Sunday, August 22, 2010

BOSTON AT THE BEND RESTAURANT

Boston at the Bend Restaurant, located at the River Bend Marina, has been operating since April.  From the name, we assumed the food would be Boston quality.  We're very familiar with Boston food, as my hubby and I have spent time in Boston and have eaten some very good seafood dinners there.  From the outset, the restaurant appears to be a typical marina-type eating place -- no frills.  Therefore, the food MUST be good, or so we thought.
The inside is the same as the outside, no frills, just a basic eating place.
There's a nondescript bar tucked in one corner.
And the view is nothing to get excited about, especially if you're on the inside looking out.
Our server didn't smile much.  I wondered if she was unhappy about working.  She arrived at our table, introduced herself and gave us menus.  One specials menu was placed in the middle of the table for all of us to share.  And she walked away.  When she came back, we had some questions.  Which she couldn't answer.  So she disappeared again to ask in the kitchen for us.

We started our meals with a salad.  It was a typical New Bern restaurant salad, in that it looked like it had been in the refrigerator for a week.  The greens were not fresh, the cucumber had what I call "age spots," and it was just a mediocre salad that might have been good when it was first made.  It must have been photogenic though because it looks much better in the photo than it did in person.  The balsamic dressing was good.
The server brought us a basket of warm bread with the little tubs of real butter strewn all over the bread.    The bread was just okay, and in fact it was a little doughey on the inside.

Guy ordered the 1-1/4 lb. lobster only to find out that there were none available.  So he ordered the 2-lb. lobster for $34.99.  It came with a salad and baked potato.  There were no wet naps and there was no bib.  One lone paper napkin was all he got.
My shrimp and grits was supposed to have sausage in it, but I searched hard and could only find 2 slivers of sausage with the five shrimp.  Lots of grits, swimming in grease, with some spinach and tomatoes in the center, but very little protein.  The grits tasted like instant grits, not stone ground.  The cheese was scattered over the top rather than incorporated in the grits.  It was very disappointing, though the shrimp was nicely cooked.  The grease that surrounded the grits was very unappetizing.
Joann ordered the shrimp alfredo.  It was the worst alfredo she ever ate.  The shrimp was cooked nicely, but the pasta was dry and rubbery and the sauce was totally tasteless and pasty.
Danny got the fried seafood platter.  He said it was delicious, and that the fish was perfectly cooked.  It came with coleslaw and fries which he also enjoyed.  He got plenty of seafood, including clams, scallops, shrimp and cod.
Our server asked us if we wanted dessert and coffee but never said what the dessert was.  We declined.  Guy asked her for a wet nap as he was pretty much covered with lobster juice at this point.  She said she thought they were out of them but would go check in the kitchen.  She came back 10 minutes later with a paper towel that she had dampened.

We won't be going back to this restaurant.  An unenthused server, leftover salads, improperly cooked pasta and sauce, terrible grits, a lobster served without wet naps or bib, and an uninspiring view -- enough reasons not to return.  If you like fried fish, you can get a good meal here, if you consider fried fish and coleslaw a good meal, that is.  For us, we'll move on, though I wish Boston at the Bend the best.  Our meal, by the way, came to $48 without tip.  It included one beer and my entree was half price with a coupon I had clipped.  I went home and ate a peanut butter sandwich.

There were some Greenbrier neighbors at the table next to ours, and one of them volunteered to take a photo of our table.
This was another disappointing meal in New Bern -- a town loaded with restaurants, mostly sub-par.  We heard that the owner is from Boston.  If so, he should then know that no matter which restaurant you go to in Boston, your lobster will come with wet naps and a bib.

A letter to the editor of the Sun Journal in today's paper stated that residents should patronize the new restaurants.  If they serve good meals, people won't need to be reminded.  If they serve sub-par meals, they deserve to go out of business.

Update November 2012:  This restaurant has closed.

5 comments:

  1. My husband and I always get disappointed with food around here in our area too

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clearly, you were not so disappointed with the food that you have a "to go" box on the table in front of you in the picture.

    For those who clip coupons for 50% off a meal, and then complain that the outside/inside of the facility has "no frills," you should be checking your motives to write such a post.

    If you consider most of the eating places in New Bern to be sub-par, then perhaps you are the type of individual who can never be happy or satisfied.

    A good reviewer also does not judge a restaurant solely upon one single visit. Even true food reviewers do not find most restaurants to be an overall disappointment. This appears to be a personal issue as opposed to a true, objective review of a restaurant.

    If you are so highly disappointed with New Bern...one might just question, why then do you choose to be here?

    We have been to Boston at the Bend and find it to be EXACTLY like things were back home:
    FRIENDLY
    RELAXING
    UNPRETENTIOUS
    FAMILY-ORIENTED
    AND GOOD.

    But then again, we didn't visit and just spend time in Boston and the New England area...we were actually born and raised there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oddly, I will wonder your motives even more if you do not post the comment I just left you. Or, do you only post comments that agree with what you think???

    ReplyDelete
  4. And, your suggestion that this restaurant and others should go out of business is over the top. Again, CHECK YOUR MOTIVES!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous, I am wondering about your motives when you won't register your name.
    This restaurant has been highly recommended by radio personalities and at least one other New Bern blog. They've advertised in the Greenbrier Gazzette, our local newspaper, where the coupon was. I was asked to do a review.
    My mention of no frills was not a complaint, just an observation. When a restaurant has no frills, I anticipate good food and reasonable prices, neither of which was found here.
    I agree with you that it can be difficult to provide a proper assessment of a restaurant based on one visit. That's why I checked with the adjacent table, brought another couple, and talked to other friends that had eaten at Boston at the Bend. They all had the same comments I had. Boston at the Bend advertises that they have a view but it's not a good one. Their food is overpriced for the quality and the lack of ambiance.
    Jen & Sami's Bella Cucina, Christoph's on the Water, Persimmons, and Morgan's are some New Bern restaurants that I can recommend, where good meals are served at reasonable prices. There are probably others that I haven't gotten to.
    If I overlooked the bad experience we all had at Boston at the Bend, I would be doing a disservice to my readers. Then, when they went there, they would blame their bad experience on my misleading remarks.
    As for you, I'm happy for you that you can be satisfied there. My hubby and I are a bit harder to please, for whatever reasons.

    ReplyDelete

When you leave me a comment, I feel all warm and fuzzy, like someone out there is really listening.