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Carty's Profile

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Two nights near Faneuil Hall?

Lots of Neptune fans here, I am not among them. Google maps says Row 34 is a 19 min walk from Faneuil Hall. Well worth the extra 4 mins in my humble opinion.

Jul 22, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Chicken and Rice Guys

$7.

Where, at similar pricing and availability, would you prefer Zaoss?

Jul 18, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Chicken and Rice Guys

All the menu items are priced in dollar increments and include tax, the cash handling is really fast.

Jul 18, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Chicken and Rice Guys

Yeah I rotate in Falafel King as well, I like it for many of the same reasons. And Figaro (just to stick with the same neighborhood), which is *awesome* but can induce afternoon work catatonia.

Jul 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Chicken and Rice Guys

Choose to eat where you want but you have no information about their motivation for not accepting credit cards.

Businesses like this operate on very low margins, which supports the value I appreciate. While you do not think they should find credit card service charges onerous they may. Plus there is always a line, I suspect dealing with cash in whole dollar increments is one of the reasons they are so fast.

Tip jar is always stuffed.

If they're cheating on their taxes they are doing it while donating 1800 meals to the Women's Lunch Place. Seems like a complicated moral framework.

Chicken and Rice Guys

OK I did a search and did come up with much recent except references in more general food truck threads.

I like the Chicken and Rice Guys. Here's why:

1. Stupid simple menu.
2. Chicken is good.
3. Rice is good. Yes it's like rice-a-roni, I like it.
4. Lamb may be good, I don't do lamb.
5. Consistency, it's always exactly the same.
6. Awesome value. I eat there for lunch, I am not looking to grow.
7. The people are really friendly.
8. They serve *fast*.
9. Sauces *rock*.

It's a brick and mortar now at 85 Bedford St, the experience there is identical to the trucks.

Their web page is cool:

http://www.cnrguys.com/

Especially the "CRG Foundation" tab (good for them!) and the "goodies" tab (funny).

When I think about what I loved about the old chowhound.com, *this* the kind of thing I think about.

Jul 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Kirkland Tap!

"At this pricepoint I like it a lot better than Alden & Harlow"

Word.

Second and third words: "hot dog"

Jul 11, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Babbo Pizzeria. Enoteca

Yeah, I get the value to restaurants of treating bar seats as part of the over-all dining seat pool but if they do that the FoH really needs to have their shit together.

Jun 29, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Live Lobster prices- please share what you see!

I hang on Muscongus Bay on summer weekends, noticeable drop in prices from last week, I hope it's a trend. Also saw the first softshells of the season, although they were not yet priced lower than hardshells. I know hard vs. soft debate is endless, my lovely wife and I have been having it for years. I like softshells for picking, e.g. to make salad and rolls.

Last summer was crazy, lowest prices in many years. I am of two minds, I like low prices but lobster fisherman work really hard.

Naco Taco

I am not in the restaurant biz.

But I imagine the concept of "an" owner is like any other business, it just means one has some equity in the enterprise. And people are given equity for all sorts of reasons, like they invested money and/or they supply name recognition and credibility. What they then actually contribute operationally is only loosely coupled to how the equity was distributed.

I agree it's a weird/interesting story, why say anything (issue a press release) at all? Doing so would not seem to be in the stakeholders' interests. Unless as carlc ponders Scelfo is trying to cover his ass. But the release is not from him.

Maybe they granted him equity conditional on him playing an operational role that he did not in fact play resulting in suboptimal tacoage? So they "fired" him? Still weird, they had better turn the $4 microtaco thing around fast.

Speculating the the absence of info is fun.

Jun 20, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

No Madrid, good one, not yet. My lovely wife is a pescetarian, I think it has high potential for us. Thanks.

Jun 14, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

Hotoy, I'll admit to being all over the place, but I love the discussion.

I really like MC Slim's "There's a lot to love here; imagine how much better the scene would be if people didn't spend so many of their dining dollars on mediocrities."

I live downtown but feel at times in a desert of suboptimal choices. I can tell you what sort of things float my boat: ICOB, Row 34 (damn near perfect), Burger at JM Curley, $1.50 oysters 4:00-6:00 at Marliave, Modern Pastry, maybe once a year a steak at Grill 23, Kirkland T&T, Shojo.

If that list forms any sort of pattern :) I'd love to know where to add.

Jun 14, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

I don't know hotoy, I know this forum is what we make of it. *I* get weary of the notion that we're all supposed to be hanging at Erbaluce, Cafe ArtScience, Ribelle, or craving - and paying for - whatever Scelfo or Serpa dish out.

The local high end matters of course, but for me this forum has become too much about it, bordering on food snobbery.

The same thing that drives Boston's tolerance for popular, expensive, and mediocre dining drives the uninspiring boxes of professionals in the Seaport: our affluence.

"Middle America" is capable of drawing valuable distinctions in all sorts of cuisine; I'd love to hear more about that here. I miss chowhound.com. And maybe I'm using your phrasing as an excuse to talk about that here, that's not cool, sorry.

Jun 14, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

Well, whether you intended it or not you did.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid...

Jun 14, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

Yes the American middle class is so *dreary*. Thank God I can come here to transcend it.

Jun 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

MC Slim love your post (I gave it a little heart thingy) but I'll riff a bit on:

""You get a lot of food for the money" is the number-one criterion of too many people with whom I discuss restaurants."

I get that what you're saying is that in finer restaurants the experience should be more about creativity, execution, flavors, and quality ingredients. But, for me, even at higher end places I care about value and at some level serving size does play into that.

I have not been to Neptune since ICOB opened so this example may be dated. But my last visit I remember being served a yellowtail "ribbon" crudo. It was an ounce, maybe two of yellowtail on a bed of watercress and some sort of light vinaigrette. It was *delicious*. But it came to symbolize an issue (among many, actually) that I had with Neptune: value in general and leaving hungry.

ICOB and Row 34, not exactly cheap feed trough places, the serving sizes are such that I am sated. I do get that one's preferences vary, I am a serious eater :).

In my mind I think of the tiny portion places as "precious". I very much like that chow helps me to understand what I am in for. Like that at (the former) Speed's I was in for an enormous slob of a high quality hot dog.

Jun 12, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

Yes! Thanks Guinness.

Popular (and Successful) vs. Good

Hey. I wonder if it's possible for a certain class of Boston area restaurant to be popular, and therefore successful by conventional metrics (seatings, $) without necessarily being that "good" with regard to quality of food, quality of experience, and value.

Let's take two recent deep discussions here: Select Oyster and Naco Taco. For the record I have been to neither and am not assessing them here, just trying to illuminate my question.

*Lots* of buzz based on chef celeb status. Constrained access (no reservations, limited seating). Pricey.

And they are mobbed. Little business incentive to change anything, although they may be committed to improving for the sake of doing so, we can watch that here.

But let me just blurt this out, do you think the Boston area may have enough affluent trend-seeking diners to support some restaurants doing a suboptimal job? If so it's no skin off my nose as long as I can continue to distinguish them. I try to figure that out here.

What do you think? Do you have any other/better examples?

Jun 11, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

LA Hound visiting Cape Cod

Jun 09, 2015
Carty in Southern New England

Naco Taco

Street food wants to be on the street.

Jun 09, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Tacos at Tenoch, Medford Sq. and Taco Loco, East Somerville

One day at the Tenoch truck they had two people instead of the usual three. There was a big pile of cash on the counter as the two were busy preparing tortas. One told them what one's order was, then left the correct amount of cash including making change.

Culture is culture, theirs rocks.

Jun 06, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area
1

B&G Lobster Rolls = Pricey

Link, yes.

But ... with regard to your model, I have never spent less than an hour, or for that matter two hours at Neptune. And it assumes >50% of each cover includes lobster rules.

I remain comfortable with csammy's BS declaration. These are restaurateurs, not data scientists.

Jun 05, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Tacos at Tenoch, Medford Sq. and Taco Loco, East Somerville

Yeah the Tenoch truck at Dewey Sq (just tortas and burritos) is so popular as to be almost inaccessible. Good for them, hard and well earned popularity.

Jun 05, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

Itchy skate wing question and possible Roche Bros. downhill alert

Hey Bob, with regard to the "sheen" on the fish, this may be so obvious as to be obnoxious to post (if so my apology in advance) but I got a beautiful piece of yellowfin at the DTX Roche Bros. that was encased in plastic wrap. I assume to stop it from oxidizing while it was in the display.

Sorry to hear about your experience, I have, so far, had only wonderful experiences with the fish. My lovely wife is a pescetarian so we hit it pretty hard.

Jun 04, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

B&G Lobster Rolls = Pricey

Yeah Muscongus pound. The celery sounds right now that you mention it must not bother me. Anchor Inn has been completely renovated and has new operators - the same family that runs the Muscongus pound. I have not yet tried it, it's been very busy.

Jun 02, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

B&G Lobster Rolls = Pricey

Hey as long as you guys are here, I am not going to drop $38 to try it but what's up with bacon and lobster?

I love bacon. But I'd not choose it as an ingredient with lobster, lobsters' flavor is subtle and extremely delicate, no?

All of this is making me want to hang in Round Pound harbor and eat a proper college bound teenager prepared lobster roll (a little mayo, homemade grilled bun) while drinking Bs I B'd myself.

Jun 02, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

B&G Lobster Rolls = Pricey

Lobster prices are volatile but are transparent and do follow some patterns, the supply *and* demand for lobster meat increases over the summer. Prices right now are incrementally but not substantially higher than typical for this time of year.

There are different ways to approach pricing. One is "cost pricing", where a margin is added to the cost of goods, so volatility in goods cost drives volatility in price. Another is "value pricing" in which price is set based on how much the market values the good or service, this is theoretically less sensitive to cost.

I suspect Ms. Lynch running B&G is *squarely* in the value camp, others that have done the hard work of running a restaurant, I have not, may disagree. If that's the case notion of a "market price" dish is somewhere between quaint and annoying.

I *love* posts - like this one - that focus on value. They, as much as anything here, help me to decide where to spend my limited chow budget.

bakery, patisserie in boston, seriously??

Yeah, I think you may be on to something cassis, I spent some time in Switzerland and was perplexed as to why I did not have similar experiences here until the currency translation became more intuitive and I realized my delightful "pastry and a coffee" experiences cost ~$15.

May 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

bakery, patisserie in boston, seriously??

Yeah, I updated my post, there is a plain "pain au chocolat" (4th from the right in the pic) and what they call, I think, "Les Amandes" (3rd from the right) which is what I had.

May 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area

bakery, patisserie in boston, seriously??

OK I took one for the team, I stopped by Paul on the way to work.

It's very nicely laid out, a little surreal like someone spent a sh*t-ton of money to create, inside an American office building, what Walt Disney would think a French patisserie looks like but with very comfortable chairs.

The people? *really* nice. They will soon be open until 9pm.

I went with the pain au chocolat with almonds. It was not overly petite, $2.65 which is, for me, approachable. It was tasty! Primary notes were not-overly sweet chocolate and not-overly sweet almond (paste). Balanced butter flavor and texture, not cloying.

Accompanied by a very nice cup of Lavazza.

Maybe not Paris but *much* better than the current alternatives downtown, I will definitely hang there.

May 13, 2015
Carty in Greater Boston Area