Ordering dessert can go either way. One night the apple pie was served hot, its crust flaky and filling tasty. We didn’t leave a bit in the bowl. Another time it came splayed out on a plate and drizzled with sweet caramel sauce — too much of too many good things. We tried a few bites and gave up.
On nights when upstairs is too busy or too loud, you may be tempted to slip down to an empty table or even a seat at the bar on the lower level. Please consider yourself warned. You do not want to go into the basement of the Granary Tavern. Yes, the beams in the ceiling, some of them 12 and even 16 inches thick, hint at the neighborhood’s long history and strong backbone.
But the cooking happens downstairs and cooking is a messy business, and you don’t need to look into the kitchen window at the floor nobody has bothered to clean even though it is 7 p.m. on an admittedly busy Tuesday. If you must go down, take the back stairs, as the front ones have a clear view of that kitchen floor.
It’s like watching a bad cooking show. Except for the salt.
Devra First is on leave. Restaurants in Dining Out are reviewed by a rotating team of Globe staffers.
Anne V. Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.