Winter Haven: Boston Market

Boston Market exterior, Winter Haven, FloridaMy wife and I enjoyed a free lunch at Boston Market recently, thanks to a holiday gift card from my parents.  I’ve been to Boston Market a few times over the years; I enjoyed it but am not a regular there because I tend toward locally owned restaurants.  Still, we were happy to go, and enjoyed ourselves.  (If you wonder, as I did, where the name comes from, the first restaurant was opened in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1985.  It was called Boston Chicken at the time.)

Boston Market interior, Winter Haven, FloridaBoston Market has some aspects of fast food – there is a drive through (at least there is at our location) and you order your food from a counter and take it to your table.  But the food is considerably more substantial than fast food at more of a sit-down price point.  The young man who took our food order seemed a little new, not completely comfortable with the ordering process, but he was friendly and patient, so give them high marks for service.  A couple of times during our meal a woman who we took to be the manager walked by to see how we were doing.

Market bowl with chicken, steamed vegetables and potatoesMy wife ordered a “Market Bowl” with steamed vegetables with garlic red potatoes and rotisserie chicken topped with gravy.  I ordered a meatloaf carver sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.  We both had fountain beverages, brewed iced tea and lemonade.  We each picked up a slice of carrot cake for dessert; I’m a carrot cake snob because my mom used to make extraordinary carrot cake, but this looked appealing, with cream cheese frosting, so we took it to bring home for later.  While our meal was free for us due to the gift card, the price came to almost $23.

Meatloaf carver sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravyWe were both very happy with our food choices.  My wife’s market bowl had a good mix of broccoli, carrots, and zucchini, along with the potatoes and chicken.  She described it as “a little bland” but also liked it enough that she would order it again.  I’m a sucker for meatloaf, putting on a sandwich only adds to the appeal, and while it would be unfair to compare this to my wife’s home-cooked meatloaf, it was still delicious.  (We enjoyed the cake later at home that night – it tasted as good as it looked.)

Carrot cake with cream cheese frostingThe restaurant was quiet while we were there; even though it’s not the kind of place one would normally spend lengths of time like a coffee shop, we enjoyed a long conversation well after our meal was finished and never felt rushed.  I’ve never really been excited about Boston Market in the past, but the more I think about our experience there, I am looking forward to going back.

If we’ve inspired you to try Boston Market, or you’ve been there yourself and want to share your experience, please comment below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we’d love to hear them via our Contact Us page. Thanks for visiting and happy eating!

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