The beer menu at Grumpy’s Sports Pub is longer than the food menu. There are cans, bottles, draughts, and a list of beers that are “coming soon” – all arranged by character (toasty, fruit-honey, even gluten-free). You could sit here all day — as some customers seem to do! – and barely make a dent in the approximately 100 varieties available. To maximize the experience, beer flights are available: four small glasses of different on-tap brews.
While drinking beer, Grumpy’s customers can watch any one of a dozen different televisions, large and small, arrayed around the room – all, of course, tuned to sports events. If there’s no big-deal game going on, few people pay much attention to the TVs. They’re busy chatting, bragging, making time, and playing musical stools at the bar.
Roadfood isn’t much about beer drinking or about what goes on in sports pubs; and to be clear, Grumpy’s menu is too generic to be heart-and-soul Roadfood. Its location is completely uninteresting, in a shopping mall anchored by a Publix grocery. So, why list it here? Because Grumpy’s serves exemplary versions of a style of food for which even the most devout Roadfood warrior in search of unique regional specialties sometimes surreptitiously hankers: Sports Pub cuisine. That means sliders and wings, BLTs with ridiculously large amounts of bacon, Saratoga-style potato chips and creamy-sweet sweet potato chips, and a long list of appetizers that includes fried pickles, fried mac ‘n’ cheese, and beer-battered mozzarella sticks.
I’ve never had a great meal at Grumpy’s, but neither have I had a really bad one; and on days when I am struck by the craving for an effulgently dressed half-pound hamburger or chili cheese nachos or beer-battered fish and chips, served by waitresses in short-shorts amidst the clamor of happy drinkers, Grumpy’s is just the ticket.