I’ve seen the restaurant Walnut Grill, formerly known as Walnut Grove, a million times. I’d assume you’ve heard of it in one way or another. Aside from there being four locations around Pittsburgh (Wexford, Fox Chapel, Mt. Lebanon, Bridgeville), you frequently trip over them in the ValuPak coupons as well. I never really thought much of it, but since turning gf it has been mentioned to me more and more because Walnut Grill has a gluten free menu.
When I’m around home, I will admit that I tend to stick to the same restaurants, mainly chains, that I feel safe at. I hardly ever choose slightly more expensive establishments because it rarely translates to being worth it to me. I do admit that it happens occasionally (Hyeholde in Coraopolis is one that is expensive but worth every penny to me between the food and ambiance). Anyway, I finally decided to stop putting it off and just go because there was no good reason not to.
Upon entering, I requested the gf menu and was seated at an oil candle lit table. I like the smell of those. I took a picture of the menu to show you, as it is more extensive than the one they have posted online. I narrowed it down to the Sweet and Spicy Chicken and the Balsamic Grilled Chicken. I asked the waiter which he preferred, and proceeded to tell me more about them, but didn’t manage to give an answer. I reasoned myself down to the Sweet and Spicy Chicken because I wouldn’t make it at home, whereas, the Balsamic Grilled Chicken sporadically makes its rounds in my kitchen. It automatically came with vegetables and I got to choose a potato, baked or baked sweet. The mashed potatoes, fries and rice pilaf, are not gf, so I picked a baked potato with butter and sour cream.
My white round plate was fully loaded when it arrived. A generous portion of breaded chicken, drowning in sweet orange chili glaze topped with cooked jalapeño slices, pleasantly crunchy green beans and broccoli, and my potato with accompaniments. First off, I loved every bite of the chicken. I had a primarily internal panic attack eating breading with consulting a package first, but the sauce was addictive and quickly quelled my fears into submission. My veggies weren’t overcooked and had a bit of snap left. Paired with their light seasoning and the fact that I kept dipping them in leftover sauce, they were painless going down (but remember I do like veggies to begin with). Finally, the potato. I always eat the cheap carb last in a meal (aside from the single perfect bite I try to create every time I eat) but wasn’t impressed with it as I think it was a bit dry. Overall, I ended up full from a hearty helping, but as usual, more than I’d prefer to pay for a meal. I’ll be back, but not too often.
Sidenote – If you go to their website and join the newsletter, they will send you a coupon for a free entree for up to $25 on your birthday.