The building is hard to miss as you drive west into Robesonia. Between the maroon paint with green trim and the tall spire above the entrance, Ozgood’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar is unmistakable.
Ozgood’s location has served as a restaurant since the 1930s with the White House Restaurant operating on the spot. Once the White House left, it seemed nothing could replace it: the Furnace Creek Inn, the Furnace Inn, the Toll Gate Inn and the Blue Velvet (which I vaguely remember from my youth) all came and went before Ozgood’s came to stay in 1997.
Robesonia was built as a company town, and there are reminders of that on every wall. A large painting of the iron works hangs in the corner with enlarged postcards of the furnace surrounding the dining room.
Stained glass lamps hang throughout, casting a dim light on every table. For a little brighter experience, Ozgood’s offers an outdoor patio and bar along the slow trickling Furnace Creek.
Ozgood’s menu is lengthy and includes a long list of hearty entrees like steaks, burgers and an entire section devoted to pretzel sandwiches. And of course the menu at a “neighborhood grill and bar” wouldn’t be complete without a beverage list to match.
Despite the summer heat, the soup du jour, a chicken, potato and herb chowder, sounded too good to resist. The presentation would have been beautiful, if not for the two packs of Club crackers that it was served with. However, that did not take away from the soup itself, a thick, creamy chowder with big chunks of potato and a delicious blend of herbs (parsley, dill and more).
Then it was on the main course, a one-pound chopsteak smothered in onions and mushroom gravy called “The Worley.”
One pound is a lot more than it sounds on a menu meaning about half of it was still remaining on my plate when I had finished, but that was not to say it wasn’t good. The steak was cooked perfectly and the gravy was good, though it could have used one or two more ladles of gravy to cover the large piece of meat.
My sides for the day were “shoestring” fries and mixed vegetables. Though called shoestring on the menu, the fries were more like McDonald’s than the shoestrings at places like Austin’s. They were still good, just not what I was expecting. Meanwhile the vegetables were very tasty thanks to being cooked in a generous amount of butter.
Every weekend, Ozgood’s has a certain theme for their specials, and on our trip, it happened to be shrimp weekend.
As such, my wife decided to try a little bit of everything with the shrimp sampler platter. The sampler included shrimp done three ways: fried, broiled and stuffed with crab. All three were good and done just right, but the crab-stuffed was her favorite as the crab added even more flavor to an already good piece of shrimp.
Unfortunately the generous portions left no room for dessert, but we still left satisfied. Our meals were a little pricey, coming in at more than $35 for the pair, but we certainly felt like we got our money’s worth out of them.
Nearly two decades after Ozgood’s ended the musical chairs of restaurants in Robesonia, it is trying to do the same in Kutztown, where it recently opened a second location in the former TC’s Food & Spirits building.
And if the new location is serving the same good food as in Robesonia, Ozgood’s will have another success story to brag about.