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Apr 25, 2002 04:30 PM

Moving to Fenway, need good food suggestions...

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I apologize if this has been covered but I didn't see any Fenway area threads in the top half of this board. I am moving to Boston from the SE and was hoping someone could suggest some good but not outrageously expensive restaurants within walking distance to Fenway (I can see the baseball stadium from my window).

I don't know Boston well at all but I think Back Bay and Brookline are within walking distance? These have been covered pretty well and I was wondering specifically about the Fenway area or around Longwood Medical area. Thanks!

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  1. El Pelon Taqueria, 96 Peterborough St...Love it!
    Below is the link to my post about it...I also like Brown Sugar, for Thai.


    1. Linwood Grill (kilmarnock)
      Probably the best restaurant in the area. Although it is a barbecue place, oddly, the barbecue is not the best stuff on the menu. Rather, the interesting daily specials tend to be the hits. Other winners: catfish fingers, fried chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, lamp specials, and shrimp and grits at brunch. Needs better wine.

      El Pelon (peterborough)
      Definitely the place in the area we go to the most often. Unfortunately, it can be hit or miss. It's changed ownership a few times and never has been quite as good as it was with the original girl who ran the place. It's still a great fall-back and is occasionally wonderful. Quesadillas are particularly good. Fish tacos are sometimes very good, sometimes bad.

      Rod Dhee (peterborough)
      Right next to El Pelon. I actually find that this place has more interesting Thai Food than the more popular Brown Sugar around the corner. It's much better value, too.

      Buteco (jersey street)
      I like this place, and need to go more often. A Brazilian woman proudly offers up her native cuisine. Fried yuca with (unhealthy) carrot sauce is a favorite. But, I would just ask the chef what to get. She knows best.

      Canestaro's (Peterborough)
      Very basic Italian-American. Never great. Never bad, either. Tasty calzones, and reliable, but not excellent, pizza.

      Naha Cafe (peterborough)
      Passable sushi. Not great. But, definitely passable. Convenient. Let's put it that way.

      Sorrento's (peterborough)
      Slight notch above Canestaro's in quality. Excellent calzones (spinach, in particular), and sometimes surprisingly good pasta dishes. It's not a restaurant I would travel to visit, and it's not especially authentic, but because it's nearby, it usually satisfies Italian cravings fairly well.

      Hidyan Cafe (Kilmarnock)
      Not very good.

      BeerWorks (brookline ave.)
      Pretty good beer. Awful food.

      Thornton's (peterborough)
      Great "drinking food". The Wolf is good pub eats. A buffalo chicken sandwich. Huge menu of straightforward bar food. Burgers, etc. Popular for a nice big greasy brunch. No culinary ground being broken. Just a decent spot to have a drink and a bite to eat.

      Brown Sugar (jersey)
      Insanely popular Thai restaurant that I find overrated. I keep trying to find the winners on the menu, but keep winding up with decent (but not thrilling) Thai food that's often a bit heavy and goopy. I know the Drunken noodle and crispy pad thai are among the very popular dishes here, but I don't jump up and down about them. That being said, it's never bad. Solid Thai. There's much better Thai to be had in Brookline, though.

      India Quality (Comm. Ave.)
      Probably my second favorite restaurant within walking distance. Excellent nan. Very rarely you'll find anything that's not good. The fiancée loves their chicken tikka masala. WONDERFUL lassis. Only trouble is that nan doesn't travel well, so take-out is not as good as eat-in.

      Tabanara de Haro
      Just outside the Fenway, but worth the walk. Authentic spanish tapas, all bursting with flavors. A great place for a slow, romantic meal of tapas and wine, or a fass-paced, social, group outing of tapas and picthers of sangria!

      4 Replies
      1. re: C. Simon

        I have a few besides C. Simon's excellent suggestions. In Kenmore Sq., there's Cafe Belo which is Brazilian food you pay for by the pound. Haven't eaten at that one but the Allston location is great. Burrito Max is mediocre Tex Mex but the kids love it. There's a Brueggers bagels next door and also the English Pub whose name I'm totally spacing on. They've got good beers and bar food with some interesting entrees. There's an Italian restaurant a few doors from Nuggets called Il Bicco which looks okay plus the Ankora cafe where you can get mix in yogurt, pizza, etc.

        In the St. Mary's area of Beacon St., there's Ginza Japanese restaurant, the Busy Bee for cheap home cooking, O'Leary's bar/pub, the Savoy bakery but get there early cuz they run out of croissants quickly and Japonnaise for good baked goods, the new brick oven pizza place Zia Zia that's gotten mixed reviews and a little Korean place.

        Not much by Longwood. The Squealing Pig is decent, that cafe on Tremont that just changed names, Stars on Huntington for a little more upscale, Taste of India by Symphony is supposed to be good, and Woody's has decent pizzas on Hemingway. And down the street from the Beerworks, BB Wolfe's has a new chef who supposedly has made the BBQ better.

        1. re: Joanie

          A few more to add. (My hubby used to live in Kenmore with a view of the stadium as well... it's very odd to watch the game and hear the cheers on TV, then outside your window about 3 seconds later! Oh, and expect to get a lot of gritty black dust on your windowsills overlooking the Mass Pike.)

          In Kenmore Square, Cornwall's Pub is the English Pub Joanie is spacing on. It's a good place for beers and food. Right now they are on the same side of Kenmore as the BU Bookstore, and from what I undersatnd, the space they are in has no atmosphere at all. But I've been told they are going to be moving back across the street when the hotel is complete into a space that will look like an English Pub. The food in the old location was consistently good, and the beers were always very good- it's one of the few places in Boston you can get cask conditoned ale, served perfectly.

          As someone mentioned before. India Quality is VERY good- our favorite Indian restaurant in Boston.

          You're not a very far walk to Newbury Street and its restaurant bounty. Take a look around this board for some recommendations. One place that is fun is The Other Side Cafe, which is on Newbury Street, but on the other side of Mass Ave (hence the name.) I haven't been there in a dog's age, so I'm not sure if it's still there.

          The area just west of Kenmore on Beacon St. is a treasure trove of restaurants, most concentrated around the St. Mary's stop on the T (Green C line.)

          I heartily recommend O'Leary's. Good food, good beer and nice atmosphere. Chef Chang's is very popular with the BU crowd, and I used to really like it, but now, not so much. I'm not sure if the food has changed or if I'm just looking for something different now. I like Ginza very much, but Sushi Express, on that same block of Beacon Street, is cheap and the fish is good, although the artistry tends to be a bit lacking. But if all you want is good cheap sushi and presentation isn't too essential, you'll like Sushi Express.

          I haven't tried Via Via, the new pizza place, but have heard good things about it. Savoy has good croissants and french bread. Sol Azteca has very good Mexican food; not the tacos and burritos type, but more upscale. There's a pizza place on Park Street called... hmm... My Brother's Place? can't really rememebr the name now. It was one of our favorite pizzas when we lived in the area. Also on Beacon before you get to St. Mary's is Audobon Circle, which was very popular with my husband and his grad student friends for beer and sandwiches.

          1. re: Chris VR

            One word about Cornwall's:
            They are very strict about their no-hat rule. So strict, in fact, that a woman I know who is recovering from cancer was approached by a waiter and asked to remove her hat. When she objected, the waitress replied that it was the manager's decision.

        2. re: C. Simon
          New Newenglander

          Thanks so much, folks! I'm getting hungry just reading about all the goodies within my (almost) reach. Between these and an occasional Fenway hot dog I should be set for the next year when I'll be too busy working in the hospital to explore Boston outside of my local area.