Common Man Windham, our Anniv Dinner Experience
We went to the Common man in Windham for our anniversary dinner, having been there a handful of times in the past, arriving there a little after 5pm. I ordered a steak and my wife had the baked haddock. Although she enjoyed the haddock and the salads were very good, having fresh greens, I found the steak to be just "average"-not bad, but nothing you couldn't get at a place like Texas Roadhouse or the 99. I have had their bbq glazed ribs in the past, and they were outstanding, so hopefully they haven't changed.
Servers were spread out to far, working tables in different areas of the dining room, which made for slow service, although through no fault of our server. They were just too busy and it didn't seem to make sense; rather than working a group of tables in the same area, they were going in all different directions. This meant a longer wait for smaller, but just as important requests (drink refills, condiment requests, etc). There also was too much "lag-time" between courses and drink re-fills. Our Salads were finished for some time before the meal came out and our drinks had been empty for too long as well. Again, the servers were pleasant and I think it was through no fault of theirs. For desert, the baked apple was excellent (order it at the beginning of the meal, or you will wait a long time for it, as it's made to order).
The thing that I found that most seem to have changed since we last went there (again no reflection of the restaurant itself) was attire. Others will probably disagree with me on this, but here goes. I have been going here on and off for years, and when I first started going, this seemed to be a place where you got dressed up a little-not formal, but maybe business casual. That is long gone. People were wearing jeans, sneakers, shorts and sandals/flip-flops.
So, for a decent, but a little pricey casual meal they were ok. I definitely would hesitate to choose them again for a special occasion.
I recently had dinner at the Common Man in Plymouth, after not having been to one of their restaurants in years. I was quickly reminded why I do not like them.. The service was very good but the food was very mediocre. It was very heavy and greasy with sauces that were slopped on with little subtlty or finesse.
The hamburgers were greasy and dense and the ribs were fatty with a very overbearing barbeque sauce. The quesidillas were fine and the chips with blue cheese were fine but the sweet potato fries were soggy and limp. I've said it before and I still believe that the Common Man Restaurants are still around because they appeal to tourism, at least in the Lakes Region, and that is a pretty low bar to shoot for. They serve big portions of uninspired food, from menus that show no creativity. I will not go there again.
I'm sorry to hear your so-so experience at CM Windham. I've eaten there many times, but mostly go upstairs in the loft. When eating downstairs, I have experienced the frustrating "lag time" you mention (this has been going on for a while, actually).
My wife and I usually have our anniversary dinner at Pond View in Kingston, NH. It's about 15 miles away from the CM Windham. Service is usually very nice there, the atmosphere pretty romantic, and the food is very good.
Pond View Restaurant
92 Rte 125, NH 03848
I'm agreeing with many on the Common Man restaurants - too expensive for just average food. I did recently have a nice (but very expensive) lunch at their Church Landing in Merideth. I paid for the view, very nice. And they didn't mess up on some great oysters, shrimp cocktail and a beautiful wedge salad.
They are trying to appeal to the masses - lossing sight of good quality maybe along the way.