Eagle's Deli is one of my favorite spots that ive been going to for a few years and its always been solid. I stopped in a couple weeks ago cuz i was in the area and was shocked when i walked in..... The atmosphere of Eagle's has always screamed local from the prices, chalkboard menu, to the thousands of people plastered on the wall for devouring the almighty Godzilla Burger. Its all changed. The first thing I noticed was the menu, the menu had switched from chalkboard about a year ago so why am i bringing it up now? well it seems the menu has blacked out spots where they raised the price for everything around 2 dollars... it's understandable in a sense cuz the rising gas prices but i presume their ingredients are local so what gives?
So i order my meal and go take a seat in the dining room where'd id normally gaze at the walls plastered with photo's of people who have stretched their guts and finished the Godzilla Burger.... Yea they're gone... The walls now are just a blank depressing white... nothing to it now just boring.
After about a 10 minute wait my burger comes out and its good but while im eating im so saddened about paying nearly 10 bucks for the burger i can barely eat... I take a look to the walls for some inspiration and im reminded they took down the pictures....
I know im nit picking and probably being a jerk but cripes i can't help from thinking that this is all the Travel Channels fault. It seems like Eagle's jumped the shark hard and it sucks. The whole magic of what was Eagle's is no longer in my opinion.
Does anyone else have any thought on this? Am I out of line? If so put me in my place.
Oh what inspired this thread was seeing Eagle's on what else but the Travel Channel last night....
I’ll save you the e-mail and hopefully I answer all the questions. If I don’t please feel free to contact me.
My name is Sean; I have been the owner of Eagle’s since May 2006.
The Travel Channel Special was filmed the end of 2002 and has been airing since mid-2003.
The previous owners did use Frozen Patties, however you should know (since someone asked about local ingredients) they were made by a local company in Boston and delivered 3-4 times per week. The current 8oz burgers used come in fresh and are never frozen, they are made up by a company out of NJ and depending on how the market is we switch between an 80/20mix (closer to 85/15) and Certified Ground Angus (which we had switched to but was running very fatty and we have switched away from until they fix the grinding/mix problems). The 4oz burgers come in frozen and are made by a local company and probably are made and frozen with a week of when we use them.
Eagle’s has always used Frozen Fries (which in the last 2yrs have gone up 40% in cost from our venders due to fuel prices) I have looked into and tested making our own fries fresh, the problem becomes the volume we go through, lack of place to properly store the potatoes and have them prepared for use during busy times. We average 1,200lb of fries per week.
The “Chalk Board” menu boards were up for about 1 year, the previous owner had put them in 1yr before he sold because the previous menu boards cost $15.00 every time a change had to be made, I did away with the Chalk board because every time a change had to be made, it required a special cleaner to clean the entire board, then re-draw the entire board and of course someone with very neat handwriting. The Menu boards we have now are not what they were supposed to be, the original plan was BC Colors, a Burgundy board with “old gold” writing, I couldn’t get the board in Burgundy so we went with Black and Gold (Boston Bruins?) and it’s not very legible. I hope to have new menu boards this summer that are up to date and easy to read.
The paste-over are more often changes in menu (ingredient change, new item, removal of item, portion change) then actual prices changes
I have no idea how far back people are going to talk about a $2.00 bump in prices, since I’ve had the place (25 months) I have done 1 price increase, 5% on select items. Due to the increase in product costs and fuel surcharges from our suppliers I would see a 5% bump on selects items coming this summer. No business ever “wants” to raise prices, but with fuel costs increasing every aspect of cost (utilities, food cost, delivery surcharges and rent believe it or not, the rental prices in this area are some of the highest per sq foot in the state.) makes it necessary to keep a business from going under.
For people who feel we have “high prices”, I guess it really depends on what you’re comparing us to.
A half pound cheese burger with your choice of toppings and cheese, a half pound of fries and a fountain drink with free refills for under $10.00. (After tax)
How much is a meal at a fast food chain? Where you’re getting half the portion? Also, we use plates instead of paper which is a better eating experience but also adds a lot to costs.
M-F from 11am-3pm you can get a 1/4lb cheese burger, fries and a free refill fountain drink for $5.00, M-F before 10am you can get 2 eggs, 4 (Bacon or Sausage), Toast, Home fries and a drink (your choice, milk, oj, fountain, Nantucket nectars) for $3.50
Sandwich prices, take one of our sandwiches, get a large sub from a local sub shop, take out the meat and weigh them, are we giving more meat in our sandwich then you’d find in a large sub? Then look in this area there isn’t a big price different in our sandwich prices v. large sub prices.
We also don’t use low end product, from actually using Heinz Ketchup unlike most small places that use generic, Corned Beef and Roast Beef we cook in house, Fresh burgers even sturdy plastic forks and knives so you don’t have them snapping every time you try to eat a steak tip!
Now the one you’ve all been waiting for…
The Polaroid Pictures: Last year we had simply run out of room, they were being pinned over and torn down and people were sticking pins into the wood instead of the wall, so we took them all down and painted the walls.
We originally had 1 of 2 plans.
a) Put up the pictures then once a year; move them to the web-site to make room for new pictures.
b) Make the new level to get on the wall the “cowabunga” which is the 2lb instead of the 1lb
After we took them down and patched and painted the walls a lot of regulars commented on how it made the place look brighter and cleaner, so the new plan is to use a digital camera and put all pictures on the web-site, before we start that however I want to scan all the original pictures (yes, we have them!) and get them on the web-site which I admit is a project that has stalled, but hopefully during the summer we will find time to do. I agree 100% that the pictures being gone take away from some of the character, putting everything on the web-site seems to be a work around, if someone has another idea please let me know! We’re also looking for more memorabilia to put on the walls (BC, Brookline/Newton High Schools, Local events, etc.)
When I took over May 2006, I did a search on Google for Eagle's Deli (something I continue to do once a week which is how I found this) and the 2 biggest complaints were staff “attitude” and cleanliness. I have worked very hard to try and make sure we have a customer friendly staff and keeping a clean restaurant, thing’s don’t always go perfectly (and you will always notice staff change over since normally 30-50% of the staff is comprised of students from local colleges Newbury, BC, BU, Art Institute) but those are and will always be my top 2 priorities, and if you have an issues with a staff member or the place is not clean I hope you would tell me so I can fix the problem.
I hope I’ve answered your questions and please always feel free to contact me directly email@example.com
Thanks for such a detailed reply Sean. This part of your post:
"When I took over May 2006, I did a search on Google for Eagle's Deli (something I continue to do once a week which is how I found this) and the 2 biggest complaints were staff “attitude” and cleanliness. I have worked very hard to try and make sure we have a customer friendly staff and keeping a clean restaurant, thing’s don’t always go perfectly (and you will always notice staff change over since normally 30-50% of the staff is comprised of students from local colleges Newbury, BC, BU, Art Institute) but those are and will always be my top 2 priorities, and if you have an issues with a staff member or the place is not clean I hope you would tell me so I can fix the problem."
... goes directly to a discussion some of us are having on another thread about owners really wanting to find out what the issues are by using discussion boards like these. I applaud you for wanting to find out, and for trying to address those issues directly. It's not fun, but it's important.
Yeah, Sean, thanks for the reply...I lived in the area years before you took over, mostly went in for weekend breakfast or lunch. It was a good place to have within walking distance of my apt, even though I had no ties to B.C.
I wish you (and all hard working indie restaurateurs) much success.
Having lived in Cleveland Circle for 3 years without a car, Eagle's was always more of a "last resort" since there were then only a few decent places around aside from it...even before they jumped the shark the food was just average, the prices high, and the only benefit was the quantity (I was a hungry student). Also, what I was usually given was not what I ordered...especially during weekend brunch when its packed...I never really had high expectations for it going in, so I was never that disappointed at my meal...
haha, ingredients are local? What made you think that, the Aramark frozen fries?
I'd guess they are going to at least put the super-hall-of-fame photos and news clippings back up. The "regular" photos are constantly getting covered over and ripped off and replaced, so I wouldn't be surprised if those don't go back up.
Eagle's Deli went downhill the second they hit the airwaves on Travel Channel. I started going when I was just a sophomore in high school and went about once a quarter through sophomore year of college, more during the summer months.
However, I did not ever think their ingredients were local, nothing would lead me to think that given the frozen patties and the frozen fries from a bag. I think their original pricing and the slow ramp up were justified for the gross weight of the food you were getting but since getting #2, their hikes were no longer in line.
They must have good PR because to me Eagle's deli was always nothing much more than a good place for BC students to eat. I lived in the area, and never went to BC, but it was a good place to grab a sandwich on weekends. I never had burgers there...I guess I was intimidated by the godzilla wall, rather than inspired by it. I too am saddened to hear it's gone, I thought the wall was part of the place's charm.
Why they heck was it on the Travel Channel anyway? Because of the huge burger challenge thing?
Shame that they've stripped themselves of their quirks. I always kinda liked it when I was living in that area in the early 2000s, even though one of the counter staffers once scolded me for ordering caffeine when I was pregnant—which I wasn't.
Still, I agree it was nothing super-special; it was just there and therefore it becomes part of one's orbit and memory.