Saturday, January 7, 2012

Round Boys Grill

11629-8 San Jose Boulevard, 32223

January 7, 2012

A small place seating only 36 people, Round Boys Grill is a restaurant that has decided to go with the kitschy decor of license plates with cliche sayings and reprints of Warhol style portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.  Nowhere does it say to expect white linens and silver service.  It is nice to see an open kitchen, a feature which has become more prevalent in restaurants of all styles.  The open kitchen allows the guest to feel welcomed and tells us the Round Boys take pride in the food they make because they are willing to let the customer watch them make it.

And these guys did not hold back.  It may not be five star dining, but it was small business cookery at its finest.  The menu is what you would expect when walking into a smaller restaurant in this part of Mandarin.  Wings, burgers and chicken sandwiches: food that can be made quickly for the busy lunch rushes from the surrounding business without having to sacrifice quality.  There "signature" menu item is a monstrous 3+ pound burger that may be part of an eating competition to promote the restaurant.  We perused the menu deciding on 2 starters and 2 flavors of wings.
Fat Daddy.  20oz burger of awesome.

Hand Battered Onion Rings with ranch dressing, $6.  I am always skeptical to order onion rings anywhere, as my mother has made an onion ring so unique and delicious it is hard to beat.  Nevertheless, we order them.  As the rings arrive at the table and I am already surprised.  The order is big enough for 2-3 to share.  They are an extra thick cut sweet onion, hand battered and fried to golden brown and, most importantly, delicious.  The onion rings were crispy, properly fried and neared perfection.  I felt that the only thing holding these back from beating out my mom's, other than the strong childhood memories, was the ranch.  In lieu of ranch, a house made sauce which ever tickled the chef's fancy may have done the trick.  Don't get me wrong, this is the South.  I completely understand it.  But it may be the only reason as why they will only make #2 on the list of best Handmade Onion Rings ever.  Besides, ketchup was the standard dipping sauce in my parents house when it came to this ethereal side dish.
Hand Battered Onion Rings

Fried Pickle Chips with ranch dressing, $5.  A classic appetizer in the South that is rapidly growing in popularity.  Nothing special or outstanding, but they were done right.  Not excessively greasy or extra sour or salty.  Just simply prepared and served with the beloved condiment of the region.  Ranch.
Fried Pickle Chips
15 Lightly Breaded Chicken Wings, $12.  2 sets of these were purchased: Cajun Ranch and Chipotle Citrus.  Juicy, crispy, jumbo chicken wings tossed in the sauce of our choosing.  The Cajun Ranch Wings were winners from the get go.  Round Boys has decided to not just take ranch dressing and mix some hot sauce or Cajun spice into it.  They actually take their wing sauce and flavor it with a ranch style seasoning.  The best part about this: You don't feel guilty dipping it into so creamy thick blue cheese dip.  Chipotle Citrus Wings were equally satisfying.  The sauce threw me for a loop, because I was expecting a traditional wing sauce base.  These guys took it in a soy based sauce direction that was perfectly mixed with a slight tang from the citrus, a nice smoky heat from the chipotles and a perfect seasoning with the salt from the soy.
Top: Cajun Ranch.  Bottom: Chipotle Citrus.

*Note:  Chicken wings have your choice of 3 preparations; naked, lightly breaded, grilled; and a myriad of sauces that they will gladly mix for you should you be so inclined to experiment.  As well as multiple amounts to buy them in; 10, 15, etc.
*Note:  We happened to catch it on a $.50 wing day costing us only $7.50 per order of wings.

Round Boys Grill may not be the next restaurant offering up a chef to be nominated for a James Beard Award, nor the next location being featured on The Travel Channel.  But with the help of locals, we could easily keep it off of the infamous Restaurant Impossible (and with any luck, get it on the list locals everywhere keep their eyes fixed on:  Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.)

Round Boys Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. get the chunky dunker or the reuben next time. both are awesome!

  2. are you eat all of the food? That is really big portion.
    The fat daddy really tempting to try

    Obat Pelangsing untuk menurunkan berat badan

  3. We went by the restaurant yesterday and it appears to be closed. Sounded like a place I wanted to visit. Hope it's only temporary.