• Food 2 / 10

  • Drink 5 /10

  • Atmos 2 / 10

Gridiron There’s nothing better than simple food done well, but no excuse for simple food as bad as this

Gloucestershire Live reported that Gridiron closed in September 2017. This reportedly due to poor levels of business. We’ll leave details here for a while in case you come looking for the restaurant.

The Longer Read Word on the, er, Quadrangle is that Gridiron shares the same ownership with Swallow Bakery a few doors down. If that’s correct then it’s an all embracing portfolio, from the Swallow Cafe’s pink and cup cakey promise through to the thoroughly macho Gridiron, all flaming reds and oranges and barbecues and grills.  The place screams one thing: MEAT. And sometimes, a single theme restaurant is no bad thing.

We think the food at Swallow Cafe is pretty good, yet keen people-watchers from Pizza Express over the road know that business is not yet booming at Gridiron. As occasional doughballers ourselves, we thought we’d check it out.

The welcome was as warm as it could be given the circumstances – half a dozen unoccupied staff saying hello and watching you into your seats will never be that pleasant.

Grid Iron’s drinks offer is definitely a cut above average. The beers on offer range from Budweiser (banal) to Brooklyn (better), and the wine list has a few gems from Washington State’s Charles Smith. Their Kung Fu Girl Riesling has become a bit of a rite of passage for the entry-level Bacchanalian millennial and, at £29.50, the mark-up isn’t too silly.

Gridiron Food

After that it’s all downhill. We’d really like to be positive, but this was a struggle.

Burgers start with a Manhattan(‘The Classic Beefburger’) at £6.50.

One burger is dry, entirely unseasoned, and served in a burnt bun with a radioactive looking cheese. It is as bland as a burger could possibly be, gristly and greasy. When I crunched down on a piece of bone the size of a small tooth I gave up. The other burger was ordered well done and came raw in the middle. It was sent back to be recooked and came back still pink in the middle. Sides of soggy onion rings and fries did little to cheer us up.


We got an apology and both burgers were taken off the bill (which was thoroughly decent of them) with an explanation so thoroughly disarming that I memorised it: “We’ve changed meat supplier, and this new meat is no good”. For a place that serves their burgers pink as standard, that did nothing to ease my concerns.

We left hungry and annoyed. It’s a short walk from Gridiron to The Tavern but – in terms of the humble burger at least – they are so many miles apart. We couldn’t help but wonder how it all went so wrong at GridIron.

The Quadrangle, Imperial Square, Cheltenham GL50 1PZ
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