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Buckhead Grill - Wrentham Outlet Food Court

grant.cook Oct 14, 2012 03:41 PM

After a couple of hours of shopping at the Wrentham Outlet in Wrentham, MA my wife and I were famished. We decided to hit the food court. We had high expectations - during our shopping, we had seen throngs of European and Asian speaking in their moon-man languages, so I expected the food to mirror this fusion of cultures.

The food court had several choices - the first that intrigued me was a an Asian-themed stall. I have a secret - I love Asian food at airports, so this seemed like a sure thing. A 2-item combo with lo mein takes me to a soy-sauced-marinated culinary heaven. But I didn't linger long - the items in the steam table looked horrid.. the only other place I'd find a 2-item combo as unappetizing as this would be a North Korean labor camp.

So next, I moved over to the Buckhead Grill, promising freshly made burgers. I figured it must be good, because the pictures of the food on the overhead menu looked very well made. But watching my burger get made put this notion aside - to watch the grill chef press down hard on the burger several times on the grill, I realized I wasn't going to enjoy this burger. And I didn't And the fries were not crisp. Its bad when your favorite thing from lunch is the cold water.

So if you are debating a foodie journey to the Wrentham Outlets, put that notion aside.. have no illusions that the Wrentham food court will equal the quality from such nearby vendors as Burberry, The Fudgery, and Samsonite.

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  1. C. Hamster RE: grant.cook Oct 14, 2012 05:39 PM

    I can't imagine anyone would consider the Wrentham Outlets as a foodie destination.

    We usually eat at Ruby Tuesdays which is merely passable. The food court is sorta gross.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster
      jjbourgeois RE: C. Hamster Oct 15, 2012 06:45 AM

      Wrentham outlet food court?!?!?! The mere thought of eating there makes my skin crawl.

    2. FinnFPM RE: grant.cook Oct 14, 2012 05:42 PM

      I get a good chuckle out of the idea that anyone might have ever contemplated making a food trip to the Wrentham outlets. That's like taking a trip to CVS to go book shopping.

      5 Replies
      1. re: FinnFPM
        grant.cook RE: FinnFPM Oct 14, 2012 06:09 PM

        In hindsight, I realize my review my have been a bit harsh. These are entrepreneurs here - perhaps Buckhead Grill, with a bit of coaching, could be the next Red Robin, and the Asian place could aspire to the storied heights of "Asian Chao" and that NOLA classic, "Takee Outee"

        I also didn't sample the Bavarian peanut carts scattered around the site - those might have redeemed Wrentham.

        So I will attempt to communicate to the Buckhead Grill that it is unwise to press a spatula down hard on a burger on the grill. And that if they toasted my bun a bit, I would move them more in the Five Guys direction. They could eventually be an east-coast In n' Out!

        I will consider them my Pygmalion.. or more appropriately, my "Foodmalion"

        1. re: grant.cook
          C. Hamster RE: grant.cook Oct 14, 2012 06:10 PM

          I would just focus on shopping, myself.

          1. re: grant.cook
            cambridgedoctpr RE: grant.cook Oct 14, 2012 06:38 PM

            you are too kind.

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr
              C. Hamster RE: cambridgedoctpr Oct 15, 2012 05:09 AM

              A budding Onion staff writer?

              1. re: C. Hamster
                L2k RE: C. Hamster Oct 15, 2012 08:55 AM

                not sure they use terms like "moon-man languages"

        2. p
          Pegmeister RE: grant.cook Oct 15, 2012 05:18 AM

          Haven't been to the outlets in years. When I did go, I would always stop at Tom's Tavern. Once they closed that was the end of my field trips to the outlets. I believe that they have reopened? If so, does anyone know of it's any good?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Pegmeister
            marilu RE: Pegmeister Oct 15, 2012 05:56 AM

            Wrentham has a terrible food court and so does the new Merrimack NH outlets. Last time we went to Merrimack, I had a blizzard from Dairy Queen instead of bothering with the food court food.

            1. re: Pegmeister
              rmperry RE: Pegmeister Oct 15, 2012 03:52 PM

              Yes, Tom's has reopened and is now called The Tavern at Wrentham. It's pretty much the same as the old place though. We ate there a few weeks ago and enjoyed it.

              1. re: rmperry
                Ora Moose RE: rmperry Oct 15, 2012 04:25 PM

                Tom's (now The Tavern) is just a stones throw from our house, and has decent pizza. A brand new place just recently opened up in downtown Wrentham called the Terrace, we have not tried it yet but their menu looks promising. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Te...

            2. l
              lergnom RE: grant.cook Oct 15, 2012 08:58 AM

              That area has little to recommend in terms of food. A few places in Bellingham but mostly near the RI border so that's a hike.

              The best eating near outlets seems to be Kittery. Not only more than one place with lobster rolls, but When Pigs Fly's restaurant has good pizza and pretty good food overall. Most uncomfortable chairs in human history, at least those that lack spikes sticking up at you, but good pizza.

              7 Replies
              1. re: lergnom
                grant.cook RE: lergnom Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

                I did enjoy a lunch once at Cafe Assisi, nearby in Wrentham, and over in Plainville there is the Chieftain and passable Mexican at Rancho Chico..

                1. re: grant.cook
                  bugsmum RE: grant.cook Oct 15, 2012 01:20 PM

                  The food options at the outlet center are absurdly bad. That food court is gross. It's a sad state of affairs when Friendly's is your best option.

                  1. re: bugsmum
                    Allstonian RE: bugsmum Oct 15, 2012 01:37 PM

                    And that Friendly's is appalling even by Friendly's standards...

                    1. re: Allstonian
                      grant.cook RE: Allstonian Oct 16, 2012 06:37 AM

                      Hey, the Friendly's in Arlington (now closed) had a worker with Hep A and a whole lot of customers had to get tested.. Friendly's and "appalling" go hand in hand in my book..

                    2. re: bugsmum
                      C. Hamster RE: bugsmum Oct 15, 2012 04:40 PM

                      I respectfully suggest that Ruby Tuesdays is a notch better than Fridays (which i vow never ever ever to eat at again...) plus it has a BAR!

                      My SIL s who are quite chowish and eat regularly at some of our favorite places "secretly" love Cracker Barrel. They eat there when I'm not along for the ride. Knowing I'd have to adopt a Ruth Reichl disguise to to so.

                      There's an UNO over by the crappy Restoration Hardware outlet that I'm going to suggest as an alternative to Ruby's. I doubt the'll bite.

                      They have some exceptional deals in the mall, FYI.

                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        C. Hamster RE: C. Hamster Oct 16, 2012 07:45 AM

                        I meant Friendly's not Fridays ...

                    3. re: grant.cook
                      CookieLee RE: grant.cook Oct 16, 2012 06:48 PM

                      Cafe Assisi is quite good. I had the Asparagus Wraps and the Roasted stuffed pepper, stuffed with seafood risotto.
                      I didn't even know there was a food court at the Wrentham Outlets.

                  2. C. Hamster RE: grant.cook Oct 15, 2012 04:42 PM

                    The OP still sounds like The Onion to me.

                    1. f
                      fishtankmedia RE: grant.cook Oct 16, 2012 10:13 AM

                      Commonwealth BBQ is very close by. I've only been there once, but I thought it was easily on par with Blue Ribbon. Only outdoor seating is available, so you either go there when it's warm out, plan to eat it in your car, or take it home with you.


                      6 Replies
                      1. re: fishtankmedia
                        Foodie_BBQ RE: fishtankmedia Oct 16, 2012 12:32 PM

                        I was going to recommend Commonwealth BBQ when I first saw this thread, but held back because I don't think they are quite there yet. I also disagree with your assertion that it's is on the same level as Blue Ribbon. I'm rooting for improvement over time since the staff are very nice and there is no other BBQ in the area, but it's not great.

                        On my first trip there, I couldn't distinguish the pulled pork from the brisket - both were grey, dry, and stringy. On my second trip, the ribs and pork were both moist, but needed heavy sauce since they had no smoke or rub flavor. The sides were also very bland - not a lot of flavor. On a positive note: nice people, good value for size of meal, and the sauces were quite good.

                        I'll keep trying it since it's convenient to home and they do a decent job, but I don't think it helps to throw accolades their way until they deserve them.

                        1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                          Foodie_BBQ RE: Foodie_BBQ Dec 5, 2012 12:42 PM

                          Update to above. I was there about 2 weeks ago and the rib spice rub and smoke flavor were near perfection. Good meaty ribs too. No sauce needed to enjoy, although I eventually dipped since I like their sauce.

                          1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                            Bellachefa RE: Foodie_BBQ Dec 5, 2012 08:33 PM

                            I haven't been. Will try to make it in the next few days before the weekend crowds. What should I order to take home? Which ribs, brisket, sausage, chicken, wings, sides would you try again?

                            I like their Quality Pledge on their website.

                            1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                              11earl RE: Foodie_BBQ Dec 6, 2012 11:49 AM

                              Hum - was this location previously a hot dog and ice cream place? If so, just a handful of minutes drive from the outlets. Nice.

                              1. re: 11earl
                                Foodie_BBQ RE: 11earl Dec 6, 2012 12:47 PM

                                I wouldn't worry about weekend crowds. I've been between 6 and 8PM on weekend nights, and never had more than one or two orders ahead of mine. I've also never had trouble getting one of the 4 or 5 picnic tables (that are big enough to share).

                                The ribs were good on my last visit, but there is still a lot of inconsistency in other dishes. I liked the cornbread on one trip, but thought it was dry and crumbly on a another. The brisket was dry and grey on one trip, and on another it was good, but still a bit low on moisture. The pulled pork was better last time - more smoke and less grey. Haven't tried the wings or sausage yet. The chili kinda tastes like Italian stewed tomatoes with beans and ground meat thrown in. I really like the fries - nothing special (likely frozen to start) but cooked well. So I'll go with... A two meat combo with Ribs, Pulled Pork, Fries, and Beans.

                                Anyone else have favorites from this place? Anyone tried the fried pickle chips? Still rooting for them, hoping for consistency, and willing to go since they're getting better.

                          2. re: fishtankmedia
                            Bellachefa RE: fishtankmedia Jan 8, 2013 02:30 PM

                            My husband brought home takeout from Commonwealth BBQ. He went a little nuts in ordering. The Texas ribs were very good, the brisqit and pulled pork were fine but lovely to dip in the very tasty different sauces. Although I prefer a mollasses baked bean, the beans were tasty and fresh. Although I prefer a jalapeno pepper cornbread, their's was moist and flavorful. Liked the taste of the chili, but missed some nice chunks of beef. This could be due to the ladle. But tasty.

                            Overall, we found it to be a success and will return. Not the best, but pretty darned good. And the service was warm and friendly.

                            Well worth checking out if you're in the area.

                          3. p
                            ParisLady RE: grant.cook Jan 8, 2013 07:17 PM

                            If you think Wrentham is lacking...what was Merrimack NH thinking? I love the outlets there BUT do they not want the shoppers to stay for a while and eat and shop some more. There is nowhere to eat and still shop!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ParisLady
                              southie_chick RE: ParisLady Jan 10, 2013 07:03 PM

                              ParisLady, they're putting in a Ruby Tuesday's & an Unos according to the Merrimack mall website (haven't checked the website lately to check for a date). Since there's already both of these 10 minutes up the road in Nashua, I'm not thrilled. Chipotle & Starbucks just opened up there near the entrance of the mall too - that's about it for the food options while at the mall.
                              I would have prefered they put in a Cracker Barrel ........ or wish the rumor of a Cheesecake Factory would become reality (Cheesecake / Cracker Barrel sad to say would then be the best restaurant in Merrimack). If I were you, I'd do my shopping & then head to Nashua to Surf for dinner.

                            2. q
                              quirkR RE: grant.cook May 12, 2014 09:37 PM

                              This was the worst food ever. Just there today at lunch, my son and I were impressed with the idea of a fresh burger. Not until I saw the person cooking at the girl, press so hard down on the burger and pieces fell off, she plucked some off the grill and tossed them to the trash, another larger piece fell off and she put it on top of the burger patty. The toppings were fresh, roll toasted well, then she reached into the pan of t=fries (goes on, thank god) and grabbed a hand full of fries and tossed them into the plate, from that I already guessed that they would be maybe warm, if not cold. What a disgusting meal. The young man at the counter was friendly. Check # 2887883-1

                              1. d
                                deelee427 RE: grant.cook May 15, 2014 02:42 PM

                                i work at the foodcourt and everything is taught to us a certain way, we can not do anything besides what we are taught. Yes it may not be appealing but if you saw something you didnt like, you dont have to eat it, or you could ask for your money back. Sbarro and the rest of the foodcourt is pretty on point, we can only do so much.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: deelee427
                                  quirkR RE: deelee427 May 15, 2014 03:06 PM

                                  It also comes down to common sense. Who moves the tongs out of the way and uses there gloved hand to pick up fries. I hope she wasn't taught that!!!!!!!

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