When I read that the BullChicks franchise in the former Wife Saver location near Surrey Center had closed earlier this summer for a relaunch, I made a note to myself to give them a few months before checking them out.
The perfect opportunity came a few weeks ago when Tricia called with plans for a lunch date, along with friends LaTina and Channing.
I knew a couple of people who had gone before BullChicks had relaunched, and the feedback had been spotty. But I was eager to see for myself.
The original BullChicks opened in 2006 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has since expanded to Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas and California. As you might guess from the name, they specialize in beef and chicken – in the form of burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Walking through the doors was a bit like stepping back in time. While I wasn’t a regular of that particular Wife Saver, I’d gone enough times that the interior was somewhat familiar, and it still looked much the same, with exposed brick walls and tiled floors.
We bellied up to the counter to place our orders. I’d already decided I wanted to try some of the “bull,” and after a quick scan of the broad menu, I decided to go with the chef burger – assuming that it had to be the specialty burger of the house. Both Channing and Tricia went with chicken wraps, and LaTina also went the burger route with a classic cheeseburger. All sandwiches come with your choice of side – from potato salad (my choice) to pasta salad and fries.
I was the first to order and the first to get my drink from the soda machine. It’s worthwhile to note that the soda button on the Sprite dispenser does not mean it dispenses your Sprite soda, but soda water. I made the mistake first, and before I could warn her, LaTina did the same – entertaining Channing to no end.
Most of the tables inside BullChicks are for two, but we sat at one of the two four-tops available. We had a perfect view of BullChicks’ “Wall of Fame” – a hallway leading to the restrooms that is decorated floor to ceiling with square stickers illustrated by customers. Stickers and pens are available next to the cashier, which allows great fun for kids young and old.
Our food arrived in plastic mesh baskets lined with wax paper. I eagerly checked out my burger – only to find that it was filled with sliced ham! This sent Channing into another bout of laughter, and I could only join in. After coming to BullChicks determined to taste the beef or chicken, I had somehow ordered the one item that was neither. Lesson learned: if there’s no description, ask before you order!
But as I bit into my sandwich, I had to admit it was pretty good – tender ham with BullChicks’ special house sauce (similar to honey mustard) on a soft sweet brown bun with lettuce and tomato. And, I admit too, I would order it again.
Both Tricia and Channing were kind enough to share bites of their chicken wraps with me. Tricia had chosen the raspberry chicken wrap, while Channing had ordered the spicy chicken wrap. Both looked very similar – white meat chicken in a slippery white tortilla wrap – yet were polar opposites. Tricia’s chicken with its pale pink raspberry sauce verged more on the sweet than the tart, while Channing’s, lightly coated in a spice rub, didn’t have much heat but leaned toward the salty side.
LaTina shared a small wedge of her burger with me, and it was the best of all – a great homemade burger taste, with melty cheese and a similar bun and sauce as my chef burger.
She also chose well in terms of sides. While my potato salad tasted fairly standard – a mustard variety similar to those widely available in grocery deli counters – her thick-cut fries were hearty, nicely salted, and with a light sprinkle of pepper. The black flecks were not only attractive but also gave the fries an extra kick that I planned to try at home.
All in all, BullChicks met my expectations. The menu definitely has a few quirks (and watch out for that soda machine!) – but it’s convenient, reasonable and pretty tasty – especially on the “bull” side. And as far as redemption goes, I’d say they definitely redeemed themselves.
ON THE MENU
WHERE: BullChicks, 503 Highland Ave.
HOURS: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
OF NOTE: A second BullChicks location is at 615 E. Martintown Road in North Augusta.