British Beer Company
- SLL1065 Aug 7, 2008 04:25 PM
Over the past two weeks I’ve eaten at the newly opened British Beer Company in Framingham several times and can see myself continuing to go back.
My impression of the atmosphere is that it seems to be the corporate interpretation of an English pub, that is a commercialized “homeyness.” I also get kind of a TGI Friday’s vibe. There is plenty of use of dark stained woods and along the walls are funny quotes (most of which are about drinking) from celebrities. Quoted are Dean Martin, W.C. Fields, writer Dorothy Parker, and even a line from the band Spinal Tap. The bar area has plenty of wide screen TVs.
Overall, the menu isn’t purely English cuisine. They do offer fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, pasty pies, and bangers & mash, as well as a burger topped with a truly English cheese, Wenslydale with cranberries. The other notable English menu item is plenty of English beer and ale. One fun thing about the beer list is they have a section titled “crappy beer of the week”; this week it was Pabst Blue Ribbon (I didn’t know they still made it), last week it was Busch.
Two of the times I was there, I had the Cuban Sandwich, which was a “just o.k.” non-traditional version. What made it “just o.k.” was a missing key element, the Swiss cheese. At first I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing but there was something about the pork and ham that was throwing me. The second time I noticed it, the overt “meatiness” of the sandwich, all you could taste was the texture of the meat. The sandwich was served on toasted Ciabatta bread instead of Cuban bread or the more common French bread. I did mention the lack of cheese to the waitress when she asked how the meal was, and she said she’d pass it along to the kitchen.
The third time I tried the Mac & Cheese, which was also “just o.k.” It wasn’t lacking, it just didn’t do it for me.
As a side dish (also available as an appetizer), I had Panko encrusted green beans that came with a parmesan peppercorn dipping sauce. The beans with the coating were tasty enough without the need to sauce them. I could see myself getting addicted to them.
For dessert I had an awesome lemon mascarpone cheese filled yellow cake with blueberries and raspberries. A nice finishing touch was that the cake was dusted with confectionaire’s sugar.
The only downside was that on one of my visits the service was lacking. The waitress lacked enthusiasm (she was like a wet blanket on the party), brought the appetizer too close to the entrée, and brought the check before we were even done with dinner. I got the sense she was trying to rush our party out.
Overall, I found the place worth my repeat business. And, if you’re a beer fan, I think it would be worth checking out for that alone.
I used to frequent the one in Cedarville when I lived in Plymouth and I have to say, overall, I was a big fan. I do know they recently added some items to the menu and I haven't tried it since but, as a "regular" at that location, I can say the food and service was typically very good. If it wasn't I wouldn't have become a regular to begin with! :)
the pasty pies are tasty pies. flakey and crusty and very filling. the side of veggies were crisp and fresh, the mashed taters were pretty standard. it was almost too much for lunch. i went with a turkey burger the next time, and it really hit the spot. it wasn't anything out of the extra ordinary, but i wasn't in the mood for a beef burger.
you won't find many, if any, places outside of metro boston with a craft beer selection this diverse. they are also making the effort to use the proper glassware...and none of these 14oz "pints"/pours that we're seeing in boston beer bars. i ordered an avery maharaja (9.7% abv) and they gave it to me in a 20oz glass. it was $5. i think it was supposed to be 16oz, but i didn't complain. wooop!
Was there last night....I had the chicken pasty pie my colleague had the pot roast. Both were acceptable but not memorable.
That said, the place had very good energy. One of the most livel crowds I've seen in the Natick/Framingham in years...even more so then the now deceased Desmond O'Malley's.
Great beer selection both British and otherwise...a bit surprised that some of the better know British beers like Boddington's are only available in those charged cans.
Definitely worth a try....it would takes months to work the menu...
So I've been aware of the British Beer Co. outpost in Framingham for a couple.of weeks and figured I'd wait for the start-up jitters to pass. Looking at their website it appears we're swapping McIrish O'Malley's with it's custom made in Ireland bar and McBrit BBC's custom made in England bar. Fair enough, there'd be enough breadth of brews to hold my interest for awhile. BAD MOVE on my part! Evidently, every scenester, Yelper & Hound in the Metro-West had by word of mouth, or otherwise, divined that tonight was THE NIGHT.
The expansive parking lot was absolutely jammed packed and with about a half a dozen cars in constant circular pursuit of a spot, any spot. After dropping off DW in front to jujitsu a couple of seats at the bar I finally found parking at an adjoining lot a couple of hundred yards East. Approaching the entrance there were somewhere around two dozen people standing or sitting, on whatever was available, and obviously "waiting". Inside there were similar numbers doing the same. After circumnavigating the large handsome bar I found DW desperately clinging to but a single bar seat. Her words upon our reunion were "Let's get the f*%k out of here!" And so we did.
Pondrat described it as "lively" but it couldn't have been as crowded as when we arrived. There is no way that even the most battle-hardened staff could deliver any kind of decent service under these conditions. BBC deserves a fair shot and we will return at some point but it will be a Tuesday or Wednesday and not next week, I'm guessin'.
At 6'3" & 270 lbs we'd balance a see-saw just about perfectly :-0)
I use your tactic when by myself or when the individual situation warrants it. But I find, more often than not, the better tactic is to send DW, the vertically challenged one, into the fray. Being built strategically low to the ground, she can quickly and purposefully slice through the forest of humanity and pop-up at a proper two. Alighting gracefully the one whilst hammering into place the 25 lb. handbag on the other. I love DW.