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Boston: in general

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  • Post #61 - December 6th, 2011, 10:44 am
    Post #61 - December 6th, 2011, 10:44 am Post #61 - December 6th, 2011, 10:44 am
    Shaggywillis wrote:Going to Boston next week for the first time and have been researching food all day.

    This is the plan:

    Monday - Daily Catch in the NE followed by some Modern Pastry if still opened
    Tue - Erbaluce
    Wed - Muqueca

    As well, if I can swing Mike & Patty's for breakfast on Wednesday, as that breakfast torta looks really good to me.

    Anyone have any updates on Boston recently? Anything to definitely stay away from as that is more fun sometimes then what should I eat.


    Shaggy,

    I usually advise visitors to stay away from the North End, but looks like you may have already gone there last night. :wink:

    You've picked two of my very favourite places, The Erb and Moqueca.

    Some comments with respect to dining at Erbaluce which may or may not be relevant or useful to you:

    - Chef Draghi is nutso about not using animal fats as mentioned above. I kind of agree with him that excessive misuse of butter in restaurants can mask and muddy the otherwise natural flavour of foods. You'll taste sometimes bitter, floral, pungent, or other notes that you may or may not like or which may or may not be in a familiar context for you.
    - The pastas are fine, quite good even, but happen to be what I order least. Many others agree that it's not worth stuffing yourself full of pasta here.
    - There is a bar menu that often has several interesting dishes not available on the regular menu. I exclusively sit at the bar for this very reason - that bar menu will satisfy me alone just about everytime.
    - Take advantage of the wine list, which is specactular, and Joan (FOH) along with CHef can guide you to some very interesting pairings sure to elevate the meal.
    - I think he's got a stash of some mighty fine white alba truffles right now.
    - I hope you enjoy your meal.
  • Post #62 - December 6th, 2011, 11:34 am
    Post #62 - December 6th, 2011, 11:34 am Post #62 - December 6th, 2011, 11:34 am
    Oh, in the same vein of interesting & delicious places worth driving well out of your way for (as I would do for, say, Zaragoza), you really ought to consider a Sri Lankan restaurant (curiously) called Biryani Park in nearby Malden. This is the only Sri Lankan restaurant in the state, and I would imagine one of only maybe a dozen or so in the entire country (the most being in Tompkinsville on Staten Island).

    The owner is a Tamil Sri Lankan, but has hired an incredible chef from Chennai (IIRC) who not only has a deft hand at his own South Indian classics, but has also mastered Sri Lankan cuisine from a cadre of old Sri Lankan 'aunties' around town who are family or friends with the owner.

    There is just so much more to tell about Biryani Park that I think it will be the subject of another post unto itself. In the meantime, here are just a handful of visuals.

    Lankan lagniappe - fish cutlet
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    egg hopper & coconut cream hopper
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    string hopper kottu w/ lamb
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    coconut sambol
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    devilled grill w/ fish
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    goat biryani
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    truly world class biryani

    string hoppers with cocnut hodi
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    hodi
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    lamprais (deconstructed takeout order - order this at the restaurant and it is something to behold)
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    Sri Lankan dosa
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    SNS Market Biryani Park
    105 Broadway(Rt99),
    Malden, MA 02148
    Tel:781-397-1307
    Business Hours:
    Open 7 days a week (11:30 am – 10 :00 pm)
    Catering is also available
    NOTE: string hoppers and lamprais require 24-hrs advance notice
  • Post #63 - December 6th, 2011, 3:31 pm
    Post #63 - December 6th, 2011, 3:31 pm Post #63 - December 6th, 2011, 3:31 pm
    HOL' UP WAIT A MINUTE!

    My tires literally came to a screeching halt upon reading your post and seeing the above pictures.

    The egg hopper looks downright dreamy, the goat biryani paradisaical, Sri Lankan dosa otherwordly.

    I've been wanting to take a weekend trip to Bean town for a while now. When I finally go, this place is on top of my places to visit.

    In the meantime, I will satisfy my craving for a cuisine I've never had by paying a visit tonight to Banana Leaf, Manhattan's newest and only Sri Lankan restaurant.

    Thanks for the inspiration and wonderful post Tatter.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #64 - December 6th, 2011, 6:01 pm
    Post #64 - December 6th, 2011, 6:01 pm Post #64 - December 6th, 2011, 6:01 pm
    C'mon up sometime, Habibi. First stop, Sri Lanka. A solid bowl of nalli nihari after that, inshallah. Get in touch anytime.
  • Post #65 - June 9th, 2012, 10:10 am
    Post #65 - June 9th, 2012, 10:10 am Post #65 - June 9th, 2012, 10:10 am
    Some Boston notes from a couple of different visits.

    On a previous visit, we went to Erba Luce. It was quite good, but I did not feel any great desire to go back. No dish stood out. Good cocktails, and interesting food, but I did not quite feel like my palate and the chefs were on the same wavelength that night. Not that dissimilar to Gypsy Boy's experience. Sorry I cannot provide more details.

    Also went to Drink on that visit, and it was great - both the cocktails, the convivial, punky bartender and the snacks. Can't wait to return.

    Last night we went to Harvest, and that was excellent. Big group so we started with the seafood sampler, which was nothing special - bunch of oysters, crab legs, a little ceviche, some shrimp and crab legs. It was all good, the oysters were much better than good. Next time, I would just do oysters.

    Most of us had the Seared Scituate scallops on a bed of "salad" - rhubarb, celery, candied ginger, and a swoosh of pea puree. Delicious. The salad could be a bit much for some scallops, but these meaty monsters, perfectly, saltily, seared and just barely cooked inside were up to the test. The Bride had tenderloin with wood ear mushrooms, farro risotto and bone marrow bearnaise. Also delicious. Shared both types of fries (aioli and truffle oil) and grilled asparagus for the table. Finished with two desserts - a deconstructed root beer float - root beer cake, ice cream, root beer foam. Fun and tasty, though it all had a bit much of the sasparilla to it. And a strawberry mousse - more a log, rolled in peanuts.

    Wine list is great - started with a white Cotes de Rhone, and then a Valpolicella Ripasso. Was looking for a lighter red which is why I was looking at the Valpolicella. Would not have gone with a Ripasso, but the sommelier said this was light enough to straddle the seafood and beef, and he was correct.

    Finally made it to Kelly's Roast Beef, too. The lobster roll is gigantic - almost all lobster - expensive ($18!) and delicious. Combined with a coffee frappe and I was all Boston. The Bride went with clam chowder and a salad, and declared herself very happy.

    Off to see the wrong Sox tomorrow. Not sure what the daughter has planned for today, but it should be fun.

    Harvest
    44 Brattle Street
    Cambridge, MA
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #66 - June 9th, 2012, 3:02 pm
    Post #66 - June 9th, 2012, 3:02 pm Post #66 - June 9th, 2012, 3:02 pm
    Ditto on the thanks, tatterdemalion. Looks like we need to figure out a plausible reason to return posthaste. Last had Sri Lankan in Minneapolis in a place written up somewhere else here (or maybe Chowhound, it was that long ago). Looks great!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #67 - June 27th, 2012, 11:17 pm
    Post #67 - June 27th, 2012, 11:17 pm Post #67 - June 27th, 2012, 11:17 pm
    Taking my daughter to Northeastern orientation Monday/Tuesday, NO idea what agenda for parents will be.

    If you had ONE meal to eat in Boston (prefer right in town instead of driving), what and where would you choose?
  • Post #68 - July 30th, 2012, 10:05 am
    Post #68 - July 30th, 2012, 10:05 am Post #68 - July 30th, 2012, 10:05 am
    I had an excellent dinner at Craigie on Main in Cambridge last week. My friend and I split a roasted bone marrow appetizer, a trio of pates with pickles, and a half of a roasted pig head. The appetizers were excellent renditions of familiar dishes. The pig head was cut lengthwise, so we had a whole side of the head (the pig's left side, if I recall). The skin was perfectly crispy and the meat underneath of succulent and flavorful. Cocktails were unique and very good, too.

    I tried to go to Neptune Oyster the next night, but they were totally full for the evening. I wasn't in the mood for a heavy Italian meal and, in any event, nearly every restaurant in the North End that seemed to have good press was booked up. So I headed back to Cambridge to East Coast Grill, a standby choice of mine. Oysters were very good, shrimp was flavorless, and the single spare rib appetizer was done well.
  • Post #69 - September 5th, 2012, 2:36 pm
    Post #69 - September 5th, 2012, 2:36 pm Post #69 - September 5th, 2012, 2:36 pm
    Was in Boston briefly last weekend and made it out to Allston for some Taiwanese food at JoJo Taipei.

    The meal was spectacular across the board. We started off with the oyster pancake and scallion pancakes. The scallion pancake was light and crispy. The oyster pancake was full of juicy oysters and had a custardy texture that was pretty different than other versions I've had, but very successful.

    From there we had the leek flowers with bean curd and the three cup chicken. The leek flowers were crunchy fresh and were an interesting contrast to the firm bean curd. The three cup chicken was the best rendition of that dish I've had. The chicken was moist (and boney) and the sauce was a perfect balance of soy sauce and rice wine with a pleasant basil accent.

    We rounded out the meal with a stinky tofu stew and the iconic Taiwanese beef soup, niu rou mian. The waitress warned us when we ordered the stinky tofu (I think they called it smelly tofu on the menu), but we insisted. Glad we did. It was served as a hot pot with huge chunks of stinky tofu and tender braised beef offal. The stew was pretty spicy too and served with slimy, flat, translucent noodles. I was tasting the stinky tofu for the rest of the day, and it was awesome, though the warning from the waitress was well deserved, this stuff is potent. The niu rou mian was spot on as well. The broth had a well-rounded anise character and lots of thick, beefy flavor. The stew was full to the top with large, well-braised hunks of beef.

    Everything about the meal has me looking forward to a return trip.

    http://www.jojotaipeiboston.com/
  • Post #70 - June 28th, 2013, 12:56 pm
    Post #70 - June 28th, 2013, 12:56 pm Post #70 - June 28th, 2013, 12:56 pm
    My wife's theatre group had a full run in Boston last month and I was able to spend a week. Here comes the photodump...

    For the first two nights I was there, I let my wife do the picking, which had us dining at Grafton Street both nights. The oysters were neither cleaned nor shucked very well. Fortunately for Grafton, they have a very nice bar and make a good cocktail. After two days, however, I was done letting my wife lead.

    My first pleasant meal was a lunch by myself at
    Oishii Boston
    1166 Washington Street
    Boston, MA 02118

    Oishii offered a great Kaiseki lunch deal for 30 bucks which I gladly accepted.

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    Ginger Manhattan
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    Green Salad sesame dressing
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    Kaiseki Lunch
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    Maguro & Hamachi
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    Fresh Lobster Wild Mushroom Risotto
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    Seared Wild King Salmon Sweet Soy
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    $30 for that feast, $10 for the cocktail, and their tax rate being ridiculously low made the meal's total something like $42.00. Money well spent.

    My wife had the following day off so we made our way to North End for some cannoli and oysters.

    Luckily, our wait was only about 15-20 minutes for
    Neptune Oyster
    63 Salem Street
    Boston, MA 02113

    We ordered a dozen oysters to split between us
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    But what we were really looking forward to were their warm lobster rolls with butter in place of mayonnaise
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    and this sandwich did not disappoint. The bread they use is quite firm and was able to hold despite the beautifully warm butter dripping down the lobster, which was luscious. I had never had a warm lobster roll before, and I'll be seeing this one in my dreams.

    Oddly enough, I did come back to Neptune a few days later with my buddy (where we had to wait 2 hours after arriving only 10 minutes after they opened), and I tried their normal lobster roll. though the lobster was still delicious, their roll really catered better to the melted butter than it did the mayo. My roll was a lot more difficult to eat.

    Many thanks to Gypsy Boy for the cannoli idea
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    Top left Mike's top right Maria's
    Bottom Modern

    Mike's Pastry: by far our least favorite. The shell was huge, soggy on the bottom, and felt more like a dinner than a pastry.
    Maria's Pastry: best ricotta, very good shell.
    Modern Pastry: best shell, very good ricotta.
    Maria's was our winner in the Great Cannoli War. I do have to say, though, we ordered 8 cannolis from Maria to be sent to Lexington KY the next day. The cannolis were received 3 days later and were not packed with any sort of ice pack. 80 bucks down the drain, which really pissed us off.

    The next day my buddy came into town from New York, so we stayed in the area of Dana's theatre located in Cambridge and ate at

    Russell House Tavern
    14 John F. Kennedy Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138

    Primarily we were there for some good cocktails, but we did order a few bites which included 2 dozen
    Oysters (on a crappy cell phone pic)
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    Sadly, once you try Neptune, there's no going back. Oysters were just a tad dirty (though still a step up from Grafton)

    But what Russell House did exceptionally well were their meat dishes

    Roasted Marrow Bone Pickled Red Onion, House Marmalade, Brioche Toast
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    Smoked Pig's Tail Pierogi Parsnip Puree & Apple Cider Reduction
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    Crispy Soft Poached Farm Egg Pecorino Aioli, Toasted Brioche, Pancetta
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    There aren't many great options in Harvard Square, but Russell House is the neighborhood's saving grace.

    For dinner later that night, we hauled ass to
    Muqueca Restaurant
    1008 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge, MA 02141

    Pretty standard Brazilian fare was ordered which included

    Fried Plaintains
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    Fried Yucca
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    Feijoada Completa
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    Moqueca Completa Fish, shrimp & mussels
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    Dana only had one afternoon show on Sunday which meant we could get a little fancy for dinner. The highlight of my week of dining was

    Craigie On Main
    853 Main Street
    Cambridge, MA 02139

    Menu
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    Restaurant
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    The Amuse Bouche was actually a trio of fish
    house cured sea trout, horseradish cream
    pickled mackerel, ramp aioli
    smoked sablefish rillettes, hackleback roe, bagel chip
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    Sashimi of Kona Kampachi Spring pea coulis, ramp kimchi, pickled mustard seeds
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    Tilefish a la Plancha crispy ginger salad, tamarind and sea urchin jus
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    We did not get pairings but this saison was sent out to pair with our next course
    De Ranke Saison De Dottignies
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    Red Chile and Sesame-Marinated King Salmon Kama daikon and Asian pear salad
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    I can't tell you if the saison made any difference, but I can tell you that this course was an absolute knock out.

    Ordered a bottle of very nice wine
    Arbois Trousseau 'Les Berangeres' Jacques Puffeney
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    House-Made Rye Flour Fusilli Pasta boudin noir, forest mushrooms
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    Grilled Venison and Guanciale Crepinette farro verde, black garlic, piment d'Espelette vinaigrette
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    Vermone Pork Two Ways: Spice-Crusted Rib and Slow Roasted Neck French white asparagus, pea greens, morel mushrooms, dried cherry compote
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    The only savory course that didn't knock my socks completely off. slow roasted neck had a bit too much chew. A very minor quibble.

    My dining companions did not care much for Craigie's intermezzo-like course
    Asparagus and Anise Ice Cream
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    The asparagus I did not mind, but the anise overpowed a little too much and I couldn't get the taste of licorice out of my mouth. Still, kudos for trying. Speaking with out server, we were told Craigie did weird stuff like this all the time. Not all of it works (broccoli didn't go over too well either), but they're having fun with it.

    Desserts all came out at the same time which consisted of
    Orange Blossom Beignets date-orange caramel, cardamom anglaise

    Dark Chocolate Marquis beet coulis, beet and white chocolate swirl ice cream, pumpernickel crumb
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    Buttermilk Pannacotta rhubarb compote, cashew-coriander granola
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    Desserts ultimately did not fare as well as the savory courses, but still pretty damn good. I think we all wished we could have a few more beignets.

    On Monday, my last day in Boston, we ate at another fine dining restaurant in Cambridge called
    Bondir
    279A Broadway
    Cambridge, MA 02139

    Bondir most closely resembled Vie in that, although they may not have the prettiest dishes, their rustic plates packed a flavor combination punch.

    Menu
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    Amuse
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    Really enjoyed the Saison from Craigie the night before, so we ordered a few here as well
    Jack D'Or Saison Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, Inc
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    Breads Cracked Grain, The Sea, Spelt Flour with Cracklings, Currant, and Hops
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    The sauces were very Indian inspired and had a faint taste of curry

    Spice Roasted Spring Beets watermelon radish, buttermilk vinaigrette, confit lemon, black mustard, Lovage Bavarian, wild rice, petit greens
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    Duck Liver Mousse French white asparagus, smoked walnut vinaigrette, pickled Munchen Bier radish, black garlic and chili emulsion, toasted seasame tuile
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    Spelt Flour Pappardelle Carbonara sunny side up pullet egg, long pepper, mangalitsa pancetta, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, spring radish, fresh cream ricotta
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    Dorset Custard Tartine chestnut flour shortcrust, butter confit shallot, seared teff polenta, nigella seed, vegetable mignardises, mustard snow
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    Nori Wrapped Salmon Saucisse smoke brined shellfish, morel mushrooms, english peas, pousse pied, fresh truffle and toothword vinaigrette, confit lemon-chili mousseline
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    Please notice the oyster in this dish thereby solidifying my promise to have (at least) one every day I was in Boston

    Rouen Duck Breast and Confit Leg confit gizzard-buckwheat waffle, bok choy, Maine yellow eyed baked beans, goat horn chili pepper jelly
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    Roasted Beef Bavette wild watercress, celeriac and black walnut puree, Job's Tears with spruce, red wine roasting jus
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    Beef was a bit tougher than it should have been

    Intermezzo
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    We all opted for the house made ice creams as our dessert courses. I chose
    Peanut Cajeta Gelato
    Preserved Concord Grape Frozen Yogurt
    Buttermilk Thyme Ice Cream

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    My wife and friend both had
    Spruce Sorbet
    Dark Chocolate Sorbet
    Peanut Cajeta Gelato

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    This is a dessert I can get behind. all ice creams were topped with a little something that really added to that flavor. I'm a simple man, and these were great.

    Was a bit chilly outside so I ordered a cup of their
    Hot Chocolate Ras al Hanout marshmallows
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    and some mignardises sent with the check
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    Bondir was a great restaurant that I hadn't heard anything about until my buddy's airbnb host recommended it. If you're going to make your way to Cambridge, I definitely recommend you check it out.
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  • Post #71 - June 30th, 2013, 12:13 am
    Post #71 - June 30th, 2013, 12:13 am Post #71 - June 30th, 2013, 12:13 am
    Great pics, incite! Also just coincidentally got back from Boston a few days ago.

    We just had a short Sunday through Wednesday trip this week for a work conference, which I combined with a quick belated wedding anniversary celebration. Arrived Sunday afternoon, left Wednesday afternoon. We had only three dinners free, and focused on the upscale/romantic, and the excellent craft cocktail bars of Boston, nothing not too far from Copley Square. (Breakfast and lunch were provided by the conference. Drinks were sorely needed by 5:30pm each day.) Had previously done Craigie on Main, Mike & Patty's, Modern Pastry, Neptune Oyster, B&G Oyster, and Butcher Shop, and wanted to do something new this time without having to wait hours in line.

    Island Creek Oyster Bar -- Island Creeks are literally my husband's favorite oysters of all time, so this was a must. The daiquiris were perfect for a hot, humid day. Perfectly shucked ICs. Wonderful scallop ceviche with cucumbers scallion, cilantro, and lime. Steamed Littleneck clams with bacon, rosemary & fennel broth, and scallion butter were also excellent. We split a nightly special of lobster bisque. It was a little too shrimp-y for me, but the chunks of lobster meat were wonderfully sweet and perfectly cooked. We also shared the excellent arugula, fig, pistachio, chèvre, and shallot Dijon vinaigrette salad. Scraped the plate clean. The roasted mushrooms were fine, a bit too watery and not really the nice umami, intense flavors I was looking for. Liked the garlic spinach a bit more. Overall, a really nice meal, and it feels like we barely scraped the surface of the menu. A gem of a place.

    Oleana -- Another gem of a place. It was forecast to rain, so we didn't try to sit outside. It was a bit less romantic inside but the food was delicious and a great value. Sweetheart of a server who really took great care of us. We ordered plates to share. We really adored the deviled eggs with fresh tuna, olives, tomato, and herbs. I definitely want to try to recreate these at home. And the buttered hummus, wrapped in air-dried, cured beef. And the amazing whipped feta with sweet and hot peppers, with a side of crudités. The grilled octopus carpaccio was also good, but not as thinly sliced as I thought it would be as a "carpaccio." Really great flavors, though. And finished with the Sultan's Delight, "Tamarind-Glazed Beef & Smokey Eggplant Purée with Pinenuts." Wow! So delicious! A nice meal and the total was $44 before tax, tip, no wine. I'm surprised that there are so few Oleana mentions on LTHForum overall given the value and deliciousness.

    O Ya -- We splurged on the $185pp 17 course omakase, and were blown away. The famous hamachi with banana pepper mousse was fatty and spicy and creamy. The foie gras with balsamic chocolate kabayaki and a sip of aged sake was as good as the accolades. Fatty warm eel contrasted well with Thai basil. Sweet, succulent spot prawns, topped with perfect, garlicky, buttery fish roe. Jewel-like oysters with watermelon and cucumbers that I could eat all night long. Yuzu cured Arctic char arrived in a steamer basket, filled with smoke, a delight with sesame brittle, cumin aioli, and cilantro. The Onsen egg! The mushroom sashimi! Really wonderful, uniquely delicious all around, and there wasn't a dud in the bunch. Bravo. A top ten meal for me, maybe even top five.

    Drink -- A favorite from a previous trip. Lots of Aperol being poured that night, as it was very hot and humid. I had a margarita variation with Aperol. My husband had a twist on a Negroni, with white vermouth and Aperol. Refreshing. Then a few more and my memory gets fuzzy, but a nice time, and good, well-balanced drinks overall.

    No. 9 Park -- We sat in the front lounge and looked out at the park. Lovely service, drinks were excellent, and generously poured. Only had time for a quick 20th century & Boulevardier.

    The Hawthorne -- Great spot literally next door to Eastern Standard Kitchen & Island Creek Oyster Bar (same people). Quiet early on a Sunday evening. Loved the deviled eggs and the duck pastrami from Formaggio Kitchen (!!) with a very spicy mustard. Tried a few here but our favorite was their rum old fashioned with three different rums.

    We were sorry we couldn't eat more, or get further away from Copley Square.

    Had meant to get to Brick & Mortar but felt a little discouraged after we found out Misty doesn't work there any more (now a rep for Del Maguey), but will try on a future trip.

    Strip T's in Watertown (Momofuku alum comes back to dad's resto and is in the kitchen now) is closed on Sundays, the only day we had a little more free time. Perhaps Ribelle (his 2nd place, just announced, more convenient) will be open on our next trip.

    Apparently Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe is opening in the area of Downtown Crossing soon as well (Shaanxi style food a la Xian Famous Foods in NYC).

    Also! If anybody is staying at the Nine Zero in the future, check out JM Curley's and the "secret" adults-only steakhouse inside, Bogie's Place (in honor of Humphrey Bogart). My husband was staying there last month, walked a few blocks to Bogie's, loved it.
  • Post #72 - June 30th, 2013, 8:33 pm
    Post #72 - June 30th, 2013, 8:33 pm Post #72 - June 30th, 2013, 8:33 pm
    kathryn wrote:O Ya -- We splurged on the $185pp 17 course omakase, and were blown away. The famous hamachi with banana pepper mousse was fatty and spicy and creamy. The foie gras with balsamic chocolate kabayaki and a sip of aged sake was as good as the accolades. Fatty warm eel contrasted well with Thai basil. Sweet, succulent spot prawns, topped with perfect, garlicky, buttery fish roe. Jewel-like oysters with watermelon and cucumbers that I could eat all night long. Yuzu cured Arctic char arrived in a steamer basket, filled with smoke, a delight with sesame brittle, cumin aioli, and cilantro. The Onsen egg! The mushroom sashimi! Really wonderful, uniquely delicious all around, and there wasn't a dud in the bunch. Bravo. A top ten meal for me, maybe even top five.

    Been some time, but I still remember my fantastic meal at O Ya . . . I posted my thoughts and some imperfect pictures in this thread.
  • Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:47 am
    Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:47 am Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:47 am
    Did a Boston food tour recently and had the fortune of being guided by Mr. Tatterdemalion (Nab). We tore it up pretty good but some of the trip’s highlights should be mentioned:

    Island Creek Oyster Bar - As accurately stated in the above post by kathryn, ICOB is a true gem having some of the most pristine oysters to be found anywhere. The shuckers here are insanely professional. Not a shard or wreckless spilling of liquor in any of the coupla dozen oysters we had. This is one of the finest places to enjoy oysters right now in the country and definitely the best place in Boston of the 4 or 5 places I’ve tried there. It doesn't get much better than sitting at their bar sipping a stirred Martin Millers Gin straight up with a twist along with some of these oysters. Spectacular!

    Kaju Tofu House - This experience came as a total shock to me. Being a soon dubu whore, I just had to get my usual weekly fix of the soup while in Boston. This was a complete bowl having lovely shellfish (clams, shrimp, oysters?), a rich seafood-based spiced broth, and abnormally good soft tofu. In fact, the tofu was so good that I just had to ask the manager/owner? if they make it themselves. She told me that Kaju’s original branch is located in California (not really shocking since, if I’m not mistaken, Kaju means California in Korean) and they procure it from there. This bowl of soon dubu ranks right up there with the great bowls to be gotten elsewhere such as what’s found at such places as Beverly Soon Tofu House or So Kong Dong (2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste 104) in Los Angeles.

    Biryani Park (Malden) - I don't have much detailed recollection of this meal except to say that it was a highlight of my trip while in Boston and is absolutely worth going out of your way for...especially if you are coming from Chicago. Their all-Sri Lankan condiment case is worth the trip alone.

    I was going to warn people off about Yum Wo Katare's BS monster bowl of gut-busting, pork laden Jiro-style ramen made with chashu and astronomic portions of bean sprouts, garlic, and thick house made bread flour noodles. This is a highly controversial cult-ish style of ramen originating from Tokyo by way of Ramen Jiro and is now the rage, predictably, with Cambridge students. However, I vowed to keep this an upbeat post.


    Island Creek Oyster Bar
    500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
    (617) 532-5300
    Mon - Sat 4:00pm - 1:00 am
    Sun 10:30am -1:00am

    Kaju Tofu House
    58 Harvard Ave, Boston
    (617) 208-8540
    Mon-Thur 10am-10pm
    Fri-Sun 10am-10:30pm

    Yum Wo Katare
    1923 Massachusetts Ave
    Cambridge, MA
    (617) 714-4008
  • Post #74 - July 7th, 2013, 6:30 pm
    Post #74 - July 7th, 2013, 6:30 pm Post #74 - July 7th, 2013, 6:30 pm
    Another Nab recommendation that hit the spot recently was Lala Rokh, a Persian restaurant on Beacon Hill. I had an elegant lunch in their extremely appealing dining room. The appetizer trio with homemade bread and their imported olive oil was the highlight:

    Image

    Hard to pick a favorite between the smoky mirza ghasemi with yogurt, the walnut pate, or the sour chilled spinach. The lamb entree was very fragrant with dried lime but a bit tough from a few heating cycles. The service was extremely pleasant and accommodating; I'd love to return at primetime.

    Lala Rokh
    97 Mt. Vernon Street
    Boston, MA 02108
    617.720.5511
    www.lalarokh.com
  • Post #75 - July 24th, 2013, 5:33 pm
    Post #75 - July 24th, 2013, 5:33 pm Post #75 - July 24th, 2013, 5:33 pm
    I had the pleasure of eating at Island Creek Oyster Bar the other night. Started with a selection of outstanding oysters, of course. The clam chowder was the best I've ever had. Clam chowder can easy come out bland. Island Creek's was full of clam flavor. Bacon gave it a nice smoke touch. I also tried the oyster slider and a gussied-up clam casino dish. These were very good too.
  • Post #76 - October 2nd, 2013, 12:43 pm
    Post #76 - October 2nd, 2013, 12:43 pm Post #76 - October 2nd, 2013, 12:43 pm
    For all intents and purposes, I'd never been to Boston before (8-hour business trips where I never see the outside of a conference room don't count). I was there for two nights last week while visiting friends.

    We had a fantastic dinner at Oishii, which my friends proclaim is their favorite sushi bar/Japanese restaurant. I'd categorize it as "trendy sushi" as opposed to traditional Japanese food, but that didn't diminish my love for what I ate. There was a delicious edamame mousse that was served as an amuse. The sashimi is top-notch--I can't remember what I had, maybe chu-toro, albacore and hamachi. Beautiful presentation and attention to detail. We had a couple of the specialty rolls, including a mango roll and the rock shrimp explosion. Desserts--the green tea layer cake (which reminded me of German baumkuchen, which was the craze when I was last in Tokyo)--were fantastic.

    Oishii Boston
    1166 Washington St
    Boston, MA 02118 - 4113
    Phone: (617) 482 8868
    Fax: (617) 482 8869
    Email: oishii@live.com

    For Sunday lunch we went to the SoWa Market food truck gathering, which made me sad because it exemplified what Chicago's food truck culture could be if only we had some loosened regulations. It's my understanding this only happens on Sundays May-October'ish. There had to have been two dozen different trucks. We got an assortment of things, and I loved my entree--the "Kale 'n It" crepe with grilled chicken, kale, tomatoes and a lemon aoili from Paris Creperie. The falafill from the Chubby Chickpea was some of the best I've had.

    SoWa Sunday
    460, 500 and 540 Harrison Ave
  • Post #77 - October 28th, 2013, 8:39 pm
    Post #77 - October 28th, 2013, 8:39 pm Post #77 - October 28th, 2013, 8:39 pm
    Heading to Boston soon for my nephew's wedding. On a side note, the church is beautiful:
    http://myndseyephoto.wordpress.com/2013 ... na-parish/
    tatterdemalion wrote: This is the only Sri Lankan restaurant in the state, and I would imagine one of only maybe a dozen or so in the entire country.
    SNS Market Biryani Park
    105 Broadway(Rt99),
    Malden, MA 02148
    Tel:781-397-1307
    Business Hours:
    Open 7 days a week (11:30 am – 10 :00 pm)
    Catering is also available
    NOTE: string hoppers and lamprais require 24-hrs advance notice

    I think this will be lunch on Sunday, thanks for the heads up on the advanced notice for hoppers & lamprais.

    We'll hit Kelly's for lunch on Saturday.

    Friday night will be Portuguese in Cambridge following by some candlepin bowling with other family members http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candlepin_bowling

    Should be a great weekend in the Boston area !
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #78 - July 21st, 2015, 10:43 am
    Post #78 - July 21st, 2015, 10:43 am Post #78 - July 21st, 2015, 10:43 am
    A couple-2-dozen oysters at Island Creek Oyster Bar . . .

    Image
    Island Creeks on the left, Moon Shoals on the left
    Absoultely no need for anything in the condiment caddy. These were plump, meaty, briney and delicious on their own.

    =R=

    Island Creek Oyster Bar
    500 Commonwealth Ave
    Boston, MA 02215
    (617) 532-5300
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #79 - July 21st, 2015, 12:30 pm
    Post #79 - July 21st, 2015, 12:30 pm Post #79 - July 21st, 2015, 12:30 pm
    kathryn wrote:Oleana -- Another gem of a place. It was forecast to rain, so we didn't try to sit outside. It was a bit less romantic inside but the food was delicious and a great value. Sweetheart of a server who really took great care of us. We ordered plates to share. We really adored the deviled eggs with fresh tuna, olives, tomato, and herbs. I definitely want to try to recreate these at home. And the buttered hummus, wrapped in air-dried, cured beef. And the amazing whipped feta with sweet and hot peppers, with a side of crudités. The grilled octopus carpaccio was also good, but not as thinly sliced as I thought it would be as a "carpaccio." Really great flavors, though. And finished with the Sultan's Delight, "Tamarind-Glazed Beef & Smokey Eggplant Purée with Pinenuts." Wow! So delicious! A nice meal and the total was $44 before tax, tip, no wine. I'm surprised that there are so few Oleana mentions on LTHForum overall given the value and deliciousness.


    One reason there are no other mentions is because people like me forget to write about it! I had a fabulous meal at Oleana last year. A year later, I don't remember specific dishes that I had. But the meal was outstanding and I very much look forward to going back. Cocktails were excellent also, especially the one called Isla.

    The chef/owner of Oleana, Ana Sortun, also has a cookbook called "Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean".

    Oleana
    134 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139
    617-661-0505
    Sunday – Thursday 5:30 – 10:00 PM
    Friday – Saturday 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Post #80 - August 4th, 2015, 2:08 pm
    Post #80 - August 4th, 2015, 2:08 pm Post #80 - August 4th, 2015, 2:08 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:A couple-2-dozen oysters at Island Creek Oyster Bar . . .

    Image
    Island Creeks on the left, Moon Shoals on the left
    Absoultely no need for anything in the condiment caddy. These were plump, meaty, briney and delicious on their own.

    =R=

    Island Creek Oyster Bar
    500 Commonwealth Ave
    Boston, MA 02215
    (617) 532-5300


    Ronnie, what was your overall impression? My son is in school at BU and I have never been into Island Creek. If in town we usually go to the north end and have driven up to Essex or Gloucester and had lunch or dinner at the lobster shacks. I'm always looking for new places to try and while I have a brother that lives in the area, his idea of good food is "the 99" which makes TGIFridays seem gourmet.
  • Post #81 - August 4th, 2015, 2:24 pm
    Post #81 - August 4th, 2015, 2:24 pm Post #81 - August 4th, 2015, 2:24 pm
    thetrob wrote:Ronnie, what was your overall impression? My son is in school at BU and I have never been into Island Creek. If in town we usually go to the north end and have driven up to Essex or Gloucester and had lunch or dinner at the lobster shacks. I'm always looking for new places to try and while I have a brother that lives in the area, his idea of good food is "the 99" which makes TGIFridays seem gourmet.

    I was in Boston for 6 days and went to ICOB on 5 of them. It was essentially a daily destination. That's how much I loved it. We sat at the bar and had oysters and cocktails nearly every afternoon. The space is comfortable and beautiful, with light pouring in through the large windows (especially at 4 pm, when they open during the week). The beverage offerings are very nice -- creative cocktails, a stellar line up of wine and beer. They also had a couple of barrel-strength bourbons on the back bar, so I was all set. The staff is unbelievably friendly. Even the music is outstanding. It gets crowded early, though not unpleasantly so but if you want to sit at the bar, I suggest getting there by no later than 4:30 (or maybe 5:00).

    We hit many more places and I have some additional posts percolating. Until then, I'd say that Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe for noodles (any outpost, we went to Woburn this time) would be worth a stop, as would Windsor Dim Sum Cafe in Chinatown. We also had great dinners at Banyan, Erbaluce, Townsman and Eastern Standard. McKenna's Cafe (on Savin Hill) was a great breakfast spot, too.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #82 - August 4th, 2015, 3:01 pm
    Post #82 - August 4th, 2015, 3:01 pm Post #82 - August 4th, 2015, 3:01 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    thetrob wrote:Ronnie, what was your overall impression? My son is in school at BU and I have never been into Island Creek. If in town we usually go to the north end and have driven up to Essex or Gloucester and had lunch or dinner at the lobster shacks. I'm always looking for new places to try and while I have a brother that lives in the area, his idea of good food is "the 99" which makes TGIFridays seem gourmet.

    I was in Boston for 6 days and went to ICOB on 5 of them. It was essentially a daily destination. That's how much I loved it. We sat at the bar and had oysters and cocktails nearly every afternoon. The space is comfortable and beautiful, with light pouring in through the large windows (especially at 4 pm, when they open during the week). The beverage offerings are very nice -- creative cocktails, a stellar line up of wine and beer. They also had a couple of barrel-strength bourbons on the back bar, so I was all set. The staff is unbelievably friendly. Even the music is outstanding. It gets crowded early, though not unpleasantly so but if you want to sit at the bar, I suggest getting there by no later than 4:30 (or maybe 5:00).

    We hit many more places and I have some additional posts percolating. Until then, I'd say that Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe for noodles (any outpost, we went to Woburn this time) would be worth a stop, as would Windsor Dim Sum Cafe in Chinatown. We also had great dinners at Banyan, Erbaluce, Townsman and Eastern Standard. McKenna's Cafe (on Savin Hill) was a great breakfast spot, too.

    =R=


    Thanks Ronnie, Ill be there in a month or so, not sure how long I'm staying yet, but going to try something new, it really depends on where we are staying. Last time out we made it to Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai's place) and it was an exceptional meal, we have also sampled a bunch of the noodle shops and other places not far from BU in Brookline and Allston. Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe sounds like a possibility, and for sure a stop for oysters and a drink or 2 at ICOB. I may even wander down to No Name, I haven't been there for 15 years or more, although that time I was not very impressed. Maybe it, or I, have changed since, it will be interesting to see if my opinion varies by much.
  • Post #83 - August 4th, 2015, 3:29 pm
    Post #83 - August 4th, 2015, 3:29 pm Post #83 - August 4th, 2015, 3:29 pm
    thetrob wrote:. . . and for sure a stop for oysters and a drink or 2 at ICOB.

    I know this to be true of many oyster bars in the Boston area but the expertise and speed with which the oysters are shucked at ICOB -- by Jorge, Eduardo and Andres during our visits -- is just incredible. I easily had 100+ oysters there during this trip and only one single time did I encounter any shard of broken shell in what I gulped. On top of that, each open shell contained lots of liquor, which was a great treat and is so often missing with less expertly shucked bivalves. They couldn't have been handled any better. I think I had at least a dozen different varieties of oysters over these visits. My favorites were the namesake Island Creeks, the Matt's Landings, the Row 34s and the Moon Shoals.

    Cooked food from the kitchen was also excellent (more on this later). ICOB also serves an incredible bread each day, baked in-house by their pastry chef Kasey, who also turns out a wicked good (sorry about that :wink:) sorbet.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #84 - August 16th, 2015, 1:33 pm
    Post #84 - August 16th, 2015, 1:33 pm Post #84 - August 16th, 2015, 1:33 pm
    I'm going to try to fill in some details on the list of places we visited last month (posted above). Because it was one of my very favorite places at which we ate, the first is Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe. According to their website, there are 2 locations. Last time (in 2013), we visited the one on Bedford St., near Chinatown. This time we decided to get out of the city and drive up to the coast, and we visited the location in Woburn. From what I can remember, the food is pretty much identical at both locations . . . really delicious!

    Image
    Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe - 466 Main Street, Woburn, MA


    Image
    Lamb Skewer
    These well-seasoned nuggets were pleasantly chewy, juicy and delicious.


    Image
    Flatbread Sandwich - Pork (#1)
    Ironically, on both visits I found the namesake item to be the weakest link. There's a very hard-sided flatbread split open and filled with pretty bland, chopped up pork. I'm guessing this is a thing but it was lost on me, especially in comparison to the noodles.


    Image
    Hand Pulled Noodles (#4)
    These noodles were, in a word, awesome. They were thick, chewy and flavorful. I loved the light, slightly spicy sauce that they were dressed in.


    Image
    Cumin Lamb Handpulled Noodle (#9)
    More of the same awesome noodles, this time accompanied by a bevy of crispy vegetables and more of the delectable lamb.

    =R=

    466 Main Street
    Woburn, MA 01801
    (781) 938-6888

    and

    86 Bedford St
    Boston, MA 02111
    (617) 482-1888
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #85 - August 16th, 2015, 2:36 pm
    Post #85 - August 16th, 2015, 2:36 pm Post #85 - August 16th, 2015, 2:36 pm
    Nearing the end of a week of fairly adventurous eating, we were jonesing for a simple and straightforward breakfast, so we headed over to McKenna's Cafe in Dorchester (where we had done quite a bit of Vietnamese exploration earlier in our trip [more on that later]). It was a bustling and vibrant place - a neighborhood nexus to be sure. The crowd was quite diverse in every respect and even on a weekday, after the lunch rush, there was about a 20 minute wait. They also do some brisk, take-away coffee business. After the short wait, we settled in at our table and had a delicious, homey and comforting breakfast . . .

    Image
    McKenna's Cafe - 109 Savin Hill Ave, Dorchester, MA


    Image
    Pancakes


    Image
    Ham & Cheese Omelet, Home Fries, Rye Toast


    Image
    Sydney Special - 2 eggs over-easy, home fries, bacon


    Image
    Corned Beef Hash (side)

    Everything was spot on and very well-prepared. Portions were generous and prices were very reasonable. This really scratched the itch for us. It was probably the simplest meal we had on our visit (other than raw oysters) but in addition to being delicious, it was the the right meal at the right time.

    =R=

    McKenna's Cafe (website)
    109 Savin Hill Ave
    Dorchester, MA 02125
    (617) 825-8218
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #86 - August 18th, 2015, 11:54 pm
    Post #86 - August 18th, 2015, 11:54 pm Post #86 - August 18th, 2015, 11:54 pm
    General thoughts: The Bostonians we met were remarkably friendly. The summer weather and the architecture were gorgeous. I was pleasantly surprised by the food, especially after seeing this.

    Pictures:
    Image
    Toscanini's - "Hmph, best ice cream in the world, yeah right." was what I thought when I saw the huge line, $4 scoops, and lack of parking spaces at 10pm. But one bite into the B3 (brown butter, brown sugar, brownie) ... or the grape nut/mango/bourbon vienna fingers/burnt caramel and I was convinced. Every flavor I tried (except a mediocre green tea) was bold, creamy, and addicting. I'd eat here everyday if I found out about it earlier.

    Image
    B&M Brown Bread in a can - Where has this been all my life? I'm fascinated by canned foods and this cake-bread microwaved with cheese... soooo good!@#$!

    Image
    Image
    Neptune Oyster - 3 hour wait for lunch. Oysters were 10/10, cooked food were meh, not sure if it was worth the trouble, though it is located in an interesting touristy neighborhood. The lobster roll is for people who like butter more than lobsters.

    Image
    Alive and Kickin' - Steamed lobsters were a bit small the day we went, but the lobster roll was bar none the best I've had (and notches above Neptune's). It's served in between 2 slices of bread. The trick: take off the top slice and form the rest into a lobster roll for perfect lobster-to-bread ratio. Wait can be surprisingly long.

    Image
    Modern Pastry - That is ONE lobster tail, cut into 3 pieces... Excellent espresso and sandwiches also

    Maria's Pastry - Made me realize that I'm not a pastry guy.

    Roy Moore Lobster Co. - skip the stuffed clams and get as many lobsters as you can stomach/afford

    Image
    Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack - Highly recommended stop if you're going to Tanglewood. Where else in the world can you get homemade duck sauce to go with fresh fried clam bellies/beer battered fish/scallops?

    Image
    Taza Chocolate - It would've been cool to stop by their factory, but I tried their Seriously dark hot chocolate (mix of 100% and 40%) with guajillo chili. I like to think this is how the Mayans drank chocolate - dark, grainy, spicy, satisfying without being smothering-ly sweet or heavy.

    Boston Public Market - Quite cramped and not too many selections, but they had raclette, which should be required by law to exist in every food market for their delicious smells.

    Neighborhood Restaurant - A prototypical GNR if there's ever one, in food, atmosphere, and service. Breakfast highly recommended.
  • Post #87 - June 15th, 2018, 3:16 pm
    Post #87 - June 15th, 2018, 3:16 pm Post #87 - June 15th, 2018, 3:16 pm
    Quick business trip to Boston. The doorman recommended "Gourmet Dumpling House" just two blocks from the hotel, but it had a line out out the door, with likely more than an hour wait. If I'd thought to read this thread, I might have ended up at Bubor Cha Cha or Gene's Chinese Flatbread (which it turns out closed at 6:30)... and I've had missed a great meal at Hot Eastern, which came up with reasonable reviews when I searched for Sichuan on Google Maps. I was a little doubtful, as it was in a basement below a Japanese snack shop.

    The menu doesn't have a lot of description -- I asked the waitress how the Horn Pepper is prepared, and she could only tell me it was spicy. Sold, and glad I did. Imagine the quantities of peppers you get with dried chile prep, but with strips of fresh, moderately spicy green chiles. Shreds of pork in a scant amount of just barely sweet, garlicky sauce, and I was in heaven.

    Szechuan Dumplings were in a broth with plenty of red oil and sesame seeds floating on top -- lots of ma la in that oil. The dumplings themselves were thick and doughy versus the usual wonton-like ones I've gotten elsewhere, a great chew to them.

    The people around me were ordering ungodly quantities of food: the couple next to me had five dishes, several of which could easily have fed two (they didn't finish anything). I'm looking forward to going back and exploring this menu, but no idea when I will.

    Hot Eastern
    42 Beach St Ste B1
    Boston, MA 02111
    http://www.hoteastern.com/
    (617) 988-0660
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #88 - July 15th, 2018, 9:45 am
    Post #88 - July 15th, 2018, 9:45 am Post #88 - July 15th, 2018, 9:45 am
    Made a quick business trip to Boston 6/23-6/27 and first time there, had a great time. Was with coworkers so did all of the touristy things, some of which surprised me. All the seafood we had their was amazing, no matter how tourtisty.

    Fluke and Fish and Chips @ Neptune Oyster
    Image

    Image

    Ti Punch @ Tiki Rock
    Image

    Oysters @ North Square Oyster
    Image

    Lobster BLT, fried clams, scallops and haddock @ Barking Crab
    Image

    Oysters and Monkfish in Salem @ Finz Seafood and Grill
    Image

    Image

    Clambake in Ipswitch @ Crane Estate
    Image

    I really wanted to have a Portuguese meal but none of my coworkers were having it! All in all I was able to make the most of this work trip.
  • Post #89 - July 16th, 2018, 3:40 am
    Post #89 - July 16th, 2018, 3:40 am Post #89 - July 16th, 2018, 3:40 am
    Nice pictures!
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

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