Boston Restaurant Blog -- April, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Because I go to so many unique and interesting restaurants, I sometimes need to remind myself that the humble family-friendly suburban dining spots can also make for good dining experiences. Such is the case with a place I went to recently called the Horseshoe Grille in North Reading. The Horseshoe Grille will never be mistaken for a fine dining spot or an exotic ethnic restaurant, but for what it is--a comfortable and reasonably-priced barbecue spot--it really is quite good.
Several of us made it over to the Horseshoe Grille last week for lunch, having made a reservation just in case it was crowded. The place was about half-full, however, which seems to be par for the course for restaurants these days. We were seated at a large table near the fireplace that sits in the middle of the main dining area and soon ordered drinks and appetizers as well as our main meals. I ordered the Death Valley chili to start, and while it wasn't quite as hot as I had hoped, it was flavorful with lots of beef, peppers, onions, and cheese mixed in. For our meals, we ordered a variety of items including a few salads, a shoe dip (basically a roast beef au jus), and, for me, a pulled pork sandwich with hot sauce on the side. Again, the sauce wasn't all that hot, but it had some nice flavor, and the pulled pork was delicious, if just a touch on the dry side. The salads were a hit among my dining companions, and the shoe dip was given a thumbs-up. We also ordered a big plate of homemade potato chips for the table; some of them were limp and watery, but most were crisp and tasty.
Service at the Horseshoe Grille was excellent; our waitress was friendly, personable, and efficient. The prices were good overall, with nothing we ordered being particularly expensive. And the atmosphere really was rather nice, with the fireplace adding a cozy touch to the room and the slightly dim lighting adding on to the coziness.
So would I consider the Horseshoe Grille to be a hidden gem? Well, maybe. I wasn't quite blown away by the place, and I'm not entirely sure it's all that hidden. But it is a very good option that I would certainly recommend if you find yourself anywhere north of Boston near Route 93. And I will surely try to get back to the Horseshoe for dinner one of these nights to try some of their other items, so stay tuned...
If you want the address for the Horseshoe Grille in North Reading, here it is: Horseshoe Grille, 226 Main Street, North Reading, MA 01864. The phone number is (978) 664-3591.
Related Blog Entries: barbecue joints
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