After not eating a real meal in two days, I was lured inside Coach’s neighborhood grill and bar by the smell of grilled chicken and patty melts. Sitting at 2702 W 15th Ave, right by Village Elementary, Coach’s is about as close to a neighborhood restaurant as Emporia has to offer.

Every time I’ve gone to Coach’s it seems like a sports team is there to celebrate. Although not as busy this time, rather nearly empty, the food still left me wanting to celebrate like it was me who won the Super Bowl.

With a solid variety of patty melts, some Mexican food and plenty of chicken and beers, I decided on one of the house specialties: The prairie chicken. For me, if chicken is going to be grilled, not fried, nothing beats being able to see the fresh grill marks on marinated chicken topped with onions, red and green peppers topped with cheese and a touch of a sauce I was told had honey, ranch and some barbeque sauce in it.

With a garden salad, fresh green beans and a heaping serving of sweet potato fries, I could almost feel my stomach expand with a sigh of relief.

While they lack solid vegetarian options, the smell of the meat was enough to make anyone curious as to how it tasted. I was impressed that such a large restaurant and bar could be run with only the two employees I saw.

For about $13, Coach’s is a bit more expensive than some of the other diners in town. However, between the daily specials, a good variety of drinks and great lunch options, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Coach’s.

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