I just got back from lunch with extended family at Monkey Bar in Amherst, MA...we sat on the terrace which was really nice (there were 9 of us total). Nice and shady, they do a great job hiding the fact that it overlooks a parking lot. No complaints there.
Food on the other hand was not exciting and in some cases, poorly executed. I shared an order of the butternut squash soup as an appetizer. This was quite good....spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
All but one of us ordered from the lunch specials menu. My brother and I both ordered "Royal Burgers" (with bacon and bleu cheese), cooked medium. I was pretty disappointed with the burgers. Both were cooked completely well done (not even a trace of pink anywhere) and were served with lettuce and tomato on french bread. The bread was not bad and the bleu cheese was good....very small amount of bacon (and not a very large burger overall either). The fries clearly wished they were crispy, but were slightly underfried and limp.
I wasn't impressed by much else at the table either. My dad ordered a salad that contained crabmeat, mango, spinach in a ginger/cream dressing (which was served on the side). The salad was served in an embarrassingly stale and flavorless taco shell bowl. My grandmother had some sort of chicken quesadilla...fine but not very imaginative. My mom's thai chicken wrap wasn't very special either. All of the food was really just OK and definitely nothing more (with the possible exception of the squash soup).
Service was friendly but not very good....a refill on my dad's iced tea took over 20 minutes (probably close to 30) despite a reminder. Food orders also got completely mixed up, which isn't a big deal at all but is also pretty easy to avoid. I would probably not bother having lunch at Monkey Bar ever again which is too bad since the patio is so nice. However, almost every other lunch (and dinner) option in Amherst that I can think of has better food (whether it's a slice at Antonio's, Thai Corner, Amherst Chinese, Black Sheep, Pasta E Basta, Fresh Side, Judie's, ABC, Chez Albert, La Veracruzana etc. etc.). That's about all for now....
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