The Chesapeake Grill is no fish story….

The Flounder Sandwich at the Chesapeake Grill

Driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel from Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore is normally about 18 miles of dodging wayward seagulls and New Englanders speeding their way to or from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. People who like to fish also know that the Seagull Pier, located on the first island (the South Island,) is a great place to hook monster flounder. Now there is a new reason for everyone to stop – The Chesapeake Grill.

Totally refurbished, the mini-rest stop on the world famous bridge is a combination of a rest stop, scenic overlook, snack bar, gift shop, fishing pier, and…fine dining?

Okay, the Chesapeake Grill is not exactly fine dining. There are no white tablecloths. I did not see a wine list. Zagat has not visited. If, however, you are in the neighborhood, do yourself a favor and stop by for a bite to eat. Open from 6 AM to 10 PM, the C.G. offers awesome food for reasonable prices.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich at The Chesapeake Grill on the CBBT

My wife had the grilled vegetable sandwich. Presented on grilled focaccia, the sandwich had sauteed yellow squash, zucchini, spinach, tomato, red onion, mushroom, and artichoke heart (just a wee bit.) The chef used an aioli that was seasoned with a hint of sun dried tomatoes, along with a nice blend of spices. As a vegetarian, my wife was thrilled that someone put that much thought into a dish for those who do not choose seared animal flesh for meals. It was a hit!

I always try the seafood when dining over the water, literally. The flounder sandwich was a total surprise….in a good way. Two HUGE flounder fillets, slathered in a beer batter and then deep fried, covered the bun and then some. I had the option of sides: fries, cole slaw, potato salad or pasta salad. The pasta salad that I chose did not come out of a tub. It was put together by caring hands: penne, red and yellow bell pepper, chopped green onion, feta cheese, tomato, capers and seasonings. Again, a very nice surprise.

The price? $7 for the grilled veggie sandwich and $11 for the flounder. Looking at the menu, it seems that prices range from $5 to $14 or so.

Everything that came out of the kitchen had presentation that would rival the best of restaurants.

The fine details: sandwiches and salads for lunch / full menu for dinner. We already plan to go back for dinner. You just can’t beat the view, either. BONUS: the food is procured from local sources whenever possible.

Walking in the door you will be confused. There is a sign that helps, but let me elaborate: gift shop to the right, to-go snacks to the left. For table service, go straight ahead and wait at the entrance to the dining area. A server will seat you.

Is it worth the $12 toll to cross the bridge, maybe or maybe not. That’s up to you, but if you are visiting the Eastern Shore, the Chesapeake Grill is a GREAT PLACE to start your culinary adventure. Try it and let me know what you think.

Next week…how “corny” can you get?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suz on August 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Hi there. You’ll be pleased to hear that the Chesapeake Grill secured their liquor license earlier this month.

    I also wanted to ask for your permission to link to this blog post from the new (upcoming) Chesapeake Grill website (www.virginia-originals.com).

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Posted by doug87 on August 11, 2010 at 5:52 am

      Thanks for the update! Who would have guessed that a “rest stop” on an 18 mile bridge is actually a great place for locals AND travelers to experience excellent food and, of course, the best view of the Chesapeake Bay aside from being on a a boat!
      By all means, link to the post. I’m just happy as a clam that someone has read it!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Brooke on August 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Can’t wait to go! My in-laws just visited and were highly complimentary. They liked it so much going that they went on the way home as well! Heard great things about the gift shop as well…hopefully some good things in store for Christmas for this former Virginian =). Heard the sunsets are beautiful as well. Large windows make it quite picturesque. Planning a trip soon…hope to see lots of readers there!

    Reply

    • Posted by doug87 on August 25, 2010 at 6:56 am

      The gift shop had some very nice things, especially Virginia-oriented stuff that would make nice Christmas gifts. The shop had just opened when we went there so they were still getting a bit organized, but I imagine it has only gotten better. For being in the middle of an 18 mile long toll bridge, it is getting a lot of good press AND business.

      You are absolutely right in that the view is spectacular. My wife and I both thought it would be a great place for a romantic third date.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  3. Posted by Jose on October 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Don’t waste your time to stop. Expensive and portions are small in comparison with the previous restaurant (before renovations).
    We travel the CBBT at least once a year and have stopped at the restaurant various times through out those years.
    Today we stopped for lunch for the first time at the new renovated restaurant and found the food to be less than the quality of what we expected.
    The crab cake sandwich was half the size, did not even over the bun. had more filling than crab clumps.
    The fried Spots (3) were over fried to the point of black.
    The slaw was very good but they gave you a small portion.
    The french fried were delicious but small portion.
    The fried flounder look good but small, looked like the cut the fillet in half and that is all you get.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jack Anderson on March 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    We ate here in late afternoon. All four of us had crab cakes with french fries and one had pasta salad. He said it was great. Our fries were piping hot, right out of the frier. Really good. Should have asked them not to salt them because they were really loaded down. The crab cakes were ALL crab, not a bit of filler. They did cover the bun, and were about an inch thick, lightly seasoned and quite tasty. Two of us had the she crab soup. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was about an 8. Very good but a little on the mild side and too light on the sherry. Of course she crab soup is very subjective, The waitress was in training, but was very friendly and did a good job, warranting a full tip. I will return when ever returning to the Bridge Tunnel.

    Reply

    • Posted by D.J. Lutz on March 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

      Thanks for stopping by; and nice review! Very detailed, which makes it a worthwhile read. Since I drive by the Grill twice a day to/from work, I will just have to stop by for dinner on of these days. Glad to see they are still putting decent food down on the plate!

      Reply

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