Boston >Food & Dining > Charley's
284 Newbury St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211542.348968 -71.084284
Su-Th 11:30-1, F 11:30-12, Sa-Su 9-12
Neighborhoods: Back Bay West, Back Bay
Good food but long wait - not worth it – Friends and I went for dinner last night and got to Charley's around 8:10. We put our name in and were told the wait was 20 minutes. After waiting 40 minutes, I went in to check on our reservation and was told it would only be another few minutes. We ended up waiting another 20 (not to mention while other people were walking right in and being seated). After all that we decided to go to dinner elsewhere.
They ask you to cut into your steak for a reason. – Just thought I would weigh in... I was a server at Charley's for a few months many many moons ago. To the person who complained that asking a customer to cut in to his/her steak is akin to saying "we don't know what we're doing" - actually, the idea behind that is to make sure, before walking away, that the steak is cooked to the customer's liking, and if not, to have it fixed. That said... Charley's is a strange beast. The menu is really outdated and the food quality is questionable. When I worked there, there were always 304 waitstaff too many at each shift (hence the group "hanging around talking" during dinner). Charley's was (is?) the bastion of the Back Bay Restaurant Group, which owned (owns?) Legal Sea Foods, among others. When I worked there, I was convinced that the only reason it existed was to cater lunches for the BBRG execs, and maybe score some good stuff for the customers and staff. Now, I don't know.
it really is a saloon – i went here on tuesday with my boyfriend and his sister just for a quick dinner. when we sat in our booth, our tablecloth almost fell off because it was so long. getting in and out of the booth was a hassle bc we had to make sure the tablecloth would not slide out. our waiter was very young and seemed new. he didn't know how to pour our wine, he didn't twist the bottle at the end in order to prevent dripping and it dripped all over the menus. don't they at least train their waiters in wine etiquette? He told me they had bernaise sauce with the filet, which i ordered and then came back later and told me they didnt, that they only had 3 bottles of sauce (a1, worcestershire and some chili sauce). I was disappointed. My boyfriend was not impressed with the mahi mahi. We had to ask for water twice before he would re fill it. I had two glasses of wine and was feeling it, when my boyfriend's dessert came. He put it down in the center, so I went to pull it towards him when i realized how hot the plate was. My arm flung out and knocked part of my glass, to which the waiter said "enjoying the wine, are we?" very unprofessional. there was a waitress walking around in a jacket, and there were servers congregating near the front desk just talking throughout our meal. i dont think i will ever come here again. the waiter seemed nice enough, but the restaurant pretended to be upscale with its prices, with very poor service.
Charley's is exactly why not to go to a restauraunt – My wife and I had the worst experience at Charleys last evening. Let's start at the bar. We went over to the bar as we had about a twenty minute wait, which was fine. We approached the bar and after we ordered our first drink the bartender gave us our check and never asked us if we wanted another drink. So then we were seated and the fun did not stop there. I ordered supposedly one of the specialty dinners the original baked chicken with stuffing and mashed potatoes. The dinner came out and the food was unbelievably cold. The mashed potatoes were cold and the stuffing tasted not just cold but like scooped out of the refridgerator cold. So I asked then if they could heat it up and was cold. The food was brought back and it was still almost exactly the same. At this point I asked the waitress if she could just take it back and I was all set. She said no problem and told me that the manager would be right over. I did not ask for the manager she was just doing her job which was nice. This was the best part, the manager never came over and the waitress came by a few times and I asked so where is the manager, and she said he was tied up for a while. My wife and I have both worked in the restauraunt industry for years and we both were amazed at how bad the service and food was. I can understand the other bad reviews on here. Stay away from this place on Newbury at all costs or you will end up having a horrible time. Hope I can save a few more headaches.
Surprised at reviews! – I've been to Charley's numerous times and have always been satisfied with my meal and service...and frankly, I've always found the Managers very attentive. Occassionally the waitstaff seems a little green (in comparison to some of the older, more professional servers in the Back Bay), but if you get your panties in a bunch over small things (like waiting a bit for an entree) you have no business going to a busy Newbury St. restaurant. I live and work in the Back Bay, so I've been to pretty much every restaurant in the area...there are always so many new ones popping up...and have found Charley's to have a relaxed atmosphere, good food, and cheap prices.
Marginal food badly prepared w/ terrible service. – Reading the reviews worried me, but our group had decided and it was too late to change. It was as bad or worse. Slow service was the worst part. Every part. Ordering, food/drink delivery, check was ridiculous. We watched another couple leave after 30mins without menus (and that was after complaining!) Drinks took so long that the ice in $8.75 rum drinks melted, watering them down. Some were missing. Overcooked buffalo tenders were bland and served without bleu cheese. $17 steak tips ordered medium with onion rings and mashed potatoes arrived cold, well-done, heavily-marbled and dried out, with 2 small onion rings. We retrieved our own ketchup and steak sauce. Finally the single-capacity bathrooms in this large restaurant meant waiting even for that. This place is not worth the time or money. Go elsewhere (and judging by the empty tables on Friday night, others did). I wish we had.
i dont know how to put it – Sometimes the restaurant has a distinct nasty smell to it... I've heard customers question what it is. The food is ok, but there always seems to be a problem at every table. I guess if you want to go somewhere cheap you are going to the right place. At Charley's you get what you pay for.
Popular restaurant serves up affordable, accessible eats in the heart of swank Newbury Street. – The Scene
Usually packed with students and tourists, Charley's dining room sports a saloon motif and can be deafening when packed. The sidewalk patio offers one of the more affordable outdoor dining options in the neighborhood. The bar serves up a surprisingly thorough wine list and several slushy frozen drinks. Weekend brunch service attracts strong crowds, as all items (average cost: $10) include a mimosa or screwdriver.
With its pizzas, salads, fish dishes and sandwiches, the extensive menu attempts to cover all the proverbial bases. Starters like creamy spinach and artichoke dip or Caesar salad topped with spicy blackened chicken can easily be shared. Those looking for something more filling than a juicy burger can choose from pasta dishes and choice steaks. Desserts include authentic New York cheesecake and rich Charles River pie.
Charles, get in charge of your restaurant. – No matter if it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, if you're dining at Charley's something will go wrong. Eggs benedict without hollandaise, wilted greens on a sandwich, and the most frequent - poorly cooked meats. Seldom has a steak or burger been cooked the way ordered. I've even had a server ask me to cut into my steak to see how it was cooked. That's like saying, "Hey, we don't really know what we're doing, can you check for us?" With the exception of a few competent servers, the waitstaff there is a mess. Once, after nearly finishing my entree without being asked how it was, my waiter returned reeking of cigarettes. Even the managers, pardon me - supervisors, seem unhappy. So if you're looking for cheap, go to Charleys, if you're looking for value, don't bother. Spend the money and get a decent dining experience elsewhere.
don't bother trying to take out. – they managed to botch my ENTIRE takeout order on a relatively calm evening. Every order item was wrong and it took 20 minutes longer than what they said it would. The poeple in the front and on the phones are beyond dumb. And then when I called to get the order fixed, they put me on hold and then act unbelieveably rude to me!!! NEVER AGAIN!
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