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Weekend Farmers Market (besides Harvard?)

Depending on when your weekend starts, there are a few T-accessible options.

If you're coming in Friday, Copley Square is one of the best Boston farmer's markets. It goes until 6pm. You shouldn't have much problem finding Copley Square.

On Sunday there's the South End Open Market from 11-5, which has a few farm stands but is more of a crafts and antiques fair. It's a bit of a hike from the Boston Common, but you can take the Silver Line Bus to Union Park and then walk down Waltham Street by the school one block to find it.

A little bit further afield is a market in Cambridgeport. Only four farms usually, but I've found them to be some of the best. Take the Green B (Boston College) line to BU West, walk over the BU Bridge to cross the river to Cambridge, and then turn left onto Memorial Drive. The market is in a parking lot on the left at the next intersection with Magazine Street. It runs 11-2.

Oct 22, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Charcoal grill in Boston?

Tremont 647 has both wood and charcoal, as well as their own smoker. On a cold day, the smell of the wood wafting into the dining room is wonderful, although it's not so wonderful the next day when the smell is still in your clothes.

Oct 10, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Will I get Lucky @ Lucky's Lounge

There are a number of huge, and not terribly expensive parking lots near Lucky's. On-street it's a mixed bag. Many of the spaces are taken by construction right now. On A Street it's resident-only parking, which is in effect 24 hours a day.

If you're willing to walk a few blocks, the Seaport area nearer to the ICA has much more metered parking.

Oct 09, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Sichuan near T line/ Cambridge

In Cambridge, there's Anise in Kendall Square. They get mixed reviews for dinner, but are a local favorite for lunch.

They're a short walk from the Kendall stop on the Red Line. You'll find them in the One Kendall Square complex - pretty much in the middle of their courtyard. From the T stop walk through the hotel and turn left. Follow Broadway about three blocks and you'll find One Kendall on the right.

Oct 04, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Cider doughnuts?

I'd recommend asking this question on the New England board too, because the best may not be in the Boston area.

The best I've ever had were at Atkin's Farms in Amherst, MA. The locals line up out the door for fresh warm cider doughnuts in the Fall. I think it's even worth the two hour drive.

Oct 02, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Pops or Gaslight for a Bachelorette Dinner

Pops has a "greenhouse" area in the back that likely could accommodate a party, but the bar is eating only save a couple of seats by the reception stand. It's not quite a party atmosphere. I've seen a couple of larger dinner parties back there, and I think that sedate might be a good word to use.

Gaslight would likely be perfect for what you've specified so far. Also, don't discount the free parking if any of your guests are not within T range. Parking in the South End can get either expensive (valet or tickets and towing) or time consuming (looking for the rare and elusive open, legal space last seen on an episode of Spenser for Hire in the 80's).

Two more options: Laurel and Sister Sorel (Tremont 647's other room). Both have a private room that can be used for parties, both have a great bar area complete with great bartenders, and both have similar styles of food to Pops.

Sep 17, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Where has all the Old Bay gone?

The Boston Shaw's moved all of the Old Bay to a slightly out-of-the-way display next to the fish counter. Could it have been similarly moved in other stores? I'd expect it to be in the spice section and was initially thrown for a loop last time I needed to buy it, but I think that maybe that's why I'm not a food marketer. If I were, the location would have made sense to me instantly.

Sep 17, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Lucky's Lounge????

I go there for lunch sometimes. Within 20 minutes the place goes from empty to full almost every afternoon - and you can time it to the minute. Get there at 11:54 and you'll get a table with no wait. By 11:59 there's a short wait, and by 12:10 the place is full. Yet somehow the service and the kitchen manages to catch up, and I can't think of any other restaurant that could handle it. I wonder what their kitchen looks like. Are the "Dinner Impossible" guys back there?

As for the food, if you like comfort food you'll like Lucky's. You can expect that just about anything on the menu is going to be good, and likely a huge portion as well.

Sep 14, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Best Challah in Boston Area

Second for Rosenfeld's Bagels in Newton Centre. I'd even brave the D-Line-Bus-Replacement-Annoyance to get there. Around the (Jewish) holidays they bring in racks and racks of challah and it's fairly easy to come by, but other times you may find that they run out if you don't get there early enough.

Sep 12, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Whipped Honey

I remember seeing it at the Syrian Grocer on Shawmut Ave. last time I was there. But really, I think that any specialty food shop would have it. I don't think it's such a rarity.

Sep 05, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Lobster near the docks?

If lobsta is the thing, then you have more choices than the usual Chowhound-approved ones. It's a simple meal that a decent kitchen can turn out, so places that otherwise have a challenge preparing more complex dishes can turn out a lobsta just fine.

So for lobsta on a dock, Barking Crab fits the bill perfectly. It's a bit off the beaten path for tourists, and on a weekday night you're going to be surrounded by more people who work in the local offices. On a dock beats near the docks. And I think that their basic seafood preparations are pretty good.

No Name is another restaurant that does the basics very well, on Fish Pier (is that dock-y enough?).

Legal Seafoods at the Aquarium is more touristy at lunch. There are fewer around there later in the evening. Anthony's Pier 4 is also big with tourists (and not as good as the other options) but because of the size of the restaurant it should be peaceful enough.

And for your consideration, the lobster roll at J. Hook & Company and a bench on the Harborwalk makes a pleasant afternoon. They'll also pack lobster to take back to the Midwest.

Aug 31, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Incensed with Whole Foods: Enough Incompetence!

It's not a grocery store policy - fresh meats and seafoods cannot be resold based on Massachusetts regulations. And I think that's good. Even during a five minute walk out the door that meat or seafood is not under refrigeration.

Aug 31, 2007
kbw18 in Chains

Local purchase: knife carrying case

Unfortunately... Stoddard's is no more. Both their Boston locations (Temple Place and Copley Place Mall).

Aug 30, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

fried clams, Manchester by the sea?

The Rockport station is less than a mile from the seaport - should be walkable. And for New England seafood, that's probably the best bet.

Aug 30, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Local purchase: knife carrying case

Try Kitchen Arts on Newbury Street near the corner of Dartmouth Street. They have a decent selection of refurbished knives, which could save you some money versus new. I've seen knife rolls there.

Aug 30, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Lunch in Financial District - Anything good out there?

Not sure that you could fit 10 into the Silvertone dining area comfortably.

Aug 29, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

handicapped accessible?

If you want to take the Orange Line to Back Bay Station (has elevators) or Green Line E/Arborway branch to Prudential (also has elevators, but the Green Line trains can be iffy if you don't find one of the new low-floor models) you can access most of the South End's restaurants within a few blocks.

I've seen wheelchairs on the large patios belonging to Petit Robert, Tremont 647, and Columbus Cafe. Since they're right on the sidewalk and have room on all sides, it might be the best and most comfortable bet. The interior of Tremont 647 is also accessible, but the other two aren't. Two more accessible choices right near Back Bay Station are Coda and Douzo.

Sibling Rivalry would be the restaurant row choice, but avoiding the narrow and uneven brick sidewalks from Back Bay Station requires a longish detour down Columbus Ave to Berkeley Street.

Aug 28, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

jellyfish are Crunchy - who knew?

Another Chinatown place - Wing's Kitchen. Theirs is sliced up noodle-style with a light sauce that I want to say is soy based. A crunchy texture quite unlike what I would have expected. Assumedly not the same jellyfish floating around the docks of the Boston Harbor.

I really did like Wing's jellyfish, but one caveat is that I don't have a great means of comparison to know what the "proper" dish is supposed to be. I have limited jellyfish experience.

Aug 17, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

JP Seafood Cafe

They're the best sushi in JP. Not much to say because they're the only sushi in JP. But what I've had there compared favorably to many of the better known places in Boston. Better than Jae's, although maybe a (tiny) step below Douzo.

A second for the spicy tuna - I was expecting the typical spicy mayo, but their version with the jalapeƱo was a wonderful surprise. The day I was there the tuna was ultra-fresh - I wound up ordering an extra order of the tuna nigiri.

Aug 10, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Upper Crust new locations

According to recent news reports, the South End location has hit a snag. They apparently forgot to mention to their neighbors that they want to open and get a liquor license. That made the neighbors unhappy. An angry neighborhood association can sometimes cause months of delay - and occasionally a place will tire of the endless appeals (or run out of money) and give up.

Aug 10, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Thursday Farmers markets?

Dewey Square is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:30am to 7pm.

Aug 09, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Early August Farmers' Markets

In Dewey Square today:
Norse Farm has some amazing heirloom tomatoes, as well as the usual staple of Summer produce. Great looking summer corn.
Keown Orchards (absent for a while) has reappeared with peaches - white, yellow, and Saturn. They also have corn, some summer apples, and squashes.
The nameless organic farm has its usual assortment of produce as well, although that booth was too crowded for me to get a very close look (limited time).
And finally, the Herb Lyceum was doing their herb thing.

Non-farm items: Iggy's bread, When Pigs Fly bread, two folk singers I hope never to hear again, and a pottery stand.

I've walked over to find it pretty sparse some days recently. Wednesday seems to be the biggest day, so I've tried to do as many Wednesdays as possible.

Aug 08, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Chicken Tikka Masala In the financial district

Unless it's changed recently, Kashmir's ownership group also owns Mantra and Mela (in the South End). The food in all three are comparable in price and quality in my experience, although Mantra's dinner is much more French-inspired than Indian.

Aug 08, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

RW: Why don't some of Boston's best participate???

Kohlrabi is not alone in his opinions among restaurateurs. And there's good reason that restaurants with normally good food and service may have neither during restaurant week.

The complaints of the waitstaff and chefs about the cattle call of restaurant week have lead some of the senior waiters/chefs to take restaurant week off - anyone who can, will. The junior staff then gets to work double-shifts at double capacity. Bussers who want to wait tables are given their tryouts as well, as restaurants scramble to find staff.

And although it's a stereotype, waiters learn over time that the bridge and tunnel crowd won't order drinks and won't tip adequately. Stereotypes are never 100% true, but suburbanites may often find that they're not as well tended as locals and regulars.

So what to do? Find the restaurants that buck the trend. Some do.

Aug 07, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

What to get at Super 88 (lunch and groceries)?

Lots of responses about lunch, so won't repeat.

Super 88 tends to have great deals on some staples, especially rice. There are also a number of items that cannot be found in megamarts. Based on the dietary restrictions you mention, you may wish to try some of the vegetarian "meats." Items like vegetarian "chicken" and "duck" are made from different types of bean curd and, although they don't closely resemble their quoted inspiration, can be very good in dishes calling for meats.

Beware that many of the frozen items (dumplings and such) that appear that they may be vegetarian may not be. Read the ingredients if they're in English.

Aug 02, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Shakespeare eats?

On Winter Street, Felafel King should be open late enough that you can get a Middle Eastern salad dinner to take with you. I think they close at 7pm.

Jul 26, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Anyone know whats going on with "Kingston" in Downtown Crossing?

Is this the same Kingston that is the new location of the old Kingston Deli?

Never went in to the Kingston Deli. Was it anything special?

Jul 19, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

South end walk-in (on a Saturday)??

Toro and Franklin Cafe do not take reservations, so as long as you're willing to wait you will get a table within an hour or so (high time at Toro can head towards two). The wait is shortest between 6 and 7pm, before the prime time crowd shows up.

Stella and Union (I assume that you mean Union - there's no Union Street in the South End) tend to fill with reservations, but both have first-come first-served bar area tables. Be prepared to move quick to pounce on a table when it opens.

Butcher Shop, and many smaller restaurants that take reservations, often have to leave most of their tables empty in order to accommodate reservations. You can be standing there for an hour staring at seven empty tables. I find it to be an extremely annoying experience.

Some other no-reservation suggestions: Sage (bar area seating), Petit Robert (no reservations), Coda (hasn't been "discovered" yet, so doesn't fill up), Addis Red Sea (takes a few reservations but mostly walk-ins), Masa (bar area seating).

Jul 19, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Lobster roll at Kelly's -- v good value

There's only one Kelly's, on Revere Beach. The other franchises seem to be just a shadow of the original - they can be OK but don't live up. Try Revere before giving up on them.

Pizzeria Regina has the same problem, even more magnified. The franchise locations don't even have brick ovens. Bad franchises based on good restaurants could be a whole other thread.

Jul 13, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area

Where should I go for RW?

The restaurants who are serving a good menu for restaurant week vary from year to year, although some consistently try to impress.

I've found that if you go to a restaurant serving the regular menu as well as the prix fixe, those are often the ones who make an effort to put together a good meal.

Jul 11, 2007
kbw18 in Greater Boston Area