Fri. Oct 18th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

New grill not quite a home run

3 min read

As one of the newest businesses to open its doors in Eagle Village, Home Team Grill provides yet another option for anyone looking to dine out in Fredericksburg.

Started in Richmond, Home Team Grill now has three locations. Although it offers everything one might expect from a sports bar and certainly doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel, the Eagle Village location was clean, the staff was attentive and the food was as good as anything found downtown.

In terms of pricing and variety on the menu, Home Team Grill is competitive with other casual dining restaurants in the area.

I visited on the restaurant’s promotional burger deal night. On Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., all burgers on the menu are half-price. My veggie burger was good and the portion was generous, without being overwhelming, but the best thing about the meal was the $5 bill.

My dining partners ordered the “Dirty Dog,” a hot dog with chili, tomatoes, shredded cheese and bacon, that cost $7.99 and the chicken tender appetizer, which was $8.49. While everyone agreed that our food tasted good and the service was excellent, something about the place seemed off.

For a restaurant that seems as if it’s trying to promote a laid-back good time, from the image of a baseball player pitching across the front of the building to the plethora of televisions lining the walls broadcasting various sporting events, Home Team Grill felt stiff and uptight.

Admittedly, 8 p.m. on a Tuesday is not a peak business hour for a brand new sports bar, particularly in a town without a home team to support, so I will reserve judgment of the atmosphere until the World Series, or some other undoubtedly fascinating sporting event.

Home Team Grill is not a place to overlook when deciding where to eat, but at the moment it’s not a place to go if your main concern is a lively environment. I could see it becoming a great place for Eagle Landing residents to hang out and grab a drink or watch a game, due it to its proximity to the residence hall.

Its location in the heart of Eagle Village makes me wonder why the prices are so steep—a $9 burger seems a bit much for a sports bar that will likely be populated primarily by students—but, in reality, the prices and food quality are competitive with many restaurants downtown, like the established Capital Ale House and the newer Longstreet’s.

Appetizers at Home Team Grill range from $4.99 for onion rings to $11.99 for the “Bourbon Street Shrimp.” There are a number of options, such as chicken quesadillas, wings and Cajun tuna bits that fall into the $8-$10 range as well.

Most of the burgers, salads and sandwiches range from $7 to $11 and are typical American fare, with a few variations, like the “Creole Po’Boy” and the “Hawaiin Burger,” that add a surprising twist on an otherwise standard menu.

The friendly staff and variety of menu options elevate Home Team Grill from another restaurant that you might try, then quickly forget about, to a place to watch. Once it establishes itself and gains a customer base, this could quickly become a great place to hang out with friends.

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