Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: The Firehouse Grill

On a recent Friday evening, I met Kate and her husband Ross for happy hour at The Firehouse Grill in Blue Ash (the old location of Watson Bros. and Apsara). It was in the midst of the ridiculous amount of April rain we had here in Cincinnati, so we were ecstatic that it was a sunny day and we could sit outside. They have a beautiful patio that overlooks a pond with a fountain. Despite the traffic on the nearby busy streets, it really is peaceful and serene back there.
We met at 5:15 immediately after work and the place was already filling up. Kate and her hubby each had a beer and I started with a glass of wine. Then it was on to the food menu…they have a pretty standard menu consisting of some typical appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, entrees and pasta dishes. There were a lot of items that jumped out at me, but Kate and I decided to split the buffalo chicken rolls and the barbeque chicken pizza – I told you we like to split everything! J Ross went with the Back Draft burger and fries.
Our server – who was very nice but a little ditzy – brought out our buffalo chicken rolls first. These are a play on traditional egg rolls – instead of the standard ingredients, they have bits of fried chicken, pepperoni, Monterey jack cheese and buffalo sauce and they’re served with blue cheese dressing. Kate and I both prefer Ranch dressing so we asked the server to substitute that instead. These were pretty good – although I don’t know if I’d order them again. I am obsessed with Teller’s (in Hyde Park) version of this appetizer, and these just didn’t quite compare. If I had never had Teller’s buffalo chicken rolls before, I probably would have loved these (which was the case for Kate). They do have a nice crunch and a great buffalo flavor. I’m just biased towards Teller’s.
Next the server brought out our pizza and Ross’ burger and fries. The barbeque chicken pizza comes with bacon, pulled chicken, onion, mixed shredded cheese and cilantro. They use a homemade barbeque sauce that is pretty good and pretty sweet. Of course, we ordered onions on only half since I despise onions and Kate loves them. Overall, Kate and I both enjoyed the pizza. I pretty much like anything with bacon, although I think it could have used a little more cilantro (but I’m very partial to cilantro), and when I make this pizza at home I add roasted red peppers, which I think would have been a nice addition.
I didn’t try Ross’ Back Draft Burger, but it looked pretty darn good!! It was topped with jalapenos, chilies, Monterey jack cheese, bacon and guacamole and came with a side of fries. Ross really liked it! And the fries were pretty good as well – nice and hot and crunchy and not too salty!
Overall, I think the food at Firehouse is pretty standard – nothing extraordinary, but the atmosphere is really nice, it’s close to home and work, and the service was decent, so I’m sure I’ll be back!
Food: 3.5                                                                                                                                           Service: 3                                                                                                                                        Overall: 3.5 

The Firehouse Grill on Urbanspoon

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