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An Awful Experience at Laurel Bar and Grill

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I think it is only fair to warn you about the miserable experience we had last night at Laurel Bar and Grill. We decided to go bc of some recommendations on this board for it being a modestly priced restaurant with a good menu.

Upon sitting down, we couldn't get over the fact that the ambience and clientelle made us feel like we were on some bootleg cruise ship. The appetizer we had (turkey meatballs in a decent tomato sauce with mozarella) wasn't bad, so we were pretty open-minded about the reasonably priced and creative-looking menu.

I got braised shortribs with mashed potatoes and an "avocado bernaise sauce" - sounds good, right? I thought so too. Well, the meat tasted like overcooked bad stew meat (worst braised short ribs i've ever had): it was tough, about 60% inedible fat, and flavorless. The mashed potatoes tasted like they were out of a box, and the grayish muck on top that they called avocado bernaise tasted like herb butter - way too rich and it took me about two hours for the potent unpleasant flavor of it to finally vacate my palate.

My girlfriend had a prosciutto and basil stuffed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and eggplant caponata. One leaf of basil and two pieces of some low-grade ham were tucked under the skin of the "rotisserie" (oven-baked) chicken and the eggplant caponata tasted eerily similar to salsa.

This is the first time we've ever trashed any place on this board, but we thought we needed to post this as a way to let folks know what's happening over there. Is it new ownership?

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  1. I'm not surprised honestly. I don't know why they are praised on this board. I, like you, have had bad meals there and have not been since. I gave them a number of shots and they struck out each time.

    1. Yeah, what attracted me was the reasonable pricing and the seemingly creative menu, but it just failed to execute. With so many other dining options, I never saw the need to go back a second time. Kind of a shame.

      1. I've always found it to be tasty, I've certainly never found any of my meals as atrocious as the above reviews convey. Plus, I love the company of Erryl the bartender.

        1. Eryl us a great bartebder and, on occassion, works at the Firefly, also owned by the Burgers. Diego works on Mondays and Tuesday, and has his own following.

          1. Avocado Bearnaise sounds very weird. It's like fat on fat.

            1. I have actually had pretty good experiences both at Laurel- and their sister restuarant Firefly- but I do know that at the same time that Ive had a tasty meal, my DCs have hated it. There definitely seem to be some inconsistencies at both establishments-varying by day and by entree apparently. Sorry you had such a bad experience.

              1. I'm surprised as I've had only good meals at Laurel's. While not every meal leaves me craving for more, everything has been solid, tasty, and well worth the cost of the meal. My friends and I have never had any reason to complain about our choices there. Maybe we were lucky to have always found items that suit our palette.