A brief review of Trolley’s

After receiving an email last week about Beauty and the Beast playing at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts this weekend, I threw together a plan for a romantic evening with April. She loves Maria’s downtown, so I figured we’d go there for dinner, then go to the musical, and the whole thing would be a surprise.

More surprising was what we found downtown, though. Every restaurant was almost empty… except Maria’s, which had a line out the door! We couldn’t wait as long as it would take to secure a table, so instead we went wandering and ended up at Trolley’s. I hadn’t eaten there before and hadn’t heard much about it, despite it opening half a dozen years or so ago, so we gave it a try.

To be brief:

Pros

  • The hostess was very kind and anxious to get us a good seat. We had to wait a few minutes with no reservation (amusingly, there were three small groups of people all dawdling over glasses of ice water when we arrived), but I appreciated her attentiveness.
  • The food came out hot and relatively quickly, which was nice since we were a bit short on time.
  • The sides (mashed potatoes and green beans for me, and sweet potato fries and green beans for April) were excellent.

Cons

  • April and I both ordered the sirloin steak–she asked for medium well, and I asked for medium rare. The steak was burned on the outside, April’s was medium rare, and mine was medium well. My guess is that their grill was too hot, which caused uneven cooking and the external burning.
  • The steaks were particularly bad cuts of beef, not tender and laden with fat and gristle. April couldn’t eat about 1/4 of hers, which considering it was only an 8 oz. steak is pretty terrible.
  • My beer wasn’t cold.
  • The waitress kept trying to push more alcohol on us, and seemed a bit mocking (laughing at us) when we didn’t want to order more.
  • The price was ridiculous, considering how bad the main course was and how small the portions were. We ended up spending $50 on a meal that was of poorer quality and lesser quantity than a $30 meal at a better steakhouse. We could have spent less at ReRico (two meals are $42 total there), which is far superior.

For my part, I won’t be returning to Trolley’s. Overall, it was pretty terrible, and I’d recommend you steer away from it if you’re in downtown Springfield. Next time we’ll either wait at Maria’s or just go to St. Michael’s. It may not be as classy, but at least the food is good and the prices are reasonable.

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