RedZone Sports Bar N' Grill
RedZone is a place for friends to gather for lunch or dinner and to watch a game — any game. The new sports pub has 14 television screens — more than any other venue in Ashland.
With a full lineup of college football and the Cardinals duking it out with the Rangers in the World Series, RedZone was packed Saturday with sports fans. We had no trouble locating the place. The furor was audible from a block away.
We waited a couple of minutes after entering the boisterous room — previously occupied by Tease — until some seats became available at the requisite tall tables and chairs.
Our server, Chanell Krebs, told us that the room is full most days of the week. Turns out, she is the fiancee of Austin Loreman, who co-owns RedZone along with her father, Rick Krebs.
Loreman formerly worked for Louie's Bar & Grill on Ashland Plaza. It was his notion that certain customers wanted more of a true sports bar — a place that runs all of the games all of the time.
Traditional pub snacks are available to keep those customers going through all of the playoffs. There are potato skins loaded with bacon, cheddar cheese and sour cream, traditional and boneless wings, mozzarella and cheddar cheese sticks, chili-cheese fries, nachos, garlic-feta fries, sweet-potato fries, miniature corn dogs, calamari strips and artichoke-spinach dip. Prices range from $4.99 for fries to $7.99 for nachos.
There's also a variant of the jalapeño popper — the jalapeño bottle cap (this one is sliced into wheels) — and deep-fried green beans. The bottle caps and green beans are served with ranch or sweet chili sauce for $5.99 each. For a platter of appetizers, choose any four items from the cheese sticks, fried pickles or green beans, corn dogs, bottle caps, potato skins, calamari strips or artichoke dip for $12.99.
All sorts of burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, dogs and baskets are available. Prices range from $4.49 for a basic burger to $9.99 for the RedZone burger, replete with a fried egg, salami, ham, bacon, guacamole, onions, tomatoes, jack cheese and jalapenos.
We tried the nachos. They were OK, but I thought they needed more cheese and could have stayed in the oven a bit longer — the cheese was cold.
Loreman paid a visit to our table after his fiancee tipped him off that I was taking notes from the menu. An amicable young man, he took my suggestions about the nachos as positive feedback.
Tri-tip appears to be a big highlight on RedZone's menu, so we ordered accordingly.
The Black and Blue Salad touts tri-tip, mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, shaved carrots, crumbled blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette for $8.99. It's a delight to find mixed greens instead of iceberg lettuce as an option on any sports-bar menu. I also expected bite-sized pieces of meat on this salad, but the large plate boasted four generous slices of roast.
My friend ordered the Tri-tip Steak Dip sandwich served with fries and au jus. The sliced meat was topped with grilled onions and Swiss cheese and served on a hoagie roll. Our server obliged us with some grated horseradish to top off the flavor of our dishes.
My friend devoured her sandwich but had to push away some of the fries. We also had to pass on dessert, though deep-fried cheesecake, molten chocolate cake and ice cream with cookies or a brownie are available. Prices range from $3.99 to $6.99.
A small breakfast menu is available until 4 p.m. Sundays. The selections include a skillet of eggs, ham, bacon, onions, bell peppers, shredded cheddar and a side of salsa for $7.99; a breakfast sandwich with an egg fried over-hard, bacon, ham, cheddar and mayonnaise on a potato bun for $6.99; and a steak-and-egg burrito made with tri-tip, onions, cheddar and sides of salsa and sour cream for $7.99.
Rick Krebs also offers breakfast specials each weekend. Some include his French toast and sausage gravy.
RedZone offers an extensive list of craft and other domestic beers, along with a full bar, making the venue off-limits to minors during any business hours.
— Laurie Heuston