Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grillfire Arundel - We Heard You Mr. Gorelick, but Don't Quite Understand Your Contradicting Review!

George Martin Group
65 N. Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570   1-516-678-7272

A recent review of George Martin’s Grillfire in Arundel, MD left contradicting thoughts for the reader.

It is quite obvious that something went sour for food critic Richard Gorelick of the Baltimore Sun, the night he went to Grillfire. Apparently he believes Grillfire to be “corporately engineered” and “mechanical,” yet complains about the unique flavors and inspirations used in the décor and on the menu. Which one is it? Boring? Or unique? Mr. Gorelick, please make up your mind.

The only thing mechanical about Grillfire is the expectations Mr. Gorelick had when he walked into the sophisticated American Grill. If he had read the restaurant description before showing up, he would’ve been prepared for the focus on “authentic regional and adopted international dishes,” as well as the “richly designed space.”

Grillfire Arundel is a member of The George Martin Group restaurant family based out of Long Island, New York. Each George Martin restaurant is known for its unique approach at sophisticated, classy dining while keeping it casual and family-friendly. The George Martin Group has two fine dining restaurants and three Grillfire American Bistros in NY.

Mr. Gorelick gives credit to the “good-looking” ambiance Grillfire displays, although of course it turned into a backhanded compliment when he says, “good-looking in the way that upscale bistros are good-looking- this year.” Last time I checked, those businesses that run “consumer testing” are usually the more successful ones out there. Stating “every detail feels like it’s the result of consumer testing,” is a risky approach at a dig. Especially since a majority of the reviews given by every day diners notes the unique style, décor and ambiance Grillfire provides.

Last time I googled “Steakhouse décor,” dark wood and brown leather definitely appeared at the top of the search. So why then is Mr. Gorelick surprised to find “liberal use of fieldstone, dark wood and brown leather,”? Unfortunately, he didn’t appreciate the contemporary, trendy twist the Grillfire design is so well known for in the Long Island area. If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter restaurant within a hotel, go to a Red Roof Inn.  

Reading the menu before selecting a restaurant is usually a suggestion most food experts recommend to every day diners. I would assume experts themselves do this routinely. Apparently not. Mr. Gorelick was not amused at “uninspired” selections, yet criticizes the use of intrinsic flavors like thai chili glaze, mango BBQ and Cajun spices. However, Grillfire is known for their menu that has something for everyone. So how could you go wrong?

Is there too much variation or not enough? I’m confused at what he’s trying to portray. Especially as he continues to condemn the Japanese peanuts, crab munchkins and over the top mac and cheese appetizers, fresh seafood, burgers, steaks and chops – that all appear to be loved by the public. 

One review that sums up most of the comments from guests says, “We had a wonderful meal! Started with the crab munchkins (yum!) and the chopped tomato and blue cheese salad. Our steaks were perfectly cooked and the sides were absolutely delicious… We will certainly be back!” Click here to read reviews the average diners wrote about Grillfire Arundel

Mango and Asian flare is clearly not a favorite for Gorelick’s taste buds. He kicks off his sarcastic and unappreciated review declaring “what’s with all the mango?” We can answer that for you - It’s called a popular flavor in today’s culture and is used as a central ingredient internationally in many dishes - hence the “authentic regional and adopted international dishes” restaurant description.

Surprisingly, only the Wonton Mango & Avocado Salad and the choice (which means you are given other selections to choose from) of Mango BBQ preparation sauce for seafood are the only two appearances mango makes on the menu. Check out the menu for yourself: Grillfire Arundel Menu

In addition, Gorelick tries to put the icing on the cake by claiming the “Grillfire Favorites” category of the menu is “not particularly inspiring collection of entrees that have become frozen-food staples.” Here’s a note from the Grillfire Chef – everything is made fresh and ready to order. No microwaves needed here.
Are you still confused? The contradicting thoughts Mr. Gorelick tried to run with definitely left an uneasy feeling for GrillfrireArundel. Are there too many options on the menu or not enough? Are the flavors too eclectic or too bland? Is the ambiance stylish or factory produced? Let us know what you think after you’ve dined there. 

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