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Restaurant Review: McCasky’s Grille

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: McCasky’s Grille
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Note from Walker: The following review was completed possibly on the final night of operation at McCasky’s Grille. Last week it was brought to our attention that they seemed to have closed up. Their website and Facebook pages have been removed and a call to their phone number only provides a message about booking special events. Instead of deleting the review, we decided to go ahead and post it as a “Miriam Memoriam”.

Now that the weather has gotten nice and al fresco dining is all-the-rage, it’s time for contrarians to head indoors.

In fact, dining indoors in a basement is about as contrary as you can get right now. And if that basement is a casual grill that once housed a fancy Zagat dining institution: trifecta of discordance.

Enter McCasky’s Grill. It set up shop a few months ago at the Front street address that once housed the hallowed Handke’s Cuisine. It’s nothing like Handke’s – and that’s okay.

McCasky’s is more like Cheers. Or at least, Cheers, from the perspective of someone who never really watched Cheers and only saw clips and a couple of reruns. It’s a bar, right? With some dining tables, occasionally raucous, with lots of people who look perfectly comfortable and at home, displaying all the characteristics of “regulars”.

You can’t argue with their taste; the food is kinda good, in a bar-and-grill sort of way.

There’s a solid Caesar salad on the menu . If you order the big size ($8) it’s a meal in itself with romaine, fresh croutons and shards of parmesan with a flavorful Caesar dressing. There’s plenty of other salad options on the menu too, including a traditional Greek salad and a mixed greens number with cranberries and goat cheese. They’re all available in big and small sizes.

For the meatier crowd, there’s a nice selection of sandwiches. The Blackened Chicken ($8) wasn’t really blackened, but it still had the right stuff for a decent grilled chicken sandwich- with a spiky hot pepper cheese and a lil’ guacamole, which works great as nature’s mayo.

The Cuban ($9) was a really nice surprise. The typical local version usually involves a mess of pulled pork with ham; McCasky’s looks more like a regular deli sandwich. A little sandwich scrutiny reveals that the famous roast pork element is present in the Cuban, in the form of meticiulously and miraculously thin slices of real honest-to-goodness pork roast. It makes the sandwich an easy-eating combo with mustard and pickles and the ham: nicely designed.

In the Burger department. the House Burger ($10) is a combination that really works. A big grilled patty is topped with bacon jam (a great idea -and nicely distributed on the burger), a good quality cheddar and crunchy onions.

There’s a Fish Sandwich too – stuffed with a generous supply of cracklin’ fried cod with the classic companions of lettuce, tomato and onions.

The joint was open for lunch and dinner, daily at 520 S. Front Street. McCasky’s Grille is now closed to the public.

Photo via McCasky’s Grille.

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