Although I've been going to Delanie's Neighborhood Grille for several years now, it has admittedly been a while since my last visit. Originally recommended to me by a Cuyahoga Falls friend, my lack of attendance more recently was due to a general decline in the quality of food I had been served during my last few visits. However, never let it be said that I'm not willing to be open and objective, especially when there is a half-priced daily special involved.
Located at 67 West Avenue, Tallmadge, OH 44278, Delanie's Neighborhood Grille is one of those restaurants that is half bar and half restaurant. Before Ohio passed it's no-smoking law for restaurants, it could get a little smoky inside. But since then, everyone is breathing a little easier. Here is the street-facing sign in front of Delanie's:
Once inside, I sat down and was handed a menu:
While Delanie's does have an extensive menu of soups, sandwiches, wraps, and entrees, tonight I was here for one specific reason: Half-priced single patty burgers. They offer this every Thursday evening after 4 pm and nearly every burger on the menu qualifies. Here is a shot of the burger page specifically:
The only burger that doesn't qualify for the special is the monster one pound double burger listed at the top of the page. The other qualification is that you must purchase a beverage with your burger to get the special price. While I normally drink water, today I ordered an iced tea instead. Looking over my menu choices, I felt in a bacon kind of mood. While I normally prefer ketchup and mustard to BBQ sauce, the pull of the pork was too strong. So I went with the Bubba's Bacon BBQ Burger.
All the burgers typically come with seasoned fries, and since they apply the seasoning after the fries come out of the oil, I asked for mine unseasoned. Not salt free, mind you, but just void of the seasoning blend they have put together in-house. One thing to note (and it's not on the menu) is that burgers no longer come with LTO (Lettuce, Tomato, Onion) for free. The lettuce and onion are still free, but if you want tomatoes, it's an extra $0.80. I opted to go tomato free today.
After about ten minutes or so, my burger came out of the kitchen:
The crown of the bun is actually underneath the lettuce and onion rings. This is a nice sized burger, even if it is only a single patty. Probably somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 pound before cooking. I actually don't mind their fries here. They have that "breaded" fry consistency, much like you'd find at Burger King. In general, they were good, crispy and not oily. The helping was definitely generous as I wasn't able to finish them all.
Now let's talk about the burger. Here was a shot of just the burger:
Overall the burger was good, but it was definitely not cooked to order. I asked for it medium and this is what I ended up with:
Somewhere between medium well and well done. There were pockets of juiciness, but overall, this was cooked too long. The bacon was nice and crisp and while the BBQ sauce was an interesting departure from the condiments I normally apply, the cloying sweetness of the sauce didn't balance out the other flavors in the burger. Personally I think that what would've worked much better would be a more vinegary BBQ sauce instead of a sweet one. That would've helped to cut through the fattiness of the burger, the bacon, and the cheese.
While today's burger wasn't bad, when I first started going to Delanie's several years ago, the burgers were always quite good. Good enough that I would hold at least one or two Thursday's a month open so that I could take advantage of the half-priced burger special. Today's burger seemed to be consistent with the burgers that I've had the last couple of times that I went; good, but not great. The price was right, however, as my burger, fries, and iced tea came to just over $6, and as that is in fast food territory, Delanie's clearly outshines your typical fast food burger chain such as McDonalds or Burger King.
While I'll probably continue to return every now and again for a Thursday night burger, based on their track record from previous visits, I don't think I would ever pay full-price for a burger at Delanie's on the off chance that they might actually cook it correctly. With several other excellent burger joints just down the street (including Louie's), getting a delicious, properly cooked burger shouldn't be that hard.