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cambridgejen's Profile

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Recs for breakfast near Arlington?

I don't particularly recommend their bagels - they are definitely not NYC quality - but I do enjoy their cooked breakfasts. I happen to like their scrambled eggs, home fries, and blueberry pancakes. They are nothing revolutionary but very good basics. (As far as the bagels go, I will say that their veggie cream cheese appears to be homemade with fresh bits of grated vegetables. If I do get a bagel, it's only for the cream cheese.)

Recs for breakfast near Arlington?

For straight-up American style breakfast, my two favorites are Bagels By Us in Arlington and The Restaurant in downtown Woburn.

Bagels By Us
791 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Chefs using other chefs' recipes [moved from Boston board]

True, very well put. Frankly, I never would have attempted that pig's head recipe at home anyway, and the experience was just as much about the atmosphere as it was about the recipes themselves. But it was still a bit jarring to make this realization after the fact, given that we'd just spent more on our dinner than we had at one of Thomas Keller's actual restaurants (Bouchon).

Sep 20, 2010
cambridgejen in General Topics

Fantastic meal at Journeyman in Somerville

I enjoyed a wonderful meal over the weekend as well. We went with the full 5-course omnivore tasting menu and wine pairings, and I'd say that it was 95% excellent. We didn't care for one of the five courses, and the service was a bit awkward at times, but overall it was a great experience. The space itself is just gorgeous. The wine list is really interesting - so interesting that I find myself wishing that they offered a bar where one might experience all of the wines without having to commit to a $40-65 meal each time.

There was a strange twist though that I can't quite get out of my mind. When I got home, I googled the Pig's Head Torchon (first course) just for the heck of it, and was surprised to find what appeared to be the exact recipe (other than the sauce) in the Momofuku cookbook. I checked my copy and sure enough, there it was, in graphic detail. (I am glad that I didn't read it before the dinner as I may not have had the stomach for it!) Anyway, this was one of several cookbooks out on the counter at the restaurant, so I went through other cookbooks from my library that I'd noticed in the restaurant. I found a recipe in Thomas Keller "Under Pressure" that looked very, very similar to the plum dessert. Does it matter that they may be preparing dishes from cookbooks for the home chef? I don't know. The food was delicious either way, but for some reason this really caught me off guard.

Another important note for anyone planning to order the omnivore tasting - this is truly a snout to tail type of restaurant, and you may not know from the menu which part of the animal that you're getting. If you're ok with being surprised by a dish featuring pig's head or veal heart, then that's great. If you think you may have trouble with some of those less common parts of the animal, then it's best to ask a lot of questions upfront or just play it safe and order the vegetarian tasting. For example we did not know we'd be eating beef tongue or pig's head until the courses were set in front of us. In our case it was fine and we truly enjoyed the food, but I wondered about the couple across the room who seemed to be on a first date and not prepared for the many possible versions of "beef" and "pork"!

9 Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143

New to Arlington - Where should we eat?

I agree with all of the other recommendations, and also recommend Tryst for excellent brunch (also quite fond of their dinners, although pricey) and Zocalo for burritos. Just across the Somerville line on Broadway is Guru for excellent Indian takeout. Midami (formerly Kayuga II) makes a good okdol (hot stone bowl) bibimbap and decent sushi. For guilty pleasure Americanized Chinese food, we're actually quite fond of Shanghai Village. For straight up sushi, Toraya is definitely the best around, although we find Mr Sushi to be a little more kid friendly and relaxed (as Toraya has very limited seating and always a queue of waiting customers).

(formerly)cambridge(now arlington)jen

Shanghai Village Restaurant
434 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

Toraya Restaurant
890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

1030 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Mr Sushi
329 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

Fried Chicken Near Arlington?

I've read a lot of fried chicken recommendations on these boards, but none within an easy distance of Arlington. Are there any suggestions? I'd be willing to travel to Davis Square, North Cambridge, Belmont, Lexington, etc. Right now the only option I can think of (other than supermarkets) is the Summer Shack at Alewife. Coast Cafe is a bit too much of a trek and I'm not crazy about their chicken anyway. I've seen fried chicken specials in the past at Redbones, but I believe they only make it with boneless chicken. What am I missing? Surely Summer Shack isn't the only decent option in this area?

Source for fatty tuna?

New Deal Seafood in Cambridge often has it. You'd probably want to call in advance to make sure they have that much on hand.

Area's best red velvet cakes?

Just this week I tried a red velvet cupcake from Bella Moto Bakery in Arlington that was out of this world. I'm not sure whether they make a full cake version but it's worth checking. I daresay it was the best red velvet cake I've ever tasted.

Client Dinner Near Metropark?

I'm in search of good dining destinations for groups of 10+ clients, close to Metropark / Iselin / Edison. American or Italian fare would probably be ideal, and a decent wine list is a must. My searches have yielded many wonderful "foodie" options to check out on my own time, but no good safe options for wining and dining a large group with potentially less adventurous eaters. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Jul 15, 2009
cambridgejen in New Jersey

Hudson/Marlborough Area Dining?

I'm looking for a nice location for a client dinner in the Hudson/Marlborough vicinity. Any recommendations? Would Chloe in Hudson be a good choice?

Biscuits and gravy for breakfast

There simply isn't anything in town as perfect as the old sweet potato biscuits and gravy at the B-Side. I have heard unconfirmed rumors that the recipe will be revived once Lord Hobo opens in the old B-Side location. Fingers crossed!

J. Kenji Alt's Boston Burger Battle

Technically I believe the "West Coast" style that In N Out burger has made famous got its start in the Midwest. Steak N Shake has been making amazing flat grilled burgers since the 1930s. I would take a Steak N Shake "steakburger" over an In N Out burger any day of the week... I wish we had more of this style in the Boston burger scene.

private restaurant space for wedding?

P.S. One more thing: We had our rehearsal dinner from 5-8 on a Friday night. Since we were done by 8:00, there was no minimum charge since it was during off-peak hours, and I think we got better service given the time slot as well.

private restaurant space for wedding?

I'm sorry for the delayed reply, but I just saw this! Yes, our rehearsal dinner was at the Cambridge location. We had about 40 people and the room wasn't even close to full. (This was in the private dining room in the back of the downstairs area. For 100 people I'm guessing they'd give you the entire downstairs.) I can't recall the exact figures but I think we spent somewhere around $50-60/person with tip, which included passed hors d'ouevres, seated dinner, and drinks. (Can't recall if we did beer and wine only or if we allowed cocktails as well, but either way there was no limit and the drinks were served as opposed to a walk-up bar.) We had tons of room, even had our wedding rehearsal right there in the space. Hope this helps!

private restaurant space for wedding?

My husband and I had our rehearsal dinner in the private dining room at Elephant Walk and it was outstanding. I can't recommend it highly enough. They were helpful with choosing the menu, finding items to fit our budget, and the service was top notch. Our friends loved the Cambodian side of the menu and our parents loved the more traditional French options.

Green Street, Hungry Mother or Central Kitchen?

I'd definitely pick Hungry Mother of these three options. Highland Kitchen in Somerville is also an excellent and reasonably priced option for cocktails and comfort food in the area.

Who Serves the Best Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I second Gran Gusto. Delicious.

Best Mac & Cheese

I have yet to try it myself, but I hear that Zon's in JP has some of the best mac n cheese in town.

Has Oleana lost it's luster?

I went once in the late summer months and it was phenomenal - the best meal I've ever had, period. I went again about a month ago and it was just so-so. It's hard to judge based on two visits but maybe the time of year affects the quality, since so much of their menu is based on their own locally grown produce.

Good Wine Buys for under $10.00?

I've been enjoying Yellow+Blue, an organic Argentinian Malbec that comes in an eco-friendly tetrapak. It's actually very tasty wine. The bottle holds a full liter as opposed to the normal glass 750ml bottles, and it's about $12. I served it at Thanksgiving and got rave reviews all around.

I know it can be found at Giles (Woburn and Arlington) and at Cambridge Wine and Spirits. It's becoming quite popular so I imagine you can find it just about anywhere these days.

Sweet Potato Biscuits and Gravy

Ever since reading about the B-Side bankruptcy, I've been dying for some sweet potato biscuits and gravy. Is there any other brunch spot in Boston that serves this?

Anything on Masa in Burlington Yet ?

I walked by tonight and there were dishes on the tables and everything looked good to go.

Inexpensive restaurant for rehearsal dinner

Inexpensive is a relative term, but we had our rehearsal at the Elephant Walk in N. Cambridge and it was excellent. We had a private room that was relaxed and informal and got to choose the menu and drink options ahead of time. The combination of French and Cambodian options was a hit with the traditional parents and nontraditional wedding party. I'd highly recommend it.

Late night dining at Craigie

Yes, on the bar menu (from the website):

The Best Burger $15
local grass-fed beef, Cantal cheese, home-made bun, crispy onion rings

I haven't tried it but I was at the bar last night and all of the food around me smelled and looked incredible. Great atmosphere, too.

Good places to buy fresh ravioli in/near Cambridge?

It's not quite Cambridge, but Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square (Somerville) is an excellent source for fresh ravioli.

Burlington ideas for special birthday party

The Capital Grill in Burlington has a private room off of the bar area.

Premium Steak Advice

River Rock Farm has amazing beef of all cuts. I belong to their winter subscription program and they deliver about 7 pounds of meat to us every month. We did this last year and ate like royalty all winter long! (You can also add on other cuts to the regular subscription delivery.)

Let's Talk About Woburn

It wasn't as of a few days ago, but it looks like it's close.

Last Hurrah before going Gluten-Free

Here's a thought - spend your last week frequenting the several great restaurants in town that actually offer gluten-free menus. You don't have to order from the gluten-free menu, but maybe it will help you adjust while remembering that there is still plenty of good dining in Boston that's gluten-free. Fill up on noodles at the Elephant Walk if you feel the urge, but turn the menu over and peruse the full page GF menu for future reference. Enjoy some dumplings at Myers+Chang but spec out their GF menu. And so on. Maybe this is a good compromise between a "last hurrah" and finding a way to look forward to the great dining options that you'll still be able to enjoy after next week. Good luck!

Jose's Cambridge recent experience

I lived close to Jose's for over five years and used to really enjoy their food. But in the last year or so I've seen it decline. The last time that I ate there, we ordered con queso dip (with the appropriate low expectations) and were shocked to receive a bowl of lukewarm velveeta with a spoonful of salsa on the top. It's a bummer, because that was my go-to Mexican place for a long time. I hope they get back on track.