Vernon: Southside Grille is not diner or fast food

Abe Acee knows a thing or two about dining out: He spends a lot of time doing just that. And that experience helped him guide his chefs in developing the menu for his latest venture, the Southside Grille.

"I've always liked the place, and I like the location," Acee said of the former Town & Country Restaurant, which now employees 16 people. "The traffic flow was there. I knew it was struggling and I felt I could revive it bring it back."

The building needed a lot of work, Acee said.

"I invested a lot of money in this project, but customers say they're pleased with the results," Acee said.

New to the building are four flat-screen TVs and a 47-foot bar. The menu has been completely overhauled, developed by Acee's chefs and based on Acee's extensive dining out experience.

Added just this past week is a "loaded" salad bar, free with all entrees, but only $6.95 by itself. Soft drink refills are free.

The Southside Grille also offers free half-price drink specials and a free mini-buffet featuring sausage, peppers, onions, two types of meatballs, mini-submarine sandwiches and rolls and butter from 3 to 7 p.m. daily.

"It's pretty healthy stuff," Acee said. "Certainly a lot better than any deep-fried foods."

Menu prices range from a low of $6.95 for the salad bar to a high of $17.95 for a 16-ounce hand-carved prime rib or fisherman's platter consisting of haddock, clam strips, scallops and shrimp. Salads and burgers are priced in the $7 range and specialty sandwiches range from $7 for a French dip to $9.95 for a 6-ounce marinated New York strip steak sandwich.

Entrees range from $11.95 for several chicken choices up to $16.95 for several beef options, and pasta dishes range from $10.95 to $14.95.

After the kitchen closes for dinner, a bar menu consisting of all the menu's appetizers, burgers and specialty sandwiches continues to be served.

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