You know, there are some addresses where you just think, oh g-d, what rubbish is here now? You know, addresses that are cursed? The former location of Epicure, La Prima Pizzeria, Irvington Corner Table, Rustica, and probably a half-dozen other places whose names I've blocked out because it was such an underwhelming experience, is now the locale for an underwhelming brewpub. Or it will be a brewpub once they get the brewery properly licensed.
If you are familiar with Old Market Pub, and/or like their beer and food, well, there you go. I'm told that the menu is the same at Broadway. I'm not surprised at all that places like Old Market Pub survive on the west side; the west side is so underserved for any type of edible inexpensive food that places that have no excuse for surviving hang on for years.
The space is dotted by big screen TVs and has the ambiance of a bus station; except in this bus station, there's lots of unfinished wood.
Let us begin with the menu. Appetizers and the beer list make up the front page. There is an artichoke-spinach-cheese dip, onion rings, 2 types of fries, 3 quesadillas, hot wings, and nachos. Prices range from $3.95 to $9.95, with most things, including the corn chips and salsa, ringing in at $6.95-$7.95.
We didn't order the $6.95 corn chips and salsa. There's TOFTT and then there's sheer stupidity.
Soups & Salads range from $3.95-$9.95, that lowest price being a cup of pub-made soup, the latter being an entree caesar with a 1/4 pound of shrimp. Are they cocktail style or deepfried, prawns or bay shrimp? Who knows?
Entrees vary widely. There's a pasta ($12.95-$13.95), gyros ($8.95-$10.95), chicken fingers ($9.50), 10 inch pizzas ($9.95), fish-n-chips ($9.95-$12.95), burgers ($6.95-$9.45), and sandwiches ($8.60-$9.90. Vegetarian options (a garden burger, 3 veggie pizzas, and the gyros) are few and far between. Just about everything comes with potato chips, and there are up-charges galore: to sub in fries, to get dipping sauce, to add salsa (!) to your nachos.
Broadway Grill has about a dozen taps of Old Market Pub beers. We asked our teenage waitress for her recommendation, and that worked about as well as you might expect. We ended up with a couple of lackluster beers. Then we ordered food.
Now, honestly, I hadn't heard anything good about this place, but I was hoping in the way that I always do, that this would be a good place to get dinner. So with that inherent, unproven optimistism...
I had the "1/2-pound beer-battered fish & chips", halibut with the shoestring fries. The fries were okay, but the fish, yikes. It was an awful grade of halibut, if it was halibut; it had no taste, and a distinctly wrong texture. Halibut is a firm white meat fish with a fine texture. It should flake into chunks when you cut it, or put it in your mouth, and it should have a sweet mild flavor. The deep-frying and beer batter were adequate. Wait a minute, scratch that. At 12.95 for a half-pound, what a rip off!
My companion got a "big corned beef reuben" ($8.95), which he described as the worst reuben he had ever had. For one thing, it wasn't big. The sandwich had too little corned beef, and what little corned beef it had wasn't very good. It wasn't bad, it was just something you'd expect in a Denny's reuben, if they served reubens (do they? I have no idea). The overall sandwich was greasy. Well, at least we had our fries.
What I don't get is that when we were there, the joint was jumping. Lots of folks there, eating and drinking. Is NE Broadway this starved for pub grub? I guess so.