Bite-sized buffet

Stick ‘n Dip’s menu has so many options it’s impossible to pick just one

NICE DIP<br>Stick ‘n Dip owner Donald Roth makes a cheesecake lollipop, a new item that the restaurant will be debuting this month.

Stick ‘n Dip owner Donald Roth makes a cheesecake lollipop, a new item that the restaurant will be debuting this month.

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

Stick n Dip

737 Nord Ave.
Chico, CA 95928

(530) 345-6847

If there’s a way to wrap and fry a food item, Stick ‘n Dip probably has it on the menu. From Mexican hot dogs (bite-sized hot dogs with chili that are, you guessed it, wrapped and fried) to Little Dippers (fried egg-roll wrappers packed with your choice of fillings), fried food has a strong presence in the brightly colored restaurant on Nord Avenue that’s been open since October.

But not everything at Stick ‘n Dip is fried. Burgers, chicken breast sandwiches and salad wraps never go near the fryers. And if a half-pound chuck burger doesn’t tickle your fancy, a garden burger is offered at the same price—$4.95.

During a recent visit, I didn’t want to feel too guilty for ordering every fried item on the menu so I got two salad sticks. I went through the possibilities of how to assemble such a stick. Maybe it had nothing to do with a stick, but had to be called one because the restaurant’s name is, after all, Stick ‘n Dip.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a South Seas Mango & Prawns Salad Stick is made with romaine lettuce, prawns and a savory mango salsa wrapped in rice paper. The taste wasn’t the only thing that was refreshing, either—the two-piece order of salad sticks was only $1.95; upgrade to a four-piece order and you’ve got yourself a delicious, nonfried, healthy meal.

I was starting to second-guess the heaps of fried food that were about to head my way. I decided to ask for a little help from the king of fried—Elvis—a man who frequently indulged in fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches.

First came taquito-like rolls packed with a guacamole-like filling otherwise known as Avocado Dippers ($4.95).

As I was getting ready to dip the stick I remembered there are three rules of dipping at Stick ‘n Dip. One: Always taste your first bite without the dip. For once in my life I decided to follow the rules. I had a bite of the dipper without dip, but the avocado ranch was a perfect match. Following the rules didn’t last long as I ignored Rule No. 2: When dipping, twirl food up so you don’t drip your dip. But I wasn’t ashamed of licking my fingers—I just pretended they were Human Finger Sticks (free) and all went well. And since this wasn’t part of a romantic outing I couldn’t follow Rule No. 3: Never, ever, double dip on the first date.

The dippers came with a side of fries, but I knew I had more food on the way so I refrained from diving in.

When I saw the order of Jumbo Prawn Spring Rolls, my excitement canceled out the yield warnings my stomach was sending to my brain. My first bite into one of the three Spicy South West Shrimp Rolls ($4.95) made me moan—in a good way. The combination of peppers, black beans, corn, cheese and the prawns created a party of flavors in my mouth. I eyed the side of fries that came with the order of rolls, but I still had more food on the way.

I didn’t hold back when the Parmesan-Garlic Zucchini Sticks ($3.25) arrived. The parmesan-garlic seasoning was a nice touch to an already warm and scrumptious side. Choosing sauces to accompany most of the food I ordered was pretty hard, as there are so many to choose from, so I mostly stuck with my good ol’ trusty sidekick—ranch.

Unbelievably, I had ordered more. I had to try a “sweet retreat,” and chose a fried pastry stick. The Strawberry-Banana Stick ($2.50) was served with whipped cream and was sprinkled with powdered sugar.

As I looked around most of the customers were eating some type of chocolate-covered pops. Just as I was about to ask what they were, one of the owners came over and offered me a sample of a chocolate-covered cheesecake pop that they would soon offer on the menu. The frozen treat was truly the perfect ending to one of the largest and most indulgent meals of my life. Elvis would have been proud.