Kenmore has to be the fastest changing spot in Boston proper. I've recently lunched at three of the newer places, two for the first time. Here are some thoughts:
U Burger: I know I keep griping, but for some reason I keep going back. Had a burger which I BEGGED them to cook as close to medium as possible. Got lots of nods and assurances, but still a totally pink-less burger. What's the point? Anyway, had the u-cheeseburger with extra spread. While, of course, cooked too long, the burger was actually quite good: hot and drippier than I remembered, moist enough with the extra spread, a nice crisp veggies. Not as good as flat patties, but I guess it's not too bad. Since they won't cook burgers less than medium-well, it's definitely not a destination spot of any kind....though it COULD be. Fries are, as has been said, remarkably good.
Boca Grande: There are people that like Anna's better than this place? Why? THE place for a burrito in Boston. The meats are fresh, cooked slow, and oh so tender and juicy. Had a couple lunches there in the past two weeks: first an order of tacos al pastor which were wonderful, juicy and citrusy, and a super moist and filling small carnitas burrito, with NO rice (hence, not as belly busting as their larger, rice filled burritos). They have a green hot sauce with plenty of kick, and their tortillas are not nearly as rubbery as Anna's. Also, to my surprise, they now have refried beans...I did not remember this from my last trip to the coolidge corner location. Oh so velvety and good on the carnitas burrito with that hot hot green sauce. $4-$5 for Burritos. Good riddance, Burrito Max!
Popeye's: Tiny space. First time I tried to go, the lines were OUT THE DOOR. Service was frantic, to put it kindly. I asked for a kids meal, which was supposed to be one drumstick with a side (red beans and rice) and biscuit. Some kind soul dropped a second drumstick in the box for me. I was disappointed in the chicken. I had the spicy, which was not spicy in the least. I had remembered popeye's chicken having a crispy/crunchy outer skin, unlike greasy soggy KFC. These drumsticks, however, were almost as mushy outside as the crappy Colonel's. Big props, however, to gloriously greasy and flaky biscuit, which tasted like flaky butter, and the surprisingly delicious red beans and rice, which is basically rice worked into smooth cajuny-tasting refried beans. I probably won't return anytime soon.