brookline and allston eats
dchow and i had a late lunch at matt murphy's in brookline village yesterday, around 1:30-2ish. she ordered the lamb sandwich, and i got the fish and chips. i didn't taste the sandwich, but it looked good, although dchow said the bread (from hi-rise) was a little squishy. as i mentioned on another thread about matt murphy's, i was pretty disappointed in my f&c. fish was decent, but there was no crunch to the batter (breading?), and they were pretty pale and floppy. the chips were darker and crunchier than the fish! i didn't know if that was how the f&c at matt murphy's was always served, so maybe it was my fault that I didn't say anything. anyway, dchow and i stuck around for dessert. we wanted the baked apples with crumb topping and vanilla ice cream, but we were told that they didn't have any apples but could prepare the dessert with baked pears instead. we opted for the bread pudding dessert. it was good, althought a little on the too sweet side.
later in the afternoon we tried some hamentashen cookies we picked up from kupel's (apricot) and another bakery on harvard, "catering by andrew" (poppy, prune, raspberry, and apricot). the cookies from catering by andrew were bigger, much tastier ,and more buttery than the ones from kupel's. i wasn't a fan of the poppy, but i liked the apricot. didn't get to try the prune or raspberry.
for dinner, a friend and i walked over to shanghai gate and ordered the west lake chicken (a favorite), shanghai pan fried noodles with shrimp, and ma po tofu. the noodles were good, but we asked for some hot sauce for a little extra flavor/kick. the ma po tofu didn't taste like much expect for spice. my dc said the dish is usually prepared with ground pork, but our only had the tofu with some mushrooms and lots of spicy gravy.
for dessert we headed over to gitlo's for the much raved about creme brulee. not even thinking to ask how big they were, we ordered one each. the sugary topping was nice and crisp, but my creme had the consistency of thin pudding. i wish it could have been chilled a little longer, but then i noticed my dc's creme brulee was nice and thick. not sure why the two were so different. still very tasty though. i will be back for another with hopefully better results. the restaurant itself had gone through a few changes since i last visited - there are more clusters of tables, and the booths are gone. they've done some painting and i think added a few items to their menu. at around 8pm there was only 1 other couple eating dinner there. hopefully dinner business will pick up.
oh, earlier that afternoon as dchow and i were walking through brookline village, we saw a sign for orinoco. i'm not sure if the first location in the south end has closed, but it looks like they're opening a new location in brookline. i'm excited. i've attached a few photos from when i first ate there a few years ago. tasty!
BarmyFotheringayPhipps and I had the fish & chips at Matt Murphy's a few weeks ago, and were similarly disappointed - here's my report. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48751...
We haven't been to Gitlo's in a few weeks - will have to check out the improvements. They didn't actually have booths before, but a row of three 4-tops with banquettes along the wall and chairs on the outside. However, the old plush-covered banquettes weren't very nice, so it's good to hear that they're gone.
Kenny mentioned to us on one visit that he hadn't been aware of the unattractiveness of the previous decor - if I recall correctly, he said that he's color-blind!
I hate fish & chips so this post isn't about that. But my impression is that Matt Murphy's has become too much of a restaurant and has lost a chunk of its pubishness. One might say, "A restaurant should be more consistent than a pub," but that is not the reality. Almost all restaurants have kitchen issues from time to time.