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Collegian Culinary Critique: Tropical Taste at the Island Grill

The Kokomo Shrimp (Photo Courtesy of Capelli D’Angelo)

The Island Grill is a festive restaurant based on Baja and Caribbean themes. The restaurant, located in Scotch Pines Village off of South Lemay Avenue and Drake Road near Sprouts, seems to be focused on being a bar, with dim lighting throughout the restaurant and most of the real estate being taken up by the bar section. Inside is a fun tropical atmosphere with seating that looks like it was handmade, beach items put around the restaurant as decor, a tank with exotic fish and some really cool murals painted on the walls.

To start, I ordered the Kokomo Shrimp appetizer, which is a coconut battered shrimp platter served with hot and sour sauce. The batter was crispy and light in texture while also maintaining a buttery and sweet taste. The shrimp itself was juicy and topped with crispy coconut shavings. The hot and sour sauce that came with it was just a little on the spicy side. Overall, this appetizer was delicious.

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I ended up waiting a while to get my entree due to the waitstaff being a bit inattentive.

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The Tsunami sandwich with sweet potato fries (Photo Courtesy of Capelli D’Angelo)

I ordered a new item, The Tsunami sandwich, with sweet potato fries as the side. The sweet potato fries were crispy, yet medium-soft in the middle, and a little salty. They were alright as sweet potato fries go, but I thought they could have used a bit more seasoning.

The sandwich had turkey slices smothered in a spicy barbecue sauce, which was countered by a thick pineapple ring that provided a sweet taste. It was topped with a lime cilantro coleslaw that added zest as well as cheddar cheese and bacon, which added a grilled flavor. All of this was on a grilled Focaccia bun. There was nothing greasy or fatty in the sandwich, but it was quite messy with the barbecue and coleslaw. The sandwich was pretty good, but it didn’t quite resonate with me as much as the Kokomo shrimp did.

20160831_211823.jpgI waited a while again to order dessert and to get my check. The wait staff did not seem to be in a hurry, despite the place being almost deserted.

For dessert, I ordered the Caramel Mango Crisp, which was made up of mango chunks and ice cream on top of crispy cinnamon strips, all of which was topped with whipped cream and caramel. The mango chunks were really gelatinous, which made it weirdly inauthentic, as if the mango came from a can or had been soaked in syrup. The cinnamon strips were crispy and had a lot of cinnamon, which was good. The ice cream and caramel tasted like the standard, store-bought staples, but they were good on the cinnamon strips. I think that this dish would be better without the mango, although it might be good if the mango actually tasted more like the fruit and less like the jello.

Overall, the food is decently good and the interior decoration is interesting and eye-catching. However, the prices are too high for the quality of food provided, and the service was terrible considering there was almost no one there.

I don’t think I’ll plan on returning to the Island Grill anytime soon.

Scorecard:
Food: 4 stars
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 2.5 stars
Price: 2 stars

Total Score: 2.87 stars

Collegian writer Capelli D’angelo can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter at @Capelli_Dangelo. Leave a comment!!

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