Riprock's Revived: A Taste of the Revitalized Staple
Whether you know it or not, there’s been a void in the soil and soul of the Fry Street scene. While the original floor has been kept in homage to its roots, everything from the ground up has been revitalized and reborn: Riprock’s has returned to the world of the living, and it’s absence has not been for naught. Like a painter in seclusion or a boxer in training, Rip’s has returned to the stage with a whole new arsenal of looks and moves to serve up the awaiting masses. Blending old staples with new experiments, the kitchen at Riprock’s is ready to show you what’s up their sleeve.
We begin with the old: Rip’s Burger, a staple for any UNT students looking for a well-priced bite between classes. It’s a classic set of flavors with a subtle remodel. The sweet potato fries are a deft touch, taking typical bar food and giving it a flavorful new look. It’s not mind blowing, but bar food should never try to place flair over quality; this is bar fare at its finest. The sweetness of the fries adds a much-needed comfortable and down-home quality to the tang and savor of the burger, and also just cranks up the swagger on a classic dish. It’s a microcosm of the bar itself: grounded in a local classic, but elevated to match a growing, maturing audience.
Rip’s Favorite Delight
Next, we have something that evokes the spirit of the former incarnation of the bar while showing a new direction. This nice club-like sandwich is a clean and simple treat, not overwhelming with its bulk nor too light as to not satisfy. The onion roll is just the right vessel for the cold cuts and mayo, adding a light amount of tang to the ordeal yet maintaining that simple neutrality that won’t imbalance the evening. It’s everything that we barflies want when we stumble drunkenly into Jimmy John’s to indulge in a late night munch, only a little closer at hand when the booze demands — a perfect snack that won’t leave you feeling lethargic or too full to have another pint.
This is definitely the creative force in the trio of dishes; where we have a touch of the old Rips in the sandwiches, this is clearly a guiding light of the new. There are many veggie-dominant options on the new menu, and this is certainly one of the shining standards of the new guard. Brussels sprouts are good as is, halved and seared to near blackness, but adding the wing sauce definitely transforms a home-cooked staple into a hometown hero. Throw in the ranch and the blue cheese and, flavor wise, you have yourself a regular basket of vegetarian wings. The texture and size of the sprouts are ideal for optimal munching, especially late night. And have no fear, for this new Riprock’s menu holds a “late night” section that caters to Fry St. patrons until 1:30 in the morning.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see that Rip’s is coming out swinging, rising as a competitive food option in an area that has done nothing but grow and mature in the culinary department. With the new decor and paint job, a souped-up menu, and a revitalized, open layout, it’s proof that an old bar can learn some new tricks — and provide a new hangout to the latest wave of students, townies, and all walks of late-night Lil d life.
Header image design by Kylie Phillips