Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Chili When It Snows

Cheers Bar and Grille
17 Depot Street
Concord, NH

Food: American
Hours: 11:30 AM-1 AM
Alcohol: full bar

One nice thing about local restaurants is that they don’t have stupid corporate offices to shut them down for insurance reasons when the weather gets bad.

They’re not as bad as the government, who had given my roommate the whole day off to watch movies, but they’re almost there.

My roommate’s movie-watching got distracting, so I ran off to the local Panera to get a little work done before day’s end.

When I got there, just after four, there was a sign on the door saying they were closing at five.

At around 4:20, I was told they were closing immediately on orders from corporate, and that I had to leave.

So after running a few quick errands, I had to figure out a place to go and get a little work done.

After a moment’s deliberation, I settled on Cheers, which isn’t nearly enough of a dive to be like the place on the TV show.

They’re local, so no corporate weasel is going to shut them down, the food’s pretty good, and they’ve got free wifi.

There’s a dining room upstairs and a tavern downstairs.

Unless you’re on a date, the tavern’s much better -- more laid-back and you don’t have to wait to be seated.

With the light business from the weather, they were only opening the downstairs for the evening, but even then, it wasn't very busy.

You can either go hang out in the bar with the happy hour crowd, or sit in one of the booths, and it’s not a bad place to either conspire with friends, or read or do work.

There’s a bunch of stuff on the menu, ranging from sandwiches to steaks to burritos to salads.

Since I was trying to keep the New Year’s resolution, I decided to order the teriyaki beef strip appetizer and a bowl of chili.

Since the last time I’d gone there, they’d shrunk the size of the order from six to four while increasing the amount of yellow rice and raising the price slightly.

Now, the yellow rice isn’t bad stuff, but it’s not the reason you order beef skewers.

As for the chili, it was basically meat with a little sauce and a few beans thrown in almost as an afterthought.

They serve it with a ton of tortilla chips, and it's almost like they view the chili as a dip.

Really, it was an opposite extreme from some Progresso "chili" I had with dinner the next day, which was basically a thin soup with a bunch of beans and a couple small chunks of meat in it.

But at the end of the day, I'd rather err on the side of too thick than too thin.

And on a cold day, the chili hit the spot.

All in all, it was a fairly satisfying meal, if a little expensive, and by the time I was done, the snow finally stopped, which was nice 'cause it meant no ice to scrape off my windshield.

Rating: Would Wear a Free Shirt

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