Thornton River Grille
3710 Sperryville Pike
Sperryville, VA 22740
American | $$
Just off Virginia Rt. 211 at the foot of the Shenandoah National Park is the picturesque town of Sperryville, home to antique stores, River District Arts, and the Thornton River Grille. Touring the countryside with a friend this fall we stopped in for lunch. Right on the main street in Sperryville the restaurant is easy to find and often busy. On the afternoon we stopped by the wait for us was about 10 minutes but grew longer while we were there.
The restaurant has comfortable seating for about 40 with cloth napkins on bare wooden tables for a stylish simple look. The staff was busy but attentive. Except for a few guests giving you the prison guard stare hoping to speed eating along, those waiting for tables are mostly confined to a hall near the rear entrance.
For my lunch I chose the Flamin’ Rooster, a Grilled Chicken Breast with Smoked Bacon, Pico de Gallo, and Pepperjack cheese. The sandwich comes with fresh greens and an incredibly good tomato considering we were technically out of season. The fries were hand cut and very tasty. The Pico de Gallo, sometimes called salsa Mexicana, was chopped tomato, onion, and chili peppers and with the Pepperjack cheese gave it an additional spicy kick. The chicken was grilled nicely, moist and not excessively juicy.
Our friend Jane went with the Braised Corned Beef Ruben served on Marbled Rye bread with Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, and Russian Dressing. She was not fond of the sandwich because the corned beef was in more of a shredded form than the traditional sliced.
My wife opted for the “House Ground Beef” Cheeseburger with crumpled Bleu Cheese. They grind their beef fresh daily. My wife loved the Bleu Cheese topping and thought the beef patty was generous in size and flavorful.
Our choices were quite filling so we tried no desserts. The noise level was moderate at about 76 decibels. This is not a linger over lunch kind of place. It was busy with the staff constantly on the move and people coming and going nonstop. But we never felt rushed and once you’re done eating there is plenty to do in the area to get you moving. Next time you are hungry for good quality food stop in for lunch. Several friends have recommended Thornton River Grille for dinner so we will be back soon.