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Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

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Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

Postby bob_rx2000 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:23 am

I’ve never quite figured out why I would want to go to the mall for dinner, but the latest developments at the Grape Road mall involve several food establishments of a cut somewhat higher than the old favorite of a food court. Those who know me well remember that prior to my marriage I had a regular ritual of visiting the mall annually, but have found to my dismay that frequency has spiked upward with the advent of having a family. I guess I'm just not a "mall fan".

Friday evening Mrs-Bob_Rx and I dined with another couple at the Granite City restaurant in the new section of the Grape Road mall. You may be surprised by how large the Granite City establishment is when you see their frontage space, but this is a fairly large restaurant and bar. We were seated immediately upon arrival and as you might imagine, parking wasn’t an issue. Obviously that can change on days when the mall gets full.

Granite City has a full bar and is a microbrewry in other locations, although the Mishawaka location clearly has the brews shipped in. Our server told us about a specialty margarita with a bunch of different liquors involved and one of our party ordered this drink. I ordered my usual Bombay Blue martini, very dry with an olive. If these two drinks were examples of the bar service at Granite City, don’t bother with their bar. Our friends pronounced the margarita very odd tasting and finished but half of it, and it wasn’t very large. My martini arrived in a standard martini glass, wasn’t remotely “dry”, didn’t have the olive and wasn't even particularly cold. It was, in fact, a disappointment and I’d been looking forward to this martini all week…

For an appetizer we ordered a crab and spinach quesadilla, which was delivered quickly and was well prepared. There was a very fair amount of crab in the dish along with a nice salsa and a sufficient helping of sour cream. It arrived hot from the oven and was, well, appetizing. Both Mrs-Bob_Rx and I had the specialty of the week dish of shrimp and mussel linguini, while our friends tried chicken dishes. The food was served hot and was tasty. The linguini came with a generous amount of mussels and shrimp and I know the chicken dishes were good as conversation did come to pretty much a halt while we ate. Only Mrs-Bob_Rx had dessert, an apple crunch dish that she thought was OK, but nothing special.

Service at Granite City was a tad confusing. Our main waitress was a lovely young woman who tried her very best, but frankly, the establishment still has some rough patches to work out. Our drink order was taken by a different server than the young lady who became our server, and food was brought from the kitchen by a variety of different people. This could account for our entrees arriving within 5 minutes of the appetizer and before we had the opportunity to complete it. We also saw, several times, serving staff wondering around the establishment with food but not quite sure where to deliver it.

The bottom line with a drink, an appetizer, a dessert, two entrees and an average tip came to about $70. A coupon for a complimentary entrée was included with the tab. My conclusion is that Granite City has good food for a pub, a below-average bar and some service glitches to work out. If they can work out the issues and improve the bar, I'll change my opinion but, taken with a location that simply doesn’t appeal to me, I won’t be putting the place on my list of regular eateries.
Bob_Rx2000
"Because, Gentlemen, I don't trust you..." Gunning Bedford, U.S. Constitutional Convention
"First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he created the School Board." Mark Twain
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Re: Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

Postby Westmore 103 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:14 pm

I have been to Granite City on several occasions and have never had a bad meal or bad service. It is one of my favorite new places to dine.
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Re: Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

Postby bob_rx2000 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:57 am

Westmore,

My issue with G.C. is that their drinks were poor, and the service crowded the meal into the table before the appetizer could possibly have been finished. If the food were really outstanding, I'd even overlook that, but it is just good food, no better than that available a number of places. None of the issues is beyond fixing, but the management needs to get to work. I'll wait a few months and try the place again.
Bob_Rx2000
"Because, Gentlemen, I don't trust you..." Gunning Bedford, U.S. Constitutional Convention
"First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he created the School Board." Mark Twain
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Re: Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

Postby backstagedee » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:25 pm

OK, I'll bite too. Something must have been amiss or has changed in the 2 or 3 months since I've been there. As I left GC the last time I was seriously considering burning down BSG because the service and self promotion at GC were so good (for a casual dining chain) that I was embarrassed. I had beer, so I can't speak for the bar, but BSG Amanda also works (or worked) there, and I would have expected quality drink service. Their service training handbook and standards are impressive and if the manager was properly enforcing those standards I think you would be pleased. I wonder if a change has occurred.
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Re: Granite City - Dinner at the Mall

Postby York » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:14 pm

backstagedee wrote: As I left GC the last time I was seriously considering burning down BSG because the service and self promotion at GC were so good (for a casual dining chain) that I was embarrassed.


Dee, as you are aware, this is an upper Great Lakes/Midwestern casual dining chain with locations in about twelve or so states ... what do you have to be embarrassed about? You have ONE restaurant. Granite City reminds me a lot of the Steak & Shake concept ... incompetent Midwestern management with an aggressive business plan. I recently read in a business magazine that they're struggling to survive in this fragile economic situation. Lesson: don't bite off more than you can chew.
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