Shanghai has thus far been spared the advent of a Guy Fieri restaurant (never say never, though.) If you've been watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and have an appetite that would make a truck driver sweat, might we calmly point the way to Truck Stop Grill.
In the kitchen is chef Matthew Ona – a US-native who puts feel-good food from all over the states at the heart of the restaurant.
Ok, it's in Hongkou. They know that's out the way, but look at this New York-style chicken Parmesan (RMB98). Gaze upon its abundant mozzarella topping, at the creamy tomato sauce in the spaghetti, the crisp breadcrumb crust on the chicken. Mom's spaghetti it ain't, but if your mom does cook like this then please Skype her immediately to say how much you love her. Maybe do that anyway.
It's about to get a lot more intense from here on. Atlanta-style chicken and vanilla waffles with butter and maple syrup (RMB98.) You can really taste the vanilla in them waffles. Ask for hot sauce to go with the two enormous pieces of crispy fried chicken.Did we mention Truck Stop Grill has their own smoker? This hulking beast of apparatus makes Truck Stop Grill's smoked beef and smoked salmon possible. The latter works its way into a beef pastrami sandwich (RMB98), a personal favorite of Chef Matthew's from his time spent in New York.
The former, meanwhile, is probably unlike other smoked salmon you've tried. Prior to smoking, it's rubbed with a peppery pastrami spice, and served with a dill-flecked mustard and toast. Get it by itself for RMB98, or one up with the seafood sampler (RMB198.) In the right corner we have fried shrimps with sriracha mayonnaise, and mediating we have hand-cut California calamari. Those guys have a Parmesan and hot pepper breading, and come with a marinara sauce, tartare sauce and fresh lemon wedges. They also have cocktails. Cocktails with bacon on top and bourbon inside.
There you have it, the extent of Truck Stop Grill's menus that we could manage to eat in one sitting. We're taking it for granted that you have eyes and can see how big these portions are. They're gargantuan. Cheesecake Factory gargantuan, and we love it.
See a listing for Truck Stop Grill