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Kebab Factory & Coyote Reviews

n
Norman Foster Aug 12, 2001 11:31 AM

Hi All, just found this forum, can't wait to share with you my worst experience with food in Boston.

As we all know, food quality in Boston is a shame comparing to LA & NY. And we are partially to be blamed for it. Cos' I get a feeling that most Bostonian have rather low standard on food. Proof? People line up for barely acceptable and sometimes plain shitty restaurants. If you were a restaurant owner who served such quality of food but with such long lines of customers waiting anyway, why would you want to improve? So, from now on, for shitty restaurants, speak up and boycott if you wholeheartedly believe that they suck! This is for the owners' good, not to hurt any business which doesn't deserve this.

Kebab Factory - saw this on Chronicle months ago, and finally tried it last night. Decor is nice, when we arrived, my chair had leftover food on it, I told the waiter to fix it. He conveniently swiped it onto the floor - where it joined the rest of the leftover food on the floor. Very disgusting indeed. We ordered a ground potator cake for appetizer. Much worse than the Croquette served in some local Japanese restaurants. My friend ordered the sea bass. The portion was unrealistically huge, but you only got the following tastes depending on which portions of the fish you ate from: 1) extreme fishy, 2) tasteless, 3) frost bite (a.k.a. raw). So, you can imagine how miserable my friend was and how they could ruin such a big fish. I ordered the ground lamp cakes. Man, they looked and tasted very similar to the appetizer mentioned above - which means suck. I could not identify the texture to be meat-based at all. It was THAT scary. The ONLY good thing about this place is my mango lassi. Very tasty indeed. But I will NEVER go again, very expensive too. I have to give credit to the chef who dares to show his face in the open kitchen type of window. If I served such quality of food, I would have hidden behind a iron mask.

Then sometime ago, my friend and I went to Coyote in Cambridge/Somerville. This place again has a neat decor which really entices you to go in. Their margaritas is the worst that I have had before, ever. How could someone screw up a margaritas so bad? Couldn't they just use those instant mixes if they don't know how to make one? Then I ordered the pizza, thinking that I didn't have a huge appetite and pizza is a rather 'safe' dish. It was the shrimp pizza. Oh man, this dog food was either extremely sour, or extremely chessy, and with way overcooked firm shrimps - the ultimate worst pizza I have ever had in my life. I didn't taste my friend's dish so I will not comment.

So beware of the aforementioned 2 restaurants and avoid at all cost. Cos' we need to give the owners messages in order for them to improve. If you want to try them yourselves, be my guest. Just share with us your comments afterwards.

Thank you for reading.

Norman

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  1. p
    pleen Aug 12, 2001 12:53 PM

    Thanks for the warning about those two places! I've passed by the Kebab Factory a few times and it looks kinda scary, which is why I've never tried it. I think it's safe to say that any restaurant that proudly calls itself a "factory" (i.e. "Spaghetti Factory," "Pizza Factory") should be avoided!

    Generally, I have been disappointed with the food in Cambridge (especially around Harvard Square) -- it's become so "touristy" that restaurantuers in the area can afford to let the quality of the food "slip" because they have such a "captive audience."

    However, there are some "gems" in the area -- East Coast Grill, Punjabi Dhaba and Sweet Chilli in Inman Square, Eat in Union Square, Gargoyles in Davis Square, etc., etc.

    Are there any restaurants you like in Boston? If we know your "style" of restaurant preferences, perhaps other Chowhounds can name a few other places to try?

    1. g
      galleygirl Aug 12, 2001 12:55 PM

      I have to agree with you about Kebab Factory.After seeing the write-up in the Calendar section of the Globe,in Cheap Eats, no less, we went on a day we didn't feel like doing a major nite out...My boyfriend had hhurt his back, and wanted to go home, so we got out order to go..We had one of the house special pizzas, and since the whole order fit into a shapppong bag, we figured "pizza" was their way of referring to some kind of stuffed bread..WRONG!!!! They just put the pizza in the box, sideways, so the whole thing was a glob on the bottom when we got home...As for our shrimp kebab, i have no idea what it was supposed to be, because it was served in a container that was full of goopey sauce...He looked at me and said, "WHAT did we order?"....And to boot, really expensive, $40 for a cheap-eats take-out meal, with nothing outstanding about it...I would definitely NOT go back...Hard to believe they got good press when they opened--must have been a good PR person.

      1. a
        Adrie K Aug 12, 2001 01:10 PM

        Sorry you disliked Kebab Factory so much...but in all honesty, my husband and I (and New Yorker friends, and fellow cook friends, too) have eaten there a number of times, and have had really great experiences there. We've been on a near-fruitless quest to get Indian food in Boston that's on par with the sort of Indian we'd take for granted in Jackson Heights, Queens, and Kebab Factory is the closest you can get to the sort of well-crafted, deftly spiced Indian food that's readily available in the NYC area. Not that I'd consider it a compromise at all; on the contrary, it's right up there with some of the best places in Queens. I'll admit they misstep (or over-reach, really) sometimes, but the food is on the whole well done, and sometimes very clever to boot. As for its prices, I would say you're paying the same as at any other mid-priced place in Boston. Just because it's an ethnic restaurant doesn't mean it necessarily should be considered a 'cheap-eat' greasy spoon with storefront take-away prices. But I'll leave that for another discussion....

        As for Coyote...well, caveat emptor. It's always struck me as a Kendall Square dot-com watering hole, on the same level as a Bennigan's/TGI Friday's/Appleby's. It's the sort of place where you order the greasy nachos and Tex-Mex pizzas not for flights of flavor fantasy, but in order to sop up the four frozen strawberry margaritas in your roiling tummy. If you're looking for *good* bar food (not just frozen-and-Fryolated snackies), head down the street to the B-Side Lounge, or hop across the square to the Middle East (not great, but honest and filling).

        Aloha,
        AK

        1 Reply
        1. re: Adrie K
          d
          David Sep 4, 2001 07:00 PM

          I'll have to second your positive view of Kebab Factory, and have to admit I'm dismayed by the many negative reviews here. Perhaps their performance is spotty--I've only been once. However, the time I went I had Hyderabadi kebabs stuffed with yogurt cheese that I would rank among the best restaurant Indian dishes I've had in the U.S. The kebab was soft, the meat apparently mixed with lentils in a way I've only ever had in India or at someone's house. Definitely on a par with similarly priced New York restaurants I've been to.

          However, if you ever happen to be in Chicago, you can get food as pleasing for much less at many Pakistani hole-in-the-wall places frequented by cabbies. I particularly recommend Desi Island at Devon and Western.

        2. w
          Win (Boston) Aug 12, 2001 05:00 PM

          Now Norman, you write "As we all know, food quality in Boston is a shame comparing to LA & NY. " Maybe if you do a little more research on THIS SITE instead of geting tips from Chronicle, you will have fewer disappointments. Works for me!

          Frankly, I've never heard of Coyote or the Kebab Factory.

          I generally go to places I've heard good things about from folks whose opinions I can quantify or to places that for some reason strike me as possible "chowhound hits".

          Although I appreciate the heads up on these places, I'd really like to hear about places that you think are worth a trip.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Win (Boston)
            n
            Norman Foster Aug 13, 2001 01:13 AM

            Places which I like: Dali, Dabin (Korean rest. in Lexington), Dixie's Kitchen (only their appetizer and 2 other entrees), Panang (too salty for frequent visits though), Lemongrass (Vietnamese rest. in Brookline), ElephantWalk (the one in Porter Sq.), Bugaboo Creek (Watertown), Araran (Armenian rest. in Watertown), Pho Hoa (the BEST Vietnamese rest. in the nation, maybe? They are located in Dochester.), Cafe St. Petersburg (a classic), Wai Wai (for their chicken on rice), Mr. Crepe (has the original guy left?), etc...

            Norman

            1. re: Norman Foster
              f
              fishhead Aug 13, 2001 02:17 AM

              Hey some other restaurants that are worth trying
              are
              1)Helmunds- excellent afghan food at great prices
              and good atmosphere. Very busy during weekends

              2)Ole - for Boston it is good, compared to any in
              San Diego well...but has great margaritas. I recommend
              the mango margarita.

              3)No.9 park - pricey but the food is excellent...for
              special occasions.

              Overated Overpriced expensive restaurant

              1) Clio - i dont know why this restaurant wins
              so much awards. The small over salty portions with
              no taste. I had the steak dish and my date had
              a fish dish. lousy lousy . the appetizer was ok
              though but for the price its not that great.
              total bill for 2 -- 175.00 maybe the chef had a bad
              kitchen day.

              1. re: fishhead
                n
                Norman Foster Aug 13, 2001 11:12 AM

                Tried Helmunds & Ole; like them both, good suggestions. I will have to check out No.9 Park. Where is it?

                I bet that not too many of you tried Olio in Canton. The area is like a dump, but this out-of-place & tiny rest. is unrealistically excellent. Reminds me of the food in Hong Kong.

                Norman

                1. re: Norman Foster
                  r
                  Red-Volvo Aug 13, 2001 04:17 PM

                  You mentioned Olio in Canton. Where is it located? Thanks.

                  1. re: Red-Volvo
                    f
                    fishhead Aug 14, 2001 12:51 AM

                    Olio is on Washington street in canton next to the
                    post office.

          2. b
            Bob W. Aug 12, 2001 09:46 PM

            When you ordered the ground lamp cakes, did you tell the waiter to serve the shade on the side? Makes all the difference.

            :>P

            1. f
              fishhead Aug 13, 2001 02:04 AM

              I had a similiar experience at the kabob factory as
              well. I ordered the sea bass - which was a big mistake
              the lesson learned at the time was that never order
              sea food at an Indian restaurant. However upon tasting some of the other dishes that maybe it was the restaurant itself and not limited to my dish. That was
              the worst fish that I ever had...and people dont call me fish head for nothing. This fish doesnt even qualify to be in a fish story. Under cooked fishy tasting seabass for 18.00 per head is enough to ruin any bodys hearty appetite. I only recommend this restaurant if you meet the following criteria.
              1)If u have extra money to waste
              2)If you are on a diet and want to lose weight
              3)If you plan to fast
              4)If you hate your date and want to get rid of him/her
              5)If you want a stomach ache

              thats right...after eating the under cooked sea bass
              I experienced an upset stomach.
              If you are brave enough to try the restarurant be
              careful...

              fish head

              1 Reply
              1. re: fishhead
                n
                Norman Foster Aug 13, 2001 11:09 AM

                Hi Fish Head, me and my friend are still suffering from minor diarrhea now. And the meal was like 2 nights ago! Trust me, you will get a stomach ache not just with the fish, but with their ground lamb patties as well......

                Norman

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