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Favorite out-of-context menu items?

finlero Sep 21, 2007 08:39 AM

Every once in a while, I come across a restaurant with an item or a small section of the menu that is totally out of context with the rest of the establishment. I love this because, as a rule, I find that these out-of-context menu items tend to be particlarly excellent, definitely there for a reason.

My favorite New England instance of this phenomenon is the Mexican menu at Bagel Gourmet in Providence (without a doubt the best breakfast burrito I've had east of the Mississippi). Less inspired, but by no means bad, was my recent experience with the empanadas at the Spotted Apron.

My question: where around Boston have you found great out-of-context chow hiding on the menu?

  1. hiddenboston Sep 21, 2007 08:59 AM

    Not great, but rather weird: the menu at the Concord Ave. Cafe in Cambridge includes lasagna, sushi, Korean soups, and ice cream. In other words, the entire menu is a bit out of context.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston
      Allstonian Sep 21, 2007 09:38 AM

      Similar to this, the menu at Jasmine Bistro has always seemed out of context with itself - French, Hungarian, and...Baluchistani??? I really really REALLY need to get over there and check it out - a week in Toronto and two meals at my favorite Hungarian restaurant there have left me pining for central European food (and yes, I also really need to get out to Dorchester and try Cafe Polonia! But that's another thread.)

    2. a
      AriannaC Sep 21, 2007 09:07 AM

      I often have dreams about Bagel Gourmet's breakfast burritos. They are... so delicious.

      1. MC Slim JB Sep 21, 2007 01:18 PM

        The new home of Chacarero on Province Street now serves -- breakfast?! Omelets, egg and cheese sandwiches (on that housemade *pan amasado*, nice), pancakes, muffins. No green beans on top, presumably. It also has seats inside, a welcome upgrade.

        1. b
          bear Sep 21, 2007 06:17 PM

          Actually, had a family friend over recently who wanted the fried wings from Great Wok in Arlington Heights. He was thrilled with the fried wings, and when I took a bite, I thought Americanized picnic fried chicken done okay.

          1. m
            Maddash Sep 21, 2007 03:53 PM

            Tater Tots at Butcher SHop? I haven't even had them, I just love that they're there.

            1. digga Sep 21, 2007 05:23 PM

              Korean handrolls at River Gods. The first time I went there and saw them on the menu, I was like, WTF?! Been eating them ever since, if only for the fun juxtaposition. (But really, yum.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: digga
                finlero Sep 21, 2007 05:53 PM

                Ooh, that's a good call. Along similar lines, they serve pretty good summer rolls at the cafe at Porter Square Books, next to all the scones and muffins. When they hit the spot, they really hit the spot.

                1. re: finlero
                  digga Sep 22, 2007 06:56 AM

                  I've wondered about those - I've seen them advertised in the window. Thanks for the reminder.

              2. l
                lergnom Sep 21, 2007 07:09 PM

                Totally out of context, no, but Romano's Pizza is mostly known for its Mexican food. I like their tamales.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lergnom
                  MC Slim JB Sep 22, 2007 05:03 AM

                  I like the tacos at Romano's, too. It so looks like a 40s- or 50s-vintage pizza place, and I think their regular pizzas are unremarkable, but they do a very nice Sicilian slice, apparently because their pie-maker once worked at Pinocchio's.

                2. The Chowhound Team Sep 21, 2007 08:06 PM

                  Folks, we've removed some off topic replies. Please help us keep this board focused on discussing chow in Boston. We've removed some off topic replies. If you want to launch a larger discussion about restaurant menus in general, please start a new thread on the General Topics board. Thanks.

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