When I stepped into this brand-new Kettering bar, passed through its black and yellow interior and bit down on its delicious pierogi burger, one thing came to my mind.
“Wow. I miss Pittsburgh.”
Buckin’ Donkey Grille is the brainchild of Pittsburgh transplant Sean McKown, and though the bar still lacks a few finishing touches, the place is starting off on the right foot. Good food, a laid-back atmosphere and a definite emphasis on importing a little culture from one of my favorite cities make this place a definite must-try.
So, the restaurant has around 100 items on the menu, and while many of them have roots in traditional “bar” food, many more are creative and new interpretations. The burgers are delicious; a few creative takes include an Italian-themed burger with sausage, a chorizo burger, and a very interesting pork/beef hybrid burger served on a doughnut. Other options include the above mentioned periogi burger, which is absolutely excellent. I love pierogi, and I did not know until now that they go great on burgers. Other bar food includes wings with a few interesting house sauces (my first experiment, with spicy ranch, was successful) as well as hot dogs and salads. More traditional restaurant options include things like seafood, Cajun-inspired dishes and a breakfast-all-day menu of omelets, eggs, pancakes and the like.
The menu is still laden with Pittsburgh type foods to make a native miss home. There are pierogi and sausage menu items and a Pittsburgh style steak salad. All they need is a stuffed sandwich, Primanti Brothers style, to bring the idea home. Those pierogi, by the way, match up well to the kind you get in the city; stuffed with cheese and potatoes so soft you’d think they’d melted.
The bar is going for a mixture of corner bar and family restaurant; hoping to attract sports fans with families in tow with just as much rigor as barflies out for drinks. The interior concept will eventually be all black and yellow with more than a few Pittsburgh memories throughout. It maintains a relatively open feel in spite of its small size, and plenty of televisions and a few games mean people have plenty of things to do. I think it has potential to keep the place energetic with both families and groups out for drinks feeling comfortable.The wait on food can be a little long, but that’s not an unusual problem for a new restaurant where everyone is still falling into their groove.
All told, Buckin’ Donkey Grille has great potential as a new business in Kettering. It’s still got a few kinks to work out as it gets into a business routine, but I would definitely suggest you give it a try.
- You’re bound to find something you like on the extensive menu. I would suggest anything that looks unfamiliar; adventurous dishes really seem to pay off here.
- Consider this a good option to bring in a family, or a group of friends. The atmosphere seems all-around welcoming.
- Pricing seems pretty reasonable for a bar, entrees range from $6.50 to $15.00