Is it possible to feel nostalgic for an era that happened before one was even born? Â If it is, then The Machine Room Grille at Great American Ballpark gives me that feeling. Â The restaurant, located right above Adam Dunn in Left field, pays homage (big time) to the time when the Cincinnati Reds were actually a spectacularly good baseball franchise. Â Memorabilia depicting stand-out players from The Big Red Machine (as the team was nicknamed in the 1970s) like Pete Rose and Johnny Bench clutter the pub-like atmosphere of the Machine Room Grill. Â
Contrary to popular belief, diners can visit the restaurant on days that the ballpark is not hosting a baseball game...the Machine Room is open Monday-Saturday year-round. Â If you're looking for a real experience at the grill, though, visit the Machine Room on a day the Cincinnati Reds are at home. Â If you call the restaurant early enough before game days you have the option of reserving one of the establishment's outdoor tables, giving you a great view of the game from seats more comfortable than most in the ballpark. Â These tables have only one rule: Â patrons must spend at least $100 per table. (Keep in mind that on game days you also have to have a valid ticket to enter the restaurant, though) It is pretty easy to fill up your tab, as the grill offers a full bar and some pretty delicious ballpark-style food. Â
Try the Montgomery Inn Pulled Pork sandwich for lunch or dinner before a game, it's somewhat expensive ($12, if I remember correctly) but it will absolutely stuff you, especially if you order the onion ring appetizer before you get your sandwich. Â The rings are no ordinary fried treat; they're sliced 2 inches wide and dunked excessively in delicious beer batter. Â The onion rings are served with three delicious dipping sauces, one of which is Montgomery Inn's famed barbeque. Â
If you haven't overloaded on calories in your first two courses, definitely check out the "Ultimate Gourmet Delight," which consists of deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos. Â The Twinkies are worth the price alone...the Oreos lose their crunch in the frying process.