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just visiting- food in NOHO [moved from Boston board]

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Can any one please recomend a great restarunt in Northhampton Mass.? We will be traveling through next week. Up from NY. Please no Italian-- We make that at home!! Something different?? OR NOT Americana.. Moroccan? Good Thai? Good Indian?
Thank you so very much!

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  1. Thai Garden
    http://www.thaigardengroup.com/index....

    Amanouz Cafe-Moroccan
    http://www.amanouz-casablanca.com/ama...

    1. Cafe Lebanon
      http://www.cafelebanon.com/indexnoho....

      1. I second Cafe Lebanon. It's great Middle Eastern food at a decent price. They always have really tasty stews on special.

        There's also a Tibetan restaurant called Lhasa which is pretty good. I've only been there once (about 6 months ago or so) but it was good. Very friendly service. They serve a lot of yak, but they do have a good variety of other meat and veggie dishes.

        For Indian you could try India House (there's also India Palace but India House is better). It's the best in the Noho area, but if you go about 20 miles south to West Springfield you could hit Pintu's, which is much better in my opinion.

        There is Caminito, which is a good Argentinian place.

        Osaka or Zen for decent sushi. I haven't tried Zen yet, but I hear it rivals Osaka. I prefer Osaka to Teapot.

        I really like La Cazuela for Mexican-type food. They have really good mole.

        There are so many good restaurants in the area, I don't think you'll have any trouble finding something good. I'm just trying to point out the ones that aren't typical Italian or American cuisine. If I think of anything else I'll report back.

        1. Thank You!!

          1. The bloggers above have covered most of the (few) great places to eat, but stop in at Table and Vine Liquors in N'Hampton (or Springfield). If you are used to NY prices, there are some huge bargains on wine. And you are only 15 minutes away from the Magic Wings Butterfly museum in Deerfield Mass. where you can sit and watch a zillion beautiful butterflies. Ther cafe has a great Portugese kale soup with chorizo!
            Check it out at:
            http://www.magicwings.com/

            1. There's no great food here; if you're a NY foodie, prepare to be disappointed. Most of the "ethnic food" is underseasoned for the local Anglo tastebuds. If you're willing to splurge, Greene St Cafe does repectable nouvelle. That being said, I recommend that you stop instead in Brattleboro, Vt., about 40 min north, which has 13 (?) Main St, a restaurant that's willing to take more creative risks w/the food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: homesick for food

                The restaurant in Brattleboro is 39 Main and it does have excellent food....

                1. re: homesick for food

                  My husband and I had a nice meal at Greene Street Cafe last weekend. The service was a bit slow, and I was told the trout was "pretty much just like salmon" (!!) but no matter, I know what trout tastes like. The menu is confusing, with large and small plates all listed together without much explanation, the food is well prepared, but not cutting edge or trendy.

                2. Wow. No great food in the Valley? Quite an overstatement.
                  Here are some great places that won't disappoint:

                  Mi Tierra (Mexican)- Hadley
                  Gohyang (Korean) - Hadley
                  Sitar (Indian)- Springfield
                  Pho Saigon (Vietnamese) Springfield
                  Cafe Lebanon (Middle Eastern) Northampton
                  Great Wall (Chinese)- Florence
                  Tabella (Tapas)- Amherst
                  Siam Square (Thai)- Northampton
                  Moshi Moshi (Sushi/Korean)- Northampton

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: caughtstars

                    Mi Tierra is qwned by Salvadorenians. While their food is OK and they are good folks that merit local support, it is a far cry from authentic Mexican, particularly in terms of its spicing. Cafe Lebanon's cuisine seems to suffer from the Gringo-blandness afflicting the majority of the area restaurants. Great Wall has fresh and fairly well prepared food, but also feels toned down. I've had a good meal at Pho, & good sandwiches at the coffe shop next door, & will be looking at other holes-in-the-wall in Springfield. I can't comment on the other places, but look forward to trying them.

                    1. re: homesick for food

                      Mi Tierra might not be 'authentic' but it certainly beats anything else in the Valley calling itself Mexican.

                      1. re: famedalupo

                        I have to agree with both of you here. I ate at Mi Tierra last night and it IS the best food I've had in VT/NH/Western MA that calls itself Mexican, however, the carne asada (a typical "test" plate for me) was not like Mexican carne asada. Different cut of beef and not seasoned in the way that I'm used to at least.

                        With that said, the food was really quite good. We ordered carne asada and an enchilada verde plate. We plan to go back again soon and order some different things next time, but we were happy to eat our delicious meal. The homemade corn tortillas were a highlight - dense and chewy.

                        I had no idea that the owners were Salvadoran and am wondering why they don't make pupusa and cortido (sp?)? I miss that as well. Also, there is a Salvadoran sweet bread called quesadilla (again sp?) that I love, love, love.

                        1. re: Bri

                          Their spicy pork is good, I'd rec that for your second go-round. 'Tis a shame though they do not have carnitas.

                          1. re: famedalupo

                            Wow! You were right on with the spicy pork. Last night we had the spicy pork tacos and the spicy pork burrito. I ordered the burrito and next time will order the tacos; the burrito was enormous and had beans and rice inside. I preferred the spicy pork tacos because they came with those amazing hand made corn tortillas and just the meat, cilantro and onions with a wedge of lime. Perfection! They were so good that Bruno was unwilling to part with more than one bite. I'm not a fan of the loose, kind of soupy beans so I recommend the tacos. So, so good!

                            Also, the place was hopping! We got there @ 6:30pm and the tables were full by 7pm.

                            1. re: Bri

                              Cool! I went in a couple days ago and it was packed then too, business seems to be up - a good thing. I was worried initially that there poor location would drive them out of business.

                              Their burrito really pops if you ask them for cilantro instead of lettuce. Had their mole on this last trip, I've had better but it was tasty enough and at $8.50 it's quite the deal versus the Northampton spots. Of those spots I've only had the mole at Mama Iguana's. Mi Tierra's is better.

                      2. re: homesick for food

                        I have to add another bit of yummy news re: Mi Tierra. After enjoying our spicy pork tacos and Bohemias last night, I decided to order a hot chocolate. I had low expectations and really just assumed it would be a packet hot cocoa mix - I was SO wrong! Their hot chocolate is made from scratch with the Mexican chocolate that comes in the round discs and has cinnamon and grown almonds. It was as delicious as my own that I make with the same chocolate.

                        So I highly recommend the hot chocolate. It is NO run-of-the-mill dry packet mix!

                      3. re: caughtstars

                        Thai Garden is better than Siam Square, not that that's saying much. Neither really float my boat, unfortunately (especially after having a truly excellent Thai experience in Montreal last summer).

                        1. re: famedalupo

                          Went to Siam Square for the first time last night and had the absolutely worst pad thai
                          i have ever had.... almost no eggs or peanuts, a few overcooked pieces of broccoli, deep fried dry tofu in a sauce that was so sweet it was barely edible.... Friendly service, though. Not trying the Noodles place any time soon ...

                          1. re: jeni1002

                            i agree with you pretty much, although the food there is better some days than others. lately, however, i have found myself very consistently satisfied by hattaporn's kitchen in greenfield. it's 221 main street in greenfield, has a very limited menu and mostly take-out (i think they have one table for dining in). cash only, i think. but very solid. the vegan pad thai is a favorite at our house. across the street (more or less) is thai blue ginger, whihc my wife prefers to the northampton places, but i find they have a very heavy hand with the fish sauce (for me, anyway). still, might be worth a try if you're jonesing. their prices are decent.

                            http://thaiblueginger.net/

                            1. re: fatheryod

                              Thank you! We come to Greenfield pretty often, and it's good to know these options exist.

                              1. re: fatheryod

                                I do like Hattaporn's better than Blue Ginger, but both are pretty good. I probably would order from Blue Ginger more often but I am a green pepper-hater, and they seem to pop up quite prominently in a lot of the dishes I order.

                        2. I'm only in Northampton once or twice a year, but these are my regular must-haves:
                          Green Street Cafe - good food, fresh, local produce (Green Street, Noho)
                          The India House - some of the best Indian food I've ever had (including L.A.'s Little India neighborhood) (State St, iirc, Noho)
                          Esselon Cafe - on Rte. 9 between Noho and Hadley, great espresso and coffee, nice little cafe for lunch

                          1. Recently, TV Diner on NESN came to Amherst and reviewed Bistro 63 at The Monkey Bar. They gave it a mixed review. I wished they had gone to Chez Albert instead since it's a much better restaurant.

                            I don't go to Chez Albert that much because it's an expensive night out, but I love the mussel appetizer in curry broth. I don't leave a drop of the broth. The mussels with bread and a salad are all I need.