Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rochester Restaurant Vacation Part Two

Tuesday night's adventure into the Rochester Restaurant Vacation was a little different. I am so dedicated to watching the scant coverage of the Olympics on NBC that I only had about 2 hours to get down to Barnes and Noble, then find a new restaurant that piqued my interest.

I kept my eyes open on the drive down Monroe Ave, looking for something new to try. I noticed that most of the places seemed to be Asian, which I love, but didn't want two days in a row. There were a couple of little pubs, which are also fun, but not as much by yourself. Or, there are the really high-end places like Wegmans' new restaurant, Next Door. I can't afford to visit all of those if I want to keep this up all week.

I got lost in Barnes, like usual, for well over an hour. So, I figured I would try something quick and local to take home with me. I started making my way up to the Tom Wahl's on Empire. (And no, I have never tried this local hamburger chain, despite living here for the past seven years.) Fate would not allow it to be, though, as there was a major accident blocking up traffic.

I gave in and decided to check out the Boulevard Grill, also on Empire. It is located right next door to Guida's Pizzeria, which is probably my favorite place for pizza, wings, salads, and more in the area. I have seen B.G. numerous times, as I often pick up my Guida's dinner after work, but have never gone in.

It is a bar, but there are actual tables for those who prefer to eat that way. I just went straight up to the bar and requested to order food for takeout. Food is the usual bar fare, a lot of fried foods and burgers and what-not. But I noticed a lot of salads, and then one of my favorite entrees: Chicken French. Though a little more than I really wanted to spend, $13.99, I decided to go for it, anyway, because it is one of my favorites. Sides included veggie of the day (green and wax beans with baby carrots), fries, and a tossed salad (with ranch, of course). While waiting, she asked if I wanted a drink, so I decided to add to my new restaurants by trying a new beer: Saranac Irish Stout.

I sipped on my new beer, which is very close to the loveliness of Guiness, but perhaps with less bite, as I watched the TVs. Unfortunately, every single TV at the bar itself was tuned in to the MSU v. Indiana game. I wish I liked basketball more - I am trying. If I looked in the mirror, I could see the reflection of the Olympics - Men's Figure Skating Short Program, and some other sports channel. I kind of wished the TVs at the bar would have been showing different things, and probably should have asked.

The food took about 20 minutes to finally come out. I forgot that these places take a lot longer preparing the food, because they want you to sit and drink. I won't have more than one beer, because I have to then go home. But it smelled absolutely fantastic.

I tried the salad first. It was probably of the bagged variety, but I loved how they put chick peas on top. And there is something in bar restaurant ranch dressing that makes me supremely happy, wanting to go into the kitchen to steal a vat because I am yet to find a comparable version on the store shelves.

Their fries are of the steak variety, of course. They were meaty and tasty. One thing I noticed that was unique was they used a seasoned salt instead of regular salt, which really added to the flavor of the fries. I like to use that if I make homemade fries from scratch.

The veggies were good, as it is often tough to mess up beans, in my opinion. They were extra flavorful because they were in the same box as the chicken, swimming in the extra sauce.

The chicken was okay. The chicken breast half was absolutely huge, but the breading on the chicken had a telltale taste of being done on a grill with hamburgers, or something else that was greasy. I guess I should have known better than to try a fancier dish at a bar and grill for that exact purpose.

But overall, Boulevard Grill was a decent experience. Rumor has it they have a kick-ass karaoke night, which I will have to check out sometime. :-D

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