enhF94's Profile

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August 2014 Openings and Closings

In the former Spün location (or maybe next door, it's the same building at Powderhouse Circle in Somerville) there's a sign up that says "Frozen Hoagies" with a picture of an ice-cream sandwich in a cookie. No further information.

August 2014 Openings and Closings

I saw somewhere (sigh, can’t find it now) a report that Teriyaki House (fka DooWee and Rice) had “closed for renovations,” but they did, in fact, renovate and are now open.

Same bao, some house made udon.

Aug 23, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Somerville Salvadoran Enchiladas: I cannot get enough

I'd happily visit any other Salvadoran leads that folks have.

Aug 18, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Where can I get my Market Basket favorites?

I’m told by people who eat cottage cheese that Friendship is a brand good enough to make convert the curd-phobic. I’m one of ‘em, though, so I can’t tell you where to buy it.

Pearl hot dogs I’ve seen at Dave’s Fresh, presumably at a higher price point.

I wonder if Modelo butcher in Magoun has good turkey breast. I’ve only started walking by there recently so I can’t say confidently, but I like their style.

Aug 17, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Caffeten Salvadoreno - Mystic Ave, Somerville

Seven years later, yes: see post on Salvadoran enchiladas Aug 2014.

Aug 17, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Somerville Salvadoran Enchiladas: I cannot get enough

Salvadoran food is my #1 "had no idea until moving here, now I love it" about Somerville. It even beats out Brazilian food.

Recently I've been having an enchilada craving. Salvadoran enchiladas are pretty similar to Mexican tostadas, not Mexican enchiladas: fried-crisp tortilla topped with browned meat, lettuce, tomato, cotija cheese, maybe a slice of egg, maybe avocado if you're really lucky, sometimes curtido. I have no expectation of ever eating one without the toppings falling all over everything.

Taco Loco on Broadway (well-liked on this board for other lesser items) was my favorite: pre-wrapped in plastic wrap which helps it hold together as you eat. It also has diced curtido on top (which is so mild as to maybe be coleslaw, except they probably use curtido since they have it already). You can see them on a tray on top of the glass case.

But now the Mesoamerican Restaurant on Mystic Ave, aka Caffeten Salvadorean, aka some other name, aka has a for-sale sign on the side of the building but has been there forever, has taken the top slot. This is the place you have driven by a zillion times exiting and driving under I-93 to enter Somerville, but that left turn feels like work so you skip it. But there's parking in the back! (Note: the music is usually very, very loud even when the restaurant is empty.)

This enchilada: the tortilla is fried to order, the steak bits are really well browned, and there is no egg, avocado or curtido.

Nothing special about it except the tortilla is hot and the veggies are cold so you get that McDLT effect, and the meat is really really well browned (as in "they might have tossed 'em in the fryolator" browned) and everything is seasoned nicely. And the cotija is grated, not crumbled.

I also like the enchiladas from Los Paisanos restaurant, also on Broadway in Somerville, and if you screw up at Los Paisanos and accidentally order the Mexican enchiladas, those are awesome too. (I think the sauce is guajillo chili but I'm not really able to tell. All I can say is it's not from a can, it doesn't taste like red or green enchilada sauce, it's sweet and kind of mole-ish and delicious.)

There is no Salvadoran enchilada I have not gobbled without wishing for another. Any further suggestions?

TL;DR: Mesoamerican (fka Caffeten Salvadorean), Los Paisanos, Taco Loco. Salvadoran enchiladas are more like Mexican tostadas than Mexican enchiladas.

Aug 17, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Boston - Saturday Night - No Reservations - Where to Go?

Well, you’ve got great taste, and I see you’ve already settled on a place so don’t read this until your next Boston trip?

Pinxto Pincho, in Woburn, is tapas, new, excellent, and as-yet-not-mobbed. Housemade txistorra (little sausages)!

http://www.pintxopincho.com

Aug 16, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Who is the most chowhound-ish caterer?

Evan Hennessey of Portsmouth NH’s Stages at One Washington catered a 150-person Boston event I was involved with, and I loved him. I chose him specifically for his interest in modernist techniques like sous vide. A couple of months after the event, he was named a James Beard Award semifinalist (northeast). I remember passed apps such as made-in-house duck pastrami, lacquered foie (a riff on a Modernist Cuisine recipe), pork belly, and the only crab salad I’ve ever enjoyed. He was, at the time, eager to travel to Boston (though this may have changed; he got a lot of local press for the award).

http://stages-dining.com

Also-rans we did not hire included Season To Taste (they catered Tony Maws’ wedding) and Forklift Catering. Since we insisted on sous vide, neither moved forward to the second round.

Aug 16, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

La Brasa, Somerville

Finally made it to La Brasa. Maybe I was expecting too much.

We ate at the bar, sitting on painfully backless seats that are too heavy to scoot without getting up. As my back tired out, it hurt more.

It was early in the night and the bartender forestalled boredom by practicing flipping a cocktail shaker, directly in front of us, on and off, until we stopped eating to watch (he did get the message and found something less annoying to do). He spilled my drink and my water while pouring (not a full spill, just enough to require I watch my cuffs for the rest of the meal).

Silverware is stuffed into a can “so you can get it yourself, let me know if something’s not in there.” Fun idea, and surely takes some burden off the dishwashers, so yay. But: what’s "not in there" is a way to extricate a piece of silverware without ripping out the whole clot causing silverware explosion, or yanking hard enough to elbow my dining companion. Other things that are missing from the clump: spoons.

I think my posts here are known enough for readers to know I’m not a service-complainer. I entered enthusiastic and left annoyed.

The food was okay.

Aug 15, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Teriyaki House?

I’ve been there; the bao are the same recipe, hearty fries are still there. Recently renovated; someone somewhere (CH?) overinterpreted the “under renovations” sign to mean “closed,” but it’s open again now.

Aug 15, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

I’m still pissed about the 1999 Boston Beer Works menu redesign. Mako skewers and “buckets” of things.

Aug 14, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Hamersley's Bistro to close in Oct

Me too. Hoping Oleana’s chicken can fill the void. It’s been a few years, though, and I think it was a recurring special…

Aug 14, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

East End Grille, Somerville?

I’ve been once, maybe six weeks ago. I remember a brussels sprout side dish that was undercooked and heavy enough on the neutral oil (canola-esque) I didn’t want to finish it.

I wouldn’t recommend or disrecommend based on this report.

Aug 13, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Kickass Cupcakes Is Closed

restaurant in the same building, M3, closed to seizure:

http://davis-square.livejournal.com/3...

same building… same landlord?

Aug 13, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Oh please Arby's...

testify

Aug 10, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

ISO: half sheet pan sized parchment paper, NOT rolled, but layed flat

but thanks for reporting back.

Aug 09, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

La Brasa, Somerville

They are, apparently, closed on Mondays.

Jul 21, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

To answer the question you probably intended, I dig Istanbul’lu (turkish Teele Square, not far from the Alewife theater) and Montecristo (East Somerville, not far from Assembly Square Theater)

In order to avoid derailing the thread, I’ll try to keep it to a sentence: “ethnic” implies thoughtless ethnocentrism, as if your ethnicity were “normal” and others were “not normal,” which tends to drift into “abnormal” even if you don’t intend it.

You probably didn't want me to suggest Orleans or The Pub, but they’re ethnic too.

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe has opened in Woburn today!

I’ve only been once, to Chelmsford. Orderwise, what do?

Jul 12, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary dinner help

Oh, right, okay. That bread always seems stale and I think the stale-ish texture is part of the recipe (not that this means one should like it, but if it were a staling issue it wouldn’t be so very consistently “that way"). I never liked the bread, chickpea spread or the Montañes very much, although I may be otherwise Dali’s only defender (and maybe that a little less now that Pinxto Pincho is around…)

Jul 03, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Comparing house brands at local supermarkets - The Boston Globe

Costco thumbs up: I adore those torta rolls made on-site. They are chewy, well seasoned, freeze very well, the crust isn’t crunchy enough to irritate my mouth. Super spread-friendly both in flavor and texture (they won’t fall apart, and have a medium crumb which holds spreads). Strong structural integrity means no worries about explosions or fallout. And they are rich enough to forego meat or cheese if you so desire (although they’re excellent with turkey).

Jul 02, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary dinner help

You’re talking the warm goat cheese with honey and onions? I love that dish at Dali.

Jul 02, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

Me too. I gotta get back there. I only go at opening, though - the crowds and noise are way too much for me once they get going. Their vegan options are good enough they don't feel like compromising, too.

Jun 25, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

my understanding is that one's experience of saltiness can vary (over time) based on one's personal standard salt level, so I respect this complaint.

As for the oil, I can understand your point. I like high flavor and don't mind oil. This comment is also my excuse to link to this WSJ article which recommends using more oil to prevent greasiness (in case anyone else reading the thread had the idea to ask for a low-oil pizza):

http://on.wsj.com/1o4YFDU

specifically for the "too oily" crowd, I will note that I always, only order the small size pizza because the smaller size slightly improves the crustiness of the crust. If I were really overreaching, I might point to the above article and say that a higher oil-to-crust ratio in the small improves the product.

Jun 25, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

Best Steak sandwich: River Gods.
Best Fries (debatable or honorable mention): River Gods.

(this opinion is sadly a year out of date, though)

Jun 24, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

I don’t generally pay attention to coffee since college, but I did notice and plotz when one day Three Little Figs had a special on Seattle’s Victrola coffee. I’m not a regular and in fact find the bakery options soporifically uninviting, but I was very lucky that day that a friend was thirsty.

Jun 24, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

I knew I was firing across the bow of HMS Naples, but I’m prepared to defend it against anything I’ve had in Boston except my homemade neapolitan-style pizza. Did I just double down? Or triple down? I think I did. :)

The crust is crunchy from edge to center, chewy enough to last through the bite, and flavorful. It’s the only example I’ve found in Boston of the Old Forge, PA style “fried” pizza which Myhrvold et al. highlighed in Modernist Cuisine @ Home. The technique is easy to screw up and tricky to get right - and done right, the crust isn't greasy despite the oil. It’s made from scratch on site. Toppings are unnecessary but both classic toppings and modern standards (mushroom gorgonzola) are available.

Scissors and Pie Pizza on Newbury St.

I like your thoughtful replies and it you’re up for it, I think we could use more of that.

Jun 24, 2014
enhF94 in Greater Boston Area

Foods you pronounce incorrectly.

coming back late to say “wait, how _do_ we pronounce piri piri?"

Jun 24, 2014
enhF94 in Not About Food

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

No. 9 Park’s foie and prune gnocchi