Highlights from the Boston board. Restaurants, bars, food stores, and more.
Savenor's in Cambridge has a new sandwich counter that Gabatta thinks is worth a visit. Boar's Head meats are available, but a list of specialty sandwiches contain house-roasted meats. Among them is the Havana ($10.99), Savenor's take on a Cubano. "I think it was better than any other Cubano I have had," Gabatta says. "The sandwich traveled well and was still warm without the roll (Iggy's torta) being soggy when I got home."
The Havana contains house-roasted pork shoulder, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickle, pickled red onion, spicy aioli, and mustard butter. "For purists, it's not a true Cuban sandwich," SLL1065 says. But as hckybg points out, the menu makes no claim to authenticity.
"It was absolutely delicious and [an] unexpected surprise," Gabatta says.
Savenor's Market [Harvard Square]
92 Kirkland Street, Cambridge
Discuss: Savenor's Cubano – Wow!
The cleverly named Grill Next Door in Haverhill is a great destination if you're looking for beer, burgers, and fries. There are over 30 beers on tap, with a focus on craft beers and cask ales. "You can get a paddle of beers (four 5-ounce beers of your choice)," meritbrown says. "A great way to try beers that you don't know."
Burgers are all half-pounders and come with fries, which meritbrown says are excellent—for an extra $2, you can get them in a variety of styles, like chili cheese, barbecue chicken, and loaded cheddar.
Other menu items are less impressive. powerfulpierre's dining companion was unhappy with her Reuben, and the cheesecake is just "okay" according to ScubaSteve's son. "This is one of those places that you have to go with what they are good at," meritbrown says. "Beer, burgers, [and] specialty fries."
The Grill Next Door [Merrimack Valley]
653 Broadway, Haverhill
Discuss: The Grill Next Door, Haverhill.
Out of the Blue in Davis Square offers no-frills seafood dishes like baked scallops and grilled fish. Spike, who tried it recently for lunch, is surprised it's not more popular:
"I've always been afraid to try bluefish dishes because bluefish starts to get pretty odd tasting after a day or two because it's an oily fish, but Out of the Blue does a good job with it. It's served over risotto and topped with a nicely done tomato sauce that doesn't overpower it. Fish was cooked perfectly too."
Out of the Blue [Somerville]
215 Elm Street, Somerville
Discuss: nicely done grilled bluefish at Out of the Blue (Davis Sq)
Photograph of bluefish with tomato sauce by Spike
La Lechonera Café in Roslindale offers a range of Puerto Rican specialties, but the highlights are the pernil (pork shoulder) and lechón asado (roast suckling pig), both cooked over hot coals. The pernil has a "smoky, crispy skin" says devilham; gourmaniac adds that the meat is tender, "with enough fat to make it interesting." One pound of pernil plus a fried chicken thigh was a steal at $9, says gourmaniac. Unlike the pernil, which is available every day, the lechón asado is prepared only on Saturdays.
La Lechonera Café [Roslindale]
343 Cummins Highway, Boston
Discuss: Pleasantly surprised by La Lechonera Cafe
Mary Chung Restaurant is a great place to dine with toddlers, especially if Alice is your server. "You don't usually think 'service' with this type of place," Parsnipity says. "[But] Alice provided service of the 'I know what you and your family need to eat and I'll make sure you get it whether you want it or not'-variety."
Dun dun noodles were served with sauce on the side, and the baby enjoyed them plain. A normally spicy eggplant dish was prepared mild, so Parsnipity's young dining companion was able to try eggplant for the first time. Suan la chow show (dumplings in a spicy sauce) came in their normal state, but Alice also brought out a few plain dumplings for the toddler to try, and these were "promptly consumed."
"I would have fed the kid brown rice and the sweet potato chunks we brought," Parsnipity says. "So, thanks Alice. You knew best."
Mary Chung Restaurant [Central Square]
460 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Discuss: Exceptionally kid-friendly service at Mary Chung's
Foundry on Elm hasn't received much Chowhound love in recent months, so rlh was apprehensive before a recent brunch at the Davis Square restaurant. It turns out there was no need to be worried: rlh was "pleasantly surprised" by the total experience—especially the eggs Benedict.
"The Croque Madame flavors were excellent on the fresh Iggy's francese bread," rlh says. "And the egg was perfectly cooked on top." The eggs came with a side salad, which was "fresh and delicious with greens, fennel, and light dressing application."
Service was great, the interior was comfortable, and the meal started off with warm cinnamon rolls—a "nice surprise." When it comes to brunch, at least, rlh is apprehensive no more.
Foundry on Elm [Somerville]
255 Elm Street, Somerville
Discuss: Davis Square's "Foundry on Elm"
Chicken fingers are everywhere, but some restaurants make versions that are actually worth going back for.
Raising Cane's, the Louisiana chain with a branch near BU, gets praise from Jenny Ondioline for its chicken fingers (not to mention its Texas toast). BroadwayBound recommends asking for honey-mustard sauce, which is not posted on the menu.
The Hill Tavern in Beacon Hill serves "far better chicken tenders than they have any reason to," Nab says. The tenders are "big, craggy, freshly fried juicy guys with a feather light & crunchy crust." READ MORE
"Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline has a great new dish that doesn't appear on the menu," nightsky reports. It consists of "pieces of fish and chicken mixed with sliced potato, onion, pepper, and lotus root, all coated with a smoky/hot spice mixture. Dry rub texture, for those who are put off by the chili oil you often get in Sichuan dishes."
KWagle tried it and thought it was excellent. "It's oven-cooked so it has no oil. Delicious." It's described as "street barbecue," and as KWagle explains, "even though it's not literally cooked using the techniques of a street vendor, that's the idea they are trying to capture."
Sichuan Gourmet [Brookline]
1004-1006 Beacon Street, Brookline
Discuss: Sichuan Gourmet
Who makes the best Peking duck in Boston these days? According to lc02139 and MC Slim JB, fans of this Chinese specialty should look no farther than China King in Chinatown.
At China King, run by the former owners of King Fung Garden, ducks must be ordered 24 hours in advance, and the meat is prepared in three courses. First, the crispy skin, served with homemade wheat pancakes. Next, stir-fried duck meat, which you can also opt to have mixed in with chow mein noodles. MC Slim JB explains that this chow mein isn't the typical Chinese-American sort, but "terrific housemade wheat noodles, like thick spaghetti." Finally, the third course is duck soup, made from the bones.
Each duck costs $38, and lc02139 says that one duck is enough to feed a party of four, especially if you add in the noodles to the stir-fry.
China King [Chinatown]
60 Beach Street, Boston
Discuss: Best Peking Duck in Boston??
A savvy visitor to Boston knows that any walk on the Freedom Trail should include a stop in the North End for Italian pastries. But what if you're also looking for lunch?
On a recent trip to town, before hitting up Modern Pastry, Harters gave Piccola Venezia a try. A sandwich featuring provolone and mortadella was decent, but one with sweet Italian sausage was a better choice. The sausage had "a good fennel predominance, peppers and onions cooked through but still with a hint of bite to them," Harters says.
As for the cannoli at Modern Pastry afterward? "Wonderful stuff," Harters says. "Crisp pastry, a rich cream, sweetened. Deservedly popular."
Harters posted about his other meals in Boston and New England, too. Here are links to reports on Marliave, No. 9 Park, Durgin Park, Red's Sandwich Shop, Colonial Inn, and Woodman's of Essex.
Modern Pastry [North End]
257 Hanover Street, Boston
Piccola Venezia [North End]
263 Hanover Street, Boston
Discuss: Lunch on the Freedom Trail