avokate's Profile

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Abigail's - food?

I've eaten at Abigail's a number of times, for lunch and dinner. There are a few good things on the menu - the arugula, artichoke and burrata salad mentioned above is tasty, the fries are good, they do a perfectly nice cheese plate. But generally I find the food under seasoned and generally lackluster. My last visit there (<2 weeks ago) I ordered fish tacos, which were brought to the table without any sauce/crema (so were battered fish and cabbage on corn tortillas, not a heck of a lot of flavor) and when I asked if something was missing the server brought a garlicky, aoili-like sauce that didn't really fit with the dish.

I'm also consistently disappointed in the sandwiches at lunch. The lunch salads are pretty good, but they come with no bread and (at least the times I've tried) there was no way to get a carb with your salad without ordering fries or a baked potato. I agree the cocktails and beer are good, and I've never had any problems with the service - everyone's always been friendly and at least competent. I like it a lot as a place for drinks after work, but definitely not a go-to food spot imo.

Sep 10, 2012
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant week choices in Cambridge: Harvest, T.W. Food, or EVOO?

I just went to TW Food Tuesday night. We ended up opting for their special 5-course tasting rather than doing the 3- course RW menu. It was lovely and delicious in every way. I've eaten there before (non-RW) and felt that the whole experience was in no way diminished by it being RW. It seems to me from the food I ate and saw going out that they are making RW work by doing smaller portions and probably focusing on less expensive ingredients (we started with a vichyssoise, for instance), but are still executing with every bit of their usual attention to detail and finesse. One other note - they do allow a la carte ordering during RW even though the menus are set up as prix fixe.

Aug 18, 2011
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Island Creek Oyster Bar- must eats besides oysters?

I agree that the lobster is good but doesn't compare to Neptune. The fired clams are perfect, best I've had outside of a Cape or North Shore clam shack. The lobster roe noodles are incredibly rich and very delicious. Interestingly, the "no-shell" mussels in curry sauce was also really nice.

And it's still oysters, but I had the oyster stew a couple nights ago and, wow.

Dec 14, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Anyone Been to House of Chang in Cambridge?

Just to add my voice to the general opinion - I live a few blocks away and tried H of C a couple times. Without a doubt the worst Chinese I've had in the Boston area. Chow fun noodles that were undercooked, stuck together, greasy, with absolutely no flavor at all. The hostess (I think one of the owners) came over and inquired after I barely touched them. I said they weren't what I was expecting. She got very apologetic for the fact that they were undercooked but clearly didn't get at all that they were tasteless and greasy as well. My DCs' dishes were similarly unappetizing.

It's too bad; I'd like some decent Americanized Chinese in the area. For the real thing I hit Quingdao pretty regularly, which is reliably awesome, but it's not the same concept.

Sep 23, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

July Openings and Closings

Any details on the Mass Ave location plans? That's my neighborhood and we're desperate for good Thai!!

Jul 04, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Boston restaurant that has great food, small plates and vibrant scene.

You can order off either menu in the bar at Craigie. Just beware that the bar is small and fills up immediately - best if you can get there early or late, I've found.

As for Meritage, I've never been but various friends who have were underwhelmed. By the food, at least - I've heard service and views are great.

Another place to consider is Scampo in Beacon Hill. Food's not as interesting as O Ya or Toro but still very good, definitely a vibrant scene, a cuisine that doesn't overlap with what you've got, and they take reservations. Or if you would consider another no-reservations place you might hit Neptune Oyster, which is small but spectacular. Though I guess neither of these really fulfill your food you can't/don't cook requirement. Maybe the tasting menu at Menton?

O Ya
9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

Meritage Restaurant
70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

May 23, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Il Casale or TW Food?

Thanks for the comparison--that does help.

Mar 08, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Il Casale or TW Food?

Trying to make a decision and hoping some of you (opinionated) experts will be able to help. ;-)

I have reservations at both Il Casale and TW Food for a birthday dinner next weekend. I've been wanting to try both. Price is irrelevant--where am I going to have the better dinner and the more pleasant overall experience? I should add that one of my dining companions happens to be my mother, who gets testy if service is slack and requires some "lighter" options on the menu (at least a couple things that aren't drowning in butter/cream).

So which reservation do I keep, and which do I cancel?

Mar 06, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

EVOO and Za in Kendall Square

I just saw (on Craiglist) that the restaurants are hiring and currently are planning to open the week of March 1. As one who works next door to the Watermark, I can't wait!

Feb 16, 2010
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary at Oleana. Tasting menu or regular menu?

I adore the vegetarian tasting menu, but as you can see from others' posts--it's a LOT of food. Too much for 1 person, in my opinion, as it's all so good I have trouble not finishing each dish. I'm a pretty big eater and have always felt that food is going to waste when I've gotten the tasting just for myself.

Nov 10, 2009
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Where should I be eating near Copley Plaza?

When you're looking for something casual in that area, I actually really like the Indian place in the food court in the Prudential Center (connected to Copley Place by a pedestrian bridge).

Oct 30, 2009
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Gran Gusto

Seconding TomH's recommendation... I love this dish!

Sep 17, 2009
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Source for good mussels in the Boston area?

I just got these mussels on Friday night, from the Fresh Pond WF, and they were really quite good. Of two 2# bags, had to throw out fewer than 10. Vere clean and cooked up tender and tasty! $5 a bag, iirc.

Jul 26, 2009
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge top 5 based on food

1. Craigie
2. Salts
3. Hungry Mother
4. Oleana
5. Gran Gusto

...with immense gratitude to this board, without whom I never would have found HM or GG!!

Dec 08, 2008
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Early Sunday Breakfast near S. Station or Logan?

That's a great idea, I hadn't thought of Beacon Hill but of course it's easy to get to from Logan. Love Paramount!

Mar 27, 2008
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Early Sunday Breakfast near S. Station or Logan?

I'm picking a friend up at the airport around 7:30 Sunday morning, and she has to catch a 10:00 am bus out of South Station. She's from Seattle so we don't see much of each other. Hopeing to find a sit-down breakfast place that would be open that early, with better-than-decent coffee, where we can eat and chat for a couple hours. I live in Cambridge and am clueless when it comes to either downtown or East Boston.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Mar 27, 2008
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Best South Indian in Boston/Cambridge?

Oddly, Gourmet India in the Prudential Center food court does some south Indian brunch dishes on Sat and Sun only. I've had their dosas and idli--the former I like quite a lot, the latter are a little too dry for me but certainly passable in a town with a shocking lack of south Indian-focused restaurants. They also do chaat and I think vadas, but not the other dishes you're interested in.

Jan 30, 2008
avokate in Greater Boston Area

gray corned beef in Boston?

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm glad to hear it won't be too hard to find. I think McKinnon's is closest to me, so I'll get out there this weekend and let you all know what I find.

Jan 18, 2007
avokate in Greater Boston Area

gray corned beef in Boston?

Yes, I've done that before... but like I said, I usually can't seem to plan that far in advance! I'm lucky when I think of it in time to get something from the market and boil it for a few hours.

Jan 18, 2007
avokate in Greater Boston Area

gray corned beef in Boston?

I just moved up here a few months ago from the South, where grey corned beef was basically impossible to find any time of year (and the best place to buy the regular kind was at Costco). I'm guessing that it shows up various places around Boston by oh, say, mid-March--but do I have to wait until the run-up to St. Patrick's Day, or is there anywhere to get it year-round? I'm talking uncooked, just corned without the nasty stuff that keeps it pink, so I can boil it up at home. I'm terrible at planning ahead, so I'd love to find somewhere that carries this without my having to special order it. Any ideas?


Jan 17, 2007
avokate in Greater Boston Area

Komi, Vidalia, or CityZen?

I've read excellent reviews, along with significant dissents, on this board for all three. I'm a Boston 'hound coming to town next week for a conference. Dinner Sunday night is our only unscheduled meal, so I'm looking for a place that will make make the most of my expense account (doesn't have to be expensive, really, just truly memorable food). Eating with a small group of foodie colleagues--atmosphere doesn't matter much, as long as the service is competent and the noise level reasonable.

Which of these three would you pick, if it were your one night for dinner out in the District?