BlakeGumprecht's Profile

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Is Kashmir in Salem, N.H., any good?

I went last night. The food was good, but the menu was pretty unimaginative and had lots of not-very-Indian elements (basil naan? beef dishes?!?). I would go back if I were in Salem, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here.

Jan 30, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Northern New England

Is Kashmir in Salem, N.H., any good?

Yelpers love Kashmir in Salem, N.H., but Chowhounders tend to be more discriminating in their tastes. Has anyone tried Kashmir? Is it any good?

I have to say that I'm a little suspect of all the positive reviews on Yelp because many of the reviewers are from places with zero ethnic diversity (do they know Indian food?) and because the restaurant's menu is the standard North Indian menu (read: uninteresting) you see at nearly every Indian restaurant in this country. They even have beef dishes, which, in my experience, is a telltale sign that an Indian restaurant isn't very authentic.

Jan 29, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Northern New England

Djon djon mushrooms?

Tropical Foods in Roxbury has them, but I have also purchased them at a small Haitian market called J&R Enterprises, 200 Salem Street, Malden, and preferred the ones they sell. The ones at Tropical Foods have to be discarded after being cooked, but the main part of the mushrooms on the ones I bought at J&R did not. They also produced a much tastier dish.

I would also highly recommend this recipe for making Riz au djon djon: http://dailymade.wordpress.com/tag/di.... I've used it multiple times and the results have been absolutely delish.

Jan 15, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Opinions of Maharaja in Harvard Square?

Yes, I did search for Maharaja on CH, but the only discussion I found was quite old, shortly after it opened, and was relatively brief.

Sep 08, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Opinions of Maharaja in Harvard Square?

Has anyone been to Maharaja in Harvard Square lately? It's new to me, though apparently not new. The menu looks a little more interesting than most Indian restaurants in the area, though I've been disappointed by almost every Indian restaurant in the Boston area (save Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington, if that gives you any idea of my tastes).

I'm considering trying Maharaja for lunch on Sunday, or Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington, also new to me. Where should I go?

Sep 07, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

List of Boston's "ethnic" markets

I maintain my own list of Boston area ethnic markets for a class I teach on the geography of food at the University of New Hampshire. I update it once a year or so. You can access it here:

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Ethnic%20food%20stores.pdf

I also maintain a similar list of ethnic restaurants, accessible here:

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Eth...

Sep 07, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants?

Been to Istanbu'lu twice -- loved it the first time, not so much the second.

Sep 06, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants?

I'm open-minded, so long as its veg friendly, though I'd also like to hear about other places, since I teach a geography of food class and maintain a list of Boston area ethnic restaurants for the class.

Sep 06, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants?

Yes, I know. I've encountered that here before. I disagree with the belief that all food is ethnic, but really don't want to get in any arguments about that and don't intend to define the term. I think most reasonable people know what I mean. I'm just looking for a good place to eat and want to try someplace new.

Sep 06, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants?

I'm meeting a friend in Boston on Sunday and I'd like to try a new ethnic restaurant. I'm looking for nominations for the best new ethnic restaurants that have opened in the Boston area in the last 3-6 months.

My friend lives in Cambridgeport but we'll have a car. I'm a vegetarian so wherever we end up will have to be veg friendly. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Sep 06, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best Vegetarian Dish at a non-Vegetarian Restaurant

I just looked at Mulan's menu online and I don't see anything on the vegetable section called "mountain fern" or "well vegetable." I do see "mountain nagaimo." Could that be it? I'm curious, because I do like to try unfamiliar foods.

Sep 05, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best Vegetarian Dish at a non-Vegetarian Restaurant

I'm reposting a response I made to a similar question asked over the summer:

As a vegetarian who rarely eats at purely vegetarian restaurants because they're usually boring, I'd suggest these:

Biryani Park, 105 Broadway, Malden, MA, (781) 397-1307. Sri Lankan/Indian. Order from the Sri Lakan part of the menu.

Gourmet Dumpling House, 52 Beach Street, Boston (Chinatown), (617) 338-6223. Chinese.

Habesha, 535 Main Street, Malden, MA, (781) 399-0868. Ethiopian.

Helmand, 143 First Street, Cambridge, MA, (617) 492-4646. Afghan.

Lorenz Island Kuisine, 657 Washington Street, Boston (Dorchester), (617) 506-6061. Jamaican.

MuLan, 228 Broadway, Cambridge, MA, (617) 441-8812. Taiwanese. My new favorite. Underrated.

Muqueca, 1093 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, (617) 354-3296. Brazilian. Especially the vegetarian moqueca.

Ritu Ki Rasoi, 207 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA, (781) 229-8349. Indian. My favorite Indian restaurant in the Boston area.

Singh’s Roti Shop, 692 Columbia Road, Boston (Dorchester), (617) 282-7977. Trinidadian.

Tu y Yo, 858 Broadway, Somerville, MA, (617) 623-5411. Mexican, but probably unlike any Mexican you've probably experienced. Unusual and imaginative.

Pho Viet, 1095 Commonwealth Avenue (Super 88), Boston (Allston), (617) 562-8828. Vietnamese. Tofu banh mi must certainly be the best veg sandwich and best value in Boston. Saigon noodles are also exceptional.

I've created a list of Boston area ethnic restaurants, with recommendations, for a geography of food class I teach. All the recommended restaurants have good vegetarian options. You can access it here: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Eth...

Sep 04, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area
1

Searching for a good burrito

The search for good Mexican food in Boston can be a challenge because there really aren't many Mexicans in Boston. The population of other Latino groups is much greater. I find that many Mexican restaurants are actually owned by Salvadorans or Guatemalans.

I do like Super Burritos in Everett, however, if you're looking for a good burrito. I think the owners are Salvadoran.

If you ever drive north on I-95 to Maine, Loco Cocos in Kittery, Maine, is as good as it gets. I know it's hard to imagine that there could be authentic Mexican food in small town Maine, but it is true. It's better than any place I've found in Boston and I've looked. I lived for many years in Los Angeles and know Mexican food pretty well. The owner of Loco Cocos is a Mexican-American from California.

Aug 27, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

I haven't had that problem, but I have only eaten at the Chelmsford restaurant. Perhaps the problem is the takeout bowl and the fact that you left the lid on top, which would contain the heat and perhaps cook the noodles further, causing them to stick. I'm guessing, because Gene's serves the noodles in non-takeout dishes in Chelmsford. I wouldn't think the hand-pulled noodles would travel well, but haven't tried.

Aug 01, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

I argued that the available evidence suggests Gene's is authentic, but that has nothing to do with why I like the noodles. Nor does the fact that many people like the restaurant. I like the hand-pulled noodles dish because it tastes good -- I love the powerful garlic-pepper topping and the chewiness of the noodles. They are addictive. Some of my favorite restaurants (and movies and books and music) aren't hip in the least, so the herd has nothing to do with it.

Aug 01, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

I do go to Boston often (nice to know you've been reading up on me!) but rarely just to eat out. There's zero reason to go to Chelmsford other than Gene's, though, so it is saying something that I will go out of my way to go there.

I believe the cold noodles (the ones only available on weekends) are also vegetarian.

Aug 01, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

Nah. That's not it. None of those reasons have anything to with why I'm willing to drive an hour to Gene's It's the noodles, pure and simple.

It doesn't give me or my 15-year old street cred (I live in Portsmouth, NH, for chrissakes), I have no relationship with Gene, there are plenty of other immigrant-owned restaurants that I also patronize and where the owners work incredibly hard. I talk about the ones I like whenever I can to whomever will listen, here and elsewhere.

Why can't you folks accept that some folks like it and some don't?There's really no arguing taste after all.

Aug 01, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

There's more to the menu than that. I'm a vegetarian, so eat only the noodles, but I'm usually in the minority. Most of the Asians in the place order other dishes. Given the continual parade of people who drive to the middle of nowhere to eat there, they must like it. Many speak the same language as Gene, so I'm guessing they probably know more about Xi'an food than you or me. They seem to think Gene's is worth the trip, as do. Perhaps you just don't like Xi'an food. I might add that my 15-year-old told me when we went there yet again on Saturday that Gene's noodles are now his favorite food, better even (remember he's a teenager!) than pizza. I wouldn't go that far, but I love 'em too.

Jul 31, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area
1

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

I drive an hour to Chelmsford and have done so often because of the noodles, not because of Gene. If you don't like 'em, fine. There will be more seats for those of us who do.

Jul 31, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area
1

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

You don't have to like Gene's, but I agree with greygarious that's it's unfair to compare Gene's hand-pulled noodles to noodles from restaurants that specialize in cuisines from other parts of China.

Gene's specializes in the food of Xi'an in central China. As far as I know, no restaurant in Boston's Chinatown does that. China is a big country, but most Chinese restaurants in Chinatown specialize in food from the eastern part of the country or Sichuan. Comparing his noodles to noodles from other parts of China is like comparing them to Italian pasta.

Myself, I love them and have gone back to Gene's repeatedly even though it's an hour from my house. They are unlike any other Chinese food I've ever eaten. But if you go to Gene's expecting or wanting typical Chinese food, you may be disappointed.

Jul 31, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area
1

Vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Portsmouth?

Thanks for those suggestions, but I've been to Street and wouldn't go back. I go to Boston too often to be impressed by its ersatz, overpriced ethnic knockoffs.

Jul 29, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Northern New England

Vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Portsmouth?

I live in Portsmouth but rarely eat out here (I go to Boston) because most restaurants here aren't very vegetarian friendly. To be vegetarian friendly to me, a restaurant has to have more than one veg option on its menu and they have to sound interesting (no steamed vegetables, pasta primavera...)

My dad and stepmom are in town tonight, though, so I'm looking for someplace to take them. Can anybody recommend a good restaurant that is vegetarian friendly? I used to like Radici but it got a little stale.

Thanks.

Jul 23, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Northern New England

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

Sorry for misinterpreting what you said, but the wording was ambiguous.

Jul 11, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

I don't think I was getting personal and certainly didn't mean to do that. I was only stating my opinion. I would also add that BostonOtter never said the soft-boiled egg was terrific. That comment was about the asparagus dish.

Myself, I wouldn't go to an expensive restaurant to eat a soft-boiled egg as an entry. I do eat eggs and have nothing against them, but that's not dinner to me!

Jul 10, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

I'll take your word for it, but, like I said, special requests are always a gamble. I've also gotta tell you that a soft-boiled egg as an entree is hard to get excited about!

Jul 10, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

The menu at Ritu Ki Rasoi changes daily. I haven't had anything there I didn't like, though the buffet was a little disappointing (but I'm not generally a fan of buffets). After years of being disappointed at Boston area Indian restaurants -- all the same North Indian dishes and poor quality -- Ritu Ki Rasoi was a revelation.

Jul 10, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

My comment was based on the menu on their website, which lists only one vegetarian entry.

It's hard for me to imagine how they could make most of their entries vegetarian, since they are meat centered (Grilled Prime Flat Iron Steak, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, etc.). Plus, for many vegetarians, simply removing the meat doesn't make a dish very attractive.

I don't think most vegetarians want to be treated differently, where dishes have to be altered to meet their needs. We want choices, like anyone else. And we don't want to go to a restaurant unless we have a pretty good idea that there will be something interesting for us. If it's not on the menu, you're leaving it to chance and that often ends badly. Somebody will tell you one thing on the phone, but you find out something completely different when you arrive.

There is an implicit assumption among many carnivores and chefs who cook mostly meat that vegetarians will eat most anything, so long as it doesn't have meat. Steamed vegetables works, right? No, it doesn't. Vegetarians have taste, too, and many of us care very much about food and are as particular as any carnivore foodie.

Sorry for the lecture...

Jul 09, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

Most vegetarians, like myself, don't consider restaurants with one vegetarian entry, like Bergamot, to be veg friendly. Carnivores wouldn't be satisfied with one option; neither are we.

Jul 09, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area
1

help me make vegetarian daughter happy!

As a vegetarian who rarely eats at purely vegetarian restaurants because they're usually boring, I'd suggest these:

Biryani Park, 105 Broadway, Malden, MA, (781) 397-1307. Sri Lankan/Indian. Order from the Sri Lakan part of the menu.

Gourmet Dumpling House, 52 Beach Street, Boston (Chinatown), (617) 338-6223. Chinese.

Habesha, 535 Main Street, Malden, MA, (781) 399-0868. Ethiopian.

Helmand, 143 First Street, Cambridge, MA, (617) 492-4646. Afghan.

Lorenz Island Kuisine, 657 Washington Street, Boston (Dorchester), (617) 506-6061. Jamaican.

MuLan, 228 Broadway, Cambridge, MA, (617) 441-8812. Taiwanese. My new favorite. Underrated.

Muqueca, 1093 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, (617) 354-3296. Brazilian. Especially the vegetarian moqueca.

Ritu Ki Rasoi, 207 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA, (781) 229-8349. Indian. My favorite Indian restaurant in the Boston area.

Singh’s Roti Shop, 692 Columbia Road, Boston (Dorchester), (617) 282-7977. Trinidadian.

Tu y Yo, 858 Broadway, Somerville, MA, (617) 623-5411. Mexican, but probably unlike any Mexican you've probably experienced. Unusual and imaginative.

Pho Viet, 1095 Commonwealth Avenue (Super 88), Boston (Allston), (617) 562-8828. Vietnamese. Tofu banh mi must certainly be the best veg sandwich and best value in Boston. Saigon noodles are also exceptional.

I've created a list of Boston area ethnic restaurants, with recommendations, for a geography of food class I teach. It is available here: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Eth...

Jul 08, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurant in Boston area?

Umm...sure...I guess.

Perhaps I should have defined "ethnic," but I left my definitions at work. I guess I didn't think would be necessary.

Still looking for suggestions, by the way.

Jun 02, 2013
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area