ILIANA CORFIAS / Lantern photographer
Nestled in German Village, located at 961 S. High St., Gresso’s Pub and Grill isn’t really a hot spot for college students, but I felt compelled to try it out after taking a gander at its bustling patio, which was filled with about 30 people and a few dogs as “Sweet Home Alabama” bellowed from a nearby jukebox.
Opposite from what I expected, Gresso’s is big. There is a full bar to your left when you walk in, and to your right, a spiraling staircase that leads upstairs to pool tables and another bar.
I was probably the youngest person there, but the crowd seemed full of older patrons and young professionals who were probably older than the average crowd at college eateries. Gresso’s isn’t within walking distance of central campus. The restaurant is about four miles from Ohio Union on High Street.
My appetite grew and we still hadn’t been greeted. The one open table I could see had food all over it.
My first thought: great place, bad service.
But then a hand and a smile headed my way.
“Hi, I am Gresso.”
My brother and I were greeted and seated by Gresso himself. I was impressed by that, and then to see him pick up a rag and clean the table on his own? An owner who busses tables, greets, seats and chats with his customers is not something you see every day.
We were seated for maybe a minute and Gresso randomly brought us a small free sampling plate as an appetizer.
“That’s my mom and grandma’s recipe right there,” he said as I dug my teeth into Gresso’s famous pierogies. The dish is stuffed pockets of potato and cheese with sautÃ©ed mushrooms and onions in a light garlic butter with sour cream.
I absolutely hate mushrooms, but I could not get enough of this dish. There was not too much of any one ingredient. It was like a circus in my mouth, where each bite was the perfect balancing act. My brother literally had to smack my hand so that he could have some too.
The music was too loud when our waitress tried to introduce herself and ask for our names. I think I said “Iliana” eight times before she actually heard me.
Nonetheless, our food was delicious. My Ohio State pride would not let me look any further than the Buckeye Burger. A 10 oz. Black Angus burger with two crispy “O-H-I-O” rings, topped again with those grilled mushrooms and covered in a mozzarella and provolone cheese mix. I used a solid five napkins halfway through the burger, but for $8.99 and leftovers, the extra grease was worth it.
My brother stuck to his Greek roots and got the $14 Greek gyro pizza. It comes with Tzaziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, spinach and gyro meet topped with feta cheese. If you do not like feta definitely do not get this pizza. I, on the other hand, love feta and put down my burger to smash on some Greek deliciousness.
I walked out feeling stuffed and satisfied.