We’re always on the look out for great places to grab a bite, so when we saw the article about Drew’s American Grill in the San Antonio Magazine we were sold and made our reservation. The food looked fabulous from the pictures – and we loved the idea of “imaginative” cooking as mentioned on the restaurant’s website.
Upon our arrival, we discovered that the restaurant decor incorporates a strange combination of styles, probably because the location has changed hands over the years. But who cares about decor? It’s really about the food. We slid into the comfy booth and our server, a college-aged fellow, came over right away to take our drink order. As we waited, we reviewed the menu — an odd hodge-podge of different kinds of foods from pizza to deli sandwiches to braised short ribs. We ordered the fried mac n’ cheese bites to start and munch on as we decided on the main entrees.
Now, this is one of those situations where J and I disagree – I disliked the breaded and deep-fried bits of mac n’ cheese served with a sweet tomato sauce and J thought they were good. To me, the deep-fried taste overpowered the Gruyere and the dipping sauce tasted like BBQ sauce.
For the main entrees, I ordered the stuffed chicken breast and J had the High on the Hog pizza. The chicken was stuffed with apricot, goat cheese, dates, and marcona almonds – a combination that simply did not work. The chicken itself was good, if a little dry, but the stuffing was more suited to a breakfast pastry than a dinner entree. The accompanying polenta and haricots vert were fine but not inspiring. I could only eat a couple of bites of the chicken. The pizza had potential, but ultimately failed… mainly because there was hot sauce all over the pizza (see orange puddles in pic), which killed the taste of all of the beautiful meats. Again.. the combination just didn’t work. I applaud Drew’s for trying to be creative, but it seems they are just trying too hard. Imaginative combinations are fun, but most often, simple, good food is best.
We visited on a Sunday night, and though the restaurant was not crowded, the food came out very slowly. The dinner as outlined above took about 1.5 hours. By the time we finished, we just weren’t in the mood for dessert – and we were afraid of what we might get. We read in the San Antonio Magazine that “you’re sure to meet Drew on every visit: He warmly greets most guests at each table and is genuinely pleased to serve you.” I love restaurants where the owners do this – it makes the whole experience so much more personable and special. We did indeed see Drew…. as he greeted each table and skipped over ours… multiple times. I guess we don’t look important enough :)
All of this said, the San Antonio Magazine article and a recent www.mysa.com review give Drew’s some pretty nice kudos (especially on the reuben sandwich, which we did not try)… so maybe we just visited on an off night. We’ll give Drew’s another chance, but for now, we’ll rate our experience at 1.5 Smileys.
Unusual decor, unusual food combinations, lovely waitstaff.. and very yummy cotton candy presented with each check.
Drew’s American Grill
18740 Stone Oak Parkway
San Antonio, Texas