REVIEW: Irish Red Grill & Steakhouse, Loganville, Gwinnett, Walton
For any company, especially restaurants, a name is super important. It didn’t take long for the people at Irish Red Grill & Steakhouse to realize in conservative Loganville that a name that included the word “Pub” in it, placed their restaurant swimming against the tide. So, when we saw the sign that read “Now Open” we translated that to “Yes, we got smart and rebranded”.
For anyone that is familiar with the area, this is the same location of the failed Bassano’s Pizza. How anyone can go belly up selling pizza is anyone’s guess but I suspect simply poor financial management. When it comes to location, this is a great spot that’s right on the main drag of Highway 78.
When we walked in, it looks like not much had changed since it was Bassano’s. Other than the really cool wall decorations of flags, replica medieval swords and décor, that is. We were seated right away and our server arrived within seconds.
We really weren’t expecting anything other than pub grub, but when we started to look at the menu, it reminded me more of The Rose and Crown Tavern in Buckhead. We started to look forward to it and ordered an appetizer of bacon wrapped shrimp. There’s only 5 for $7.95 so it’s not exactly cheap. Compare that though to the bacon wrapped shrimp at McCormick’s & Schmick’s at Perimeter for $13.99 and it’s really pretty competitively priced.
I was totally into the Irish ambience although somewhat distracted by Stone Temple Pilots, Metallica and some of the other alternative music that was playing. Melanie and I both agreed that if they played some Celtic tunes in here we would both have been swept away and begun chanting “Erin go Bragh“.
We decided to go with our joint Irish heritage, okay a lot more on Melanie’s side than mine, and order something traditional. I chose the Bangers and Mash while Melanie selected the Cottage Pie which is very similar to a traditional Shepherd’s Pie but using ground beef instead of lamb.
As negatively as we had thought this was going to go, the only bad thing that happened was when Melanie unwrapped her silverware and found the cutlery was filthy. Our server apologized profusely and echoed what was already going through our minds “how could anyone roll that silverware without noticing that?”. It’s rather dark in there so perhaps this is a task better performed in more sufficient lighting. In any case, the problem was rectified and our appetizer was soon to arrive.
The bacon wrapped shrimp was quite tasty! At McCormick’s & Schmick’s, they also wrap pepper jack cheese in it as well and it comes off very nicely. If you haven’t tried this at home, it’s really a bit of a challenge because you need to pre-cook the bacon because of the short time required for the shrimp. I normally bake it, but at Irish Red, they fried it and it came out just a little crunchy and it was really delicious. Not the cheapest appetizer you can get, but very, very good.
Our salads arrived shortly after we finished (great timing) and I was rather impressed with the mix of greenery. Our dressings were flavorful and both of us looked at each other as this might end up being a lot better than we’d expected.
Our meals arrived just after we’d finished with our salads and confirmed our final thoughts. This was a restaurant that serves booze rather than a bar that serves food. They had been doing themselves a disservice all along by calling themselves a “Pub & Grill”. Kudos to the rebranding!
My Bangers and Mash said it was “Guinness braised” and you can really taste it strongly in the meat. A little too strong for me, but I’m not a Guinness man myself so I’m going to abstain from that decision altogether. The sausages were just a tad bit charred and overdone but very borderline and I could go either way on it. I’m also not a big fan of caramelized onions, but in this case they pulled it off quite well and they were really delicious with the potatoes.
Melanie could not stop raving about the Cottage Pie. I finished my meal but she could only come close to finishing half of hers and the rest went home in a box. Very ample portion sizes here folks so you will not leave hungry.
When in Southeast Gwinnett near Loganville, Irish Red Grill & Steakhouse serves up some top-notch traditional Irish meals and I’m betting the steak is no slouch either. We’re betting that their name change is going to spell rapid success for this restaurant. Guten appetit!