Hartford >Food & Dining > Us S Chowder Pot Iv
165 Brainard Rd, Hartford, CT | Directions 0611441.735560 -72.659583
Neighborhoods: South Meadows
First Time Eating There – I read the reviews prior to visiting, so I checked out the bathroom since I read many negative comments. The bathroom was clean - no issues there! Went on Saturday afternoon to avoid the rush. No waiting, the service was fast and the waitstaff friendly. It gets busy toward 5 p.m. on Saturday, and the waitstaff said the same is true during the week. You could wait 1.5 hours to be seated! Our group all ate different things. The seafood lasagna was a small portion but very good. The fried oysters were good, but a little heavily breaded and overcooked for my tastes. But I liked them nonetheless. Four people with 2 appetizers on the lunch menu was $100 including a 20% tip.
Throwback to the 70's, F o o d P o i s o n i n g Galore, Avoid! – Due to my inability to cook seafood well, I'm always on the lookout for a solid, family-friendly fish joint. The odd architecture and bold signage of this place always piqued my curiosity. And I will always have a fondness for it, even as I sip Gatorade and nurse myself back from food poi son ing hell.
We tried it a couple of years ago, and the food was fine. The service lacked a little, but I enjoyed the kitschy decor. It's not Red Lobster, and it's not Saybrook Fish House. I think the people at Chowder aim to be nothing more than a good seafood value with a quirky, family-friendly environment.
Unfortunately, my recent second try has left me with a lesser opinion. The food tasted pretty good, and still a good value, but the service was slow and inattentive. Add to that the past 48 hours of nau sea, vo mit ing, and diarr hea, and well... I think it's safe to say we won't return. The three of us who ate lobster: Violently ill. The fourth who had none: Totally healthy.
Chowder Slop (If this is the Best Seafood in Connecticut I'm Moving) – When I first moved to Connecticut from New York, I had high hopes for this restaurant. Having grown up remembering the legendary "Clam Box" in Cos Cob (I hear there was one in Wethersfield too), and having eaten great seafood all my life in New York (like the Bronx's City Island), I was primed for a great experience. Well, that was not to be the case. To be fair, I gave this place a few tries. If not for the fact that friends from this area seem to love it I would probably have never gone back. And speaking of that, I don't get its popularity. Surely it's resting on some outdated reputation because I find it hard to believe that natives of a New England state could have such horrid taste in seafood. As a New Yorker, the mind boggles. After living around here for 8 years, though, it has become painfully clear as to why this is the case. Despite being in New England, this area is woefully void of good old fashioned New England style seafood. Even New York has more! Unless one gets to the shore, one is likely to forget what good seafood tastes like, unless one frequents higher priced restaurants. And judging from the clientele at this restaurant, many of whom look like they just crawled out from under a rock, I doubt they have ever had that pleasure. I'm sorry if that sounds superior of me, but you have to consider the source when you see some of these reviews. Anyone who thinks this is good seafood doesn't know good seafood, period.
Ditto on the dirt and outdated decor, too. I'm amazed at what people in this area will rave about as great while dissing other, much better (and cleaner) restaurants. If the dining room and rest rooms are that dirty, just imagine the kitchen!
Filthy restroooms – We put our name on the list for a table but never got a chance to sample the food that we have heard about for so long. While waiting, my husband and I decided to visit the restrooms. They were so filthy we coudn't use them so we assumed that the rest of the establishment couldn't have been much cleaner. The restrooms were on par (in terms of cleanliness) with porta-johns you find at an outdoor concert. This is no way to run a business let alone a restaurant!
Editorial Review by Christy Buena – Seafood is the specialty at the family-friendly restaurant that offers New England clam chowder, private rooms and a full bar.
Absolutely Hideous – I dined at your restaurant Sat. evening. We waited in the bar (had two drinks) and when called we went into what looked like an add-on room; bright lights, no music and definitely no attmosphere (aside from one anchor hanging). The six if us sat and ordered a drink. Server was very nice. A table of six sat next to us. I could not believe that aside from 2 small children at 9:00 p.m. (nothing you can do about that), the parents/guardians/whatever were dressed ready for bed. I believe it must have been the mother, who sat with pajama bottoms on, slip on shoes that I'm sure were bedroom slippers and the best part: her jack on with the hood up! Give me a break - it was absolutely unacceptable. The food came to us barely warm and the server could not keep up wtih the tables she had. I am not a complainer and did not say a word to my friends, but I could barely eat a bite of my lobster. It was seriously a hideous experience and the ironic part was it cost us over $100 per couple. I was not asking for fine-dining, but a little class on a Saturday night might be in order. Perhaps you could ask folks to leave if you feel their attire is more appropriate for the bedroom rather than the dining room. In any event, not only will I not go to your restaurant, I will do my best to make sure that no one I know goes their either. A few years back one could go there on a Saturday night and know that the food would be worthy of the advertisements that are all over the greater Hartford area. This is no longer the case. Although I have no doubt that you are bringing in lots of customers (one only see the waiting room) I was truly shocked and disappointed that I brought two other couples to your establishment - you need to be very concerned if you are looking for longevity. Thank you for the venue to vent.
Good Food, Poor Service – I have dined at ChowderPot IV many times over the years, and the food is always great! The service is ALWAYS lacking. The hostesses aren't very friendly or inviting (on the phone or in person) & the waitresses act as if they are so bury that they really can't be bothered. Great food though.
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