fragolino's Profile

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Pre-ballet dining

Personally, I'd hit up Shojo on Tyler St. followed by a cortado at the Thinking Cup (to stay awake during the performance).

jmcurley (Temple Place) is another good option not mentioned yet though may be packed just prior to the show.

I also think Legal Crossing would be fine and you can probably make a reservation there via opentable unlike the others.

Hope you enjoy the show.

Apr 07, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Top quality chinese restaurant in(near) Boston

It's hard to know what to recommend if you've already tried some spots and didn't think they were up to par.
In any case, I'd suggest trying Shanghai Gate (Harvard St. in Allston), Gene's Flatbread (Bedford St), and Chef Chang's at Mass. Ave and Marlborough.
If you are willing to extend Chinese to include Taiwanese as well, try Jojo Taipei and the Yi Soon Bakery across the street. Both are at Brighton Ave and Linden St. in Allston.
You could make a mini-crawl out of it if you also hit up Shanghai Gate and the Super 88 food court in that same part of town.

Good luck and I hope you find a bunch of things that hit the spot.

Apr 07, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Ethnic breakfasts?

There's Turkish breakfast at Istanbullu in Somerville (menemen- egg based dishes, Laz pancakes, and a big spread of bread with cheese, jams).

Mar 24, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

canneles in boston

The canneles at Cafe Madeleine are good- the one I tried was somewhat moist and flavorful though I can't remember an overwhelming beeswax taste to them. At the time, I was more interested in trying their croissants and macarons both of which are oustanding. In general, the standard is quite high there for baked goods and I recommend trying it out.
In addition, Render coffee is down the street, making for a nice two-fer.

Feb 20, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Anyone Seen Canned Rambutan in Local Markets?

I would also consider checking Sunrise Market in Allston (on Brighton Ave, by the Brighton Music Hall) as they definitely do carry canned goodies, though I cannot confirm whether or not they have canned Rambutan until later this week. Will report back though.
If they don't have it, you can console yourself with some S&I or Blue Asia action.

Feb 11, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Source for barley, rye, farro and kamut flakes in Boston area?

At the Somerville Winter market on Saturdays there is one farm, called Misty Brook, that mills grains. They mark the milling date on each bag and they tend to have whole wheat and pastry flours. You can also order them online if that's more convenient, but I enjoy going to this market each Saturday.

Misty Brook: http://mistybrook.com/store/index.php...

Somerville Winter market: http://www.somwintermarket.org/

Feb 06, 2015
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown up and coming?

For Chinatown, the first thing that comes to mind, even if it is two years old, is Shojo. It's not cheap, but the (modern Asian) food and drinks are inventive and the room is clean and well-kept. I'd be ecstatic if new buildings replace the run-down and more Shojos opened up on their ground floors!

You can malign the Chan money in Harvard Square opening up Night Market, but I think that kind of place is exactly what will survive and preserve the character of the neighborhood should Chinatown go the way of Fort Point.

There is room for optimism if you want to preserve the cheap, ethnic, and authentic eats. Look at Chinatown in Manhattan for example. There are plenty of cheap and authentic eats along with the likes of Rice to Riches. I don't intend to start a Boston/NYC war, but if it can exist there, then why not here as well?

If you're concerned about the residents' fortunes, then you may want to get involved with the Asian Community Development Corp: http://www.asiancdc.org/content/our-m....

Dec 10, 2014
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

I don't think the size matters here when you have free and easily manageable content given to you by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you insist on having a reserved name like myrestaurant.com, you can hold it but redirect traffic to any of your social media feeds.

Dec 10, 2014
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Tea shops in HK

I'll be in HK soon and am hoping to taste some teas and buy what I like the taste of among the whites, greens, oolongs, and puerhs. I've tried finding good shops in HK and am going to visit the shops listed below. I'd love to hear opinions on any of the shops. Thanks

Sunsing Tea House
Kee Chan Tea Company
Best Tea House: http://www.besttea.com.hk/eng/branche...
Map: http://www.nicolastang.com/tea/hongko...

Penang - Gaik Ten Eating House - Strangest Seating Arrangement Ever

Sad to hear, I hope there are no other culinary casualties due to the hotel being built!

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for other places where there is this type of seating just to try it out unless this place will still exist in February (fingers crossed).

where do I buy microgreens?

I don't know about watercress specifically, but the Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge is where I've been buying mine, though I haven't been in 3 weeks.

Sep 30, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

March 2013 Openings and Closings

In case it hasn't been mentioned yet, Grill Station in Allston has closed (old Indian Dhaba space). That went much faster than I would've thought!

Mar 13, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Karl's Sausage Kitchen - Anyone been to the new store?

I think you'd get a much more satisfying meal buying stuff there and cooking them at home, but if you go to Karl's hungry or just can't leave without downing a wurst, it suffices.

I went over the Christmas holidays. The cafe is rather small, maybe 4-5 tables and is set right at the back of the store abutting the shelves with packaged food and goods. It's not as large or comfy as I'd imagined it'd be.

They had two beers on tap (plus a few bottles) and the menu consisted of standard German classics: different wursts with sauerkraut, spaetzle, a pretzel and altogether had maybe 10 options on offer although it's not like you can have anything in the deli cooked to order (which is sorta what I was hoping for). From what I remember, they had a selection of cakes that you could get a slice from for dessert. The focus is still very much on the deli and packaged goods here.

I don't remember if they had a breakfast menu, the stuff I saw would be fine for lunch or dinner though.

Feb 11, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Penang run-down

klyeoh and Nab thanks for educating me. I guess I'm the fool here for thinking their rendition was lacking - I just prefer a different style.

Next time around, I'll ask the wait staff about the seafood in the CKT - maybe they're flexible with its preparation. I'll report back.

Jan 04, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Penang run-down

Another trip to Penang - I ordered the murtabak and char kway teow - pics of each are attached.

Murtabak: B
Good flavor between the meat and egg filling which held together despite my frequent dipping into the curry sauce.
Another good appetizer.

Char Kway Teow: D
seafood was rubbery in texture and too fishy in taste.
The noodles were very "white". I asked what happened to their gravy and was offered soy sauce to mix in :-( Everything else was good- the noodles, egg, and sprouts so the dish wasn't a total failure but nothing like what I'd expected and had previously.

I like Penang's appetizers and the beef rendang, but am struggling to find another entree that's consistently good.
Maybe a meal made up of apps is the way to go here.

Jan 03, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Favorite top 3 dishes you had in 2012

In no particular order and limited to the Boston area:

1. Salt n' pepa fried crab at Peach Farm, sometime after 2am

2. bowl of ramen at Yume Wo Katare. I prepared by not eating much and the result was eater's high after completing a bowl. Didn't get the same high on 1st or 3rd visits, maybe there was something special in the broth that day.

3. Combo of beef sundubu and spicy pork at Kaju Tofy House on some cold wintry day

Jan 02, 2013
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Penang run-down

I'm well acquainted with your contributions to this site and appreciate them very much! You are one lucky dog to be where you are now!

I couldn't read and write all of this without going to Penang for something, so I went I had a dish that I'd previously given a low mark to - the Mee Goreng. I've included a picture of it, even if I felt like a goofball taking it!

The latest grade I'd give to the mee goreng is a B. There was good flavor in the noodles which was improved when I got some hot sauce to put on them. Noodles weren't as thick as I'd like them to be. The sauce was pretty "wet" at least compared with my gold standard mee goreng. The wetness doesn't detract from the deliciousness of the flavors but that "ketchupy" adjective someone used earlier definitely applies here. I'd say that the hot sauce is essential with this dish, though I wish they'd incorporate it with the sauce so that it'd be fried onto the noodles.

Roti Canai
Grade: B+
Unfortunately, I gobbled down the roti canai before it occurred to me to snap a shot but the roti was just as expected- slightly greasy, in some places flaky and substantial enough to soak up the delicious spicy dipping sauce that accompanies it. Roti gets a grade of a B+ for being a little too greasy for my liking.

Dec 27, 2012
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Great Booths

Tangierino in Charlestown has something like this that made me think the folks sitting in them were in private booths, though I didn't sit in one myself:
http://tinyurl.com/tangierinobooth - for a pic

Also when I read wooden booths with high backs, I immediately think of Regina's in the North End.
There's no "roof" though, so it won't feel like you're in a private room but at least there's good food to be had!

Dec 27, 2012
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Penang run-down

Thanks for compiling this list!
In addition to your list, I'd add some of my grades for dishes that I love.

Beef Rendang/Beef Rendang Rice
Grade: B+

Chunks of slow-cooked beef soft as butter, coated in a thick, spicy sauce that has a very complex flavor profile.
I like having rice accompany this in order to soak up all of the rendang sauce. It's a sentimental favorite of mine and I'll fully admit that sometimes it's great and other times I wonder about freshness. I've deducted points for inconsistency, but when it's good, there's nothing I'd rather eat.

Chicken Satay
Grade: A
Chicken marinated in spices, then grilled on skewers. Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dippin'
Takes a few minutes to make (10+ mins sometimes).

Singapore Noodles
Grade: B+

Light and fluffy, flavorful, and slightly spicy noodles. A solid choice.

Nasi Lemak
Grade: C+
Serviceable nasi lemak, not the first thing I think of when I sit down at Penang but it's good if you're introducing the cuisine to a friend.

Mango Chicken
Grade: C for food, A for presentation

Seems like a dish you'd find inside an American-Chinese restaurant. Shredded mango slices and chunks of chicken served inside a hollowed out mango. It's cloyingly sweet but some folks like that. Rice is a must to accompany this to offset the overwhelming sweetness.

Grade: B
I regard this as a "healthy" and light option at Penang, where most of the food is fried and/or very rich.

Grade: A
Delicious, when available. It's a flatbread stuffed with minced lamb, onion, and egg cooked on their griddle.
Served with a nice spicy dipping sauce.

My grades for some of your choices
Curre Mee
Grade: B-
Great broth but too many items crowding the bowl (and it's a huge bowl). I agree that it's a great thing to have when you're sick or when the weather's bad outside. Everyone must have their own version of Curry Mee/laksa and I preferred the first I ever had at Aneka Rasa to Penang Chinatown's rendition.

Assam Laksa
Grade: B
A servicable assam laksa, not too distant from bowls I've had at the source. Not spectacular but hits the spot when you have the craving.

Roti Canai
Grade: B
This is decent as a light appetizer/snack and is what I order often. For me, the sauce here is the standout with the roti (bread) best serving as a vehicle for delivering that sauce to my mouth. The roti can sometimes be too thin resulting in a brittle, flaky bread although sometimes you can throw it all into the dipping sauce and spoon it out. I've never regretted ordering this even though it's not always executed well.

Mee Goreng
Grade: C+
My model for this dish is one I ate that was both sweet and spicy. Penang's is just sweet without enough heat to make things interesting. It's not a bad choice, but not one that suits my palate.

Char Kway Teow
Grade: B-
I like this dish despite my reservations on the freshness of their seafood- your description is good otherwise. I typically will only eat the noodles in this dish when I get it. If Penang used fresh seafood and cooked it properly, this would be an A.

I love Malaysian and Singaporean food and have traveled to both countries a few times just to eat there in addition to trying places in NYC that have/had a good reputation. I like Penang because it represents this food here, but I preferred the former Allston outpost known as Aneka Rasa and will often cook my favorite dishes at home. Having said all this, I'm up for a chowdown at Penang any time!

Dec 24, 2012
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Our Own Channel 2 Airs David Chang/Momofuku Series 11/9

Thanks alot for the tip off- this sounds like a great series and I also enjoyed the first couple of episodes quite a bit. It's somewhat timely after reading about the popular ramen place in Cambridge Yume Wo Katare in another thread (where I just crushed a bowl after a 30 minute wait).
Thread link is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/873635

The harvard lecture materials are available on:

Finally, just wanted to add that you can catch episodes and previews online anytime at:
You can buy DVDs of each episode, but I'm really sad that I can't just subscribe via iTunes or another digital service like that (which I'd happily pay for instead of streaming off their site).

Looking forward to the next episode...

Nov 10, 2012
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

RIP Indian Dhaba in Allston

A nice place to grab some Indo-Chinese food from time to time, I will miss it. I'm not surprised to see it go, hardly anyone inside whenever I'd walk by and they'd lost a bunch of their cooks over the last couple of years.

It will be replaced by a "Mediterranean Grill" according to one of the guys changing the locks on the door last night.

Sep 28, 2012
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Bunless in Allston

Just to calm everyone's nerves, they're open again!

Apr 21, 2011
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Bunless in Allston

The Yi Soon bakery's been closed since late last week. It's killing me. There's just a sign on the door saying "closed" and nobody at Infusions next door claims to know why.

I've skimmed local news sources but haven't seen anything mentioned.
Would appreciate it if any hounds know what's up - I need my buns!


Yi Soon Bakery
112 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

Apr 18, 2011
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Is Pinkberry ever going to open in Boston?

There is also a new place in Allston called Mixx (corner of Brighton Ave and Chester St)
that uses the Berry Freeze pay-what-it-weighs model. They have a good selection of flavors and toppings (with mochi since that was mentioned above). Flavors are good, some you can taste the tartness of the yogurt, others you can't.
I've only been to Pinkberry once so I'm not fit to judge Mixx against it but I prefer Mixx to Berry Freeze for whatever that's worth.

Aug 30, 2010
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

August Openings and Closings

Gitlo's is closed. A Greek resto will be replacing it. Sad, but wasn't the same after his cousin left.

164 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Aug 13, 2010
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Summer 2009 openings and closings

Found out a some more about Myung Dong 1st from their facebook page:

"Foods will incude different types of pajeon, or scallion pancakes; ddeokboki; mandoo; budae jjigae; and other bar/appetizer types of food.
We do have a beer and wine license and will also serve soju and makkeolli. There will also be soju cocktails such as watermelon soju and yogurt soju. We also may do bubble tea!!!
Flat screen tv's will display Boston sports games as well as Korean sports and music videos.
The bar is also an "ohdeng bar".

I'm not sure what any of those items are,but looking forward to trying them.

Jul 25, 2009
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Revere Beach Good Eats?

Keep a tight grip on that lobster roll. I've witnessed more than one being lifted away by an alert gull.

Jul 16, 2009
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Brazil recommendations

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience, melon. The times I've eaten at Cafe Brazil, the owner would sometimes come to my table but just to ask how everything was going or to take my order, but wasn't ever pushy or rude. I hope you give CB another chance - don't let one bad experience ruin the place (or any place for that matter).

Jul 13, 2009
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

High Tea in Boston

I had a good experience at the Park Plaza for afternoon tea. They have a tea sommelier who brings back her own selections from the various tea-producing centers in Asia. The tea was fantastic, while the food was only so-so. I haven't been to any of the other venues you mentioned so I can't compare.

Jul 12, 2009
fragolino in Greater Boston Area

Destination eats

Woodman's, the Clam Shack, Santarpio's (if you haven't made it to Eastie yet). Any of the ice cream places like Richardson's.

Jul 04, 2009
fragolino in Greater Boston Area