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Greater Boston Area

Garden at the Cellar, really?


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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area

Garden at the Cellar, really?

aperitif | | Jan 14, 2009 12:49 PM

My second visit to Garden at the Cellar was for lunch. Dinner the first time a few months ago was fine, even tasty. I left thinking that the portions were too big (either your food cost is super low or you're not making any money), but that was the only thing that bothered me. Until today. I was there for lunch with a friend. We each ordered a pint while we browsed the menu. I decided on the Cuban sandwich with French Fries and she got the Falafel with Tater Tots. And then we waited. And waited. There was one other table sitting when we got there, but they were eating so it's not like they were busy preparing other people's lunches. I finished my beer, which is no small feat... I'm not a beer drinker, and definitely not during the day, but today was different. And maybe different for the Cellar too since they usually gather high marks. Anyway, I ordered a second beer and we speculate if this is how the restaurant makes its money; keep em drinking while they wait for their food. Close to 40 minutes pass from the time we placed our order to the time it arrived in front us. Finally. Except... mine doesn't look right. The menu said: Cuban: pork, cheddar, pickles, ham. It looks like dark chunk tuna salad on toast. I see a pickle and evidence of melted cheese, but the rest looks like cat food. I take one bite and I don't like it, it's like pork rilletes gone wrong, but we've already waited and I didn't feel like waiting for them to make me another sandwich. So I scrape it all off, re-assemble my sandwich with it's meager slice of ham, melted cheese and two pickles. The fries were good, but not special, more parsley then truffle if anything. My friend said her falafel was fine, but not great. The bread-to-falafel ratio was so high that it seemed really dry and she had to ask for more yogurt to get it down. The tater tots that came with her sandwich would be better off if they were called 'fried mashed potato balls' because that's all they were. Service was fine, but there seemed to be only one person waiting tables, seating people and running food. I'd hate to see what happened if the place filled up. There was no management presence whatsoever. Am I silly to expect more from this place? It is bar food, after all, in a college town. But why is everyone gushing over it? I don't get it... it seems the standards for dining in Boston/Cambridge are falling fast.

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