Nab's Profile

Title Last Reply

Pre Pornographers dinner/drinks

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall being able to actually see the show from the Foundation Room.

Nov 25, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Authentic Mexican restaurant recommendations?

cue the single vs. double tortilla debate ....

Nov 25, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

December 2014 Openings and Closings

Didn't see it mentioned yet, but it looks like the relatively recently revamped Volle Nolle in the North End will be closing, with chef Sebastian Martinez moving on to open Koy.

Stumbling upon Martinez's instabrag feed some months ago was what lured me into Volle Nolle and his food was spectactular. I'm looking forward to helping Koy pay off that liquor license.

Nov 24, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Please help shape 5-day food itinerary (including birthday dinner) with visiting DC

Based on your parameters, I'd say you've got this pretty well figured out.

I think you'll find Shanghai Gate does a fine job of all those things (lion's head, tofu skin, rice cakes, etc.) I also find it hard not to order the fish fillet in white wine sauce (zhao liu yu pian).

Probably wise to skip over Korean as you have, although I would lobby pretty hard for soondubu at Kaju. One of the finest dishes around town.

For the Thai (and Allston/Brighton) category you might also consider Thai Place for some of that northeastern style fare:

In the "Other" bucket, Curry n Wok (f/k/a Biryani Park) ought to be considered.

Nov 20, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Now that Hamersley's is gone, where is Boston's best chicken dish?

After having eschewed chicken for too long I now find myself seeking it out often and Macchu Picchu is maybe my fave bird. I haven't had it in a coupla years but I often think about that stupendous skillet roasted chicken at Hungry Mother (although I'm not seeing on the current menu). For a simple straight-ahead roast bird, believe it or not but the Cheesecake Factory nails it ! Stay for the ambiance. There's of course the always-crowd-pleasing Bon Chon. I wish we had a top-contender tandoori chicken, but we really don't have a tandoor master. Another simple chicken-y chicken dish is the Hainan at Penang, and the various Thai versions around (not sure which one is best). I would kill to have an el pollo al carbon drive-thru joint in my life again.

Nov 13, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

China King still best peking duck?

Right. And China King's duck definitely has a little subcutaneous fat left on it (which I enjoy).

If you do happen to go, be sure to arrive on time. A couple of weeks ago I was running a bit late and paid the price by getting a not-hot skin course.

Nice thing about China King is, not only do they do a respectable bird, but one can round out the anti-atkins meal with some very good scallion pancakes, dumplings and noodles.

Pretty good HK-style clay pot rice (bou zai faan 煲仔飯) @ Clay Pot Cafe

Not a bad idea to call them off of stirring it up so soon to let that bottom crisp up some more.

The glug of oily seasoning adds a good bit of flavour but it's a relatively simple, subtle dish, in any permutation. Which is not to say not quite enjoyable. I often have a hankering for a simple meat'n'rice bowl and this will do the trick, the trademark Taishan yellow eel bowl is a delight. I'm told that the particular species of eel here is quite a bit larger and different in flavour than Taishan but those tiny bits of chew strewn about crispy rice were as comfy as it gets.

Sep 30, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

Chinese Mirch is expanding into California, Texas, Virginia and also over by the Symphony on Mass Ave. Based on a quick peek looks like it's a month or two out. Another good add to the neighbourhood.

Sep 21, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Local trash fish

Reminds me of the fantastic "sheepshead" special I had last week at The Azorean.

Sep 05, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Thai Place - Northeastern/Isaan cuisine in Allston

I haven't made it over to Thai E-Sarn yet but I hope you'll give us the scoop tatsu !

Here's their online Thai menu (thankfully translated):

Sep 04, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Khao Man Gai in Greater Boston?

There are a few Thainanese chicken rices around:

Pad Thai Cafe -

S&I To Go -

Thai Place -

Let us know what you think of em !

Sep 04, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Back Bay visit

Depends on where the show is.

If it's at, say, House of Rules, I'd drop your crap off at the hotel and promptly ankle it over to Island Creek for a few dozen oysters at opening hour followed by cocktails at the Hawthorne before the show and whiskies at Citizen afterwards. Maybe a Tasty Burger. On your walk back pop into Chef Changs for a dinner of regional Chinese fare. Maybe a digestif at the Clio bar or beers at Bukowski Tavern. Coda would also be a suitably less-touristy place in Back Bay to wind down after a show.

If it's at the Paradise or Harpers Ferry then you really should make your meal moves in Allston/Brighton.

Heck, pretty much every music venue is probably in a neighbourhood better suited to eat & drink in than Back Bay.

Wake up late the next day and have an excessive lunch at Coppa before catching that train out.

Sep 03, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Where else can one find a very good bowl of Bun Rieu besides Xinh Xinh?

You might like Sunshine's rendition though, like Xinh Xinh, their bowl could use a little more crabby oomph.

Sep 02, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Thai Place - Northeastern/Isaan cuisine in Allston

Just a block over from S&I is another notable tiny Thai restaurant featuring regional cuisine with an emphasis from the Northeast/Isaan region where the chef-owner is from.

As is often the case, there are dueling menus. The Thai menu is posted on their website but they were quick to point out that it is not always up-to-date - With their help, I took a quick stab at translating (below) the Thai menu they had on-hand but would greatly appreciate additional detail and/or corrections. I didn't include all the fine details and ingredients of each dish, but they should be pretty easily googlable.

I sampled their som tam poo bplaa raa - papaya salad with fermented crab and fermented (rotten) fish paste - and it was tops. Fiery, funky, stanky, and just a touch of tang and sweetness to round it out, there could not possibly be enough sticky rice for this dish.

Ko moo yang - grilled marinated pork neck - is another dish worth ordering, hard not to like fatty grilled pieces of pork. Could have used a tad more char but otherwise mighty tasty.

Kaeng pah (Isaan-style jungle curry) was not your run-of-the-mill jungle boogie curry. It came packed full of the spicy sour complexities of these northeastern curry-soups and is a perfectly light veggie-laden soup to sweat out the rest of summer.

I'm sure it will be tough to walk past S&I for many, but I hope folks do go exploring through the menu at Thai Place because I think there's room for both to coexist.

Thai Place
184 Brighton Ave


Som Tam
- som tam thai
- som tam poo (w/ fermented crab
)- som tam poo bplaa raa (w/ fermented crab + fermented fish paste)
- som tam sua (fermented crab + fermented fish paste + thin noodles/khanom jeen)
- som tam goong sod (w/ shrimp)
- som tam moo krob (w/ crispy pork)

Khao Phat (fried rice)
- khao phat moo/gai (pork/chicken)
- khao phat poo/goong (fermented crab/shrimp)
- khao phat krapow moo krob (w/ thai basil + crispy pork)
- khao phat man goong (w/ shrimp + shrimp 'fat')
- khao phat naem (w/ sour pork sausage)
- khao phat kun chiang (w/ chinese sausage)
- khao phat kaeng bplaa kem (w/ curry paste + salted fish)
- khao phat talay (w/ mixed seafood)
- khao phat khiao wan (w/ green curry)

- moo ping (grilled pork skewers)
- gai yang (grilled chicken)
- ko moo yang (grilled pork neck)
- moo dad deaw (thai pork jerky)
- soop nar mai (bamboo shoot salad)
- laap moo/gai (pork/chicken)
- laap bplaa dook (catfish)
- laap moo krob (pork belly)
- nam tok moo/neua (pork/beef salad)
- nam tok ko moo yang (pork neck salad)

- tom saab kra dook moo (issan-style spicy sour pork rib soup)
- tom saab en toon (issan-style spicy sour soup)
- po tak talay (spicy sour seafood soup)
- tom yam goong sod (spicy sour soup w/ shrimp)
- tom saab moo/gai (spicy soup with pork/chicken)
- tom jued tao hoo moo saab (mild pork broth soup with pork meatballs and veggies)
- kaeng pa moo/gai/neua (issan-style jungle curry with pork/chicken/beef)
- kaeng om moo/gai (issan-style soup/curry with fermented fish paste, herbs with pork/chicken)

Other Salads
- yum woon sen (glass noodle salad)
- yum mama (instant noodle salad)
- yum moo yaw (pork sausage salad)
- moo manao (spicy pork + lime salad)
- yum ruam mit (seafood salad)

Rice Plates
- khao kha moo yang (braised pork neck over rice)
- khao khluk kapi (rice fried with shrimp paste)
- khao man gai tod (fried chicken + rice)
- khao kana moo krob (chinese broccoli + crispy pork belly)
- khao phat krapow moo krob (thai basil + crispy pork belly)
- khao phat krapow moo krob phat phet (as above + spicy)
- khao moo tod kratiem (with fried pork + garlic)
- khao rad krapow (thai basil w/ chicken/pork/seafood/catfish)
- khao rad krapow tod (thai basil + fried chicken)
- khao phat krapow gai yeaw maa (thai basil + century egg)
- khao phat prik khing moo krob (w/ curry paste + crispy pork)
- khao phat phet blaa dook (w/ curry paste + crispy catfish)

Without rice
- peek kai tod (thai fried chicken wings)
- kaew tod (fried pastry filled with minced pork)
- goong tod kratiem (shrimp fried with garlic)
- phat kana bplaa kem (salted fish + chinese broccoli)
- goong chae nam bplaa (lime marinated raw shrimp)
- bplaa rad phrik (fried whole fish w/ chili sauce)
- bplaa neung manao (steamed whole fish)

- phat see ew (chicken or pork)
- phat kee mow (chicken or pork)
- udon kee mow talay (sauteed udon w/ seafood)
- kway teow tom yum moo (pork boat noodle soup)
- kuay teow phet nam (duck noodle soup)
- rat na (chicken or pork)

New Chef Chang on Mass. Ave.

This reflects the theme of the conversation I had with the owner yesterday who emphasized that the dishes on the menu may be familiar but they are preparing them slightly differently than what we may be accustomed to around town.

I'm having a bowl of fuqi fei pian for breakfast as I type this and it is good. Very lightly dressed but still enough slick and a creeping hit of ma la (very fresh peppercorns).

Aug 20, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Biryani Park is Coming Back (I Hope!)

Same space as C&W and will be called Suvai (Tamil for yummy). I for one can't wait to have them back !

Aug 18, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Fave Asian dish featuring crab in the area?

Penang has had both chili crab and pepper crab for as long as I can remember, but the online menu currently does not make mention of either. Hopefully it's still available, perhaps with some advance notice, because it was our only source (and pretty good).

Bubor Cha Cha had a righteous dungeness crab casserole dish with xo saucy sticky rice but, again, I'm not seeing it right now on the online menu.

The simple live Alaskan King preps like RoyRon mentions below are always a delight, despite the pricetag.

Aug 07, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Boston Jerk Fest (June 28) South End

That was my feeling. Not cheap or easy to find pimento but I was curious to know if anybody was cooking their jerk with aromatic wood smoke of any kind. All the jerk I get around here is roasted or stewed.

Jun 12, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Boston Jerk Fest (June 28) South End

Presumably this means jerk meats cooked with wood fire.

Matt - who cooks jerk chicken over a wood (pimento) fire in town ? The stewed stuff can be tasty but is an entirely different thang.

Jun 12, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Boston dishes so rich, they will send you to the boneyard.

reminds me of the braised lamb neck that was on an earlier menu at West Bridge - so so sticky

and also the nihari at Darbar is a bellybomb too

a rather marginal bo kho I had that was a completely congealed block of gelatin the next day when pulled from the fridge - mighta been Pho Basil

May 28, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Skate Wing

Hamersley's - "Sautéed Skate with Roasted Beets, Cherry Peppers and Warm Garlicky Potato-Horseradish Skordalia"

Tavern Road - "pan roasted skate wing, apple relish, pumpkin agro dolce"

Clio - "Roasted skate wing, calamansi "BBQ", kai-lan, Thai herbs"

The French brasserie places prepare it the French brasserie brown beurre way.

May 15, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Skate Wing

Also Gaslight, Hamersley's, Tavern Road, Clio (sometimes), and for a different prep Neptune uses skate for their Weds fish & chips special to very good effect.

May 14, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

ISO chopped steak

This is a great suggestion and a reminder of a place that I've long forgotten. Not a huge fan of their sauces but, like kare raisu, I do crave it about once a year.

May 06, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Best Beef Chowfun in Boston Chinatown?

In addition to BLR & China King, Winsor and Penang also know their way around the wok altho it's a bit like bbq in the variability of smoke factor on any given visit, with Penang being the worst culprit ... but when they're on, the wok hei is far & away the best (same applies to char kway teow).

(pictured: china king, penang, winsor)

The Merchant

Popped in for lunch and sat there frowning at the menu for 30 minutes wondering what the heck to order. Incredibly boring menu which my DC described as: "It's a worst hits collection of all the most boring stuff at ESK that nobody orders." I was highly offended by the two tiny burnt slivers of CRUST that accompanied the pate. The bread was totally unusable. I don't know how that even gets plated. And a comically small amount that, even if it actually had been a proper slice (that wasn't burnt), still would not have been sufficient for the portion of pate. This is a general pet peeve of mine when it comes to charcuterie - the bread is always burnt, not enough, slathered in butter, etc. C'mon, this is toast, get it right man. (/rant) The frizzy frisee was so watery we had to send it back. Nice selection of beer which I enjoyed before moving on to a second redeeming lunch.

May 02, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

ISO chopped steak

I bet D-P puts some thought into it, thanks.

Frankly, I'd almost forgotten about this patty obsession until you brought up pojarski !

Apr 29, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

ISO chopped steak

Thanks. There's plenty reason enough for me to get to the WG beyond chopped steak, assuming things are same as they ever were with the new owners.

Apr 29, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

ISO chopped steak

I've been afflicted by a mild obsession with patties lately. Mostly, these have been burgers - beef, tuna, salmon - that I end up ordering sans bun because I want the PATTY. Unadorned by all these burger topping atrocities.

So, y'know, a workingman's (not Hungry-Man) chopped steak with a savory brown gravy. Or a perhaps a slightly precious steak haché with bearnaise, bordelaise, poivre.

I don't even see this on a menu anymore - from Morton's to the Mount Vernon - although I'm sure it can be had with some custom-ordering at a steakhouse (to probably good effect). But I'm looking for a purpose-built chopped steak. Where ?

Apr 28, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Why Yelp is useless (Boston discussion on their "Top 100 places to eat!" article

Even if you don't go that deep into Yelp, there's good value there. There's lotsa pics which can be highly informative. It's a particularly good compass when you're in the dense jungle of an ethnic neighbourhood of another city and haven't done the homework. A quick scan of reviews and pictures, it's easy to pick up on the patterns that tell you where to go for gamjatang and where to go for sundubu. You'd have to slog your way to those answers on CH but would probably be rewarded with a more informed strategy.

Apr 23, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Hankering for hawker grub, I'm curious to revisit Punjabi Dhaba's snacks and chaats. For a "roadside cafe" I wonder if they're as good as RKR's, which are quite good.

Apr 07, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area