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Company Dining Near the Convention Center/Pru/Back Bay?

I'm heading to Boston for a meeting in February. Most of the meals are taken care of, with the exception of the night we arrive (a Thursday). Typically my coworkers and I eat together the night we get in. Having grown up in NH, I'm more or less familiar with Boston, but having never spent much time in the area since high school, I don't know much about the restaurant scene. I'm looking for a good place to dine with about 8 people near the Hynes Convention Center, where our meeting takes place.

Unfortunately, our expense cap of $40 for dinner (gotta love nonprofits) rules out Atlantic Fish and Stephanie's as nearby choices. Any suggestions for that part of town? Keep in mind I'm going to be with a bunch of people from south of the Mason-Dixon line. They do not walk in the cold very well for very long, and we'd like to minimize taxi use.

BTW - yes, I would like to have a few words with the person who decided to put our winter meeting in Boston.

Jan 27, 2009
Angry_Sam in Greater Boston Area

The BEST coffee and/or espresso inside the beltway?

The Clover is used for making regular coffee as flavorful as it really should be. The problem with Starbucks owning the company is you can't extract flavor from beans that have had all of their sugars and oils burned out of them. Anyhow, If I had a Clover, I'd never buy coffee from a coffee shop again. In fact, I'd be in danger of never leaving the house.

Thanks for the Java Shack recommendation! I'll check it out.


The BEST coffee and/or espresso inside the beltway?

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm heading down to Grape & Bean tomorrow.

The BEST coffee and/or espresso inside the beltway?

Yeah, the DC location of Swing's is near my office. The coffee is pretty good when the beans have been roasted recently, but they tend to keep them a little too long. The espresso there really depends on who's pulling the shots - the dude with a ponytail is pretty good at it.

Is Pupatella still around?

I'd really like to see them open in the evening now and then, or on Saturdays. I live nearby but work downtown, and I only ever get to eat that incredible pizza fresco on the odd weekday off.

The BEST coffee and/or espresso inside the beltway?

So, let's just say I used to live somewhere with really, really good coffee. I returned there recently for about a week and was reminded how much of a difference the Clover makes on regular coffee - and how much a great roaster and barista can affect a cup of espresso.

I live pretty close to Murky Coffee, which is good. The espressos are solid, if a bit inconsistent. Are there any comparable or better Metro-accessible coffee spots around DC? Does anyone around here use a Clover to make coffee?

Group Dining between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica

As the food expert among my coworkers, I've been tasked with picking a Friday night restaurant to hit up during the company meeting in February. We'll be staying in Santa Monica, but the conference that night is in Century City. Ideally, we're looking for something good on the way home - we're dependent on taxi cabs and shuttles - although outstanding restaurants are always worth a little bit of a trip.

Now, there are some criteria to deal with:
- We need somewhere that will seat a group of around 25.
- The age range is from the mid 20s to late 60s, and the music shouldn't intimidate the old folks.
- We're looking to be seated around 7:00 or 7:30.
- Everyone will be paying their way, and we'd like to keep costs lower than $40 each with beverage.

I've taken a good look at Carmine's II, Il Moro and Nook, which were suggested in an earlier similar thread (Nook seems too small). I've heard good things about The Stinking Rose, although it's a little out of the way and could be trouble if anyone in the group isn't a garlic fan. Does anyone have other suggestions for good, somewhat affordable group dining between Beverly Hills/Century City and Santa Monica?

Dec 11, 2007
Angry_Sam in Los Angeles Area

Where's the best D.C. coffee?

Okay, so I'm not losing my mind. The closest decent place to me is a Murky. I usually order either a drip coffee or a double Americano, and neither one EVER tastes fresh. Clarendon is supposed to have a few good places to go, but thus far I've not explored it.


La Choza is a good, if more expensive, restaurant to sample what Ecuador does best: soups and ceviches (a sort of fresh seafood salad). It's near the SwissHotel in Quito, and most cabbies in Quito know where it is.

As far as boutique hotels, check in the neighborhood known as the Mariscal. Bunches of hotels, B&Bs, and hostels.


I just had my first taste of cuy (guinea pig) on Saturday. Let's just say my anticipation that it would taste like rabbit couldn't have been more wrong. There isn't a ton of meat, it's expensive in the city, it has a bit of an odor (like when cooking pork), and I had indigestion for two days afterward. My cuy was served whole and fried, so I'm not sure how other preparations are different. Not too eager to find out, though. Only really worth trying if you pride yourself on being adventurous.


I pass a few really, really tempting street stalls each day and I'm still wary, since I've been told the same thing. The family I'm staying with don't generally buy street food themselves, basically because you still can't be very sure.


Get ready for pain. I've been here for a little over two months, and I've had a terrible time with the local coffee. Much of the coffee is Nescafe and most of the "espresso" is actually normal coffee run through an espresso machine.

Not sure where you'll be, but your best bet anywhere around Quito is to head to the touristy part of town, the Mariscal (AKA "Gringolandia"). The cafes on Amazonas south of Foch are decent. The Magic Bean (Foch and Reina Victoria) has good black coffee and espresso, though it's pricier by local standards. There's also an organic/fair trade place in that neighborhood I haven't tried yet -- the one time I made an attempt I walked in on a Global Exchange tourist meeting and was made to feel like a Martian.

If you make a trip out to Mindo, which is a popular weekend tourism trip for Quitenos, you can find excellent coffee grown locally.