Saturday, March 7, 2009

Keystone Bar & Grill

Keystone Bar & Grill
313 Greenup St.
Covington, KY

Not long ago I received a letter in the mail from Keystone Bar & Grill, informing me that they have a new and improved menu. Along with the letter was a copy of their menu and a discount voucher, which is always an incentive in my book. I looked the menu over and noticed that they clearly mark their vegetarian options – another plus.

Keystone Bar and Grill, emphasis on bar

Looking over the menu I was sorry to see that they no longer list the vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie as an option, which I had enjoyed on a previous visit. There were, however, a couple of interesting sounding items: a veggie wrap, a black bean burrito and a Philly Phake, which is a hoagie sandwich made with chopped veggie burger in place of the usual meat. I also saw jalapeño corn pudding listed as a side, which sounds like all kinds of awesome, and there is an entire area of the menu devoted to various mac & cheese and quesadilla creations.

Steve and I met up with Shawn and Katy from FoodLuv to give the new menu a try, but the information packet had neglected to mention that they serve only a limited brunch menu until 3 p.m. on weekends. The web site does say this, but I hadn’t looked at it since I already had a copy of the menu. We couldn't hang around until the full menu was available, so brunch it was.

There are several vegetarian options on the brunch menu: a veggie frittata (eggs, spinach, artichoke hearts, red onion, roasted red peppers and Swiss cheese served with home fries, a pancake or fresh fruit); biscuits and veggie gravy; the ever-present veggie burger; grilled cheese; cheese quesadilla; the Hangover Burrito (scrambled eggs, home fries, onions, peppers and cheese in a wrap served with home fries); huevos rancheros; pancakes and French toast; and the intriguing-sounding potato crisp.

The menu says that the potato crisp is a large platter of hash browns stuffed with a variety of items. The Vegetarian Crisp includes spinach, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sour cream; the Gonzo Crisp has artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato and gorgonzola cheese; the Margarite Crisp is stuffed with garlic, tomato and fresh mozzarella and topped with fresh basil; and the Gravy Crisp is stuffed with vegetarian gravy and cheese.

Katy and I opted for the vegetarian crisp, while Shawn took a chance on the vegetarian gravy crisp. Steve, the only carnivore in the group, chose a bacon burger. From both the menu and the server's description, we expected the potato crisp to be different than what we got. When our crisps arrived at the table they looked lonely and in sore need of accompaniment. A cup of fresh fruit or a side of spring mix salad would have made a ho-hum dish into something far more appealing.

The vegetarian potato crisp

Would you pay $8 for this?

What we got was basically a pile of shredded, fried potato with approximately a tablespoon each of tomato and onion, a sprinkling of cheese and one spinach leaf tucked inside. I could have made a much better version of this at home for a lot less than the $7.95 asking price.

Needlesstosay, we were not wowed by our potato crisps, and Shawn was doubly disappointed because his turned up stuffed with goetta instead of vegetarian mince and gravy, as he had requested. He had to sit and watch the rest of us dig into ours while he waited for the kitchen to correct his order. When it finally arrived, there was hardly any gravy in it!

Adding to the disappointment was an incredibly smoky environment. Keystone is definitely more of a bar than a restaurant; nearly every patron was drinking some type of alcoholic beverage while puffing away on a cig. Few bothered to order food. We were only in there an hour, but the smell clung to our clothing and hair for hours afterward.

Keystone Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Sara Leah said...

I have to agree that the Crisp DOES look a bit lonely on the plate. I had the Margarite crisp on a recent visit. It was bland. Alot of potato, alot of cheese and little else. I would agree that some sort of side would be appropriate, especially because of the rather high price.

Veggie Option said...

Hi Sara - thanks for reading. Hopefully the restaurant will take on board our comments and add a side to the Crisp selection. I always thought brunch was a mixture of breakfast and lunch items, so a salad or fruit cup should work well.