litchick's Profile

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Gaslight560 - anyone been here? Review/comments?

Agree with MC Slim JB. It's solid, and the free parking is like gold. The escargot are very tasty. I'd probably go more often, but I find the Thurs-Sat crowds sort of unbearable -- and I haven't found the service to be good enough to make up for that. How many people are you hosting for dinner? If it's not a huge crowd, I'd recommend Metropolis. Just a few blocks away, great food, same resto group, and loads better atmosphere.

http://www.metropolisboston.com/

about 7 hours ago
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Drinking establishment to GSD!

Big fan of bars w/good GSD vibes. I work at Eastern Standard frequently, up in the front area there's even an outlet by the lamps. The Hawthorne opens at 5p, and actually has outlets installed along the bar so you can hang out and work. Backbar has wifi and hosts "genius hour" from 4-6p for folks who want to hang out and work. Ames Street Deli is spacious enough to hang, though the chairs aren't as comfy as I would like. I also like Parrish Cafe on Mass Ave. Sunset Cantina has terrible food, but a good beer list, and because it's on BU campus they couldn't care less if you hang out with your computer forever. (And if you know someone with a BU id, the BU pub has a great beer list and is perfect for GSD.)

about 8 hours ago
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Excellent Restaurant- or Store-Prepared Pot Roast

Hi Hounds,

I haven't eaten beef in years, but I'm pregnant, and I am deeply craving pot roast. I don't think I've eaten pot roast in over 25 years, but there you are. For a wide variety of reasons, I'm not going to make it at home, so I'm looking for somewhere in Boston/Camber-Ville/etc that offers it on the menu, or has a good version as a prepared foods option at a store.

Any sightings?

Jan 24, 2015
litchick in Greater Boston Area

January 2015 Openings and Closings

It is GIGANTIC. Pretty well laid out, easy to navigate, very beautifully designed, and lots of prepared food choices. Even on crazy opening day yesterday, I found it easy to get in and out. And yes, it has a spa.

Jan 10, 2015
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Shabu & Mein

Made it over to Shabu & Mein the other night for a late-ish meal (9p or thereabouts), and enjoyed the ramen and the design of the space.

It's huge inside, with a bar/dining area in the back that is all glass and looks out over a nice courtyard. MrLit and I both had the traditional ramen ($13-14), and found it overall very satisfying. I got kimchi to go with mine, and though decent, it wasn't terrific, and at $3 for a small amount, it was definitely overpriced. The thin noodles were toothsome and flavorful, and I liked the earthiness of the broth. It wasn't the most nuanced ramen broth I've had in the area, but it had a rich flavor.The charsiu pork slices were hefty, and the soft cooked egg was nicely done. It's a little insane to me that they charge $1 for chili sauce to spike the soup, so that's a negative. But the bowl is huuuge, and the leftovers held very well until the next day.

My biggest complaint is that the music is godawful -- Kenny G does soft rock classics. I mean, just the worst. And they had the music playing AS WELL AS the sound from the giant TVs over the bar, which had Thursday night sitcoms on. I mean... whut. The host was super charming and friendly, but our server was a bit brusque.

Overall, I'd totally hit this place up again for ramen. (For shabu, I'm lucky enough to live near Little Q, so my heart belongs to them.)

Jan 10, 2015
litchick in Greater Boston Area

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

Stopped in for some small bites after a movie last weekend. It was a bit on the later side -- maybe 9:30p? -- and it wasn't overcrowded. The tables were all full, but we were sat immediately in the front diner-y section. Kudos to their designer, the space is really nice. Soothing with lots of points of interest and moody lighting that isn't too dark. The servers were exceptionally friendly.

I'll say that I was a little put off by the randomness of the menu. It seemed like someone said, "Hey, what's every single hipster food trend, and how can we do them all at once?" Now, as someone who likes both bbq and Korean food, there were a lot of things that looked intriguing, but (and this is just me) I would prefer a little more focus.

Of the stuff we tried, the biggest food note I have is this: those "dry fried" green beans are a valiant effort, but lordy, they are nowhere near as good as you'll find at any of the area's Sichuan-tilted Chinese restos, and about 1000% more oily. "Dry fried" -- hardly. The flavor is good up front, but oil-slicked as they are, they get wear out their welcome pretty quickly, and the lone chunks of dry-ish pork that are interspersed don't help matters.

This is the kind of place where if someone in our party wanted to go there, I totally wouldn't object, but I don't think I'll end up back there of my own volition. The price point is juuust high enough that I can think of a bunch of other options that are tastier and more of a destination for me.

As for the Redbones comparison, I'd rather patronize Rob any day of the week than the Alpine Group who run Posto/Burro/Rosebud. Rob and the Redbones crew are huge community supporters and civic leaders, and from what I understand the Alpine folks are... not.

Jan 10, 2015
litchick in Greater Boston Area

December 2014 Openings and Closings

Wondering if anyone has heard a realistic opening date for Barcelona in the South End?

Nov 21, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

November 2014 Openings and Closings

I think Ames St Deli is gonna be so so great. Pastries/coffee/sandwiches during the daytime; craft cocktail bar at night. We went to friends and family night. The sandwiches and pastries look good, and I hear tell of a breakfast egg-in-a-donut concoction that will likely make me brave diverting my commute through Kendall at some point.

I like the space a lot, and for anyone who is a backbar regular, you will spot the highly friendly and competent vibe immediately. I am sure there will be kinks to work out in their first week or so, but the menu looks solid, and I'm such a fan of Sam (part owner) and Joe (who will be running the joint).

When you go, get the Carrot Culture mocktail. It doesn't look like the ingredients should go together AT ALL (carrot juice, decaf coffee, maple syrup, sherry vinegar), and yet some sort of magic alchemy happens and the whole thing is an effing delight.

The restaurant part (called Study) won't open until mid/late December probably. They also have a loft space for private events, which similarly is not open yet.

Nov 21, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Best Fishmonger/ Fish Share in Medford/Arlington/Somerville?

+1 for Cape Ann Fresh Catch. Wonderful product, great people, well-priced.

Nov 15, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Now that Hamersley's is gone, where is Boston's best chicken dish?

OH MAN. I love the chicken at Metropolis. However, I'm a salt hound, and folks who aren't may not find it as swoony.

But seriously, Metropolis chicken. Dang.

Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

We frequently did take-out before the ownership changed, and always had great soup dumplings -- even after the 10 min of travel back to the house. Sad to say that our take-out order the other night was just terrible. The dumplings were doughy, lacking any soup at all, and the pork mixture was strangely sweet. The scallion pancake -- previously always reasonably tasty --- was overdone, hard, and lacking scallions. I wish these guys well, but I'm not sure we'll be giving it another go now that Dumpling House is open in Central Sq.

Oct 05, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Dumpling House (Central Square)-- details & Chinese name?

Finally made it here two nights ago, and am so happy to have this in the area. It was packed to the rafters, but we were seated quickly, and service was friendly.

We had:
- A13: spicy salt & pepper tofu
- A30: mini soup dumplings with pork
- H6: spicy fried lamb in wok
- E19: braised eggplant with spicy fish sauce

The tofu was just about perfect. Inch-square pieces of firm tofu in a crisp light dry fried shell, done in the classic salt & pepper style. Lots of good sliced spicy peppers and over the top. I could eat this all day.

The dumplings were good. While the wrapper was a little thicker than I prefer, the pork inside was generously flavored with ginger, which I like, and the soup itself was tasty and unguent.

The eggplant had a lovely flavor, though it was a bit sweet for my personal taste, and was a bit oilier than I prefer. Still good though.

The lamb was unlike any dish I'd had before. The meat was nicely wok fried and caramelized, and it was accompanied by thin planks of carrot, big chunks of spicy green peppers, and large thin wheels of lotus root. The lotus added a great textural and flavor balance to the lamb. Will definitely order again.

Great joint, can't wait to make my way through more of the menu.

Aug 30, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Cans of Moxie in Camberville Area?

Looking for canned Moxie -- I never seem to find it at Shaws, Star, Target grocery, etc. Anyone spotted it in the area lately?

Aug 30, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

BoMag cheap-eats feature

This truly is a great article, thanks for posting! It reminds of the equally excellent issue from last year where they highlighted a ton of great Asian dining in the metro region.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2013/01...

Jan 30, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

January 2014 Openings and Closings

Looks like Delux in the South End is no more. The sign on the door is a big drawing of a tombstone with "2014: RIP DELUX" on it.

As an artist who works in this neighborhood, it's a particularly sad loss. Now there's nowhere near the BCA that's truly affordable for drinks and food.

Jan 25, 2014
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Zoe's Chinese Possibly Closed "For Several Months"

The facade of the building where Zoe's is, as well as Mixtura, collapsed today. The report in the Globe indicates that both restaurants will remain closed for some time:

"If the building is allowed to stay put, Kelleher said, it could be several months before the two small restaurants, which together employ about 15 people, will open their doors again."

Really sad. I hope they survive this.

http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/...

Sep 09, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Yume Wo Katare, new hours?

This is right. I drove by there today and their window is painted with the new hours: 5-11p.

Sep 05, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Paprika Cream/Paste

The last time I bought this (a year ago?) was Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis. However, I've looked for it there for months now and they never have it. (I haven't gotten around to asking if they can order it.)

Funny, I bought it for the exact same recipe, and made it with the paprika creme and lamb. It was delicious. If you do find it someplace local, please post back with the info!

Aug 23, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Dinner for 150pp that celebrates a sense of place?

Thanks to everyone for responses thus far -- it's a good jumping off point, and you bring up ideas we haven't yet explored.

Aug 18, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Dinner for 150pp that celebrates a sense of place?

I'm trying to pull together a list of options for a banquet location that could do about 150 people on a Saturday night.

The catches are as follows:
- ideally it should be accessible by public transportation
- could be Boston or Cambridge
- is not a hotel banquet hall
- can accomodate a little speechifying (so it can't be too noisy)
- has chow-worthy food

This is for a gathering of performing arts professionals and will cap a 3 day conference in Boston. Traditionally, this event is designed to celebrate locale, history, quirkiness, and identity of place. One example of a previous event was a banquet in a reclaimed factory/distillery for a city that was rooted historically in that industry. We'd like to use this as an opportunity to showcase some aspect of Boston's identity or history.

I think ideally the organizers would love to work with a location that's a restaurant, or has its own kitchen facilities, rather than renting a large hall and also organizing caterers, but all suggestions are welcome.

My personal goal is to help make this an event that is in an interesting space AND has good food. Boston's a great food & drink city, I'd hate for my colleagues to come here and have rubbery banquet chicken.

Any brilliant ideas?

Aug 17, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

I find Zoe's is very underrated here

Love Zoes. I prefer their ma po to almost anyone else's. The green beans, the tea smoked duck, smoked tofu & celery, chicken with strange flavor, duck mala style... so good.

Aug 17, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Looking for a great fried chicken sandwich

Plough & Stars, between Central and Harvard, has a good one at lunch -- with bacon, tomato, and great bread. Not sure how often their menu changes. (Tip: they go heavy on the mayo, so request it on the side.)

Jul 22, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Qingdao Garden, Cambridge -- yum!

Tagging the most recent Qingdao thread I could locate to say:

Last night we meandered into Qingdao after far too long an absence, and had as delicious a meal as I've ever had there. The pork & leek dumplings were near perfection in terms of wrapper density/tenderness and juicy filling. But the piece de resistance, what I can't get anywhere else: the boiled fish filet in fiery sauce. Glorious. Best they've done it, in my experience. Numbing, flavorful, salty, spicy, a flaky meaty fish.

Yes please.

Jul 15, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Hit Wicket scores a century

Went tonight with some friends and had a grand time. Chef was in the kitchen, and came out several times to walk the room, greet folks, and check on their meals. I had the Aussie lamb pie, which is HUGE, incredibly delicious, and perched atop a generous mound of gently smashed green peas. The whole thing was delightful. Others at the table quite enjoyed the roti wraps and the sliders combo. The Jamaican jerk chicken wings were blazing hot and flavorful, like true jerk. Worth the burn. The lamb sausage app was like little pigs in blankets, but tastier (MrLit didn't like it, as he felt it was too greasy). I was pretty happy with the beer options, as I could get an Old Peculiar (bottle), and Cisco's Red (draft).

We'll definitely be back.

Jul 12, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

Others here have reported good experiences with the oyster pancake, but lordy the one I had the other day at lunch was inedible. Greasy, undercooked, and mysteriously covered in glutinous slime. I expect that had it been cooked properly, the coating would've crisped up.

Moral: don't order it when there for late afternoon snack. Stick with the XLB.

Jul 12, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Please Solve This Chinese Food Mystery

Dear everyone, I bow down to your collective wisdom.

Now I can tell Mr.Lit to suck up his embarrassment when I special order this like a boss.

;)

Jun 20, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Please Solve This Chinese Food Mystery

Um, you are amazing.

Jun 20, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Please Solve This Chinese Food Mystery

markin617 -- are the dishes you're talking about on the sweeter side? I see a lot of eggplant in "garlic sauce" with basil, but there's something about the black beans that offer a fermented funkiness that balances the richness of the eggplant. I haven't kept an eye on the Taiwanese versions, but now I certainly will.

PinchOfSalt & Gabetta -- thanks for the leads, I'll check them out!

Jun 18, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Please Solve This Chinese Food Mystery

Hello hounds.

Many moons ago in New Haven I got hooked on an otherwise blah generic Chinese restaurant that had a few knock-em-dead dishes. One of those dishes was eggplant and basil in black bean sauce. It was spectacular.

I've eaten far and wide in the Chinese food scene of Boston & its suburbs. I prefer places that do Sichuan-inflected cuisine, and because of proximity usually end up at joints like Zoes, Mary Chung, Qingdao Garden, etc.

Here's the mystery. I've never seen eggplant in black bean sauce on a menu (even in Chinatown), and when I ask the kitchen to make it for me, I get some variation on the following: "Ooooh. Really? You want that? Ooookaaay... you think that tastes good?" They always make it, and most of the time it's very tasty. I usually get a fly-by from the waitstaff part way through the meal to check and see if I really like it, or it I am a dolt. Or maybe both.

So: what Chinese food rules am I violating? Is it regional? Is it that I'm asking for this at the wrong joints? Is it like great-tastes-that-should-never-go-together-in-polite-society? What's the taboo I'm walking smack into? The response is so pervasive that I'd at least like to know how to explain away my insanity to the nice servers.

Bonus question: has anyone seen this on a menu in Boston? Maybe it's some weirdo New Haven thing.

Jun 18, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area

Menotomy Grill - Arlington (anyone been?)

The current town rules (recently revised) are 2 drinks and then you have to order food if you want any more libations.

Jun 16, 2013
litchick in Greater Boston Area