“Oh, it’s a burgers and wings place.”
How many times have you heard something like that? Everyone knows what you mean. There are tens of thousands of these places dotting the landscape. As soon as a crossroads becomes a nascent town, it’s one of the first eateries to appear. For one to be bad, it really has to be bad, because most of the food these places serve is tolerant of at least some culinary incompetence.
Conversely, for one to claw above the pack, it must be exceptional. Johnny Gryll’s is one of those places.
Locally-owned eatery Johnny Gryll’s first grabbed my attention on my quest for the Huntsville area’s best hot wings, at their original location (still open) in Harvest. The wings are excellent — some of the best in the area — so I was delighted to see the University Drive location open. This review is of that newer location. The biggest different is they have the same menu, but some of the specials described below are unique to the Huntsville location. The boys have been after me to go back ever since our initial visit, so we all went out for dinner recently.
The restaurant experience is fast casual, with counter ordering and then partial table service following. The interior has some pop-culture elements overlaid on the exposed structure motif popular right now, and includes a full garage door on the front façade. I’m looking forward to enjoying a cool summer shower from in here, with wings, beer, and friends.
Johnny Gryll’s Menu
To dinner! Lea went with the chicken parmesan sandwich and onion rings, and spoke highly of them. (I think all of us might have helped her with her onion rings — with her approval, of course.) They were crisp and flavorful, without the excessive greasiness that is an all-too-common onion ring foul.
Aaron and I switched up our selections from our first time. This time he went with the wings, regular buffalo flavor. They came out as lovely as I remember mine being — fresh, hot, and delicious. He heartily approved as they vanished into his tummy. There are ten different wing flavors available, with varying heat levels. My favorites are the “Creapin’ Reaper,” which are definitely hot but absolutely delectable.
This night Nathan and I each had the Monster Burger — a $10 beast including two quarter-pound beef patties, another quarter-pound of steak (as from a steak sandwich), two slices of cheese, a sizable portion of bacon, and all of the traditional burger toppings you want as well. We polished them off happily.
All of the burgers Johnny Gryll’s serves are fresh, never frozen, and available in saner sizes than the Monster. The menu includes a few other sandwiches, some salad options, and chicken fingers.
Just for Kids
Johnny Gryll’s has highchairs and booster seats available for young ones. Restrooms are clean single-seaters that do not include changing tables. However, each restroom has the wall space for one (nudge, nudge). The children’s menu includes several combos with chicken fingers, wings, grilled cheese, and burgers in the $4-6 range. Also note that on Tuesday nights, children eat free from the children’s menu from 4:00 to close, with accompanying regular menu purchase.
Besides the welcome kids-eat-free night, there are other regular specials. College students get a 20% discount on Wednesday nights with a valid college ID. Bringing a church bulletin gets you 20% off on Sunday. And, every night 4:00 to close, there are $3 pitchers and $1 pints of Bud Light draft.
Johnny Gryll’s has appeal for everyone in the family, and delivers excellent value for the money. It’s hard to spend any more than $10-12 per person in here for dinner, and with the extensive regular specials, you could do even better. I now count it among my regular haunts. I’ll see you there!