HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


where have you never had a bad meal?

for me the place that has had the best consitency is Pomodoro on hanover st. very good. Although the service isnt always the best the food is great

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Blue Room has been a big hit for us. Followed closely by EVOO, Meritage, Oak Room, Cafe Umbra, Gargoyle's.

    1. Cafe Polonia, south boston - going there 2nyt.
      Kebab Factory, somerville - gr8 food, lousy name.
      Glory, no. andover - our go-to place close to home.
      Ithaki, ipswich - north shore greek.
      Eastern Standard, kenmore square - maybe we're just lucky
      Fugakyu, brookline - only when Hiro is at his station.
      Taiwan Cafe, chinatown - even my 12 year old digs this place.
      Giacomos, north end - too simple to mess up.

      and that's just a start.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve

        mmmm, just had the best brunch at eastern standard--duck confit over poached eggs. the portion size was perfect and the bloody marys were amazing. i've had nothing but great experiences here, too!

        1. re: alyssap99

          Eastern Standard, Radius, The Blarney Stone in Dorchester, Acquitaine and Les Zygomates. Eastern Standard is very consistent.

        2. re: ScubaSteve

          I have to second Cafe Polonia. Have you tried their clay pot baked hungarian goulash that comes with it's very own bread bowl? Wonderful presentation. Also like the Gypsy pancake and the coconut shrimp appetizer!!
          In the North End, I would vote for LaGalleria 33 and on Martha's Vineyard it would have to be Jimmy Seas Pan Pasta!

          1. re: Pegmeister

            there last night. unbelieveable! they changed the menu slighty, you can now get your stuffed cabbage with mushroom sauce and the potato pancake app now comes with smoked salmon, not the goulash although you can subsitute, i did.

        3. Central Kitchen, Chez Henri, Christopher's, Dolphin Seafood, Boca Grande, Il Panino, and yes, East Coast Grill, in Cambridge

          King Fung Garden, Les Zygomates, Silvertone, The Paramount, Radius, Sakura Bana, and yes, Kingfish Hall, in Boston

          Za, Mr. Sushi, Blue Ribbon, Something Savory, Jade Garden, and Toraya in Arlington

          Oishii, Too in Sudbury

          Ixtapa in Lexington

          3 Replies
          1. re: rlh

            Was waiting for someone to say East Coast Grill. I know I sound like a groupie, but it's the one place in metro-Boston that I have never had a bad meal and and never regret recommending to out of towners. I've also never had a bad meal at Soundbites, but then I've never personally witnessed the terrible behavior some people report. Their "no place like home fries" are out of this world. Hm, and I've never had a bad meal at Gargoyles, but had only been one time prior to Jason's arrival. Must admit that meal was just okay .... I'm glad I went back.

            1. re: yumyum


              I've also never had a bad meal or bad behavior at Soundbites. Their fruit bowl is generous and I love their noplacelikehomefries. However, I don't love breakfast, so it's never on my love list.

              1. re: gini

                I was just going to chime in with Soundbites - and I do adore breakfast. Their food is amazing (never tried the new place for anything but breakfast, though, so ymmv), creative, and always satisfying. I've moved away from Medford/Somerville, but I make the trek back there when I have friends in town because the brunch is far too good to pass up - and unsurpassed by anything I've found elsewhere in the metro area.

          2. Good question! Even my favorite places, such as Apsara in Providence, King Fung Garden in Chinatown, and Classic India in Quincy, have been subpar on occasion.

            I have been to Giacomo's in the South End (as opposed to the North End, ScubaSteve! Never been to that one) several times and have never been disappointed. Same goes for Pho Hoa in Dorchester and Pagliuca's in the North End.

            1. Funny hiddenboston, I was just trying to think of places that have always been consistent and never disappointed me and Giacomo's S. End came to mind for me too. It's simple, basic fare, but it's pretty much always good, hearty, & delicious.

              1. Metropolis Cafe
                Butcher Shop
                Franklin Cafe

                Many other favorites, but these are the places where it's been well-executed every time.

                1. I guess one implication of this question is multiple visits, some skein of experience over which the place can demonstrate consistency. A few that come to mind: Trattoria Toscana, Khao Sarn, Franklin Cafe, Les Zygomates, Taberna de Haro, Rialto, Grotto, Addis Red Sea, Silvertone, Vinny's at Night, Audubon Circle, Mary Chung, King Fung Garden, Taiwan Cafe.

                  1. For me it's not only well executed meals every time, but also an ability to execute everything on the menu exceptionally well.

                    Trattoria Toscana
                    Hong Kong Eatery
                    Taiwan Cafe
                    Buk Kyung

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gini

                      Yeah, Taiwan Cafe. I've had some misses at other Asian restaurants on your list and others here (although never really BAD meals) but Taiwan Cafe is consistently excellent and I'm always happy I've been.

                      1. re: yumyum

                        Personaly, I feel that Taiwan Cafe is more of a consitently okay place. It is by no means bad, but there are definetly places in chinatown that do certian dishes better, and there are some that do many dishes worse. I would say that a trip to Taiwan Cafe guarantees that what you get will satisfy you, but it will not be exeptional.

                    2. Also, Dok Bua, in Coolidge Corner

                      1. Metropolis Cafe's brunch
                        Neptune Oyster. Food *and* service are always great. I keep fearing the visit when I will walk away disappointed, and it still hasn't happened after more than a dozen visits. I rue the day...

                        1. Vinny's at Night -
                          Neighborhood Restaurant in Somerville for brunch -
                          Dok Bua

                          I am going to start the converse topic...places that have disappointed time and again, and yet, incredibly, remain open!

                          Addendum: Apparently the converse topic about restaurants that are "always" bad is not allowed on the board? - (was removed by the moderators). :-|

                          1. The Fireplace in Brookline.

                            1. Even the best of restaurants have an off night so consistency is hard to find...Having said that, here are my thoughts:

                              India Quality - Kenmore Sq (as the name says, its quality)
                              Stella - S. End (great every time)
                              Orinoco - S. End
                              Petit Robert - Kenmore Sq and S. End
                              El Pelon - Fenway
                              House of Siam - S. End

                              There are a few more but these are my personal favorites and my go-to restaurants. Stella is always a good place to bring out-of-towners - good scene, nice cocktail menu, and great food.

                              By the way, I have to disagree with the "consistently good" review for Giacomo's in the South End - the last few times that I have been to this restaurant, the service has been decidedly sub-par. Food was cold (imagine congealing cream sauce on the pumpkin tortellini or butternut squash ravioli) and/or too greasy (pesto dishes).

                              1. Here are my choices:

                                Catch Restaurant, Winchester. One of the best places in the entire Boston area for creative and deliciously prepared seafood.

                                Eastern Standard, Boston. Great menu, nice atmosphere and reasonable prices.

                                Sichuan Garden, Woburn. Authentic, well prepared sichuan specialties in a place with much nicer atmosphere than most Chinese restaurants.

                                East Ocean City, Boston. Excellent selction of very fresh (live) seafood. On the pricey side but the food has always been great.

                                Swanton Street Diner, Winchester, Nice little informal pl,ace with a wide variety of dishes all well prepared. Very casual and inexpensive. Great place to go when you don't feel like cooking and everyone can't agree on what they want to eat.

                                1. Grotto, Prezza, Hammersley's, Artu, Prezza and Antico Forno. Pommodoro was almost on the list - one bad meal out of about ten.

                                  1. As I started typing, I was intrigued to realize that these weren't necessarily my absolute favorite restaurants (although certainly not too far removed). Three places I've found to be consistently great:

                                    Chez Henri

                                      1. I'll throw my vote in for the East Coast Grill and Hammersly's - also never had a bad meal at Mistral or Rialto in Cambridge - I find it nice to know if you are going to spend money on a meal at least you can count on it being good. Haven't been so fortunate at some of the other "big names."

                                        1. I forgot - Bukkara in Jamaica Plain.

                                          1. I live in the suburbs and don't get to dine in the city too often. I was thrilled when Lexx opened (in Lexington) and despite all the negative reviews from other chowhounds, I've never had a truly bad meal there. First of all, it's beautiful. It's the only really stylish and classy restaurant in the entire town. I've found the food to be consistently good, with a few minor exceptions. The service isn't always great, but I've learned to accost the waitstaff for my bill or more water when necessary. I don't mind the wait for the food to arrive, because I feel that part of the dining experience is the conversation---I really dislike eating out alone.

                                            That said, let's talk about the food. It's really good, and slightly below Boston prices. I've eaten at Casablanca once, and the style of the cooking is similar. Lexx's food, compared to Casablanca's, is slightly less fancy, slightly less expensive, and slightly larger in quantity. Not a bad deal, really, for place that's (for me) five minutes away. Their spinach, beet, bacon, and goat cheese salad is delicious. They do a yummy hand-cut fries broiled (I imagine) with blue cheese. They offer draft beers. Their entrees are well-balanced, healthy, and delicious, with plenty of seafood options. Once, I had an Asian noodle stir fry that was better than any "authentic" Asian stir fry I've ever had, and I'm Chinese. And finally, they do an amazing profiterole: cold ice cream, firm pastry, and lovely hot chocolate sauce. Yum.

                                            Anyway, Lexx is the only restaurant where I've chosen to eat at with any regularity, and, although since discovering chowhound.com, I've been neglecting it, instead sampling new eateries galore, I'd still like to give a shout out to what is a very good restaurant in the suburbs with an unfortunately negative reputation on these boards.

                                            1. EVOO, Gargoyles, Chez Henri, Sweet Chili (in Arlington),Tremont 647,Casablanca, Sonsie, Mr. Sushi, (Coolidge Corner); Village Fish (Brookline Village).

                                              1. Antico Forno. Always wonderful food and ambiance. For eight years now and counting.

                                                1. The places that immediately come to mind are Neptune and Eastern Standard, as mentioned above.

                                                  1. Out of the Blue in Davis Sq. has always been consistent and very good. One of the better seafood resto's around town IMHO.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sal Monella

                                                      Except for the time my pasta came with large chunks of raw leek...
                                                      I think maybe you're right if you stick to seafood?

                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        I agree with Sal. Have had some very good meals there. But I almost always have seafood.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          I know that on off nights the regular chef doesn't do the cooking so perhaps your experience was a "mulligan"?

                                                      2. i'm surprised how many people mentioned radius -- i am always underwhelmed by that place.

                                                        for consistent happiness, i'll agree with hammersley's. every time it slips off my radar, i revisit and am a brand new apoatle.

                                                        also neptune, eastern standard and central kitchen.

                                                        1. I've gone to Kebab Factory over 10 times without a bad or even average meal. Rod Dee and Blue Ribbon BBQ are other consistent favorites.

                                                          1. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Bristol - definitely on my short list of best restaurants anywhere.

                                                            I know that there are people here who disagree, but also Blue Ginger.

                                                            I've found Tapeo excellent each time I've been there.

                                                            1. B-Side Lounge in Cambridge never disappoints.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: cookiezim

                                                                How could I have forgotten that place? I 2nd your sentiments.

                                                                1. re: Sal Monella

                                                                  I adore the B-Side, it's been "my" place since it opened, but I have to say that when Tomas left to pursue catering it slipped. At that time it was inconsistent and I did have bad meals. Thankfully, it's back to normal.

                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                      Very late response, but he was back at brunch. I'm not sure if that's still the case. I've been hibernating this winter and haven't made it there since my last post.

                                                                      1. re: tallullah

                                                                        Thanks for the info. I've been meaning to try to make it to their brunch and now maybe I'll try harder.

                                                              2. Via Matta belongs on this list. Ate at the bar last night, it was outstanding as always.

                                                                1. I have eaten at Toraya in Arlington dozens of times and am constantly amazed at how consistently good it is. I agree with others on the Blue Room, Cafe Pollonia and Za as well.

                                                                  1. I third (fourth?) Cafe Polonia. One of the best things about winter in Boston is coming out of the cold into that warm, lovely restaurant.

                                                                    While it's obviously never the most exciting food, I always have a solid meal and great service, all in a festive environment, at the Oak Room.

                                                                    1. West on Centre in West Roxbury - not a darling of the board but I've never had a bad meal, service always superior IMO

                                                                      1. Bistro 5, West Medford. Never fails to surprise and impress.

                                                                        1. My new favorite is Little Q in Quincy. It is always better than I expect it to be.

                                                                          1. Never had a bad meal at Pho So 1, Pho Hoa, Lumiere, Sichuan Gourmet, Punjab Cafe, Stone's Public House, Henrietta's Table. Doesn't mean that these are necessarily my favorite places 9though many rank high) but they are all consistently good.

                                                                            1. I love L'Espalier for an unforgettable "special" evening out. I enjoy their lack of pretense almost as much as the food. For less pricey & more casual, the Fireplace and Metropolitan Cafe in Brookline and the B-Side lounge in Cambridge.
                                                                              I felt like Italian this weekend and tried an old Cambridge landmark: La Groceria, in Central Square. The homemade oversized Tortelloni Bolognese with a glass of chianti was outstanding. For dessert, Finale.

                                                                              1. La Groceria...blast from the past. I used to there on a weekly basis back in the day (late 80's early 90's) then they must have sold it or put it under new management and the food became very mediocre...then we stopped going altogether. Has the place bounced back??

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Sal Monella

                                                                                  Was there a couple of years ago and it ws absolutely terrible. Every course and every bite. I used to love this place in the mid '80's and was crushed that it had gone so far downhill as to have dropped into a ravine. Have never been back so don't know if they have turned it around but doubt it based on the fact that none of the posters on this Board have said anything good about it recently.

                                                                                2. Lumiere - I am always pleasantly surprised just how consistantly fresh and good the food (&service) is. Yum. I love places that change their menu with the seasons (not just the trends!) - Lumiere does this perfectly.

                                                                                  1. You should have added the stipulation that the person must have gone there at least 5 times. =)

                                                                                      1. Great question! These places come to mind:

                                                                                        Sel De La Terre
                                                                                        East Coast Grill
                                                                                        Eastern Standard
                                                                                        Chez Henri
                                                                                        Lindbergh's Crossing (Portsmouth)

                                                                                        1. Village Manor (Dedham), Abbondonza & Joe & Maria's (Norwood), Abe & Louis (Boston), Canestero's (Boston).

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ShelT54

                                                                                            You've never had a bad meal at Abe & Louie's? What do you order there? The only think I've ever thoroughly enjoyed there is the Wed. night special, the crispy pork shank.

                                                                                          2. Eastern Standard
                                                                                            Chez Henri
                                                                                            King Fung Garden
                                                                                            Vinny's at Night

                                                                                            1. Le's Vietnamese (formerly Pho Pastuer) in Allston...and I go there almost every Friday night.
                                                                                              Also, Betty's Wok and Noodles Diner in Back Bay.

                                                                                              1. Top of my list: Oleana. Oleana Oleana Oleana. Awesome every time.

                                                                                                Also: Za, Helmand, Metropolis, Zoe's, Grand Chau Chow Seafood, Oishii, Blue Ribbon, and Pepper Sky Thai.

                                                                                                1. Petit Robert - Kenmore Square - roasted chicken is always good along with desserts
                                                                                                  Super Fusion - Washington Square - amazing sushi and coconut chicken
                                                                                                  Terramia - North End - open-faced seafood ravioli
                                                                                                  Meritage - Boston Harbor Hotel - best create your own tasting menu

                                                                                                  1. East Ocean City, Chinatown...can't miss

                                                                                                    1. Old thread but I wanted to respond to it with two of my faves:

                                                                                                      Mary Chung (Central Square)
                                                                                                      King Fung Garden (aka Brezhnevs for the MIT folk - Chinatown)

                                                                                                      I don't think I have ever been less than totally happy at either of these places - every time I come back to Boston from my present home in Scotland, I have to hit both. They're both an addiction for me... :D

                                                                                                      1. Pit Stop BBQ - Dorchester
                                                                                                        C. F. Donovan's - Dorchester
                                                                                                        L'Espelier - Boston (the one and only time I went)
                                                                                                        Peach Farm - Chinatown
                                                                                                        Kingfish Hall - Boston
                                                                                                        The Oak Room - Boston
                                                                                                        Shwarma King - Boston
                                                                                                        Jumbo Seafood - Chinatown
                                                                                                        Santarpio's Pizza - East Boston
                                                                                                        Modern Pastry - North End (not a meal, but great bakery)
                                                                                                        Sam LaGrassa's Sandwich Shop - Boston
                                                                                                        Pho 2000 - Dorchester
                                                                                                        Grill 23 - Boston
                                                                                                        Cinderella's - Cambridge
                                                                                                        Sultan's Kitchen - Boston
                                                                                                        King Fung Garden - Chinatown
                                                                                                        Flour Bakery - Boston (again, not a meal, but great bakery)
                                                                                                        Neptune Oyster - North End
                                                                                                        Ole Mexican Grill - Cambridge
                                                                                                        El Sarape - Braintree
                                                                                                        Siam House - Quincy
                                                                                                        India Samraat - Boston
                                                                                                        Shanti - Dorchester
                                                                                                        Sablone's Veal & Vintage - East Boston (think they're gone now)
                                                                                                        Beachmont Roast Beef - East Boston/Revere line

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                                          I know your post is old but I must reply.
                                                                                                          CF Donovans has fallen off to the point that I really have a hard time commiting to meals there. Last week I played it safe and ordered the steak tips, temp wrong and completely flavorless. Worthless dining experience.
                                                                                                          Flour in the South End has been placed on my banned list. The pastrys are good but the service is terrible. This place has some serious efficiancy problems. I waited 45 minutes for a roast beef sandwich last weekend and when I returned home with it I was underwhelmed. It lacked meat and the meat it did have was far too overcooked to be used as roast beef.

                                                                                                        2. EVOO, Gargoyle's, Tremont 647, Union , Sushi Island

                                                                                                          1. More kudos for King Fung, Eastern Standard and Oishi. Also Great Bay, Auduban Circle, Selde Terre, Meritage and the late lamented Le Soir.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: SSqwerty

                                                                                                              I would add Muqueca - this may be an old thread, but Muqueca's been good since the thread started!

                                                                                                            2. Union, Clio, Hungry i (is it still open?), Hamersley's, Icarus

                                                                                                              1. Thai Moon in Arlington, Sapporo Ramen in Porter Square, Wangs's and The Blue Room.

                                                                                                                1. Diva in Davis Square
                                                                                                                  Gourmet India in Coolidge Corner (for those omg-gotta-have-vast-quantities-of-Indian-NOW moments)
                                                                                                                  and though this may get me banned from the boards, when I need a good, Italian-style pizza (nothing against Greek, but it never hits the spot the way Italian does), Bertucci's. Consistent, and always very, very tasty.