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The Chemist's Profile

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Moved to Brighton, MA. Looking for great food, reasonable price!

Ittoku is the best Japanese bar food in the city. On par with what's the norm in Tokyo.

Best time to walk into Neptune Oyster without waiting?

I was thinking like 3:30 pm on a Monday. Anyone have any suggestions?

The Price of Beer

The server there tried repeatedly to rip me off by giving incorrect change. Nope nope nope.

Anybody been to the newly opened Santouka Ramen in Harvard Square yet?

On the Ramen itself: I have the shio (salt flavored) ramen. They say it's their specialty and if you can't get shio right, then you are hopeless as a ramen joint. The very first thing you'll notice is the price, which is a good $2-4 greater than most local ramen joints and about double what you'd typically pay in Japan. But you've heard this place is good, so it must be worth it. The second thing you'll notice is the size. It's a small portion. Very small. But you've heard this place is good, so it must be worth it. Then you taste the broth. Flat, flavorless, under seasoned, thickish but with the wrong mouth fell, lacking in any character of a good raman broth. Your heart sinks. There is almost no detectable flavor of kombu or katsuobushi; almost no smokiness or umami at all. It tastes as though it was thickened with anything other than the gelatin from pork, chicken or beef bones. If you didn't tell me it was supposed to be a ramen broth, I would never have guessed. I'd peg it as something vaguely Eastern European. Then you see the noodles. They look odd. Too thin and straight. But sure, you know that different styles of ramen have different sorts of noodles, maybe not all is lost. No. All is lost. The noodles are clearly packaged noodles of the wrong sort. They bought some type of similar-looking but clearly Chinese noodles. That might be fine if they do the job but these don't. Just about the only saving grace is the sliced pork garnish, which was very flavorful. Other than that, this is simultaneously the most depressing bowl of ramen I've had in years and the most expensive.

On the things that barely matter: The service is stiff but prompt. The server stared at me for what felt like a minute when she delivered my bowl. It was awkward, but meh. The decor is sterile and better suited to something vegan with microgreens and not a ramen bar. But none of that would matter at all if they could simply produce a ramen that even remotely lives up to the price they are asking. They can't.

%50 more expensive than Pikachu and half as good. It also has the wrong 'feel' about it. Ramen is a humble food. Slick hosts and modern decor is all wrong. Value added they might say. I'd rather have a good bowl of soup.

Where to buy Scotch in Boston?

I'm organizing a tasting and I'd appreciate a suggestion for somewhere with a good selection and low prices. Thanks!

Got a craving for Ramen

I was shocked at how different Ramen in Japan is compared to what passes for it elsewhere. I figured that noodles and broth would be pretty easy to emulate. So, so wrong. Now that I've got the taste for the good stuff, the craving won't let go of me. So I implore you fellow Boston Area Hounds, please point me in the direction of your best Ramen spots. I searched the board and found nothing.

I'm looking for somewhere with, ideally, a number of types (soy, miso, pork, sesame) with that thick style Japanese broth. Somewhere with a decent Shochu selection would be a big plus.

Recently, a place called Ittoku opened up in Allston. Has anyone tried it?


Pubs for World cup viewing downtown.

I'm going to try the Kinsale, thanks.

Pubs for World cup viewing downtown.

Except when they expect to keep tabs for customers during Eurocup finals. I received a bill for me and 20 strangers who had sat at my table for about 10 minutes while the pub was likely 200 people over-capacity. Why they weren't making people pay drink-by-drink, I don't know.

Pubs for World cup viewing downtown.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. The closer to the MGH the better.

Restaurant Manitoba

Not being from Liverpool, I couldn't tell you. Being from Manitoba, I'm somewhat confused. The menu features many ingredients that are totally unknown to the province (people would shudder at the thought of eating horse, for instance). It would speak far more to 'Manitoba' if they served pierogies and car theft.

Restaurant Manitoba

What does this restaurant have to do with Manitoba? Besides maybe smoked goldeye, I can't think of anything regional necessitating a theme...

Alternatives to APDC


I used to live in Montreal and am returning to visit with some friends in tow. I'd like to bring them somewhere that highlights the new cooking of Quebec. APDC is an old favorite but the menu hasn't changed in ages and it's a bit of a predictable choice. Would someone recommend for me a spiritual successor to APDC around the same price point? The closer to the plateau, the better!


2 days in the 5th

I'll be in the 5th arrondissement of Paris for just 2 days (a Monday and a Tuesday) and need to work around a funny schedule. I'm looking for 2 dinner recommendations somewhere accessible by walking or bikeshare. I'd like to try some of the newer neighborhood places which are a bit cheaper, more relaxed, and which cater to locals more than tourists (ironic, I know). I'll also be eating alone so someplace that accommodates this would be great. Thanks for your recommendations!

Nov 29, 2013
The Chemist in France

Lunch/dinner for 1 suggestions in Quebec city

Thanks for the recommendations!

Lunch/dinner for 1 suggestions in Quebec city

Hello Chowhound.

I'll be in Quebec city for just a few days and eating along. I would be grateful for a recommendation for lunch/dinner which is ideally: affordable, distinct to Quebec city, and accessible quickly by taxi or public transport from the Alt Hôtel in Sainte-Foy. The closer, the better.

Also, how's the food scene here in general? I lived in Montreal for years and loved it and may have an opportunity to call Quebec city home. I prefer rustic, local, neighborhood places. This this a decent city for that?


Top BYOB or Table d'Hote at the moment

Ooo, thanks.

Food Trucks 2013

Well-stated and concise with the notable exception of criticizing food trucks of 'cultural appropriation'.

Top BYOB or Table d'Hote at the moment

Hi all,

I've had to live away from Montreal for the past year but am bringing some friends back with me in July. I'd like to expose them to what I think Montreal does best: affordable neighborhood joints in the range of $30 entrees. I know that there are usually one or two places on top of this scene and I'd like to know which would be a safe bet now. I'm looking for the following characteristics:

Nothing too fancy, a focus on French/Quebec food, either BYOB or reasonably priced Table d'Hote (we want to stay in the range of about $70 per person after wine, tax and tip), takes reservations, consistent quality, accessible by metro. Bonus points for having larger portions as I am traveling with some... larger Americans used to eating a lot.

Failing a good recommendation, I'll probably just take them to APDC, but I'm kinda bored of it. Besides, chowhound has never let me down before!

Thanks in advance for your great recommendations!

Pastured meat in Greater Boston

Yes, I would like to know the answer to this as well.

I tried a local CSA (not going to mention which one) but found the quality to be lacking. It may have something to do with the freezing and packaging, but so far, the meats have been indistinguishable from supermarket meat of far poorer pedigree.

If anyone could suggest either another CSA or a butcher who supplied this type of product in the Boston area, that would be great. Online ordering would also work.

Requirements being that the meat is ethically raised, and of substantially better quality than supermarket standard.


Any Poutine In Boston?

There may be fries with cheese and gravy but this a poutine does not make. To be poutine, the fries must be thin cut and very crisp and the cheese must be in curd form and must squeak when you chew them (assuming the have not gotten a bit melty from the sauce) - indicating freshness. The gravy is where the most liberty can be taken. If, and only if you can find a product with these qualities, you'll have found poutine.

Pub for Euro Cup in Cambridge

I've been doing the other games at 'The Field' near central square. It's alright, I suppose. The beer is okay, haven't tried the food. The TVs are in kinda awkward places though.

I wonder if the Cambridge Brewing Company will be showing the game.

Pub for Euro Cup in Cambridge

As the title suggests, I am looking for a good pub with decent grub and local beer to watch the Euro Cup Finale tomorrow. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

I am a very adventurous eater but tomalley is something that I have never gotten used to.

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

I wonder how old that Lobster must have been?

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

Hmmm, that does not sound appetizing.

Is Cuisine Szechuan still good?

Off the top of your head, know any good Szechuan like CS in Boston? I'm getting a bit exasperated with a lack of authentic anything.

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

Guessing that's not bikable from downtown =D

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

Are harder shells better? We don't get he soft shelled ones where I come from but I have heard in the past that people prefer the meat from the soft shelled guys. Is this not the case?

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

I'll be stopping by tonight. I bike past here on my way back from work. BTW, what are chix?

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

Around 6$ per pound would be reasonable, I think.