Bob Dobalina's Profile

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Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Yeah, I don't see much similarity with Puritan.

about 21 hours ago
Bob Dobalina in Greater Boston Area

Shout-out to the Style Cafe in the Navy Yard complex, Charlestown

Little cafe at the end of 8th Street - sandwiches, Middle Eastern and standard, salads, baked goods, smoothies.

On Sunday, we had a falafel wrap which was really quite tasty.

But the highlight for me was the Frozen Lemonade - a big cup of icy, slushy lemonade that to my eye and mouth was clearly freshly made - it was sweet but finished really tart and even a little bitter, as if some of the peel was ground up in it from the juicer - they have one of those orange juicer machines that I feel like I have only ever seen in Europe. And I think at $4, it was well worth the price of admission.

Such a pleasant surprise - really very nice job all the way around. We grabbed our bites and strolled over to the nearby park, which is along the water - made for a very pleasant afternoon.

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

We stopped by on Saturday night on the spur of the moment - it was nearly empty, although the tiny bar had several patrons. We enjoyed a glass of rose (a generous pour) and one of their cocktails - the Aveze Mule - excellent, herbal and spicy. For dessert, we shared a chocolate sourdough concoction that was firmly toasted, topped with caramel and chocolates sauces and accompanied by four unique toppings - exactly what we were looking for. I enjoyed a glass of Armagnac to finish. The service was lovely and we felt welcomed.

In perusing the menu, it struck us that there are similarities between Loyal Nine and La Brasa, with Loyal Nine appearing on this visit to be superior in every way.

Ogawa Coffee

Thanks for the detailed review. I was perplexed that the grand opening was the Friday before Memorial Day ... At 10 am. Not sure I understand that philosophy.

May 2015 Openings and Closings

I understand that the chefs will wear white, but will have their backs to the customers.

bakery, patisserie in boston, seriously??

So basically, we need to pass a law establishing Obama-bakeries!

May 2015 Openings and Closings

Ogawa, the Japanese fancy coffee shop, on Milk St. is opening on May 22.

Stopped by Paul again - I like the chocolate croissant - not weighted down by chocolate - it's tasty. The restaurant has a bit of a design issue, at least in the morning. The coffee bar is on the side with the full service section, which was closed this morning. So technically, you may not stand in front of the coffee bar. But there is a tip jar for the barista. And no one is sitting down for full service breakfast that I have seen. Maybe it's different at lunch time. In any case, the layout is a problem because we are all trained by S-bucks to wait in front of the barista.

bakery, patisserie in boston, seriously??

I stopped in too. It was a little bit shocking to order a coffee and breakfast bite with classical music being piped in. Entirely too pleasant!

The space is very nice - my blood pressure dropped 20 points while waiting in line.

Got a pain au raisin, which was generous in size and had a sugary crust ala brûlée, which was a bit too sweet for me.

I hope this place does well, but I was not encouraged as I passed the takeout window line for the nearby dunks. When this space fails, they should just fill it in.

Where was this picture taken? Jimmy's Harborside, Anthony's Pier 4 or Union Oyster House

Ah-ha! Took me a couple of views but now I see the popovers on the table. Definitely Pier 4.

Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing?

Thanks - that's good to know.

Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing?

I thought that was you! :)

May 2015 Openings and Closings

Paul Bakery at the corner of Washington and State is opening Monday. Tried to get them to sell me a chocolate croissant today, but they were for training. :(

The Japanese coffee house on Milk Street is looking closer too. Good news for breakfast in an area where it is really lacking for options.

Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing?

Place looks great - it bustles like no other supermarket I've been in anywhere. The people watching is fascinating and the mix of people is better than any other place I know of in Boston.

Bought a nice piece of halibut steak (which on a side note, I thought to be severely limited and endangered but have seen everywhere this spring) for $12 a pound, which was 4 less than the WF version a week before.

All their fish is through Foley Brothers - I have no idea of the significance of that but the marketing made it seem like a good thing.

Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing?

If you mean that two story garage adjacent to 101 Federal, it is closed. Going to be torn down for a new gleaming tower, I think.

Free to park downtown on Sunday.

Fat Cat Seized by Tax Officials

The big question is whether the owner will ask his patrons to bail him out, ala Toscanini.

Boston Trip Report: Ribelle, Café Sushi, Coppa and more (very long)

Great post - thank you. I think you and I might be cousins.

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Permitting speed in Somerville vs Boston? I thought they first announced a Boston branch and the next thing I heard was the Assembly Row opening. Maybe just a change in focus.

April 2015 Openings and Closings

The Paul French bakery at Washington and State is looking close - paper off the windows and hiring signs. Between this and the Japanese coffee place going in on Milk St., that area just got way better.

Dinner rec for tomorrow 4/21 in Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington?

You might consider TW Food - same owner as Bronwyn although very different - they have a Tuesday night wine dinner - here's the link.

No Caesar but...

Destination: Donuts

Haven't been to the Kane's in Boston but thinking that might be a place to start.

Pure Vegetarian/Vegan Indian Restaurant

+1 - excellent chow here.

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

Draghi IS Primo.

My one dinner at Marcuccio probably had as much to do with my future alignment with chowhounds as anything. My mother, at that dinner, looked at the menu and freaked out, chanting to herself, "there is nothing I can eat, nothing I can eat...." We calmed her and the table with a couple of bottles of Sant'Agata Barbera, which was a revelation. She ultimately ordered the lobster over butter beans and survived. I ate, for the first time, an appetitzer of quail and duck over a pasta for a main, which were both quite excellent. My poor father meanwhile had to explain how he found this place. How's this for irony? He had done "research on the web" - this was I think 1999 - for an Italian place in the North End and it had been highly rated somewhere during the Pleistocene pre-yelp days.

I recounted this story to Chef Draghi during one of my infrequent visits to Erbaluce. He was charming, offering to make my Nabalidan mother an arrabiatta sauce the next time she was in town (which I fear would engender a similar reaction). I also ran into him around the same time going to Hungry Mother with his wife, which struck me as very cool. Of course, why wouldn't he go out to eat at another new, happening restaurant? So I like the guy.

And as a humble and infrequent customer, I dare to say that I think I understand his approach and his indignant responses to yelps. He is a chef who cooks on the edge every day - procuring the freshest items available and using his powers and skills to create appeal and to appease. He is without compromise. The room does not distract from the essences of the plates. He is at the helm, working the levers. He does not set a seasonal menu and hand over the reins. Like the fateful older brother from the movie, I suspect he would rather die than bend in his cuisine and potentially lose his soul in the process. He is never going back to Marcuccio.

And some nights it's not quite perfection, like my last visit to Erbaluce where the scales on the skin of the fish were promised to be flash-fried to turn like popcorn, but in practice made for a none too pleasant crunch.

I can overlook the momentary blip. I understand this is the risk I take by submitting my trust to the artist. But also like the movie, most people just want a good night out, to fill their bellies, have a few laughs, have something to brag about on Facebook or Twitter or Yelp or Instagram. This must be so incongruous to a chef like Draghi, and I respect him for his uncompromising viewpoint.

Still, I wish he would post a menu on his website.

Mandatory 20% at Select?

Carty, what would you propose as a better solution? I reflexively do not like being told what to tip too, btw. Would a no tipping allowed policy but requisite price increase be better? Interesting - the SJC just ruled unanimously that you can have a no tipping rule.

Mandatory 20% at Select?

I would not call it arrogance - I go out with too many friends who tip 10-15 percent which embarasses me, so I usually end up making up the difference if I can do so discreetly.

The strange saga of UpperWest

What a load of horse youknowwhat.

Come to Somerville, we'd love to have you.

Mandatory 20% at Select?

Personally, I hate doing math on a full stomach, so I usually round up.

That said, if service were atrocious, I would have no problem asking to lower the percentage.

Best place for seafood dinner

Yeah, silly us thought we could slip in there without a rez this past Monday. The hostess gave us a snappy, wearied response that it would be an hour. It was packed. (So was Eastern Standard)

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Cheeseburger cheeseburger

Boston Globe's Munch Madness about to begin

The votes for HK are a function of idling hipsters having time to browse the web before their art classes or their barista shifts.


Can you imagine the trolling if he walked out with three twee boxes of knots?