Monday, April 16, 2012

Restaurant Review: Shorty's Grill, Bedford, New Hampshire, We won't make the same mistake twice

Editors Note:  04/05/13 {It looks like what was formerly the Shorty's Grill has now been turned back into a Shorty's Mexican Roadhouse.  There is no mention of what was the Shorty's Grill when you visit their website}

I was reluctant to try Shorty's Grill after reading a bunch of reviews on Yelp that were almost all bad. And I have never been a fan of The Shorty's Mexican Restaurants. That said, I am always willing to give a restaurant a chance despite what anyone else may say or think.

In case you weren't aware of the story of dining establishments at this location on 101 in Bedford it has been one bad restaurant after another. Many years ago it was actually a Shorty's Mexican Restaurant followed subsequently be two other Mexican Restaurants. They all failed and it makes me wonder why the owners of Shorty's would want to try again in this same location where there have been so many problems in the past.

To begin, we arrived on a recent Friday night to what was a packed parking lot, after searching for a while I finally found a spot. We entered the restaurant and were quickly seated in the far back in front of the windows.

As I sat in my seat and looked around my first thought was that they had changed the interior and not for the better. The booths that were there previously had been removed so more tables could be added. I understand if you want to seat more people in the same space, however, our table was too close to the one behind us and I kept bumping into that person , an annoying situation as I'm sure you can understand.

The walls are painted yellow with a few bland pictures thrown in. All in all the atmosphere is lacking. I stared out of the back window as it was still light and had a view of what looked like a flat sandy brown area, not my idea of an ideal visual. The space out back would be very nice for a patio area. I would hope they utilize the area in the future.

Our waitress stopped by and asked us what we wanted to drink, I ordered a beer and my wife a pomegranate martini. She was very nice and I thought maybe this is going to be better than I thought. We waited for our drinks and I noticed someone getting the fish tacos that looked very good.

I scanned the menu and it seemed that that they were trying to do Mexican along with a mix of American foods. You will find the usual Mexican items like burrito's, quesadilla's, chimichangas alongside burgers, pizza, salads, pasta and homestyle dishes including meatloaf and seafood. Honestly, I can't figure out what they are trying to accomplish, whatever it is as long as the food is very good it won't matter to their customers.

Decision time, for the appetizer although I am not a fan of tempura anything we went with the tempura chicken tenders. I will admit that it was good with a sweet dipping sauce and covered in mango's that was a nice complement. The only complaint was that it seemed to take longer than I thought for the appetizer to arrive.

On to dinner, we saw that a number of people were ordering the Fish Taco's so my wife chose that and she agreed to let me sample some. I, on the other hand decided on one of their specials, The Big Bang Chimichanga. The main reason that I went with the special was the description that talked about their famous buttermilk fried chicken inside and covered in their espinaca dip that I have had at their Mexican restaurants and was one of the few things that I actuallly liked. Unfortunately, neither of these meals was anything to brag about. The fish tacos were bland with a hard shell inside of a soft outer shell that we did not like. The Big Bang Chimichanga was pasty and too heavy, they really oversold how good this might be.

Although the first pomegranate martini my wife had was very good the second was terrible and when we sent it back for a second one it was just as bad.

Our server was friendly and efficient, I have no complaints about the service.

So there you have it, I can't recommend Shorty's Grill for the lackluster food more than anything else. A manager did come over to our table at the end. We explained that we were disappointed with our food. She apologized and returned with a card for 15 percent off on our next visit. Unfortunately, we won't be using this as we won't make the same mistake twice.
Shorty's Grill on Urbanspoon