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LA chound: how's my food list?

i'm a regular on the los angeles boards and am visiting boston next weekend. as much as i'd like to organize our trip around food, i'm trying to pick places that are mtba convenient and located in or near places of interest ( my husband went to college in the area so he wants to take me to a few specific places). we're staying at the hyatt regency cambridge. here are my picks so far:

- flour bakery (is south end a fun place to walk around?)
- istanbul cafe (i'm going specifically for the iskendar kebab, can't find it in LA)
- kelly's for lobster rolls in medford due to its proximity to the orange line
- stephanie's on newbury

any other must-eats? we're both grad students so preferably on the inexpensive end.

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  1. That's an awfully strange list... I wouldn't classify any of those as must-eats.

    Unless you want to get a car and head up to somewhere remote for a real "lobster roll on the beach" kind of experience, I would recommend walking from the hotel over to Alive & Kicking for a lobster sandwich and eating it over by the river.

    Istanbul Cafe closed a while ago (someone correct me if I'm thinking of the wrong place). Especially on a student budget, I think everyone would agree that you should go to Brookline Family Restaurant for iskender kebab.

    Not sure why you are interested in Flour, but if you're after sandwiches, or pastry, or whatever, there's something better elsewhere.

    1. As Luther said, istanbul closed and Brookline Family Restaurant is good and 2 min from the Brookline Village T. I think that Kelly's is probably worth the jaunt on theorange line (unless they're running buses from Downtown Crossing like they were last weekend), I just had a lobster roll there yesterday and it's jammed with meat (almost too much) on a nicely grilled hot dog bun, worth the $16.95. You might want to combine a Regina visit while you're there.

      I think Flour's a good bakery, not the most convenient but then again, nothing's convenient to the Hyatt Regency. But yes, you could go to Flour then walk down Washington St. and take a left over to Tremont St. where there's a lot of stuff. I also like the cafe on Columbus Ave. by Mass Ave. whose name escapes me. Very pleasant place. Nice higher end dining there too. And if you want to spend $8 more than Kelly's, you can get the lobster roll at B&G.

      Everyone here will tell you to skip Stephanie's. I don't hate it but depending on what you want (outdoor seating?), there are probably better places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        I think Flour's way better than a shrug of the shoulders, but otherwise, yes, most hounds will tell you that's not a "must-eats" list. Could you be more specific about the "places of interest" you'll be near so we can direct you to nearby eateries?

      2. Flour has a second location now near the Children's Museum just off of Congress, I think it is Farnsworth St. Fire House Museum is on the corner. It would be closer to most of the tourist sites and has more seating than the South End. The sandwichs are very good and run about $7.

        1. I don't know why on earth you'd use the orange line to get to the Kelly's in Medford, take the blue line to the one in Revere on the beach. The Wellington stop is probably Massachusetts' least pedestrian friendly.

          That is a pretty odd list, I'd ditch Stephanie's too, maybe sub in No. 9, Hamersley's or Troquet for your more expensive meal. In that neighborhood a great place to stop for coffee is the cafe in the Boston Public Library, the coffee isn't that good but the building is fantastic.

          The Helmand, not far from your hotel, is a board favourite.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sailormouth

            The Kelly's on Revere Beach is fine if you don't mind eating outside surrounded by hungry and pushy seagulls. You can eat inside at the one in Medford.

            1. re: bachslunch

              Growing up eating at Kelly's you just need to learn to "defend your food" as my friends use to say! The original is always the best in my opinion.

              1. re: bachslunch

                So? I'm bigger than they are. I agree with Elyssa, going to any Kelly's besides Revere Beach is like going to any Regina besides Thacher Street: it's a weak substitution.

                Speaking of: Regina's on Thacher Street.

                1. re: bachslunch

                  I went to kelly's in Revere for the first and last time last summer - the food was ok, but the beach was just disgusting.

                  the seagulls are the least of it - the garbage is over the top (which would presumably explain why there are so many seagulls?). I don't know how people can overlook this aspect of things - whole bags of fast food trash left on strewn on the sand when there are TONS of garbage cans 5 or 10 feet away. Honestly, Revere Beach is the epitome of filth in summer. This is the worst environment the city has to offer, in my opinion.

                  If that kind of thing is something you can tune out, the food at Kelly's is fine.

                  The shop at Wellington is chain like. It's ok.

              2. Especially since you're staying at the Hyatt Regency, I'd make it a point to check out Baraka Cafe on your side of Central Square for North African. It's relatively inexpensive, and the food is simply outstanding. Definitely worth calling 36 hours in advance to order the squab b'stilla, unique in Boston and most of the country. Also terrific is the spiced lemonade with rose petals. [NB cash only and no alcohol.]

                4 Replies
                1. re: finlero

                  ...unless you don't generally like rose-flavored things, in which case the spiced lemonade tastes like the soap at your hotel.

                  1. re: Luther

                    Along those lines, I recently tried the rose ice cream from Christina's in Inman, and was instantly transported against my will into my grandmother's bathroom. Not cool.

                    Not sure why I like the Baraka lemonade and hate Christina's rose ice cream, but that's just how it is.

                    1. re: finlero

                      I had the same reaction with Christina's rose, although after a while, I was able to work past the grandma memories. It was not easy, though.
                      I think it's partly a textural memory - Grandma's soap was not liquid soap. ;)

                      As for the OP, another thing you likely cannot get in LA is Portugeuse food, which you can find not too far from your hotel at Atasca and, my preference, O Cantinho. Then you can walk over to Christina's for more rose ice cream after dinner.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                        Hey, what were you doing in my grandma's bathroom?!