BlakeGumprecht's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

I haven't been to Tu y Yo in a while, so it's certainly possible that it's gone downhill. But I've been many times in the past and rarely have been disappointed.

Jul 20, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

In response to the posts about Rincon Mexican:

My son wanted Mexican and sometimes as a parent you give in to their desires. Rincon Mexican does have multiple vegetarian options and the people who run it were very flexible, making my beans without pork, making me cheese enchiladas even though they weren't on the menu.

In the end I wish we'd gone to Moroccan Hospitality. I wanted very much to like Rincon Mexicano because the folks who work there were so nice and because it is the rare Mexican restaurant in Boston actually run by Mexicans. But it wasn't great. The chips appeared manufactured. The mole didn't taste anything any other mole I've ever had and was unexceptional.

Since he wanted Mexican, I should have taken him to Tu y Yo. But I'm glad I tried Rincon, even if I'm unlikely to go back.

Jul 20, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

Just checked out Moroccan Hospitality's menu online and, indeed, they do now have two vegetarian entres. I will definitely go, if not today (my son wants to try a new Mexican restaurant in Somerville) then soon! Thanks again.

Here's the menu for those interested: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q7y1x2C4lQs...

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

Good to know. Thanks. I will try them again.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

I'm one of those horrible vegetarians who doesn't go to restaurants where I have to ask for something special (no choice, no variety) or where there's only one entry on the menu I can eat. I make exceptions if I go somewhere with carnivores, but it's no fun going out to eat when you have zero choice.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

I've been to Instanbul'lu -- loved it the first time, liked it the second.

I disagree that "ethnic" suggests "ethnocentricism." You can value your own ethnicity without denigrating others. Sure, ethnocentrism has produced some horrible human behavior over time, but that doesn't mean the word "ethnic" or "ethnicity" shouldn't be used or have no value. The words aren't the problem.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

I didn't realize Moroccan Hospitality had moved, so thanks for that information. But, as I recall, its menu isn't very veg friendly. I went once at their old location, but there was little if anything I could eat.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

There's always a few people who contest my use of ethnic. What is so horrible about that term? As an academic, I don't really go on Chowhound to get in academic arguments.

But here's one definition that rings pretty true to me: "A shared cultural identity held by a group of people with a common background or history, often as a minority group within a larger society." I wouldn't consider general American food as "ethnic" in this country, though certainly the food of some American groups would be.

But, of course, anyone is entitled to interpret the term as they choose. However, I suspect most people know what I mean.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

Wow -- I didn't realize Gourmet Dumpling House opened in Cambridge. We love the Chinatown one, so will try the Cambridge one, but maybe not today. I want something completely new to me.

I don't remember where I went after seeking a similar rec last fall. I might have opted for an old standby, Mulan, since it's close to the movie theater and because I like it very much.

Jul 19, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

My son and I are going to a movie in Cambridge tomorrow and want to try a new restaurant afterwards -- some sort of ethnic restaurant, nothing fancy, must be veg friendly.

Any suggestions?

Jul 18, 2014
BlakeGumprecht in Greater Boston Area

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/Eth...

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