My friends and I had a disappointing experience at Tavern in the Square (former Good Life, Central Sq.) this past weekend. A group of us stopped by for some dinner and drinks before going to a show. One of the early arrivers put in for a table at about 7 PM. Also, she noticed there were a number of tables with reserved signs on them even though someone called earlier to see about reserving a table and they said it was not done on weekends. I guess reservations are available for some? We were able to get an area of the bar and some nice people offered to move to other seats so we could all sit in the same general area. We started with drinks and waited. We ordered appetizers - chicken quesadillas and calamari. The calamari appeared plentiful, but that is because about half of the order was fried hot peppers the only thing on the plate that had any flavor. The calamari were bland, the batter was soggy. There were a few big pieces of calamari - the rest were crumbs. It was hard to tell if the meat in the quesadilla was chicken. It looked like chicken, but had no flavor. The cheese was recognizable b/c of its texture not flavor. The salsa was standard jarred style. Another person decided to go ahead and order a sandwich, since we were still waiting. He got the grilled chicken - a small, thin piece of chicken on a bun with the usual
fixings. He said it tasted like a fast food chicken sandwich. It came with a good helping of fries and they were up to par with the rest of the food that night. We left at 9 PM with our name still on the list and not a table in sight some of the smarter people in the group left after the first round of drinks to get food at the Middle East.
The setup is quite different from the Good Life. There are now 2 bars - one in the original area
and then another opposite it. The seating area has dramatically decreased and it seems like there is a lot of wasted space. We guessed there might be a dance floor some nights(?). I guess the increase in bar space, decrease in dining space should have been a clue to the type of attention given to food. Also, maybe we should not have expected anything great given it is a chain. I was hoping for a cross of the River Gods & The Good Life - and got more of a bad, city-fied copy of the Joshua Tree.