[Lynchburg] Shoemaker's Grille
I suspect the Grille likes to think it’s better than it really is. Certainly, it’s a nice room with comfortable seating at tables or booths. And enthusiastic servers who very regularly make their presence felt at your table. Yes, I do appreciate that American service style differs from our style in Europe, but this was very “enthusiastic”.
The restaurant is attached to the Craddock Terry Hotel and takes its name from the fact that, in the 1880s, the Craddock Terry Shoe Company manufactured footwear and was Lynchburg’s largest employer.
Unsurprisingly, the menu majors on straightforward grills – steaks, burgers, salmon, tuna and the like, along with a few more intricate dishes. A starter of seared tuna was served cold with a little shredded vegetable (nope, no idea what it was as it had no discernible flavour). There was a sweet soy glaze and sushi ginger which should have complemented the fish well. However, an overuse of wasabi pretty much killed off any of the more delicate flavours and, indeed, set me off coughing for a couple of minutes or so.
My partner fared much better with her starter Scallops Casino. Served on the half shell, the seafood was topped with bacon, onion and peppers along with a sprinkling of panko and parmesan. It was really good.
For mains, a New York strip was OK, although didn’t have much flavour. The accompanying garden salad would have been much better without the dressing which tasted of artificial sweetener.
I’d ordered a mixed salad of leaves, corn, tomato, bacon and blue cheese, along with a small flat iron steak. It tasted OK. We’d waited quite a while for the plates to arrive, and had to ask the server where they were. That may well account for why my steak was barely warm. Possibly, it had been sat around on the pass for a time. It probably should have gone back but I really didn’t want another delay that would mean I would watch my partner eat and then she could watch me eat.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we passed on dessert and coffee.