Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grendel's Den--A Monstrous Mistake

The Palateers believe that the expression “It’s, like,…..” is extremely overused in American vernacular. Two usages of this expression especially irk us. The first is when one says, “It’s, like, colder than a witch’s teat outside”; a person should actually say, “It is colder than a witch’s teat outside”. The danger arises in the second usage, when the user of the aforesaid expression indicates a connection which is plagiaristic. For example, “That painting you completed is like a Vincent Van Gough”; when in actuality, it is an exact replica of “Starry Night”. The Palateers enjoy using this phrase only in a sarcastic manner. A good example of this is “Grendel’s Den is like a good restaurant”, when actually it is a horrible restaurant.

We uncovered a scandal at Grendel’s Den, which immediately tarnished our view of the establishment. It all began when we were perusing the beer menu and came upon a drink named “Grendel’s Ale”. The Palateers are always a fan of a new brew (which sounded like a unique microbrew), and when we overheard a nearby server described it, as “like a Sam Adams” our interest was particularly piqued. However, when we enquired with our own server about the beer, we were shocked and amazed to discover that Grendel’s Ale wasn’t “like” Sam Adams….it was Sam Adams. The deception we felt was as painful as the food was bad, and the rest of the meal was a slippery slope to dissatisfaction.

At our table, we ordered four separate dishes. Tabulating the four diners' scores, all dishes had an average ranking of 4 out 10. The portion of salmon they served in the seafood platter was miniscule. The accompanying scallops and shrimp were overcooked to the point of tasting like boiled squid (think fishy flavored rubber bands). The mashed potatoes were lumpy and flavorless. The meat was overcooked and slightly burnt. The beef stew was mediocre. The spinach pie was small and over salted. They even messed up the rice.

The one redeeming feature was the honesty of the server; however, shouldn’t every server be honest? The atmosphere was typical of a beer bar and the food was cheap, but we could have gone down the road to John Harvard’s and had true microbrew beer, larger portions and better food.

Thankfully, our meal was saved by dessert at Finale (see blog) and dancing at Redline. Just as in Beowulf, where Grendel is envisioned as a repulsive and disturbing monster, Grendel’s Den is best to be avoided.

Grendel's Den
89 Winthrop St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 491-1160

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