Sights for Sore Eyes

I didn’t want to cook tonight, I’ve felt like chiseled spam all day long and dammit, I just wanted someone else to take care of the dishes. I cajoled Tiffany into coming with me out to one of our semi-favorite restaurants: The Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon. We’ve been going since they opened a few years back (it used to be a MicroCenter!) and its good tastes and good prices became our weeknight out, and frequently our Sunday brunch, to boot.

Things started going downhill about a year ago, as our favorite manager Ryan Duncan was replaced by the fairly tepid Josh. Service times went up. Waits became an ever-present part of our meals. One of our favorite servers confided in us that Josh had reduced the waitstaff causing high turnover and slow service. Then they double-booked the Fillmore Room downstairs and kicked one of our friends’ Holiday parties to the curb, despite having paid the deposit, set the menu and notified their membership. That was the last straw. We stopped going.

We had heard that the new year had brought new management, so we started to go once in a while, a Sunday here, a Wednesday there. Tonight, as we walked in, there stood Ryan Duncan, smiling and welcoming us in the door. What a sight for sore eyes! We chatted while they bussed the booth, they’re opening a new location in Old Town this summer, and he’ll be at the Clarendon location three or four days a week.

Ryan’s reappearance showed. Our food was delivered quickly, our sodas and waters never empty, and the waitress was polite and happy to be there. I love the idea of being a regular at a restaurant, where everyone knows you, where you have a relationship with the people that feed you. Since it opened, that’s been the Boulevard for us. I remember one night, we arrived with about 10 minutes left before the kitchen closed, and we walked in, Ryan almost wasn’t going to seat us, it was too late. “But we just want the key lime pie!” And sure enough, there came four delectable slices of the best key lime pie in town for us and our friends.

I cannot tell you how glad I am to have Ryan back at the helm of the Boulevard, as going to Whitlow’s on a Sunday was just killing me inside. Welcome back Ryan, we’re so very very glad to have you.

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