The Arka Tech

Food review of The Old Bank Sports Grill

Sierra Murphy:

THE ARKA TECH / SIERRA MURPHY: CHEESBURGER AND FRIES. CHEESE IS BAKED INTO THE BURGER ITSELF.

Old Bank Sports Grill was just a week old when Amber and I went looking at the latest Russellville Downtown establishment. I had been there before, during their soft opening, and looked forward to going back. The staff was kind, the food was good and the other patrons were looking for the same thing I was –a place to relax with friends.

Amber and I got there at 4 p.m., like we always do on our weekly food-review runs. Dinner rush hadn’t hit yet, but I remember we were a little hungrier than usual. Maybe it was just Monday and I knew we were in for a treat. Whatever overtook us, I couldn’t stop my mouth from watering when we had decided on potato skins as an appetizer, chicken strips for her and a burger for me.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when we had ordered the potato skins. I’ve had my fair share of the bagged chips that I have come to spoil myself with every once in a while, but gourmet potato skins (if there is such a thing) aren’t something I’m accustomed to. So imagine my surprise when our waitress brought out small, potato skin boats with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream on the side.

They weren’t crisp enough to crunch but they weren’t soft enough to be the equivalent of a baked potato. The potatoes themselves tasted garlicy and were seasoned perfectly – I didn’t have to add even a pinch of salt. I practically smothered them in sour cream, though, which did nothing but compliment the gooeyness of the cheese.

We had just finished the potato skins when our waitress brought out our meals.

The one complaint I have, I must point out, was that I ordered my burger with no cheese and no tomato. That request was forgotten. I let them go about working out the kinks and set my tomato slice to the side. What I couldn’t do, though, was get rid of the cheese. The waitress confirmed my suspicion – the cheese is baked into the burger itself. How cool is that?

While the cheese mixed with the grease, I can’t deny that this was one tasty burger. Topped with onion, pickles, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, I took a big bite and literally had juices running down my arm. It was beefy. It was yummy. It was everything a foodie dreams a burger to be. I actually had to ask our waitress for more napkins!

I took a break from my burger to munch on the straight cut fries, which only needed ketchup. Amber decided on curly cut fries, which she raved about. Contrary to my ketchup, though, she decided to season her chicken strips and fries with ranch.

After feasting, but of course leaving room for dessert, we decided to get a chocolate filled dessert. A mason jar rimmed with chocolate icing and decorated with mini Twixes and cookies was filled with chocolate ice cream and then layered with chocolate whip cream, a brownie, more chocolate whip cream, then topped with an ice cream cone and drizzled with chocolate drizzle. The dessert ordinarily comes with caramel drizzle but I asked the kitchen to hold it.

We couldn’t even finish the dessert, but we had no regrets for getting it in the first place. It was the perfect way to end a meal that had great service, a welcoming and fun atmosphere and good food.


Amber Appleby:

THE ARKA TECH / SIERRA MURPHY: CHICKEN TENDERS AND SPICY MACORONI AND CHEESE.

I was excited by the opening of Old Bank. I really feel like having an original sports bar in downtown Russellville will give college age people a place to go after 9 p.m., and it will also bring in a new restaurant, which is always very exciting.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with Old Bank, but it is really just a sports bar.

When Sierra and I went, Old Bank was running on a limited menu because it hasn’t been open long enough to have a full menu. I’m not really sure when it will have a full menu out, but it had a pretty varied selection on its limited menu.

It currently serves burgers, steaks, some appetizers, and various other bar foods. I eventually settled on a chicken strip basket with mac and cheese and curly fries; we also got some potato skin appetizers.

The potato skins were coated in cheese and bacon and chives and served with a small side of sour cream. They were crispy on the outside, but soft and falling apart on the inside. The sour cream brought a cooling effect to the steamy potato skins.

When we got our entrees, the first thing I noticed was how little batter the chicken strips had on them. That’s always my favorite part of chicken strips, so I was a little disappointed that they weren’t super crispy. However, they were well cooked and had a good flavor, especially dipped in their ranch, which I think is buttermilk.

The curly fries were the brown seasoned curly fries and they were amazing. I really enjoyed those curly fries, especially dipped in the ranch. Have I said enough about the ranch yet?

Sierra warned me that the mac and cheese was spicy before we ordered. I was intrigued by this and, of course, had to have it. It was really, really good. It had an almost chili-seasoned taste to it. Maybe they have some spice that has a chili flavor or they mix in a little bit of chili; either way, the mac and cheese had a little bit of spice and a lot of amazingness.

We then ordered a chocolate blitz for dessert. The chocolate blitz is chocolate ice cream, piled in a squat little Mason jar, rimmed with chocolate sauce; and stuck in the chocolate sauce was small bits of Twix and chocolate chip cookies; then topped with a fat, fudgy brownie; then chocolate whipped cream and a sugar cone; and then it was all drizzled in chocolate. So, basically, it was chocolate overload. I tried a little taste of everything from the ice cream to the chocolate whipped cream, and I must say the chocolate ice cream was my favorite part. Overall, I would recommend this dessert only if you have someone to eat it with or you will hate yourself for attempting this much chocolate.

We spilt the dessert and potato skins and then paid for our own drinks and entrees; All in all, it cost about $20, which isn’t terribly bad for a three course meal with a soft drink. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for something cheap, but, if you’re wanting to splurge, I would recommend trying the Old Bank, even if it’s just for the ranch.