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David Drew : new chef @ cambridge brewing company

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Hi, we gave up on this place years ago...we heard a new chef started in july... hoping to hear the food has gotten better? we hope...has anyone been in lately

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  1. I've been to CBC for lunch twice in the past week, and I cannot report any improvements. Last week I had the cubano which I've had many times. I detected no change. The second time I had the CBC burger which was merely OK. I really dislike the buns they use, and the fries leave me as unimpressed as they always have. It's also important to note that the restaurant still smells so strongly of bleach that it's really only possible to hang-out outside. I'd be interested to hear the experiences of others. Perhaps the menu is different at night?

    I'm afraid that I feel that the food is not good, and the beer is simply "meh." How do others feel? Is this wildly off-base? Do people go there for the beer and just endure the food? For food and/or beer I can think of many other places I'd rather go. Unfortunately CBC is handy for me for lunch during the week, and the outdoor area is nice enough that it compensates for the food when the weather is as gorgeous as it has been.

    9 Replies
    1. re: tlk

      Atwood's is now open for lunch on Fridays, I think, and they're not far from Kendall Square. I always love their weekend brunch, but I haven't had the chance to try lunch yet. I bet it's good, though!

      1. re: cookboat55

        I had the worst nachos I've ever had in my life at Atwoods. I figured nachos for a "safe" choice, but a plate of stale tortilla chips sprinkled with a scant amount of cheez (yes, I use a "z" when it seems likely the FDA would classify the substance as "cheese-food-product") and that was it. For a pub, you have to be able to do this dish better-- there's just no excuse.

        1. re: Parsnipity

          Old Magoun Saloon in Somerville does a really nice job with their nachos. They also give you a huge portion so bring an appetite! :)

      2. re: tlk

        My experiences there led me to think "They used to have chef there??". Not to be overly snarky, but their food was always disappointing on every work lunch I've had there. We went only because they always had the space to accomodate a large team lunch.

        1. re: tlk

          I couldn't agree more with you on the food front but a lot of Beer Hounds, including myself, think CBC's line-up of brews to be the best in Metro-Boston.

          Harp

          1. re: Harp00n

            I have to agree that there has not been a upswing in the food quality. I go to CBC twice a week and I had high hopes when I heard they were getting a new chef but I have been left less than impressed when I have tried some of the entrees. If you stick with the basics then you can have a decent meal/snack. The buffalo chicken tenders (now back on the menu after a brief time off), Mediterranean Plate (not as good as you might get at a middle-eastern resaurant but good) and the blackened chicken sandwich are the items I usually go with. I will say that the reason to go is the beer. I can say that I have not had a "meh" beer in years. Perhaps the Regatta Golden could be percieved as "meh" but that is the intent...beer for the non- microbrew or craft drinker. I had the ESB cask, Heather and Berliner Kendall (no syrup) last night and all three were terrific.

            1. re: Harp00n

              Couldn't agree with you more about their line-up, though they don't really have much competition. Their food has always been a disappointment in my opinion.

              1. re: Calico Jack

                'Tis true, but it's lots worse in a lot of other cities elsewhere.

                Harp

            2. re: tlk

              About the only thing I've noticed different about the food is they now serve the dinner menu before 5 pm, rather than just a limited bar menu (which was actually fine, anyway). The new calamari app stands out in my mind, it has a sweet and sour sauce, sometimes a bit heavy, but sometimes quite good. With green onions and jicama, IIRC. And good with beer.

              I quite like the beer. I've had one or two out of hundreds that have been off, and a few that aren't my style, but many that I've liked. The recent IPA, which I can't remember the name of, was great.

              They've re-started their old "you have to order food to sit on the patio" routine, which really bugs me when I'm dropping plenty on beer for an hour and a half at 4 pm. I don't understand this at a brewpub.

            3. I was there for dinner this weekend, regrettably. They had some seasonal beers that we really wanted to try and we figured we'd stick to pub food and how bad could it be? Well, let's start with the good- although it's not fodder for this board, the Arquebus beer is sublime as was the Heather ale.

              It goes downhill from there. We ordered an appetizer of calamari to share. It was not listed on the menu as anything other than fried calamari. It arrived having been tossed with some sort of sweet, syrupy sauce. Of course, it did not remain crisp. There was also rice at the bottom of the bowl tossed with the same sauce. I think they were going for some sort of Rhode Island style/Asian fusion, but it fell sadly short. Also, the actual calamari rings were really small with only 3 or so tentacles.

              We also had the barbecued chicken pizza. Again, a very sweet and sticky overpowering barbecue sauce. Chewy, flavorless crust bordering on soggy.

              Finally, an order of nachos (as I just posted under the "nachos?" thread) was also disappointing. They were party colored-- some dyed bright red, some blue corn and some yellow corn. This, to me, is a bad sign. There were chunks of freezer-burned sponge-textured defrosted orange vegetables- could have been either carrots or sweet potatoes.

              So, once again, we'll make sure not even to order bar food at CBC and stick to their brews.

              1. I've had lunch on their patio twice recently (trying to soak up the last rays of the year) and both times have been perfectly acceptable. One of my DC's is a big fan of the pulled pork sandwich, both before and after the chef switch. The autumn chopped salad I had was overly dressed and way too sweet, but the flavors worked, if sweet is your thing. Today I had a tuna melt that was perfectly fine as well. I generally prefer their sandwiches to other options in the area (the place next to Citizen's Bank), but I wouldn't go if not for working nearby. That said, I really enjoy their brews.