Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anemic grilled cheese? Spare me...

On Saturday, we made good on our Christmas gift to our friends MaryLynne and her 12-year-old son, Ian. “Mom” was sent off to Etant, our favorite spa in Boston’s South End to get a 90 minute massage (finally making use of the gift card we gave her a few year’s back). Note: If anyone is inclined to give me the gift of a massage, I promise I will be on the phone making an appointment before I’ve finished saying “thank you”.

While MaryLynne was doing all that relaxing, we took Ian to Jillian’s, a bowling alley / billiard hall / nightclub that stands in the shadow of Fenway Park. We decided to get a bite first, and the lady at the front desk told us that there was no table service yet (it was just after 1:00 pm), but we could sit up at the bar. So we dropped off our coats, and we just climbing up on our bar stools when the bartendress, an overly-tanned brunette wearing too much make-up and a big fake flower in her hair, sneered at me. “How old is he?”, she said, nodding toward Ian. When I said he was 12, she told us in no uncertain terms that we couldn’t sit at the bar. “But that’s where the lady over there told me to sit,” I said. “He can’t sit at the bar,” she said again. “Tell me what you want, and I’ll bring it over to a table.”

Ian ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, and although he said it was “fine”, my concept of a grilled cheese would include actually grilling the bread so it takes on a golden hue with a crusty exterior (sort of like the bartendress). There should be a crunch and the cheese should be melty and oozey. In an ideal world, there’d be a piping hot bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup that I could dip the edges of my sandwich in.

But at Jillian’s, Ian got a pale, sad imitation of a grilled cheese sandwich (with edges of unmelted cheese peeking out from between the anemic slides of white bread). It was not “grilled to perfection” (as my friend Julie likes to say). It’s a fuzzy picture, but is that the saddest grilled cheese you've ever seen?

But enough about the lackluster lunch. It was time to bowl! So we slipped into our rental shoes, grabbed some bowling balls, and headed for lane #1. It had been awhile since any of us had hit the alleys, so it took a few frames to get our groove on. Ian did great – one strike in each of the two games we played. I started out strong, but lost my mojo pretty quickly (some excuse about the ball being too heavy and my shoes being too slippery blah, blah, blah). Peter won both games, improving with each ball he threw.

Anyone of my blogging friends up for some bowling? I’d be happy to bring you over to Jillian’s for a few games and perhaps some cocktails, but we’ll pass on the grilled cheese.


  1. I never went to a Jillians for 'the food'. Bad bar food at best. And actually the rates for playing a game of pool always seemed unreasonable to me. I stuck to darts (ours never had bowling).

    But here in CLE, both our Jillians failed. One too 15 years to do so, but the always always always empty place was probably due to high prices.

  2. I hope you noted on Yelp that the bartendress had a golden hue with a crusty exterior... future patrons should beware. Other than that it sounds fun - sign me up for the next bowling outing. Great photos of you guys with Ian!



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