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Restaurant in Arlington or Somerville for 8 people, Saturday lunch

There are more options in your price range (<$13 before drinks, tax, and tip) than we CHers are offering you. Something like Christopher's in Porter should meet all of your requirements. Sandwiches <$10, quiet (especially if you ask for a table upstairs), just steps from the T station, and parking* across the road.

* Assuming your guests have chores they can fulfill in the shopping plaza to technically be able to park there ;)

Sauerkraut - Something went wrong

Agree that your batch may have been just fine. But yes, do be careful not to close the lid tightly. Here's what I do to make sauerkraut in mason jars that you might find helpful:
- If the salted cabbage doesn't yield enough brine, I add just enough water to cover (not brine, and I've never had any issues).
- Then I fill a clean plastic sandwich ziploc bag with enough water to weigh down the cabbage below the water level.
- Instead of closing the jar with a lid and ring, I use cheesecloth to keep out anything I don't want in the sauerkraut, and secure that with the ring or a rubber band.
- Monitor brine level and add water as needed.

Feb 05, 2014
chevrelove in Home Cooking

Best Dessert In the City / neighboring towns

Rarely do I order dessert, so my samplings are limited. But I really do love the chocolate goat cheese-cheesecake at Za. Tangy, creamy, not too sweet.

Thanksgiving shopping list necessary extras to have on hand

Definitely. And also important to check on really basic things like how much kosher salt is left in the big box, if you use a smaller, countertop receptacle like I do. What a pain it would be to discover you had half a cup left when trying to brine the turkey, let alone season all the other dishes.

Nov 21, 2013
chevrelove in Home Cooking

Local food market pet peeves, or worse!

The Porter Sq Shaws recently invested in a new batch of those half carts. It made me happier than it should have.

Violette Bakery, Cambridge?

While I've not visited the new brick and mortar, I have enjoyed an item or two from their stand at local farmers markets. Some kind of danish thing was especially good, but I don't recall if it had a name.

Fried Smelt? (Stay on topic!!!)

I had them at CBC (Camb Brewing Co.) once a year or two ago, but they were a special and I haven't seen them again.

Make ahead dinner rolls or biscuits for Thanksgiving

No specific recipe, but a word of advice from lessons learned. One time I made the dough ahead of time (I think it was the Parker House recipe), shaped the rolls, and tucked them into greased paper molds (the kind you can get from King Arthur) and then froze. This was just a few days before Thanksgiving, and I don't recall parbaking them. They thawed in the fridge and then went into the oven at the appropriate time. Even though I'd greased them before freezing, the baked rolls came out seriously sticking to the molds.

If you're going to freeze unbaked dough, I recommend using parchment or plastic wrap under the rolls when you freeze them in a metal pan, popping them out of the pan once frozen, and then storing just the rolls in a ziploc bag in the freezer to avoid the sticking.

Oct 30, 2013
chevrelove in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving 2013

If you're open to other vegetable ideas and want to add a color other than green, braised red cabbage is a great choice. There are plenty of searchable recipes to work from, but my favorites incorporate bacon, apples, and red wine.

For appetizers, I like to set out an assortment of spiced nuts, a good cheddar, and lightly pickled veggies.

Oct 22, 2013
chevrelove in Home Cooking

Looking to buy good quality smoked salmon ( not cured salmon) in the greater boston area?

And since we're resurrecting the thread, I'll make a recommendation of Matt's Amazing Smokehouse, which is in fact amazing and also locally made. I have been so happy since Matt started coming to Dewey Square this summer. For me it's a toss up between the Rajin' Cajun smoked salmon and the smoked bluefish dip.

Italian prune plum recipes

Spiced plum and port jam:

Oct 15, 2013
chevrelove in Home Cooking

Apple orchards suggestions welcomed - missing Phil's Apples

This is exactly why Carlson's is my "go-to" for apple picking. The hayride is free and takes you out to a farther section of the orchards. When you're done, you can wait a few minutes for the tractor to return or walk back. And they usually have complimentary cider you can pour into little dixie cups and drink while you're picking - a nice touch.

Apple orchards suggestions welcomed - missing Phil's Apples

We went Saturday and chatted with one of the (very nice) new owners and his daughter who was helping him out. He said they hope to keep pressing through Thanksgiving. Said they were up early pressing to get a head start and had plenty of cider ready to go, which was great considering we bought more than five gallons. Delicious as always. Make the trip, it's worth it.

Party with food trucks - and drinks?

This is what I was going to say. I'd narrow down the food trucks first and task them with providing guidance on where they can and can't serve (this is something they probably have a lot of experience). Not sure on pricing, but I suspect budgets may restrict you to just one truck. This is a good one.

Saturday Lunch near Regent Theater in Arlington

Not to split hairs, but Kathmandu is a little more like 15 blocks from Arlington Center. :) You might also want to look up reviews on Madrona Tree (cash only). Have only done takeout from there once, but we enjoyed.

restaurants accommodating large parties without charging huge $$$ for room rental

For larger parties, ESK will likely ask you to order food banquet-style (in other words, $XXpp and you choose from a couple of entrees) instead of a la carte from main menu. But with roughly 15 people in your party, they might be flexible.

multiple food Q's

Admittedly I haven't tried it yet, but Bread & Butter is a relatively new cafe on Cross St. Peeked my head in once and the pastries, quiches, etc. looked quite tasty.

Great sandwich/salad or bakery Arlington?

These are good suggestions, and I would add Francesca's on Mass Ave and the new Menotomy Grill (open for lunch Thu-Sun) to the list. Francesca's has some of the best eggplant parm (available on sandwich, I believe) in the area. If you are looking for a sandwich with table service, Menotomy has some tasty options. I especially enjoyed the tuna burger from there.

Nightmare at Average Joe's Needham.

While I've encountered this once in a blue moon, it's certainly not something to be expected. And you know what's ironic? One of the only times was at the NYAJ in Lexington, where they handed out some quesadilla to those waiting. It's always disappointing when a projected wait time extends past what was originally cited - but cut them some slack. It's not an exact science.

bridal shower venue suggestions

Good point. I was specifically referring to the Arlington and original location, but I assume you're referring to Kendall Square - which does tend to be very quiet on Sundays.

bridal shower venue suggestions

I once saw Za closed to the public on a Sunday afternoon for what appeared to be some kind of shower/engagement party. If the weather's nice, they can open all the windows, and I like the idea of sharing their pizzas and salad for a casual shower. Thinking your party might be a shade too small for the space though. In the same vein, you could ask nearby Flora if they would be willing to partition off one of their spaces for you. The room on the left where you walk in (I think it's the old bank space) would be especially nice.

Za has beer/wine, while Flora has a full bar.

Menotomy Grill - Arlington (anyone been?)

Personally I lean towards pronouncing it with a "meh" to start (meh-NAH-dah-mee). But tomato-tomato, right? :)

Challenge for chowhounders

Good suggestion. I do think they have those mini bottles of wine, at the very least. If you don't mind the lack of table service, it sounds perfect.

Group dinner in Boston/Cambridge on a Saturday night - with some specific requirements

This was going to be my suggestion also before I read down into the thread. Sounds perfect for your purposes. Za (suggested below) is another good option.

Orinoco in Harvard might work also, since you could order a lot of arepas/empanadas for your budget, but for a group that large I'd ask to sit outside on their lovely patio.

Restaurant help (Waiting is an issue)

Assuming you mean the coming Monday, this is probably wise. Neptune doesn't take reservations, and ICOB will be crazy with the marathon. You'll be arriving too late to take in any of the festivities but Kenmore will still be busy, so it would be best to steer clear of that part of the city.

Takeout options in/around Davis Square

Second DooWee. Sounds perfect for your request. Great takeout, and if you're driving from Metrowest, it's easy to swing onto Powderhouse Blvd from Rte 16 and then continue on into Davis.

Wilson Farm CSA or other CSA in Lexington/Waltham area

Not to denigrate a hard working farm, but I found that the Bucks system was not for me when I was a member a couple years ago. I generally prefer the traditional CSA model. I also felt there was very strong pressure on its members to purchase extra items not covered by Busa Bucks (which I certainly get to an extent but just didn't like their approach). And boy, the cashier I always saw was consistently pretty grumpy. But I liked supporting a local farm and the produce was generally good. YMMV.

Best Local Brews you can't get anywhere else, and Best Lobster Mac&Cheese

Agree with Publick House rec if OP wants to find both requests in the same place, and wants/needs T accessible. Although, CBC is another great option for local beer (unsure whether mac n cheese is on current menu however).

Chow Finds in Arlington?

Have you been since they moved next door? Seating is something Barismo is working on.

Chow Finds in Arlington?

This thread on Arlington is still mostly relevant and pretty thorough: