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Oct 31, 2007 01:03 PM

Where to eat near SOWA Galleries, not Rocca or Gaslight

I'm going to first Friday @ the galleries and would like to have dinner in the area afterwards. I've been to Rocca ( when it first opened) and Gaslight (recently.) I'm not dying to go back to either. I'm open to any type of cuisine.

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  1. A short walk away:

    5 Replies
    1. re: gini

      Ya know (and you might laugh about this), JJ Foley's has decent food. And cheap.

      The Franklin Cafe also comes to mind.

      Red Fez is in the area too, but that place turns me off in almost every way.

      1. re: Bostonbob3

        JJ Foley's has food? That's crazy!

          1. re: gini

            Foley's in the SE has food. The Foley's Cafe side (recently opened).

            I DO really like Franklin Cafe's food, and dislike the Red Fez.

            (Oh, and what's the Carribean or Jamaican place on Harrison? Never been, but it always smells really good when I walk by.)

            1. re: Bostonbob3

              I second JJ Foley's if you are in the mood for something totally casual and pubby. A solid burger, good sandwiches and perfectly respectable pub food. Plus some good beers on tap.
              I wouldn't go to Red Fez, I haven't heard anything good about them in a while.
              As Gini says, you can cross up to Washington Street and then you have a bunch of restaurants to chose from: Sage, Union, Pho Republique, Toro, Stella, etc. They are all different but have good things to offer in their own way, just depends what you're looking for.

      2. Pardon if I repeat some previous ones:

        J.J. Foley's Cafe -- good bar staples and Irish-inspired food in an old tavern setting: excellent burger, turkey burger, shepherd's pie, steak tips, chicken wings. Avoid the Cheez-Whiz-drenched nachos, the only bad dish I've had there. A recent special of "pot roast" was terrific, more like an oven roast than the expected braise, or maybe it was just the chunky cut. This place seems to be catching on, busier even without playoff games on, which I'm glad to see.

        Meyers + Chang -- new pan-Asian place at the corner of E. Berkeley and Washington, stylish and pricey (small portions for the money) but very good all the same.

        Oishii Boston -- very expensive, very good sushi with somewhat stylized atmosphere and service.

        Franklin Cafe -- always a favorite of mine, and much less packed lately than in past years, no doubt due to all the new competition. I had less than an hour wait on a recent weekend at prime-time, about half what it would have been a year ago.

        The Dish -- very good pizza, good entrees, a cozy neighborhood spot.

        Morse Fish -- cheap, very fresh seafood, counter service, flourescent lights, styrofoam boxes, and plastic cutlery. Closes early-ish (8pm).

        Sage and Union -- both have more reasonable bar menus. Union has an excellent-value $40 prix fixe at the moment, with matched wines for another $28.

        The Red Fez is indeed on the skids foodwise, a real shame. They don't even serve pita with their Middle Eastern and North African menu, a testament to how little they give a damn anymore.

        I'm very interested to see South End Buttery's full dinner menu once they finish their next-door expansion (which doesn't look like it will open before spring). Marissa Iocco is running that kitchen now, and her influence already shows in the much-improved sandwiches at lunch.

        Other places nearby that I avoid: Alex Pizza, a generic-with-a-capital-G Greek pizza joint, Joe V's, a corner Italian-American I wish had better food (the produce always looks past its prime), Pho Republique, a place with great atmosphere whose pan-Asian menu always underwhelms and then shocks me with the tab.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          As someone who routinely cringes at "Hammersley's" and mocks the misplaced or misbegotten apostrophe in restaurant names, I must correct my own error (thanks for the pointer, a l i c e !): it's Myers+Chang, not Meyers. Sorry, Christopher!

        2. (Oh, and what's the Carribean or Jamaican place on Harrison? Never been, but it always smells really good when I walk by.)

          Anyone know the deal on this place?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

            The only places I can think of on/near Harrison that haven't been mentioned are mainly breakfast/lunch spots catering to area workers, including:

            Andre's Cafe -- Greek/American (perhaps Lebanese) lunch spot near Boston Medical: sandwiches, burgers, wraps, shwarma, frozen yogurt.

            Hidden Kitchen -- on Albany St, almost a literal hole-in-the-wall Greek/American lunch spot, actually pretty fresh and tasty.

            El Triunfo -- on E Berkeley between Washington and Harrison, a Salvadoran-owned burrito joint.

            The only Carribean place I know of sort of nearby is Ali's Roti on Tremont west of Mass Ave. I understand its sibling in Mattapan produces superior rotis. This one's are just okay.

            The only other places along Harrison that I know of are a couple of unremarkable pizza pads. Would love to learn about someplace new or otherwise undiscovered!