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what's in coolidge corner?

hi everyone,

my office just moved to coolidge corner and i basically need a list of chow-worthy places in the area, preferably within walking distance. any cuisine, any price range. i know about kao sarn, lineage, fugakyu, boca grande (though i'm not sure if that's particularly chowish or not). places that are good for lunch, whether it's eat-in or take-out. we just need to know what's in the area. also, if you know of a place to get ice cream around there, that would be stellar.

thanks!

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  1. I was always fond of Gourmet India, the take out style Indian joint right at the Harvard/Beacon intersection. Good, cheap westernized Indian food, excellent naan.

    The Coolidge Corner Clubhouse is ok for some good pub grub and a pint. They have some of the best steak tips in the Boston area.

    Michael's Deli is one of THE BEST spots in New England for NY Style deli sandwiches. Hot pastrami and corned beef, reubens, pickles, Dr. Brown's cherry soda, etc. I am a huge fan of this place and miss it dearly since I left down.

    Rami's might make the best falafel in all of Boston. Super crisp, flavorful balls of goodness, great tahini, and a knockout hot sauce.

    Down towards Brookline Village there are some more good options. Sichuan Gourmet is a board favorite for authentic sichuan.

    The neighborhood is undergoing some real changes at the moment. A lot of chains are moving in.

    1. Ice cream is easy--JP Licks on Harvard walking toward Allston. Or, on a Thursday, the truck at the market in the parking lot on Centre St.

      I agree with a lot of the recs above, and would add Shawarama King (Beacon going toward Cleveland Circle) for shawarama (as you might have guessed), an alternative to Rami's falafel (not quite as good, I think, but rolled in a toasted pita which is a nice change), and some interesting daily specials. And I like Upper Crust, especially for lunch slices (ducking as various 'hounds throw things).

      Oh, and I also like Pho Lemongrass. It may not be the best Vietnamese in town, but the pho is good (especially during cold season), and I recently tried the roll-your-own lemongrass chicken in rice paper (bahn hoi, maybe?), which were really tasty although I made a right mess of trying to roll them.

      1. There are literally dozens of places so I'd suggest you walk around and pick up menus. If you go out on Beacon, on the north side the first food place is Bazaar, which has delicious take out of various kinds. You can ask what things are because the signage is often in Russian. Work your way back toward Harvard - Anna's Tacqueria, pizza place, Zenna noodle, Yasu Korean. That's one side. The other first food place - other than 7/11, which I don't count - is Shwarma King, then there's Victor's (mostly dinner), Bombay Bistro (v. good), the Indian buffet (which I don't like but . . .) and Quizno's. Pick another direction and do the same thing. Even Trader Joe's has prepared foods.

        I'll be honest: I read this post and wondered if it was for real because everyone in CC or anywhere in the area knows about JP Licks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lergnom

          What about 7 Subs at Centre and Beacon? I had forgotten about this place until yesterday after the Farmers market I saw they had added a tiny patio. My son used to love this place when he worked in CC but as they had no seating I never tried them.

          1. re: lergnom

            actually, i had no idea there was a j.p. licks there. i've never really spent any time in CC except for the occassional fugakyu run. now i know and knowing is half the battle...

          2. Try Tacqueria Mexico -- good lengua and horchata. Bazaar International Market is pretty good; I remember liking their kinkhali, an Armenian dumpling filled with meat and soup.

            2 Replies
            1. re: limster

              You guys have all covered the area very well.I'll add Dok Bua..1 of my favorite Thai in the Boston area.

              I think CC is a chow treasure land and often take the T out from downtown for Thai..Khao Sarn, Dok Bua, Bazaar and Michael's Deli.

              1. re: 9lives

                Bazaar has a daily lunch special, too. An entree and two veggies, for a very readonable price.. maybe $6 or $7....Of course, their veggire borscht is a great lunch, too. JP Licks for ice cream....

            2. Greats recs here for CC. I'll add Bottega Fiorentina on Harvard (actually a second one on Harvard towards Brookline Village) for serviceable, big, Italian sandwiches and I really like Boca Grande for burritos, etc.

              Unfortunately, JP Licks is it for ice cream in CC proper. I think it's about as tasty as supermarket ice cream, and would recommend a long walk or short T ride to Washington Sq. for Emack and Bolio's (which still pales in comparison to the Cambridge biggies).

              5 Replies
              1. re: Kip McSkipster

                I have to agree wholeheartedly with you about JP Licks....Frankly, I never understood the appeal. Half the times I've tried it, my ice cream tasted old/icy (maybe I'm just fond of unpopular flavors?).

                1. re: Science Chick

                  I also agree about JP Licks. They benefit from the lack of competition. For years I've been trying to talk Gus Rancatore, the owner of Toscanini's, into opening in Coolidge Corner. You might try the gelato at Athan's in Washington Square.

                  1. re: chuck s

                    Hey, that's a great suggestion! I was just there the other day, and had forgotten their beautiful selection of gelati....thanks!

                    1. re: chuck s

                      Yeah, I'll pile on against JP Licks as well. Both Emack and Bolio's and the gelato at Athan's (both in Washington Square a few stops up on the C-Line) are much better options. Note that the former tends to have seasonal hours like some Cape Cod establishments. Note in addition that Athan's also has first rate baked goods and candy.

                      1. re: chuck s

                        chuck, please tell Mr. Rancatore that here's one Brookline resident that will definitely patronize a CC Toscanini's. I've been longing for a neighborhood excuse to expand my waistline.