405 W. Patterson Dr.
Bloomington Indiana 47403United States
Walking into Sweet Grass feels a little like going on vacation in the South without leaving the friendly confines of Bloomington, Indiana.
With its galvanized tin bar, ceiling draped in globe lights and abundant (artificial) palm trees, you can't help but be transported to breezier climes when you enter Sweet Grass. The smell of barbecue on the grill doesn't hurt, either. You get to enjoy sweet corn bread with bacon butter as you study the menu of Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes with corn relish ($6.96), crab cakes ($21.95), and shrimp and grits ($16.96). Though they offer a wide variety of sides (including collard greens, fried okra, Carolina slaw, mashed potatoes and grit cakes, don't expect the sweet potato fries pictured on the website because they aren't on the menu. We ordered the smoked drunken chicken with Blue Ridge barbecue sauce ($16.95), which was very sweet and arrived a bit undercooked. The pan-seared salmon with citrus glaze ($16.95) was modestly sized, but tasty. Sides are a highlight. The fried okra, house fries and mashed potatoes were all amazing; the collard greens were bitter and the Carolina slaw was on the dry side. The steak salad ($12.95) was delicious and colorful with artichoke hearts, corn relish and asparagus, but we were disappointed to find that the dressing we chose from the menu wasn't available that evening. Service was fast and friendly by a youthful staff. A small bar sits adjacent to the dining area, screened slightly by windows suspended from the ceiling, and a comfy lounge area with leather couches awaits those 21 and older. Tables encircle the large dining room with lofty ceiling, which can get a little noisy when the place is full. Perhaps because it's in a college town, Sweet Grass seemed a little confusing in its identity. The menu is mostly Southern food, yet includes odd complements like brick-oven pizza. The Italian fountain in the entrance sits below tailgate flags that feel a little frat house. The lounge area offers posh leather seating, yet they have bags and cornhole games in the corner, indicating casual game nights are also on tap. Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., reopening 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations not accepted. Abundant off-street parking.