Hickory and Fry kinda took us by surprise. Aside from Cool Beans, Big Mike's, and the occasional trip to Lou's, we had kinda written off the Fry St. area over the past few years. After The Tomato et co. closed/burned down nearly a decade ago, many businesses have come and gone (read: Grip, It's All About Mac, etc...) without really ever making a denton in the collective Denton consciousness. For Hickory and Fry, a hip cocktail bar featuring several interesting small plates, to open in the space that once housed a macaroni and cheese chain, it kinda came out of left field for us. We recently sat down with co-owner, Amy MacDonald, and talked to her about the space and what's to come. Read on for more...
Hickory and Fry serves kangaroo nachos, y'all. And they aren't just some sort of gimmick. These are legitimate, tasty-as-hell fried wontons with kangaroo, sliced jalepeños and habañero jam on top. We, having never tasted kangaroo before (the closest we came was watching Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome), had our minds blown upon taking a bite of these. The meat is extremely tender - almost creamy and the homemade habañero jam cuts right through it to create one of our new favorite dishes in Denton. And that's just one thing Hickory and Fry has to offer.
Owners Amy and Jack Macdonald aren't from Denton. In fact, they never really got to see Fry St. in its prime. The development, complete with apartment complexes, Chipotle, and the forthcoming CVS, seems nothing but normal to them. In fact, they kinda dig it. The area has garnered what we'd call a "bad reputation" over the past few years - not just due to how they came into being, but also because of a lack of interesting businesses - but isn't it due for a comeback?
Hickory and Fry is a small space with big dreams. They wanna be the place you go get brunch on Sundays. They wanna be the place you grab a drink after class on a Thursday afternoon (you can wait until five or not). They wanna be the place you take a date to on Saturday evening. Heck, they even wanna be the place that you go to ingest a different weird ass animal every month. And they're kinda pulling it all off.
The drinks at Hickory and Fry are spot on. In our few visits to the space, we've sampled a number of different items. The house-made infusions are interesting and help to offer an interesting twist on many standard cocktails (try the ginger whiskey in an old-fashioned and thank us later). Each bartender is asked to create their own signature cocktail. We tried the as-of-yet-unnamed mixed drink made by the bartender on duty at the time (we're thinking his name was Cameron), and were blown away. The infusions in question are due to the brains behind the bar, Joanna Bellomy. Bellomy, who once ran the vintage clothing shop, Alter Ego, on Locust St. developed the craft cocktail men
The food is not typical Denton bar food. We've already laid out our case for the kangaroo nachos, but the rest of the menu is just as interesting. On our most recent visit, we tried the mango creme brulee and loved it, too. The mango provides a nice offset to the creaminess of the creme. We're excited to make our way through the rest of the menu and to see how it changes in the future.
The space itself is small, but by utilizing the garage doors and the space outside, they're able to make it feel much larger. The large wooden bar makes it a great space to hang out and chat with the bartender (they're definitely chatty).
Based on our discussion with Amy, Hickory and Fry is just beginning. MacDonald has lots of plans for the space to change in the future. They hope to be open for weekend brunch very soon (they're already serving up breakfast tacos). They want to have a movie night once a week. They want to offer a late night take-out option for people going home after a trip to the bar. They basically want to become a staple of the Denton community (they're already even working with a local roller derby team), and we're all for it.
Hickory and Fry is located at 1206 W. Hickory St. You can learn more about them on their Facebook page.