The West End Grill sits on the corner at the intersection of West Street and Solomons Island Road in Annapolis. Upon entering the restaurant, you are greeted with a casual sports bar environment. The bar area is equipped with 14 plasma TVs, a shuffle board table, and a few regular patrons. What seems like a typical bar is quickly transformed into something much more with just a look at their menu. West End offers 11 different beers on tap and over 40 bottled beers. As expected, you will also find the usual pub food favorites; however, what is unexpected is the inter-mingling of casual pub fare with elevated cuisine. Chef Daniel Hill has an obvious passion for food and a very natural skill for preparing unique and tasty dishes. He has a fun sense of humor and often uses the phrase “we have bacon and we are not afraid to use it”.
During our visit to West End Grill, Chef Hill prepared a range of menu items for us to try. We started with the Boursin Quesadilla. When the dish came to our table, we could immediately pick up the mouthwatering smell of fresh tomatoes and balsamic. The herbs in the boursin and the pesto sour cream gave the dish a fresh-from-the-garden feel. The balsamic glaze and tomato basil salsa balanced out the warm cheese and added a nice tangy element. The Boursin Quesadilla is packed full of flavor and has surprising gourmet spin. There is also a more traditional quesadilla on the menu, if that is more to your taste.
West End Grill also offers 12 styles of wings. Chef Hill has created some unique sauces such as Apple Butter BBQ, Chimichurri, Tamarind Chipotle, and Jim Beam Sweet Bourbon. The most popular wings, and the 2012 Wingstock Winner, are Chef Hill’s Thai Wings. They have a desirable blend of sweet and spicy. Whatever your wing style, you can count on West End having something you will love. You can also count on the wings being meaty and cooked to perfection. West End gets our vote for some of the best wings in Annapolis. Another appetizer favorite is the Peruvian Shrimp and Hoe Cakes, cornmeal pancakes stuffed with crabmeat, fresh corn, tomatoes, green onions, and served with lemon butter sauce.
In addition to the variety of appetizers and wings, West End Grill also has some amazing sandwiches and entrees. During our visit, we had the opportunity to try Chef Hill’s Bánh mì. West End is currently one of the only places in town to get this Vietnamese style sandwich. It is served with moist, slow-cooked pork, crisp carrot and cucumber slaw, and fresh cilantro. Each ingredient plays its part in adding depth to the flavor of the sandwich. If you don’t see it on the specials menu, just ask for it, and Chef Hill can usually make one up just for you. On the entrée side of things, the Shrimp and Grits were absolutely amazing. Plated beautifully, this southern inspired dish had a great balance of smokey, salty, and sweet flavors.
West End offers half price bottles of wine on Thursdays and a happy hour weekdays from 3:30 ‘til 6:30 featuring drink specials and half price appetizers and wings. Wednesday nights bring trivia and dart competitions. The West End Grill also offers a dining area and a banquet room that is available for private groups with a reservation.
West End truly has something for everyone and is elevating traditional pub fare to a new level of delicious. If you are looking for a great place to watch the game, take the family, or have a couple beers with friends, be sure to give West End Grill a try!