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Latin american/middle eastern recs for celebration

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Hello Boston hounds,

I'm taking my chowhoundish brother out for a celebratory meal in Boston in a couple of weeks, and am looking for recommendations of really good, authentic, delicious central/south American places that are a step up from hole-in-the-wall but still really great. As in, it doesn't have to be fancy, but fluourescent lighting never feels festive to me... Ecuadorian recs would be particularly excellent, as he's spent time there.

As another idea, someone mentioned a middle eastern place in Cambridge that is a little fancy but also good. Know it? Recommend it? Recommend another?

Thanks for your guidance!

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  1. The Middle Eastern place you're thinking of is Argana in Inman Sq. (I think). Haven't been there but it's supposed to be a great environment and okay food. Macondo in Union Sq. might work for the Latin American place in a nice spot. Maybe.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Unless it's the Baraka Cafe in Central Square, which, according to recent posts, has GREAT food.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. re: Joanie

        I went to Argana (review below). It was okay... think you can do better. I know it's not what you were looking for, but what about Atasca, in Cambridge. Great Portugese in a really nice setting.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. re: yumyum

          Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'm putting them all in a big menu of choices for my bro.

          Atasca looks like an interesting option -- I looked it up and saw that there are 2 locations. Is one better than the other?

          Thanks again!

          1. re: Persynna

            I haven't been to either but I've heard people prefer the original Atasca (on Broadway?) but the newer one is a little more comfortable.

            1. re: Persynna
              s
              SeriousPig (formerly lroldan)

              I've only been to the original location on 279A Broadway, and it's quite rustic and cozy (read: tables are quite close to each other). I love the hams hanging over the bar.

              I've passed by the newer location on 50 Hampshire, which seems more spacious and classier (but colder than the original location).

              They have a website, which I posted below. Enjoy!

              Link: http://www.atasca.com/

        2. La Casa de Pedro may be close enough. It's Venezuelan food done by a proud Venezeluan in a nice (not not fancy) atmosphere. See my previous review below.

          The Middle Eastern could be lots of things . . . maybe Oleana or The Helmand, both of which I recommend.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...