Let me first say I subscribe to the notion that the best food in Boston is in Providence. Technically that makes no sense but my point derives from my preference of independently owned, no-nonsense comfort cooking over haute cuisine or the vapid, theme park-inspired chains. I gravitate toward eateries that strike a balance between tradition and innovation and that use fresh, seasonal ingredients. In terms of portioning, I disfavor restaurants that try to mask quality with quantity, but I equally like to leave a restaurant feeling full and content, not wondering what I’ll be having for a late night snack. Within my time spent here in the Boston area (a total of five years), I’ve come to accept that despite the plethora of highly touted restaurants, my quest to discover a repertoire of eating establishments where heart, stomach and wallet are perfectly aligned has been somewhat futile. My background is Mediterranean and I’ve lived in several metropolitan areas, both in the US and in Europe, so I have been exposed to a lot of wonderful food, if not spoiled. I’ve recently become a full-time graduate student and am on a budget, so I have little time to cook, and even less money to spend.
So it was with joy and surprise that I discovered Get Fresh Rotisserie. I liked and appreciated it so much that I couldn’t not write about it in order to share the good tidings. A friend brought me there last Thursday night. Julie, the chef-owner, was really gracious and welcoming to us and everyone else who came in. The restaurant is quaint, relaxing, intimate and informal all at the same time. Its windowed edifice looks out onto a common filled with trees beautifully lit for the holidays. It’s the kind of place one would feel equally welcome and comfortable dressed up or down, arriving with a small party in tow or eating alone. The place is spotless and possesses an air of community, friendliness and egalitarianism. There is no wait staff, and customers bus their own tables, which is not at all a liability when you realize what an amazing deal you’re getting for the quality and quantity of the food. In a time in which we expect to pay excessive amounts for almost anything, this place offers an antidote with its delicious, inventive and filling meals for a fraction of what we’ve become accustomed to. Almost everything on the menu is under $10, which belies the extraordinary culinary experience that is about to be enjoyed. And I’m not just talking about soups, burgers and sandwiches (all of which looked amazing btw), but grilled entrees such as garlic marinated steak tips, rosemary rubbed pork loin, and lemon basil chicken, each which come with a selection of two sides. There are also plenty of wonderful vegetarian options as well as one fresh grilled or roasted fish entree per day. Get Fresh also has an interesting selection of domestic and imported wine and beer to complement any meal.
Did I mention the food!? We started with a freshly made Hummos with Grilled Mediterranean Veggies for appetizers which were absolutely delicious. For my main meal I had one of the many specials offered that day, Grilled Polenta with Sausage and Tuscan Style Vegetables. My grandmother’s parents came from Tuscany, so I ate polenta on a somewhat regular basis while growing up. It had been so long since I’ve had it and it being a cold December night, I succumbed to nostalgia and thought it would be nice to have something so comforting. Not to disrespect my grandmother (sorry Nonna!), but I don’t remember ever falling in love with polenta like I did that night! A melange of grilled tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and other savory seasonings with authentic Italian sausage sat atop layers of crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, golden wedges of cornmeal: a sumptuous feast in its fusion of flavors, textures, and colors. And the abundant portion was also noteworthy. I ate way beyond my usual limit and cleaned my plate, but this was no night attempt to tame the appetite! The entree came with a side order of garden salad included in the price. What kind of place does that anymore? I opted to substitute it for a Greek salad which again blew away my expectations. The feta cheese tasted like what feta tastes like in Greece, and the vegetables fresh, crisp and tasty. The meal ended with the most delicious bread pudding I’ve ever tasted, a specialty of Julie’s.
All in all it was a great night and I was thrilled to have found the kind of restaurant that I had been envisioning and hoping for, for quite some time now. I will definitely be returning for more, and more and more, and sooner than later.