Downhill Alert: Hap's Roast Beef, Rte 1 Portsmouth
Having lived just north of Boston for a while, I was trained into conosourship of roast beef, specifically Super Beefs. So after some searching, I was happy to find Hap's, especially due to its very good sides. Specifically, their caesar salad. Perfectly dressed, with good cheese, great croutons, and sublime proportions, without being overly fussy or fancy pants.
Now there is an "under new management" sign out front and our recent experience with said new management was a disaster. The Super Beefs were ok. Over sauced, but that's forgivable. Not at all rare roast beef, but it happens (though it never happened before). A couple favorites taken off the menu altogether, nothing redeeming added on. Unforgivable, though, was the caesar salad.
"Is that a cucumber?" I yelled at B as I looked over his shoulder through the lid of the plastic take out container. Yes indeed, accompanied by tomatoes and onions (lots and lots of red onions). Nary a strand of parmesan to be found. The dressing came in a packet - crappy Ken's, not creamy white but creamy brown. I am ok with non creamy caesar. But if it is creamy, it should be white. And the most disgusting croutons ever. This was as much a caesar salad as I am a circus acrobat. That is, we'd both like to be something we can't even pretend to be.
Sigh. It is very sad to lose a quick and close take-out place. It's like breaking up with a friend. You remember why you were friends, you have that history. But so much has changed between you. You're different people. It doesn't make it any easier. I know we'll give it another try. Like calling up that friend and meeting for coffee, just dragging the whole thing out. It'd be better just to never call her again, pretend you never got her messages, but there's the guilt. There's also the hope the relationship can be saved. Sigh.