Bar food generally rests in a genre of its own. Most places that you visit for a pint don’t even really encourage you to go farther than the bowl of peanuts or stale snack mix at the bar if you get hungry. Often that is the safest bet when the menu is a little sketchy.
Other types of bars encourage a guest to linger by offering some “stick to your ribs” options. Grog’s Bar & Grill seems to actually want to feed the people that ostensibly come there to drink and maybe watch the game.
I stopped by early one evening with my friend Kristy, who was visiting from out of town. It was relatively subdued when we arrived, with most of the tables in the vast room empty and the bar lined up with what I would guess were the regulars. Still, strangers were obviously welcome, and the bartender greeted us from across the room and invited us to take a seat anywhere. We chose a table by the window and contemplated whether to play pool after we ate.
Our server joined us presently and started us off with drinks. I had Blue Moon Ale and Kristy, who hails from a warmer climate to the west, wanted something hot. I talked her into getting a “Hot Apple Pie,” which is hot apple cider with a shot of Tuaca liqueur. Although I didn’t experience the room as cold, she is accustomed to warmer weather and cradled her drink in an après ski fashion.
The menu consists mainly of burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, standard bar appetizers and a few salads. Kristy’s bacon cheeseburger ($6.95) came with her choice of cheese (she opted for Swiss) and a pile of medium-cut french fries in a paper-lined basket. The lettuce and tomato were crisp, and the 1/3-pound burger was cooked just past the requested medium. Otherwise, the burger was pretty standard. No fireworks or bells and whistles, but a good, basic burger.
Completely going against my better judgment, I went whole hog and ordered up a basket of onion rings ($3.95) and a chili dog ($4.50) piled high with cheese and even more onions. You know what they say: Decadence is its own reward. Sometimes that reward is also a punishment in the form of some wicked heartburn, but hey, that is the price you pay for uncensored gluttony. The dog was split in half on a decent-sized bun and smothered generously with chili and a mound of melted cheese. The chili had lots of beans but wasn’t too spicy. The onion rings came with a side of ranch dressing, which is good, because everyone probably asks for it anyway. They weren’t overly greasy and had a nice crunch to them.
Our server was friendly, and the drinks and food arrived faster than we expected. I think she was wearing some kind of trick apron, because everything we needed seemed to be in her pockets: knife and fork, ketchup and mustard bottles, etc. She was like the pocket lady you always see at kids’ parties. After the meal, she disappeared for a while, but she eventually brought us our check, and the bill wasn’t too disappointing.
If you need to tie one on, this seems like a pretty friendly place to do it. And if you want to test the limits of your new prescription antacid, the food tastes pretty good. On the whole, if you know your limits, this is a good place to kick back and relax.