Ok, we live right near this place and we have never managed to get to it. And I have never, NEVER, heard anyone say one word about it. But they advertise that they are one of the only non-chains in the Castleton area, and one day for lunch hubby wanted a burger and I wanted to go somewhere new, so we landed at the Castleton Grill. (Although after looking at their website, they certainly run several restaurants, and while they mainly seem to be in Indiana, I am still not exactly sure what they mean by being a non-chain—they are not a large national corporate chain, but a locally owned group of restaurants I guess.)
It’s a strange place. There are a lot of people eating here that have obviously been eating here for a long time. You could tell by their familiarity with the staff (my favorite was one guy who refused to sit in a certain server’s section and they knew it from the moment he walked in). The menu is pretty big, and covers most of the basic Midwestern menu requirements.
The first disappointment was the onion rings we ordered to start. I asked our server if they were battered or breaded and she said, oh, “they’re battered and they’re really good!” Well she was wrong on both accounts. They were actually breaded (I don’t like them that way) and straight out of a foodservice bag and probably the worst onion rings I have ever had. I didn’t even finish one of them. Complete waste of calories. And we only ate 2 of them and they sat there for the rest of the meal. Even though she asked if we liked them and we told her we didn’t, she didn’t offer to take them off the bill or anything. Annoying.
So I ordered a Cobb salad for my lunch, which is often my go to salad in places like this. It is easy to compare a salad like this and see how quality the ingredients are. It had all the usuals, tomatoes, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, and hard boiled eggs and a less common thing, slivered almonds. The chicken was a grilled chicken breast. The dressing was their own blue cheese dressing. I was a little disappointed with a couple of things in this salad. They touted their “Applewood smoked bacon” all over the menu, including on this salad, but as you can see from the picture, the crumbles of bacon were more like bacon dust. And the tiny sliver of avocado, while ripe, was miniscule. The blue cheese was also in very small crumbles, and not the most flavorful cheese I have had for sure.
I liked the almonds, as I like the crunch that almonds add to a salad, but there were more of these than just about anything with the exception of the chicken and tomatoes. The chicken wasn’t bad. Not too tough, and I liked that at least it wasn’t just lunch meat cubed on top. However, all in all, I wouldn’t order this again. Probably the best thing about the salad was the dressing—it was very thick and blue-cheesy, although sometimes when the dressing is so thick, it makes it hard to eat with the salad. But I just dipped my forkfuls in, made a mess, and went on about my business. They sell this to go, so my guess is they consider it a specialty.
Hubby had the burger with cheddar and some of that bacon I mentioned earlier and was quite happy. He liked the bun and thought they had the proper proportion of bread to meat. He wanted to be sure that I said his burger got the thumbs up. (He didn’t care for the fries though—very standard. And in this day and age, with so many great fries out there, it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with some good ones). So there you go. If you end up at this place, maybe you should order the burger. And if you are one of the regulars, and think something is really good here, will you let me know?
6010 East 82nd Street