Yelp gave me a mixed bag of reviews on this place, so I was hesitant to try it. I’m so glad we did though. Gruff reminds me of the little market/eateries in Queens NY. It’s part store, part deli, part bar, and part restaurant. And I dig it. Plus all of their food/beers, etc is local. I’m into supporting local businesses. From the soap to the bakery, its all local to the tristate.
The decor is really cute. I love the gruff theme since the restaurant is under the Roebling Bridge. (The prettiest bridge ever BTW) An old college friend’s work BLDG did all the neat artwork.
The market isn’t huge, but has essentials and a good alcohol selection. They also have local art for sale as well.
The restaurant itself isn’t super big so I could see where it would get crowded during lunch hour being so close to Downtown; but it was perfect for when were there at 4pm. (Yes, we eat at old peoples dinner times so we can take pictures of places when its not slammed.) I liked the picnic tables and kids area. I can’t wait to come back and drink happy hour beers too. They had a good local beer selection on tap.
Onto the most important part- the food. It’s pretty much a pizza and sandwich place. They had a wood fire oven, but we didn’t get pizza. I didn’t care for the pizza they offered. I’m more of a fig and prosciutto kinda girl; not meat and potato pizza.
I tricked Lauren a little bit. She only gets chicken everywhere we go. They had something on the menu called “city chicken”. It’s pork. I told her they were little pieces of chicken kabobs and she devoured it. By the end she knew it was pork and didn’t even care.
I got the fried chicken sandwich with the spicy slaw. The coating on the chicken was great. It was like a mildly spicy thicker coating. The inside of the chicken wasn’t dry, just too thick. It would have been great with more moisture. The slaw was good, but not wet or spicy. I think if the slaw had been a bit more wet (maybe like Eli’s slaw), the chicken sandwich would have been much more successful. But I didn’t even care because OMG those fries. When I saw the menu I read pickled fries when I glanced at it. So i was shocked when PICKLE fries came out. They are delicious!!!! I ate all of them with the dill dip before I even touched my sandwich. Perfection.
Since Lauren ate all her “city chicken”, I let her get dessert. She went with the M&M ice cream sandwich. They had some killer sounding desserts, like apple maple bread pudding. Again all local foods, even the pies!
For sure go here and eat. Let me know how the pizza is when you do. I recommend going after lunch though.