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If You Go...

Where: Fire Grill BBQ

Address: 30 N. State St., Girard

Phone: 330-545-4755

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Menu: Five burgers ranging from $6.99 to $9.99

Website: www.firegrillbbq.com

Rating: 4.5 stars

by: Anthony Fuda

BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com

A great architect knows how to draw up blueprints and what materials are best needed to create a building that will stand the test of time.

Art Einzig is a great architect, (He has been designing restaurants and hotels for most of his life) and as owner of Fire Grill BBQ, he took those skills and created a great restaurant of his own. He found amazing cooks, a friendly and fun wait staff and put a menu together that makes people want to keep coming back.

Even though he is an accomplished architect, he always wanted to run a restaurant. You can see his passion for food as he goes from table to table telling people about all the great menu items -- and he will even suggest which beer goes best with your entree.

Known for its great American comfort food and BBQ, Fire Grill keeps the restaurant packed all week with people enjoying the fantastic food.

We entered the eatery and found an accommodating table ready to handle our group, plus our 5th Beatle, CD 93’s Fast Freddie.

Greeting us was our waitress Dawn Tlacatia, 15 years in Youngstown and still strong with her New York accent. She made the evening enjoyable and made some great recommendations for us -- the special freshly-made fried pickles and some very good fried green tomatoes.

After all of that, we made our burger selections from the five the menu offers: The OBX (straight from the Outer Banks, topped with pulled pork, sharp white cheddar, pickled red onions, vinegar slaw, B&B pickles); The Carolina Eye Opener (topped with smoked apple wood bacon, fried egg (cooked to your liking), onion straws, American cheese, chipotle mayo); The Red Hot Blues (apple wood bacon, melted blue cheese, cracked peppercorns, dash of Red Hot sauce); The Portabella Non Burger (fire grilled whole portabella mushroom marinated in house balsamic, grilled tomato, melted Asiago cheese); and a Naked Burger, where you can choose your toppings, some at an additional cost. You can get beef or chicken and it is served on a challah bun. The topping are: no cost (tomato, onions, lettuce, BBQ pickles; 50 cents (sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pickled red onions); $1.00 (American cheese, Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese); and $1.50 (smoked apple wood bacon, blue cheese).

The burgers are served on a challah bun, made fresh from a local baker. A challah bun uses an extra egg to make it softer and more flavorful. One bite and you can tell.

You can side your burgers with fries, homemade slaw or for $1.50 extra, sweet potato fries.

Art brought some special house sauces for us to try with our burgers or use as a dip for our fries - a jalapeño sauce, a chipotle mayo and a BBQ with some extra kick.

I went with a Naked Burger and topped it with tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles and cheddar cheese. The burger came out a perfect medium and the fresh bun kept the juices in so I didn’t lose any of that great flavor. The grill master knew exactly what he was doing because this burger tasted amazing and the toppings were picked-from-the-garden fresh. The burger was seasoned well and was everything I wanted my burger to be.

Fast Freddie chose the Red Hot Blues Burger, and said, “It was really good. I liked the kick it had. The melted blue cheese was perfect and the peppercorn added a good flavor - nothing that will overwhelm you with pepper. The bacon was good and crispy. I like my burgers well done and this was exactly what I ordered -- well done but not dry, still retaining all the juicy flavors.”

Eric saw the Red Hot Blues and said, “Adding to an already incredible streak of intensity, the combination of bleu cheese, smoked apple wood bacon, cracked peppercorns, and most importantly, Red Hot sauce, was just begging to be consumed by this BurgerGuy. Starting with the bacon, I found it to be some of the crispiest I’ve ever had on a hamburger. The beef itself was prepared to order at a perfect medium, not even the tiniest hint of dryness. The challah bun that housed everything held up splendidly to the onslaught of flavor. Now to the part you all want to hear: the heat! By default, this burger comes topped with Red Hot. Now I am a fan of Red Hot sauce, but I’m always on the lookout for something a little more sweat producing. Thankfully, I was presented with some extras to add to this already tasty meal. I was given a sampling of one of the many delicious house BBQ sauces, “doctored up” to my liking. This took my taste buds from 10 to 20. Add to this an amazing side of some of the freshest coleslaw I’ve ever tasted and top notch service, I can say with absolute certainty that you all need to make it a point to dine at this great establishment.

Johnny “Gotham” remarked, “Fire Grill was an amazing experience. We started off with some appetizers, and I went for the fried green tomatoes. First off, I have yet to see this on a menu anywhere around here. They had a panko breading and seasoned to perfection with a chipotle mayo. I couldn't stop eating them. Then I moved on to the Carolina Eye Opener Burger. This Burger was HUGE. It comes with smoked Apple wood bacon, fried egg (cooked however you want), I recommend runny! Then there was chipotle mayo topped off with fried onion straws. The bun was also pretty impressive. Hand made with egg, this bun was just as good at the final bite as it was on the first. Overall outstanding experience and burgers to die for!!!!”

If you are looking for some great American comfort food, especially in hamburger form, Art has built a great restaurant with a fun atmosphere. Ask for him to stop by your table and tell you about all the different meals the Fire Grill has, and which craft beer goes best with that meal. And start your meal with the fried pickles. You’ll thank us.

This coming Sunday, the Fire Grill will have a special Sunday brunch, and keep it going every Sunday afterwards. They are also working on more burgers to add to the menu, and that new burger menu should be released in the near future.

Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer.

If you think you know where the next Burger of the Year is, send the info to BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com, or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz

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