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Any standout fish markets on Martha's Vineyard

Larsen's is the preferred option in Menemsha. The product is fresher (since they turn over so much) and the help better than at the Menemsha Fish Market. Net Result is also good.

Aug 13, 2012
dsmoxie in Southern New England

Martha's Vineyard

Le Grenier has taken the ground-floor space, which used to be the MV Bagel Authority, for its new cafe. The same tired menu with the frogs' legs is still on offer upstairs.

Jul 21, 2012
dsmoxie in Southern New England

Martha's Vineyard

The Bite also has -- at more reasonable prices -- the best chowder Up-Island. I love the clams, whatever the price. State Road is as good as everyone says, but the room can be noisy. I prefer the Chilmark Tavern to Beach Plum or the Homeport, about which reports this year are bad. The new Beetlebung Cafe in Menemsha is no good. The fabulous Josh Aronie, whom Everett Poole forced out of his old location, is now doing the daytime shift with a similar menu at Saltwater in VH. And Le Grenier has a lovely new ground-level spot on Upper Main Street, just the place to drink iced tea and watch the world go by. The salad I had was fine; the lobster roll, however, left much to be desired.

Jul 16, 2012
dsmoxie in Southern New England

MVY Dissapointment and Pleasant Surprise

Something's up at the Beach Plum -- the Home Port, the sister restaurant down in Menemsha, won't be opening until the 25th, which is unusually late. No idea why. Over the past few years, I've had better meals at the Chilmark Tavern than at the Beach Plum Inn, and better meals still at State Road. Go to the Beach Plum for the sunset.

Jun 21, 2012
dsmoxie in Southern New England

In praise of Arax fruit

Or, especially if the weather's good, Celebrity Pizza, where I had a terrific lobster roll last week -- well-toasted bun, lots of meat including plenty of claw, but not ridiculously overstuffed like Belle Isle, a touch of lettuce. Good frappes, too.

May 08, 2012
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Moksa Opening Soon

I had lunch outside at Moksa today -- certainly better than the one meal I had at Om, which struck me as pretentious. The Thai Green Mango & Papaya Salad was a standout, fresh and crunchy, and we also enjoyed the vegetable spring rolls with a citrusy sauce. The fish roti in a corn tortilla actually worked as fusion cuisine; good tortilla, some crunch in the fish, chili, southeast Asian flavors (including a whiff of fish sauce), and fresh mayo. The duck shao bing had too much pastry, and was somewhat dry. The dan dan pork was the largest portion, with too many noodles for the pork and bok choy. A slithery mess of umami that I liked but didn't love.

Mary Chung, which hadn't turned on the AC, was empty and sticky on this gorgeous day and, as I ate my nouveau Asian on the patio two doors down, I saw the neighborhood's future -- and can't say, despite a lovely meal, that I was altogether pleased.

Mar 22, 2012
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Formaggio Kitchen Weekend BBQ

Yes, early is better. I try to get there around 11:15 or so. I, too, generally prefer the "pulled" meats -- and, if they have them, the burnt ends -- to the sausages.

Apr 01, 2011
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

What to order at Mary Chung's?

Good thoughts all. Also, pickled cabbage noodle soup with pork. And a friend who likes his Chinese food Americanized swears by their Mongolian Beef, should you need to go down that right.

Mar 16, 2011
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Market: A Restaurant Week HomeRun

Although I enjoyed the people-watching -- some semblance of style has come even to delightfully dowdy Boston -- my RW lunch was distinctly less Chow-ish. The butternut squash soup was, indeed, delightful (the secret: cream), although although a mozzarella, tomato, and basil pizza needed to be crispier, and lacked any real strong signature flavors. The shrimp in the shrimp salad (four of them) were pillowy and crunchy all at once, although the salad greens clearly came from a mix; I expected more. And the salmon with vegetables, the osrt of food affluent folks eat effortlessly the world over, had a weirdly sweet sauce. The chocolate pudding went down easy; the sundae with caramelized popcorn didn't quite come together, and struck me as an aggressive crowd-pleaser.

So I'm glad I've seen the scene, but I can't say I'll return for the food.

Mar 12, 2011
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Finding smocked Ham Hocks in the Cambridge area?

The Fresh Pond Market has frozen ham hocks.

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Fresh Pond Market
360 Huron Ave, B Cambridge, MA

Mar 07, 2011
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Indian in Boston

Another vote for Darbar -- excellent lamb brains and goat curry. Had the lunch buffet at Harvest of India yesterday, and was underwhelmed by totally ordinary fare and garlic naan with the flavor of Italian-American garlic bread.

Feb 09, 2011
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Syrian? Armenian?

I'm trying to sort out geography and ethnicity in Middle Eastern food (understanding the limitations of contemporary maps in the Levant and beyond), and so I'm wondering whether the proprietors of any of the Lebanese-Syrian restaurants actually hail from Syria, as opposed to Lebanon, and whether the proprietors of any Armenian restaurants actually hail from present-day Armenia, as opposed to Turkey or Lebanon. Any help appreciated.

Nov 07, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Anyone with reviews of Jacob Worth?

I had a smoked bratwurst with red cabbage for lunch the other day, and was surprisingly pleased. The place is obviously a relic -- a Mitteleuropean take on what Boston dining would still be like if tech, finance, and immigration hadn't given the area a huge infusion of money and diversity -- but the wurst had snap, and the cabbage was pleasingly sour, and neither floppy nor overly crunchy. Good cornbread. Sysco butter. As reported, some decent mustards would be the next step, in the event they want to improve their game.

Oct 18, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

New to Arlington - Where should we eat?

I just had lunch at Pasha. The food was fine, and the mashed veggies had a good kick, but the service was appalling. They had "run out of napkins," so gave each person one, tiny napkin of the type that come out of table dispensers at diners. And the waitress seemed totally overwhelmed by eight customers. I'm unlikely to return.

Sep 28, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Kaffir lime leaves?

Earlier this summer (which was the last time I looked), I found them at Shalimar Food and Spices, 571 Mass. Ave. in Central Sq., Cambridge.

Sep 22, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Mehak - Indian in East Boston

Had a very nice meal on Sunday. Pakora were good; lamb curry even better -- they clearly grind their own spices. And, just as aecs reported in April, "The bhindi masala was a bit burnt, but tasty." I give higher marks to the naan to the to the rice, which was a little dry. An estimable option at an eminently reasonable price point.

Sep 16, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Golden Garden Review and Photos 8/27/10

It's "Three Delight."

On my second visit, the green bean noodle had some of the one-note-wonder issues that Luther describes -- an intense blast of chili oil, salt, and MSG leavened only with two buds of cilantro and a few Sichuan peppercorns. Nevertheless, I’m a fan – only Fuloon and JoJo Taipei (I haven’t been to Formosa Taipei) strike me as unambiguously better.

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Formosa Taipei
315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

Aug 30, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Yet Another Promising New Chinese Place - Golden Garden Belmont

I had a quick, early supper here last night; at 5:30PM in the rain, the place was empty. The pork and leek dumplings were, as everyone has reported, generous and juicy; with dumplings that size, boiling seems like the right way to go. The cucumbers with garlic had a real intensity -- but the secret came in good coarse salt to enliven the texture a bit, drawing some liquid out of the cucumbers while providing their own crunch. A gem!

Aug 26, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

New Martha's Vineyard Recommendations?

Yeah! Forgot about those! They're generous with the lobster meat, although the bun is untoasted. The line moves slowly, but the whole scene has a lovely, community feel. The Methodist church in Chilmark does lobster rolls in season on Tuesdays, starting at 4:30PM, and things usually move faster. I think the ones in Chilmark are even better than the ones in Vineyard Haven (a shade less mayo), but maybe that's just my up-Island prejudice talking.

Jul 08, 2010
dsmoxie in Southern New England

New Martha's Vineyard Recommendations?

We're in Chilmark, and rarely venture down-Island. In Menemsha, Larsen's does fantastic lobsters and oysters to-go, but you should skip the pre-made lobster rolls; eat on crates outside. And Betsy Larsen is a gem! The Galley is best for frappes -- the swordfish sandwich is good, although the meat is too cold in the lobster rolls. At the Bite, fried clams are divine (quality does vary -- the oil can get stale, but when they're good, they're North Shore good) and consistently top-notch chowder. The Menemsha Cafe does more-than-respectable breakfast and lunch, and I especially enjoy the crabcakes. I was pleasantly surprised by my steamed lobster at the venerable Homeport last week, although the new owners have revamped the menu a bit -- you can't have cranberry juice as an appetizer, anymore. The pecan pie was better than the blueberry, which had too much lemon. Order the pies a la mode; otherwise you get just a dollop of whipped cream.

At Beetlebung Corner, the Chilmark Store makes pizza, about whose quality I have no complaint, although it's a total zoo around lunchtime. They also bake frozen La Brea bread, which is the best option for a baguette in the neighborhood -- the rolls and scones are better than the loaves at Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah. And don't miss Chilmark Chocolates -- the prices are reasonable, the social mission (employing the developmentally disabled) admirable, and the quality superb. I'm a particular fan of their toffee.

The best lobster roll on our end of the island is at the Aquinnah Restaurant, which also does nice fishcakes, although the clams have a little too much cornmeal batter. Gorgeous views from the deck! I want to like Faith's Seafood Shack, since it says all the right things about local seafood, but a couple of visits have left me disappointed.

I haven't been to the Chilmark Tavern this year, although the buzz sounds positive. And houseguests had a terrific experience at the Beach Plum Inn, although at my last dinner several years back I found the place a bit precious. Nice sunset.

I love the Farmer's Market, although you must arrive right at 9AM since it gets picked over fast. That said, the famous egg rolls have never done it for me -- too much filler!

Not sure how much help these up-Island recommendations will be -- in the rest of the island, if you have have a Gobbler at Humphrey's, a meal at the Sweet Life, and a cone at Mad Martha's you'll leave happy!

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Sweet Life Cafe
63 Circuit Ave, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

Homeport Restaurant
Main, Orleans, MA 02653

Mad Martha's
7 N Water St, Edgartown, MA 02539

The Beach Plum
50 Beach Plum Lane, Menemsha, MA 02552

Jul 08, 2010
dsmoxie in Southern New England

Sichuan in Brookline: Garden or Gourmet?

Haven't been to Gourmet yet, but the Chongqing chicken at Garden is the best thing that they make -- a wave of ma la among an otherwise ordinary collection of dishes.

Jun 04, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Favorite dish in Boston area - under $15

Ultimate BLT at Scup's, for $7.50!

May 01, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Saturday Lunch Near Milton Academy

Milton is largely a culinary wasteland. If you want interesting, head to Dorchester! Nearby, Bent's prepares first-rate sandwiches in the very same building where they made hardtack for the Union Army; it's worth a peek. Further south on Randolph Ave., Newcomb Farms does a a more-than-serviceable job with American classics for a geriatric set that appreciates the low prices.

Apr 12, 2010
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Cape Cod - Fried Seafood Roundup

I am a longtime Bostonian and Vineyarder, and visited Cooke's for the first time yesterday. The atmosphere is highway-side generic, rather than New England primitive; my DC said it reminded her of Winstead's burgers in Kansas City. The fried clams were fabulous -- not too heavy, more Clam Box than Woodman's, with medium-sized bellies, and not-too-thick onion rings, to boot. That said, the lobster roll, despite a nice toasting, was gummy, and the meat was pre-frozen (it was $10.95 while the clam plate was $18.95 -- the relative prices tracked the quality). The cole slaw needed salt; the fries were Sysco; and the chowder was surprisingly bad -- thick as library paste, a spoon stood straight up, and the wisps of clam got lost in an ocean of cream and thickener.

Mar 30, 2010
dsmoxie in Southern New England

Anyone Been to House of Chang in Cambridge?

I went for lunch today. Although a spiffy awning doesn't quite cover up the old cinder block, the interior is much improved. The solid-color walls, spare decor, and wood tables remind me a bit of Shanghai Gate. The food all looks very Americanized. I had the Chung-king spicy pork, which was pleasant but bland and had too many green peppers, although some thick bamboo shoots were a plus. The vegetable spring roll, tasteless and greasy, arrived long after the pork. The owners were extremely solicitous, and a fellow at the next table recommended (correctly!) that they add soup to the lunch specials. Also, weirdly, someone ordered a lunch special with brown rice, and they brought the plate with white rice, and then another bowl of brown rice.

So the House of Chang, unlike its predecessor, may be "above the line" for an occasional visit by those of us who live in the neighborhood, but earns no higher marks than that.

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Shanghai Gate
204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Nov 11, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Vietnamese lunch in Dot tmw.

I hadn't heard from anyone before the lunch, and so had a terrific meal at Sunrise -- the shrimp salad was delightfully minty, and the water spinach fresh, garlicky, and neither thin nor gloppy. I continue to wonder why Sunrise isn't more of a "board favorite."

I look forward to trying Anh Hong and Ba Le next time I head south on the Red Line.

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Ba Le Cafe
1449 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA

Anh Hong
291 Adams St, Dorchester, MA 02122

Nov 10, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Soup in Harvard Square

Another thought: the vegetable soup at Pronto is very nice -- a mix of vegetables, and good crusty bread.

Nov 10, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Soup in Harvard Square

I'm a big Crema fan, but the tomato bisque struck me as pretty ordinary -- nicely salty, but without a deep tomato flavor.

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Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Nov 10, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Vietnamese lunch in Dot tmw.

Three of us will be having lunch in Dorchester tomorrow, and are looking for Vietnamese. We'd like to share, so pho is unlikely. What's best? I went to Sunrise years ago, and was generally impressed, and to Pho 2000, and thought it was fine but unmemorable. Anywhere else we should try? Red Line accessibility is a plus, although we're indifferent as to which stop.

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Pho 2000 Restaurant
198 Adams St, Dorchester, MA 02122

Nov 05, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area

Herrell's in Harvard Square Is Closing

The replacement (indirectly, to be sure) of Tosci's and Herrell's with JP Lick's and Lizzy's has substantially worsened the quality of ice cream in the Square. I'll have to have a final brownie sundae before Herrell's packs up scoops.

Sep 17, 2009
dsmoxie in Greater Boston Area