Balancing Acts

Not Everyone Is Happy With Strip T’s Adventurousness

Before David Chang protege Tim Maslow came home to Watertown to run his dad’s kitchen at Strip T’s, the elder Maslow served straightforward comfort food to a roster of regulars. Apparently these regulars aren’t delighted with the Changization of Strip T’s menu, even if it is delighting the culinary cognoscenti. Today Paul Maslow, who’s owned the restaurant since 1986, took to Facebook to reach the dismayed regulars who prefer tuna melts over grilled romaine salad with braised oxtail.

“As most of you know by now we have changed to an exciting new lunch menu. I am sorry that some of you ( loyal regulars ) are not happy with the change. Over the past several years our lunch bisiness has slipped quite a bit, I’m not sure if I even would have stayed open to tell you the truth so please understand that we had to make a change. We also are blessed with one of Boston’s top new chefs who is going to blow your mind with some great new salads and sandwiches, he is my son and I am behind him 100%. I am still at the restaurant everyday so if you need to vent please come by and see me or call me on the phone, I will make myself available.” Paul Maslow, owner since 1986

Maslow is a strong force in the Watertown community, and a strong presence at his restaurant, and we’re sure he’ll stay true to his word. It’s a problem, though: How does a “regulars” restaurant innovate without alienating loyal customers? In all the media coverage of Strip T’s, and there’s been a lot of fawning, not much attention has been paid to the feelings of regulars who might not want an experimental menu. In the past, this issue was solved by keeping things simple at lunch, with the younger Maslow experimenting at dinnertime. No more.

What do you think? Should Strip T’s push the envelope or cater to its faithful clientele? Can it do both? [Facebook]

Not Everyone Is Happy With Strip T’s Adventurousness