Had to head out to Wellesley last week and decided to stop at Casey's Diner in Natick. Never been before, wanted a hot dog. That place is really cool, very much a nostalgia trip. I could not get in the door, so ordered from the window. Hot dogs and buns steaming in an ancient copper steaming contraption, a tiny kitchen and tiny dining space. Really neat looking. I got a dog and couldn't resist the chopped pickle and ham sandwich (never had one of those either). It was messy and good, cooked the way one of the countermen likes them, with cheese and grilled. The dog was tasty too, nice with the works. All in all worth a stop for some old Americana. Looked like everything there was under $3 or so.
Publick House for dinner last week, took my parents as they wanted to check out the beer selection. We had the mussels and fries app as well as the Publick House Plate. The mussels were ok, kind of tasteless and overcooked though. The "frites" were a small serving of limp fries. This would not do in Belgium, not sure why they get away with it there. The Publick House Plate, advertised as coming with some of the "charcuterie", a selection of artisanal cheeses, garlick "shrooms", mixed bean salad, and hummus. The charcuterie consisted of three slices each of salami and bresaola (maybe bought across the street at Shaws). The selection of artisanal cheeses was two slabs of cheddar (they claimed it was the one on the menu, though it looked and tasted more like cracker barrel). The shrooms were completely tasteless and inedible. The bean salad, well, not sure what it was doing there, sort of a South American touch I guess. The hummus was actually good. The bread was plain, where I would expect a nice hearty loaf of some kind.
I complained to the waitress about the plate, it was $16 and a ripoff I thought. She kindly comped us for that. I had emphasized the disappointment with the cheeses (there should have been at least two kinds), and am not good at complaining, but I wanted to say all of this to her.
We also shared mains of the carbonade, which I thought was good, very tasty broth, a bit peppery, and the beef nicely cooked. But then the stoemp, fried sausages were actually fried balls of what may have been "sausage" meat, but were so overcooked they were dry and tasteless too, kind of like lava rocks. At least we ate the mash and gravy, and I could not bring myself to say more. My parents told the waitress that it was all fantastic as they are even more polite than I am. Very disappointed; comfort food of this type should be so easy to do, but they made a complete mess of it. Thankfully the beers were excellent as always.