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Best seafood restuarant in Cambridge or Somerville?

Not a "seafood restaurant" per se, but Machu Picchu in Union Square does nice ceviches.
For fried seafood, I think you can't beat Courthouse Seafood in E Cambridge.

Christina's Spices closed until further notice

We asked tonight at the ice cream shop what was going next door, and the reply was "nothing right now."

Oct 11, 2014
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Suvai - North Cambridge?

Went last night. Seemed to be a mix of folks from the two restaurants working. Temporary smaller menu, as others have mentioned. It's a mix of N Indian classics, S Indian stuff like dosas, and a bunch of the specialties from their old menu.

We had a biryani (tasted just like the Biryani Park version we remembered fondly, kotthu paratha, very nice renditions of saag paneer and chicken tikka, and the standout, which was the very non-descript "Sri Lankan plate" which is hidden at the back of the menu with no further details. It took a long time to come (we wondered if they'd forgotten - we were stuffed when it finally arrived but had to make more room cause it was so good!). It was a thali tray with several small dishes of shrimp curry, some kind of squash, and several other veggie dishes. Everything on the plate was delicious and different than the typical Indian restaurant fare. Really the most yummy thing I've had since getting home cooking in Kerala. Don't overlook this menu item!

This is definitely going to be our go to Indian spot now. Really excited that it's so much more accessible now.

Aug 24, 2014
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Meal Delivery for New Mom

We really enjoyed the food from Cooking From the Heart. Seemed healthy and reasonably priced.

http://www.cookingfth.com

Jul 24, 2014
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Kefir grains to make my own batch

Hi Folks,

I'm bumping this thread to ask if anyone has any milk kefir grains they'd be willing to share. I can trade you a kombucha scoby if you like!

Thanks hounds.

Jun 06, 2014
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

H Mart Open in Central Square!

They have it at Super 88 in Malden.

May 06, 2014
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Sarma 1st impressions

On further reflection, I would suggest they drop the "specials" and just circulate with *all* the meze, while still distributing menus and offering a la carte ordering. There were certainly enough staff on hand to make this work. The dishes are attractively plated so I think people would enjoy seeing them and they would go quickly. They would probably sell more plates that way too! Somehow marking a card I'm less cost-conscious than when ordering a bunch of dishes off the menu.

And I think a bustling but mellow dim sum hall atmosphere would work with the vibe of the space.

Oct 11, 2013
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Sarma 1st impressions

The missus and I went to the long-awaited Sarma on Thursday for our date night.

It's a pleasant space with lovely lighting and an impressive array of plates on the wall. The ghost of the old Paddock has been almost completely exorcised and this place is definitely a jewel-like standout in an otherwise totally unyuppified part of Somerville.

Let's get to what the hounds actually care about: the grub. As a disclaimer, my dining companion is a veggie so we stuck to the meatless menu items, of which there are plenty. There are certainly lots of interesting sounding meaty (especially seafood) items on the menu which I'll have to try another time.

We started with the Pumpkin Fritter, which consisted of three tiny but tasty pumpkin and chickpea cubes garnished with yummy toasted walnuts.

Next plate was the Grilled Eggplant Salad. We are serious eggplant lovers, but found this dish to be disappointing. It just lacked a distinctive flavor. It was served with a nice black sesame encrusted flatbread and a mini pitcher of delicious olive oil.

Next up was the Mushroom Lamejun. This was our favorite dish of the night. Three mini lamejuns with a nice yeasty crust and tangy tomato topping. These were served with a little bowl of toppings including cabbage, caramelized onions, and a dollop of incredible black truffle lebne. This single mouthful was to our tastes the highlight of the meal.

The last item we ordered from the menu was the Kale & Artichoke Spanikopita. This turned out to be a kind of oddball fusion, sort of a cross between artichoke dip and spanikopita. Instead of phyllo dough it was topped with something resembling (buttery) shredded wheat, and was served with a pile of raw seasonal crudites on top. While the kale and artichoke filling was fairly tasty, the various ingredients in this concoction just didn't cohere for us.

One of the conceits/gimmicks that Sarma offers is that there are several mystery "specials" each night. Servers circulate with plates of these, and mark a card on your table dim sum style. We found it a little unclear how many small plates to order initially without knowing what these specials would be at ordering time. The night we were there there were two specials that appeared during our meal, which turned out to be a turkish spiced fried chicken and a swiss chard sarma (interestingly, both of these show up on the menu that's been posted online).

We opted for the sarma, which was sort of a cross between maki and stuffed cabbage. A humble but nicely flavored dish which was served with a tangy tomato sauce.

The other novelty/quirk that Sarma offers is their dessert tray, which is also brought around to the table for your inspection. It's presented in the form of little dishes of various toppings which you can order along with their soft-serve froyo. We opted for the sesame caramel and the baklava, which is served in little crumbly bits (I joked that it was the leftover scraps from Oleana or Sofra). The caramel was really good, but the baklava didn't really distinguish itself. The frozen yogurt itself had a great flavor, really tangy and not that sugary, with most of the real sweetness coming from the toppings. Although all these elements were quite flavorful and the opportunity to top your own dessert is fun, once again we didn't feel that the various ingredients totally cohered.

Overall we were a bit disappointed, perhaps due to our long anticipation of the opening. Most of the things we tried were good, but mostly not GREAT to our taste. The only thing that really "hit it out of the park" was the lebne, which was a small portion of one dish (the menu refers to "locally made yogurt cheese" so it may not even be made in house. If someone knows where it comes from let me know!)

We weren't totally convinced that the value was there either, especially for a vegetarian (as a point of comparison, the Veg tasting menu, with 5 meze and dessert, is $40 at Oleana). Portions were quite small. We were still feeling a bit hungry after our dinner items, but it was unclear whether there were more specials forthcoming so we just opted for dessert, which is also fairly pricey at $10 a pop including one topping. Total was about $100 for two diners, including one drink each.

We will probably try Sarma again another time and sample more of the menu. It is certainly good, and a nice addition to the Somerville dining scene, but overall not as tasty as what we've experienced in other similarly priced (and cheaper) establishments in the area and not the gastronomic revelation we were hoping for.

Oct 11, 2013
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Shark Brand Sriracha local source?

I get mine at Super 88 in Malden. After doing my own taste test I agree that it's the best. And I prefer preservative free as well.

May 14, 2013
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Best Feijoada in Somerville/E. Cambridge?

Any hints, hounds? I've heard that many of the Brazilian places do feijoada on Saturdays... who has it best? Anywhere that has a good rendition on the daily menu?

Thanks folks.

Mar 05, 2011
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Himalayan Bistro - What to order?

The Banto ko tarkari (eggplant dish from the Himalayan part of the menu) is amazing. Order it spicy!

Aug 20, 2009
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

RIP Samia's

When I saw the sign that Samia's was remodeling, I didn't think much of it because the sign said she'd re-open June 1st. Then July 1st came and the sign said June 7th. Then, they put up a big King Falafel sign.

We went in yesterday to check it out. The owner said Samia had retired. So sad that I'll never get to eat another Samia's falafel. Or marvel at the deliciousness of her tabouli. Or slurp up the last bit of Samia's sauce that's spilled onto my plate. Or get her to taste my version of her sauce and give me some pointers. Or listen to her explain that it's all so good because she uses the really expensive tahini and makes everything fresh.

We should all get to retire one day, but I sure am going to miss Samia. There's really no falafel in Boston that's as good as hers. Let's all take a minute to honor Samia's cooking!

Jun 27, 2009
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Elephant Walk: do you like it?

Illyphee and I have a name for places like this... "over-priced and under-spiced."

May 02, 2008
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Best Caterers in the Pioneer Valley

Hello Wonderful Chowhounders,

You never steer me wrong and now I need your help. My partner and I are having our wedding in Deerfield and need to find a fabulous caterer. Our vision is pan-Asian buffet but we could go with yummy hippie vegetarian food or some other awesome ethnic cuisine. Pengyew is going to be out of the country!!!

Thanks!!!!!!

-Sarah

Best sweet potato tempura sushi?

Hey folks,

My vegetarian girlfriend was a somewhat reluctant sushi eater, until she discovered the sweet potato tempura maki. Now she is hooked! We're looking for a good place in Boston for this dish. We've eaten it other places, but it hasn't been on the menu at the last few places we've tried.

thanks houndies!

Dec 04, 2006
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Himalayan Bistro, West Roxbury

We ate here recently. The food was excellent, actually better than I was expecting! We only ordered items from the Indian menu. The Nepali stuff looks good - we attempted to order a spinach dish, but apparently they're not serving it right now due to recent problems with fresh spinach. I thought it would be typical unexceptional Indian fare but everything was delicious.

Our first clue that we were in for a yummy meal came with the papadums and chutney. The chutneys, although standard, were unusually tasty and well balanced. The onion chutney was so good we ate a whole pot of it!

My GF ordered saag paneer (made with frozen spin, so ok apparently), which was dark, rich and earthy tasting. I was inspired by the chutney experience and decided to order a masala dosa. Although the dosa was not the fullest I've ever had, it was long and crispy. The coconut chutney it came with was super yummy, and the sambar (little cup of lentil soup), which I often feel is kind of a lesser accompaniment to my dosai, was so good I would happily eat a bowl of it on its own.

Ambiance was pleasant, and staff was very attentive (although clearly bored - not so many people there on a Wed nite). Best of all, our basic dinner for two was only 22 bux! (entrees, rice, naan - no appetizers or drinks)

All in all, very enjoyable and tasty. I'm glad to discover this place, and we'll definitely be back to try the Momos and other Nepalese treats. I'm also glad to know we don't need go to Cambridge for quality Indian food.

Nov 04, 2006
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Asian market near roslindale?

Hi chowhoundies,

Just moved to Roslindale, and am enjoying exploring the area. I've discovered Bob's Pita middle eastern grocery, which is great. I'm wondering if there's an Asian market somewhere nearby.

thanks.

Oct 30, 2006
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Dinner near Littleton, MA

Benjarong is awful.

The only good restaurant in Littleton is Tobiko (sushi/chinese/"japanese fusion") in the Nagog plaza (next to Il Forno, mentioned above). I recommend the Idaho Maki - tempura sweet potato sushi.

In neighboring Westford is the new Goa indian restaurant, which is pretty decent, and Bamboo which is popular and reasonably ok chinese.

Aug 11, 2006
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area

Boca Grande Brighton

So, last night I went to the newish Boca Grande on Washington in Brighton Center. I'd never eaten in any Boca Grandes and was vaguely aware that it was a chain. I wasn't expecting very much from it, but hoped to satisfy the burrito urge.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the food! It was way better than what I expected and very flavorful!

Let me establish my credentials as a burrito-eater by stating that I've lived in the SF Bay area, lived in a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago with probably hundreds of taquerias in a 3 mile radius, and have traveled throughout Mexico. I've eaten many, many burritos and many tacos.

I was impressed first off by the fact that they offer cochinita pibil as one of the meat options. This is a dish from the Yucatan area, where I believe traditionally the pork is slow roasted in a pit in the ground! I was addicted to the cochinita pibil tacos at the loncheria in Valladolid... Anyway, it's not something you even see very often on the menu at mexican restaurants in los EU.

The cochinita pibil at Boca Grande was extremely tender, juicy, and, most importantly, had TONS OF YUMMY FLAVOR. The rest of the burrito - the tortilla, rice, beans, salsa, and guac were all pleasant. Not particularly exceptional, but supported the delicious meat enough to make for a thoroughly enjoyable burrito experience.

I was also pleased to see that they had horchata and agua de jamaica. I tried the jamaica and it was pretty good - not quite as potent as I like it, but nice on a hot evening.

In true Chowhound fashion, I decided to go back to BG for dinner again tonight! I wanted to see if it was just a fluke, or if they actually had food that was on par with stuff I've had in San Francisco or Chicago.

This time I decided to order the tacos al pastor, which is such a standard item that I thought it would make for a good comparison. I was a bit disappointed that they were tiny taquito sized tortillas, and only a single tortilla per taco. But, once again, the meat was totally delicious. It had just a little bit of cooked-on-a-spit crunch and was spicy and very well seasoned. It had the right amount of chopped onion on it to complement the meat, and, with a little squeeze of lime, took me right back to countless late-night tacos consumed on the street in Mexico City. All in all, quite tasty if a bit overpriced at $4 for 3. Next time I'll probably go for the Plate, which is only $4.50 and includes rice and beans.

So, I think I would rate this the best Mexican food experience I've had in Boston so far. I'd say on a par with food I've had in SF or Chicago - not as good as the best places there, but comparable to solid, dependable taquerias in those cities.

Aug 08, 2006
mofuzz in Greater Boston Area