Big surprise with even bigger chicken-fried chicken

More stories from Aquila Freeney

World stop…carry on
April 23, 2019

Aquila Freeney

Chicken fried chicken meal with mashed potatoes and green beans.

On a whim, I decided to drive to Sikes Senter Mall to do a little shopping and I worked up an appetite. I had tried my luck with Red Robin once before —which was an epic fail— and I wasn’t in the mood for On the Border. So, I decided to try Bricktown Tap House. Initially I figured it was a laid-back, casual type of restaurant since it was in the mall. Boy was I sadly mistaken: I walked in and immediately felt underdressed. I was wearing something casual for a Saturday evening in Wichita Falls: a Columbia jacket, jeans, boots, and a baseball cap. I walked in and just KNEW I was out of place.

I asked to be pointed in the direction of the restroom and on my way, I was admiring the photos along the wall when I spotted a customer get up from his seat wearing a three-piece suit. “Shooketh” (the feeling when you are extremely shocked or surprised) where you was the best word to describe how I felt. The bathroom was tad bit fancier than I expected as well, but I digress.

I made it back to my table and started looking at the menu. I saw a few things like wings and common appetizers, but I decided to play it safe and ordered the chicken fried chicken (that came with mashed potatoes and green beans), while my friend ordered the fish and chips.

We sat and talked and admired the ambiance of the restaurant. It had a minimalistic feel with a common millennial favorite: the romanticized industrial look, with visible pipes as decoration and raw bulb lighting. I even saw a few beer bottles as decoration. Very pleasing to say the least. I took a look at the beer menu (after all, it IS a tap house) and I saw the much-expected variety of ales and lagers. It wasn’t a lot of commotion going on either. It was almost like a scene from a nice rom-com: soft lighting, relaxing popular music (not anything instrumental, but common songs that are widely known), and the small chatter of guests.

After about 20 minutes our food arrived. When the waitress placed my plate down, I couldn’t even see my mashed potatoes because the chicken fried chicken was so big that it covered them. I looked at my friend’s plate and snagged a piece of his fish. He seemed to enjoy it, but I must’ve got the wrong end of it because all I tasted was hot, fishy grease.

Now for my plate. I wasn’t expecting anything, but my mind was blown and my palate was in the most heavenly place it’s ever been. The chicken was seasoned perfectly and the gravy was a nice flavor boost to go along with it. The mashed potatoes were “ehh” but the chicken was so good I didn’t even care about the lack luster potatoes. Now I’m not sure how gourmet green beans can get, but my pre-school taste buds could’ve done without the bell peppers in them.

As far as the bill was concerned, it wasn’t too bad. I actually expected to have our total be more than what it was. My meal was no more than $13, while my friend’s was no more than about $14.

All-in-all, I really want a do-over at this restaurant. The food was great the atmosphere was magnificent. I just want to go back all jazzed up and indulge in some craft beer and a lovely classy evening with some friends.

Arguably one of the best dates spots I’ve been to so far in Wichita Falls and might be where I’m headed for Valentine’s day. Either way, it’s a great spot if you’re looking for good food and class rolled up into one.