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Sichuan Cuisine at Thailand Cafe near MIT

That seems surprising to me. The Novartis expansion is across the street from the current Novartis building. That makes the expansion on the wrong side of the street and 1 block south (closer to MIT) than Thailand cafe. See this article / map for a description of the expansion:

Best takeout chinese in Boston?

Second this recommendation! As a fellow South End'er, New Shanghai is the best place we've found that delivers to the downtown area (as well as being one of my favorites for sit down Chinese!)

New Shanghai Restaurant
21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

Bradenton-Cubans and Other Stuff

Was stuck in Bradenton for a couple of days and want to thank you for the Jose's and Acapulco Tropical suggestions (we're down from Boston, which has a few Cuban and Mexican options but nothing at the level of either of these places.) Jose's pork is really spectacular -- moist, flavorful, makes my mouth water just thinking about it. And Jose himself is a hoot.

Acapulco Tropical is great -- hard to beat fresh corn tortillas loaded with meat (we had the enchiladas too and they were good although not in any way unusual.) Super cheap and delicious, and a fun scene.

Nov 08, 2010
damneddemand in Florida

Where to get tomatillos in Somerville/Cambridge?

Not that it is Camberville, but Shaw's in Copley Square usually has them. I saw very tiny ones at the SoWA farmer's market this weekend.

How was the food truck scene at sowa this sunday?

Randomly walked over there this weekend without realizing that the food trucks would be there. Also got a Speed's dog (first time!) -- can't say it was exactly a transcendent experience but I'm happy to have tried it. It is one ginormous dog. At a few minutes past 12 basically no wait (1--2 people in front of us.)

Just FYI, I was slightly surprised that the trucks weren't in the farmer's market area right off of Harrison but were in the open market where all the vendors are slightly off of the street.

Will be in MIT campus on Aug. 27. Where are good breakfast/lunch/dinner places on campus?

The actual on-campus options are not particularly interesting. For breakfast and lunch, the Clover food truck, near the medical center and the T station is quite good and unique. It's cheap -- sandwiches, soup, etc., -- and take-out only. It's also vegetarian. The other food trucks are mostly mediocre -- a few of the things at Gooseberry's are OK and it is very cheap but not worth going out of your way for.

There are several dining halls, which are all Aramark run and not worth your time.

In the student center (other side of campus from the food trucks, near Mass Ave and Mem Drive) there is Anna's Taqueria, which I personally like but isn't particularly unique and has its detractors on this board. Upstairs in the student center there is an indian place and a Mediterranean place which are also OK (but I would go for Anna's first.) La Verde's in the student center has a decent assortment of made-to-order sandwiches if you want something quick. These are all cheap (~$5).

I eat lunch on campus every day. For most meals its either one of the above options, or free food from my lab/department/research group.

There are many options in the nearby vicinity that I and other frequent for dinner, etc. Search this board for Kendall, Central, and Inman Squares. Here are a few places I like: for (relatively pricey) fine dining, Cragie on Main, Evoo, Salts, Rendezvous, the Blue Room, and Oleana are all an easy walk. For quirky 24 hr breakfast, the Friendly Toast is nearby. For unusual ethnic food, check out Thailand Cafe (Sichuanese), Izzy's (Puerto Rican sandwiches -- may be closed for summer), Helmand (Afghani, a bit further afield and more $$). For pizza, Emma's is nearby -- it's a very thin crust and can be a zoo at lunch time but is good.

There are many local bars as well, though the options are better if you are willing to head to Inman or further into Central towards Harvard. Near MIT the Miracle of Science on Mass Ave on the way to Central Square is a local institution with a bit of nerd flair and decent burgers. Cambridge Brewing Company isn't a bad place for a beer on a sunny afternoon. On campus, the Muddy Charles is kind of a trip -- a mix of drunks and grad students in a neat old building with a nice view of the river.

The Friendly Toast
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

The Blue Room
Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

Anyone have the scoop on new Mexican place going in where 33/Skewers/Bomboa used to be?

I posted a short review on the June openings / closings board (they opened last Wednesday):

June openings and closings

Zocalo in the former Stix space is now open (35 Stanhope Street, behind the Back Bay T station near the corner of Columbus Ave and Clarendon St.)

We went last night -- was pretty happy with the food and in general feel it is a good addition to a neighborhood that is missing much in the way of Mexican food. The prices seem a bit high -- $20-25 for most of the entrees (though enchiladas and tacos are less.) It's been awhile since I ate at the location in Brighton, but apparently it is the same chef and the food matches my recollection of the Brighton location.

The space seems unchanged from Stix (not that I ever ate there) except for the addition of a few mayan masks; probably 15 tables plus a small bar area. It's a pleasant but slightly small space. They have a full liquour license.

We had:

- Chips with guac. Chips seem to be from a bag; guac is made fresh at the table. Good, but heavy on the cilantro and not enough lime for my taste.

- Chicken tamale with mole sauce appetizer -- the tamale was much "wetter" than I am used to, but the flavor was good. The mole sauce was not bad -- a tad on the sweet side but with a good spiciness; not as complex as a really good mole can be.

- Tortilla soup. Very good -- nice chili flavor -- not super heavy on the tortillas but still a hearty soup.

- Chicken enchiladas. Overall good flavor but came out a bit on the cool side. To their credit when we mentioned this to them they offered to reheat and then didn't charge us for them!

Also had a couple of house margaritas. Could have used a bit more lime, but had a good amount of tequila and weren't too sweet.

Overall the meal (for two -- came hungry and left very full) came to about $50 before tip; would have been $65 with the enchiladas.

I gather they opened last Wednesday; service was good considering they haven't been open long -- attentive and friendly and definitely concerned that we had a good experience.

35 Stanhope St, Boston, MA 02116

Royal East, Kentral Cambridge?

Though I generally agree that the food is of average quality, especially when ordering traditional americanized chinese food, I have attended several quite good banquets here in the past. These have been organized by someone who is a friend of the owner, so it is possible that explains the improved quality of food.

I think they are better at seafood than other things. I don't remember all the things we had, but I remember the salt and pepper shrimp and scallops being quite good, and as of a few weeks ago they had soft shell crabs which were also tasty. Pea tendrils are good too as barleywino says.

May openings and closings

Maybe he means 33? They did close.

May openings and closings

Noticed today that the signage is up for deuxave in the spot formerly occupied by Panificio on the corner of Mass and Comm Ave in the Back Bay. Anyone have any updates/info? A quick googling reveals it's being opened by the owner(s) of dbar, and by the looks of this craigslist post they are going after the fancy-schmancy set:

144 Charles St, Boston, MA

Neptune Oyster or something like it? Recos needed.

What about B&G Oysters? They take reservations, and are (IMHO) similar in quality to Neptune. I know it has its detractors but I've always enjoyed meals there.

Anyone Been to Menton? Any Opinions?

Four courses is definitely on the smallish side -- I think even someone with a small appetite could (and would want to!) eat everything they were served. I did manage to leave feeling a little full, but only after eating basically a whole cheese plate and more than my share of the aforementioned macaroons. I'm also not typically a big eater (I often leave unfinished plates even at fancy restaurants that serve modest portions, and usually skip or share appetizers and / or dessert.)

Anyone Been to Menton? Any Opinions?

My wife and I ate here last night. Without going into huge amounts of detail, we really enjoyed it. I felt the space, the service, and the food were all a level above what I've had at No 9 park, and I'd definitely consider going back for a special occasion. Total came out to about $300 for the two of us (with 4 course tasting and a couple of glasses of wine.)

Re: the above poster's comment that the service feels 'haughty' -- I didn't get that vibe at all. Our server was really excellent -- warm, informative, helpful with food and wine recommendations. My wife is pregnant and he really outdid himself trying to accommodate her efforts to avoid raw/unpasteurized food (don't get me started on that!) . For example, they happily served the crab first course without caviar. They also brought her a complimentary non-alcoholic cocktail (mint, lime, and simple syrup -- awesome!). Finally, when I looked longingly at the cheese course but didn't order (many fancy cheeses are unpasteurized and 'not recommended' for pregnant ladies), they brought us a free sampling of cheese with dessert, including two hard cheeses that they pointed out were pasteurized so she could eat them. These kind of little, attentive touches are what set a place like this apart, and make me want to go back for more!

354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Best Corn Chips (found in Boston area)?

I think they aren't exactly the same as the Native Kjalii chips, but as a California transplant, the best tortilla chips I have found in the area are El Mirador chips (oddly enough made in Portland Maine.) They are clearly made from real fried tortillas, rather than mashed up bits of fried corn pressed into a chip shape, or however most store-bought tortilla chips are made, and they are pretty thick and crispy.

Here's their website:

I usually buy them at Foodie's, on Washington St in the South End, but there may be other places in the area that sell them.

Ginger Park

I just want to add a positive note to counterbalance all of the negative reviews here. 4 of us went for dinner on a Friday at 7:30, and had a very positive experience. No cold food issues, good drinks, and attentive service. Food did come out quickly, but generally the pacing was good with the smaller fried things (which I assume cook very quickly) coming before the larger dishes. Some highlights from our visit:

- chicken confit springroll -- crispy fried fatty goodness
- wild boar tostada -- not very asian, but the highlight of the meal; awesome
- dan dan mien -- also great, though i can't remember the specifics

A few of the dishes didn't blow me away -- for example, the eggplant was a little boring -- but on the whole everything was very good. We ordered 8 or 9 dishes, plus 5 cocktails, for something like $140 before tip, which seemed reasonable.

Lord Hobo

A friend and I went last Thursday night at around 6:45. We were seated immediately. Server was great -- walked us through the beer list in a knowledgeable and non-condescending way and was very friendly. Ordered the fries and oysters, plus the duck confit salad. Fries were very good but truffle sauces were a bit over the top with the truffle oil. Oysters weren't exceptional but still pretty tasty. Salad was good, though not light.

I didn't feel gouged by the prices -- I noticed that the Shepherds Pie was only $17 or $18, so maybe someone is listening to everyone's complaints.

Anyway -- I'll definitely go back. It's a nice place to grab a bite or a beer after work.

Been to Bina lately?

We went last night (for the second time after a great first visit just after they opened.) Our experience was not nearly as negative as these replies suggest. Service was good -- which may have been due to the fact that the place was only 1/3rd full -- but our waiter was attentive and friendly, and the sommelier was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and recommended two nice bottles of Italian wine. The food was good, if perhaps a notch below when it initially opened. I had the steak tartar with basil and truffle paste, and the halibut with olive and squid ink. Both were good -- the steak had was fresh and truffle-y, although the basil flavor dominated a little more than I would have liked. The halibut was simple, light, and quite nice. We also shared a hazelnut gelatto which was excellent. I liked it enough that I'd go back.

Bina Osteria
, Boston, MA 02108

Sichuan Cuisine at Thailand Cafe near MIT

This is the same menu I posted in my initial post. Unfortunately, your picture, like mine, is pretty hard to read thanks to chowhound downsizing our photos....

It appears that they had a different specials menu out when Luther went -- I don't remember seeing this when I went (though we did order the roast chicken with Taro, which is what I described as being 'hot pot' -- it's really like a hot, soupy broth with big chunks of Taro and bone-in fried chicken.)

Sichuan Cuisine at Thailand Cafe near MIT

This is my first post, but I've been a long time lurker; finally found a place that it seems no one else has posted about. Thailand Cafe (302 Massachusetts Ave near MIT) -- a sub-par Thai restaurant that is barely acceptable even to MIT undergrads -- has recently started serving a very nice Sichuanese menu (see attached photo.) Rumor is that someone affiliated with Sichuan Gourmet is the new chef there. Went today with several students from MIT, on the recommendation of a grad student who grew up in Beijing and who swears by the place. Despite it being a run down Central Square hole-in-the-wall, the food was very good -- much better in my opinion than the now defunct Anise (which had some interesting dishes but tended to miss more often than not.) I haven't tried many of the other Sichuanese places in the Boston Area, but I found the food at least on par with Sichuan Garden, with a good balance of spices and quality ingredients.

Not sure I can remember everything we had, but we had:

Cold Noodles with Chili Sesame Vinaigrette - Spicy, large (rice?) noodles with lots of chili sauce. Sichuan-y goodness.

Five Flavored Beef - Cold beef appetizer served plain. Well executed, but my least favorite of the dishes we ordered.

Double Cooked Pork Belly with Spicy Capsicum -- Awesome; thin sliced pork belly, with green onions. Spicy but not overpowering.

We also ordered a hotpot with fried chicken and taro (not on the menu, but apparently available in limited quantities if you ask for it); delicious, though not as overpoweringly fiery as some hotpot I have had.

Chengdu dry hot chicken -- Great. Simple fried chicken chunks with lots of dry hot peppers.

Towel gourd with bamboo fungus -- Gourd itself was plain but the bamboo fungus was outstanding -- soft, salty, spongy.

Dry sauteed green bean -- We ordered this without pork (which I suspect would have made it better) to accommodate a vegetarian -- it was well executed but a bit plain.

All in all, I was pretty happy. I'll definitely be back.

Thailand Cafe
302 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139