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boston must haves ('hound from Seattle/Vancouver)

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I'll be back visiting Boston for 2 weeks next month and have been checking out this board. But I hope to get everybody's opinion on must-haves in Boston. (train or bus ride acessible places preferred)

Not intersted in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese unless there's a new super star chef around. Mostly interested in ethic food. For reference, some of my favorite places are

Shanghai Gate
Daily Catch North End
O Cantinho
Buk Kyung II
Tamarind Bay
Moqueca
Cafe Baraka
Trattoria Toscana
Sultan's Kitchen
May's Cafe

and I plan to go back to a few of them.

As you can tell mostly lookng for food in casual environment. Price range is $0-20 per meal.

I just left Boston in January so will be interested in any new restuarants.

Thanks in advance. : )

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  1. Try the sandwiches at Volle Nolle on Hanover in the North End.

    1. Orinoco in the south end for South American. Alchemist Lounge in JP just opened, haven't been yet. D-Bar on Dorchester Ave. for new American, all entrees <$20. Toro on Washington St. for tapas.

      1. I live in the North End, so my suggestions are located there. I'd try Neptune Oyster, Eclano (pretty new, with the chef from the late, great Trattoria a Scalinatella at the helm), Mare, Taranta, Marco. Oh, and Rabia's (might be the most underrated food in the North End).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bostonbob3

          I fear the OP will need to be creative w/your suggestions w/a 0-$20 price range.

        2. Not new, but if you never got there: Rincon Limeno. I finally made it recently and the seafood ceviche deserves all the raves. Also Floating Rock, also not new.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Aromatherapy

            I love Ricon Limeno's ceviche. Their take on the fisherman's platter is huge and tasty as well.

          2. I am always a huge fan of the B-side lounge (http://www.bsidelounge.com/). For dinner they'll hit the top of your price range, but their lunch and brunch are divine.

            1. You’ve got a great list going! O Cantinho (I love their soup, marinated pork loin and the squid with polenta croutons), Moqueca (the fish and shrimp combo) and Café Baraka (love their salad with the spicy chickpeas, call ahead to order bastilla) are places I visit regularly. Trattoria Toscano, too. Not much recent (if any) experience with the others.

              Next door to Moqueca is Fernandes Fish Market. On weekends they have home-cooked Portuguese food in steam trays, but my favorite (and it’s been a while) are the fried whole sardines (the big ones) that are seasoned with lemon oil. Wow they are good, and for 5 bucks you get a whole container full.

              I second Joanie’s recommendation of Orinoco. Can’t believe I haven’t been back there in a while. Lovely, reasonably priced wines, too.

              If you’re out and about downtown, there’s always Chacarero (good to share the sandwich as a snack even). http://www.greenlinemenus.com/Restaur...

              Also second Bostonbob’s recommendation of Neptune Oyster. I quite enjoyed the few meals I've had there, but I did find that some dishes are overcomplicated. Marco does some lovely pasta dishes, but I was under-whelmed with other dishes. Mare is lovely, but pricey. Taranta is completely overrated IMHO.

              It’s kind of a chowhound been-there done-that but I still love the Cuban sandwich at the bar at Chez Henri, just outside of Harvard Square. It’s running about 12 bucks these days. Here’s a pic: http://bostonchefs.com/clients/ChezHe...
              You won’t be hungry and their bar staff are top-notch.

              1. I used to live in NE and Back Bay and now Cambridge and would definitely go to Pomodoro over the Daily Catch - the restaurants are next door to each other. Chicken Carbonaro, Veal with Olive Risotto, clams in white sauce and calimari are all excellent - I think all entrees are under $20. I'd also go to Kashmir on Newbery Street over Tamarind Bay - it has fantastic food and a great patio for a fun evening meal. Finally, it's not that bus or T accessible, but with your tastes, you may really want to go to Oleana - great middle eastern food (Turkish/Arabic is how they describe themselves) and nice outside patio as well. This is a more expensive restaurant although some items are in your range - but it probably a "can't miss" for your tastes. I love Sultan's Kitchen and at times wish I still worked downtown to eat lunches there.

                1. For Turkish I would add Family Restaurant, right next to Sichuan Garden, a few minutes walk from the Brookline Village T-Stop on the Green Line.

                  I have enjoyed their salads, kebabs of various sorts, and impressive range of desserts. I recommend the pilaf over the fried potatoes (they offer the large mealy frozen variety). Price is definitely in your range.

                  1. Thanks a lot people! this list brings back fond memories of good times in boston and reminds me that there's there a good number of places I haven't tried.

                    I will surely try the following
                    Volle Nolle
                    Orinoco
                    Rincon Limeno
                    Oleana (can't believe i haven't been there)

                    and may go back to old haunts at
                    Chez Henri
                    Flour bakery

                    and some of the others listed in original post.

                    i think i will mainly will focus on south american, portugese cuisine which is not as well represented in seattle/vancouver. i am not adverse to walking half an hour (from train or bus stop) to a good restaurant so
                    more exotic located restaurants are ok too.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: newerjazz

                      What about some of the Brazilian places in Somerville?

                      1. re: gini

                        Macchu Pichu (sp) in Union Sq. for Peruvian and the other Port/Brazilian places on Cambridge St. could make a long day. In a more confined space in Allston there's Greenfield on Brighton Ave., Empanadas at Mama's further down, Camino Real on Harvard. and El Cafetal on Cambridge St. for another loop of South American. And the new latino place across from the Model close to the school which just opened. And there's the tried and true JP loop with Miami, La Pupusa Guanica and Alex's Chimi's within 5 min of each other. (El Oriental de Cuba is the longest renovation in history.)

                        1. re: Joanie

                          I would add casa de pedro in Watertown square for venezuelan. Their seafood is particularly good. We talked to the chef (Pedro) last time we were there and he's very nice.

                      2. re: newerjazz

                        Haven't been yet but Cesaria (Cape Verdean) is on my list.

                      3. Have you been to El Pelon Tacqueria in the Fenway? AWESOME fish tacos!
                        Also - Rangoli on Brighton Ave - best Indian in the city.