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Is there a quality lunch spot near I-91 in MA/Pioneer Valley?

my mistake. good to know

Is there a quality lunch spot near I-91 in MA/Pioneer Valley?

another place to stop is downtown greenfield, where there's hope & olive (semi-upscale bar food), brass buckle (order at the counter tacos & tex mex with great house-made corned beef), or people's pint (decent beer, very good burgers & salads -- CASH ONLY).

in west springfield there's pintu's lunch buffet, which is very decent indian food.

in springfield i am very fond of the vietnamese menu at pho saigon. the pho might actually be a bit better at vinh chau, which is across the street. but i hate the blaring TV in that place. this might be a little far off 91 for you.

there are a couple of very good mexican restaurants in enfield ct as well -- sarapes, which is oaxacan, and hacienda del sol which is more like tex-mex.

all these places are easily findable on the web.

good eating!

Seeking input on outdoor Puerto Rican pig roast facility under development [Holyoke, MA]

we are already planning out visit for sept 27. will that be the first day it's open?

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

yes indeed they do. they're open 8:30 - 6:00 monday through friday. no website.

Pekarski Sausage
293 Conway Rd South Deerfield, MA 01373
(413) 665-4537


Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

well, living in the pioneer valley, it's not as though too many really interesting new restaurants open on a regular basis. this means posters from this area tend to wheel out a fairly fixed list of faves when questions arise. i do try to post if i hit a really great meal somewhere, but during the summer there's so much fresh produce around area (and i have a neighbor down the street who raises organic beef, plus an amazing smokehouse about a mile away), that i don't really eat out too often in this season. i do hit roadside stands now & then, but not too much has changed since i did my last hot dog round-up. one thing i was thinking about was trying every restaurant in the town where i live (deerfield) and posting a thumbnail guide for visitors. i've been dragging my feet on finishing up, but maybe i should just go do it. there really aren't that many. maybe some other folks would be interested in doing something similar for their town, neighborhood, whatever. might make for some lively reading, ranting and discussion.

Rare Bourbon

definitely true. i've got a partial bottle of pappy's 23 left from one of our tastings, and while it was quite fine, general consensus was that the william larue weller from the buffalo trace antique collection was every bit as good, at a much lower price point. but it did come in a cool wooden box with a pair of engraved glasses. sheesh.

Jul 18, 2014
fatheryod in New Orleans

Montreal: Poutine and Shish Taouk and Couscous and....

sad to hear it. i did a book event up in mtl, and when i was trying to find a veggie-friendly place that could handle 14 people for lunch the next day, i ended up there via chowhound. we were all impressed, even though it was obviously an "expense account" place. is there anything else similar in mtl?

what's open in montpelier on july 4

i have some friends driving down from montreal, and i'd like to point them to somewhere midway that's open. anything around that area is fine. i'm down in western mass, so they'll be going 89 to 91.


Ridgewood Gets a Little Pizza Magic

i was at a music festival at trans pecos on wyckoff this past weekend, and hit houdini three times in three days with different people. the 3 pizzas i tried, as well as the burrata were all fantastic. thin lovely crust with plenty of "tooth" and crunch, superbly flavorful toppings doled out perfectly, and super fast turnaround. each pizza i had was delivered to the patio within 10 minutes. pretty sure it's cash only, so be prepared. but prices are good ($12-14 for 12" pies), everything else (apps, salads, etc. under $10). really nice space physically as well. i heard the times reviewed it this past weekend. so the time to check it is now.

Jun 23, 2014
fatheryod in Outer Boroughs

Montreal: Poutine and Shish Taouk and Couscous and....

also, worth noting that comptoir 21 has a legit veggie poutine, if that matters. quite a nice one, too.

and i agree with those who suggest main over schwtarz's.

best chinese i've had up there was at piment rouge a few years back, although lately people have not agreed. i would certainly try it again when i was up -- weird, very fancy dining room, with a pretty good wine list and a very extensive menu -- all pretty much ala carte, as i recall. was great for lunch, though not cheap -- $50 pp with wine.

it is always nice to hit joe beef or pied de cochon for crazy takes on trad quebec meat-based meals. nowhere else really like them.

alternative to athena in newfield CT

sounds good. the one i usually hit is the athena in north haven. i look forward to sampling the alternative this very weekend. thanks

alternative to athena in newfield CT

i am often driving back late night from NYC to western mass. for the last 20 years along the merritt, i have been stuck with stopping at the athena late at night. yet, while i have ordered almost everything on the menu, nothing has been good. are there any other late night place close to the merritt, or is there actually something good to order at the athena?

Pioneer Valley: Thinking outside the box

thanks for the info. i had not been aware of that. hopefully i'll get up there soon and report back.

Pioneer Valley: Thinking outside the box

9 towards the berkshires is not littered with good food stops. although the scenery is quite nice. unfortunately, i haven't run into any places that combine okay food with a nice setting.
as mentioned, the williamsburg snack bar is good. the look diner in leeds has fine diner basics as well. and scotti's is a decent place to eat hot dog and hit a bucket of balls. also, as mentioned, the old creamery in cummington has some good sandwiches, although their ordering process can be a little clunky. that's about it 'til pittsfield. there, yeah baba louie's is good. as is teo's hot dogs (if like 'em small and with a weird "chili" sauce). i have also had good luck at mad jack's bbq, although opinions are wildly variant on that topic.
off 2 east, yeah to wagon wheel, but again it's not too scenic. if you drive into "downtown" gill, there's the gill tavern, but they're dinner only except for sunday brunch. excellent food, however. but trying to find a decent place to stop between there and boston is always tough since the really good taco places in leominster closed up.
if anyone ever moves into the montague night kitchen space at the bookmill (where the blue heron started), that'll be the pre-eminent river porch scene, but as far as i know it's still empty. the lady killigrew is still there for beer, sandwches and salads. nice setting.
if you find anywhere even remotely interesting, please let us know.

Last minute road trip to Springfield Ma! TODAY

the white hut stays open by sheer dint of genius

Greenfield MA food alert -- the fiddlehead soup is ready

the sign is up again today, so i stopped in for a bowl and it is as good as ever.

The Gill Tavern

After much hemming and hawing, my wife and I finally hit the Gill Tavern with another couple this past weekend. They're open for dinner Weds - Sun, and have a brunch on Sunday as well. We hit the Mother's Day Brunch -- regular menu + a few specials, and it was great.
The building seems to have housed the old Gill General Store. It's broken into two sunny rooms and a small front porch, with a bar and open kitchen in the front room. We were a little early, so we had Mimosas (and an excellent Bloody Mary) on the porch, then went in and ordered a bunch of specials. My wife had the pan-seared salmon with roast asparagus and (gluten free) potato latke and Bernaise sauce. According to her, the salmon was perfectly prepared. I know it was very nicely plated. As was my own rare grilled lamb steak served over polenta with roast asparagus and a rosemary sauce. Our companions had the brulee french toast with dulce de leche, and the special meat omelet, both of which were beautifully plated and devoured with gusto. Could not pass up the dessert course -- strawberry rhubard crumble served with vanilla ice cream. It sounded semi-healthy, but was quite decadent.
The tab for four with drinks, a couple of extra sides and two desserts ran $95 before tax, which seemed very reasonable for the quality of the food. The piece of lamb I had was one of the best I've ever been served, and it was really cooked beautifully. We kept on talking about sharing bites, but we were all too content with what we had to be willing to give any away. Ha. We did have some sides of pickled beets which were handled communally and they were fantastic.
The place is a bit off the beaten path, but we all agreed the menu deserves some serious exploration at a later date. They are also very good about making gluten-free options available, and pay attention to the difference between those with celiac and those who are just gluten intolerant, which was very thoughtful.
They seem to do a special event, sometimes with guest cooks, every month or two. And I think any serious eater around here would get a kick out of the place. The site is <<www.thegilltavern.com>> and it's just a couple of miles off of Rt. 2, straight across from the bridge out of Turner's Falls.

In the Road foodtruck Bradford VT

does anyone know if this food truck is still active? all the inf i've been able to get about it seems out of date. thanks in advance for any help.

Graduation dinner near Northampton?

Night Kitchen is closed.

Nov 27 partial trip report_Coquette

The Coquette report sounds great. I will add it to out Xmas itinerary. Probably for lunch. I would agree on Parkway over Domilise's, although my experience is limited. Hoping against hope that Walker's will be open during this visit. Glad to hear your trip went so well

Dec 06, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans

Willie Mae Scotchouse, anyone been recently ????

I took my daughter there a couple of months ago. I always try to get there right about opening time to avoid the lines that can sometime accrue when lunch time hits. She had not been there before and was blown away by the chicken. Not everyone agrees, but for my taste the coating has just the right balance of spice, bite and crunch. I've yet to be disappointed there. And the butter beans are truly first rate.

Dec 06, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans

Anyone tried the Smithsonian in Greenfield yet?

thanks for the info. i'll hopefully try both of them out in the near future. as to the comment about saltiness, this is something i've been noticing lately. i'm wondering if it's just because i've been cooking with a lot less salt, or whether it's an actual trend. time will tell.

Anyone tried the Smithsonian in Greenfield yet?

Just saw that Hatfield's Smithsonian had opened an outpost in the Art Block off of Greenfield's main square. Has anyone tried it yet? I really liked the old place, and enjoyed the one visit I made to their new location on Route 5. Curious about this one, but I'm usually down in Northampton during the day.

The Clay Oven Indian restaurant Greenfield MA

just stopped by there after the gym. they have a menu posted in the window now. the owner was there, so i tapped on the window and asked about opening date. he said he had been virtually ready for a couple of weeks, but that two minor things still needed to be completed by a contractor. "every day he says he will be in tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes," he lamented. still he said he thinks the work will be completed in the next day or two and they may be open as soon as this weekend. looking forward to it!

Gluten Free Friendly Lunch in New Haven?

I don't know the actual menu at Bentara, but one thing to remember for GF eaters is that soy sauce & products are not GF. If the person only has an intolerance, the amounts can be small enough to avoid problems, but someone with celiac needs to be careful. Some restaurants have wheat-free tamari on-hand for these instances now. I have found that a phone call ahead of time to check can save trouble.

trip report


cowbell is a fun spot with good food. but it was worth hitting on the early side (especially if you have a group) since it's on the small side (around 10 tables, a few of which are large enough to be communal) and when we were going out the wait looked substantial. it being nola, however, you can always grab a cocktail and hang around outside shooting the bull. have a great thanksgiving.

Nov 08, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans

trip report

that sundae was memorable! you are very lucky yr kids chose such a delicious city to settle in. and if they're fun to hang out with and happy to see you, it's probably worth the price of a few meals. if they had settled in a place like st. johns newfoundland (i only mention this spot since my wife and i were contemplating visiting a friend up there and the food scene does not look too promising) you'd be much worse off!

and honestly, i live in a area nearby two of my wife's siblings. they're all in their 50s and i think their mom still picks up the tab when they go out. so i'm not sure there's an end in sight. if it comes to that i think i'll just flash my aarp card when i visit, take them out to an early bird special at applebee's and pay in coins. maybe they'll take the hint. ha

trip report

thanks for the tip on elizabeth's po'boys. i've only been there for breakfast. i think they do a great job of everything except potatoes, which the only weak spot i've found on their menu. will definitely try to hit it for lunch on my next trip to nola. i quote enjoy the one at mahoney's as well, but have really been jonesing for the one at walker's, which the one served at jazz fest. those guys are often closed, doing a festival catering gig, however, so i have been thwarted thus far. good luck on yr investigations! ha.

Nov 05, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans

trip report


i can only say it was a small sports bar with a very good cochon de lait po'boy. we were directed there by ira kaplan and georgia hubley of yo la tengo (a band whose touring schedule sometimes seems to be built around restaurants they want to hit! ha). here's a link to an artsy photo of the sandwiches from the band's website, but they did ask that we keep the name of the place under our hats, with the implied threat of losing access to other secret spots. i would generally be happy to share the info, but under the circumstances,i hope you can appreciate my dilemma.


Nov 05, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans

trip report

i went down to new orleans for ponderosa stomp, and also to visit my kids, who live uptown. we cooked one big meal at their place, which we bought at whole foods -- and man, it's a nice store and all, but the parking situation is pretty insane. if you drive there, i suggest looking for street parking rather than trying to deal with their lot, which is tight and quite nutty.

anyway, we hit cochon butcher to go for lunch. had the BLT, Pork Belly Sandwich, Cochon de Lait Po' Boy (a special), plus sides of mac & cheese, potato salad and brussel sprouts. sandwiches were all great -- i've noticed that some folks complain about the "standard" quality of the bread there, but man, the guts make up for it. i sampled everything and it was all first rate. the sides, however, were the real knock-out. so much better than last time i was there. a little salty for my taste, but once i got used to that i just dug in and glowed. excellent! the wait (at 1:30) was not bad either (about 15 minutes), and the staff there was darned nice.

for dinner we hit cowbell (8801 Oak St <<http://www.cowbell-nola.com/&gt;&gt;) which was fantastic. we got there on the early side, since they tend to crowd up after 6:30 or 7, and got seated right away. the place has a casual, semi-hipster vibe (supposed to have good cocktails, too), but was very friendly. for apps we had the figgy toast, which was incredible -- with andouillie, sweet & sour figs, and cheese. we also ordered a special app, which was brussel sprouts with grapes and marcona almonds, and it was killer as well. i had the burger, which was amazing. a perfect medium-rare with homemade ketchup and agogo sauce, plus the zinfandel/bacon/onion compote (which i highly recommend). kids had the grilled cheese special (with spaghetti squash and mint pesto) and the fish burger (fresh chopped salmon and shrimp). we darn near licked the plates clean.

next morning we hit refuel (8124 Hampson Street <<http://refuelcafe.com/>> which had the best dark roast i've had in nola, and some of the best grits i've enjoyed anywhere. very nice casual spot (although my kids say on weekends, after 10:30 it is full of tulane sorority gals -- which is good or bad, depending on yr opinion). i had the breakfast burrito, which i was warned was "odd" and it was. it was more like a panini in presentation, but had all the features you'd expect in a breakfast burrito -- just pressed down. it was quite good, although the coffee and grits had won me over already.

we tried to hit walkers up in east nola for a cochon de lait po' boy lunch, but they were closed for some event! drat! our friends directed us to a non-disclosable location on the fringe of the FQ as a replacement, and it was pretty good -- although more like a pulled pork sandwich than i'd expected. for dessert, however, we wandered over to green goddess (307 Exchange Place) to partake of their signature dessert -- the bacon sundae. it was mid afternoon and nearly empty, and man that is a mighty fine sundae! pecan praline ice cream with a creamy bacon & caramel sauce with a couple different salts. wow! if you feel a craving for something sweet, it's a heck of a nice thing to tuck into!

that night we hit luke with a big crowd of the kids' friends. we went heavy on the apps, since the young people were all into sampling the cocktails (i was the designated driver this trip). we went heavily into oysters (both baked and raw) which were excellent, as was the plate of pates and the flamenkuche -- a kind of alsation pizza. i know there have been many off-comments about the service at luke, but our waiter was quite attentive, and the food came out at a nice pace. i went with the burger for my order (who can resist alan benton's bacon?) and i didn't keep tabs on every else's order, but they seemed quite happy. of course, most 20-somethings probably like any meal that someone's dad is paying for, but everything i sampled was darn good. and the kuche and pates were truly wonderful. the menu is definitely more northern european than new orleanian, but the oysters were great, and it's a very laid back place (especially on the later side). not cheap. i think it ran about $80 a head (inclusive), but it was worth it.

my last morning we hit elizabeth's for breakfast -- as i always love to do. got there early, so we didn't have to wait. praline bacon., steak and eggs...mmm. i'd never sat upstairs before, but it was nice and service was spot on. by the time we left, it was jammed. but hey, what do you expect?

on the way to the airport we hit morning call (the one in metairie) for beignets and cafe au lait. i just love the vibe of that place. and the beignets are always fresh (unlike some other spots). i had hoped to hit cochon butcher again to grab a sandwich for the flight home, but there just wasn't time. ah well. i'll be back at christmas.

can't wait!

Nov 04, 2013
fatheryod in New Orleans