It was with much anticipation that I waited for The Hill to open this summer. The promise of craft beer and a gastropub style menu seemed like something the Eastside needed. Finally two months after opening we got a chance to have dinner there.
Located at Oliver and Douglas, it’s hard to believe the The Hill’s building once housed Barriers as the insides have been completely gutted. In place of the Waterford crystal that once filled Barriers there are copious amounts of TVs. In fact there are more tellys in this place per square foot than most sports bars. I’m all for a TV or two inside of an establishment that bills itself as a bar and grill, but this is kind of overkill. Coupled with piped in background music, the atmosphere is a bit noisy and distracting.
The first big decision of the night was what beer I should start out with. The beer menu is conveniently broken down by varieties, with about 20 beers on tap and 30 or so bottles. While the selection is not as large or diverse as The Anchor, it is certainly respectable. I ended up ordering one of the seasonal draft selections, Fluer de Houblon, which is a delicious Belgian pale ale.
I was surprised at how wide ranging the food menu at The Hill was with anything from ceviche to smoked ribs to a 22 oz ribeye offered. There are also burgers, salads, “street tacos”, homemade pretzels, and much much more. While there were many items that caught my
attention I finally decided to order the turkey burger. Typically my strategy when trying a new bar and grill type restaurant is to order a burger because it’s a good benchmark item. If you can’t cook a decent burger then it’s going to be tough to pull off much else. Steph went with the The Hill’s signature burger, and our son got the kids quesadilla.
The Hill is one of the few places where you can get a turkey burger in town and I was happy with their effort. The patty was reasonably thick and had enough seasoning to make up for the normal blandness of ground turkey. To further jazz up the burger it was served with havarti cheese, cranberry relish, and arugula. The only issue was the bun, it could have used a nice toasting on the grill. The fries were crispy, but really nothing that impressive. The house made dill pickles served on the side were tasty.
The Hill’s signature burger was a spectacle to behold. Besides a large beef patty it featured several slices of delicious ham, swiss cheese, sautéed onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and dijonnaise. And what kind of bun was utilized in this masterpiece you ask? Why a pretzel bun of course, because you can’t have a fancy burger these days without the obligatory pretzel bun. Steph’s burger was actually cooked to medium so that right there is good for a few points. Unfortunately the burger was so large that its structural
integrity failed and it proved difficult to eat. It was also abnormally greasy, perhaps from the sautéed onions. Besides all the mess, it was a quality burger although I’m not sure it was worth the $12 price tag. Adding a fried egg would have increased the price to $14, it must be a hell of an egg to cost that much. Our son’s quesadilla was simple, but perfect for kids and he enjoyed it. The only odd part was that it came with some pickles as well. Pickles and quesadillas are a combination I am unfamiliar with.
Although The Hill was not quite what I thought it was going to be, it is still a decent addition to the dining scene. The hectic atmosphere and large menu detract from the experience. I would like to go back to try some additional dishes and more craft brews of course. Despite what I have read on urbanspoon and yelp, our service was good.