Uptown Grill is a relatively new business to Athens. Opened only this summer, the walk-up location offers exactly six grilled items: Angus burgers, Italian sausage, Bratwurst, Philly Cheese Steaks, chicken fajita wraps and grilled chicken breast. The simple menu comes from the owner, an Angus beef farmer who owns the adjacent printing shop.
I bought the grilled chicken wrap at the behest of the cook, who said it was her favorite item on the menu. I was impressed by how well it was cooked. The chicken was seasoned well, grilled well and served in a wrap with some other vegetables which were also grilled well. I wouldn’t call it a master grilling job but it was certainly tasty. The service was quick too, though that goes without saying for a walk-up place. The two employees were friendly.
The major issue to me is the price. $5.75 is not a lot of money, but comparatively speaking, it doesn’t get you a lot at the grill. In fact, only a few hundred feet away vendors sell cheaper fare which is also much more substantial. Even with a coupon making the chips free, I still felt slightly ripped off when I was hungry again only a few hours later. Chipotle and Burrito Buggy, two eateries within sight of the grill, sell burritos cheaper than this one, and I can’t finish either of them in one meal.
While I understand the limitations of the grill and I also fully support smaller dining spots over big chains, it is also very important to get your money’s worth. The burrito was delicious but it was also very small. The menu looked good but it too was also very small. I can only hope Uptown Grill can expand itself as it settles into the Athens food scene.