Girvan Grille – Let The Word Of Mouth Begin

By R.J. Smiley

When the opportunity to write a story about Girvan Grille at Edinburgh USA popped up, I jumped on it like a chicken on a June bug. Constantly traveling in the golf community as I do, one quickly learns that “word of mouth” is, by far, the best marketing tool.

I had already heard of Girvan Grille. Not really! When fellow golfers discuss the quality of the dining experience at Edinburgh USA, I don’t recall anyone calling it Girvan Grille. They might have said Girvan Grille at Edinburgh, but all I remember is Edinburgh. My goal in this story is to help you, remember the name Girvan Grille, and the great dining experience they offer.

The name Girvan Grille was chosen for Girvan, Scotland, a small (about 8,000 people) seaside fishing port turned resort community on the coast of southwestern Scotland. We golfers can relate to Girvan because Turnberry Golf Course is only five miles away. Remember Turnberry, it has hosted the Open Championships in 2009 where Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in the playoff that made all senior golfers cry. Girvan is well known for its pubs that delight guests with fish (locally caught) and chips and other age-old Scottish staples.

To emulate the traditional dining establishments along the Firth of Clyde in Girvan, General Manager, Dan Jacott brings the “Three ‘P’ Management Style” (People, Place and Product) to Girvan Grille.

PEOPLE: The entire staff at Girvan Grille are hired and constantly trained to be friendly and extremely efficient. Jacott’s experience at private clubs and big public golf operations has taught him that friendly well trained staff is the key to repeat customers. Restaurant Manager, Bill McGinnity’s job, during peak dining hours, is to keep the staff on their toes while he mingles with customers – to let them know that he cares. With capital improvements coming to the golf course in 2014, the staff receives constant updates to answer questions from the golfer patrons.

PLACE:The uncommon partnership between the City of Brooklyn Park, owners of the golf course and clubhouse, and Lancer Catering, the upper Midwest dominate food and beverage operator, has been being refined for the past seventeen years. Brooklyn Park runs the golf operation and Lancer runs the food and beverage. Like most good marriages, over time there becomes an invisibly interdependency that work for both. The average patron, golfer, restaurant guest, bride to be or corporate meeting planner feels that they are dealing with one organization. Exactly as it was planned! Edinburgh USA was the first really upscale public access golf course built in the modern era of golf development. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Edinburgh USA has hosted the USGA Public Links Championship and several LPGA Championships.

The huge clubhouse that houses Girvan Grille was built in classic Scottish manor style. Girvan Grille has a seating capacity of nearly 200, but almost every seat has an intimate feel. The bar with several large TVs has a golfers grill feel but remains unusually quiet even with large crowds. Truly, it does not replace the true Scottish pub, but Girvan’s is not your typical sports bar.
PRODUCT: Everyone at Girvan Grille knows that without the third “P” the first two don’t count. Executive Chef, Rick Bouley, a self-confessed “foodie”, is always seeking a higher level of perfection. Bouley sources all fresh fruits and vegetables locally, and selects fish and seafood from sustainable source vendors. All sauces, dressings and desserts are made from scratch by Bouley’s experienced staff.

As we were ordering, Bouley proudly explained the nuance of each entrée. Tough choice, but we settled on the St. Louis Style Ribs, “falling off the bone” slow-smoked, then grilled with Girvan’s own BBQ sauce and the best made from scratch french fries I have ever eaten. In addition we were served the Teriyaki Seared Wild Caught Pacific Halibut set on Wasabi mashed potatoes with stir-fried vegetables. Every bite was a taste bud treat, but the perfectly prepared vegetables were proof that Girvan’s is special.

We enjoyed the Saint Andrews Salad, with candied almonds, strawberries, Feta cheese and a strawberry vinaigrette dressing for a starter. We split the Seven Layer Chocolate Sin dessert made with rich chocolate cake, white and milk chocolate mousse and Godiva Liqueur chocolate ganache. The Chocolate Sin was adequate for two and did give us that “over stuffed” feeling.

They just said that the food at Edinburgh was great. Well let me tell you that the food at Girvan Grille is great – I don’t care where it is located. Next time I am doing the ribs again. I loved the salad, but I want to eat all my fries and then, eat
the whole dessert… myself!

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