped to birth the barbecue style known and loved today. At Legacy, guests order their meals—or pounds of meat for carryout—from a counter, another Texas tradition.
Sides ($2–$5) include coleslaw, mac ’n’ cheese, baked beans and corn salad. A favorite is the chipotle-cilantro coleslaw, which pairs chilled cabbage with a richly seasoned sauce featuring bold notes of cilantro and spice. If available, opt for the exceptionally moist and sweet cornbread with whole kernels of corn dotting the interior.
With a healthy heap of pretzel bread doused with caramel, candied bacon and maple whipped cream, the bread pudding dessert ($5) doesn’t disappoint. In the beverage category, the operation skews to the owners’ Ohio roots, with beer offerings that include ice-cold local favorites from Seventh Son Brewing Co. and North High Brewing.