Okay, so before I even begin with this review, I’ll start with a disclaimer. If you’re:
A. Overly sensitive to scathing reviews
B. The owner of (the now-defunct) Newstead Tower Public House
C. A huge fan of well-done burgers
Then you might want to leave this page. Here’s a good option for you!
I’m kidding about the well-done burgers, by the way. It’s not my thing, but if that floats your boat, then go for it!
With that said, let’s jump into this review!
So when I heard that Newstead was going to close on October 30th, 2010, I was a little sad. This place has been on my to-do list for quite some time; I heard that their burgers were to die for! I can’t resist a good burger.
Me and a friend went on a busy Wednesday night. I suppose everyone else had the same idea. There was a 30 minute wait, which I’m typically too impatient for, but this was an exception I was willing to make!
We were finally seated and we ordered drinks right away.
We also decided to try an appetizer. The housemade pomme frites sounded good: fries with aioli and malt vinegar, with a side of rarebit:
Um, hello, smallest serving of fries ever! Maybe Newstead should have taken some notes from Terrene – perhaps they’d still be in business, then? ZING! Okay, that was mean.
The fries were tasty. Piping hot, salty, and crispy – just how I like them. While the aioli was tasty, the rarebit was not. It tasted almost sour, not cheesy how I like it.
2 bites later, the fries were gone. Now time for the main event: the burger! I ordered the grass-fed hamburger topped with a fried egg, bacon, and pepperjack cheese, with a side of fries. Note: that’s what I ordered. They were out of bacon and cheese, so just the fried egg would have to do. Did I also mention they didn’t have any barbecue sauce? Call me a rube, but I order a side of BBQ sauce with just about everything. It’s delicious with fries, poured over a burger, on top of pizza, etc. Best. Condiment. Ever. And Newstead didn’t have it. Oh well. I was holding out hope for this burger.
So the burger came out. The fried egg was cooked perfectly, with a delicious runny yolk. Fun fact: As a kid, I hated eggs with runny yolks. Now I love them.
Turns out the egg was the only thing that was cooked properly in this meal. My burger, which I ordered medium cooked, was well-done. Like, super well-done. Not an ounce of pink to be seen. This made me really mad, especially because the waiter told me that Newstead’s version of “medium” was a lot pinker than most other burger joints. Well, someone dropped the ball here. Obviously.
So I had a well-done burger with no barbecue sauce, cheese, or bacon to save the day. But what about the bun? It was a ciabatta bun, which I typically like. However, someone in the kitchen was clearly having a bad night, because the bun was hard! So now we have a hard, dry, hockey puck burger and a hard bun.
By now you’re probably wondering why I didn’t send the food back. Well, I did another thing that I typically never do at restaurants. I waited for 90 minutes to get my burger. I know. You don’t have to say how silly that was. But I do crazy things in the name of food, okay? So the thought of sending this back when I was already starving was just not in the cards for me. Instead, I started drafting my scathing blog review of this place in my head, which is totally healthy and normal…right?
So yeah. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Am I glad that Newstead is closed? No. I’m not; a lot of innocent people are out of jobs now, and in this economy, that really sucks. And while I don’t know the story of why they closed, I have a feeling it might have had something to do with the abysmal food. Just throwing that out there!
Food: 1 star (out of five)
Ambiance: 2 stars
Service: 1 star
Value: 1 star
Okay, now that this review is out of the way, I’m going to try to flush this memory out of my system. Oh, and if you do like overpriced hockey puck burgers, be sure to check out Five Bistro; apparently, the owners of Newstead also own this little gem. Be sure to report back if you do try Five, because this girl won’t be trying it anytime soon.