Bob Dobalina's Profile

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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?

Places to eat near Tufts?

If you're paying for his Tufts tuition, not too evil.

Places to eat near Tufts?

Thankfully, Tenoch is coming soon to Davis Sq.


Just had some as a special app at La Brasa in Somerville on Saturday night, so you might call their market and see if they have any to sell.


And an axe! Amiright?

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

You need to get the white clam with bacon. That was why it was not the transcendent experience you were hoping for.

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

Very sorry about the funeral - that obviously excuses all.


Favorite slice (square) is Iggy's factory store in Cambridge - especially when it's fresh out of the oven. The cheese is superb.

Second favorite is my own, with a $1.50 dough from Haymarket Pizza.

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Geez, hard for me to say right now. Will get back to you after obtaining more data :-b C>

Best ice cream in Boston is..

I'll throw Gracie's into the ring - results are early, but Tosci is just...I dunno....too heavy. Gracie's is really smooth, creamy. Of course, more testing is essential.

Used to think Christina's was worthy of the crown but everything about them has seemed a bit stale for a while to my mild dismay. I feel like five years ago, I would go in and there would be new flavors every visit. Now it all sorta seems the same. Still decent but they have conceded the race.

Boston Globe's Munch Madness about to begin

I wonder if we can send those snubbed restaurants an invitation to the Munch NIT.

Yearly Report on Most Mentioned Restaurants on CH Boston ?

I'm holding out for the double-secret burger, or is it the secret double burger?

Where to take four young kids in Cambridge/Somerville

Parsnipity is 100% correct on HK. (Also as a regular visitor, will mention that we feel subtle changes in the force over there lately that make us a little less likely to go there reflexively - small upticks in price, down ticks in quality.)

So has anyone been to Some Ting Nice, La Brasa or dare I suggest Sarma with babies/kids?

Just had Saturday lunch at GG for the one year old's birthday and the food was terrific and the Signore mugged for the baby to her great pleasure.

April 2015 Openings and Closings

That was L'il Vinny's which is now the Greek-themed hipster bar, Daddy Jones. Been over there lately? How about Pennypackers or any of the Latino spots - any hidden gems?

Holy shnikies - great sandwich at Grassroots Cafe - Dtx - the Korean Banh Mi

I started thinking more about my original post and was worried that the name was really misleading if you were expecting a classic banh mi. Glad you enjoyed it for what it was and did not feel too misled.

The African-American chef there I believe has been making sandwiches around downtown Boston for many a year so you will likely enjoy anything he puts together.

Best takeout/delivery in Cambridge/Somerville/northern Boston/Brookline

Cafe Sushi on Mass. Ave. in Harvard Sq. is by far the best sushi I have had in Boston. Super fresh - really interesting and different veggie sushi options. You won't return to the other places once you start here.

Holy shnikies - great sandwich at Grassroots Cafe - Dtx - the Korean Banh Mi

BTW, freely should read "freshly" - darn autocorrect.

Also, just to clarify - the contents of the sub are not what I would call a classic banh mi. The bread certainly is. But the stuffing is closer to cheese steak territory, er...without the cheese.

Saturday evening cocktails for grown ladies

Yeah, lots of good options that kind of fly under the radar. Thanks for starting the thread.

Saturday evening cocktails for grown ladies

Would second Casa B or perhaps backbar

Holy shnikies - great sandwich at Grassroots Cafe - Dtx - the Korean Banh Mi

Yes. Still the excellent classic sandwiches with the freely roasted turkey, etc.