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New Chicken Place in Chelsea

I live around the corner, and every time I drive past, both the walk-up and drive-thru lines are out of control and being directed by cops. Last night, however, the drive-thru was only about 10 cars deep, so I decided to give it a try.

An hour and 10 minutes later, here's what I learned:
1. The fried chicken is extremely juicy -- it actually spurted out when I took a bite. Very tasty, and much better than any fried chicken I've had before. The portions are tiny, though -- not exactly a lot of bang for your buck.
2. The grilled chicken is also very juicy and tender, and I liked the fact that they give you fresh lime wedges to go with your meal. The portions are larger than the fried version, but the skin was a bit rubbery. Still, great quality chicken.
3. The campero beans (the default side to any combo meal) are great! They're floating in a bath of pork juice, fresh herbs and spices, and honestly taste rather fresh for a fast food side order.
4. The sweet plantains were a disappointment. They come in large chunks (four pieces to a "personal" serving size), and my order was cold, mushy, and overly sweet.
5. I tried to order the Horchata, but was informed the machine was broken.
6. The service is awful...and part of the reason the line is so long. My order was ready to go and sitting in the window, but I sat there for over 5 minutes as the cashier chatted with staff, counted money for the register, and just generally ignored me. It was the most bizarre thing I've even seen at a fast food window -- they're usually so eager to get you moving along. Judging by the size of the line, this must be par for the course for Pollo, which is too bad.

All in all, if the line we're so ridiculous, I'd definitely stop by again for the chicken and beans. In the meantime, I'll be grilling my chicken at home.

Pierre Herme

Hi Jeff,

Agreed, fridge is no problem, haven't tried to freeze them yet. Hope you snagged some of the white truffle before they disappeared with the holidays!

Lauren

Jan 04, 2009
lehall2006 in General Topics

Auberge Nicholas Flamel

I had one of the most disappointing and bizarre dining experiences of my entire life last night at Auberge Nicholas Flamel. The restaurant had come as a recommendation from a friend in Paris, so I have to assume that we hit it on an "off" night, but would be interested in hear what others think.

We arrived right on time for our 8 p.m. reservation and were seated upstairs. Although we were one of the first tables to be seated (they were still lighting the candles when we arrived), the room quickly filled. We waited and waited...but no menus, and no service. Finally, after about 20 minutes, a waitress quite literally threw 1 menu at us (we were a table of 4) while racing by on her way to another table. We shrugged and took a look...some very reasonable 3 course menu options, as well as a 5 course chef's tasting, with or without pairings. We quickly made our selections, and waited for the waitress to return.

To our amazement, it was a total of 45 minutes before anyone came to take our order. Another 15 before our carafe of water arrived. Another 15 before our first course showed up. And I had to flag down the coat check girl in order to find our wine, which never appeared. Oddly enough, roll after roll appeared on our bread plates, seemingly from nowhere.

This was all quite a shame, because the food itself was definitely above average. My friends raved over their escargot tucked into puff pastry, and my grilled prawns and winter vegetables were delicious. However, as it was now an hour and a half since we'd been seated, we inhaled our entrees rather than lingering over them.

Our plats were also quite good, although was waited another 30 minutes for them to arrive. The pan fried duck was nicely crispy, and my friends enjoyed their veal, although the escargot was still the clear winner of the night.

After another long wait, our dessert arrived. Sadly, the truly excellent violet sorbet was ruined by the continued poor service. First, the waitress gave another table our desserts, and then, just as the other guests picked up their forks, she whisked them away again, and with an obvious grimace, dropped them on our table. With no apologies to either table, she turned on her heel and raced back downstairs.

By the time the check arrived, our little group had moved beyond disbelief to something closer to rage. We reluctantly paid the bill, and when there was no one to help with coat check, we went in search of our coats ourselves before making a fast exit out onto the street.

As a frequent traveler, I have eaten in many restaurants across the US and Europe. I can honestly say that I've never had worse service in all my life. It's a real shame, because the chef at Auberge Nicholas Flamel is clearly talented, and the kitchen was sending out some interesting dishes. Proof positive of how poor service can ruin an otherwise pleasant meal. I'd be tempted to chalk it up to us being a group of Americans, but not only do I speak French, our little group was incredibly polite in spite of the abysmal service.

I'm curious...has anyone else had a similar experience at this restaurant?

Dec 30, 2008
lehall2006 in France

Where to buy Poire William liqueur?

Thanks very much. Caves Bossetti was unfortunately out of it, but they had some great deals on champagne for the New Year. I also purchased a lovely chartreuse. Across the street at Nicholas they had exactly one bottle left with the poire inside, so success all around! Fingers crossed that I make it through customs...

Dec 30, 2008
lehall2006 in France

Where to buy Poire William liqueur?

Thank you both -- this is very helpful information! I'm in the Marais, very close to Caves Bossetti, and look forward to visiting tomorrow.

Dec 29, 2008
lehall2006 in France

Where to buy Poire William liqueur?

I'm in Paris for the week and would love to take a bottle of Poire William home with me. Any recommendations for a good shop?

Merci!

Dec 29, 2008
lehall2006 in France

Omelettry Cafe; Migas and Chilaquilles in Brookline Village

I work right around the corner from this place, so I was very excited when it opened. I'm amazed to hear that people have had positive experiences there, as mine have been beyond awful.

The first time I went there, I ordered the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" smoothie. I then watched as the girl behind the counter checked the menu multiple times to confirm what was supposed to be in my drink. She was clearly untrained, and the resulting smoothie tasted like ice water with a shot of Hershey's syrup. Needless to say, it went right into the trash.

A few weeks later, I decided to give it another shot and stopped in for lunch. I ordered the "gourmet grilled cheese," which was supposed to include four different cheeses on grilled bread. Despite the place being nearly empty, I waited for more than 30 minutes for the sandwich. By that point, my lunch hour was up, so I grabbed the styrofoam box and ran back to the office. I was beyond disappointed when I opened it up to discover thick slices of unmelted yellow American cheese sandwiched between soggy white toast and a random plop of canned salsa. Oh, and a child's snack-sized bag of Cheetos. (???) Hardly the "gourmet grilled cheese" I had ordered. Again, I threw everything into the trash.

I WANTED to like the Omelettry; I really did. It's got a fun, funky vibe and nice staff. But after these experiences, I don't think I'll be going back. Some of my co-workers have had okay experiences with the tex-mex stuff, but I don't think any of them have become repeat customers.

Restaurant and/or music for 25 people in Cambridge (central, harvard or inman area)

A place that has both great food and great music is the Green Street Grill in Central Square. It's always a blast, and there's very cheap parking available nearby at the Green Street garage. I highly recommend it.