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Post Your Three Favorite Things You ate in Boston in 2011

Great thread!

Cornmeal Catfish at Hungry Mother
Fish Fillets and Chinese Cabbage with Spicy Chili Sauce at Golden Garden
Tea leaf salad at Yoma

Dec 31, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Best of Babka?

This thread is near and dear to my heart. I love baking babka and am happy to hear of these alternative options.

Sep 21, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Has anyone tried Catalyst yet ?

I had an excellent first experience at Catalyst. My DC and I ordered

Baby beets salad - Very good rendition with shaved fennel and some fried balls of cheese.
Corn soup - Very good as well, but could be a bit too creamy for lunch. I liked the fresh tarragon.
Roasted cod - This was a rich dish as well with a lot of different things going on including potatoes and chowder. My DC loved it.
Tournedos of Beef - One of the most tender pieces of beef I have had in awhile. Typical but excellent parsley bordelaise sauce. Perfectly done greens.

For dessert we had a peach-almond tart which was outstanding. It was delicate and was appropriately buttery. The basil coulis provided a nice contrast.

The room was beautiful and the service was a bit uneven, but the restaurant is so new. Overall, this was a great meal and I hope to return soon.

Sep 20, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

peachy peaches?

I had really good Saturn peaches from Keown orchards at the Copley farmers market on Tuesday. Not quite at perfect sweetness but close.

Aug 11, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Bosphorus "meh" vote / cautionary tale

My experience was meh as well a few weeks ago. The food did not match the quality or flavor depth of Brookline family restaurant. The pita seemed like it came out of a bag from the supermarket .

Apr 18, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Cumin Lamb at Golden Garden, Belmont

Though I have not had the chicken in spicy sauce, the tofu does come in a big bowl of spicy (though not very spice) brothy sauce. The portion size is quite large.

Jan 28, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Cumin Lamb at Golden Garden, Belmont

The fried tofu with Chinese cabbage was my favorite dish as well among many great dishes.

Jan 27, 2011
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Joyful Garden last night

I have to echo your sentiments about Joyful Garden. The Chinese menu has a lot of great Cantonese dishes. Some of the dishes I remember enjoying include beef and cilantro soup, eggplant with basil, crispy tofu with shrimp, water spinach (kong xin cai), and tofu and fish hot pot.

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Joyful Garden
1234 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston, MA 02135

Nov 24, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Joyful Garden- Allston, Days In

I agree with Fukai and tatsu above. This is a great restaurant to introduce others not-too-Americanized-Chinese food.

Taking a chance with the banquet menu is a great idea.

Sep 13, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Joyful Garden- Allston, Days In

I recently went to Joyful Garden, which is the Cantonese restaurant inside the Days Hotel in Allston, for the second time with my wife and her parents. We had a very good dinner, enough to revive this four-year old thread!

My wife’s parents are Chinese, so we were able to order from the Chinese menu. Unfortunately, the English menu is missing some of the items listed in the Chinese menu, so I was happy to have access to an expanded offering.

We enjoyed the following dishes:
- Beef and cilantro soup – a traditional Cantonese soup with tender minced beef, egg drops, and a not-overwhelming amount of cilantro
- Eggplant with basil – similar to the Yu Xiang Eggplant that I love – soft but not mushy eggplant in a flavorful sauce
- Crispy tofu with shrimp – the tofu has a thin, crispy layer on the outside, but the actual tofu is silken on the inside with small pieces of shrimp topping the cubes of tofu
- Pepper steak – admittedly similar to Americanized Chinese food, but the beef was tender and tasty, and not too salty or sweet
- Water spinach (kong xin cai) – delicate greens cooked lightly with garlic
- Tofu and fish hot pot – chunks of tofu and moist fish

The restaurant is clean, and the service is friendly. As others have posted, the location is a bit tucked out of the way on Soldier’s Field Road, but the good thing is that there is parking.

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Joyful Garden
1234 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston, MA 02135

Sep 12, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Any good Restaurant Week reports?

Went to Russell House Tavern on Saturday night not realizing there was a restaurant week option. Two DCs ordered off RW menu but I did not. Each dish I tasted off the restaurant week menu was very good, if not excellent.

I really enjoyed the Verrill Farms corn and basil cakes, which used fresh, sweet corn and were not deep fried. I appreciated the tomato and arugula side with the cakes as a good contrast. The braised veel cheeks were falling-apart tender and nicely paired with a cauliflower puree.

The chocolate budino was essentially a standard, yet very good, warm, and moist chocolate bread pudding.

The non-restaurant week menu items I tasted have been already discussed on other boards, such as the crispy poached egg, which was excellent.

I am happy to finally have a good restaurant at this price point in Harvard Square.

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Verrill Farm
11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

Russell House Tavern
14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Aug 24, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

August Openings and Closings

There is a new Indian restaurant opening up in the old Il Panino Express space on Mass Ave between Harvard and Central Squares. The restaurant looks like it is opening within days.

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Il Panino
1001 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Aug 23, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Red Pepper; The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes!

Though this thread is one year old, I am happy to hear Red Pepper has its fans. There is a small backstory to share.

Around a year ago, Red Pepper hired a chef who worked in an excellent Sichuan restaurant in a strip mall in Exton, PA (a suburb of Philadelphia). My Chinese in-laws were sad to see him go because the food there has gone downhill. When they visit Labor Day weekend, I hope to make the pilgrimmage out there and skip Sichuan Gourmet for a change.

Aug 19, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

8/16/10; EGGPLANT, How Do I Love Thee?Let Me Count the Ways

I agree with a lot of postings above. I would add bedenjal mechoui from Baraka Cafe.

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Baraka Cafe
80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Aug 17, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

back bay social club

I'm not sure how the restaurant will be able to charge $21 for a burger. The burger is more expensive than most of the other entrees.

http://backbaysocialclub.com/menu/Bac...

Aug 09, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Formaggio BBQ

I was there as well at 11:30 on Saturday. I guess we were all next to each other on line!

We had the pulled pork and the brisket sandwiches as wells as lamejun, The brisket was superior to any other brisket I have had except perhaps at Tupelo. The brisket was both moist and tender. I have found the brisket at Redbones and Blue Ribbon relatively dry (thus I often go for the KC burnt ends there) in comparison. I enjoyed the lamejun but I must say that the warmed Iggys bread stole the show from the lamejun.

DC and I can't wait to go back later this summer to try the ribs.

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Redbones
55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

Aug 09, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Help! Where to brunch in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville?

I agree with many of these suggestions. Craigie on Main is my favorite "stellar" brunch in the area and can accomodate 8 if you book now. I will be there on Sunday as well!

Garden in the Cellar, East Coast Grill, and Blue Room brunches are quite good as well. I am curious to try Tupelo. Like another poster, I have only been to Henrietta's Table for dinner and have not been especially impressed even though I hear its brunch is great.

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East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Henrietta's Table
One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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

Jul 27, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Good Boston steak NOT at a steakhouse

I really enjoy the steaks at Prezza. I have found the steaks there to be superior to most steakhouses. Beyond French bistros, there are good steaks at Union Bar and Grille, Bergamot, and the South End Buttery.

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Prezza
24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

Union Bar and Grille
1357 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118

South End Buttery
314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

Jul 13, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

June openings and closings

The new Cambrdige location of Flour Bakery opened today. It is located on Mass Ave between Central and MIT.

I had a good egg breakfast sandwich with cheddar, arugula, and dijonaise on ciabatta this morning.

Jun 25, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Upscale Vegetarian near Copley

I am looking for an restaurant within walking distance of Copley where I can take a vegetarian client. The most obvious option is L'Espalier but I do not have the budget so I need to go a step down.

I believe Sel de la Terre and Sorrellina have only one vegetarian entree each. Douzo may have options but the online menu looks incomplete. Erbulace has great options but may be too far a walk.

I wish I could go to Craigie.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Douzo
131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

Sel de la Terre
1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760

Jun 17, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Royal East, Kentral Cambridge?

I have to agree about Mulan. Ever since I first went to Mulan a few months ago (via Chowhound), I love gong back.

May 28, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Dorado Tacos & Cemitas Total Disappointment

Thanks. I realized I had tried the S&S chopped liver a few years ago and was disappointed. I'm looking forward to trying your recommendations.

May 01, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Dorado Tacos & Cemitas Total Disappointment

I have not tried any chopped liver since I left New York. Do you know where there is some good quality chopped liver in the Boston area?

Apr 30, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Rosenfeld's Bagels Superb Challah

As a native New Yorker, I had thought Cheryl Ann's was my favorite (sweet) challah in Boston. I ate it regularly because their challah is distributed to grocery stores around the Boston area. Once I tried Rosenfelds, I was blown away by its quality. I realized that there is no need for me to go home to try great bagels and challah. The challah's sweetness level, eggy-ness, and texture are exactly to my liking. It is always so hard to choose between purchasing bagels and challah!

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Cheryl Anns
1010 W Roxbury Pkwy, Chestnut Hill, MA

Apr 20, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Need a decent restaurant in the desert of Back Bay

Certainly within a 15 minute walk of the Hilton, your friends will be near enough to visit the South End. The closest South End restaurant is Petit Robert on Columbus serving classic bistro cuisine. Walking a few minutes further than Petit Robert would allow your friends to visit Toro on Washington Street and other South End restaurants.

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Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Apr 06, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge Street, Allston

Which Korean restaurants do you all prefer in Allston? What dishes make them special? There is a recent Korean BBQ thread but I am more curious about non-BBQ Korean cuisine.

Thanks for the reminder about Blue Asia. I remember the strong recommendations provided a couple of months ago.

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Blue Asia Cafe
113 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

Mar 30, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge Street, Allston

I have never been to Grain and Salt but I can strongly recommend Yoma, a Burmese restaurant at the intersection of N. Beacon and Brighton. Two of my favorite dishs are the tea leaf salad and the pan fried tofu with coconut cream with pumpkin and shallots.

Within a short walk, there is a wide range of great ethnic restaurants. Do a search for Allston and you will get useful results such as S&I Thai, JoJo Taipai, Shanghai Gate, Carlos Cucina, and more.

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Shanghai Gate
204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Grain and Salt
431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

S&I To Go
168A Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Mar 29, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Looking for good cheap eats within walking distance of Back Bay station

Within walking distance is Picco, a South End thin-crust pizza restaurant with a good beer selection and homemade ice cream. There were recent postings raving about their calzones. Also nearby is Addis Red Sea, an Ethopian restaurant I have been meaning to revisit after a few years. I wouldn't call either restaurant cheap but I would certainly not call them expensive.

You can also go to Laurel, which is an attractive space with standard American (comfort)food. It may be a little above your price range.

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Red Sea Cafe
1127 Harrison Ave, Roxbury, MA 02119

Mar 24, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Picco calzones

I have really liked their pizza but never tried the calzone. I will have to try it soon too.

Mar 22, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area

Boston and beyond. College Visits for daughter, fun food for mom.

There's a lot of advice on this list already but I wanted throw in an additional plug for East Side Pockets. I haven't been back in 3 years, but ESP is most certainly Thayer Street institution. My first experience eating felafel was there many years ago. I had always liked that the donut shape of the felafel allowed for more surface area for their excellent fried batter.

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East Side Pocket
278 Thayer St, Providence, RI 02906

Mar 21, 2010
babka eater in Greater Boston Area