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Fantasy Question for Boston Old Timers

I'm not sure what I'd bring back, but your list some names that bring back fond memories of time at Hunan Palace, La Groceria, Blue Parrot and especially:

Voyager: I was introduced to some of the first red wines I came to love at Voyager, loved the upstairs greenhouse setting - and I appreciated the risk taking in the menu, and some great hits.

The original l'espalier was my go to splurge spot.

Had some great large group meals at Joyce Chen, but I think the food there has been surpassed by an number of places.

Jun 05, 2015
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Fantasy Question for Boston Old Timers

The original Buzzy's would definitely go down as one of my favorite guilty pleasures in the mid 70s. I'm not sure I'd enjoy the greasy comfort food if it were to re-open as it was then, but it would be fun to find out.

Jun 05, 2015
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

I enthusiastically second Morgana's recommendation of Vermont Maple Barbecue may well have the best barbecue in Vermont - it's a trailer across the street from grazing cattle - pretty much in the middle of nowhere on Rt. 12 in Randolph.

I'm pretty much in accord with the review at except that it still describes and gives the address for the old location. Current website and directions

May 28, 2015
pedxing in Northern New England

Anything Interesting Near Ikea (Stoughton?)

Great food, not much for atmosphere or decor. Service can be warm and hospitable or indifferent. It's often a significant wait for the food - but the food is an incredible value and memorable.

Chicken Kabob in Stoughton

Chicken Kabob is incredible. Service can be slow and indifferent, but the wait is worth it.

I'm addicted to the baba ganoush and eggplant salad. I order extra to take home. The mixed grill at 17.95 (which comes with vegetables and grains) is good for two meals. The meats are tender and flavorful. I don't live in the area, but I'll stop in anytime I have an excuse.

May 14, 2015
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Szechuan Dumpling in Arlington - Try it!

I was there last night and came away sad. I loved this place under the original management and my first visit after the ownership change left me feeling optimistic. But today, nothing was that good. Dumplings (chicken and veg, pork mini-juicy) were a disappointment, chili chicken was OK, hot and sour soup had a strong taste of sesame oil, eggplants way too sweet and under-cooked. Staff was pleasant.
Overall not really bad, but definitely not worth the drive from Cambridge.

Feb 23, 2015
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

Sorry. Only just saw this. I haven't been to Santos's other places.

Jan 11, 2015
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

We went the day it opened to the Public and were impressed by the quality. I agree that the Brisket is a serious challenge to Redbones - which goes up and down in quality over the years and has recently been in a down. The ribs however are so different, that it's not really competition.
Personally - as complex and artful as the sauce on the ribs is at Rosebud, the sweetness was way too much for my taste. I think this is probably more a style issue, not one of quality.
The sauce on the wings was as sweet, but not laid on so think and not grilled into the wings, and did not overwhelm them.

The new Rosebud is definitely a great asset and helps me miss the erratic, but sometimes exquisite, food at Gargoyles a little less.

Oct 10, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

We had dinner there tonight. We were worried that the place had gone downhill. Since it's initial opening, SD and Fu Loon had been our go to places for Chinese food so the stakes were high. Happily, the 5 of us (with varying tastes) were unanimous in saying that the food was great!

The pork mini-juicy dumplings were the one thing that wasn't up to the average quality expected before the ownership change. Service was fabulous and we were greeted with a bowl of soy beans and pickled tofu, and a bowl of pickled seaweed before we ordered.

Oct 05, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Szchuan's Dumpling in Arlington under new management

According to their facebook page they had their health inspection two days ago. They report it went well and they are waiting for the O.K. to re-open.

Sep 17, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Davis Square bummer!

For decent food in Davis Square, I'd definitely agree on Out of the Blue, Posto and Redbones (in that order). Redbones is very uneven, there are definitely better BBQ places in the area but the place is fun and, every once in a while they serve some great stuff.

The brand new Rosebud American Kitchen and Grill - which incorporates the shell of the old diner has some real promise. The smoked wings were excellent Shrimp with grits was quite tasty.

Advice from my one visit: if you get the ribs, get the sauce on the side - unless you really like a sweet sticky glaze. As sweet sticky glazes go this seemed very good. They've hired a pitmaster from a championship BBQ team.

Sep 15, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Boston's most famous contribution to the food world?

I'm partial to the theory that Porterhouse Steak was launched in Porter Square, Cambridge. Though there are other theories.

Apr 28, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

BBQ Catering?

New England BBQ and Catering in Canton is run by guys who win major BBQ competetions. They ran the kitchen at a place in Weymouth for a short while and the Q was very good there. Their website is

Not sure about veggie options with them.

Mar 28, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Sweet Cheeks Q... worth the trip to try it?

I agree on Soul Fire. I haven't found a better spot in the Boston area, I prefer the food there to what I've had at Blackstrap, Blue Ribbon and Red Bones. To my taste, the Ribs and Brisket have been slightly better at Soul Fire than at Sweet Cheeks - while the sausage has been a bit more flavorful at Sweet Cheeks. For ribs, East Coast Grill is the one other spot, I'd put put alongside Soul Fire in the area code 617.

I can see why some would like the setting at Sweet Cheeks better, but you definitely pay for it. By area BBQ standards, servings at Sweet Cheeks are small and prices are high.

Mar 10, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

What's up with Redbones lately?

I haven't noticed a big drop off in quality at Redbones. Living within a short walk of Redbones, I've been a regular customer since it opened. It's always had it's ups and downs with some extended weak periods and occasional (but never reliably so) excellent meals.
They have definitely been looking more closely at margins and portions over the last year or so and are not the bargain they once were. I love them because they are fun and have always supported their community - but my odds of being delighted with the food are higher at Soul Fire and Sweet Cheeks - texture, smoke and flavor are almost always better there.

Based on food alone, I currently prefer Redbones to Blue Ribbon - which used to be far better than Redbones. (I used to drag everyone to Blue Ribbon, now I've been passing up their groupons).

Jan 14, 2014
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

I find Zoe's is very underrated here

I fell in love with Zoes a long time ago, late '90s I think and it was my go to Chinese for quite a while, but for years it has been frustratingly inconsistent. They seemed to fall apart around the time the owner tried to open a second restaurant and I've not been able to trust them. I've pretty much given up on them, though I'll try them once or twice a year and will try them again after they re-open.
I really hope they get it together -I live in Porter Square, but everyone in my usual dinner crew prefers the longer trips to Fu Loon or Szechuan's Dumplings.

Oct 06, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Menotomy Grill - Arlington (anyone been?)

There was a very enthusiastic review at:

Jul 15, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Harvard Square

Nostalgia question - did Hayes Bickford mover from that spot at one point before they finally moved out?

May 01, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

On repeat visits, I've still enjoyed the food and found it well above average - but have not had a meal as wonderful as I had on my first visit (above) in which everything seemed to have been done with just the perfect touch.

Apr 22, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

Thanks to the many Chowhounds here for alerting me to this great place. To my taste it's the best Chinese food discovery in the area since Fu Loon a few years back.

Four of us, including two Chinese speakers went a few days ago. Interestingly, the owner who was very friendly and seemed wonderfully on top of things (reminding me a bit Diane at Fu Loon) grew up in Vietnam (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City). We ordered the pork mini-juicy dumplings and shrimp/vegetable dumplings for appetizers. The steamed mini-juicy dumplings were great with a really fine pork broth providing a great burst of flavor. The other dumplings were nicely fried and flavorful - the wrappers were delicately browned. The sauces were great compliments.

Garlic eggplant was nicely browned, cooked wonderfully - texture and flavor were spot on. The pork bits were a delicious compliment.

The szhechuan crispy fish was served with loads of cabbage and red peper in a very spicy broth. It was a little light on szechuan pepper for my taste - especially given the intensity of the spice. The owner said it was the spiciest item on the menu. It provided a lot of heat, but would need a little more complexity of flavor to be on a par with the other items. It's the only item we had that I am not eager to try again.

Crispy chicken with basil was also fried just right and it achieved what a quick frying should, sealing in fresh chicken flavor. It was winner!

Hot and sour soup had some real character - less heat than the standard, but definitely more interesting.

In the long run, Fu Loon even though its a few minutes away will likely remain my first choice. But for the moment I am quite enamored of Szechuan Dumplings.

Mar 15, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Golden Garden

I loved a lot about this place at first, but it seems to be slowly slipping. Reliable items such as the dumplings, the cumin lamb, the shredded potato and the spicy wings have all been disappointing the last few visits. I think it's falling out of my list of Chinese places to go to. Have others been disappointed as well?

Mar 04, 2013
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Bossa Nova in Malden Square?

Four of us tried Bossa Nova last night. We all did the buffet and Rodizio (the AYCE meat on the skewers) and we were all impressed. The buffet was fresher and more interesting than most Brazillian buffets we've had before. Everyone found something to love at the buffet. We arrived on the early side (6:30), so I can't attest to their ability to keep everything fresh on a weekday evening. Service was cheerful and highly responsive.

The meat varied in quality, though some of it was great. First cuts from the skewers tended to be over salted. My wife loved all the chicken that came to the table.

Most of my food trips to that neighborhood will be to Fu Loon, but for a major carnivorous chow down this would be the place.

Mar 09, 2012
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Best Restaurants that Zagat has completely missed.

No - they whiffed on all six of them, again.

Sep 30, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Best Restaurants that Zagat has completely missed.

The most egregious case I can think of is Fuloon which is not even mentioned in the 2011/2012 guide. My wife and I added it as a write in for the voting for that edition, but to no avail.

Sep 30, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Gargoyle's in Davis Square Somerville shutting down?

According to Gargoyles afterlife - they are open for cocktails and bar menu tonight through Saturday (Wed-Thurs 5:30-12 and Fri-Sat 5:30-1). So people should get a last crack at the burgers and cocktails if they want. I have not called them to confirm this is still their plan.

Sep 28, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Red Rose Cafe, Weymouth -- barbecue?

The barbecue at Red Rose had a lot of promise. The pit masters who were there briefly left to start New England Barbecue and Catering in Canton Mass. Their website says they do take out Tuesday - Friday. Coincidentally, I'm hoping to give it a try today or tomorrow as business takes me to the area.

Aug 31, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Sad Changes at Blue Ribbon Arlington Location

I agree on BT's. I love their burger as well as their barbecue (it's now my step-son's favorite burger of all time). It has become a mandatory stop when when my wife and I drive to New York City. I'm also looking forward to trying Blackstrap in Winthrop.

Aug 27, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Sad Changes at Blue Ribbon Arlington Location

I went to Blue Ribbon in Arlington tonight and it was sad indeed. For years, they were absolute tops in the area for the items they served. Uncle Pete's, for beef ribs,was the only competition. I was a fanatic, any trip down the Minuteman Bike Path meant a stop at Blue Ribbon. I used their catering for several parties - and then they became uneven over the last two years and some top quality new places got my attention and my visits dropped off. After tonight, I think the love affair is completely over. In the last month, I've had barbecue at four places in the area and Blue Ribbon comes in dead last of the four.

Tops in my opinion was Soul Fire - great ribs, a little fatty but absolutely compelling, great smoke, great bark, excellent texture and flavor (best I've had there). I skipped the sauce for most of the ribs. The barbecued chicken was smoky, flavorful and moist. WIngs were fantastic, great smoke - we especially loved the spicey/honey sauce. Collard Greens were the best of the four, a little sweet to my taste, but very compelling - perfect in my wife's estimation. Baked beans were great, and the mashed potatoes were very good.

A very close second was Firebox. My wife thought their barbecue 1/2 chicken was the equal of Soul Fire's. We both gave the nod to Soul Fire on the wings. Collard Greens were flavorful but not as compelling as Soul Fire's. Ribs had a great smoke and bark, but fell short of Soul Fire's.

There was a big drop off to Redbones. I love Redbones, for the overall experience, because it is my neighborhood place and because the owners are great supporters of many charities including one I work extensively with, but their cue is seldom stellar. The beef ribs always have decent smoke and always offer enough resistance to the bite without being tough. Pork ribs lack the smoke and rub of Soul Fire and Firebox, but they are almost always competent and flavorful.

Blue Ribbon this month lagged behind Redbones. For me, this is huge - for years, ranking Redbones anywhere near Blue Ribbon, let alone above it meant you were not serious about barbecue at all and were probably swayed by the beer. The ribs had little smoke, little bark, little rub and little flavor and sauce was very much needed. The sauces do not seem to have dropped off in quality. The collard greens were bland. The chicken lacked smoke and lacked flavor overall and the texture was unappealing. The brunt ends were still sweet and tasty, but far less complex than I remembered - not much smoke. It is finally time to take my 5 star Yelp review down a few notches. I've never had a meal that was this poor at Blue Ribbon.

55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

Aug 26, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Southern Barbecue in Boston? Oxymoron?

Redbones does not have burnt ends. I look forward to trying the burnt ends at Blackstrap. Blue Ribbon was once the source of my favorite burnt ends.

Aug 25, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area

Southern Barbecue in Boston? Oxymoron?

Has anyone tried New England Barbecue and Catering in Canton Mass? The proprietors are successful competition pit masters. They had some very good barbecue when they worked the Kitchen at the Red Rose Cafe in Weymouth, but left there to start this business. They offer barbecue most days until 7PM most days. I haven't yet made it down there to check them out.

Red Rose Cafe
800 Broad St, Weymouth, MA 02189

Aug 10, 2011
pedxing in Greater Boston Area