Sep 23 2011

Meadhall, Kendall Sq

I was at Meadhall in Kendall Sq, Cambridge the other night hanging with Fantastic Mr. Sly. Their beer selection is unbelievable and I started with a Jack’s Abby India Pale Lager. It blew my feeble mind. I thought I was snorting hop-coke off a midget hooker’s ass cheek!

Jack’s Abby is a new brewery out in Framingham, next town over from Natick where I work. They have tasting hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday which I plan to take advantage of with Poppa Outlaw who works in the same town.

So, Meadhall. I went there a few weeks ago with Codex and Pimp Roll and thoroughly enjoyed it. I expected the same with Sly. Hah, silly expectations.

Our waitress (aka ‘tressy) was super attentive but multiple things went wrong. I ordered a European IPA that I’d never heard of before, she assured me it was insanely hoppy. The small sample she fetched ended up tasting like a boozy Belgian. So much so, I asked her to try it herself and she agreed, postulating that perhaps one of the kegs in the cellar was hooked up to the wrong tap. When you see how many taps they have, you’ll understand how hard it must be to keep everything straight in their cellar. I decided on an Ithaca Flower Power, an old favorite. All was as it should have been.

Sly and I only catch up every so often so we usually close the bar we happen to be hanging at. We figured we’d be chatting all night so naturally some food was in order. I asked for the same burger I had with Codex and Pimp Roll.

I always order my burger well done. ‘Tressy repeated it back to me and I confirmed “well done”. When it arrived I spent some time savoring the chunky salt on the thin fries but eventually I got around to cutting the burger mound open. It was pink inside, only the outer shell was brown (sweep hand up to forehead and swoon elegantly to the floor).

I sent it back. ‘Tressy was quick to apologize and said it was easy to fix with a few more minutes on the grill. Same burger came back out a little later, with a new slice of cheese and I have to admit it looked more done on the outside. I cut into the center again… and it was pink. I called her over again and she had dread in her eye. I asked her if I was misunderstanding what it meant for a burger to be well done

I swear I wasn’t being a jerk. It reads like I was, but I was very genuine with her when I asked the question. I wanted to know if this was an example of what they considered “well done”. In which case I would have asked them to “burn the shit” out the burger, flip it over, fire up the flame thrower and give it a good 10 minutes, followed by a brief run through a cremation chamber, and we all would have been happy campers. She looked at it and said no, that’s not done enough. Argh!

The grovelling began in earnest. She offered me a free meal, a free drink, etc. Sly gave me a wink and acknowledged that I wasn’t going to win this one. Send something back once, you might be ok, send it back twice, expect some nasty treatment at the hands of the kitchen staff.

With my stomach feeling all inside out with the combination of hours of hunger, nausea at seeing so much pink hamburg and disgust at the thought of what a disgruntled kitchen aid might do to my food, I passed on the burger. Hell no I didn’t pass on the complimentary beer and I was happy to put the whole issue behind me with a fresh sulphury pint of Victory Prima Pils.

Bottom line: Meadhall has an INCREDIBLE beer selection but they might have a hard time cooking your meat all the way through.

Felt bad for ‘tressy but she did a good job and we tipped appropriately.


Hey Meadhall, yeah it’s me. That annoying guy who kept sending everything back. I like you, I really do. I just think you need to… maybe mature a little. You know? Figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Don’t get mad but I think we should definitely see other people, at least for a while. It’ll be good for us, for you. And if you ever decide you want someone to come around and make sure your kegs are hooked up to the right taps, call me. Yeah, call me.


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