Sunday, May 19, 2013

Framingham Plasterboard...umm, Beer Works

Stop the presses; hold on to your hat…within the past two weeks, Framingham has welcomed two new restaurants!  It was with tremendous anticipation and excitement that we all waited for these cutting edge concept restaurants to open…Framingham now has exactly what it needs:  another bagel shop and a brew pub.

I guess Framingham couldn’t survive with just John Harvard’s Brew House and British Beer Company (practically across the street from each other); now Framingham Beer Works (“FBW”-from the owners of Boston Beer Works) has opened at the former site of the nightmare inducing Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse).  So, within a three hundred yard radius, we now have three beer houses, two of which brew on site.  Woo hoo!!!  Does Framingham have an inordinate of beer drinkers?  With two brewpubs and a microbrewery downtown (“Jack’s Abbey”), maybe I should be planting barley and hops in my backyard.  All kidding aside, it is good to have a new place to add to our repertoire…the few restaurants where I can dine out here were getting a little stale, so I am glad there is a new game in town.  I only wish he concept was as fresh as the beer.

FBW has opened very softly, without advertising or any fanfare.  A short article in the Framingham Patch indicated that it was opened and that some initial training was being done.  Normally I live by a 6-month rule before I run out to a new restaurant, but I threw caution to the wind and met up with one of my college roommates for lunch.

On a warm, sunny May Friday, I was surprised that it wasn’t very busy at 12:30pm.  Even with a soft opening, it is in a well-travelled location and you can see from the street that people are inside eating, and drinking.  I was stuck in terrible traffic, assuming that everyone was rushing to FBW; they were not, and I was very happy to arrive and get seated right away.

Walking in, I was struck at how drab the exterior appears.  It looks like gray wall board, pre-plaster.  I assumed that was exactly the case, but now that the sign is up, I guess not.  Apparently, the message is “come on in, we’re bland”.  It seems that the exterior was designed to be Spartan, but the interior is a mix of the same wallboard, but with a lot of steel and wood floors.  The interior design was executed pretty nicely, and there’s not much of sign that this used to be Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse. 

The menu is very similar, if not exactly the same, as the Fenway Park location, and though they didn’t have their brewer’s license set at the time I ate there, they expected to have it soon, and will be brewing their craft beers on-site.  Also, with a large outdoor patio, overlooking the back side of McDonald’s, I’m sure it will be quite popular in the upcoming summer months.  Who doesn’t like to look at McDonald’s rear entry?

The food you ask?  I had a “Southwestern Bronzed Chicken” sandwich with fries.  The breast was huge (save the comments), and it was described on the menu as a grilled chicken breast spiced with Cajun seasoning, topped with avocado, bacon, lettuce & vine-ripened tomato on a butter toasted bun served with crisp and hot fries.  It is just fine without bacon (yeah, I know it tastes good, but I don’t dig on swine), and I was actually quite pleased and satisfied, which for you faithful readers, probably comes as a shock.

I am glad I went early in their history, but now that the word is out, I will wait for the crowds to die down before I rush back.  For now, I give it a solid two forks up.

Next up, my review of the newest, most cutting edge franchise in Framingham…