We’re always hoping for new restaurants that aren’t too far from our home in East Tennessee. Whenever something new opens up for business, we hope that it: A) Has good or better food; B) Reasonable pricing, and; C) If the first 2 conditions are met, they actually do well enough to stay in business…
This is Grinderz Grille in Loudon Tennessee. We have lived in the area for 6.5 years and this is the 6th restaurant to occupy this space.
First there was Catino’s (Italian/Pizza…the longest lived having been in business for some time before we moved to the area); then there was a short-lived and locally reviled Ayala’s (Mexican); followed by Tellico Grill (a bit of upscale casual American food); then American House of Pancakes (casual breakfast, lunch and dinner) and; then there was Doug’s Place. (Doug served a very nice peppercorn sirloin)
Other than some wall décor, the interior of this space hasn’t changed much over the years… The bench seats aren’t the most comfortable and from what we understand the kitchen is a bit too small for efficient operations. The place did seem to be quite a bit cleaner with better air circulation than it’s had recently. There is a large outside deck for dining, parties, etc. that none of the operators have made work for them since Catino’s closed several years ago…
We started out with an order of 6 of Grinderz breaded and deep fried chicken wings with sweet and spicy chili pepper sauce… We usually don’t order breaded chicken wings but we had to try them. They were big juicy wing segments made bigger with the breading and the chili sauce really worked with them… We couldn’t have eaten any more than 6 and still been able to eat our dinners.
· Our waitress was pleasant enough but it was like she was rationing paper napkins… Two napkins each for these sticky fried chicken wings just didn’t cut it. When we asked for more napkins, she brought us 2 more… Finally, on the 3rd try she brought a bunch of them.
· In addition, when we finished our wings, we set the plate with the bones and the napkins beside us on our 4-top table and it remained there throughout the meal. Our waitress needed a bit of training.
Laurie wasn’t too hungry, so she went for the Lil’ Burger (4 oz.) with cheese. It was cooked medium rare as requested and the bun was grilled, which always adds flavor. The French fries were better than average…crispy on the outside, but Laurie would have liked a little seasoning on them. I sampled 3 of them and gave them a positive vote.
· One little issue. As per the menu, this burger came with mayonnaise. Laurie asked to make sure as that’s a prerequisite for her enjoyment of any hamburger. When delivered, her burger was sans mayonnaise. Our waitress then brought us a little cup with just enough in it to smear one half of the bun…
I went for the 12 oz. Grilled Ribeye Steak Dinner. It came with 2 sides and I chose the coleslaw and steamed broccoli. The coleslaw was OK and the steamed broccoli was cooked properly although without any seasoning or butter. I had coffee with dinner and it was a nice blend…
As for my medium rare ribeye steak, I’d asked for medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. It was a nice steak with little waste but with enough marbling to insure that it was tender as well as flavorful. Grinderz had run out of takeout menus so I’m not absolutely sure of the price of my meal but I believe that it was $16.95…given the price of steak, a good price for what I got.
If I were to rate Grinderz on a scale of 1 to 5 based on our first visit, I’d give it a 3.5, a bit better than average. The waitress (who was fairly busy) tipped the scale away from a 4.0, but the food and value for a neighborhood style restaurant was better than average.
Grinderz Grille is located at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee…just off of TN Rte. 444. Phone: 865-657-3841. This restaurant does not seem to have a website.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave