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Cricket's Grill

Not Rated.
Cricket's GrillCricket's Grill
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

19 Ratings
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

221 Mary Ave
Waco, Texas, 76701-2233
United States
phone: (254) 754-4677

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 15
Reviews by assurbanipaul:
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Strange to find an establishment of this merit in an otherwise desolate beer area like Baptist Central. The best comparison would be something like a Flying Saucer, if you're familiar with that chain.

Located in a newer type of faux-warehouse district around the convention center and a couple of blocks away from Baylor U, this place is huge, including those high warehouse ceilings and aged-wood decor. Lots of space for tables, a long bar, plenty of pool tables and games in the back, televisions with any sport you could ever want.

Tap selection rivals anything in Texas: 100 or so taps line the wall behind the bar, around 20 in bottles, wine and liquor. Nothing that's real hard to find in the larger metro areas but something like this appearing in Waco (it's a Lubbock-based franchise) is pretty unusual.

Servers are uninterested college kids so don't look to them for beer info. Food is general pub fare but really outstanding in quality. Convenient from the interstate, this place makes a great half-way stop on trips between DFW and Austin.

More User Reviews:
Photo of youngymikem
4.66/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great vibe good selection fun time

Photo of BWE
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is a re-review. I had to redo it because I'm not sure what change in the Management, but it improved tremendously. The food and service there for a while was kinda disappointing. But last time I went (Dec 13') it had improved.

I love the selection of beer. They get seasonal beers in, and have a wall of beer. not sure how many on tap, but it's a lot. Close to the river walk if you wanted to veiw that and then relax inside afterwards.

Lot's of games that you can't find in many places in Waco, like Shuffle Board, Foosball, and Giant Jinga. There is pool as well. If your in the are and hungry or thirsty I would definitely give it a shot.

Photo of TomTown
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Pretty cool place to hang out with a crowd. Kinda loud in the evenings and especially on the weekends but all in all a good bar with a wide tap selection. Most stuff is pretty run of the mill but they get a few rarities every now and again and tend to focus more on Texas breweries which I definitely appreciate. Food is what you would expect from Chili's or similar. One definite plus is that it opens earlier than the Bear if you want to meet a group for lunch on the weekdays.

Photo of texasclimber
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

though they may have the LARGEST beer selection in Waco, they are nowhere near being dubbed the best place to have a pint in town (that honor is far and away reserved for the dancing bear). their tap selection is impressive however most of the taps are either old (and taste old, and not the good kind of aged old) or empty. their selection doesn't change very much and whenever it does they arn't beers that you would want to go out of your way to try. the service is average probably because the turn around time here is like weeks, there seemed to be a new batch of wait staff (that truly didn't know anything about beer) every time i went in. the food is pretty good pub fare, they make a KILLER monte cristo. pool tables and darts make it a great place for groups but not the best for quality beer.

Photo of mdunman
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is the best stop in Waco. Great beer selection with a huge wall to look at all the options. They also have sampler trays to test out a variety. TV's, pool tables, shuffle board, darts and plenty of other things to keep you busy, except all of this comes with an extra price tag on it. The chicken, burgers and fries are really good, but are a bit more expensive than some other places. You pay a good bit here, but you can get a really good night out of it. And finding a good place to hang out in Waco isn't exactly an easy thing to do.

Photo of Viper78
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I am what you might call a regular at Cricket's. A proud member of their Mug Club. So understand right from the start that I really like this place. There have been some recent changes to the place and the types of beers they get in since the last review. They have a new food menu which is great and has a little of everything. They have boosted the size of their burgers back to their old 1/2 lb size and they have done away with frozen bag fries and have started making fresh hand-cut fries which come liberally seasoned with a course sea salt and cracked pepper blend. I would call them some of the best fries in Waco. Cricket's has started a 5lb burger challenge call the Super Pit Challenge. Featuring a insane version of their Pit Burger a 1 lb stunner with 1/2 lb beef patty, 1/2 lb of their BBQ pulled pork, coleslaw, grilled onions, pickles, and melted sharp cheddar. It pairs great with any of the 3-4 IPA's they have on hand at any given time. Which brings us to the Beer. In the last year they have really stepped up in the Beer department. With the manager in charge of Beer ordering making a major effort to get in fresh seasonals and top micro brews from around the state and the country. They have 107 taps and I would say around 35 of them rotated based on season and availability. Of the remaining taps 7 are the usual domestics, 20 are imports, 30 are Texas Micros, and 15 are the big craft brewers. The managers have a pretty good rapport with the regulars and are always keeping them updated about new Beers, asking what the customers would like to get in, and what their plans are for the upcoming year. A couple things they are doing is updating their gift shop with a new Beer centered apparel line and at least 4-6 themed beer tastings a year. If you are in Waco or just travelling I-35 through Texas and you like Beer then Cricket's is a must stop in Waco.

Photo of CLBizzle
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

They have a wonderful tradition called the "Mug Club" At every years end, around December but no solid dates; they manufacture about 150, 24 ounce clay mugs. You purchase the mug for a year and you get discounted prices on Mondays and a lager draft on other days. At the end of the club year you get to keep the mug and take it home with you. It is a really cool thing to do if you're new to the Waco area and plan on sticking around for a while. I didn't join this year, because I didn't feel I was going to stick around, I wish I would have gone with my gut. Supply goes fast so jump on it! A great place with good prices it has a little bit of everything. Upper stairs balcony, pool and shuffle board tables, good food, oh yeah and a hundred beers on tab. A must try if you're passing through Waco.

Photo of Bagman007
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I visited Waco for a weekend and went here a couple of times. My friend had talked about this place quite a bit, so I had pretty high expectations for this price. This is a pretty big place. Long bar with tons of taps. Lots of pool tables in the back, a dining area, tvs, and a balcony upstairs. Good atmosphere, but it kinda feels too much like a restaurant. Other than that it was great. Not too crowded when we went on a Friday night and the service was good. Awesome place, will definitely go back again if I am in Waco.

Photo of Norica
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Being a native Bostonian (A F&*^%in' Yankee to my in laws) I love that their is a bar like this deep in the HOT. The selection at this place is great and I haven't had a bad beer yet in terms of quality. It can get crowded with nearby Baylor (who says Baptists don't drink?) students on the certain nights I've been there but the layout is great and I've never waited long for a brew. If you're ever in the area stop by you won't be disappointed. Was surprised to see 2 DFH on draft here. Bonus points for shuffleboard tables.

Photo of BeerAngel
4/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

All I can say really for Waco, TX is "wow!". A nice find thanks to beerfly and business travel. This is a very large building and on a Thursday night, it was pretty easy for the four of us to find a place at the bar. Looking at the lovely vision of a lot of taps. This time of year, I wasn't sure if it would be there, but I asked, and lo and behold, Live Oak Hefe was there! As well as other Live Oak offerings and alot of Real Ale's stuff too. Too many to name though, but as mentioned in another review, nothing really too hard to find. One of the college guys behind the bar and knew a little bit about the beers...but another girl waited on me on my third hefe and put a lemon wedge on the lip of the glass. Crap! Anyways it was a nice experience and I'm glad it exists in a town that is in need of it. Thumbs up! Cheers!

Photo of EPICAC
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

As a native of Waco now living in Boston I feel that Cricket's should be reviewed on a relative scale.

The atmosphere is often hit or miss, and I typically find that this has to do with the time of year that I visit (typically holidays). When it's crowded with Baylor kids on weekend the atmosphere isn't great, it can be hard to get to the bar, and hard to communicate due to the noise level. On weeknights or some weekends when it isn't as crowded the atmosphere is much better, there's plenty of room, the noise is fairly low and it's not terribly smoky.

The last few times I've been back in town things have improved. They run out of beer a lot less frequently, though it is sometimes past its prime, and it's served overchilled.

Service is again variable, but my last few visits have been great (with the exception of New Year's Eve). There's a male bartender who's on top of the selection. He's partial to people who order some of the better beers, and will make recommendations and give out samples. In general most of the other bartenders are reasonably knowledgable about the selection, and friendly.

In general the beer selection is pretty good. There's a lot of variety, but also a lot of crap. However, given the average customer I can't fault them for carrying so much mass market crap. There is usually a pretty good selection of Texas Micros on tap, and I can usually find a few brews that I can't get in Boston. One of the best improvements I've seen lately is the addition of seasonal beers to the tap. These aren't on the menu, but there's usually a board by the entrance with a list of 5-10 seasonals. If you want to go out for good beer in Waco Cricket's kicks the shit out of every other option handily.

The food is pretty standard, but the cheese fries can really hit the spot.

Photo of HardTarget
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Toto, we're not in Waco anymore... but wait, we ARE in Waco!
As others have said, a beer oasis in harsh desert of BMC. Impressive tap wall that holds such gems as Live Oak Hefe and Real Ale Devil's Backbone. Yes, like most other places that try to carry over 100 beers, they were out of a few things that we wanted to try (out of Spaten Bock hurt) but had an impressive collection of Oktoberfest beers to sample. Also not surprising with so many tap lines, some of the beers were past their prime, but only about a quarter of those we tried (and our group went for the off the beaten track beers) had quality issues.
For a Saturday night, the place had a very nice atmosphere. Lots of college kids but no one being obnoxious, lots of room, pool tables, video games, large TVs, heavy on wood and brick. We got pretty good service, our waitress showed up at most of the right times, had a pretty good knowledge of beer (her recommendation was NB's 1554). We ate, I had the pizza, which was ok, not outstanding but pretty good, the black pepper encrusted burger got a good review. Prices were about right.
Just being able to sit down in Waco and order a pitcher of Live Oak Hefe, *sniff*, it kinda gets you right here. Maybe there is hope for the beer culture in Texas. If you're going to Waco, stay at the Hilton and walk across the street to Crickets.

Photo of Vipsanius
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to school for 3 years at Baylor and frequented this place probably once a week. The place is HUGE. It's got a nice size restaurant area, a long bar with 100+ beers on tap, an arcade area, and then several pool tables and other things in the back. It's an open atmosphere yet somewhat cozy at the same time with the way it's divided.

The food in this whole warehouse district is great. Cricket's is the place to go if you want good old fashion American food (burgers, etc). It's got several TV's, but if you really want to watch a game, nearby Damon's is definitely the place to go. If you're there for the beer, however, it's the best selection you'll find in 100 miles.

Cricket's single-handedly got me to appreciate better beers with Maredsous, Chimay, and Spaten Optimator paving the way. The service can be sorely lacking there at times but normally you'll get adequate service. Overall, it's a great restaurant and got me going back there week after week the three years I was there.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

When Crickets first opened in 96 or 97 it was definitely the best thing to happen to beer in Waco, in, well pretty much ever. They had a great selection of beer (advertised as 100+ beers) and decent food. However there were a few small problems. Servers know little about beer in general, most beers were (IMO) served way too cold (ie ice cold) and their HVAC system, instead of filtering the cigarette smoke, effectively turned the whole establishment into a smoking section. Minor problems that I would have thought would be corrected with time.

Fast forward to 2003. If you want to order a beer, make sure you have one or even better two alternate selections, as they are often out of many of the 50 or so beers on the menu. Servers know next to nothing about the beers they are serving. The beer is still served way too cold, even in the winter. The HVAC has at least had a filter placed on it so the nonsmoking section means something now.

However, even with all these drawbacks, with Baylor's entry into the Big XII they do not lack for customers, especially on fall weekends. Much of this is customer spillover from Ninfas' restaurant down the block which does not take reservations and invariably has a 30 minute or longer waiting list. Many weekend nights it's quite a meat market. Which would be great if my wife let me date, but she has some hangup about that.

As far as seasonal beers go, one or two will occasionally pop up, but not with any dependability. Admittedly, that is probably because the Waco distributors aren't going out of their way to move one or two kegs of some beer they've never heard of. As far as better selection at a bar in the state, the Flying Saucer (several locations in DFW) and the Gingerman (Austin, Dallas and Houston) all almost certainly beat Cricket's. If you are visiting Texas and are within 100 miles of Waco you are either in Austin, DFW or Crawford. If you are in Crawford you will be visiting Waco so a trip to Cricket's is in order; if you are in Austin or DFW and your trip is less than a week long, you will find plenty of things beerwise and non to occupy your time there.

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Cricket's Grill in Waco, TX
91 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.