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Feb 20, 2008 12:15 PM

Deep Ellum Slightly Annoying

Hit Deep Ellum last night on the way home.

Ordered the beef stew with homemade noodles which was $15 or $16 which I find a tad steep for a hipster place in Allston.

When the portion came I was pretty surprised at how small it was. Not really quite dinner for anyone with a half decent appetite.

The stew itself was really quite delicious. Can't fault it. The house made noodles had a bit of a texture that they had sat out a bit too long and dried out a bit.

The beer selection is really top notch. I had a Belgian Style Wit brewed in Maine. It was great.

I asked for some bread to go with my rather skimpy portion of stew. The Bartender asked if I wanted garlic bread? I replied "plain old bread is fine."

What came out was the tiniest, skimpiest portion of bread I have EVER been served in a restaurant. It was almost and absurdist joke. Two tiny slivers of lame french bread that the kitchen had toasted.

So I had a really skimpy portion of stew for $15+ and two bread crumbs. Figured I'd be nice and try again: "Any chance I could have some more bread."

And sure enough, the same miniscule portion. I figured if I ordered again immediately they might figure it out, but nah.

I was gonna stay and order another more interesting beer. Prices for which are okay, ranging from $5.00 or so to $8+ for some of the more special beers. I would have tried one of the $8 plus funky Belgian style dark beers, but was just so steamed about their apparent inability to actually provide some bread to their patrons.

The bartender himself was a nice enough guy.

As I got up to leave I said to him: "hey, you know those portions of bread were a bit small," to which he replied: "well we don't really serve bread," to which I replied: "you should."

Sorry, but with a tiny $15+ bowl of beef stew, the least you can do is give me a hunk of bread to eat with it.

I liked the joint. I drive by it 3X a week. But the whole attitude was just a bit too darn precious. I left hungry. Went home and ate some nice whole wheat from Iggy's. By the way, Iggy's charges $2.50 for a nice whole wheat pullman loaf. Maybe next time I go to Deep Ellum I'll bring my own bread.

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  1. "well we don't really serve bread,"
    "you should."

    1 Reply
    1. re: galleygirl

      Guess Deep Ellum will be the only BYOB bar. :)

    2. "A tad steep for a hipster place in Allston."

      This absolutely nails the main reason BFP and I haven't been there nearly as often as we thought we would - I really like the folks there and the feel of the place, and it seems as though the food has finally improved, but every time we ate dinner there we dropped what was, for us, a serious chunk of change.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Allstonian

        Hey, I would not even have objected to the price... I left hungry after ordering beef stew.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          But that's the problem: the food just isn't good enough to justify the prices.

      2. they have food?
        i only go for Beers and Brown Liquor.
        and i like it, a lot, for that.

        1. the past year I have seen some big changes with the bread basket factor. One place I love now charges $6 for a basket of bread which used to be free. (And they don't tell you in advance.) Another used to bring a basket overflowing with three different choices (corn bread, a hearty wheat/ raisin and a nice sour dough). Now the waiter serves you one slice of white bread with his silver plated bread tongs...but only if you ask for it. Is this a trend?

          10 Replies
          1. re: mvi

            the price of wheat has risen significantly over the last twelve months.. i would imagine that bread prices have followed... leading to the disappearance of your free bread basket and the appearance of the tongs!

            1. re: mrsx

              Maybe they got tired of throwing it away after the low-carb crowd came thru....

              1. re: StriperGuy

                My lovely No-Knead bread is one and half pounds of bread for $.49 a loaf. The biggest cost is the sesame seeds I use to coat the crust.

                1. re: mrsx

                  Flour is just not that expensive even with the price increases.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I just watched something on TV a few nights ago where small bakeries are going to have to raise their prices because the price of flour has tripled in the last few months. What used to cost them $15 is now costing two or three times that amount.

                    Not that I know anything grain futures, but this link at General Mills shows the price of spring wheat having quintupled in just 2 months:


                    And an article that talks about rising flour prices:


                    One baker says ""In a matter of two months, it went from $14.50 to $22.75 for a 50-pound bag," Siena said, adding that bakery uses between 300 and 350 bags weekly — a jump of $2,475. "

                    For a small bakery, $2,500 a week is staggering. So I'd have to believe it's being passed on to retailers and restaurants as well, and many are quite possibly choosing not to serve bread as Deep Ellum says, or charge for it.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      that is only an increase of about $0.01 per ounce so as far as the flour goes you're probably looking at a less than $0.10 per loaf for the flour.

                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                        I don't know how it figures out to a penny per ounce, but everything I'm reading is saying store-bought bread prices are going to rise even more because of wheat prices increasing because farmers are switching to corn crops. Additional costs that are increasing are delivery charges, milk, egg prices are going up as well. Other wheat-based products like pasta, cakes, noodles should also see a price increase. Another local story from the Gloucester Times:


                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I have a friend who works in a bakery and was saying the same thing actually- that the price of flour was going up so much that they were being forced to raise their prices in order to make any type of a profit. Apparently they were also toying with the idea of splitting their flour- half bread flour and half regular (pizza) flour. Its a sad state of affairs out there.

                2. re: mvi

                  What is the restaurant that you refer to that charges $6 for their bread basket and/or the place that has clearly skimped out on their baskets?

                  1. re: aah209

                    Hi. This being the Boston Board, and not wanting to get too far off the subject, I left the names out when I mentioned those 2 places. Both are nearby, though. One on the Vineyard and one in Providence. If the info would stay here on the Boston Board when I put it here, I will happily provide the names of the 2 places. My original comment back in February was not specifically about Deep Ellum, though, and I am trying to be conscious of staying on target on these boards. Thanks.

                3. this is exactly why i tend to go there for brunch/lunch instead of dinner (that plus the fact that it tends to get rather crowded for dinner). their br/lunch menu is a lot more reasonable, including a $5 burger. it's still hit or miss and a bit inconsistent - this sunday i tried the "autumnal salad" with duck confit. the duck was rather dry and the whole salad did not mesh well. and one time i swear that they were just running out of food, because our table got much smaller portions of the same food as the table served right before us. but the burger and pretzels are always good, the wings are great when the fryer's really hot (i.e., it's not a good idea to be the first to order them, but later on they come out nice and crispy), the homemade sausage usually has a very nice deep flavor, and the tomato soup i also tried on sunday was delicious.

                  plus there's all that beer and cocktails...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mikhail

                    I agree with keeping it simple foodwise; burger, sausage or breakfast burrito is all I have there anymore. Didn't enjoy the buffalo wings, which were breaded (!!) and messy IMO. There have been several claims of the tiny kitchen over reaching since the place opened. Go for the beers, cocktails and friendly service.

                    1. re: mikhail

                      I had the autumnal salad w/ seared tuna in the fall and was impressed w/ the quantity and quality of the tuna on it. I think the plates of fries also is a lot of bang for the buck.

                      Also a fan of the cocktails, too!