Stone Werks Big Rock Grille restaurant scores points with its prime rib panini sandwiches and patio party environment

When we started this 52 Weeks of Sandwiches series, we said we would focus on sandwiches and restaurants with a “significant sandwich presence.” Stone Werks Big Rock Grille is exactly the type of place we had in mind.

The local chain of four restaurants presents a freewheeling menu of more than 75 dishes. Between Rockefeller oysters, steaks, pizzas, wings, burgers, street tacos, snappers and chicken fried steaks, you would never classify Stone Werks as a sandwich shop. But with nine sandwiches in the mix, it’s the very “meaningful sandwich presence” model.

Best sandwich: Sitting next to the fireplace on Stone Werks’ lodge-style porch in The Vineyard Mall, you don’t think of the traffic on Blanco Road and Loop 1604. You think of the warming smell of wood smoke and with a cold draft beer.

And you think of a sandwich like the Prime & Cheddar Panini, because the hearty sandwich built on toasted rustic bread covered with slices of juicy prime rib, melted cheddar cheese, sweet grilled onions and tangy horseradish cream gives the aroma of smoke a place to call home. It’s like a prime rib dinner you can hold in your hands. Instead of fries, ask for tomato basil soup to create an upscale soup and sandwich meal ($19.95 with fries; sub-soup for an extra $2.95).

Rock Grille at The Vineyard mall on San Antonio’s North Side. It normally comes with fries, but the tortilla soup can be substituted for an additional charge.”/>

A roast chicken salad features lettuce and tomatoes on toasted wheat bread at the Stone Werks Big Rock Grille at The Vineyard mall on San Antonio’s North Side. It normally comes with fries, but the tortilla soup can be substituted for an additional charge.

Mike Sutter / Staff

Other sandwiches: The soup and sandwich deal worked more humblely with Stone Werks’ roast chicken salad sandwich. It’s an old-fashioned chicken salad, a mix of mayonnaise and chunks of white meat with chopped veggies on wheat toast, just as comforting as the bowl of hot chicken tortilla soup you can substitute by fries if you do it right ($10.95 with fries; sub-tortilla soup for an extra $2.95).

There’s nothing wrong with the fries that come with the sandwiches at Stone Werks. They’re like lit, hot, crispy light fries with flecks of tawny skin to remind you where they came from.

And they’re the right indulgence with the Philadelphia Cheesesteak, a no-frills grilled collective of lean beef, melted provolone, and a medley of grilled onions and red and green peppers on a sturdy hoagie roll ($17.45 with fries).

Nashville's hot fried chicken sandwich comes with pickles, coleslaw and mayo with fries (not pictured) at Stone Werks Big <a class=Rock Grille at The Vineyard mall on San Antonio’s North Side.”/>

Nashville’s hot fried chicken sandwich comes with pickles, coleslaw and mayo with fries (not pictured) at Stone Werks Big Rock Grille at The Vineyard mall on San Antonio’s North Side.

Mike Sutter / Staff

We’re about a thousand miles from Nashville, and I could feel the distance in Stone Werk’s adaptation of the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich ($13.45 with fries). They got the right portion of fried chicken, all clean and crisp and juicy. But the hot end wouldn’t fool anyone in Tennessee, let alone San Antonio.

msutter@express-news.net | Twitter: @fedmanwalking | Instagram: @fedmanwalking

Evaluation: Solid neighborhood option

Site: 1201 N. Loop 1604 W. 210-764-0400, more locations on stonewerks.com

Hours: 11am-10pm Sunday to Thursday; 11am-11pm from Friday to Saturday


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