THE EATBEAT: Extensive selection at Wild Bill’s Sports SaloonThere seems to be a trend for bars to move into the food business. That is, many of them are going over and beyond the old traditions of hard boiled eggs and microwaveable pizza.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
There seems to be a trend for bars to move into the food business. That is, many of them are going over and beyond the old traditions of hard boiled eggs and microwaveable pizza.
And it seems to be working out well for them.
One of those new version bars that is now Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon used to be Big Daddy’s at 1405 DeMers Avenue. There are favorable reports on the food — especially the $5 hamburger lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.
It was only a matter of time — after the smoke cleared from the April 22 grand opening — until I found my way into the Wild Bill’s parking lot. It was a late lunch for me, and I found a spacious booth in this large restaurant that seats 175 in booths, at tables and along the bar.
My burger arrived in a huge basket lined with black-and-white checked paper. With it, there were fries. All was well and good since I had a huge Diet Coke to drink with it. Not exactly what a nutritionist would order — but then, this would be a dull world without such meals now and then.
The burger was large. I needed mustard, and my server was quick to bring me a fresh container of it.
As I ate, I studied the people and the place. The music is loud. The bar is long. The beer signs are colorful. At the rear of Wild Bill’s, there are games run for the benefit of the local Listen Center. They include bingo Wednesday nights and Saturday.
The interior of the former Big Daddy’s has been revamped with interesting wood treatment on the walls and wild west art work. There is a choice of high or low tables as well as booth or bar seating.
When I visited with Jason Tatur, the chief cook and kitchen manager, I learned that the $5 burger special is the biggest seller. Tatur is enthusiastic about the initial weeks of business. He says the pork ribs served with seasoned fries have been popular with customers in the opening weeks. They are served with seasoned fries and coleslaw. And they are served with Wild Bill’s homemade barbecue sauce.
The menu is extensive with sandwiches and wraps as well as homemade chicken tenders. There’s “Cowboy Chow” that includes tacos and enchiladas. And there is a flatbread pizza that has been well-received.
On my second visit to Wild Bill’s on the first Saturday of June, I went for the section on the menu called Wild Bill’s Garden. I chose a Southwest BLT Salad ($8.49).
It was large. It had good flavor. But it was too salty and rich for my tastes. I think it would be great to share or split. The greens in it were nice. The candied brown sugar bacon was tasty. The chicken was tender and good in the salad. There weren’t enough tomatoes.
The salad, which was $8.49, was one of three listed on the menu.
Service was good on my two visits to Wild Bill’s. Servers wear Wild Bill shirts with short or long light blue jeans.
Wild Bill’s in Grand Forks is one in a group of six. There are others in Minnesota at Maple Grove, Blaine, Woodbury, Apple Valley and Rochester.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or at (701) 772-1055.