Mr Pollo Mario, East Boston
Disappointing seafood soup with a base that vaguely reminded me of Campbell's.
The spice rub on the rotisserie chicken was good and tasty, but not penetrating; the chicken a tad dry. Betos/Peaches and Cream does a much better job across the street.
OK plaintains as a side.
Betos/Peaches and Cream, East Boston
Returned for their aji de gallina; it's quite good -- rich homey flavour in the sauce, but could use a touch more smokey aji amarillo flavour imho. Also, some of the best chicha morada in the area.
Baan Thai, Waltham
My sister hipped me to their awesome Thai dim sum; much better than the Chinatown places. Can't remember all the details, but the fried stuff was better on average.
Great fried stuffed taro balls with lacy, crispy exteriors and meat and vegetable filing that may have a touch of fish sauce or something. Exemplary pan fried turnip cakes too. Poh pia sawey is another item to get -- two flat rice paper sheets sandwiching chicken, shrimp and water chestnuts, all fried.
The steamed stuff occasionally suffered from a slight touch of oversteaming, as evidenced by the faintly mushy texture of the skins in the har gau, but still a half notch above the usual suspects in Chinatown. Crab and chicken shumai is very good, with a serious presence of crabmeat, topped by a single jade green soy bean. In addition to the HK style char siu buns, one gets to order versions filled with Thai ingredients -- I liked the beef pricking buns, which are also fun to say. The filling in the round paak moh dumplings were very intriguingly spiced and I would love to order them again. Be sure to get the shawmuang, dumpling with a molded surface on the firm, thickish skins filled with salmon,
A basic but pretty good beef ball noodle soup. A satisfying yum woon sen.
Loved their smoothies, the lime one was great, very easy on the cream/milk, mostly to get a good froth.
Grafton Street, Harvard Sq., Cambridge
Was surprised I liked it as much as I did. Deviled eggs were playfully garnished, with 4 different toppings and a side of black olive tapanade that played well with the eggs.
A very solid crab cake, with a generous amount of crabmeat topped with mache and an avocado puree, all working together nicely.