Griff’s – Riverwalk Plaza, South Charleston, WV
I have been to Griff’s a grand total of three times since I moved to WV in 1998. All my experiences have been similar so at least they’re consistent. The taco salad I got the first time was just ok and the service was slow. During the second visit I only drank beer to celebrate the going away party for a former boss. I had a pint of New Castle and it was slightly warm. This last visit with the five was memorable to say the least.
After searching for a parking space in the far corner of the Riverwalk Plaza parking lot we seated ourselves on the deck to enjoy the last day of outdoor dining for the season. Tip: There is a parking lot behind Kroger and you can pull right up to Griff’s deck. That will save you a few minutes and believe me you’ll need it. After reviewing the menu our orders were taken in an acceptable time period. We placed our food and drink orders at the same time to speed the process. At this point the lunch marathon started.
Menu as a great selection of sandwiches and salads. I am sure you will fine something to fill you up. I thought about the fish sandwich and fries special, but both Susan and Terry ordered that and I was sure I could wrangle a taste from one of them. The hot dog was at a nice price point, but that would have put me in the awkward position of reviewing a WVHD. A task for which I do not have the skills to accomplish correctly. I noticed that their buffalo chicken sandwich was described as a grilled chicken breast “marinated in our spicy hot sauce” with a side of blue cheese dressing. I thought I would go grilled today so I ordered that up with an Arnold Palmer that drew smiles and snickers from my supposed friends. I am bringing it back! At the last minute I threw on an order of onion rings for research purposes.
During our visit there were two other tables seated, but apparently the kitchen was in the weeds. Our food took more than 40 minutes to reach the table. Now you might think to blame our new server, but my food, onion rings included where pipping hot so the blame might go to the kitchen.
Now remember I said I wanted grilled. Well I guess that is a typo on the menu because my sandwich came fried! Ok, no problem there is no way I am sending this back, because I came to Griff’s for lunch not dinner. (Did I mention it took a long time to get our food.) Then I noticed it didn’t have any lettuce, tomato or onion so I checked the menu and sure enough they got that part right. They serve it bare. I consumed this naked sandwich by dipping it into the blue cheese dressing. The chicken was hot, tender and spicy. The blue cheese dressing was thin and almost tasteless.
Now on to the sides. The chips are great and I recommend you order a basket with a pitcher of your favorite lager. The onion rings were delicious, but looked like they came from a box. I ate too many of them waiting forever for our check to come to the table and then another eternity for it to come back with our credit card receipts.
If you want to leisurely drink beer while watching the barges run up and down the Kanawha River than Griff’s is for you. If you want a quick lunch on your lunch hour skip it. Two Forks.
PS: Why do restaurant owners slack in the maintenance department? Griff’s needs some major work. The deck hasn’t seen a pressure washer in what appears to be a decade. Rip those boards up and put down some TREK. Also if you aren’t going to have the carpet professionally cleaned at least monthly then install tile.
On the last probable summer day of the year, we decided to take full advantage of the weather and dine outdoors: Griff’s. I had a couple coupons, too which made it an even more attractive idea.
The place was all but empty. One party inside and one party outside. One server appeared to be on-duty. The inside still smells like cigarettes even though patrons aren’t allowed to light up anymore, thanks to the Kanawha Charleston Health Department. We made our way around the deck to a table under a tent/awning type of structure.
I always get the fish sandwich at Griff’s. It is my favorite fish sandwich in the Kanawha Valley. So far as I have tried, my favorite in the state is CJ Maggie’s Codzilla. It has a great name, don’t you agree? Anyway, I again order a fish sandwich with chips instead of fries.
I spouted “Diet Coke” without thinking. I should have inquired as to the price. Shoot. I was especially regretful after Misty pointed out to me that the menu says you only get one free refill on sodas. Is the limit on soda refills part of their evil plot to entice customers to order more beer? If so, I’d be more than happy to succumb, IF I WASN’T ON MY LUNCH HOUR.
Give me a break, you restaurants that feed off a person’s love of Diet of Coke. Some people are even addicted. Yep, that’s right – I am probably addicted to the excitotoxins present in the aspartame I consume in the Diet Coke.
Most eateries are already reaming us on the price of the soda to begin with. Think about it. It costs only pennies to fill a glass with fountain soda. The only way I can make myself feel any better about the price is to get as many refills as it takes to quench my thirst. And some days, I am damned thirsty. Does anyone else feel oppressed by refill policies like this one at Griff’s?
I hadn’t eaten at Griffs before, but I knew several people who really like this place. I’ve heard them say the hamburgers were good, so I decided I would try it out.
When I looked at the menu, there was a build your own burger option- I noticed that they had blue cheese. Ummm…I really like the blue and gold burger at Murads, so I thought I would try to replicate it. And, I almost did- a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, mayo, blue cheese, and American cheese (only item missing was the bacon. Murads has bacon on the blue and gold burger- this was not an option at Griffs.)
Service was slow and it took quite some time for the food to be brought to our table. And after that, our waitress periodically popped out to see us every 10 or 15 minutes (which is a long time when you are on your lunch).
Hamburger: The bun was toasted- which is a plus in my book. However, not a sesame seed bun- downgrade. The hamburger was hot and juicy. The tomato was large and had a good taste. There was large piece of lettuce and plenty of mayo and blue cheese on my burger. However, they forgot the American cheese. I figured it wouldn’t make a huge difference in the taste…but I really missed it. This hamburger was OK. Not great- Not bad.
Homemade chips- They were hot and had a nice crispiness to them. But, they tasted burnt to me. They tasted much better when I dipped them in ketchup, but they were still not that great. The fries that I had from another diner were much better.
To say the least, I was not very impressed with this place for lunch. Maybe next time I will try it after work hours and try something different.
Griffs 17 River Walk Mall
South Charleston, WV 25303 (304) 744-0094