If you’re looking for a no-frills place where your kids can roam freely while you enjoy a cold beer and conversation with friends, then The Stix Icehouse in McKinney is worth the drive north.
Stix has been open for about nine months on 14-sprawling acres. While the owners were inspired by places like the Katy Trail Icehouse and Waterloo in Austin, this space reminds us more of the Truck Yard in Dallas or The Colony, with mismatched chairs, dollar bills hanging from the ceiling, decorative eight-track cassette tapes and tables made out of barrels. They also have a big concrete jackass named Lucky in front and staff wear T-shirts with things like “I’m the friend in low places” on the front.
Just look for Lucky, the giant ass out front.
The main bar and restaurant is more than 5,000 square feet and there is another 3,000 square feet of patio space with picnic tables and an outdoor stage for live music, which they have Thursdays through Sundays. When the weather is nice, garage doors are opened to connect the interior and patio. The Wilson Creek hike and bike trail is at their front porch so people can bike, run or walk directly to The Stix Icehouse from the trail.
Furry friends are always welcome here, and to entertain both the kids and adults, there are numerous activities available like cornhole, whiffle ball, swings, a nine-hole disc golf course, a sand volleyball court, soccer, ping pong and a tree house. They even host an occasional goat yoga session.
The queso has candied jalapeños, like little hidden gems.
The menu is unapologetically indulgent, from Frito pies to fried catfish or a Low Country seafood boil. We started with the chips and queso ($6.99) speckled with candied serrano peppers. The nachos ($10.99) seemed to be a popular appetizer amongst other customers. The plate comes with about a dozen nachos per order topped with refried beans, cheddar cheese, Oaxaca cheese and green onions with chicken, steak or shrimp for a few dollars more.
For our main dish, we tried George’s Bologna Sammich, a chicken-fried bologna sandwich ($13.99). In addition to the thick slice of battered and fried bologna, it’s served with two thick slices of peppered bacon and jalapeño pimento cheese. We added a side of those candied serrano peppers because of the sweet heat they had. Bless it all.
Served on toast, this was a nostalgic sandwich, only next time we'd order it grilled.
If you don’t want the gluttonous deep-fried version of this sandwich, you can also order the bologna grilled, just like mom used to make. The sandwich was certainly indulgent and has all the right flavors, but the batter did fall apart within the first few bites, so we would probably go down the grilled route next time.
All the sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs are served with crinkle-cut fries that rank up there as some of the best around. Somehow, they managed to cook them until golden brown and salted them perfectly with a great crunch factor and a soft bite on the inside.
Other notable menu items include chicken-fried steak ($15.99), the Dirty Dawg ($12.50) and the patty melt ($14.99). For something a little healthier, they offer grilled bourbon salmon, vegetable tacos and a variety of soups and salads.
Stix has a large outdoor space, thankfully with some misters and fans.
Stix Icehouse does serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with options like the Dixie Chick (fried chicken on a biscuit smothered in gravy and topped with scrambled eggs and cheese, served with breakfast taters) ($11.50), Mornin’ Tacos ($10.50) and the Wake-up Burger ($15.50). They also offer $7 brunch cocktails like bloody Mary, salty dog, and mimosas.
There are 28 beers on tap and a few signature cocktails and mules, like the Swizzle Stix ($10) or the Border Mule ($10). Be sure to save room for dessert and treat yourself to either their Krispy Dream, which is a warm glazed doughnut stuffed with homemade vanilla ice cream or their Cookie Monster, which is two warm chocolate chip cookies topped like a sundae. ($6.99).
The Stix Icehouse, 301 W. Eldorado Parkway (McKinney) 3-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Closed Monday