Boston rss

Highlights from the Boston board. Restaurants, bars, food stores, and more.

Suet Substitute

Suet—fat culled from around the kidneys and other organs of sheep and cows—is a traditional ingredient in Christmas puddings and mincemeat pie, but flourgrrrl has been unable to find a very refined brand like Atora, which she says is easy to get in the UK. It isn’t the brick of lard that you can buy in a grocery store either. Lard is from pigs, and the fat can be from any part of the animal, though the highest-quality lard, leaf lard, comes from around the kidneys like suet. Suet looks different too: The refined stuff looks like little pellets, while leaf lard is in a big slab like a stick of butter.

Karl S suggests that since flourgrrrl plans to melt the suet to use in her pudding, it doesn’t matter if she uses lard, preferably grated in a rotary cheese grater. Since the closest place a Chowhound suggested as a potential suet source was British Supplies in Plymouth, flourgrrrl reluctantly said she would probably end up using leaf lard: “The leaf suet is probably a much more authentic ingredient; after all, Dickens’ Mrs. Cratchit wasn’t busting open a box of Atora for her Christmas pudding. What can I say? I have an emotional attachment!”

British Supplies [Plymouth]
1 Court Street, Plymouth

Board Link: Atora suet?

Chocolate Jimmies: The Real Deal

A dash or two of brown sprinkles (a.k.a. jimmies) gives ice cream a festive air, but the sprinkles usually taste like the wax they’re mainly composed of. rememberme is craving the real thing, made by an actual chocolate manufacturer like Guittard and known as chocolate vermicelli.

Marty’s wine/gourmet food store stocks both Callebaut and Valrhona, and when rememberme took a taste she deemed the jimmies delicious and worthy of being used for her rum ball recipe.

Marty’s / Fine Wine, Spirits Gourmet Food [Allston]
193 Harvard Avenue, Boston

Board Link: real chocolate sprinkles near Boston?

Baked, Good

Carb-lovers are excited about a new Winchester bakery, Mamadou’s Artisanal Bakery, opened by a Senegalese man whose made something of a name for himself selling his breads at local farmers’ markets. tdaaa says Mamadou’s is “better than my home-baked bread.”

Mamadou’s fruit and nut breads are good; EllenMM lauds the raisin-pecan variety. But Chris VR wishes the business wasn’t housed in a grim, windowless brick building, unwelcoming to customers. However, he calls the bread “phenomenal.”

Mamadou’s Artisanal Bakery [Winchester]
63 Swanton Street (at Florence Street), Winchester
No phone available

Board Links: Fantastic Artisinal Bakery in Winchester
Melrose - did I just move into a restaurant vacuum?

Goodbye Super 88, Hello H Mart?

Is Super 88, a favorite local Asian market chain, on the way out? Several hounds reported seeing little inventory on the shelves at various branches, employees pulling out fixtures, and even bags from a rival supermarket chain being used to pack purchases instead of Super 88 ones. Three of the chain’s six Boston-area stores have already closed; are the rest soon to follow?

With Super 88 on the downslide, hounds are pinning their hopes on the arrival of Korean supermarket chain H Mart, which is reported to be opening a Burlington store in 2009. “I can’t wait for H Mart,” says noodlely. “We went to one while on vacation it was clean and catered to the Asian-American crowd (I hate doing two separate shopping trips one for Asian goods, one for American food). The bakery (complete with Beard Papa knockoffs), the prepared meats, prepared foods and the food court would definitely make my life living on the north shore much easier!”

Super 88 Market Brighton [Allston]
1 Brighton Avenue (at Malvern Street), Allston

Super 88 Market [South Bay]
101 Allstate Road (at Massachussetts Avenue), Boston

Board Links: Super88 is Dead… Long Live CMart?
chinese supermarkets

Classic Diner Fare

hiddenboston has fallen for McKay’s Breakfast and Lunch in South Quincy, an old-school joint that serves nicely tender, well-seasoned home fries made from a mixture of red and russet potatoes. hiddenboston also talks up the corned beef hash, which has “a nice crusty ‘skin’,” and a lot of onions.

The atmosphere’s not bad either, says hiddenboston: “If you go, expect to hear lots of ‘honeys’ and ‘sweeties’ and expect to see a colorful mix of blue-collar folks, Irish immigrants, and elderly folks who seem to know everyone here.”

Since McKay’s is located across from the Adams’ Houses, it might make a good first stop on a tourist day.

McKay’s Breakfast and Lunch [Quincy]
144 Franklin Street, Quincy

Board Link: Taso’s; McKay’s; Fratelli’s

Almost-Homemade Pasta

BeanTownGolfer is craving fresh homemade pasta, but (understandably!) finds it “a hassle” to make it from scratch and wonders if anyone knows where to buy pasta by the sheet. Chowhounds have some recommendations.

Several hounds, including pamalamb, love Dave’s Fresh Pasta, where they roll out pasta to whatever thickness the customer wants, and will cut the pasta too if you wish. “They’re sold as lasagna, but they roll the dough out when you purchase,” says pamalamb. “In the past, I have asked them just to give me a hunk of dough, and I’ve rolled it out at home.” Dave’s offers different pasta flavors, each made fresh that day.

opinionatedchef talks up the “wonderful old fashioned velvety non-extrusion pasta sheets at Bella Ravioli in Medford,” and several hounds mention that if all else fails, Whole Foods has been known to sell the soft stuff fresh.

Dave’s Fresh Pasta [Davis Square]
81 Holland Street (near Irving Street), Somerville

Bella Ravioli [South Medford]
369 Main Street (at Harvard Street), Medford

Board Link: Where to buy fresh sheets of pasta