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Some Interesting Food Goings-Ons in Melrose

I've been to the Comellas in Chestnut Hill. I thought their pizza was okay and their pasta dishes, which I believe is their calling card, were fairly prosaic but tasty. They seem to have about 10 ingredients that they can throw together in various combinations and a variety of sauces. I would tend to go to Comellas to pick up a quick lunch on a weekend day or if I need decent takeout in a pinch. Definitely not a destination.

Sep 26, 2012
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Very solid barbecue in Needham: Midtown Smokehouse and Grill

Tried take-out last week. Had the baby back ribs, pulled pork, brisket, texas beans, mac & cheese and cornbread. Service was not good. Waitress was disorganized. No bother though, downed a Dale's Pale Ale while waiting (tap selection is good). Baby back ribs were dry, not too smoky and slathered in the sweet sauce (I asked for sauce on the side). Not terrible, but probably won't be trying them again. Pulled pork was excellent. I'm no N. Carolina purist, which was good, because they seem to have been pulled in the sweet sauce. Texas beans were awesome. Brisket was a bit dry and also slathered in sweet sauce. Meh. Cornbread was sweet and moist, which I like, but it reminded me a lot of the Trader Joe's mix (which I happen to be find of). I highly doubt they are mixing their bread from scratch. Overall not a terrible experience. I'll definitely go back, if for no other reason than the Dale's on tap, pulled pork and beans.

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Trader Joe's
1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Oct 27, 2011
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

The Ultimate : Buffalo Wings

While Buff's is tops for me, I had wings at the Squealing Pig last Friday night and they were very good. Plump, crisp, sauce was spot-on; only compaint that a few were a bit dry. I like my wings both crisp and juicy and many establishments have a hard time striking that balance. Buff's does a great job, as does the Galway House in JP.

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Squealing Pig
335 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657

Galway House
720 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Feb 02, 2011
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Hi-Lo closing in February

I've lived five minutes from Hi-Lo for the past decade and I am glad to see it go. Many folks who tout the diversity the store brings to the neighborhood many not have ever been inside. It is not a good place to purchase food. In the few times I have visited to pick up staples, I have been concerned about the quality of the products. I don't care what population the store is intended to serve, if the patrons question the quality of the products (this includes non-perishables, to say nothing of the sub-par produce and meats) then its closing should not be lamented. Though I would prefer a Trader Joe's, which I think is a better fit for the community, WH is just fine. On a somewhat different note, I really do hope that the presence of the store increases property values in the area. Not trying to be controversial, but I love the area, have been an involved member of the neighborhood for well over a decade, and I would like to make as large a profit on my condo as possible. I think I am part of the silent majority on the latter point.

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Trader Joe's
1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Jan 20, 2011
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Canary Square in Jamaica Plain

Food was pretty good, although the service, on two occasions, was sub-par. Apps arrived two minutes before entrees. Waiter said "sorry" yet still dropped the entrees on the table. Other time was picking up take-out at the bar. Was charged twice for one beer and my food sat at the end of the bar for over ten minutes despite my asking the bartender to check on the status. It wasn't until a second bartender checked in with me that the issues were resolved.

Mac & cheese was decent, brussel sprouts w/pancetta were very good. Cod fritters were a pale comparison to Eastern Standard's. If I didn't live so close to CS, I would not go back. That said, the beer selection merits a periodic visit.

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Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Jan 11, 2011
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Anyone been to the Haven?

I've been a couple of times. Good beer selection (which changed in the month span between my visits) and a limited, but nicely varied, menu. Pickled veggies were nice, although not as bountiful as what you would typically get at East Coast Grill. Oat cakes with butter were also a good proxy for a bread basket. First visit I had the fish and chips with minted mashed peas and house (curry) ketchup. Batter was crispy, but somewhat bland and little prosaic. A bit skimpy on the hand-cut fries. Ketchup and peas were great. My DC had the beef pie with fennel crust, which was much better than the fish and quite traditional. Second visit I had the Tikka Masala. Standing alone, it was easily the best Tikka Masala I have ever had. However, the presentation was a bit muddled. The chicken was sliced and arranged on a too-large mound of rice, greens (spinach, I seem to recall) and a flavorful sauce. I loved the flavors, but it was a big mess. My DC had the burger, which was delicious, but difficult to negotiate (very large and somewhat overwhelmed by the onion and house sauce sauce (I think, it's been a few weeks)). Overall a great fit for Hyde Square. I just hope they change up the menu on a seasonal basis. Definitely worth trying.

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East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Sep 13, 2010
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Ketchup chips in Boston/Brookline?

Mike & Patty's in Bay Village sells them by the bag.

Feb 02, 2010
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Bar Menu at Davio's

Try Avila right down the street from Davio's (and closer to the theatre). Same owners, more expansive bar menu, and the environment is much more sedate than Davio's on a Saturday night.

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Davio's
75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

Nov 05, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Bone Marrow in Boston

Try calling the Butcher Shop on Tremont. Can't go wrong with simply roasting the bones and sprinkling with some sea salt and lemon zest.

Nov 05, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Union Bar and Grille - Any recommendations?

I went on Wednesday night and the cornbread/chorizo stuffed trout was off the menu. Instead I had the pancetta wrapped cod with white beans and drizzled with pumpkin soup. It was just okay. DC had the hanger steak, which is always good. Apps were tuna tartare - excellent, and squash bisque, which was very good. Service was excellent and the cocktails were spot on. The menu is seafood heavy - four fish entrees. The aforementioned cod, a seared salmon with lentils (I had it about six months ago and loved it), a baked haddock dish and a fourth, which I can't recall. Anyway, as MC Slim JB indicated, they are consistent and you probably won't find a disappointing dish (although the pancetta wrapped cod did not live up to my expectations). Enjoy the skillet bread.

Oct 23, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Pizza w/ Corn Meal Crust?

Many thanks!

Oct 23, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Pizza w/ Corn Meal Crust?

I was in San Fran last week and had a slice of pie in which the crust was made from corn meal and flour. This was much more than just a dusting of meal on the baking surface. In fact, the amount of corn meal used in the dough prohibited me from folding the slice (I would have quickly found myself with two slices), but it was dense and very tasty.

Oct 21, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Pizza w/ Corn Meal Crust?

Any suggestions as to pizza places in the greater Boston area that use corn meal for their crust?

Oct 21, 2009
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

ISO Hip, HQ Restaurant in Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington

Any recommendations for a hip (e.g., young clientele, live music, good drink menu) higher end restaurant in the Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington area? Sushi is not an option, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Aug 08, 2008
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

James Hook is OPEN for retail!

Notwithstanding the loss of their retail location on Atlantic Ave., James Hook is still selling fresh lobsters, chowder, etc... from their wholesale location at 339 Northern Ave. It is a bit difficult to locate the entrance, but they are definitely open for retail business. You can call their main number (listed on the website) for details. They told me that they plan on opening a temporary retail shop at the site of the fire, but will continue to sell retail from the 339 Northern Ave location. Don't give up on the Hook just yet, Chowhounders!

Jun 30, 2008
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area

Saturday Lunch - HQ Cuisine???

I'm looking for suggestions in the Boston area for a pre-Mother's Day lunch spot. Something nice - steak and/or seafood. Not really interested in Ruth's Chris, Wollensky's, Abe & Louie's, Legal's or any other major chains. Any Chowhounders looking for a challenge? Please let me know your suggestions. Gracias!

May 06, 2008
gaucho14 in Greater Boston Area