It was a given that there was going to be some hits and misses during my time in the Boston area when it came to restaurants. Especially if we were going to be trying new places all the time. Sure, we could get the advice from locals that were in class with us, but everyone'e palate is different. You could trust online reviews if you want, but you can never be sure who's really writing them. Then there are times you go with what's closest simply because you don't want to travel to far from the hotel. Our night at Ninety-Nine was one of those nights.
Ninety-Nine is another chain restaurant that I had never seen before. Never even heard of it. Good or bad. But again, it was very close to our hotel in Franklin. Their presentation looked decent enough as far as their exterior was concerned. They really had no place to go but up after the British Beer Company experience.
It had gotten to the point where our dining experiences in the Boston area were largely based on what places were willing to accommodate parties of our size. We didn't always have our full training group of double digit folks. Sometimes it was only around 8 or 9. So the fact that this place had special booths that could be adjusted to comfortably seat 12 of us as if we were at one large table was pretty cool.
I wasn't feeling too adventurous that evening. And their menu wasn't helping. They seemed like your standard Applebees-type bar and grill restaurant. Except maybe a little more seafood options than Applebees. Not that it mattered because there was no way I was getting East Coast seafood at a bar and grill type joint. I went with the buffalo wings instead. They were having a special of .49 cent wings that night. And no, I didn't get 30 wings just to try to use up my per diem. Now someone else in our party did. Although I think it was more or less to challenge himself to see if he could actually eat 30 wings. He did 24.
I've had better buffalo wings. Although I've definitely had worse. What I was not impressed with at all was their strawberry lemonade. Now mind you, it's not like I expected it to be great in that type of establishment. I just expected it to be decent. I was even surprised they had it in the first place which is probably why I even ordered it. So I probably shouldn't have been so shocked that it tasted like strawberry water. It only took one sip to realize it was a waste. The waitress gladly took it back. Don't worry...I already had my food by then so there would be no spitting in it for them to get even with me.
The end of the night brought the biggest challenge for our group. There were some drinkers and they tend to get a little vociferous when they get full. Not a good mix for a restaurant of that caliber that was geared more towards a family environment. Was it going to be the second place the training group got kicked out of? Almost. Management did "suggest" they try a bar further uptown that stayed open later. Not to mention I noticed they were delivering the alcohol in smaller portions while still charging the normal price.
I can't judge Ninety-nine solely on the alcohol portion though. It wouldn't quite be fair since I don't drink. Up to that point, their service was pretty impeccable. Unfortunately, the food wasn't enough for me to want to make another trip there. Regardless of how close it was to the hotel.