Finally catching up to a few decent/good out-of-town restaurants visited in the past month or so.
British Beer Company is a Massachusetts chain; we visited the Framingham location (120 Worcester Road). Framingham is not exactly rife with quality lunch spots, and this kind of local chain can be very very bad, especially ones like this with multiple cavernous rooms — too much territory for staff to cover — but the BBC turns out to be decent. Nobody at the host stand – slackers! – but after that, service was excellent. They have a good selection of national and international beers on tap (even some British, surprise surprise). Fish and chips includes a huge slab of (probably pre-fab frozen, but still not bad) fish, in crunchy batter, with solid fries, onion rings, and cole slaw plus a tureen of above-average tartar sauce to drown it all in. All portions seem to be oversized, again not surprising at a chain. Mrs. Me tried to order the Wensleydale Chicken Salad without the Wensleydale, which confused our server; they ended up striking a bargain with the cheese on the side, and the dressing on the side, and the salad was big and good and everyone was satisfied. We like a win-win. Prices not bad, atmosphere not bad, not groundbreaking cuisine but one could do a lot worse.
Lancaster, Pa.’s The Pressroom is in the “historic Steinman Hardware Building” (26-28 W. King Street), and is kind of a muddle of industrial and art deco and I felt like I should have been wearing a green visor while I was there. But it was comfortable, and the food was generally good: interesting pizzas (mediocre crust and some of the topping combos didn’t work but otherwise decent), fine salads, tasty crab bisque. Short but sweet draught beer list, we enjoyed the local-ish Sly Fox pale ale. Our server was both too chatty and sometimes MIA, but overall experience was good.
The Richwood Grill (318 Richwood Avenue) is one of the best restaurants in Morgantown, WV. We appreciate their emphasis on local ingredients; we liked the extensive wine list and interesting cocktail suggestions (blue corn whiskey was a winner, while the hibiscus-infused cava turned out to be overrated). While the food is just about best in class for West Virginia, it is only okay for the price by normal standards. Braised rabbit doesn’t have much going on, although the gravy nearly had me licking the bowl. Coq au vin is a huge portion, at least. But none of it matters, because Richwood is going out of business in about a week due to a dispute with the landlord over a pending massive rent increase, something to which erstwhile Wheaton and MoCo restaurateurs can relate. They hope to open a new bistro in a new location but probably not for a couple of years.