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craving a mai tai. any suggestions?

daisy27 Jul 22, 2007 09:50 AM

looking for a fantastic mai tai preferably outside the city. maybe brookline, cambridge area. can anyone offer any suggestions?

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  1. c
    CambridgeFoodie RE: daisy27 Jul 22, 2007 11:14 AM

    Back in my younger (and less calorie obsessed) days, I'd drop by the Hong Kong for a few Mai Tais and top the event off with a delicious Pu Pu platter.

    1. MC Slim JB RE: daisy27 Jul 22, 2007 11:30 AM

      We need the great Brother Cleve to chime in on this. I don't know if he reads Chowhound.

      I make mean Tiki drinks at home, including the original-recipe Trader Vic's Mai Tai, for which I specifically bought my own electric ice shaver. The only place in town I'd tried was the now-defunct Tiki Room on Lansdowne St, now home to La Verdad -- its Tiki drinks weren't terrible.

      But Christopher Muther of the Globe did a little tour of places that at least have authentic Tiki bar atmosphere (with Cleve along to assess the drinks, most of which he rated "acceptable"), a few months back. I can't vouch for any of these myself, but he toured the Kowloon in Saugus, Bali Hai in Lynnfield, Tahiti in Dedham, South Pacific in Newton, and Tiki Island in Medford. Details here: www.boston.com/news/globe/living/cale...

      Good luck! Would love to see a follow-up report on wherever you end up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB
        gyppielou RE: MC Slim JB Jul 23, 2007 10:31 AM

        I still have a half a case of Trader Vic's Mix and a bottle of Orgeat Almond Syrup that I had shipped for a party! Cost as much to ship as purchase 2 cases - LOL! Trader Vic Mai Tais in New England - priceless!!!

        Montien makes a propper Mai Tai - order it with no grenadine.

      2. Rubee RE: daisy27 Jul 22, 2007 12:00 PM

        Not outside of the city, but I've had excellent Mai Tais at Eastern Standard (Kenmore Square), and Billy Tse's (Commercial Street/North End). At Billy Tse's, you'll see more regulars at the bar with a Mai Tai in front of them than any other drink - they really know how to make them here.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rubee
          Rubee RE: Rubee Jul 22, 2007 12:03 PM

          Billy Tse and ES:

          Billy Tse's
          240 Commercial St Lbby 1, Boston, MA 02109

          Eastern Standard
          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: Rubee
            Small Plates RE: Rubee Jul 22, 2007 03:44 PM

            Second Billy Tse's. Count me as one of those at the bar with a Mai Tai. I think it is the best I have had. Not cloying like many Polynesian / America-Chinese places (thinking Kowloon, e.g.) I often ask for a dark rum floater. Not that it needs it, mind you, they are quite (deliciously) boozy on their own.

          2. b
            bex77 RE: daisy27 Jul 22, 2007 01:04 PM

            Golden Temple in Brookline has a stand-up Mai Tai. Just be careful- it packs a real punch! Thank goodness I live in walking distance!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bex77
              tater_tot RE: bex77 Jul 23, 2007 09:04 AM

              I second that!! The Mai Tais at Golden Temple are excellent... Definitely the best I've ever had... and they do pack a wallop!

              North Shore of Boston - Blue Fin in Middleton on 114 has a really good Mai Tai as well.

            2. j
              jferg18 RE: daisy27 Jul 23, 2007 09:38 AM

              Go to Imperial China in Framingham. Good chinese food and a potent "May's Special" Mai-Tai. They won't tell you whats in it and they will only serve you two. Enjoy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jferg18
                Harp00n RE: jferg18 Jul 23, 2007 05:53 PM

                Been there, done that, and your right!

                Imperial China
                413 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01701

                1. re: Harp00n
                  Harp00n RE: Harp00n Jul 23, 2007 07:33 PM

                  Before I forget it, my man Ming makes a great Mai Tai here along with the other usual Tiki Bar suspects, ie, Fog Cutters, Suffering Bastards, etc. Give up your keys to the SO first, however.


                  Obtw, a good compendium for after-hours explorations; http://www.kevdo.com/maitai/recipes.html

                  Lotus Flower
                  341 Cochituate Rd, Framingham, MA 01701

              2. litchick RE: daisy27 Jul 23, 2007 12:44 PM

                I will bet you dollars to donuts that Misty, Dylan, and the crew at Green Street can make you a mean Mai Tai. It's not on their stunningly large A-Z menu, but they always seem up for a challenge, and I know for sure they've got a ice-shaver (they use it for a drink called the Iceberg: gin, ricard, and mint over shaved ice -- yum!). It may not come in a fun tiki-styled glass, but for sure it'll be good.

                4 Replies
                1. re: litchick
                  MC Slim JB RE: litchick Jul 23, 2007 05:37 PM

                  I never thought to order a Mai Tai at Green Street, but given Dylan's affinity for good rums, and how he's stocked his bar as a result, it's pretty good guess he could do a proper one. Lack of orgeat syrup is the showstopper for most non-Tiki bars.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    Allstonian RE: MC Slim JB Jul 25, 2007 06:09 AM

                    Is there a difference between orgeat syrup and the orzata syrup used in Italian sodas etc.?

                    1. re: Allstonian
                      MC Slim JB RE: Allstonian Jul 25, 2007 08:58 AM

                      I'm not certain, but judging from a bad Wikipedia Italia translation, they look to be the same. If it's a thick, milky-colored, mainly almond-flavored syrup, orzata is awfully similar to orgeat. (Trivia: both words come from the same Latin root, meaning "made with barley", a former ingredient, and the same origin as the Spanish "horchata".)

                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        Allstonian RE: MC Slim JB Jul 25, 2007 09:36 AM

                        Yep - that's the stuff. I've loved it since I was a kid (also loved marzipan from an early age.) Barley, huh? It seems like an odd transition from barley to almonds. I know that the base of horchata is rice, but doesn't it have almond milk too?

                        This digression will probably get carted off to Spirits or Home Cooking or someplace soon, but if orgeat and orzata are reasonably equivalent it's worth knowing that orzata should be readily available in any shop that carry Italian syrups for drinks, such as a salumeria or an Italian bakery. It helps if the shop's a little on the old-fashioned side stockwise - the "traditional" flavors include orzata and tamarindo, but places that carry syrups mostly intended for flavored coffees (especially if they carry one of the French brands instead) might not have them.

                2. d
                  DoubleMan RE: daisy27 Jul 23, 2007 01:48 PM

                  I really like the Mai Tais at East Coast Grill. Dangerously smooth.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DoubleMan
                    phatchris RE: DoubleMan Jul 23, 2007 02:19 PM

                    Make sure to ask for the "man" Mai Tai at Billy Tse's and you will not be disapointed. Kowloon's are ok, but they are pre-mixed which kind of throws me off.

                  2. c
                    cambridgejen RE: daisy27 Jul 23, 2007 07:55 PM

                    The B-Side makes a mean mai tai (at least when Dave's working - not sure about the rest of the crew.) Probably the best I've had in Boston.

                    1. s
                      sara hedwog RE: daisy27 Jul 25, 2007 05:27 AM

                      chow chow city in chinatown makes a killer mai tai.. yummy

                      1. Kat RE: daisy27 Nov 25, 2007 06:59 AM

                        Does anyone know where I can find orgeat syrup in BostonCambridge/Metrowest? I'm putting mai tais on the Christmas party drink menu. Thanks!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kat
                          skokefoe RE: Kat Nov 25, 2007 11:42 AM

                          I got some at Capone Foods in Cambridge (Mass Ave, they've also got a location in Union Square in Somerville). I made a tasty mai tai with it...

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