Recent Disappointments (Cava & Strip)

Many friends have raved about one of the many fast casual chains to invade our city. However my experience at Cava (Kendall Sq location) was awful. There are too many other places like this which I can let pick my pocket. It doesn’t warrant a full write up, but a laundry list of grievances is below:

  • Place was dirty. I am talking tons of food on the floor behind the prep counter, tables not wiped down, etc.
  • Call ahead order was not ready at the prescribed time. When I asked the one person behind the counter, he said “oh I still have to make one of the bowls” and ambled down the counter slowly. I was the only person in the place at the time. Another customer came in and went to the end of the counter and the server proceeded to take and start preparing their order. WTF?
  • There were out of many items I had ordered (sorry man, yesterday was busy). Somewhere like Sweetgreen, there app lets you know up front if they are out of something and asks for a substitution.
  • Staff was completely indifferent, most were hidden in back and wandered out from time to time with AirPods in.
  • Pita chips were too salty to be edible, but could have been good otherwise as they were warm and a good combo of soft and crunch.

F this place.

I am embarrassed to say that I got dragged to Strip (by Shtrega) on a business dinner. Strip is everything you’d expect and less, and a great example of why I have grown to dread most business dinners. The good news is that they were less than half full on a Thursday, so maybe they will go under. My client insisted on dining at the bar so he could “check out all the action”. The crowd seemed to enjoy the cocktails, most of which were loaded with simple syrup. The food was unremarkable to poor and overpriced as expected. I will say that my steak was at least cooked to the correct temperature.

Don’t go here, but you already knew that.


Is this the Strip right off 128 in Woburn? Yeah, I keep getting stuck at continuing education dinners there. The location makes it easy for people coming from all over. The strange thing is, when it first opened, I went to a dinner there where we ordered off the regular menu, instead of a pre-set function menu, and the food was actually quite good for the kind of dinner it was. I have been several times since and they are now incapable of bringing my meat rare, but the popovers still rock. I would just go there and eat popovers. If you disliked their food for a business dinner, stay far, far away from Cafe Escadrille. No matter how interesting the topic, I don’t go to dinner lectures there anymore- it’s that much worse.

The Woburn location is Strega Prime; the one in the Park Plaza just near the Arlington T stop/Bay Village is Strip by Strega.

I recently came >this< close to taking (or rather, subjecting) mom and dad to Cafe Escadrille. Thankfully, I remembered yours or someone else’s warning against it. Poor mom and dad - they’re taxed enough as it is and I would’ve been sad if I had taken them there for a regrettable lunch.

(However, just for some context - while I’m not a fan of the food at Jimmy’s in Arlington, they like it for a cheap lunch once in a while, so who knows if they might actually like Escadrille?? Especially my dad - he’ll eat anything.)