A Bar Where You Can Sometimes Get Food – Capitol Street Grille

Susan says…

Ron and I thought we’d check out the recently opened Capitol Street Grille after work one day.  We work a 7:30 to 4:00 schedule so we get off early enough to enjoy happy hour at most establishments.  And if we are driving back to the Valley, we avoid most of the traffic.  Two great reasons to get up early.

If you’ll recall, there was an article in the Daily Mail back in October singing the praises of Capitol Street Grille.  It really doesn’t pay to believe everything you read in the paper.  In my opinion, they are more interested in advertising revenue than accuracy when it comes to the Food and Dining section.

Sometimes we are criticized for reviewing an eatery too soon after they open, when they are still working out the kinks.  We gave these folks a reasonable period of time to get rolling before we checked it out.

So we walk in about 4:30 pm.  There are a couple other folks in the place and the bartender.   Most people don’t get off work until 5, so I wasn’t surprised by the sparsity.  We sit at a roomy round table in the front window where we can enjoy watching the goings on outside.  Ron and I review the menu and the drink specials.  He orders us a couple beers. 

I notice that it’s “Ladies’ Night” and wines are the special.  Hip, hip, hooray!  For my second round, I ask Ron to get me a red wine (realizing that there wouldn’t be a plethora of choice in the varietal…any red will do) and he planned to order our food.  And that’s where we ran into some problems.

First, they were out of wine.  It’s the daily happy hour special…but they’re out.  They didn’t offer me the same discount on the Michelob Ultra either.  I think they should have.  It wasn’t like they were super busy and went through all the wine they had.  We were early patrons.  The article says happy hour is from 5 to 7 – maybe I was a bit early.  But since they didn’t have any wine it was a moot point.

Second, the bartender tells Ron they don’t have anyone to cook. 

(dramatic pause)

It’s kind of tough to review a restaurant if they don’t have a cook.   I know what you are going to say:  it’s a bar, not a restaurant.  But the Daily Mail article states that the owners hope for a lunchtime and evening crowd.  They even discuss menu offerings so I am not buying that excuse. 

I drank my Ultra and we waited for a little while and by 5:00-ish someone else came in that was apparantly the cook.  I ordered the personal-sized pizza.  It was too dimly lit to get a photo of the pizza, but I am pretty sure you all know what a pizza looks like.  This one looked just like that.

Wait time on the food was reasonable.  The pizza came out in a take-out box.  It was hot, slightly burnt around the edges (just as I like it) and crispy.  It was a decent bar pizza.   The portion size was reasonable for the price tag.  I also tasted Ron’s fries.  They were the frozen variety, but hot and crispy.  I rarely meet a French fry I don’t like. 

Service was sketchy.  There was the not-so-small matter of having no one to cook.  And Ron had to go to the bar to order additional drinks and to order our food.  We did not receive any table service aside from the delivery of our grub. 

As a restaurant, I rate Capitol Street Grill ONE FORK.  But if you happen to be there, you get hungry and the cook is on the premises, feel confident that you’ll get above-average bar food for a fair price.  I just don’t feel this is a dining destination as the newspaper article led me to believe. 

I have since been back with my “peeps” to enjoy this establishment as a hangout and bar.  And I enjoyed myself! 

Ron Says ~

Is this place still open????

Our visit was back on November 18th.  My how time flys when you’re having fun.

This is another place that I really don’t have much to say about.    To be honest it was exactly what I was expecting.   Something quite less than what was written about it in the Newspaper.

It’s a bar that serves food. (When the cook is present).  Their happy hour is determined by “while supplies last”.  I mean WTF??  DUH???  

Let’s talk about the cook for a minute – the reason this is offensive and weird to me is that when I go to the bar to order, I am told this information by the bartender.  Fine, I understand things happen, he’s late.  No problem… But there’s a guy at the corner of the bar that pipes in with pretty much the same information and implies it’s “his cook”.  This makes me think this guy is either one of the owners or has some otherwise official capacity here.  So I think to myself – well why don’t you get off “your ass” and cook?  After all, if he’s “your cook”, this must also be “your place”, and if “you” want “your place” to succeed you need to make “me” happy. 

Is there something wrong with this thinking?

Oh well life goes on…

The place was clean, the food was good – I mean my sandwich was on toasted bread, it was competitive in size (check out the penny for scale).  The fries were crispy.  

EDITED 02.01.10

Ladies and Gents – I had to edit my post a little bit because I made a mistake.  You see I eat so much food that sometimes I get things confused and in this instance I did, and my comment about the slaw and extra fries was not correct (although normally when I have a choice of slaw I choose to skip that and add extra).

I ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich… when asked if I wanted slaw on it, I said put it on the side.  My mistake not the Grill’s.  I like slaw on my BBQ except not a lot.   Because I didn’t say much about the sandwich in my original write up, let’s say it was pretty good.  I wouldn’t say great, and I didn’t feel slighted in anyway.  I just didn’t think it was anything special. Now back to the unedited portion of the post:

The food was good.   I wouldn’t write home to mom about it, but it was Ok. 

Susan mentions that we had to go to the bar to order food and drinks – that’s something different that what you would get up the street at Sam’s.   (they will come and take your order)

At the end of the day – just another unmemorable meal in an unmemorable place in an otherwise unmemorable setting.

Way to do it different guys.

So on that note – it’s time for the rating – My food was ok – good to some degree I guess you could say but otherwise no real redeeming qualities that I could think of.  Service was for the most part quick but minimalist.  I would come here again if that’s where the group wanted to come but otherwise I would make no effort to come back. 

TWO FORKS – only because I can’t give a 1.5 rating.

Capitol Street Grille
10 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV  25301

6 responses to “A Bar Where You Can Sometimes Get Food – Capitol Street Grille

  1. What kind of sandwich is that and why did you put that dirty ass penny on your food? Some bum probably picked it out of some urinal…

  2. demosthenes.or.locke

    Disappointing- when this place moved in, the Gazette made it sound like the food was going to be the focal point to get you in there. Sounds like it has more in common with sound factory than sam’s in the food department.

  3. Demo-

    That’s just how I felt. The news article really portrayed it as a food destination. For “bar food” it is better than typical, in my opinion. But I really don’t like bar food, so that’s not a huge compliment.

    Ron told me he would rate Sam’s higher than Capitol Grille.

  4. demosthenes.or.locke

    Sam’s has good food if you order the right stuff.

  5. Why don’t you come to the empty glass and try the delicious pizza (freshly made to order) and the best wings in town!

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