Recommended: Yes – but only for light meals
So I have passed the Gryphon Tea Room a thousand times, and as a Harry Potter fan, I can’t help but think how close the name is to Gryffindor. Frankly, the beautiful historic interior doesn’t disappoint my wizardly expectations. Housed in an old pharmacy, complete with stain glass windows, sky-high ceilings and a tiled floor, there is a grandeur here befitting the dining room at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the seating is limited indoors, so I dined outdoors at one of the cafe tables lining the surrounding sidewalk.
The menu threw me off a bit at first because it is extremely limited. If you have any dietary restrictions, you would do well to check the menu before settling on this location. I don’t eat meat (I do eat fish,) so my options were further limited. The quiche of the day was fortunately vegetarian, as well as the soups, but neither really tickled my fancy. Another oddity about the menu was the salad selection. The salads that were vegetarian seemed to have, for lack of a better word, odd combinations of vegetables. I’m not a very picky person, but the few things I don’t like happened to show up all over this menu.
Another unfortunate menu mishap: it says they offer fresh squeezed lemonade, but all they had in stock was bottled lemonade. I’m not sure why since lemons don’t exactly go out of season, but it was disappointing.
I chose a sandwich made up of cucumber, fennel and pimento cheese on crustless wheat bread, accompanied by a side salad with homemade bleu cheese dressing. The portion was somewhat small for $9, but I suppose the salad somewhat made up for it. The sandwich was surprisingly delicious. I was skeptical about how the ingredients would taste together, but it was definitely tasty, albeit messy. The salad was disappointing, however, consisting only of a few kinds of greens lightly tossed in a slightly sweet and tangy bleu cheese. It tasted as though it hadn’t been allowed to age properly before being turned into dressing. Although I was comfortably full (read: not stuffed) by the end, I knew I would need to eat something before dinner since the meal wasn’t particularly filling.
My boyfriend tried the trio of scones, which consisted of sandwich-style scones, each filled with something a little different. One had turkey, another had ham and some sort of apple compote perhaps, and the last was filled with a shrimp creation. He told me they were quite good; it seemed as though the turkey was his least favorite. Just like mine, the presentation was lovely, but it left something to be desired in terms of quantity.
Note: He did however tell me he was stuffed afterwards.
Note to that note: He has a small stomach.
Overall, I’ll likely stop here again for a quick bite to eat. Unless they have a quiche or soup that really tickles my fancy, I’ll probably just stick to my cucumber sandwich. This is a pleasant place to stop as long as you don’t have a big appetite.
Overall Rating: 6/10