Pine Tavern [Old Bridge, N]

Well, Pine Tavern reopened after a long remodeling. We went there fairly often for lunch, so went back today. The good news is it looks a lot nicer (and lighter) inside, they have paved the back lot, and the prices seem to be the same. The bad news is that it is far too loud. Admittedly, it was close to full, but evidently no one wants to oay for sound-soak any more. Mark and I were in the quiet(er) section and had to shout to talk to each other.

The service was also a bit lacking. Getting water, bread, and food all took longer. (Again, it was full.) They brought the order for the next table to us by mistake, and it was also a “who had the …” sort of service. When the server cleared our table, he seemed to have difficulty handling all the plates and silverware, and having him juggling a steak knife a few inches from my face was disconcerting.

Maybe it is just taking a while for them to get up to speed. In any case, it will be a couple of months at least before we return.

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Is Charro still hostess?

Haven’t been there in years. I enjoyed it. But I only remember her and tableside guacamole. I follow them on Instagram so looking forward to trying it again.

No idea. Even if I recognize the people in the restaurants we go to regularly (and my facial recognition skills are not great), I never know their names.

BTW, pictures of the new decor are on their Facebook page.

Well, we went back after the pandemic gap. It’s still very noisy. They no longer serve bread (although we didn’t ask for any), and you also have to ask for salt and pepper. Water comes in plastic glasses, not a very ecological touch. And the prices of what we ordered had gone up 35%-50%.

All in all, it’s probably no longer on our regular rotation.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold