Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ye Olde Grid-locked Grille

The ‘gridlock” in Gridlock Grille refers to the speed of the kitchen. This New London eatery with its ample views of the equipment rental concern across Coleman Street, is popular with a certain kind of gourmand who appreciates practicing patience as a sign of virtue. You can buy a nine pound lobster for $11.00 a pound, in season. Drinks are extra. Order in advance.

A party of four was seated in an empty hallway lined with windows. Rather than get a window booth, they were seated in front of the only brick column in the narrow room. The booth was set for two, the only one that was. After many rearrangements of drinks and menus, two more placemats and silverware were assembled on the table. The new placemats were printed with defective maps of the United States that confused the District of Columbia with the State of Maryland. Arrow Paper couldn’t sell them so the Gridlock Grille got them at a good price.

Salads came with the meals and the diners were treated to a baffling variety of iceberg lettuces matched with high-fructose dressing. No one finished their salads. The vinaigrette tasted like Kool-Aid crystals mixed with hydrogen peroxide. It tingled on the tongue.

The meals came out in a series spaced to make sure polite people are destined to eat cold food. The fry-o-lator was set on extra high so the frozen fish patty dishes came out first. The gentlemen who ordered fish, being gentlemen, waited for the ladies’ meals to arrive before they dove in with the energy their hunger required. Five or seven minutes passed. The third plate arrived. It was a salad made of iceberg lettuce, feta cheese and sliced, black olives fresh from the can. The waitress said it would just be a few more minutes before the fourth meal arrived.

So what had stumped the chef that it took so long for him to prepare? A boneless breast of roasted chicken without any more garnish than a baked potato fresh out of the steam box. What a meal. Luckily, the fry-o-lator was extra hot. The fried fish was still lukewarm in the middle. If the company wasn’t so good to be around, a terrible time would have been had by all. The fish was much like this review of the Gridlock Grille.

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