When I heard that Jeff Ruby's was opening a new restaurant that was to be more casual and affordable, I knew I wanted to try it out. Walnut Street Grill is located across from the Aronoff where Bootsy's used to be. I went a couple weeks ago with my friend Kenzie and easily found parking in the Fountain Square garage. We went on a Tuesday night around 6:00 so reservations were not needed.
When we first walked in, we were greeted by a lady sitting at a stand who told us to go up the stairs. The restaurant still looks a bit like Bootsy's did. As we got upstairs, the hostess greeted us and took us into the "restaurant" area. We looked at the drink list and were excited to see that domestic bottles were $2 until 7:00 and their cocktails/martinis were $5....however, we were disappointed when our waiter told us those prices were only in the "bar" area, kinda annoying$9 otherwise. We asked if we could move in there, and our server was glad to take us. We sat in a comfy booth and began to peruse the menus after ordering our specialty cocktails. I ordered the grape cooler, and Kenzie had a mango flavored drink. Both drinks were very good and were served in these fun mason jars to give it a little something different.
Appetizers were only $5 during happy hour which was a plus. The rest of the menu consists of steak burgers, salads, and some other entrees including chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and short ribs to name a few. All of these sounded good, but Kenzie and I both agreed that we needed to try one of their steak burgers. We opted to share an appetizer, share a burger, and a side of Jeff Ruby's famous mac n' cheese.
The pulled pork nachos sounded unique and delicious, so we put in an order of those and the green chile cheeseburger.
The pulled pork nachos arrived first. We both thought the portion was a bit small, but it was enough for the two of us. The pulled pork was warm and sweet atop the nachos.I would have liked a bit more cheese on the nachos because the chips on the bottom were somewhat dry. Overall, I thought these were just okay. I liked the pulled pork, but I was expecting a bit more pizazz.
Next, our burger arrived. It looked delicious. The bun was toasted nicely but soft and there was an onion ring on top of the bun. This burger had a roasted poblano salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar, and their homemade WSG sauce, which we got on the side. After splitting our burger, we dug right in. I chose to use the WSG sauce, which tasted just like a spicy mayo. The burger was cooked to order; however, I was underwhelmed. This burger to me looked a lot better than it tasted. It wasn't bad by any means, but it was not the best burger I have ever had either. It wasn't particularly juicy, so I definitely appreciated the toppings. Maybe my expectations were set a bit high, being a Jeff Ruby's restaurant, but I wasn't very impressed.
The mac n' cheese was good. I love the mixture of cheeses and that it is baked perfectly with a crust on top. I have had it at the Precinct before and thought it was a bit better there.
Kenzie and I decided to go with one of the $2 beers while we finished our meal. Everything came out on time, but after we got our food, we didn't see much of our waitress after that. In fact, we were both finished with our food and drinks and had to ask another server to get our check for us.
All in all, Walnut Street Grill was just okay. I would be intersted in going back again for happy hour and possibly trying some of their other appetizers since they are on special. I would also give it another chance to try some of their other entrees.
Overall Experience: 3