We’d seen a couple of comments on a new Chicago themed sports bar that had opened in nearby Maryville Tennessee. To be honest, the feedback was mixed.
But then our friends Lynn and George, both of whom…like us…had lived in Chicago suggested that we get together and have dinner at this new establishment…
This is Windy City Grille. I read that a couple other dining establishments had occupied this building before Windy City took over. We must have driven past the building and its former tenant’s dozens of times without taking notice.
When we arrived, parking was more than tight! Cars were parked on an unpaved lot in the back but we actually got'hung up' trying to exit that area, once we saw that it was full. My passengers had to get out so I could re-enter the main paved lot…where I got lucky and a car had just pulled out and I got the parking spot!
It was just before 7 PM on a Friday night. Windy City Grille was very busy but there were a couple of open tables…the reason for my newly found parking space…and we were seated right away. There are TVs everywhere! The noise level wasn’t a problem even with the big crowd. As you can see, the interior design matches the exterior design…industrial chic!
Some of the appetizers and sandwiches were named after landmarks or terminology familiar to those who have lived in Chicago. For example, there are Cominsky Chips, Grant Park Nachos…and this offering, an order of Wrigley Wreckers. ($6.50) This consisted of homemade potato chips with bacon, ranch dressing and melted Queso cheese. All four of us enjoyed this appetizer!
Windy City Grille has a good selection of beer as well as a modest wine selection. The boys ordered the $2.00 draft beer specials to start. The second beer…after happy hour ended at 7 PM…was $3.00. The ladies both ordered the Ménage a Trois red wine. ($8.00 each)
We liked both appetizers but this one was Laurie and my favorite! It’s the Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip with pulled chicken in buffalo sauce with Queso Blanco cheese. It was served with these corn tortilla chips. I personally could have eaten an order of this by myself! It was very good!
You might ask the question…why would someone open a Chicago themed sports bar in Maryville Tennessee? The answer is two-fold. First, both of the owners are from the Chicago area. Secondly, as proved by our presence, many Chicagoans have relocated or retired to the Knoxville metropolitan area. The owners looked at that fact as a business opportunity!
After sharing those appetizers, George and Lynn decided to split an Italian Combo…Italian Beef and Sausage with peppers, onions, melted mozzarella and, au jus and a side of giardeniera. ($9.50) They were very happy with their choice. The waitress split the order for them...
Other than the parking situation, the only other issue we encountered at Windy City Grille was the sides that accompany the sandwiches. Customers have 2 choices without an up charge. The homemade chips and French Fries… A related problem was that it was just a little after 7 PM on a Friday and they were out of the homemade potato chips.
I don’t mind an up charge…but if one was trying to avoid any further fried food or carbs with dinner…your only choice was a side salad. I can’t remember being in a sit down burger/sandwich shop that doesn’t have coleslaw as an option. This wasn’t a big deal but it would be an easy fix.
But I digress…
My problem with French fries is that I avoid them but when I pay for a side, I feel 'obligated' to eat what is set in front of me! I didn’t leave one fry on my plate…the first I’ve had in months… FYI, in my opinion they were better than average French fries.
Now about that burger… I had to choose between Da’ Burger, a Halas Burger or Mrs. O’Leary’s Burger. I went with Mrs. O’Leary! ($9.50) As per the menu description, “It burns the house down!” It’s an 8 oz. Angus burger smothered in jack cheese and topped with jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, pickles and Windy City’s “Chicago Fire Sauce”…with a pickle spear on the side. It was cooked medium rare as requested and everything blended together for a very nice burger experience. To me, the ‘heat’ was nice/adequate but it certainly didn’t set me on fire…
After sharing those appetizers, Laurie decided that a Chicago Style Hot Dog was the perfect amount of food for her. I can always spot a Chicago Style Hot Dog… You can’t ever see the hot dog with all the stuff that true Chicagoans pile on their sandwiches! Ingredients include mustard, onions, relish, tomato, pickles, sport peppers…and the key ingredient…a dash of celery salt…all on a poppy seed bun. Laurie was a very happy camper!
I would like to note that she has better self-control than I do. She ate a few French fries and really liked them…but she stopped eating them. Then after I’d purloined a couple of them, she had the waitress take them away before I could scarf the rest of them down!
Our waitress, Lindsey, was very nice and attentive…helping us with any questions and checking back regularly. The food at Windy City Grille is a cut above the typical sports bar cuisine. We will return! This restaurant is located at 2641 TN Hwy. 33 (US Hwy. 411) in Maryville TN. Phone: 865-724-2508. I couldn’t find a website, but Windy City Grille is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/windycitygrilleTN?rf=1457557104563620.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave