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When the weather drives your dining choice.

Had some business in town yesterday and was starving by the time I was through. Given that the weather was nasty I opted for a restaurant that I have overlooked for some time. Anthem was the restaurant and for some reason it has just never appealed to me, but with the rain, heck it was close. At first I was seated by the window and I asked if I could move because it was cold, no problem the staff was very accomodating. From that point on everything was great. My meal was a delight and the waitress was very pleasant. I started with the charred tomato, roasted garlic fondue served with toasted bread cubes then moved on to the papardelle pasta with wide noodles, peas, bacon and rock shrimp. I will definitely go back. Has anyone else felt forced to jump into a restaurant just because of the weather and then wondered why they hadn't been there earlier? Boston has so many choices, yet I find myself going back to the same places.

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  1. Interesting topic! I've done that a few times, mostly away from Boston and on the road, though (Connecticut, Washington, Ireland, among other places). Bad weather helped me find out about the great burgers at the Druid in Inman Square. It was snowy, windy, and below zero one night a few years ago, and we had been thinking of going to some restaurant on the east end of Inman Square, but ducked into the Druid instead. Nothing like burgers and Guinness on a cold winter night!

    BTW, I really like Anthem. I think it's very underrated--good food, nice people, decent prices, etc.

    1. i like this question! i'll have to think more about it, but wanted to add praise to anthem. the blue hubbard squash soup is amazing! i recommend it!

      1. This is so bizarre. I have to meet a few business associates in town and due to the weather, we need to stay in the downtown area. We are sick of the North End and most of them like the pub thing for convenience, beers, and casualness. I just can't take the local downtown, sticky, smelly, places, so I checked out the Briar Groups places. MJ O'connors in the Park Plaza and Solas in the Lennox. I offered to drive the group over. Well, I never realized they owned Anthem and just looked at the menu on the web and was drooling. I've never given it a second thought for all the times I've imbibed in that area. Pegmeister, was it a warm atmosphere, or modern? One of these folks has a hang up with some of Bsoton's cold, sterile, modern atmospheres. He's from the South and likes "wood". Oh, the trouble I have with pleasing some work cronies. I guess that's why he likes the Irish Pubs.... So is it cozy or cold?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Buddernut

          That's difficult to answer. In the past when I peaked in, I don't think I viewed it as a cozy place. When I was there yesterday, I think the friendliest of the staff made it seem cozy. The braized beef stew served in a cast iron pan definitely says comfort.

          1. re: Buddernut

            I wouldn't call Anthem "cozy," but it's pretty comfortable. Check out some photos of the place:


          2. I tend to hit the Kebab Factory when it's miserable out since it's really close to home. I usually get one of their special curries and enjoy it every time.

            Many years ago I was stuck in Harvard Sq. during a blizzard and I hit up the bar at The Border Cafe. I know, I know, it's the Border Cafe but I had a blast drinking margaritas, eating chips and salsa (I actually really enjoy their salsa) and having greasy cheesy cheap tex mex. I've ducked in there during several storms since then and have been happy to sit back and eat and drink too much without the masses of people that flood the place ordinarily.

            Also several years back I was late getting to Fenway for a game and the line was way too obnoxious at Beerworks so we opted for Audubon Circle instead. So glad I did because I discovered a little jewel. I have been there many times since and think it's really underrated. The steak is good and a great value and I love the apple, brie, and watercress pressed sandwich.

            1. When this "Noreaster" was first approaching(forever ago), and the "Extreme Team/Doppler Maniac" weather men were convulsing, I started walking in the rain to the Franklin and then remembered the tuna spring rolls @ Pho(closer to home) and how everyone brags about them on this site. They were great and it was a pleasure to meet Sarah the bartender(big Sox fan). If it wasn't for the weather, I probably wouldn't have gone back there for a while.

              1. Bad weather helps remind me to retry neighborhood places: I gave another shot to Masa on a crappy night a few months back, and was glad: a new chef had much improved it over all our prior visits. In general, bad weather is a boon to South End locals, as it makes walking into popular places easier on any given night (except The Franklin, which seems packed even during hurricanes).

                I also find weather driving my choices another way: I often seek out food that helps me fight seasonal affective disorder (like this whole grim week), or other mildly depressing circumstances like a bad cold. Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Korean, and high quality Indian seem to make me feel better in spirit as well as body. I don't have a Jewish grandmother to make me chicken soup: pho ga is my next best equivalent.

                1. I happen to work about a block from Anthem, so I go there once or twice a week (in between "lunches" at Sully's Tap:).

                  I like it quite a bit. The meatloaf on Texas toast is a real belly-warmer (and delicious), and the Cubano is pretty good (no Chez Henri, but good).

                  And when I have a few bucks in my pocket and a few extra pounds around my middle, I like the seared tuna salad. I know, I know, so 1998, but it's tasty.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    Jumped into Antico Forno last night and had a great cozy meal to escape the weather. We had a couple salads, bottle of red, and a special of baked chicken parm over linguini that was really comforting and one of the best chicken parms I've tried in a while, and the pork chop which was massive and served on top of a bed a spinach along with vinegar peppers and roasted potatoes. A great meal for about 100 bucks.

                    1. re: abbij

                      Antico Forno for me is one of the best "bad weather" places. The food, brick oven, homey smells...everything says stay, eat and enjoy.....EXCEPT THE DARN CHAIRS. I generally eat here a few times a month, but the veins in my legs are popping out from the worst chairs. They are actually worse that the old ice cream parlor chairs that I remember from Bailey's and Brighams years ago. Please Mrs. Antico gets some better chairs!!!