Home > Bars and Restaurants, Beer, CT Bars and Restaurants, Experiences > Bar Q – Good Beer, But The Food Can Be Improved

Bar Q – Good Beer, But The Food Can Be Improved

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
Beer list at Bar Q

Beer list at Bar Q

It seems that one of the unwritten rules of the blogosphere is that everybody tends to share positive experiences, and for everything else – well, that is what critics are for. Yes, we rant from time to time, but more to discuss a general problem, and not for any particular reason. Thinking about it, having a true picture is important. If someone provides mediocre product or service, we often just “vote with our feet” – instead, providing some criticism could be the best thing to do, as this is the only way for someone to find out that improvements are needed. As you already got my point, this post is about experience which could’ve being better.

We went to the Bar Q BBQ & Grill in Stamford during the restaurant week (a couple of weeks ago). This was our second visit – we were there last year at about the same time (also during the restaurant week), and we had a very tasty experience, so we were very much looking forward to visiting the restaurant again.

As you can guess from the name, Bar Q is focused on serving the American barbecue. Their wine list is very limited, but the draft beer selection is excellent (and the beer is more appropriate for the BBQ anyway). Also, the menu offers to create a beer tasting flight – 3 oz of beer, 4 beers in the flight, all for $9.

Beer flight at Bar Q

Beer flight at Bar Q

Our flight included Allagash White, Belgian style wheat ale – perfectly refreshing, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat – had a bit more weight compare to Allagash, still quite refreshing, Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider – very dangerous to have in the presence of kids, as in appearance it is not any different than Ginger Ale – light, fizzy taste with some sweet notes – perfectly quaffable. The last beer was Blue Point Toasted Lager, which is in the category of so called Red Lager – it had some bitter notes, medium weight on the palate – quite enjoyable as well.

So the beer flight was great, the service was also very good – friendly and prompt, but the food – not so much, unfortunately.

We always like to try different things, so we ordered 4 different appetizers.

Appetizers round at Bar Q

Appetizers round at Bar Q

Out of Truck Stop Queso Dip, Pig in a Blanket, Chipotle Meat Sliders and Potato Pig Skins, only Queso Dip was tasty, and the sliders were okay. The potato skins were mushy and had no taste, and the pig in the blanket was a tasting disaster.

Our “main course”, a variety of BBQ items, was not great either.

We took pretty much everything from the BBQ “small plates” menu which was not a poultry – St. Louis Cut Sticky Ribs, Classic Pulled Pork, Sliced Beef Brisket, Beef Burnt Ends, House Smoked Kielbasa Sausage, Grilled BBQ Shrimp, Smoked Pork Belly and Memphis Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs. Most of the dishes were okay, but none of them was at the “wow” level. “Burnt ends” dish was a disappointment by comparison – last year we couldn’t get enough of it – it was so flavorful and delicious. This time, it was only “well, okay”. And the smoked pork belly was a disaster – a blob of dribbling fat,  smothered in the BBQ sauce. Yes, it was cooked, but the piece itself was such that in my opinion it should be never served in the restaurant as a dish (may be only used as a cooking fat). The sides dishes were [unfortunately] the best part of the meal.

To conclude, I wouldn’t put this as a “terrible experience” – it was an okay food experience, and drinks and service were excellent. But the problem is, this restaurant is no longer on my “I would love to do it again” list. No, I’m not asking for an absolute perfection – but, there should be at least one “wow” moment, an anchor which will pull us back – and this time around, Bar Q clearly didn’t have one. I hope it might be different in a future, and I will be glad to give Bar Q another try – but someone will have to convince me that it is well worth it.

Bar Q BBQ & Grill
261 Main St. (Behind Black Bear)
Stamford, CT 06901
PHONE: 203.316.0278

Bar Q BBQ on Urbanspoon

  1. September 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I totally agree! I’m also writing a post about the false advertising and corruption of reviews in the social media such as Facebook and TripAdvisor, which I call TripSpoiler. None of the place I have visited following good reviews has lived up to the claims, rather worse than places that I might stumble across by walking around with my instinct.

    Once places gain publicity and popularity, they stop trying to improve and get really arrogant. In my opinion, people who write reviews should have more consciousness in what effect the review would have on others.

    Thank you for your honesty and braveness despite the fact that I have zero chance of eating there. But you’ve inspired me to do the same for a place whose service has gone terrible since it was published in Lonely Planet.

    • talkavino
      September 14, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Namie. I think honest reviews are very important. I’m relying on TripAdvisor myself very often when take a decision about particular trip or attraction, so it is important that the information is presented objectively. Looking forward reading your post!

  2. September 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I love reading really honest reviews like this. I’m an entire country away from this restaurant, but man, is it great to read honest reviews.

    • talkavino
      September 14, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Thank you for your kind words!

  3. September 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I love a flight!

    • talkavino
      September 14, 2013 at 6:21 am

      The beer was good!

  4. September 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I think it is human nature, at least for me, not to want to write a bad restaurant or wine review. I think by the choice of words that I use, one can tell if I was pleased or not. I used to have a customer whose wife was the restaurant critic for one of the two dailies in town, and she confided to me that she hated to write a bad review and she would work harder on those articles, then on the rave reviews that just flowed easily, as she was afraid to ruin people’s careers, not to mention all of the other workers who could just as easily end up unemployed, if the restaurant had to close suddenly. I always enjoy reading reviews by others, to see if I may glean more insight for my own writing. Thank you for your time and your great articles.

    • talkavino
      September 14, 2013 at 6:31 am

      I agree, John, in general, people look for good and it is easier to praise the stuff which is done well and not dwell endlessly on the bad stuff (it is also a great tactics when raising a kid). Yes, nobody wants to be a cause for someone to lose the job – however, if we think about it, if a restaurant has issues (food, service, anything), the people are not coming back. When the people stop coming back, restaurant need to understand why is that happening – it means that something is wrong, but it is often difficult to pinpoint what is wrong. If a restaurant can’t figure out the issue, it will eventually close, and people will lose their jobs anyway. I think this is where honest reviews can help, because this way, the restaurant can see that there is an issue and hopefully fix it and become a better place. I think objective criticism is important as it helps us grow.

  5. September 14, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I like when a restaurant or brewery offers a tasting flight, so that’s a plus. But I agree with you, a place that doesn’t live up to the expectation should know about it. Although I have found that wineries and restaurants don’t really seem to do google searches on themselves, to see what is being said. Except Napa wineries. Back when only my mom read my blog, the Napa wineries would comment on my posts about them…. Continue to write an honest review – the good and the bad!

    • talkavino
      September 14, 2013 at 6:42 am

      I write reviews from time to time on Yelp, and recently I started doing the same on Urbanspoon – Urbanspoon also allows your blogger review to be connected to the restaurant page. From my experience, I had a restaurant contacted me after both good and bad reviews, and thank me for the feedback. I believe there are services today which will aggregate your standing in all of the social media, so you don’t need to Google anything to know that someone has posted a review or wrote something about your restaurant. This way the restaurant can address issues before they become big troubles…

  6. September 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    How disappointing. At least the beer was good!

    • talkavino
      September 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      Yes, the beer was good!

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