Wild Thing Sports Bar recently opened near the intersection of FM 1488 Interstate 45 just along the boundary of The Woodlands, and inside the southern ETJ of Conroe. Attempting to capitalize on the theme fairly dominated by places like Twin Peaks, Hooters, Bombshells and the like, Wild Thing offers a wide open seating area with high ceilings, multiple television screens, and of course, female servers all clad in very small outfits. There were two of us visiting Wild Thing today, a first visit for us both. Immediately after arriving, we were told from across the large expanse of vacant seating - and seventy plus flat screens playing every sports station and Lady Gaga - to sit anywhere we liked. The ambiance was nice in that it was very open and the wait-staff seemed friendly enough.
The interior design is reminiscent of Twin Peaks in Shenandoah minus the corporate budget. This photo shows some twenty-seven (27) Flat Screen TV's but there were dozens more which aren't pictured. Wild Thing likely has more TV's per square inch than the other guys - giving them a clear edge during major sporting events; if you can't find your favorite team at Wild Thing, they probably aren't being aired that day.
As a self-proclaimed foodie and amateur wine taster, I like to occasionally walk on the wild side of both. So curiosity lead me to visit "Wild Thing" Bar and Grill for a late lunch. Parking was near empty which is usually an indication of two things. One - that the lunch crowd had finished and gone back to their daily slavery or, the place "sucks." Well, sucks is a fairly strong description, so let's mosey on in to this "Modern Day Rustic Saloon" and check it out.
Now to ordering lunch: Wait, what?! No Shiner Bock!! Okay, how about Michelob Ultra? No Problem. (Note: Shiner Bock is on the menu, they were just out of stock while we were there.) My food request started with their Sampler Appetizer ($15.95) which looked great on the menu. Fried Dill Pickles, Fried Mushroom and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp - all good stuff in my book. When it arrived I was quite impressed on the presentation until the first mushroom bite. It was nicely done on the outside but still (very) cool on the inside. The shrimp looked amazing, large bacon wrapped gulf shrimp - until I bit into it. Raw shrimp. How can it look so good on the outside and be raw on the inside? Now I do like sushi but can't handle raw shrimp. The potential was there, but it came up short of being a great appetizer. I sent it back, and when returned, the tray was oil marinated, over cooked this time and had less shrimp than the first tray. The shrimp must have leapt from the tray or may still be swimming in the nice warm deep fryer. The mushrooms were beyond help after a second oil bath. Some fried foods just shouldn't be refried after they have cooled from the first cooking session.
I was told that the regular cook that normally prepares the food was not there that day. Whoever was in the kitchen that day should have also been off. Come on, bring the oil temperature up to 350-375°, it's not brain surgery.
So much for first impressions. My "Safehouse" Philly Steak Sandwich ($12.95) was however good, though the sweet potatoes fries were not good as they tasted as though they had been marinated in cooking oil. I ate half while we there, the rest I took home; not sure what I did with the remainder.
At first glance, my Chicken Fried Chicken ($12.95) , Sautéed Veggies and Mac & Cheese looked fine. Looks aren't everything though... Like the mushrooms from the appetizer, the chicken breast was likely previously frozen, but at least not cold in the center like the mushrooms were. The veggies were far from being sautéed and in fact only about halfway even cooked. When I asked our server, she replied that my veggies looked nothing like the veggies she ate the day before, having been prepared by a different cook. Overall, the entrée had a good presentation but no more than average (bar food) in flavor. Next time (if there is a next time) maybe I should have a couple of beers before ordering any food, it might taste better that way.
Wild Thing's location, geographically speaking, is not all that easy to find from the roadway; not difficult, just a little off the beaten path. It is set back kind of far from FM 1488 with no apparent entrance other than that of the nearby, new fire station. The building is in between the fire station and I-45, in the northwest corner of the intersection.
Using the entrance to the fire station worked for us. They also currently have an ad on the electronic billboard on the north side of 1488, near the Valero gas station. Check it out and let us know what you think on our Facebook page.