by M.B. Lewis
The State Street neighborhood anchored by classic movie marquees has changed a lot since 1992, when Red Hawk Bar and Grill (redhawkannarbor.com) first opened its doors. Traffic patterns were overhauled, student housing towers rose at the edges, bookstores closed, and a glut of franchise restaurants and convenience stores arrived to fill many nearby storefronts. Many shops and eateries have come and gone. Meanwhile, aside from adding a few fancy cocktails over the years and starting some remodeling with big TVs for a third decade, Red Hawk has soldiered on relatively unchanged as a casual and satisfying choice for food and drink.
"We like to think we're timeless," co-owner and frequent floor-pacer Roger Hewitt reflected on a recent visit. Service is generally friendly and efficient. Well-executed menu items span the globe: fish tacos, salmon teriyaki pita, pesto pasta, steak fajita salad. A choice of three toppings on lamb, turkey, black bean, shrimp, or beef make burgers stand out as an under-ten-dollar option (dropping to under six bucks for the twentieth anniversary celebration in the third week of September). Hewitt said Red Hawk has far exceeded any expectations he had. He partly attributes the success to being "comfortable and consistent"--a classic formula for a classic place.
[Originally published in September, 2012.]
The menu has changed drastically in the last year or so and now the food sucks. The Fundraiser is gone (a sort of club sandwich made up of smoked ham, turkey, bacon, etc.);no more tunafish sandwich, instead you get tunamelt; many other choice sandwiches and items are gone or changed for the worse. For example, the Killer Nachos-no longer crispy tortilla chips but something akin to over fried and burnt wonton chips (perhaps they are home made and badly at that) with something leafy green on it, a blend of bland cheese, and boring pinto beans and not black beans. And no tomatoes. Small dollop of sour cream, bland guacamole, and so-so salsa. I've eaten there three times in the last few months and now refuse to go back. When they began they had plates and few sandwiches; quickly changed over to sandwiches and the like and few plates; but always good food. No longer. Will not go there again.
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