By mid-afternoon last Saturday, Haley, her mother and sister, and I worked up quite an appetite after several hours of extensive shopping at the Nashville Flea Market. We ended up in Franklin, TN for a little more errands and a late lunch. Ultimately we decided on Jonathan’s Grille; a place Haley and I haven’t been to in several months. Their website sums up a description very nicely:
Jonathan’s Grille is a locally owned contemporary American restaurant known for our great quality of food “with generous portions” and warm friendly service. Watch your favorite sporting event on one of our 40 flat screen televisions. Enjoy happy hour specials twice daily, with a full bar and a large variety of beers. Spend the afternoon on one of our two outside patios. Plan your next occasion in our private dining room.
Jonathan’s Grille is just tucked away in a small lot next to Cool Springs Galleria. One complaint right off the bat is that I wish they had more parking. I don’t think they have enough spaces to accommodate the capacity of the restaurant and more often than not, you’ll spend a lot of time circling around the building searching for a place to park… only to find that while you were circling around, someone ends up stealing a newly available spot. Lucky for us, there was 1 spot available in a jam packed parking lot just as we pulled in.
When you enter the facility, you’ll be greeting by one of several hostesses at the hostess stand in a fairly large waiting area. Jonathan’s Grille has several seating areas with ample spaces for hundreds of patrons and several televisions mounted on every nook and cranny. No matter where you choose to sit, rest assured that one of the several televisions in your view will have the game directly in front of you. We were directed to a long corridor between the patio and one of the large seating spaces. There were a couple of occupied tables around us, but the restaurant wasn’t packed by any means. Those that were there were ambitiously watching the Alabama vs Arkansas game.
The service at Jonathan’s Grille was sub-par compared to my past visits with Haley and I was a little embarrassed. Our waiter was not very good and we rarely saw him during our stay. I’m not really sure what he was doing but I saw other waiters/waitresses constantly servicing tables all around us with some even sweeping the floors. Maybe he was new but just to get a drink refill, we had to pull aside other servers who were glad to take care of us. On top of that, Haley’s sister, Carleigh had to wait about 6-8 minutes for her entree that they seem to have forgotten (a side salad with half of a sandwich) after we got ours delivered.
With the service being the low point, the food is what salvaged this particular visit. Ranging from a long list of appetizers, 2 pages of salads, burgers, sandwiches, dinner entrees, and even pizzas, Jonathan’s Grille has plenty of decently-sized food options to choose from. I was debating on The New Perfect Prime sandwich and a French Dip sub. Going with the recommendation of Carleigh, I chose the French Dip because who can resist thinly-sliced beef dipped in a ramekin of Au Jus. On top of that, I opted for the spicy fries ($1 more) and a bowl of French Onion soup. Yum!
My soup was delivered first with a nice, slightly burned, bubbly crust of cheese blanketing the bowl. After a few well placed jabs with my spoon, I successfully got the cheese to submerge into the liquid broth. The soup was very delicious. The mixture of the beef broth and the caramelized onions added a mixture of salty and sweet. Chunks of croutons were embedded in the soup, but they had hard, crunchy centers. It was obvious that they were added at the last minute before preparing my soup. I prefer my croutons soft (after absorbing all the liquid) so maybe adding the croutons a little earlier before serving it would be nice. Nevertheless, the flavor of the broth was superb.
My French Dip sub was delivered with provolone cheese on top of the meat with a helping of spicy fries that looked like Rally’s/Checker’s seasoned fries but a lot larger. Piping hot with perfect crispness and seasoning, the fries were A+. The sandwich on the other hand, was maybe a B-. The reason for that grade was because my beef, despite being flavorful, was a little dry. Thank goodness I had the Au Jus to rehydrate the beef. The Au Jus was warm and average. It reminded me a lot of just beef bouillon broth.
Despite the bad service, I would still recommend Jonathan’s Grille on the atmosphere for sporting events and the food. I will probably not get the French Dip sub again simply because the sandwich and fries alone had a price tag of $10. That’s pretty expensive for a sandwich that wasn’t as good as I expected and only consisted of sliced beef, provolone cheese, and a side of Au Jus. Next time I’ll get a sandwich with more content that costs less, such as The Perfect Prime or The Steak Philly, both at $9. The $1 up-charge to the Spicy Fries was worth the charge and finally, the French Onion soup was definitely worth it. If you’re a salad person, you can’t go wrong with the salads at Jonathan’s Grille. Maybe next time I should get Black and Bleu salad…
7135 South Springs Drive
Franklin, TN 37067
Bill Total: $18