Currently underemployed, I have a fair amount of time to search out notable foodstuffs. So friday, I got into my air-conditioned car and stopped in Chelsea and Eastie on my way up the coast.
First stop was the much-mentioned Katz's Bagels in Chelsea. Well, I love the FACT of Katz's existence, as a reminder of Chelsea's past. I can't say that I love their bagels. I thought they were just OK. Crust was shiny, but way too hard and separated from the interior for my taste. ANd no little fisheyes, which I think are a good thing on bagels (fisheyes are those little bubbles that develop on the crust -- usually a sign of a well-developed dough). The interior was ok, but not nearly chewy enough. ANd the taste was, I thought, bland. Not yeasty. Not malty-sweet. Not anything in particular. I suppose I'd buy them if I lived nearby, but I wouldn't make a special trip.
Then I circled around back into Eastie for some ribs at Uncle Pete's. (I had to resist the nearby temptations of pupusas and ceviche!) I got the little rib sampler platter -- 3 ribs, which turned out to be more like 3 and a half, plus two sides -- I chose fries and asian slaw. Well, I'm not a rib fanatic, but these were pretty damn fine. The outer crust was a little wet, but that's quibbling -- the taste and texture were both very good. I'd have to run over to Blue RIbbon to do a comparison, which I intend to do pretty soon. And the asian slaw (shredded nappa and carrots with a peanut sauce) was nice. The fries were EXCELLENT -- crispy, salty, well-done. And to echo everyone else who has reported on Uncle Pete's, what is UP with that sweet potato biscuit? I think they ought to make a regular biscuit (or cornbread), turn the sweet potatoes into fries, which they obviously do so well, and just do away altogether with that bizarre sugary icing. I'm now very interested to try their pulled pork. Has anyone had their fried chicken? Or their grilled entrees (steak/turkey/lamb tips, etc.)?? Or should one stick with BBQ??