Massachusetts Restaurant Reviews
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Rating: 3 / 5
The Post Office Pub bills itself as "Fine Dining" - but really this is a comfy family restaurant, with casual booths and a bar that can get reasonably rowdy at night. We've eaten here many, many times, and have run into friends several times. The restaurant is famous for its vintage post office and army signs decorating the wallls, the turning glass dessert display case by the entrance, and the all-you-can-eat evenings.
We always thought of the restaurant as a place that was great for kids - a bit loud, sometimes with screaming babies, but with reasonable, inexpensive food and a slow but not completely absent staff. So when St. Patrick's Day came around, we decided to go here for 7:45 - to miss the main dinner rush, but have a relaxed, comfy, "family" sort of evening.
I called in at 6:30 for the reservations and was told it'd be no problem at all. We showed up at the front counter at 7:48. There were three waitresses moving back and forth, but none even said "hi" to us, while they greeted another man who came over, seated him and two other people, and talked to a second person. Finally my boyfriend commented as one of the waitresses went off behind us, "Has anyone even talked to you yet?" When I said no, the waitress said she'd be with us in a minute. She returned and asked what we'd like. I said we had reservations, and she said they'd just called for us and had no answer. She said we'd get the next table that opened up.
We waited patiently, and about 10 minutes later another couple came in and said they had 8pm reservations. The waitress promptly took them over to another table. We must have looked a bit confused, because a waitress promptly went over, cleaned off a booth, and let us sit. Well, we were seated, and I was happy - I was going to get my corned beef!
The menu is a good, family-friendly mix of sandwiches, steak, seafood, salads, and so on. I went of course for the corned beef for $11.99, while my boyfriend went for 18oz prime rib for $17.99. We ordered a scallops appetizer for $8.49. Our waitress warned us that this would take about 12 minutes, and asked if we'd want the salad first. We appreciated this and said yes.
Off she went. Soon we have lovely, fresh little salads in glass bowls, with a good mix of greens and very nice tomatoes. We also got 2 small warm rolls. So far, things were going reasonably swimmingly. My boyfriend had water, I had a glass of beer - though they had no Harp. :). I used my roll plate to hold my croutons that had some ranch dressing on them - we try to do low carb when we can. I didn't have my roll, for example.
When the waitress came back, she sort of wiped off my roll plate and gave it back to me, saying I should use it for the scallops. This struck me as odd, especially because my boyfriend hates ranch dressing and his plate was being taken. So now it appeared I would have a ranch smeared plate for my scallops and he would have done. Ah well. We waited a little while, and then the scallops wrapped with bacon were delivered on a pretty glass fish plate. We both simply ate off the central appetizer plate. Scallops and bacon are a staple of pretty much any pot luck - one of the 'comfort foods' this restaurant is well known for. It isn't fancy, but it was tasty. We gobbled them up.
So now it was say 8:20, and I ordered one of the glowing green beers in honor of the season. That was brought and the plates removed. And then we sat. And sat. Tables were clearing out at this point so it wasn't really busy. Many people were sitting around having drinks and desserts, so it wasn't a hopping time (except of course in the bar, where drinks were apparently flowing quite freely). The couple across from us began to get cranky at the service and generally talked to each other with extremely foul mouths - which upset us since right next to them was a family with young kids. The waitress didn't even come over to check on us, or to see if we wanted something else, or anything. There was just nothing.
My boyfriend was considering walking out, except that I was so keen on corned beef. Finally at around 9:10 the foot showed up. My corned beef was lukewarm, and my boyfriend's steak was cold. He asked to have it reheated - they left the broccoli (which was indeed hot) and the sauce. So at this point the sauce was getting cold, his steak was getting warmed, and I dug into my corned beef because I was starving and didn't care. I asked for mustard and they brought me a sealed, new yellow mustard. So I peeled off the inner cap, poured on on, and didn't try after a browner variety.
About 9:25 the re-warmed one came out which still wasn't quite hot, but it was good enough. It was very fatty, and had a big bone, so not exactly a great cut of meat. But food is food. We finished our meal, and asked for the check. The waitress came over and apologized, saying it was all the cooks' faults, that she kept asking after the food and was told it wasn't ready. She asked us not to blame her, that it was all the kitchen's problem and that others had complained too. We are much happier with a staff that says "we're sorry about this, we aren't normally like this." For one staff member to turn and blame the others like that seemed pretty unprofesional. And of course if she HAD been a conscientious waitress, where was she during the long, long wait when we had no food and no sign of human contact?
We looked at the log of when the orders went in, and our salad / appetizer order did in fact go in just after 8, when we placed our order. But according to the log, she hadn't even put in our main dinner order until just before 9pm. It really seemed VERY unlikely that the waitress had been waiting eagerly to deliver our food immediately when it was ready - and that when she brought it all promptly to us it was suddenly cold.
For us, the Post Office Pub was never about 'finest cuisine'. The place is casual and comfy, with nice prices and comfort food. But this experience really soured us to the restaurant. In the past things had been slow - but it had now degraded into moving at a glacier-like speed. There are enough other restaurants in the area that give that family-friendly environment that there's not much reason to return.
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