The Grill – West Side, Charleston, WV
As big as the internet is it can also be very small. We are more likely to know someone’s screen name than our neighbor’s name. The village that we live in is being replaced by the village in which we blog. We share common interests with bits and bytes, but today Fork You and the WV Hot Dog Blog shared some bites face to face at The Grill. In an event that I jokingly referred to as the “Charleston Food Bloggers Summit” was a ball. I have been reading the WV Hot Dog Blog for almost two years. I have discovered places to eat in WV that I would never even thought of eating.
Shortly after “The Five” published their first post I shared our site with the Weenie Wonks at WVHD Blog. Our first comment was posted by Chris James followed closely by Stanton. Our blog was well received. It seems that we had hit a cord with other WV Foodies by describing some of our good and bad dining experiences. The other day I ordered a WVHD at Murad’s and the chili was on top. I thought I might be able to stump the WVHD boys at their own game so I cropped the photo and mailed them the quiz – Name this WVHD? Silly grasshopper, these WVHD men have risen to the level of hot dog experts! Stanton solved the upside down WVHD on the first guess. In this email exchange he suggested that we get together for lunch. Well, “The Five” love to have lunch. The problem is Stanton has reviewed every WVHDJ in the city limits. We batted around a few places and decided that “The Grill” might deserve a follow up hot dog review. A date and time was negotiated and off we went. “The Five” were late as usual… work always gets in the way of lunch!
Fish Sandwich with Fries
We found Stanton in the back room of the Grill. We made introductions and our order was quickly taken. I was a fish out of water here, not knowing what the SOP’s (standard operating procedures) were. The menu is on the wall and it covers one black board and one white board. The menu is simple, which is good since I believe in the KISS philosophy when it comes to food. Hot and cold sandwiches dominate the selections. The burgers come highly recommended and this weekend a lifetime West Side resident told me they had good hot dogs, but I’ll let Stanton’s review speak for itself. “The Vegetarian Wife” will be happy to know that they serve a Boca burger, too.
I settled on the fish sandwich with lettuce, tarter sauce and cheese. Now I have never caught a fish with cheese, but a slice of American cheese does goes well with a batter fried fish sandwich. The bun was fresh, the fish was hot and the tarter sauce was DELICIOUS. It was sweet and tangy with a yellow tint making me think there was some mustard in play. Tarter sauce is in the Mayo family so Susan won’t go near it and Stanton said he didn’t eat it either. Sounds like they might have something in common. I got a side of fries, too. They were OK, but I think their oil might have been a tad too hot. They were slightly, but not badly overcooked.
The Grill is a hamburger “joint” and it has the decor to match. It is not trying to be something its not. The walls are covered with years of memorabilia, such as an autographed Pete Rose photograph and a Jeff Gordan plaque. The tables and chairs are a little mismatched, which is fine for a joint. They hit a pet peeve of mine by using those darn vinyl table clothes. Those things get on my nerves, but you don’t eat tablecloths. The Grill provides good food and good service. I will be back to dine with Charleston’s politico at this THREE Fork establishment.
The Head Weenie Wonk gave up two pieces of advice:
- Pace yourself young grasshoppers – You don’t need to review every restaurant in the first month.
- Be prepared for disagreement. Remember everyone has an opinion, but of course ours are the only ones that matter.
Hamburger and Chips
I have heard many people talk about The Grill, but I had never visited. That was, until the Charleston Food Blog Summit, or whatever Daniel dubbed it.
There were several items on the menu I considered: the hot dog, the hamburger, and the fish sandwich. Phil said they make their hamburgers fresh on-site, so I went with the burger. I had vowed to stay on my low-carb diet today, so I was packing. Buns, that is – low-carb, double fiber wheat buns. I had one hamburger and two hot dog buns in Ziploc bags in my handbag. I was ready for any type of sandwich situation. If this type of behavior embarrasses my lunch friends, they haven’t said anything. Yet.
To my delight, they serve Coca Cola. I ordered up a Diet Coke on the rocks and had sucked one down before the food arrived. When my burger came, it was obviously hand-pattied ground beef. The nice- sized burger was encased in a warm sesame seed bun. I hated to trade that for the contents of my Ziploc baggie, but if I want to be bad later this week, I had to be good today. I also passed on the fries, which were not homemade but very good, according to our server. The burger was served with ripple chips for $4.75. The soda was $1.50 with free refills.
I did taste one of Misty’s fries and a couple of Phil’s rejects (he said they were too crispy…there’s no such thing as a too crispy french fry in my opinion – I would even eat burnt ones) and they were, indeed very good for frozen fries.
My burger tasted very good. They had Heinz ketchup – a plus. They had a single iceburg lettuce leaf on the burger – a minus. I tasted a chip to ensure they were fresh, and they were. I enjoyed a refill of my Diet Coke and the food-centered conversation. This was the second best burger I’ve ordered in the area. The best, in my opinion, is Murad’s. It’s a little bigger, a little juicier, and I like the shredded pile of lettuce. (Here I am going on about lettuce again. I am having a flashback to the Bluegrass Kitchen review.)
Next time, I want to try the fish sandwich.
A nifty little place for a traditional greasy-spoon lunch. I rate The Grill THREE forks on my virgin visit.
I had never heard of The Grill before. But, when I arrived at work, I was told that we already had a destination planned and that we were attending a “blogger’s summit.” This was great. I had no idea what The Grill served -not a problem- I can usually find something on a menu that I like. In fact, the problem more often than not is that there are several items on the menu that I like and I can’t decide which one to get. But it was early in the morning and we already knew where we were going and this makes me happy. It rarely happens- it is usually what seems like an eternal debate when we are leaving and we end up at one of our standards.
I was a little confused when we sat down and I didn’t have a menu. But then someone commented that the menu was written on the dry erase board on the wall. I scanned through it and several things looked good to me: the hot dog, the hamburger, the thin ham and cheese. I decided on the hot dog- chili and slaw with fries. Now, I knew this could be a risky order since the hot dog experts were sitting across from me. But, I like living on the edge (this comment is very funny if you know me- as the riskiest thing I do is drink regular soda instead of diet).
Misty’s WVHD and Fries
The hot dog was ok. Let me start off by saying that my personal preference is a little chili- a lot of slaw. This hot dog came with a lot of chili and a little slaw. I guess I should have stated my preference when I ordered, but some people don’t like this and others ignore it and I was just assuming there would be at least a 50 to 50 ratio. Also, I really like sweet, not pickley slaw. However, I could barely taste the slaw with all the chili on the hotdog. Plus, the chili was a little dry for my taste and did not have a lot of flavor. So, I cannot really comment on the slaw. On a positive note, I really like the bun. It was freshly steamed, warm, and had just the right amount of softness.
My side order of fries was delicious. They were hot- crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. That coupled with the Heinz Ketchup made them the best fries I had tasted in a long time. They also gave me a generous serving which made me even happier.
I give The Grill- THREE forks!