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Gourmet Vegan Christmas Dinner

These are all such great suggestions. I will just offer some encouragement here. Two of us are vegans, and we travel a fair distance for the holidays. We have learned that we really do need to cook for ourselves and bring along some necessities like Earth Balance.(Some family members still think chicken broth and veggie quiche are okay for vegans, for example.)

About 3 years ago, us vegans prepared a 7 course vegan meal, making plenty for the whole family. (Acorn squash with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, caramelized onions, smashed potatoes, corn bread, pecan pie, apple crisp, etc.) Our dishes were so popular that they were the ones that people went back for. It was one of the best holiday meals our family ever had.

While I like to think we enlightened our family members, they still offer us things like veggie quiche and chicken soup ("The only thing in here that is not vegan is the chicken.") Despite this, that meal remains the most celebrated when we all discuss past holidays.

Have fun with it!

Oct 18, 2014
mvi in Home Cooking

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

I was at the East Side last night and was reminded again about the terrific service, food and drinks. Great Italian pasta, ribs, steak tips, calamari, pizza and a vibrant atmosphere.

The East Side is packed on the weekends, but during the week it is easier to find a seat. Everyone is friendly. You will make many new friends and have some laughs. I do not think there are too many places like this anymore, and if there are, I want to know about them!

Oct 01, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

I've had decent meals at Bambara, too. I have not been in since their renovation, though. It does not have the best atmosphere, being in a hotel, but every now and then it works.

Oct 01, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Legal Sea Foods Prudential closing?

Another +1 on the Kendall bartenders and one dollar oysters there.

Oct 01, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

It's just too long a walk for me, especially after a few beers.

Sep 29, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

I did not say anything about it "sleeving me out so much" as that is not the case at all.

Sep 29, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

Not sure when this is happening but Petsi Pies in East Cambridge is moving up Cambridge Street to the old Cafe Kofofo spot. It's a much nicer space, twice the size, and very sunny. Close to New Deal and Albert's, which is quickly becoming the hot spot for craft beer. The lease has been signed, but I have not heard when the move takes place.

Sep 28, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

East Cambridge is large enough that a little depends on where you live. I can easily walk from my place to Tupelo, Puritan and East by Northeast, for example, but to get to Union Square on foot takes twice as long. (I walk to the farmers market there often.) I would not want to walk home from Union Square at night, that's for sure.

Sep 28, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Where to go in East Cambridge....? Slim Pickings?

I've lived in East Cambridge for ages without a car, and totally love it, especially with regards to all of the dining options. Every place these folks have mentioned already is worth checking out. It's hard for me to pick out a favorite. The diversity here is wonderful. You have your old fashioned, family run spots and your newer swankier locations. Walking along Third Street is amazing. Since I moved here about 7 new places have opened, maybe more. Walking up Cambridge Street, you hit the older, more traditional places. We like the East Side Bar and Grill, Sweet Touch for breakfast, Court House Seafood, Desfina (Greek), Aram's for pizza and subs, all nearby and so low key. A little more upscale favorites within walking distance are Helmand, Muqueca, Atwoods, EVOO, Abigail's, Dante, The Similans and Fuji.

There are a lot of great places in Kendall, which is a very short walk. More opening every day. The Friendly Toast and State Park are really fun. CBC has delicious beer. Mead Hall is close by, also with a great beer selection and an active after work scene. All of those, plus many more, are accessed via a short walk down Sixth Street.

Sometimes I hate to share how great East Cambridge is, but it is truly a gem. And Lone Star will be open soon.

Sep 27, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Oysters

The Legal oyster deal is a good one. I'm not a huge fan of the place, but the $1 oyster deal is a treat. Sit at the bar between 3 and 6, Mon-Thurs, and you will be well attended.

Here's another link that was published a few months ago so there may be some changes:

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/04...

Sep 26, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Northeastern Parents weekend restaurant suggestions please

These are all good suggestions. One of my kids went to college in Boston and she always loved going to Eastern Standard especially. Brasserie Jo was a bit stuffy for her, but the food is really quite good. You won't go wrong with any of the suggestions here.

Sep 25, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Family Dinner for 12 in Cambridge/Somerville or a little further out

We've had family meals with kids and grandparents there. It IS fun (I did not see a back room that was separate from the rest of the space)but it was a bit pricey for the kind of evening we wanted. The pizza was SO good, but not the kind the kids like. It's quite noisy, so my parents were totally stressed out. I've been there on other occasions and it's been easier. Food is good.

Sep 24, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Family Dinner for 12 in Cambridge/Somerville or a little further out

Sounds like many of my family gatherings. I do have some ideas but wanted to ask about the hardest to please folks. (My 85 year old parents hate noise and prefer sophisticated, traditional meals while my nieces only eat mac and cheese or pizza.)

We've been creative at times in order to accommodate the troops.

Since it is a birthday, does your daughter have a favorite type of place? Not sure if she is the four year old you mentioned, so maybe she has not discovered her favorite type of cuisine yet. At age four, my kids were into mashed potatoes and pancakes for the most part, but fortunately, they have expanded their tastes and become more adventurous.

Sep 21, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Fresh Mozzarella

Harry's Cheese and Cold Cuts has fresh mozzarella. They are on Blackstone Street in the Haymarket area of Boston, so it may not work for you. I love their shop. If you like old fashioned cheese mongers, this is your little heaven.

Sep 11, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

Tommy Doyle's in Kendall Square has closed. No surprise there. Hope something good goes into that space which is really rocking with restaurants now.

Sep 11, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Davis Square bummer!

Any recent trips to Out of the Blue? We went a couple of years ago and had some really good food.

We have also enjoyed Posto, so I am sorry to read about your experience.

Sep 07, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Our 4 Days/3 Nights of Enjoyment in Boston

So nice to read such a positive report. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Come back soon.

Sep 03, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Quiet Cambridge/Somerville dinner with foodie parents

I've taken my parents (and elderly aunt and uncle) to Harvest. They all liked it for its atmosphere and dignified crowd who were not noisy. I think my mother liked the food better than my dad, although they were both happy. He is the fussier eater. But it is quiet and refined, and not stuffy. The patio is lovely, too. Definitely an option for those of us with older parents looking for a quieter place. (My mother now puts her hands over her ears if a place is too noisy, indicating her displeasure and making it hard to have a conversation with her. She just sits there with her hands on her ears. Might be time for a hearing test for her.)

Sep 02, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Quiet Cambridge/Somerville dinner with foodie parents

Catalyst might work. My parents sound like yours. The noise factor is tough. They liked Giulia but found it too noisy....Have not brought them to the others that people have mentioned so far. Looking forward to other suggestions.

Sep 01, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

That's nice you have developed a relationship with him. He never says anything to me and I have been in the neighborhood for quite some time. The two women are a lot friendlier. But there you go. Maybe if I ask him about wine, he'll have a conversation.

Aug 31, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

I agree with you there. SavMor's prices are better, but if you are on foot, it's surely a pain. Albert has been stocking higher end wines and craft beers, but it's the same detached service. Just do not go to that wine store in the nearby Star Market. The worst.

Aug 29, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

The one near New Deal? I actually asked a workman there today what was going in, as there has been some action, but he said he was the wrong person to ask as he was only there for the day. The windows are still all papered up, but they have been removing rugs and other stuff over the past few weeks, so presumably something is going on. It's a big space. I'm sure Albert (just a few doors up) does not want to see a liquor store in there, even though he only sells beer and wine. (And a ton of scratch tickets.)

Aug 29, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

Sadly, Cafe Kofofo on Cambridge St. in East Cambridge has closed up shop as of the 15th. There's a nice note on the door. The people who worked here were great, and their smoothies were delicious, but it never seemed to get much foot traffic. It wasn't a destination spot, either. The space is just lovely so I hope someone grabs it up soon.

One block away and on the other side of the street, The Lone Star Taco Bar people are hard at work on the former Pugs/ Lizzy's.

Aug 29, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Thai Place - Northeastern/Isaan cuisine in Allston

This is great! Thanks. I look forward to trying this out soon.

Aug 27, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

I would not recommend an extra trip just to check this liquor store out unless you want to initiate some kind of mood swing into a dark area. It is convenient and it is open late on Sunday nights unlike standard liquor stores, but aside from those features, it's not worth a visit. Try Sav-Mor Liquor across the highway or Al's on Cambridge Street. (Al's has improved, but still only carries beer and wine.)

Yes, the beer is now where the flowers used to be and the flowers are in an ill-defined area right next to their former turf.

Aug 25, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

The Twin City Plaza location is cleaner but that's about it for improvements. They have taken away many of my dairy free items like Earth Balance, removed the self-checkout and have no clue how to expedite the Express Lanes. I waited for over 15 minutes today in one of them. It's true- if a customer buys 8 packages of ribs, they seem to count as one item, even though all 8 need to be swiped. And of course, the same customer has 5 watermelons, 5 packages of chicken wings and 8 packages of Pepsi, each needing to be scanned. And let's not forget the 10 boxes of cereal. Somehow this equals 15 items so the Express Lane is where these shoppers go.

The liquor store at this location is horrible. I can't really begin to describe how bad it is without getting a headache.

Do you need cold cuts? Be prepared to wait for those. I gave up today after waiting for 12 minutes (yes I timed it) as they had one person working and lots of people jumping ahead of any semblance of a line.

Wish I could be more positive, as this place is close to my home, but it really is not any kind of an "upscale experience" in my mind.

Aug 24, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Bar & food in Cambridge/Boston?

I'll add Eastern Standard into the mix.

Aug 22, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

Bambara at the Hotel Marlowe in East Cambridge has just reopened after a summer upgrade and renovation, which means higher prices. I admit to liking this place several years ago when I stayed there and then moved into the neighborhood, but I feel it went way downhill and began to be one of those generic hotel restaurants. Bad food, bad service and a stale menu that never changed. Any recent comments or reviews would be appreciated as the new place unfolds.

Aug 22, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

Who is the most chowhound-ish caterer?

Sounds like fun times are happening at your place. I totally recommend Seasons To Taste. Professional from beginning to end. We have used them for all kinds of events, including a wedding, and they are terrific.

Aug 16, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

Boston Restaurant Talk has confirmed that M3 on Highland Ave. in Somerville has been seized by the state. No ideas about why or for how long. Thus it is closed. If it reopens any time soon, I'm sure one of us will update.

Aug 12, 2014
mvi in Greater Boston Area