"Biker Friendly" Review...
The Barn Pub & Grille
Boston Biker took a short road trip to The Barn Pub & Grille in Amesbury, Massachusetts to check out a restaurant that was submitted by one of our readers as being "Biker Friendly". This is truely a hidden gem and well worth visiting. The building is set back from the street and it is easy to ride past it but trust me, it is well worth the ride. (Hint: it is off Elm Street)
When we arrived, there were two motorcycles in the parking lot. While we were getting our camera gear together a pickup pulled in next to us with a few biker stickers on it. The driver was sporting a Harley t-shirt. Yup, this place is biker friendly! The paved parking lot was large, level, clean, and perfect for a group of bikes to safely park.
As you walk into the first floor, you will see a large bar in the center of the room and a very nice selection of tables and booths around the perimeter. The interior was clean and wasn't too dark or too bright. I felt right at home. I took a seat at the bar and was promptly greeted by the bartender, Barry, after he gave me a chance to get settled. In hindsight, he waited just the right amount of time rather than pounce on me. I asked what beers he had on tap and he went through a really nice variety of local brews as well as the usual national brands. I decided on a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Barry asked if I would like a menu. I told him that I would like one, he gave me one and told me about the lunch specials.
Looking over the specials board and menu, you will see that it is centered around traditional pub fair but the 4 pages go beyond just burgers and buffalo chicken. I decided on a cup of chili and the chicken parm dinner.
Looking around, I could see that pretty much every seat had a view of one of the large flat screen television sets, and that tucked in the corner was a Lottery sales area. Barry was steadily working around the room in a very friendly manner ensuring that everyone was getting enough attention without being overbearing. You can tell that he has been doing this for quite a while and that he is enjoying himself.
My cup of chili was topped with melted cheese and was served with a packet of oyster crackers. The size was a perfect size for a starter, if this is all that you are planning to eat you might want to get the bowl of chili. The chili had the right proportion of meat and beans, an ideal consistency (not too thick, not soupy), had a medium heat, and served piping hot. It was perfect!!
The Chicken Parm was brought out just as I was finishing up my chili. Perfect timing! The cook knew how to time the delivery of the meal. I knew from the beginning that the portion was more than I could eat but it would have been perfect for someone with a large appetite. The presentation on the plate was very well done. The large piece of chicken sat on a bed of penne and the two pieces of perfectly toasted garlic bread got my mouth watering. The chicken was tender, moist, and the egg batter was VERY flavorful. If I had to find anything wrong, I would say that there was just a tad too much cheese but that is really being nit picky. The penne was cooked to perfection and had the right degree of firmness and was served with just the right amound of a flavorful sauce. The garlic bread was fantastic!!
While eating, I was paying attention to those around me. It seemed that there was a mix of locals and first time visitors. Barry greeted everyone with a smile that made everyone comfortable right from the beginning. One couple at one of the tables behind me was asking him about an exotic drink. He told them that he would be happy to make anything they wanted. I heard a few guys down the bar discussing the menu. One seemed to be a regular and the other was there for the first time. The regular mentioned that the steak tips were awesome and that the Ruben was a definate top choice also.
Lastly, a trip to check out the bathroom... It was very clean and had plenty of supplies (extra toilet paper and a few cans of air freshner) arranged on a shelf in case they were needed. The sink was clean, the paper towel dispenser was recently filled, and the trash barrel was nearly empty! Who could ask for more?
As I was cashing out, Barry commented on my Boston Biker shirt asking if it was a riding group. I told him that it is a motorcycle information website and that one of our readers sent in a listing that The Barn was biker friendly. He said that they were very biker friendly and wished me a safe ride.
Overall, I highly recommend The Barn Pub & Grille for a stop when out for a ride.
Pub & Grille
5 Ring Street
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