Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Rocky Mountain Grill, Green Cove Springs, FL
Rocky Mountain Grill
2853 Henley Road
Green Cove Springs (Lake Asbury), FL 32043
Today I headed to Lake Asbury for lunch, after spotting Rocky Mountain Grill in a coupon magazine. I was interested because their ad mentioned pizza and the vague phrases "appetizers" and "entrees."
Rocky Mountain Grill is rather nondescript on the outside, aside from the blue sign above the front door. The inside of the restaurant has brown tile, brown walls with faux staining and wooden hutches. The indoor seating consists of tables, booths and a bar. The outdoor seating is in back of Rocky Mountain Grill, with the Winn Dixie Shopping Center behind that. There were a few framed nature photos scattered around.
A very bland mix of ground beef and kidney beans. It lacked any seasoning.
BBQ Burger With Barbecue Sauce, Bacon and Cheese
Mushroom, Onion and Bacon Burger
Both burgers had a smokey, grilled taste. Very thick and juicy!
Pesto Bites Appetizer
A basket of pesto bites is five large lumps of dough, drizzled with pesto sauce and olive oil. You can get cheese sprinkled over that, too. It came with a side of marinara sauce. The pesto bites were pretty good.
Our waitress came over to say "I'm sorry, it seems the pesto bites will take a bit longer than expected." She was told that was okay. Cue a couple more trips to repeat that. Later she said "I am so sorry again. The cook is now making them from scratch for you." That was a little puzzling. Our table was to the right of the kitchen window and the cook was there the whole time. Plus the restaurant was not crowded at all, just three other tables besides us. Again, we said it was not a problem. The pesto bites arrived a few minutes after our sandwiches.
The meatballs were rather large on this sandwich. They had a nice thyme seasoning. The bread and marinara sauce were uninteresting.
One of our sandwiches came with french fries. The waitress said there was a choice of chili, cheese or both on top. Chili and cheese were requested. Upon bringing the fries, she commented "Wait. You asked for chili and cheese, right ? These just have cheese. I'm so sorry. I will get you another order." She was assured that cheese alone was fine and the fries didn't need to be exchanged. The waitress replied "Oh, no, he (the cook) is making an order of chili cheese fries right now. I'll bring you those. You keep these, too. I am so sorry!" Oy vey.
If you order fries at RMG, specify "Just a handful on the side." Otherwise the fries come in huge bowls with enough to feed four people.
Bananas Foster Bites
The white part tasted like cheesecake. The brown bit reminded me banana bread. The outer crust had a French toast flavor. This dessert didn't remind me of bananas Foster at all, but it was delicious none the less.
The dessert course brought yet another round of apologies. Our waitress commented "He overcooked the bites. So he's making another batch for you right now." She brought us a basket of six perfectly fine, not overcooked bites. "Here is your dessert. I'll be back with the new basket." So we received two identical baskets of dessert bites. I have no idea what was wrong with the first batch.
Other items available
Blue corn chips, pizza, chicken sandwiches, salads, lots of items with Italian meats, brownies
A few problems:
- There's a lack of pictures and keywords on the menu. The listings are organized but need something that makes a diner go "Wow, I want to order that!" Table tents would probably help, too.
- The restaurant is missing personality, warmth and charm. It's a few nature photos, beer buckets along the bar top and a sea of brown.
- RMG fails to inspire a "Let's come back again" feeling. The food is good and the prices are super low; but other places in Lake Asbury already sell the same things. Duke's BBQ, located behind them, has the inexpensive barbecue and sandwich menu. And Pulcinella down the road has the Italian food for nice evening outings.
- Rocky Mountain Grill doesn't have a signature entree to be known for.
- They need a new cook and better training for the wait staff. I like free food as much as the next person; but there was no reason to remake our orders and send "fixed" seconds. That's too costly for the owners in the long run.
Rocky Mountain Grill gets neither a thumbs up or down, just a "meh" from me. It isn't even one of those "If I happen to be in the area anyway" restaurants. I probably won't be going back. I do not see Rocky Mountain Grill lasting very long in Lake Asbury.