July, 2005. Asapara - as good as everyone says. Fresh seafood, subtle preparation. Ask for the authentic Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. I don't understand why people say this neighborhood is sketchy. It is totally fine - a student, professor residential area main street. The upscale "India" rest. is nearby.
Spiritos - adorable, home style, Italian neighborhood, old fashioned waitresses and soft opera or Italian music in the background. Unpretentious. The food, however, wasn't the greatest. The seafood in my frutti di mare wasn't fresh, neither was the pasta. The house Chianti was undrinkable. Oh well.
Coffee Exchange on Wickenden. Really great coffee (and I'm very picky). Friendly, 1980s coffee house ambience, with newspapers for the taking, bulletin boards, indoor and outdoor seating. Nice mix of clientele. Not yuppy at all. The eatery directly across the street, however, served a pretty crummy breakfast - store bought bagels and bread. Not too clean either.
Pizza! Go to Sicilias on Federal Hill (Atwell and Dean). The person who sent me there also recommended Hope St. Pizza. Don't only get the famous stuffed pizza - the thin crust was just as good and the calzones were to die for.