I’ll be the first to admit, I judged this book by its cover when we walked in the doors to Shooters Grill in Gray. It’s one big open room, so the first thing I saw was a giant messy table from a previous party, along with some worn out looking decor and some patrons my mother would call “rough.”
But once we sat outside in their lovely, relaxing side porch and our fabulous server came to our assistance, things started looking up.
We started with a giant basket of freshly fried pork skins. They cool off quickly and are best while still hot, so dig down to get the tastiest ones if you have to. Many of the prices here are phenomenal, but $3.25 for an overflowing basket of these crunchy treats is probably the best deal in town. Aside from these and the fried okra, the rest of the appetizers are pretty standard bar food. We tried the fried pickles for $4.25 and the fried cheese for $4.95, both of which were well cooked but nothing special.
Next, we tried the wings, which are a good deal at $7.95 for 10 wings. We had the teriyaki flavor, crispy as advertised. Overall they were pretty standard, but you might try the other homemade sauces, including buffalo hot, lemon pepper and barbecue.
The six-ounce burger was hand-pattied and juicy. We had the bacon cheeseburger version for a crazy cheap $5.75, but there’s also a Swiss and mushroom for $5.25, a blackened burger with bleu cheese for $5.95, a new Hot Shot burger with jalapeños and hot sauce for $5.75, and a new fresh sauerkraut and Swiss for $5.50. The prices are the same for lunch and dinner.
I had the chicken Philly, with chopped grilled chicken, melted Swiss and grilled onion and peppers on a hoagie roll, served with sweet potato fries for $5.95. The blackjack wrap for $4.75 sounds worth trying, with blackened chicken and pepper jack cheese and fresh pico.
The catfish basket was a little pricier, $7.95 for two pieces and $9.95 for three, served with fries and slaw, which was a little odd looking and unappetizing. I’m showing my city-slickeriness here, but the fish was so bony it was hard to eat. The flavor was not interesting enough to fight for.
For dessert, we tried the fried snickers bar and a slice of buttermilk pie. Darkness had fallen while we were dining and there were no lights outside, making it difficult for us to navigate the snickers bar on the corn dog stick. It was mostly just doughy and occasionally we would hit the chocolate part. The buttermilk pie was just OK.
Shooters must know what they’re doing or they wouldn’t have survived at these prices for six years. My advice: eat outside and ask what they make homemade. Even though the food didn’t wow us, we had a really good time.
Shooters Grill and Bar
Address: 102 Bill Conn Parkway, Gray
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 98
Price range: $5.50-$15.95
Rating: 2.5 stars