We had an appointment cancel, leaving us with an unexpected open afternoon, so my wife and I decided to take a stroll on this gorgeous day over to Greenwood Park, the new pub/beer garden that opened recently in the neighborhood now known as Greenwood Heights. We got there about 1:30 or so in the afternoon.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit and there are some very appealing aspects to the place. But, for us at least, there are some not so appealing aspects as well.
My wife had their house Pinot Grigio, which she liked well enough, and I went with beer. I had three different beers throughout our visit, and I thought they were all excellent — chilled well, crispy, clean tasting. It seems like they're paying attention to their beers, which is always a good thing.
Maureen had the watermelon salad, and I had the Italian sausage hero with an order of fries. We both liked the food well enough. My sausage sandwich was actually quite good, worth a visit entirely on its own. We asked for the fries to be crisp, and the bartender said he noted that, and they were, in fact, nice and crisp (and piping hot).
All well and good, and all reason enough for us to return. But there were a few things that we wish they did differently.
For example, I'm not crazy about beer in plastic cups, but that's what they use at Greenwood Park. So if you don't care about that, no problem. It's not a big enough deal for me to not go back, but I'd really rather drink my beer out of a beer glass.
And it seems a little odd that the bartenders don't give you a glass of water when you ask for one. Instead they tell you that there is this large tank at one end of the bar that has water, so you go and get a small plastic cup and get your own water. Again, not a big deal, but why not just serve up a glass (even a plastic glass) of water?
The lack of condiments is another niggling thing. The fries, which were very good, were under-salted, so I asked for some salt. What I got was about 7 or 8 of those tiny envelopes of salt, not a salt shaker. No pepper either. They did serve ketchup with the fries, but it was a dollop in, you guessed it, a small plastic cup. Not enough even when one person (my wife) doesn't use ketchup.
Maureen's salad came in one of those boatlike coated cardboard containers like they give you at the ballpark when you buy a hot dog. A plastic bowl would have been better. Yet again, not a big deal, but not that great either.
I asked about the hot dog on the menu and the bartender told me they didn't have any toppings, just the hot dog and either ketchup or mustard. Again, not a big thing, but that's why I didn't order one. I was in the mood for some toppings, maybe some sauerkraut or onions, something...
When we left, about two hours later, the place had begun filling up. There were maybe 20 adults or so, and maybe 6 or 7 kids, all running around, one on a scooter. We realized that it was that time of afternoon when this large space becomes a kind of mini-day care center, so it was time for us to go.
All in all, we liked Greenwood Park, the size, the space, the informality, and the quality of the drinks and the food. We'll go back on another afternoon, before school lets out, and try some more things and silently wish that they would change a few things. But we won't really care that much.