by Hannah Sayle
“Whatcha hungry for?” asks Doug Ballinger, manager of the Riverside Grill, a breakfast and lunch spot located in the BP on Riverside Drive. Customers behind me face the same question, and like me, they find it’s not easy to decide.
Riverside Grill offers traditional Southern fare on the cheap, from frog legs to chicken wings, baked beans to banana pudding, fried okra to fresh, homemade biscuits.
I decide to go with the daily special, and since I’ve shown up on a Thursday, a “Riverside Roulette” day, the featured plate is left up to chance.
Today lady luck delivers me a plate of fried okra, baked beans, and a fried pork chop. The pork chop has a delightfully spicy batter, and along with the two vegetables, a fresh, buttery biscuit tops off the plate.
Although there are picnic tables outside, I’m not able to enjoy them for all the mid-summer storms. But as Ballinger tells me, the majority of people just like “get in and get out.” Once a favorite haunt of local construction workers for the adjacent high rises, Riverside Grill now enjoys a more even flow of customers, from downtowners on their lunch breaks, to out-of-towners on their way through.
I’m pleased with the friendly service (they advertise “smiles” on the sign outside), and the promise of Tamale Tuesday has me planning a second visit.
Check it out for yourself at 694 Riverside Drive or follow them on twitter to find out about daily specials and updates. Breakfast is from open to 10:30 a.m. Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They also offer a large assortment of import and micro-brews.
Riverside Grill, 694 Riverside Drive