Highlights from the Boston board. Restaurants, bars, food stores, and more.
The latest addition to the Arlington restaurant scene, Punjabi Tadka scored good early marks in a recent Chowhound discussion.
Ferrari328 sampled the chicken saag (pictured), which was on the mild side and featured moist, tender meat. Steve L tried both the vegetarian and non-veg thalis, which enabled him to taste several dishes: tandoori chicken, lamb curry, saag paneer, dal, channa masala, basmati rice, and lots of naan. "Not a lot of marinade on the tandoori chicken, but [it was] hot and moist and nicely flavored," Steve L says. "The curries had more of a pronounced tomato flavor than I've typically had." READ MORE
Mistral serves an excellent weekend brunch, with prices only slightly higher than the "typical South End brunch spot," Chowhound user Blumie notes in a recent thread. "They do a great job and I've never brought a guest who wasn't happy," says teezeetoo, who thinks it's the best upscale brunch in Boston. They also take (and honor) reservations. READ MORE
Taqueria Jalisco in East Boston is serving some of the best tacos in the city, according to a recent discussion on Chowhound. The adobado (pork), lengua (tongue), and cabeza (head) are all great, gourmaniac says. Taralli recommends the birria.
The place is a great weekend destination, says maxinboston, who likes the weekend-only soups. And coolaugustmoon loves the shrimp tostada, calling it "better than the tacos, better than anything." READ MORE
Is it a mistake to order fish at a barbecue joint? According to a recent Chowhound discussion thread, not at SoulFire in Allston. The fried catfish is the best that jira's ever had, with a thin, crisp coating and zero muddy flavor. Nab agrees, citing "a minor fried fish epiphany" following a recent visit. After jira's party told the server how much they liked the fish, she acknowledged that it's not ordered very often, but clearly someone in the kitchen knows what they're doing with a deep-fryer. That includes the fried mac and cheese, which jira reports had "the thinnest of coating." And Nab and jira both think SoulFire's coleslaw, potato salad, and chili are all winners. Only thing that might need improving: the lack of air conditioning. READ MORE
It might be hard to find a Hawaiian restaurant in Boston, but that doesn't mean the city is completely devoid of island food. Several restaurants do serve Hawaiian or Hawaiian-inspired dishes in line with the fusion nature of cooking in the 50th state.
Malasadas are small Portuguese doughnuts popular in Hawaii thanks to Portuguese immigrants who came to work on plantations in the late 1800s. They're also a specialty of Massachusetts: The Lowell Portuguese Bakery and Central Bakery in Peabody both have malasadas (or malassadas, the Portuguese spelling) on Saturdays, itaunas says. They're also readily available further afield in New Bedford and Fall River, and at Portuguese cultural festivals throughout the state. READ MORE
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New in Copley Square: The former Oak Room has reopened as the revamped OAK Long Bar + Kitchen—try the charcuterie plate and a signature jumbo cocktail.
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen [Back Bay]
138 St. James Avenue, Boston
Photo from OAK Long Bar + Kitchen / Facebook
The Juice Bar in Chinatown is worth a visit, both for the delicious juices and the excellent service. The "rockstar" proprietor is "kind and wonderful," Prav says, and lipoff points out that it's a family-run place. "It only takes one episode of 'Kitchen Nightmares' or 'Restaurant Impossible' to dispel the myth that family-run places are always harmonious and wonderful," lipoff says. "But Juice Bar is definitely both."
lipoff says that the fresh lychee and watermelon juices are both excellent, but that his favorite is a blend of papaya and passion fruit (with added tapioca). The fresh mango juice is "extraordinary," Prav says, but be sure to ask whether the mangoes are sweet and ripe.
Prav is also impressed with the blender, though he doesn't know what type they use. "It doesn't look like a Vitamix or any other industrial-type blender, [but it] must be some kind of workhorse considering the use it gets."
The Juice Bar [Chinatown]
40-44 Harrison Avenue, Unit 1A, Boston
No phone available
Discuss: Taiwan Café, reopened yet?
With its steep cobblestone streets and beautiful brick houses, Beacon Hill offers a nice change of pace from nearby downtown. Restaurants here tend not to be trendy or widely touted, but there's no shortage of cozy and comfortable fine dining. Here are some Beacon Hill recommendations:
Beacon Hill Bistro [Beacon Hill]
25 Charles Street, Boston
Located inside the Beacon Hill Hotel, ebaba says it's "small but lively" and great for solo diners.
Lala Rokh [Beacon Hill]
97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston
Owned by a brother and sister, this Persian restaurant has reasonable prices for the neighborhood, hotoynoodle says.
Pierrot Bistrot Français [Beacon Hill]
272 Cambridge Street, Boston
A "nice little spot" for those who like traditional French; food can be on the heavy side.
75 Chestnut [Beacon Hill]
75 Chestnut Street, Boston
A friendly and low-key bar, and delicious seafood stew, reports ChristianW.
Discuss: Comfortable, quiet, family owned, Beacon Hill
Photograph from Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro / Facebook
The Burlington Mall really only has two good eating options, according to Boston hounds: Gourmet India and Blue Stove at Nordstrom.
Despite being in a food court, Gourmet India serves "surprisingly good food," Swankalicious says. "It's my only choice in the Burlington Mall food court, whether for a full meal or a samosa and lassi pick-me-up," peregrine agrees.
Blue Stove at Nordstrom is southie_chick's "oasis in the shopping madness." Its prices are high, MC Slim JB says, but "the execution is very consistent." Ferrari328 recently tried the salt and pepper calamari dusted with lemon zest, and risotto croquettes with Serrano ham and roasted garlic tomato sauce, which were both excellent. "This is a really nice place and if they ever had any hiccups about the food, they certainly have worked them out now," Ferrari328 says.
Gourmet India [MetroWest]
75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington
Blue Stove at Nordstrom [MetroWest]
75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington
Discuss: Surprisingly good Indian food at the Burlington Mall
Blue Stove @ the Burlington Mall
Photograph of Blue Stove's salt and pepper calamari by Ferrari328
A recently opened restaurant that Chowhounds are talking about. Want the early word on what's new where you live? Check out Chowhound.
New in East Boston: KO's second outpost, in the former Scup's location, is a lovely place to enjoy a beer and an Australian-inspired snack.
KO Pies at the Shipyard [East Boston]
256 Marginal Street, Building 16
Boston Harbor Shipyard
Photograph from www.kocateringandpies.com