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MXG's Profile

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

Parspipity -- it is so easy. Just rice, a cooked vegetable, a fresh vegetable, dal and maybe a pickle. Maybe this is better on the "Home Cooking" board but here is a good site for this type of food:
http://onehotstove.blogspot.com/2006/...

I find that I can replicate my mom's recipes here as long as I get my spices from a store with good turnover and shop for vegetables at Russos. Sadly, my own children hate Indian food and prefer Chinese. Oh, America!

I want to go to Dosa & Curry and Ritu but I'm too lazy to drive there when I have places closer to me :) One day!

Apr 08, 2014
MXG in Greater Boston Area
1

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

I'll bite. I was born in central India but grew up in the midwest and my mother is an excellent cook.

Home food is great because it's freshly cooked in small amounts by a person you like for people they like. They might use foods that are hard to get here -- a specific mango, a type of potato, limboo (lemon/lime cross).

But here is the deal, though. India is a HUGE country with many different dishes/styles. My own community eats vegetarian food that is not really spicy at all. Restaurants don't make many of my favorite foods -- things like pitla bhath or sabudana khichidi or sada varan at all because there aren't really enough people in the US to support such a restaurant. The spices are more subtle, the oil is minimal, all is dependent on very fresh, sometimes finicky ingredients

Restaurants in the US that I've been to tend to be run by people from the North (and here I'm including Nepali-run places) and South with a few Gujarati places. Because they have large communites in the US and because Americans really like spicy food and they like meat. I like some of these places (Tanjore, Masala) but really, my say-so isn't any better than asking a "foodie" from Italy about his favorite French restaurant.

Also, in my observation, many Indians frequent places with "all you can eat" buffets and fast-foody type places. Not necessarily because they are great but because inexpensive and the spice mix is familiar.

Alden & Harlow

Great review, have to agree with pretty much everything.

We met there on Valentine's Day for after-work drinks -- I had the delicious Dr Zaius cocktail, my husband had an IPA. We sat and chatted like we had at the old Casablanca and talked about how great the interior looked (and we liked the old space, too). We split the cauliflower crostini as well as the smoked cashews. Don't miss either -- the cauliflower/bread combination is delicious and the smokiness in the cashews were a delight. The pickled green beans as a snack were wonderful.

We also shared the heirloom eggs and green tomatoes (amazing!) and the beef neck. So glad I ordered the beef neck! It reminded of Ana Sortun's beef short rib and was perfect with the parsnip puree on a cold, cold night.

Also, I'd like to really compliment the staff there. Everyone was just so friendly and nice and that made it the kind of place you'd want to visit again.

Feb 15, 2014
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Pizza and beer...

Penguin Pizza on Huntington? I've not been a few years but seem to remember it as having excellent beer + excellent pizza and a cozy vibe.

Feb 11, 2014
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Best take out Indian in Cambridge area

I like Masala, too. Their chicken tikka masala and saag paneer is pretty good. Also they have some delicious Nepali food and make a very good Masala dosa.

Feb 11, 2014
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Where to find great chilaquiles?

Jose's Mexican in Cambridge has them on the brunch menu.

Oct 08, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Kirkland Tap etc

True about the NY scene. The thing is - a pound of mustard seeds is $6 retail. Prepared mustard is mustard seeds + a liquid (water, vinegar, wine, beer) + two days + grinding. It seems petty to charge for this.

I'm sure they'll find paying customers who want to fork over cash for mustard to have with their sausage (Who knows what the ketchup price is at this place?). Just not me.

Oct 07, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Kirkland Tap etc

$6 mustard is insane! That just seems greedy. I'm putting Kirkland Tap on my list of places where the price is not worth it to me.

Honestly, last time I went to NYC (Greenwich Village, Upper West Side), I found the prices for food and drink to be *lower* than places in Harvard Square.

Oct 07, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Do I Finally Just Give Up on MA Peaches?

Agree with this - Nicewicz farms has the best peaches and taste just fanstastic.

They have a pick-your-own option right now for the peaches and some apples.

Sep 05, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Russo's?

Love Russo's. The produce is fresh and the prices can't be beat (well, maybe by Market Basket).

What I buy there: apples, peaches, pears, citrus, strawberries, blueberries, fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, thai basil, methi, mint), lettuce, spinach, arugula, bok choy, leeks, tomatoes (during off-season), mushrooms, peppers, sprouts, fresh noodles, corn tacos/gorditos.

Also: their house Tuscan ham (unbelievable!), and sometimes porchetta, salami, turkey, proscuitto.

I get organic produce at Whole Foods as well as meat, fish,coffee, dried pasta, bread, legumes, brown rice. I go to Trader Joes for olive pil, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, paper products, wine.

I also go to Fresh Pond Market for their excellent butcher shop and anything I forgot. I buy my spices and big bags of rice at Indian market.

Aug 06, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Clover -- not exactly free fries

Not clear here on the main site:
http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/

Sure if you go over to events, you'd find out but why would you think of doing that?

Jul 26, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Clover -- not exactly free fries

C'mon -- the blog called it "Free Fry Thursday" not "Free Fries with purchase Thursday". Disingenuous.

Jul 26, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Clover -- not exactly free fries

I looked on the Clover lab blog -- here is the headline:
"Free fry day on Thursday. Yeah, we’re coming back"

Followed by:
CLOVER RE-OPENS THURSDAY. FREE FRENCH FRIES FOR CUSTOMERS TO CELEBRATE. BRING YOUR FRIENDS.

Now, you could say "well, customers means people who buy stuff ". But it could also mean "people who used to buy stuff before the salmonella". I think it's ambiguous.

Also, it's unlike other places which give away free ice cream, yogurt, coffee when they first open to build a good buzz. Just Crust recently gave away free pizza.

So, I think it was a crummy bait-and-switch.

Jul 26, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Latest word on Giulia?

My husband and I went there on Friday night at 9, w/ no reservations. The hostess could not have been nicer and sat us at two seats which opened up at the bar (wait time was about 5 minutes).

We ordered delicious cocktails and the crudite of the day - chicken liver pate to start. We split the escarole salad, I had the salmon and white wine, he had the halibut and red wine and we shared the pistachio ice cream. Everything was delicious - I did not want the meal to end!

But service and ambience is what really sets this place apart. Everyone is so professional and kind and seem to have a low-key warmth.

There seemed to be no turnover at the restaurant - people at tables seemed to have them for the night. This unhurried pace was like a mini trip back to Europe!

May 18, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Poor, Cold Service at Boston Restaurants?

Both! We started at the bar and moved to a table (we stayed well under an hour and it wasn't crowded). This was a few years ago so maybe they just had a particularly grumpy group then.

The food was great, though. But really, afterwards we joked that the service was more gracious when it had been a Burger King.

Jan 22, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Poor, Cold Service at Boston Restaurants?

My impression is that people who work in restaurants are friendlier in LA and even in NYC than here in Boston.

Now, I usual get good service at restaurants. While, some places have a warm and inviting attitude, others, not so much. It's not as if I want to be best friends with anyone but I also want a modicum of warmth.

Two places I won't return to because of service: Craigie on Main (aloof, a bit pretentious after the move into the new space) and Rendezvous (just cold and snooty).

A friend of mine from work went to Rendezvous recently and had the same take-away as me. Granted, the plural of anecdote isn't data but still...

Jan 22, 2013
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Is it packed at Toro's on Friday after work?

Depends. If you leave work right at 5:00 and you work nearby, not so much.

Oct 05, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Unshelled peanuts in Boston

Waltham India Market.

Sep 05, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat lunch in downtown Boston?

- Al's State Street (subs)
- Chacarero on Arch Street
- Boston Kebab (meze)
- Sebastian's (BLT)
- d'Guru

Aug 05, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Mexican Food

Argh...that last sentence should read:

I can easily say that the sopas I've had at Jose's Mexican Restaurant in Cambridge are as good as the one's I've had at restaurants *IN LA* frequented by my friends who know Mexican cuisine.

Jul 19, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Mexican Food

What is your friend looking for, exactly? California Mexican food is a bit different than the Mexican food in Texas or Mexico (and areas in Mexico all have their own specialties).

I can easily say that the sopas I've had at Jose's Mexican Restaurant in Cambridge are as good as the one's I've had at the restaurants in frequented by my friends who know Mexican cuisine.

Jul 19, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Trip Report from July 4th weekend- The Good, Bad and the Ugly (LONG)

Thanks so much for the informative report. I think I could take some tips from you in being an adventurous (and polite) diner!

As for Craigie, I went there eons ago when it was a tiny little charming place with decent food served in an unpretentious environment (a basement). When I visited them in their new spot, I found it too be very cold, the price point too high and the food no longer as delicious. Granted, this is just one person but I found myself missing La Groceria (the former restaurant which occupied that spot) which had been a loud, fun place with good Italian food and good drinks.

I think maybe you should have snuck in for a drink + a bite to eat at the Plough and Stars. You'd have been able to enjoy some local music, too and maybe get to meet some local characters.

Jul 12, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Californian Burritos

I love Viva Burrito. When I worked near there, I'd grab either a burrito or a quesadilla nearly every chance I got.

The owners are the same people who own the Helmand.

Jul 06, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Best Indian Takeout or Delivery near Harvard / Porter

Guru does have some good food -- I especially like their fresh, spicy green mango relish. I think it always seemed to be closed around the time I wanted to order takeout.

That said, I went back to Tanjore and found out they now served pathra (also known as alu wadi), which are rolled up taro leaves dipped in chickpea flour and cooked. Of course, I had to get those and they were delicious!

May 31, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Best Indian Takeout or Delivery near Harvard / Porter

I guess we've had different experiences.

We usually order kinda my-kid-friendly "comfort food" there: chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, aloo gobi, masala dosa, samosas. And the people there are are quite nice, too.

May 04, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Best Indian Takeout or Delivery near Harvard / Porter

We always get takeout (not delivery) from Tanjore in Harvard Square and have been consistently happy with it. They've got outstanding basics and I love their masala dosa + sambar. Further afield, in Arlington, I'd recommend Punjab.

I'm not on the "Kebob Factory" or Tamarind Bay bandwagon here. I think Kebob Factory has adequate food combined with an unfortunate name (can't get over it -- I don't want to eat food made in a factory!). And Tamarind Bay, which began serving some of the most sublime Indian food I've ever eaten has declined in quality over time and has problems with consistency -- the last time I ate there, several dishes were *greasy*.

May 04, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area

Sebastian's - any info?

Sebastian's BLT (SBLT): one of the best sandwiches ever made. I don't know what it is but the combination of high quality, well-cooked bacon, great brioche, blue cheese spread, tomatoes and lettuce is unbelievably better than it sounds.

Before I had that sandwich, I thought Sebastian's was overpriced and not that special . But that sandwich changed my mind altogether.

Jan 13, 2012
MXG in Greater Boston Area