OK, got back to the newly reopened Horseshoe Grill in North Reading tonight for a real dinner, and was impressed. I grew up in North Reading, and the 'Shoe was always known as a "tough" townie hangout, with very good barbeque.
Well, the new 'Shoe is definitely not your father's hangout. 7:00 on a Sunday night and the new dining room was full of mostly couples and families. I had to try a half rack of the St. Louis style ribs, and was happy to find that the BBQ was still very good. I had a side of mashed bliss potatoes, and Texas style beans, and both were very tasty.
Wife had Chicken and Mushrooms -- Portobella and wild mushrooms in a light sauce, also very tasty. She raved about the rice pilaf, which was prepared with finely cubed zucchinni, summer squash, and celery.
Nice selection of beers on tap, although my wife wasn't thrilled with the house Chardonney that she got.
Our bill, for the above (one beer for me, one wine for her) came to $37. Not as cheap as the old prices, but I thought it was reasonable for the quality of the food and atmosphere.
The decor is unreal for anyone who remembers the little tumble-down shack that housed the old Horseshoe. Everything was very nicely decorated, and sparkling new, service was fast and courteous.
All in all, I've got to say that they did a fantastic job on the place -- I think it's going to be our new favorite place around town.