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Melmybelle's Profile

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Low cost private dining in somerville/Cambridge/arlington/ lexington/watertown area

Hi, I am looking for a private room in a restaurant for a Saturday or Sunday lunch or brunch. 15-35 people. Aiming to be in the $15-20 range for the meal (set menu preferred). Already looked at elephant walk. It is what I am looking for, but they don't do lunch on Saturdays and their brunch offering is a little higher than our ideal budget. Thoughts?


Wanted to go here last night, but couldn't get a live person on the phone and they never returned my message. We have some dietary restriction in their party and I wasn't sure they could meet them. Looks like they also removed their only chicken dish. Sad for people who only eat poultry or fish. Duck is a very German dish. Was hoping, perhaps, for something like that. Very heavy on the pork and beef end of the spectrum. Hope that shifts moving forward.

July 2013 Openings and Closings

That will be the 3rd tart yogurt place in Davis square. Can there possibly be that much demand?

A Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington Brainteaser

Thanks, all for the recommendations. So far we've ended up doing Highland Kitchen, Legal Harborside (should have listened to you to skip-- they were over an hour late seating us for our reservation, which left our pregnant diner feeling quite unwell), Cinquecento, Menotomy Grill, and Posto (thanks for the idea!). Cinquecento was the only one that faltered a bit on the special requests (they were totally nice about the order, to their credit, but then didn't get it right upon delivers, so one person ended up with just plain pasta for $25.)

Tried to go to Bronwyn, but they didn't return our phone calls to ask if they could meet the dietary restrictions.

Hoping to do Helmand, Myers and Chang, or lala-rokh tonight, per your recommendations. Will file away the rest of the recommendations for the future. Thanks so much!

A Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington Brainteaser

Hi Chowhounders,

Hoping you can help me solve this brainteaser. We have two sets of visitors coming into town over the next week, which means lots of dinners and lunches out. Normally, this is no issue. We love using this opportunity to dine out at places we've been wanting to try. This time, it's a little more complicated, as there are some new dietary restrictions in place due to one of our diners having a bun in the oven and another not being able to eat red meat or dairy. This significantly impacts the places we desire to go, as we prefer not to be extremely limited in the choices or have to ask for drastic menu changes to make it work. If we're going to go to great places, we want to be able to try everything!

So that's the situation.

Here is the brain teaser:

Looking for 4 dinner places: 2 in Boston and 2 in the Somerville/Arlington area.

Also looking for 3-4 lunch options in the Somerville/Arlington area.

Dinner entrees should be in the $18-28 range. Bonus points for a lower price point for 2 of the dinners. Lunch in the $8-$15ish range.

Menu items should not rely on soft cheeses, beef, undercooked eggs, any sort of terrine, smoked fish, fois gras, sausage, homemade mayo, etc., but should feature flavorful food.

No one likes salad. Can only do a seafood only restaurant 1 time.

Yesterday, we went to Highland Kitchen, which went over well.

Here are places we are planning to go to: Legal Harborside, Menotomy Grille and Tavern. Was hoping to go to Bronwyn, but the chicken seems to be off the menu, so that may be out. Looking for at least 2-3 more in the Boston area and 3 or more places in Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington.

Here are places we have ruled out due to the menu, but would normally want to try: Blue Dragon, T.W. Foods, Strip T's, Park (or whatever it's called in Harvard Sq), Puritan and Co, Bondir, West Bridge, Painted Burro, etc.

Thanks in advance for your help and creativity.

The Dining Car

I've had sub-par experiences at Dining Car, too. Small portion for the price and long wait with now acknowledgement. I actually wrote the owners, but got no response. One and done for me, which is a shame, because I work nearby.

flour egg sandwich

I asked how they prepare their eggs adn they said it's a souffle that they make in the morning and then refridgerate and reheat during the day.

Five Horses brunch - any favorite items?

Just went last week. The apple donut holes and cheese grits were winners from the breakfast menu. I didn't taste it, but the pork-y hash got good marks from others. Balsamic mimosas got mixed reviews.

Only down side is they don't offer to toro furioso tacos at brunch which is, in my opinion, the best thing they serve. Enjoy!

Creative Rehearsal Dinner IdeasNnear-ish to Springfield, MA Needed

Thanks. I meant 50-70... it was a typo. I appreciate the tips. I'm surprised to hear that there aren't more "funky" places in Northampton. Nothing that mixes activity with food?

Creative Rehearsal Dinner IdeasNnear-ish to Springfield, MA Needed

We're originally from MD and PA. Both of those locations were ruled out because we support marriage equality and want to have a wedding in a state where marriage equality is legal.

We aslo wanted something that reflects us and is not the "typical" wedding venue. Like I said, we're a little offbeat. However, we also have pretty high standards in terms of quality.

At any rate, we're both athletic coaches and I am a basketball coach. So, we checked out the Bball Hall of Fame and loved it. It's the perfect spot for us. So... Springfield, it is :)

Any ideas for fun spots in Northampton for the rehearsal dinner? I generally find rehearsal dinners depressing, so I'd really like to something fun and quirky!

Creative Rehearsal Dinner IdeasNnear-ish to Springfield, MA Needed

Thanks for the tips. Max's is catering our wedding, so we probably don't want to repeat that. But, I'll check out the Student Prince.

What would you recommend in Northampton? I'm certainly willing to consider it.

Student Prince Cafe
8 Fort St, Springfield, MA 01103

Creative Rehearsal Dinner IdeasNnear-ish to Springfield, MA Needed


I'm looking for ideas for a rehearsal dinner (prob 5-70 people). Our wedding will be in Springfield, MA so that's where guests will be traveling from. It's a destination wedding, so none of us know our way around.

It's important that my mother doesn't find out that Springfield has bad neighborhood. Since she's not from here, she thinks it's a really nice Western, MA town, and safety is a big concern of hers. None of us know our way around the area.

Anyway, we're a bit of a unique couple and we want our weekend to reflect that. We want the wedding festivities to be really fun and not stiff. However, the future in-laws, who are hosting the rehearsal dinner, are pretty straight laced. The rehearsal dinner will have a lot of the adult family folks involved.

So, we're trying to find a mix of good quality food and fun in a unique atmosphere. If I were planning it in Boston, for instance, I might choose the Milky Way. Or maybe I'd find a place with live band Karaoke. Or maybe if there were an upscale version of Bleacher bar.

The Federal in Agawam is already on our list of places to check out and I think is more along the lines of what the in-laws are looking for. Any comments on this spot?

Any ideas of places that bridges the gap? Could you please provide some ideas of other places we should look at? Any recommendation is welcome, just note if the place is more along the lines of what the in-laws would like, or something more unique and fun, with character, if you will :)

20 minutes driving radius from Springfield with easy parking preferred. Thanks in advance! All ideas are good ones :)

Craving Chicken and Dumplings. Where to go in Boston?


The title pretty much says it all. The only place I know of that would definitely have chicken and dumplings is Cracker Barrel. Any other spots that might give me my fix (and do it better)?

Thank you for your help!

Chinatown Recs Needed: I'm new andintimidated. Special circumstances. Help a sister out.

Thank you for such a detailed and thoughtful reply. I'll definitely keep this in mind!

Chinatown Recs Needed: I'm new andintimidated. Special circumstances. Help a sister out.

Thank you for the kind compliment!

Chinatown Recs Needed: I'm new andintimidated. Special circumstances. Help a sister out.

Thank you all so very much! You are the nicest and most helpful bunch. Having some recommendations is a big relief. I'm going to show my mom the posts and let her choose between Peach Farm and East Ocean City for dinner.

Please feel free to keep the recommendations coming, especially for good dishes. I'll keep checking until we go and then will report after my experience. You've definitely all helped shift me from anxious to excited!

Peach Farm
4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

East Ocean City Restaurant
27 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Chinatown Recs Needed: I'm new andintimidated. Special circumstances. Help a sister out.

I appreciate your feedback. I do eat shrip, so that would be helpful. My mom has her heart set on Chinatown. So maybe Dim Sum is not the right answer. Do you have recs for somewhere to go for dinner tonight then and what to order? I don't want to get something crappy like Lo Mein. We like good food. I just don't know anything about "real" chinese food to know what to order.

With the oils thing-- it's just what he shouldn't have too much of. He won't get ill.

Oyster sauce is ok. I'm envisioning like various dumplings and buns (Shrimp, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian, I guess). But, again, maybe Dim Sum is a bad idea in this case and you can guide me towards a better approach to help my mom experience Chinatown.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to seeing your further thoughts.

Chinatown Recs Needed: I'm new andintimidated. Special circumstances. Help a sister out.


So, I've lived in Boston for 5 years and never been to Chinatown. To be honest, I'm scared. It looks intimidating and as though if I don't know what I'm doing the whole thing will be a disaster. I know you 'hounders can help.

I am sure you get this question on the board a lot and I tried to search old posts to find the info myself, but that just made me more indimidated. Where do I go in Chinatown, when should I go, and what, specifically, do I order.

Anyway, here's the situation: My parents are in town for my mom's milestone birthday. She recently read that Boston's Chinatown is one of the best in the country and has asked to go here for her mileston birthday dinner (she'd kill me if I said how old she'll be).

I have no idea where to start. It doesn't need to be fancy, just good, fresh, and not scary (you know, like people yelling at me in a foreign language or a crazy crowd that's impossible to navigate through).

I'd like to maybe do dim sum. That seems fun. Another catch-- we don't eat pork. My mom is an adventurous eater and will probably want squid or something. My dad and I are a little more reserved in our tastes. In fact, he has very specific dietary restrictions about what oils he can eat. Should we just throw the hope of that being addressed out the window?

We can go for any meal between tonight (Friday)'s dinner through to sunday around 10am or 10:30 (they have an afternoon train). I'm looking for very specific recommendations... where to go, at what time, and what to order (no pork). If we do dim sum, what kind of crowd should I prepare myself for? I need a roadnmap here. I really really really really appreciate it.

Please help me not be totally anxious about the dinner. I'm sure it will be really good if I can go in confident.

Tall Order: Gluten Free Lunch in Hynes Convention Area?

Cheesecake factory was more than willing to accommodate my Celiac friend's requests. They warned her about salad dressings and sauces, too. Very helpful.

Best in Boston if hubs does NOT have a jacket

I think you hit the nail on the head. Magnifying glass needed. When my partner and I went for our anniversary, we left underwhelmed and hungry. My partner went to grab a burger afterward. I would skip #9.

Good value tasting menu?

EVOO has a great tasting menu on the weekends that, at least last year, was an excellent value.

Unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Mary?

In New York, lots of brunch places offer unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Does anyone know of a place in Boston that does the same?


Where to go for lobster these days?

Skipjack's, maybe?

1 year anniversary - help!

I suggest Grotto in Beacon Hill. It's dark and candle-y and has a great, yet affordable, menu.

Last minute help needed!

Also, Jacob Wirth's is nearby and not fru-fru. It's pseudo German food. Enjoy Wicked... it's great! Just you and I defying gravity... lalala...

Downtown Boston This Weekend

Just a quick note on Scollay Square... I've seen young kids there before, but the only food I've seen them eating is Mac n Cheese and French Fries... I don't think there's a huge kids menu. Though the Mac N Cheese is great (especially with Lobster!).

I need to find killer buffalo wings

Buff's honey hot ordered extra crispy/well done are a great lunch spot, though not cheap. Red Hat on Cambridge street (Gov't Center/Beacon Hill) has really good 10 cent wing specials... though they don't serve with enough celery and blue cheese, in my opinion.

Pasta in Annapolis

Cafe Mezzanote (sp?) in Severna Park has excellent Italian food. Their rose sauce is the best. They also have a gnocchi that comes with crab meat, if I remember correctly, so you can have a happy marriage between the carb loading and the crab. Squisito is another option... less upscale, but pretty good in the taste department.

Best Boston Prix Fix

Grotto in Beacon Hill has a lovely prix fixe meal. The exact offerings change by season, but they always have more than two choices for each course. A 3 course meal is usally about $35 per person.

Where to get the best Bread Pudding

Skipjacks has chocolate bread pudding on their menu. I'm not a conneseur of bread pudding (or spelling of French words), but I found it really enjoyable.