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Dinner in Brighton! Help!

I am meeting a friend for dinner tonight in Brighton and I would love some suggestions. I am relatively new to Boston, and I have yet to do some serious exploring down the Green Line.

We are both adventurous eaters, as long as the food is good! I have heard of Bamboo and Tasca- are either of them any good? Anywhere else that you can recommend would really be appreciated.

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  1. Tasca is good if you are in the area, not outstanding, but not horrible.

    I'm personally not a fan of Bamboo, but would recommend Brown Sugar Cafe instead. It's a Thai restaurant with an extensive menu (Packard Corner area)

    Zocalo is a decent Mexican restaurant (I can't remember the name of the T stop for my life - but it's at the corner of Warren and Comm Ave)

    There are several good places in the Brighton/Harvard Ave area (Rangoli for Indian; Aneka Rasa for malaysian; Buk Kyong for Korean)

    Have fun exploring!

    1. For adventurous, seek out May's Cafe, which is a Taiwanese place down a back street near Packard's Corner. Try searching the board for past reviews. It's not your typical Chinese fare - reports of funky vegetables, that sort of thing...

      Also, I would recommend Dok Bua on Harvard Ave, just over the line into Brookline. Great Thai in a funky atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        We still have yet to try May's Cafe - I will have to put it on my mental list for the great Allston Dining Project. (We're doing better, but since BFP and I both love to cook and it's way cheaper to eat in, there's a tendency for our dinners out to be in other neighborhoods as part of a whole evening out - Chinatown and a movie at the Boston Common, for instance. The result is that we've never eaten at most of the huge number of interesting restaurants within easy walking distance of our house. So we've promised ourselves to eat out in the neighborhood once a week for the foreseeable future. So far this has brought us to YoMa and Punjab Palace.)

        Some help for the original poster - May's Cafe is at 97 Glenville Avenue. If you're coming out on the Green Line, get off at the next stop AFTER Harvard Ave. (Griggs Street/Long Avenue.) Go one block down Long Ave., turn right at Glenville, and it's across the street and just a couple of doors down. Very unlikely spot on an otherwise residential back street!

      2. Carlo's great italian

        1. Brighton's Chow pickings are a little slim. In Brighton Center, which isn't really near the Green Line, I love Jasmine Bistro, which does a very eclectic fine-dining menu in a fairly casual, small setting. I mainly get the Hungarian food, but there's also French, some Middle Eastern dishes, and a Baltistani special or two.

          I like Carlo's, too, had another fine dinner there a few weeks back, but it's in Allston Village, not Brighton. That's a far more promising neighborhood to explore (and closer to the T), many worthwhile venues within a few blocks: Deep Ellum (a beer bar with good modest food and great cocktails), El Cafetal (Colombian), Rangoli (broad Indian), Le's (a good place for pho and other Vietnamese), Buk Kyung (Korean), Reef Cafe (Lebanese), Aneka Rasa (Malaysian), Shanghai Gate (Shanghainese, duh), a bunch more.

          As mentioned, wander down Harvard Ave across the Brookline line and there's more interesting stuff.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I second MC Slim's rec's - I'm more a fan of the Allston dining scene that Brighton's. I'd add Dok Bua on Harvard Street - funky little place with great thai food.

            1. re: chowciao

              Definitely Dok Bua. It's in Brookline, but within walking distance of Allston. Bamboo is very good, but I'd say Dok Bua is better.

              I agree about Rangoli; they have excellent Indian cuisine. And I love both the Reef Cafe and Shanghai Gate, too.

              You could go a bit further back toward Boston (toward BU) along Comm. Ave. to try either Brown Sugar Cafe (excellent Thai food) or T Anthony's (some of the best pizza in Boston). Both are right along the Green Line.

              1. re: hiddenboston

                Rangoli is good, but based on our meal there last week, I would also recommend the relatively new Indian spot Punjab Palace (near the corner of Brighton and Linden, outbound side: get off the streetcar at Harvard Ave, walk one block north to Brighton Ave, turn right and go about three-quarters of a block). It's owned by the same folks who own India Quality in Kenmore Square, and it's at a similar level. The vegetarian appetizer combo is excellent, and the biryani is simply outstanding.

                For dessert, I recommend Eats and Treats Creperie (get off the streetcar at Harvard Ave, walk one block north to Brighton Ave, turn left and go about half a block on the inbound side): large selection of sweet crepes, including a sublime lemon, sugar and butter.

          2. A third nod for Carlo's Cucina in Allston (Harvard Ave. T. Stop, walk up one block).

            1. Ok, now I am confused. If all these great places are Allston, where the heck is Brighton?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Brighton is basically west of there, where Washington Street and Market Street meet (where the Green Briar, Jasmine Bistro, and Corrib Pub are) and beyond, toward the Newton border (Oak Square, Cleveland Circle, etc.). Brighton doesn't have nearly as much to offer, restaurant-wise.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Since Allston and Brighton are often lumped together, it can get a little fuzzy. An easy demarcation is the one the USPS uses. Go here http://maps.huge.info/zip.htm and punch in 02134 . Now try and get the "Zoom" theme song out of your head.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Wow - very cool site. Also, I had no idea that Harvard Business School had its own ZIP code! (Will they expand its zone all over Lower Allston when they take over the neighborhood?)

                  2. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Further west. I've lived in Allston most of my life (so yes, I come by the monicker honestly!) and even I'm not entirely clear on the boundaries. Union Square is still Allston, for instance, but the border is nearby, because Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, and the police station are definetely Brighton.

                  3. Another true Brighton restaurant is Asahi (Brighton Center, corner of Market and Washington, which is not accessible by T, but 15 min walk). It's a 1 man sushi shop with about 13 seats. Outstanding quality of fish and super nice guy.

                    You'll find that most other Brighton restaurants are pizza places or bar food.

                    1. Adding to the great recs above for Allston:

                      Salt and Grain for Indian
                      Cafe Brazil for Brazilian (esp. chorizo)
                      Ken's Ramen for ramen
                      Cafe Jakarta (stall at the Super 88 foodcourt) for Indonesian
                      Madina Market for Pakistani
                      Yoma for homey Burmese

                      1. I have to do a little pr for Tasca - it's a great neighborhood place. The food is tasty--maybe not the best tapas known to man, but I've never left remotely unsatisfied--and it has a warm, cozy decor. Live guitarist on Thursdays. AMAZING bread pudding. That'd be my pick for Brighton for sure. I'd avoid Dok Bua, although that seems like an unpopular notion here. Greasy, sloppy Thai--go to Brown Sugar, like other posters suggested, instead.