HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Grafton Street: Blech (with a capital ech)

First a confession. Due to circumstances totally beyond my control, we had to cancel successive reservations at Ten Tables and The Blue Room last night and ended up with a group of people at Grafton Street. My expectations were very low.

It was very late and I was very hungry, and every single thing I ordered was terrible; a complete zero. Beet salad featured gritty (!) wet lettuce sitting in a pool of water(!!), tasteless though good looking beets, and some cheese which was also completely without flavor. I can't think of much worse than gritty wet salad. Only the late hour (their kitchen was closing) kept me from sending it back. A glass of lukewarm beer arrived. Fish and chips was perhaps the worst rendition I've ever had. Thick doughy crust surrounded crumbly fish which was not only lacking flavor itself, but seemed to suck all flavor out of everything it touched. Shockingly pink cole slaw was likewise without flavor, and the thick steak fries weren't any better. The waitress looked at me like I was a nutcase when I asked for mustard (I thought vinegar would be a stretch). The only edible thing were the fries which came with the hamburger on the plate next to mine. They were fine.

In sum, it was awful. I mostly mention it because Grafton Street comes up sometimes as a suggestion for somewhere to eat in Harvard Square. I can assure you that, absent duress, I'll never be back.

-----
Grafton Street Pub and Grill
1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. That place always reeked of "SYSCO special," to me. Thanks for taking one for the team.

    1. Yeah, I haven't had anything good to eat on the very rare occasions I've ended up there (which is always for reasons beyond my control).

      1. I haven't been to Grafton St in a few years, but I did eat at The Blue Room last night. It was my first time. After reading different opinions on this board, I was hesitant but it was wonderful: both the dishes and the atmosphere. The new menu which started this week offers an amazing wood grilled whole fish and the pork chop sits on a bed on basil oil flavored sweet potato which was sweet, a good compliment to the meat. Overall, the noise level remained low despite a full restaurant and almost too close tables. In fact, we sat unbothered for almost three hours and there were still a flow of diners and drinkers arriveing when we left for the Cantab at 10pm. Next time, keep your reservations and def. eat at The Blue Room.

        1. Sounds like a case of the weekend crew shutting down for the night, figuring that it was by then mostly a drinking crowd, and slapping something together (not that it is any kind of excuse). Sorry to hear about that man. what enhF94 said - team.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            I thought about that, but I don't think so. The horrendous salad perhaps could be put down to the kitchen shutting down, but the fish was presumably premade (frozen?) and simply popped into the fryer. Likewise, the night crew wasn't making coleslaw or fries from scratch. Anyway, as you say, no excuse. At least the beer could have been cold, and we're not talking English style ale here either. Never again if I can help it, but I suspect that I will indeed have to go again some day.

          2. I feel your pain. Grafton is one of those "beyond my control" places I seem to end up once every six months or so.

            For what it's worth, I'm usually satisfied with the pizzas. Nothing special, but not so bad I'll cry.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sailormouth

              I've actually had solid experiences at Grafton. In particular, you can't go wrong with the chowder there.

            2. I've never had the food there, seems my instincts were right. Grafton Street is great for sipping a beer by the big window on Mass Ave (open in summer) and people watching.

              1 Reply
              1. re: steinpilz

                Agreed.

                It is a very pleasant place to have a beer. Their Guiness is usually very fresh.

              2. The food is okay at best, but I've never found it revolting (not exactly a ringing endorsement, I know).

                And Paul Barry is one of Boston's great bartenders/personalities.

                1. We sometimes eat at Grafton Street when we're going to a performance at Zero Arrow, cuz they do valet parking (free if you spend more than $50) in an area (east of HS) where parking is scarce. As nothing on the menu beckons otherwise, we usually stick with burgers and they are strictly run-of-the-mill. There is a place across the street from Zero Arrow - the Blue Dolphin, or some such - where we get pre-show mussels. Seems to be popular...but no parking, alas.

                  1. My favorite thing about Grafton: the clean bathrooms that you can sneak into when eating next door at Bartley's!