Boston >Food & Dining > Trident Booksellers & Cafe
338 Newbury St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211542.348245 -71.086624
Monday To Sunday From 08:00 AM To 12:00 AM
Neighborhoods: Back Bay West, Back Bay
A quick bite and a read – This was a recent stop to pick through the periodicals and check out some new books. Located right on Newbury st, towards the mass ave end, Trident is one of several informal food joints on the street. A friend and I walked in and got one of the tables for 2 adjacent to the counter bar. The waitress came by promptly and and was ready to take our order. We werent ready for a full meal, and opted for drinks and some sweet potato fries. The serving was more than ample for 2 and the Mango Iced tea was good, but tasted a bit chemical, perhaps the result of the water or the flavor additive to the tea. Regardless, Id like to go back more often and try out some other items on the menu.
Does not meet the hype! – Trident has a lot of positive things going for it, yet it is one the biggest food disappointments we have ever encountered. We loved the idea of the bookstore/cafe. Isn?t that the dream of every Palateer? Sipping your coffee while reading travel books about Honduras? How idyllic and very attainable because if your ambitions for Trident are simply to sit around and peruse a book while nursing a cup of tea for several hours, then we agree you are in the right place. But keep your expectations low if you ever order the food.
First the good: Trident is all about the atmosphere. We love the long bar and tall stools, which are perfect for surfing the internet (which is free!!!), chatting with strangers or reading the newspaper.Anyone could get lost meandering around the book shelves perusing the eclectic selection of literature or watching a silent film of Charlie Chaplin on the two widescreens.
Now the bad:The Palateers have ordered food from Trident on numerous occasions, always with the sincere hope that the food will live up to the exorbitant prices and tantalizing menu descriptions. However, every hope for a delicious meal has been revolted like sour milk on an empty stomach. Ok, the food isn?t horrible. It is edible, but it doesn?t deserve the high prices.Also, couldn?t servings be a little bit larger? For a $9 waffle, we expected more than a single waffle with a few chopped strawberries. It was disappointing that the $10 omelet completely lacked flavor.The $11 Veggie burger was mediocre and how much would it take to add fries at no cost or maybe a side salad? The same complaints were had across the menu. Such high prices warrant finer quality food and larger portions.
Trident has the potential in our minds to be one of the best establishments on the block, it is the end game that needs a rehab.This is a Palateer call to action to get your food menu under control, Trident. Google "Palateers" additional reviews
Fiercely independent bookstore and cafe has provided a second home to area artists and academics since 1984. – The Back Bay's leading alternative bookstore doubles as a welcoming cafe, much to the delight of its loyal patrons, and is one of the few fixtures on Newbury that's still humming at midnight. For many, the Trident serves as a neighborhood hangout, and with free wireless Internet access, the cafe provides a relaxing spot to get some work done. No one looks askance if customers bring books they're merely browsing to the cafe, pondering pages to purchase over a bite to eat. The cafe features an espresso bar and serves from a lengthy menu of comfort fare, including all-day breakfast and lots of vegetarian options.
Photo by Christine Liu
Great Customer Service, Great People, Great Place! – I recently moved to the neighborhood and discovered Trident Cafe almost by accident one day. The staff made me feel so welcome, the service was fantastic, the food was really good and reasonably priced. Great place to go alone, with your honey, with your pals or with your kids!
Not as good as it used to be – This place used to be great, around 2002-2004. The waitstaff was very friendly, very cool, very competent. The clientele was well-mannered, the place was quiet and clean, it was a great place to go to lay out your books, do a bit of studying or leisure reading, and maybe strike up a chat with the person next to you at the counter. A great little secret.
But now it's just like an independent Starbucks. On Saturdays it fills up with the vacuous shopping-on-Newbury crowd (Ugg boots, big sunglasses, etc.), half of whom are there just to use the bathrooms, and it's impossible to get a counter seat until around 5:00. Not sure why it got so popular, since the food is as unimpressive and overpriced as it used to be in the good old days. Of course it's much less clean now. If it's at all busy, it's impossible to get the waitstaff's attention.
That said, some of the food is pretty good, like the sweet potato fries or the pumpkin brie ravioli.
The food is ALMOST worth it! – First: the Migas burrito is the best gringo-made burrito ever! The Momos (vegetarian take of tradiational Tibetan dumplings) are also amazing, if not the best food the 'Dent has! The service, however, is pathetic, busy or not, the waitstaff are hard to get, generally dismisive and rarely funny. I recommend avoiding the owner at all costs. The atmosphere is very trandy/hipster, which is fun, but draining. The front half is the sit or be seen area, the back is quite and nice. I recommend sitting in back (booths are for 3 or more) and ordering a smoothie (Cocobanana plus peanut butter, if you're lucky) and eating a burrito! PLUS, who can complain about free internet!?
Best Pancakes – Although a busy place for brunch, my friend and I didn't have to wait too long for a table for two. I had heard wonderful things about the Migas Burrito and pancakes, and I was not dissapointed. The pancakes at Trident are probably the best I've ever had at a restaurant. My friend's burrito was flavorful and filling too. Our server was incredibly polite, though visibly unnerved by the hustle and bustle. My chai was a bit watered-down, too. Overall, I'd say Trident is great.... just watch out for all the extra fees when asking for more toppings or egg-whites. They can really hike up the bill.
Lacking in Service – Seems like everytime I go in there I'm trying to stare my waitress down so that I can order/get the check. Service there is terrible. I know your saying to yourself, oh that's cause they went when it was crowded'. I've went when it's not criwded, sat at the bar, and waited 20 mins to get aknowledged. There are so many other places on Newbury that are better. If you are in a hurry, or enjoy good service I don't reccomend this place.
Plus their food is way over priced for the quality.
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