Fat City first reported on the River Market restaurant -- now known as Hickok's Bar & Grill -- last October, when owner Forbes Cross was still calling the place Hickok's Southwest Bar & Grill. The venue, which opened two weeks ago, has dropped the word Southwest from its title.
"We didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves," Cross says. "There are obviously items on our menu that are not Southwestern dishes. We wanted more creative flexibility with our food."
The creative flexibility actually started last November, not long after we reported that Cross hired chef Michael Peterson to oversee the kitchen. Peterson took a look at the proposed menu that Cross had planned for Hickok's -- which then included items like fried pickles and 14 different burgers, as well as tacos and burritos -- and got permission to give it a serious overhaul. The fried pickles were replaced with crispy fried calamari and mango ketchup. A good move.
The new menu now lists 12 "burgers" on sea-salt-and-pepper buns; the non-beef burgers -- including a portobello mushroom burger, a grilled chicken sandwich, and a crab cake version -- come on a pretzel bun. And Peterson has added full entree dishes, too: spare ribs, meatloaf, brine-cured pork chops, and fish and chips. The best-selling burger so far is a beer-battered beef patty topped with jalapeno cheese sauce, chorizo, fresh avocado and fried onions.
location formerly occupied by veteran restaurateur R.J. Samuels'
short-lived Dos Hombres Mexican Restaurant. Samuels now works across the
street at Thirsty's Cantina, a traditional Tex-Mex restaurant.