Caring Touches Put Grill Above the Rest

by Gale Tolan

3starsFrom an economic standpoint, it’s easy to understand the concept of strip mall building. However as a person more inclined toward aesthetics than capitalism, I can’t stand the concept. When you are zipping by in traffic, the names of the businesses on the marquee are a vague remembrance (there are so many of them) and I have little inclination to stop, unless someone has recommended a particular location. When a friend asked me to meet her at Tazy’s Grill, I knew I had passed by it 10 million times in one of “those” places on Kerr Ave., and never thought to give it a try. Boy, am I glad she invited me!

Tazy’s, named after a Tazmanian she-devil on a surfboard, offers awesome Aussie sandwiches from the barby (grill).

The format is one of familiarity, where you enter the grill room, fill in your own order on a printed menu and hand it to the very friendly and helpful person behind the counter. They do the rest.

Owner Bradley Goodman came up with the concept after working in upscale restaurants for 30 years. He wanted something less demanding of his time, simple and good. The quality of his sandwiches certainly is a testament to his background. Mr. Bradley shares my belief that you can do excellent food at any level as long as you use the best and freshest ingredients and handle them with lots of TLC.
Tazy’s has a reputation with regulars for its great Angus Burgers. The 8 oz. Aussie and the 4 oz. Joey offer choices for any size appetite. The one I tried with Swiss cheese and grilled onions and mushrooms was as good as any burger I have eaten.

My favorite sandwich was the Vegemite; grilled zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and roasted red peppers with the homemade remoulade sauce on a fresh baked French sesame roll. I could have ordered another as soon as I finished the first.Another exciting item is, the Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with grilled onions and mushrooms. Simple thin slices of pork flash grilled to maintain its moistness; again we chose the remoulade sauce to dress the bun. No one was polite about saving the last bite of this one.

Besides the typical french fries and onion rings as side orders, Tazy’s offers Potato Salad, Pasta Salad and Seven Bean Chili all of which are made in house.

The Red-Skinned potato salad had just enough mayonnaise and seasoning to suit my palate and the Seven Bean Chili had a great blend of spices with just enough heat to “kick it up, a bit.”

The Pasta Salad was good but not exciting with its sauce of Ranch Dressing and chunks of summer vegetables.

Good bread is such an important part of a great sandwich. Each time an order went to the grill, Mr. Goodman put rolls in the oven to bake as he grilled the ingredients. I must praise him for choosing such a great roll on which to present his simply delicious creations. Caring touches like this are what change a restaurant’s rating from very good to excellent.

Service was friendly and appropriate for the casual atmosphere of a grill.

Gale Tolan is a food critic for the Morning, Star.