It's a bad sign when you order dessert just to get rid of the taste of your dinner. Such was my experience at Green Street in Central Square. But let me start from the beginning.
I had been looking forward to trying Green Street for awhile now, ever since I read favorable reviews from various sources describing it as a "diamond in the rough." I was intrigued once I saw the exterior of it when my bus, the CT1, dropped me off in front of it. THIS is the place people are raving about? The exterior makes it look like it's a serious dive bar, with uneven bricks and small windows.
But as promised, once inside it was warm and intimate-- christmas lights strung up over the bar, dim lighting, tan walls, wood accents. A grown up dive bar, perhaps? Sounds good to me.
The cocktail list was lengthy and included some serious ingredients-- rye, whiskey, and lots of other types I wasn't even familiar with. I chose the "Rhum Cup"-- cava, rum, and honey syrup. I'm a big fan of cava, and it was a very nice and girly drink, with some great bubbles in a pale shade of yellow.
My rockstar friend in the music biz, let's call her Debbie (as in Harry), chose a classic chicken and mashed potatoes dish (around $20) for her meal. My adorable and hilarious friend who invited me along with her family to Bin 26 , let's call her Elle (as in Woods-- she's a fierce lawyer in the making), chose monkfish with pinenuts and cauliflower ($22).
Yours truly went with two appetizers instead of an entree-- a warm mushroom salad with a fried egg ($8), and a squash and leek tart ($8). Perhaps it was the fact that I had watched Ken Oringer's victory on Iron Chef earlier in the day, but I was ready and excited to try some interesting and unusual dishes-- thus my slightly off the beaten path choices.
As a disclaimer, Elle and Debbie really enjoyed their food. I however was slightly confused when my food arrived. My mushroom "salad" looked more like mushroom broth-- slices of mushrooms floated in a vinegar and water mixture that was too shallow to be a soup, but much, much too deep to be a dressing. The fried egg looked like a dinosaur egg sitting on top. Still, I had hope. I took a bite of a mushroom; it was leathery and overwhelmingly vinegary. I tried it with the egg; perhaps that's where the good flavor lay? Nope; the vinegar overpowered the egg so much that it barely even tasted like egg, or anything for that matter.
I switched gears, hoping the tart could redeem my first huge disappointing dish. I used the side of my fork to attempt to cut into the tart, and dry pieces of crust flew across the plate. In my mouth it was equally disheartening; it had very little flavor and didn't strike me as something restaurant worthy at all. All in all, I sort of trudged through the tart, attempting to at least get some nourishment from this meal.
After our plates were cleared, my friends decided they were interested in sharing a dessert-- which I was thrilled about, as I was itching to get rid of this taste in my mouth. We selected a brownie sundae with pecan ice cream, which thankfully was delicious-- but seriously, how could you screw up a brownie sundae anyway? I unabashedly gobbled it down, excited to be tasting something delicious.
The service did not help with the enjoyment of the meal, either. Our waitress acted like we were teenagers ordering waters with lemon and cups of soup, like we were a nuisance to her night. When we asked for help with selecting a cocktail from the lenthy list, she seemed to be rolling her eyes as she unenthusiastically suggested some.
The topper of the evening was the expanding table at our side. Towards the end of the meal, a 6 person party was seated adjacent to us, but more and more people kept joining them as the night went on. A man actually sat directly next to my friend, even leaning on our table with his elbow as he chatted with the table next to us! When a new couple arrived and almost sat next to me, assuming we were part of this group, I decided it was definitely time to attempt to flag the waitress down (she had been MIA for awhile).
All in all, it was a big disappointment for me. I loved the evening spent with some of my favorite ladies, but the memory of that mushroom dish still haunts me today. When people asked how the meal was, I shuddered. This is never a good sign.
Will I go back? Perhaps to sit at the bar and have some cocktails, though hopefully our waitress does not also moonlight as a bartender. But I'm still hesitant to do even this, as I fear walking in will bring back the memory of those mushrooms I've tried so hard to forget...