Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille


Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille opened on Spokane’s South Hill in 2007, and the restaurant has won awards nearly every year since then. It was also featured on an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say upfront I ate a burger at Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille once before, about a month or so after it first opened, and I didn’t like it. Nearly everything about the experience was awful, so I never went back.

And yet, the awards keep rolling in, including many popular vote awards. Did I go too soon after the opening? Had things improved since my solitary visit? There was only one way to find out, so I stopped in for lunch and tried their Cheeseburger to see if Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille would redeem itself, or if history would be repeated.

The Burger

Whenever I go to a restaurant to write a review, I’m always looking for the burger on the menu that most closely resembles a classic cheeseburger. Sometimes it can be tricky to decipher which burger is the one I’m looking for, but at Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille, they have one simply called “Cheeseburger” that is exactly what you would expect.

It’s a 6 ounce patty made from 100% chuck, topped with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, and your choice of cheese. I went with American cheese, and asked that the pickles be held back. I was asked how I wanted it cooked, so I said, “no pink.”

When it arrived, the burger wasn’t much to look at, because the bun obscured the other ingredients. Having it all wrapped up didn’t help either, and the first thing I did before eating the burger was to pull it out of the wrapper.

The bun was lightly toasted and relatively soft, but it was very dry and chewy. The bun is easily the worst part of the burger.

The ingredients seemed fresh overall, especially the tomato. The lettuce was slightly browned and wilted, but it was it hard to tell if was due to age or heat from the burger and fries. The onion appeared to have been lightly sautéed, which was nice.

The burger did have mayo on it, but it also seemed to have another sauce as well—one that wasn’t mentioned on the menu, and one that was slightly too sweet. It’s possible that there wasn’t another sauce, and what I was tasting was just mayo mixed with “Rube’s Squirrelly Seasonings,” which I’ll talk about more in the fries section.

The burger patty itself was cooked properly, and the burger overall tasted good, but it was a little heavy on the sauce. I wish I could have tasted the beef more, especially after the menu called it, “the finest beef available.”

The Fries

The thick cut fries were served at a decent temperature, but were inconsistently crispy. Some were perfect, but most were too soft and chewy. The insides were generally fluffy, but some of the fries were really dry. At least they weren’t greasy.

The fries were, unfortunately, seasoned with “Rube’s Squirrelly Seasonings,” which is terrible, in my opinion. It’s far too sweet, and while I think I might like the taste, I can’t get past the sweetness of it. These are French fries, not candy; they should be savory and not sweet.

The fry sauce that came with my meal was not bad, but it was also a bit too sweet. What’s with this place and making everything sweet?

The Price

The Cheeseburger from Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille cost me $11, and I while it was OK, the fries were a huge disappointment. For me, this isn’t a good value.

The Restaurant

Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille is trying to be an Irish pub, I guess. I don’t know, the décor is a bit of a mishmash. It’s definitely trying to be a sports bar, though, as television screens are inescapable—even in the bathroom (which was clean, by the way). You might be able to escape them if you sit on the patio.

The dining area was clean as far as I could tell. There was a lot of natural light coming in from large colonial-style windows. There wasn’t any music, probably so I could hear whatever game was on.

One neat aspect of the décor was the impressive collection of tap handles that were all over the place, including hanging from the ceiling.

The fact that traditionally savory food was served too sweet was my primary complaint the last time I came to Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille, and it’s clear that hasn’t changed in the intervening years.

That so many people like the food here leaves me scratching my head. I honestly don’t understand it, but maybe I’m just eating the wrong things. If you’re a lover of the food at Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille, please leave a comment and let me know.

And if, like me, you don’t like their food, please leave a comment and let me know I’m not alone!

Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grille
4318 S Regal St Spokane, WA 99256
(509) 443-6500

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Disagree with my review? That's cool, people have different tastes. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me why you think I got this one wrong. But keep your comments civil or they'll get deleted.

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