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The Blue & Gray Press | February 24, 2018

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New grill not quite a home run

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.

Comments

  1. UMW Student

    My girlfriend and I ate here the other day and I have to say I was a little impressed. It was nice seeing most of the serving staff were UMW students and the first thing I noticed was the big blue UMW banner hanging over the bar with a giant white and silver eagle on it, however this was the only piece of UMW gear situated anywhere in the restaurant (or at least that I could see from a casual walk around). The service was quick and friendly, again it’s nice to be served by UMW peers and strike up a conversation. There are a lot of Beers on tap ranging from fan favorites like miller and bud light to my personal favorite Guinness. If memory serves there were about 10-12 different beers on draft with several more bottled. Food and beer prices were competative, a burger and chicken stir fry + 2 beers came to about 21$. All within walking distance of my house? Yes. Sir.
    On my way out I stopped the hostess (a freshman at UMW) and asked her about the place in her opinion. The HTG is aiming to be a college hangout while avoiding becoming a dive bar and club similar to ‘fatty’s’. They succeed in not being a dive bar, there is adequate lighting and no real dance floor. However they fall a little short on the college hangout portion of this statement. First and foremost there needs to be a little more “college” in this bar. Some banners need to go up, maybe a jersey or two, some pictures. I mean the McDonald’s has more UMW gear. Throw in a couple comfy couches like you can find down the corner at Pancho Villa combined with the sweet bar and delicious burgers I think this place will find its niche firmly situated in this community over the years to come.