A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:

2.03.2006

Too fast food



Dinner with the family at Bertucci's tonight. Kids like it cause they give them dough and crayons to play with, and they like the mac and cheese. It's a slightly better than average chain restaurant. Generally we avoid chain restaurants, but when you are bringing the kids, you are limited for options. It beats the 99, or TGI Fridays. It's about as high-end as you can go with a three and four year old. For mom and dad it's the illusion of a decent dining experience. Food is alright. Atmosphere is alright. You can get an alrightglass of wine. But there is always something that annoys me.

This is the second or maybe third time we've had this particular issue with Bertucci's. You go, sit down in the faux-elegant dining room, with faux-elegant lighting. Order some real italian-sounding dinner: trenette al bolognese (rather than spaghetti with meat sauce). You almost can pretend that you are at a real italian restaurant in the North end. They bring your alright glass of wine, your alright salad, and your dough balls. You just are getting settled in, and then within two minutes, your meals arrive. So much for the illusion of a real dining experience. You couldn't have gotten served at McDonalds that quickly.

And its not that the food tastes bad (although I always feel somewhat gross after eating there.) It's just a little unsettling to go out to a relatively decent meal that's going to cost you 60 bucks, and have the food thrown in front of you in two minutes. How can they get all the other details of the illusion right, and then screw up the pacing that badly. And, like I said, this is at least the second or third time, we've had this experience at Bertucci's.

Couple hours later:
You know, I have to strengthen my suckiness rating for Bertucci's. I feel like shit. And now that I think about it, I always feel like shit after eating at Bertuccis.

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8 Comments:

Blogger blogagog said...

Oh man, I used to LOVE that place! We went there all the time when I was in college in Boston. It was a total dive though. I had no idea it was a chain. I don't even think it had a real sign.

Maybe it's a different place. It is on a small side street somewhere near Mass Ave? Do they have a bochee(sp?) ball court with sand in it and big brick ovens to make burnt pizza?

And most importantly, do they have 1 liter carafes of wine for $7.50? That's what kept us coming back. I think you would define the wine as 'not ok' though :)

If it's the same place, the best thing on the menu is Penne Pollo. Chicken saute'd in butter and onion served on a bed of broccoli and pasta in a light
garlic cream sauce. Damn, I'm hungry.

ps. Something is still weird with comments. It says you have one comment on the main page, but 'no comments yet' on this one.

10:58 PM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Yeah, that was the original one, I think. Was probably a cool place then, but like everything else, when they turn into a chain, multiply, and move out to the suburbs, they start to blow.

And no they don't have $7.50 caraffes or wine anymore. They have $7.00 glasses.

Lets see if the comments stick this time. Blogger has been erasing them all day. I think I need to do a post on how Blogger sucks.

11:38 PM

 
Blogger blogagog said...

Doh! I remember in 1992 on Fridays my gf and I could get out of there splitting the penne pollo, a pizza, and a liter of wine for $24 with tip! Then it was off to "The Cask and Flagon" across from Northeastern U. for the rest of the night for $5.50 pitchers of beer.

Damn I'm old.

5:10 PM

 
Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

Are they sneaking bad cheese into your dinners?! The Bertucci's I go to near the office is never packed at lunchtime. The service is not consistent and the food is adequate. The best part is the warm bread and oil!

10:56 PM

 
Blogger Jen Stewart said...

SOE: Yeah, the best part is the warm bread and oil...when the bread is actually cooked completely. Which, by my estimation at the Stanhope Street Bertucci's, appears to be about 40% of the time.

Hot balls of half-cooked dough, though? Not so much.

1:21 PM

 
Anonymous jason said...

Oh, just get the pizza. With that, they're forced to make it fresh. You can even watch them do it. And while of course there's better pizza out there, it's pretty decent.

10:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I am not the only one who feels crappy after eating at Bertucci's. It's amazing - I am an omnivore with no culinary standards and an iron stomach, yet this place, no matter what I order, always leaves me queasy. I could eat six quarter pounders and not feel as nasty. What is it? MSG? Some low grade cooking oil? Bad cheese? This problem, combined with all the pseudo-authentic-classy b.s. you so eloquently described, makes me hate the place. And I generally like all restaurants.

12:20 AM

 
Anonymous Spatch said...

The original Bertucci's was in Davis Square, a block or so off Mass Ave. They closed it down a year or two ago and now a Subway is in its place. You can still see where the bocce court was, tho. It really was a charming hole-in-the-wall with no table space whatsoever.

2:17 PM

 

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