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Food Columnists Find City Grille to be Surprisingly Good

Salt and Pepper visit City Grille.

Name: City Grille

Cuisines: American

Payment: Cash, all major credit cards

Alcohol: Full Bar

Price: $

Location: 10701 Balls Ford Rd. Manassas, Virginia 20109

Hours of Operation: Sunday:10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Salt Says:

I was quite skeptical when I first saw the restaurant. From the parking lot it looked like a small dive bar; the enclosed patio looked like a putt-putt golf range decked out with the most obviously fake palm trees I’ve ever seen.

Thank goodness that looks are so often deceiving. When I walked through the door I was shocked by how large and inviting it was.

The beautiful wooden walls and beams were completely exposed and plastered with Americana memorabilia and entertainment pictures from the 1920s straight through the 1980s.

I had lots of time to admire the décor since it took the solitary waitress/hostess several minutes to notice I was waiting to be seated. She seemed overworked, but was pleasant and cheerful enough that I didn’t mind the wait.

The restaurant offers a good selection of American dishes ranging from burgers and fries to steak, seafood and apple pie.

For starters I ordered the one thing on the menu that I have never seen before: zucchini sticks. The menu described it as,“spears of fresh zucchini battered, dipped and fried.” 

The "spears" turned out to be more like wedges and the batter wasn’t seasoned enough. While they were fried, it still had a little bit of a snap to it in the center. It might have been more appealing if they'd described it as American-style tempura.

For my main course I opted for a bacon cheeseburger served with fries. The burger was good,but not exceptional. The fries were amazing.

The waitress was attentive and kind. She even offered to give me a soda to take with me, something that has never happened to me before. While I would not recommend the zucchini, the burgers are good and the menu is large enough,so you’re bound to find something you like. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone.

While the food wasn’t necessarily exceptional, City Grille has a long happy hour and plenty of entertainment, including karaoke nights on Wednesday.  There's an all you can eat Sunday brunch, which might make it a perfect place to hang out with a group of friends.

Oh and if you’re young and even remotely hip, I would recommend coming later in the evening. I came about 4 p.m. and there were only a few seniors in the dining room.  As I was leaving, I couldn’t help but notice a few nervous, awkward couples going in. You know, the restaurant might be a hot spot for internet dating. So if you’re into it, then there’s that too.

Pepper Says:

Hidden behind a gas station at the corner of Sudley Road and Balls Ford Road, lies City Grille, a popular local restaurant that provides a wide array of food. This restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining, has a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights and has a Sunday brunch buffet for only $10.95!

We seated ourselves outdoors. It's good I got to seat myself, given my history with hostesses.  There is a bar outside and a small waterfall, giving the area a laid-back atmosphere.  The chairs, however, could be comfortable.

For apps we got the steamed price shrimp. The shrimp were fresh and cooked just right and seasoned with an appropriate amount of Old Bay. The accompanying  salad was fresh and the bread fluffy.

For mains, the prime rib was brought out a little rarer than ordered, but all in all it was a good cut of meat.

The angel hair that accompanied the chicken picatta was slightly overcooked and so was the chicken. 

The fries were surprisingly good; nice and crispy. The club sandwich was well-flavored with nice, toasty bread enclosing a good variety of fresh ingredients.

Overall, the service is friendly and laid back. The prices are more than reasonable and the place is located conveniently off Interstate 66 . So if anyone is looking for a chill spot to grab a bite with friends, this is definitely your place.

Bloomie May 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Are the cigarettes on the table next to the food supposed to make it more appealing or less appealing? Add in the PBR and it may diminish the credibility of Salt or Pepper as food critics with some readers.

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