Lunch with Tori: Antonio’s Bar and Grill


This week, I couldn’t wait for a change, so I decided to try my luck with a brand new restaurant in Midland: Antonio’s Bar and Grill, located at 1716 W. Wackerly St., on the corner of Eastman Ave. A reader once suggested it as a good lunch spot, and it turned out they were absolutely right.

Don’t be fooled by the name, as this restaurant offers a wide selection of American and Mexican, Italian and Greek dishes. Even though I tried to prepare myself before my visit by taking a look at Antonio’s menu, I was still amazed at all the choices. Fortunately, my parents were only too happy to accompany me on my lunch break, as neither of us bothered to share plates.

Located on the former site of Shirlene’s Cuisine, the owners of Antonio’s have made the space their own. The interior color scheme consisted of grays and blacks, accented by electric blue and orange lighting around the bar, giving it a very modern look.

There were touches of Christmas around the place as well, including sprigs of evergreen trees and holiday music playing over the speakers. One of the bar’s televisions was even tuned to the Hallmark channel, which was showing a Christmas movie. I’ve never seen a Hallmark Christmas movie – and I never intend to – but I absolutely approve of the choice to have it played at Antonio’s.

Our waitress was prompt, attentive, accommodating and prompt with a light joke as well as solid advice on daily specials when we placed our orders. My mom ordered the grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a cup of homemade chicken lemon rice soup, while my dad had the Greek chicken breast. I decided to go with the Philly beef sandwich myself.

Dad’s side salad and mom’s soup came out first. To be fair, I usually don’t go out of my way for the soup, preferring something a little more filling, but Antonio’s Chicken Lemon Rice Soup was a nice lunch addition. The broth was thick with fluffy rice and chunks of ground chicken in each spoonful. The seasonings were well balanced and the lemon flavor was very subtle, getting stronger with each bite. I wouldn’t mind taking it back as an accompaniment the next time I visit Antonio.

The main courses came out on time. I had to be patient as my sandwich was piping hot so we spent the next few minutes discussing family Christmas presents, plans for New Years dinner, and how my parents cook their house. for the visit of my sister and my brother-in-law from Maryland.

Once the sandwich was ready to eat, my taste buds were fulfilled. The roast beef was thinly sliced ​​and stacked on a steak bun. The diced onions and peppers added a pleasant flavor by mingling with the natural juices of the beef. The mozzarella cheese helped hold it all together and provided the right amount of creaminess.

My mom’s grilled ham and cheese sandwich was a good ‘comfort food’ meal. The cheese completely coated the ham without being too powerful. The bread was generously buttered and toasted until golden, adding just a hint of sweetness to balance out the salty taste of its contents.

In my book, my dad’s Greek chicken meal was tied for first place with my Philly beef sandwich, but to be honest I have a certain fondness for Greek cuisine. The marinated chicken breast was moist and could stand on its own, but paired well with the tzatziki sauce. It was accompanied by pita bread, onions, tomatoes and a side of rice, which was flavored with something neither of us could describe; it was subtle and pleasant, whatever it was. Some things will just have to remain mysteries; that’s what makes life interesting.

We agreed that we all made good choices that day. The portions were so generous that my dad and I left with take out containers. As my dad pointed out, if someone leaves Antonio hungry, it’s their fault. I would like to add that if anyone needs a lift, the food will satisfy your appetite while the friendly staff will cheer you up. Cheers!

Out to Lunch is published on Thursdays for the Midland Daily News. To reach Victoria (Tori) Ritter, email [email protected].


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