It’s about time a new “sit-down” restaurant finally opened in Teays Valley. Located in the building that used to house Uno’s, the Fireside Grill began operations in February. Our first and only visit so far was a few days after the opening on a Tuesday evening around 5:30. I was surprised by the crowd of people on the host’s list waiting 20 minutes or more for a table. A member of our party had gotten there a little early and got the waiting out of the way for the rest of us.
The menu at Fireside Grill is pretty typical of what the Kanawha Valley is drawn to, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, ribs, salads and appetizers. Our party started with a couple of appetizers, house-made fried pickles and chips and salsa. The fact they don’t resort to the frozen-variety of pickles and pre-made chips and salsa really impressed me. We all liked both appetizers. The salsa was tasty and had a bit of bite to it and the chips were fresh and warm.
Our party of five and a half (a 16 month-old) ordered ribs, NY Strip (two of us), grilled chicken breast, chicken sandwich and mac ‘n cheese. I got the 8 oz. NY Strip with a side salad and sauteed mushrooms as my side dish. The salad was pretty much your run-of-the-mill side salad. But my steak was great. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, was tender and had a great grilled flavor. It was surrounded by huge mound of mushrooms that were flavored really well also. The other steak orderer in the party really liked his too.
My husband ordered a full slab of St. Louis style baby back ribs, au gratin potatoes with bacon and a side salad. The huge slab of ribs were prepared with a dry rub with BBQ sauce on the side. We like our ribs sloppy with sauce all over them. True, it’s no big deal putting the sauce on them, but that’s just not what we’re used to. And the rub was a little too spicy. My husband and I love spicy foods, but this was just too much. One other in our party wouldn’t even try them because he’s a total spice wimp and the other two that did try them thought it was too spicy too. Really, it’s probably too spicy for the average diner. My advice to Fireside Grill, and we mentioned this to our waitress, is to cut back on the heat a bit.
My husband’s favorite part of his meal was the potatoes. I tried several bites and they were bacony, cheesy, gooey and just plain good. A person could make a meal out of just them and the rolls. Oh, speaking of the rolls…we got a basket full of yeasty, warm, sweet-ish rolls with butter. I’m not sure if they’re made in-house or not, but they tasted like they were.
The member of our party who ordered the chicken sandwich raved about it. I didn’t taste it, but it looked good. It was decent size piece of wood fire-grilled chicken with bacon and cheese and served with fries. She ordered the sandwich without the caramelized onions, but it came with them anyway. And easy fix, though.
Adult party member #5, the birthday girl, was not pleased whatsoever with her grilled chicken breast and I don’t blame her. It was small, burnt to a crisp on one side and dry. Though it was served burnt side down, it still didn’t look appetizing. Somehow she managed to choke down about half of it. I doubt I could have. However, she was not totally displeased with her meal. She ordered a slice of Cheesecake Factory white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and loved it.
The half party member was a little grouchy that evening and wouldn’t touch her mac ‘n cheese. Maybe no nap that day was the reason or maybe it was because it wasn’t Kraft from a blue box. Who knows? I’m a fan of all mac ‘n cheese. I don’t remember at this point if what she got that night was homemade or not, but I know it definitely wasn’t the regular Kraft kind. However, the little one did eat a few bites of asparagus and almost an entire roll.
Out of the five adults in our group, three of us really liked our meals and the other two not so much. However, they both said they’d definitely go back, but would order something different the next time.
The Fireside Grill has a nice bar, very similar to Uno’s, and of course, it was packed the evening we were there. They occasionally have live music in their “garage” area. We went back to the Fireside a couple of weeks later on a Saturday evening, but couldn’t get in the place and the wait was 45 minutes. After Uno’s closed, a couple of other attempts were made at a restaurant in its place, O’Sha’s and another of which I can’t recall the name. I hope that the Fireside Grill will be successful and stick around a while. Looks like so far, so good. THREE FORKS.
Boy, does Teays Valley need restaurants! I was at Taste of Asia once a week when they opened and it is still my favorite area eatery. Mi Pueblito and the Italian Grill get some of my business, as well. I rarely visit Applebee’s and never set foot in Shoney’s, Bob Evans or the local Rio Grande. I was really hoping Fireside Grill would impress me. I was disappointed.
I realize the place is relatively new, but it’s not so new that they couldn’t have printed a wine and beer list off the computer on regular paper. It would have been a lot more professional-looking than the hand-written list on a piece of thin cardboard our server handed us. The menus were professionally printed, however, and listed appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, steaks, and grilled entrees.
Our party did not order an appetizer, unless you count the Toad Hollow Pinot Noir Misty and I sipped. Our server was friendly and did a fine job, but could have been more educated on the options and prices.
I thought the pastas looked interesting, but since I’m back on this darned low-carb diet, I went with the Wood-Fired Grilled Shrimp for $13.99. It is described in the menu as “tiger shrimp wood-grilled and served with a spicy Southwest red pepper and Cuban black bean sauce”. All dinner entrees are served with a house salad, bread and choice of one side.
The sides were all either starchy or fried or both except for sautéed mushrooms (which I hate), coleslaw (mayonnaise – yuck) and the mysterious veggie of the day. Hoping the veggie of the day was green – I decided to go with that. I am not an obsessively healthy eater, but aren’t there other people in the world who want something green on their plate besides the parsley garnish? Our server thought the veggie was either asparagus or green beans. I got excited for nothing – ‘cause it turned out to be green beans. But at least it was the right color.
Our salads were served in a timely manner. They were a generous size for a side salad (priced at $3.99 alone) and were crisp and fresh. My Caesar salad was the best part of my meal. The house side salad was a combination of greens including spinach.
The good part of my entrée was the size of the shrimp – there were 6 large shrimp skewered and grilled. The smoky grill flavor was nice but they were too salty. There were other spices sprinkled on them, including something with some heat, but I wasn’t sure of the combination because I could taste was salt. I received a generous portion of green beans, but to my dismay, they were overcooked with bacon – country style. Blech. I actually had to add a little salt to the green beans. The spicy red pepper sauce was not spicy at all – it had no flavor. The black bean sauce tasted like mashed up, thinned down black beans. The sauces added nothing to the meal.
We never saw any bread.
I noted that a lot of our items contained bacon – my green beans, my friend’s tomato bisque, my friend’s turkey sandwich. Obviously a vegetarian would not order a turkey sandwich, but the other two items could have been appropriate choices if not for the added pork. That’s just something to ponder.
My experience at the Fireside Grill was just okay, and given the price, I won’t be volunteering to go back. TWO FORKS.
Hurricane, WV 25526