Back East Bar & Grill – Restaurant Review
I’ve been eating at the various incarnations of it for over 10 years, and have been to this location dozens of times. It has always been a great experience. As dictated by Murphy’s Law, the first time I decide to bring my camera with the intention of writing about it, I have a less than stellar experience. Do NOT use this review as a reason to avoid Back East Bar & Grill.
Years ago, Back East Pizza & Subs was located at Murray and Airport. It was pickup or delivery only. My co-workers and I used to go there for lunch, then eat our food in the parking lot. There was a bird-poop covered concrete half wall that separated the sidewalk in front of the store from the parking lot we used to sit on. The food was so good, we didn’t care that we were sitting on a wall covered with bird crap. After they shut down, I spent a couple of years lamenting the fact that they were gone before I discovered that they had moved up north and changed their name.
The new location is awesome – they have tables and everything!
The restaurant is in a nice area, nestled behind the Salsa Brava on Briargate. They have many TVs located well enough that no matter where you sit, you will be able to watch one. There is a sizable bar dividing the dining room into two halves, and baseball caps, football helmets, jerseys, and other sports paraphenlia hang from the ceiling and adorn the walls.
When my friend Mark and I walked in, we stood by the entrance with nobody to greet us. After a few moments, we asked the bartender if we were supposed to seat ourselves (not normal.) He said no, and ran off to find someone. A minute later a hostess arrived and led us to a table.
After looking over the extensive menu, I decided on the parmasan chicken sandwich, with “spicy tater munchers.”
Then we waited – for what seemed like a very long time. Way longer than usual. It seemed to take forever to get our food. The restaurant was quite busy, but it looked like only two waitresses were on duty. Actually just one. The second one was a trainee who was either following the primary one around observing, or tentatively venturing off on her own to do an occasional drink refill. They were both very friendly, and did an adequate job keeping our drinks topped off, but the food took abnormally long to arrive.
We finally received our lunch, and the first thing I noticed was that my parmasan chicken sandwich seemed awfully light on the mozzerella. When I bit into it, the chicken seemed a bit dry and perhaps a tad rubbery – as if it had been sitting in a warming drawer for too long. I have to say, it was a fairly disappointing sandwich.
The spicy tater munchers were great! They are basically differently shaped tater tots, with a little bit of cheese (I think) and something spicy (maybe jalapenos) mixed in. I love them. They were hot in the middle, and crispy on the outside. I only wish I could say the same about my chicken!
For today, I have to give my visit a mediocre rating of 2 stars. It pains me greatly to do it, and I’m hoping to re-visit soon to bring that rating up! I always have a wonderful time here, but I’m afraid I happened to catch them on an off shift.