Beat Hotel Restaurant Harvard Square
We tried the new restaurant, Beat Hotel, in Harvard Square last night.
I should blog more often. I’m lazy and lead an uncomplicated life. Be jealous. We do like to dine out a few times a month. I love hopping on the bus to Harvard Square. It’s only minutes away, so we don’t need to drive there. Tonight we tried a new restaurant called, Beat Hotel. For your edification, I’ve copied my Yelp review here. I hope, as you begin this second month of 2014, that your life is going smoothly and you’re enjoying good health. I’ll try to blog more often. Here’s my restaurant review:
Beat Hotel Restaurant
Although this was a disappointing first visit, I wouldn’t call it a total disaster. The atmosphere is inviting and wide open, softly lit and comfortable. The service was excellent, although the friendliness felt just slightly forced (fierce smiles). Here’s what we had and how it rated:
Two Appetizers: The Smokey Chipotle BBQ Spare Ribs were tender, flavorful, and fall off the bone easy to eat. Perhaps they could have been a bit more spicy (more heat), but we loved them! The Crispy Tuna Springrolls were excellent too. One large roll was sliced in half on the diagonal. The wraps were light and crunchy, the tuna and greens inside were fresh, and the sauce complemented well. Very well executed.
The FAROE ISLAND SALMON with Cous Cous, Lentils, Spinach, and Carrot Miso Puree was okay. The salmon was cooked properly. Most of the flavor was in the skin, but that’s fine. My dining companion enjoyed it, however the accompanying cous cous was undercooked and tasted of uncooked pasta.
The SKIRT STEAK with Frites, Peppercorn Jus, and Pickles was heinous. I believe skirt steak should not be on the menu if you aren’t familiar with its characteristics and how to prepare it. I ordered mine cooked MEDIUM because I know skirt steak can be stringy. Preparing it rare can be
disastrous. You can go medium rare if you marinate it and season it properly and then slice it with the grain into serving size pieces. Unfortunately, my skirt steak was prepared blood rare and served as one large piece plopped smack atop of a large pile of thinly sliced
undercooked very brown potatoes (frites). I struggled cutting the stringy steak. It had a minimum of seasoning. After a bite or two, I lifted the steak off the pile of potatoes and put it aside to try the potatoes. (Why did they plate the steak on top of the potatoes anyway?)
Trying to cut into a potato slice, my steak knife had a tougher time than with the steak. The potato was like leather. I was baffled. I chewed on a piece of potato. It was definitely undercooked and saturated in grease, which made it rubbery—really rubbery. I do not exaggerate. I had to stop trying after poking a few more potatoes with my fork and
knife and not being able to pierce them. What did they do to them?
After the nice appetizers, my skirt steak plate was a sad let down. I didn’t love the steak. I couldn’t eat the potatoes. They transformed them into something that bore no resemblance to potatoes. There was no white potato flesh to be found. Thin, brown slices of rubbery ick. (Okay, I’ll stop.) I shared my skirt steak with my dining companion, but it was slow work chewing on that. Our server stopped by soon after we were served and I pointed out that my steak was rare instead of medium, as I had ordered. She offered to take it back, but I declined because experience has taught me that sending back food is an exercise in futility. Restaurant food rarely comes back quickly, or improved, once you’ve sent it back. Besides, don’t you worry they might get a little funky with it?
As our plates were being cleared, I explained my disappointment to a friendly bus person who promised to pass along my comments. Soon after, the concerned manager came and listened with great patience as I explained my dissatisfaction with my entrée while at the
same time heaping praise on the appetizers. The manager explained that the restaurant is new and the kitchen was just trying out the potato dish. She expressed genuine interest in my feedback about the skirt steak and the frites, and she made every effort to make us feel valued. She also offered to pay for my entrée, which I felt was the right thing to do. It wouldn’t be fair to ask me to pay $24 for what was served to me. Including our appetizers and sodas, our bill (with the one entrée taken off) was about $75. We tipped well for the excellent service.
I’ll conclude by saying the vibe at this restaurant is very good. By the way, they have live music entertainment and plenty of bar seating as well as dozens of dining tables. The food
needs to follow suit in order to generate repeat business. Nothing should leave the kitchen that wouldn’t delight a patron. I would not discourage anyone from trying Beat Hotel for dinner. (For now, just take a cue from what I ordered and hopefully you’ll “skirt” any
Copyright Robert George Reoch