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Hungry Mother of Cambridge open!

Stopped by Hungry Mother of Cambridge (http://www.hungrymothercambridge.com/) last night for its opening night. We live around the corner and have been avidly watching all the renovation, waiting for something new to open in this space. We stopped by after the Mr. had class so we were just in for drinks and dessert. We were very excited to see their wine list, as this is something notably lacking at this end of Cambridge. The menu looked good, and there is an organic sustainable bent mixed with a southern flair. The bartender said they make everything in house, except the bread and perhaps the ketchup. Upon asking he noted that they buy half a cow regularly from a farm in New York, and the meat is grass-fed. The guy next to us at the bar was raving about the catfish as well. The Mr. and I enjoyed a glass of the Malbec and the Merlot, and we tried the chocolate pot de creme with cardamom which was tasty. I am definitely looking forward to going back and trying a full meal!

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  1. I took a look at the menu yesterday and was very interested. It is so nice to be presented with some really different choices. I have some questions for you.

    It sounds as if you dined at the bar. Is it a comfortable dining bar and is the full menu served at the bar?

    And then, the question that only seems to matter to me-- what does Hungry Mother sound like? What type of music are they playing? Vocals? Volume level, general noise, can you hold a semi-quiet conversation?

    2 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      Indeed, we did sit at the bar. Quite comfortable. Probably 8 seats or so at an L-shaped bar, and two 4 tops in the front of the restaurant. Then you go up a short flight of stairs to get to the rest of the restaurant in back. There is a great nook in back, which it looks like they renovated to put a few small tables in, looks good for intimate dining. Up front in the bar area, the noise level was fine. Mellow mix of music, think jack johnson. At the bar there was some noise from what I assume was the dishwashing station behind the half-wall, but it was fine, just a few loud noises now and again, but never had to shout or talk too loudly. Could perfectly hear the person next to you. Might want to sit at an actual table if you wanted to have a private conversation but that is probably because everyone at the bar was friendly and curious to see who else in the neighborhood was out :) And yes a full menu was available at the bar. Right now the kitchen is open for dinner from 5-10, but they mentioned last night that they are thinking about a late nite menu as the bar is open until 1.

      1. re: midnightmorningglory

        Thanks MidnightMG! Sounds like a fit for us. I'll put it on my "try it soon" list.

    2. Is this in the space that used to be the Kendall Cafe?

      2 Replies
      1. Can't get the dinner menu to come up on their site...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Gabatta

          Depending on which browser you use, make sure pop-up windows are enabled for the site. All menus come up fine for me (using Firefox).

          1. re: digga

            OT: New laptop and I HATE Vista! I haven't yet downloaded Firefox but will do so now...

            1. re: Gabatta

              try pressing Ctrl when clicking on menus.

          2. re: Gabatta

            Not to mention its totally flash based. That's the surest sign of a loser operation.

          3. Heading over tomorrow night -- report to follow.

            1. Excited at the thought of being able to munch on peanuts while having drinks. Have not been able to do that since my Moan & Dove days in Amherst. Of course, if there is a good bar in Boston that offers free or cheap roasted in the shell peanuts, please do tell.

              1. Stopped by last night just before 6pm before meeting up w/DC's for Blue Room RW. Bar was already full. Graciously greeted by owners and waitstaff as I took a look around. Absolutely loved the cozy feel of the place. Menu prices very reasonable. Brought back DC's after dinner and they loved the look & feel of the place too. Bar absolutely packed and several tables in dining room by 8:30. We all will definitely be going there before movies and just in general as some of us work nearby. http://www.hungrymothercambridge.com/...

                1. Had dinner at the bar on Wednesday. Good stuff. A quality not-expensive bistro-ish wine list, ranging roughly $25-70/bottle. Attractive selection of smaller plates as well as entrees. Had the shrimp & grits, the grass fed steak, some brussels sprouts, sticky bun a la mode, a good red burg, all quite excellent. Will be back for sure.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jajjguy

                    How were the brussels sprouts prepared?

                    1. re: maillard

                      O...K... well, they were very tender and savory, and coated in some kind of oil, so I'd guess that they were sauteed, or maybe braised. A straightforward and very tasty presentation.

                      1. re: jajjguy

                        On further reflection, they must have been braised, or possibly steamed and then sauteed. They were very soft all the way through.

                  2. went tonight. and had to report: run don't walk to HM!

                    An absolutely amazing renovation of the Kendall Cafe/The Swan. Service will work itself out, but we were amazed by the food.

                    Drinks: awesome beer listing, mostly microbrews (Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye), good price, real pint

                    Starters: green salad with beets-- lovely
                    butterbean soup--just divine
                    Iggy's bread to complement (tho, i'm not sure b/c the wheat seemed dark for Iggy's)

                    Main:
                    Pork shoulder $19: phenomenal, DC could not stop raving about how amazing the pork was. he threatened to be back tomorrow.
                    Catfish with collard greens and cauliflower $16: delicious tender fish over bright green slightly lemony collard greens

                    Dessert:
                    pot de creme (chocolate/cardamom): rich and creamy with beautiful cups of coffee and tea.

                    This place is our new favorite (see how easy that is ;)...good food, fair price for Kendall Sqr.

                    some interesting notes: they have Brooklyn 1 Belgium in a bottle (very unusual around here); the gnocci was $17, which was funny I thought b/c the catfish was $16, so i expect some pricing adjustments. The main dining room (up those 4 steps) held about 10 tables. The bathrooms were cleverly decorated with pages from cookbooks :)

                    hooray, great to have HM in the 'hood!

                    1. Wow. A week in, and the place is already solid. Great beer/wine list. I'd be raving about the steak, except the pork shoulder beat everything on the table tonight -- completely superlative, smoked with apple/hickory, served with awesome grits.

                      And it's only going to get better.

                      1. Went tonight with a friend and had the following:

                        Peanuts - about 1.5 dozen boiled peanuts with a sprinkling of coarse salt/sea salt, wonderful to pick on, but for $3, it is only fitting as a bridge to an appetizer which is how the waitress framed it. It is decidedly not a good choice for sitting at the bar with beer given the price.

                        Beef Tongue canape - tender thick slices of tongue with sauce and slight bit of gruyere melted on top. The sauce had an extremely acrid/bitter after-taste, as if there was some uncooked alcohol left in the sauce.

                        Beet Salad - straightforward, fresh, nothing to see here
                        Shrimp & Grits - ham & grits were excellent, shrimp(3) seemed to have been cooked to order and then added to the grits before being served, while this made the shrimp very tender, they did not taste like they belonged with the grits

                        Pork Shoulder - not sure of other experiences but got about a dozen cubes of pork where I was expecting a big chunk (did not bother asking.) About half the cubes were very tender without another handful being on the dry side, but overall, neither I or my DC could say that the pork had an appreciable flavor beyond being porky and meaty. The grits tied everything together well and the lone rib was pretty tasty.
                        Catfish - tender fish, but not particularly sweet or flavorful, collard greens in the lemon/butter? sauce were excellent.

                        Sticky Bun - I felt there was something odd to the consistency of the bun, a tad too cake-like perhaps or perhaps that they had microwaved it to warm it up, I'm not all that sure. The taste and the flavor of the bun with the ice cream was delicious however.

                        Drinks:
                        #2 - the sorghum syrup seemed to overwhelm the drink with too much sweetness while there was nothing to balance out the bourbon in other similar preparations like a manhattan or sazerac, which are my usual orders. Additionally, peanuts did not seem to lend anything to the drink.
                        #14 - completely devoid of any character, slight taste of rum but definitely no applejack or lillet
                        #18 - DC liked this one, you knew the tequila was there but it was rounded out by the sparkling wine

                        I'm not sure what to make of this visit, it was somewhat disappointing given the house mixed drinks, and the food was OK, hits and misses. I am not sure if my choice of cocktails affected my taste buds which admittedly are not the sharpest to begin with but I did make an effort to rinse down with water as often as I could. I definitely would look forward to coming back and trying the other dishes but would likely stick to just beer on the next go-around. I wish they had grits as a menu item, grits gumbo perhaps.

                        1. A group of us went to Hungry Mother for Easter dinner. We ordered 5 out of the 6 "to tide you over" offerings: Pork Rillettes, Spicy Pimento Cheese, Deviled Eggs w/ bacon, Boiled Virgina Peanuts and a beef tongue canape. I really enjoyed the small bites. The deviled egg came with 3 halves, each with a large bacon sail nestled in to the yolk – very tasty. The boiled peanuts were classic, like you would get in a roadside store down south. My favorite single bite of the whole dinner was the beef tongue. It was tender, and flavorful.

                          For my main course I had the catfish with collard greens and cauliflower, and a side order of grits w/ tasso ham and cheese. The catfish was cornmeal coated and pan fried, instead of deep frying, so it wasn't greasy at all. I liked the collards a lot, they were not cooked to dead limpness as most are. The cauliflower was good, but it was scattered all over my plate, like a garnish, instead of a side. There were also croûton like bread cubes, which I didn't really understand. The grits were good, with a nice salty edge from the tasso. DC had the braised pork shoulder; it came with one perfect smoky rib. The pork shoulder pieces were a conundrum: it was very tender, yet a little on the dry side. Usually one precludes the other. DC also got cornbread, which also dry. I also sampled the gnocchi, which was light and not at all doughy. Someone did get the chicken, but I did not try it. He proclaimed that the chicken was very good and cleaned his plate.

                          Dessert was unimpressive. I got a chocolate cardamom pot de creme and although I liked the flavor, the texture was way off. Pot de cremes are supposed be a soft, silky, smooth custard. This was more like a thick chocolate ganache in a ramekin. It was served cold and you needed force to get a spoonful. It was better when it warmed up a little, but come on folks, this is not a pot de creme recipe you have here. DC got the sticky bun, it was small but decent flavor.

                          The service was very attentive and friendly, and the remodel of the restaurant looks great. I think it's a nice addition to the area.

                          gltsoi.livejournal.com

                          1. Stopped by Hungry Mother for dinner at the bar. Small, clean space on the first level with 7 or 8 bar seats and a pair of high tops for 4. Kitchen directly in front of you when you walk in, as well as a wall listing all of the people who helped fund the place when they were getting strapped for cash (those pesky restaurants aren't cheap to open, you know).

                            Menu is in 4 sections, a small bites "to tide you over", apps, mains, sides. Ice water in mason jars. Started with beef tongue canape, fried oysters, and pork rillettes from small bites. Oysters crispy, cornmeal fried with small bit of slaw and lemon. Good start. Beef tongue, meaty, mustard, soaking into bread. Oh yea. Pork was about a sake glass full with toasted baguette, cornichons, and dijon. Simple but tasty. Kitchen is likely helped out by having these little plates, by getting people something to eat that is fairly easy to prepare and not having to wait too long for apps and such. Seemed like a tiny kitchen. Wine list seemed pretty solid with glasses starting at 6 or so and bottles ranging up into the 75 dollar range. Had a half bottle of sauv. blanc for 22. Very solid crisp white.

                            Next was apps, which I had the BBQ Quail, served with quail egg, aioli of some sorts, and fried green tomatoes. Quail was nicely charred, perfectly cooked, and just overall terrific. Fried green tomatoes, crisp breading, nice with the aioli and some of the quail. Felt like a slob eating the quail with my hands. Who cares.

                            A glass of chenin blanc for about 7 or 8 bucks and the next course was catfish. Was originally going to get the pork, but catfish at a 'southernish' place sounded right. A slight delay between courses (more later), but alas I had my supper. Fried catfish was moist, well seasoned and served with a charred cauliflower salad with capers, bright collards, and one of my favorite things, very very small crisp croutons. They add a nice bit of crunch to the dish. A pretty good value at 16. Nicely done.

                            Midway through the catfish I asked the bartender, Ned to recommend another glass of white and he poured me an interesting glass of a German wine, I don't remember which one though (uh oh)...

                            Pot De Creme with cardomon was very rich, and as noted above very thick, but hey I like it and it tasted pretty damn good. Lemon shortbread with it was very nicely done, light and crisp. Coffee was delicious, from Cafe Nation in Allston.

                            Upstairs dining room cozy, but not cramped with a separate area to the right with a few tables tucked away. Bathroom has Mastering the art of french cooking by JC as wall paper. Cool touch. Was told that the other bathroom had a virginia housewife cook book in the same manner.

                            To wrap it up, I had a very solid experience. Great service, moderately priced, cool ambiance (maybe some postal service, jack johnson, and bands of that like playing, but not too loudly, it would be cool to check it out a little later at night, see if they turn it up and make it more of a late night place), solid food, and drink. Another note is that they try to use as much local product as possible (which is very little in march) and recycle and compost 90 percent of their waste. When my main seemed to take a while, one of the owners came over and asked me how my app was, thanked me for coming, asked me how I heard about them (chowhound of course), and later my dessert and coffee was taken care of by the house. Nice touch.

                            Overall one of the better meals I have eaten in Boston in a long time, and somewhere that is not crazy expensive that makes it hard to frequent. If it is grouped in with say Rendevous, Central Kitchen, PRB, Eastern Standard, and restaurants of that type($15-$25 entrees), then I say they are far ahead in terms of food. I can't wait to get back next week to get through more of the menu. The place has love.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: BeantownHound

                              I was also there -- we started with the deviled eggs with the homemade bacon. They were solid -- not Oleana fantastic -- but solid and the bacon is a nice, nice touch. I had the catfish; my dc had the steak. I think I won. The catfish was as Beantown describes. The steak is a "bistro cut" and I'm just a little spoiled by buying and cooking nice cuts from Savenor's. It's hard to impress me at this price point -- but I respect the choice to have it on the menu. We shared a side of grits -- and, not a grits fan when walking in, I was when walking out. We didn't have room for dessert -- and were happy to retreat home to girl scout cookies.

                              I do think this is Central Kitchen like with a great (although small) bar and attention to decor and cocktails. You get a certain feeling of love and local-ness in the remodeled joint. It is nice to be among people who care about the details -- good music, quality ingredients, and a careful enviro footprint.

                            2. Went on Saturday night, the 22nd.
                              Unlike avial's, in my No. 2 cocktail, the sorghum syrup was barely noticeable. A strong bourbon manhattan - I did not detect any peanut flavor from the boiled peanut, but I did enjoy eating it.
                              Fried oysters were very good - celeriac slaw had a nice bite.
                              Apps of quail and cornbread on the side - both excellent.
                              Dinner of pork shoulder - very smoky flavor, again unlike avial's experience. The grits were excellent. No dried bits, although was expecting a large piece of meat rather than the chunks of shoulder plus a rib.
                              GF had the catfish - she seemed to enjoy it very much. I thought it was a little bland, but that was in comparison to my pork.
                              Pot de creme - very cardamom-y - very thick, but not having any particular knowledge of the form, did not see this as a problem. I trust that gltsoi is on point that this should be lighter.
                              The upstairs space is a huge improvement over the prior incarnation. Prices are reasonable - (mostly upper teens for entrees)
                              Any problems I owe to it being their first weekend. Will definitely try it again.

                              1. A friend and I had an excellent dinner here last night. Started with the boiled peanuts. I had no idea what to expect but we got a bowl of peanuts in their shells, hot and wet from boiling, and sprinkled with coarse salt, together with a bowl for the shells. The peanuts were soft (think edamame or chickpeas for texture) and the peanut flavor seemed concentrated. Very interesting. Excellent bread with an excellent pat of butter sprinkled with more coarse salt. We shared the plate of Virginia Wigwam ham, a generous portion served on a wooden board drizzled with EVOO and accompanied by grilled ciabatta, fig compote, marinated picholine olives and pickled peppers. I cannot remember when I have enjoyed anything more. The ham had a lovely but not overpowering smokiness and was as tender as can be. Placing it atop the grilled bread intensified the smokiness perfectly. I would have told you I didn't care much for fig compote or pickled peppers but I would have been wrong -- they were terrific complements to each other and to the ham. The olives too were a great assertive note. (Eating this I actually thought to myself that I wished I had Limster's facility for describing food.) We each had the lovely crispy-coated catfish, accompanied by collards with a nice bite to them (unlike the Blue Ribbon ones which I also love but which have been thoroughly cooked into submission), and wonderful roasted cauliflower with capers and a slightly mustardy grenobloise sauce. (No sign of the previously-mentioned croutons.) Each component was perfect and they worked together beautifully. Service was very pleasant and attentive (water glasses refilled probably 4 or 5 times, more bread offered), including a very warm greeting by the host. And just to top it all off, this was an amazing value, 2 glasses of wine and a club soda bringing the total to $66. The dining room was nearly empty (we were quite early) but starting to fill about 7:45 when we left. My advice: run, don't walk to Hungry Mother of Cambridge. I hope I enjoy my meal at Il Cappriccio, where I am being taken tonight, half as much.

                                1. I couldn't escape the incessant mumblings about this new joint from all the reg peeps so took DC the other night to investigate. Way beyond what I expected for an upstart restaurant like this. Usually try to wait for a new joint to age respectively like fine wine before I put my two cents in but this place has the BUZZ. Stylish and homey, simple menu not overdone or overcomplicated, ill layout on the list, vaguely recognized my server D from runnin' plates of fois @ ES. If this is the future of the Boston scene than praise be to the J man. Dinner went; Peanuts and Oysters (would order every visit), Shrimp and Grits (fresh), Pork Shoulder and Catfish (whatever secrets FRANK was hipping BARRY to have been taken to another level). Service was what you would expect to find at some of the $$$ joints operatin' for many millenia not a two week old southern/french Kendall Square JOINT. Much props to D. Drinks were nice on the list but fell short in execution (maybe a two week crash course at ES or the B SIDE). Overall and ILL night out. Looks like it's gonna be POTBELLIES, HM, and THE BEEHIVE all summer.

                                  1. Went back last night, and I'm happy to report a repeat of our first excellent evening there. Beef tongue canape, catfish, pork shoulder, side of collard greens, bottle of Languedoc red, all excellent.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: jajjguy

                                      I sat at the bar, didn't have time to eat, will next time.... Spoke to an owner, they just hired Christian Rojas for their new sous chef (studied under Adam Hallberg from Via Matta). As as side note, I know this is completely ignorant, but what the heck is a DC?

                                      1. re: trotliner

                                        "DC" Usually stands for "Dining Companion"

                                        1. re: Food4Thought

                                          While we're at it, what is DH? I can only think of designated hitter (but I knew DC).

                                            1. re: Taralli

                                              I've always thought Dear Husband, too.

                                              1. re: pollystyrene

                                                Yes it's Dear Husband. When I first started reading here I thought DC meant Dear Chowhound.

                                            2. re: Joanie

                                              I always thought DH stood dedicated hound.

                                      2. Mr. and I tried Hungry Mother off these positive CH reviews. We were really pleased with the restaurant. I started with the chilled fennel soup which was perfect on an 80 degree day. ( Just a side note: the anise/ licorice flavor of the fennel wasn't noticeable. For some that will be a good thing for others you might be disappointed.) For my main dish I had the pork shoulder. The meat was tender and the sauce very balanced. Sometimes sweet sauces like that can be too strong but this was just the right amount of sweetness and smokiness. Mr. had the steak with fingerling potatoes and practically licked his plate clean.

                                        I'll give the other cocktails a whirl but the No.1 was nothing special (Dr. Pepper, Old Overholt Rye, bitters) I love Dr. Pepper and rye and thought this would be a drink for me but the rye kind of kills the weirdness of Dr.Pepper and it just ends up tasting like a too sweet manhattan. Also Dr.P is one of those sodas (like root beer) that goes flat almost instantly so the drink also reminded me of flat Coke.

                                        Anyway, we will certainly return to Hungry Mother. The atmosphere was relaxed and airy. Music was good (Beatles, Spoon) but as others have mentioned not too loud.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: heypielady

                                          You weren't there last night, were you? There was a big group of hounds checking it out (report forthcoming) and one two-top kept staring at us. Could have been the freakish beauty, but might have been fellow hounds?

                                          1. re: yumyum

                                            Yes, I was there last night at 6:00. But we had a two top on the former stage on the left if you were facing the windows but in the non-window corner. Mr. had his back to the dining room and was disappointed he could only eavesdrop and not do any staring.

                                            1. re: heypielady

                                              Sweet houndly coincidence! I really loved the place. The renovation is amazing (having frequented the Kendall Cafe) and the food was super. I especially liked the deviled eggs, they are from Chip-in farm and have a piece of bacon poked into the filling. I've been seeing deviled eggs on a lot of menus lately -- most recently at Highland Kitchen. These were better.

                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                I love deviled eggs. My mom always made them at every family party and its nice to see them making a come back. Next time I go to the movies at Kendall Sq. I want to pop in here for some post movie beers, snacks, and possibly buttermilk pie which I was too full for last night. Did any CHer's try it yet?

                                                1. re: heypielady

                                                  My mom too. Still does. And she tells me they ALWAYS get snapped right up.

                                                  We had the cardamom pots de creme. We also saw Dax's doppelganger at the bar, and Rachel remembered him from Rachel's kitchen. Dax if you are reading, I think you'd like Hungry Mother.

                                                  1. re: yumyum

                                                    My doppleganger? Chipper Jones was there?

                                                    I am so glad that HM is doing well, along with Rachel.

                                                    My mom always does deviled eggs too, and claims the same.

                                                    Hound meal sounds awesome.

                                        2. As hinted at coyly by yumyum, a group of hounds and FOH's (friends of hounds) descended upon Hungry Mother last night. Overall impression of the food was excellent. Hungry Mother has a small focused menu, with a small bites section, regular appetizer section, and then the full entrée section.

                                          We started with a couple orders of the beef tongue, boiled peanuts, the pimento cheese spread, and deviled eggs. All good. Who doesn’t like a little tongue? It was served baked on bread with a cheese topping and had a nice porky taste to it. The pimento spread had just a little kick.

                                          Most of the table shared many items. The shrimp and grits, apparently a defining “low country” dish according to some, was tasty, almost gumbo-like to me, though not as spicy. The pork shoulder-and-rib entrée satisfactorily supplied the pork element to the dinner. The fried oysters and its remoulade were awesome. The catfish was also fried well and tasty. I LOVED the grilled chicken sausage. Collard greens were good, maybe too good--I'm used to them being more wilted.

                                          A couple of us broke away from the group and shared the chilled fennel soup, already described well in this thread, and the gnocchi, which consisted of nicely firm pasta and had a springy, earthy sauce. Way up there on the gnocchi scale.

                                          I will definitely go back to try the few items on the menu we didn’t have, as well as another round of oysters, tongue, and soup. Or whatever they may change to, assuming the menu changes.

                                          Oh, I also had the No 14 cocktail, consisting primarily of Gosling’s Rum and Cointreau, plus some other stuff. It was good, I’ll get it again. Summery tasting to me.

                                          The rooms are cleverly designed. Our table was a little loud at times.

                                          EDIT: Totally forgot the amazing chocolate pot de creme. The cardemom totally made this dessert work for me and many others.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Alcachofa

                                            Thanks for the writeup alcachofa ... we tried a little bit of everything didn't we?

                                            My favorites were the tongue canape, the clams, the pimiento cheese and the eggs. I guess I just really dug the little bites. I love me some grits and they do a nice job, but I was disappointed by the shrimp they used, those little baby ones. The dish would be a gazillion times better with just 3 or 4 jumbo shrimp instead. I actually prefer my collards cooked to death, but man that pork was good. Oh boy.

                                            Our table WAS loud. I do think the Veritas contributed to that.

                                            Service was mellow and gracious -- my only quibble, and it's minor, was that they were slightly flummoxed by our ordering family-style. This seems like the kind of place to do that -- order everything and share. The waitress was happy to take our order that way, but we ran out of silverware, there weren't any serving spoons, and the side plates were too small for the food. I bet they'll get the hang of it if more people take that approach.

                                            1. re: yumyum

                                              A few of us will be descending upon them next Tuesday for a, hopefully, family style meal as well. When I went a couple of weeks ago with a DC, no trouble in the bar area splitting up our choices to share.

                                              1. re: Taralli

                                                I think you'll be fine. I'm sure splitting at the bar wouldn't throw them but we were 8 loud people. If you keep your eye on the cutlery and just ask if they're not on top of it, there shouldn't be a problem. I like that you can order an appetizer portion of grits and shrimp or a large to share with the table. Now if only they were nice big BBQ shrimp instead of the little guys.

                                          2. They featured Veritas wines from Virginia which I enjoyed, the Rose was perfect for such a warm evening, and had tempranillo during dinner.

                                            I'd go back especially for the tongue, oysters with the spicy slaw, and choc/cardamom pot de creme. And if there were seats I think it would be fun to sit at the bar; the bartenders are great.

                                            The menu didn't have the Virginia ham that Gretchen had mentioned in previous post, but if it were on the menu I'd definitely get that. I'd also like to try the quail.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Niblet

                                              My apologies, I did not mention we had a couple bottles of Verdad (not Veritas) wine. Both the rose and the termpranillo were good for the price (mid/high 30s). ¡Es la verdad!

                                            2. Went to Hungry Mother with a friend this evening - the food was fantastic! Everyone was super friendly - it was clear that they're still in that sort of really anxious, hope everyone likes us and we make it through kind of phase. I hope they're as attentive and friendly six months from now - this place is clearly going to succeed. We both had cocktails, which were unusual but both really good. one was a combination of sparkling wine, homemade grenadine and somethign else - a nice, light summery drink, the other was a combination of sweet tea and bourbon which could quickly and easily become dangerous.

                                              We started with boiled peanuts which had yummy gray sea salt on them. I had the gnocchi, which was surprisingly and very pleasantly light. Unlike many very heavy gnocchi, this dish was almost refreshing in its lightness - you didn't feel overwhelmed or too full afterward, and you felt like you could enjoy each bite. The mushrooms included with the dish were tasty and generous, and there was a nice mix of greens to round out the plate.

                                              My friend had the pork shoulder, which came with grits, and was very pleased with it - I had a bite and found it tender and flavorful. We both finished our dishes completely.

                                              We finished with the pot de creme which was very rich - a bit too rich after that meal, but quite yummy.

                                              As for the intangibles - the staff was friendly and attentive without being obtrusive; the decor is warm and inviting, volume level comfortable - not too quiet, but you're able to comfortably carry on a conversation.

                                              I really enjoyed this place and envision coming back regularly.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: lorita113

                                                Nice review, lorita, which echoes a lot of what we saw. My first impression was of great hospitality, my second of wonderful food. Loved small bites like the boiled peanuts, an utter novelty to me, and the devilled eggs with bacon. Fantastic chicken (rather French in preparation) and shrimp on grits (quite Southern, and the first grits I can recall up north that actually tasted like corn).

                                                Would like to see the cocktails improve a bit, admired the creativity but didn't love the flavors of the specialty (numbered) cocktails. The bartenders did fine with more traditional stuff, and the wine list is a short, sharp one. Very strong first experience overall, will be going back soon.

                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                  Have been twice now. 1st time BBQ quail, fried oysters & catfish - really loved the quail. 2nd time a week ago on a very cold night w/group of 6, immediately offered the fennel soup w/buttermilk & crab served hot or it's usual cold presentation. Needless to say 5 of opted for the hot. The large bowl was a delicious meal in itself. I would have ordered the quail again too, but it was off the menu. The sliced medium rare flat iron steak entree w/vidalias & fingerlings was so generous, 2 of us ended up taking half of it home for another meal. My 5 DC's were thrilled w/their meals, friendly service & general ambiance of the place. We'll all be back, & I'm having the roast chicken next time.

                                              2. Just back from first try - underwhelmed and disappointed overall relative to comments here.

                                                t was REALLY noisy - hard to hear DC across the very small wobbling table, in fact - think an investment in tablecloths, window coverings, and/or floor covering might be a good idea - or perhaps we just had noisy dining neighbors - noise usually not a problem for us - we love the vibe at Green St, Central Kitchen, and Eastern Standard, for example We were in the small room on the right, but the main room didn't seem much improved - perhaps the bar is the answer if there's a next time (following a movie, for instance).

                                                High points were the very friendly, attentive service and the truly delicious pork shoulder/single rib main. The shrimp and grits was tasty and they were nice to split it for us in the kitchen. The portions were nicely normal-sized. I did rreally enjoy the Berkshire Brewing Co. 22 oz pale ale (they have a 12 oz at Za that's even better).

                                                The cocktails (7 and 8) were fine but boring at $9 each - the martini glasses didn't seem properly chilled, either. Again, the boiled peanuts with sea salt and deviled eggs were fine, but not memorable. The catfish main was a big piece lightly dusted with cornmeal and properly pan fried, but generally uninspired. The two small slices of basic bread were disappointing - why not some delicious homemade biscuits or cornbread given the menu (oh, I forgot - you can pay for cornbread as a side...).

                                                HM is not a destination for me at this point - I'll head to Emma's for casual or Blue Room for more upscale when in the area. At the price point of $85 for the two of us with drinks and without desserts before tip, I much prefer Green St Grill or Central Kitchen or East Coast Grill and maybe even B-Side (great drinks, inconsistent food for me at their prices).

                                                We skipped desserts in favor of swinging by Toscanini's now that's it is open again - the blackberry ice cream was delicious in spite of being scooped using something with too much minty residue on it.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: rlh

                                                  Visiting from out of town and stopped at HM's for a quick bite to eat before the symphony.

                                                  I had an amazing time and an absolutely fantastic meal! I ordered two items off the First Course section (the Fried Oysters and the BBQ Berkshire Ribs) and a side order of the grits + the sweet iced tea. Everything that I ate there was AMAZING. The fried oysters were cooked to perfection and the sauce was a lovely compliment to the greens that came with the oysters. The ribs were very flavorful with just enough sauce and the meat virtually fell off the bone. I absolutely adored the grits that I ordered and am so sad that there's not a Hungry Mother in the Bay Area. I highly recommend this place and will definitely be coming back when I'm in Boston again!

                                                2. I really can't wait to try!

                                                  1. Has no one tried the buttermilk pie? This is a pie near and dear to my heart, so I'm excited to see it on a menu, but I'm dubious about the fact that it's on a graham cracker crust, which just seems wrong to me. But I'm very much looking forward to trying this place out.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                      I got the buttermilk pie, first time I'd ever heard of it. Lovely. Really like the food overall, think I posted about it earlier. Glad to see it got a rave in the Globe.

                                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                        I liked it! Nice flavor, big portion (big enough to split for most people). I would have preferred it to be a little sweeter. I kept thinking "this is soo good, I just wish I had some honey to drizzle on top."

                                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                          I took my hungry mother to Hungry Mother and we shared some buttermilk pie. We thought it was fabulous. However, we're not experts in buttermilk pie or anything.

                                                        2. Piling on the praise here: Stepped up last night into a packed room and an overflowing bar, but thankfully were able to grab one of the high tops in the bar area. By the way, they're using a good amount of local produce on their menu and sprinkling a fair amount of it with a house-made ham powder.

                                                          Started with the pimento cheese (not my thing) and some bacon-y, slightly smoky deviled eggs. Nice, small bites to tide us over.

                                                          Then we shared a side order of cheesy grits (fabulous), collard greens (lovely, fresh and bright - not at all overcooked), the catfish and sausage board (lots of flavor, great pickles) and a plate of ribs (lovely).

                                                          Split the buttermilk tart for dessert (creamy buttermilk, thick and crusty graham cracker crust) that was also lovely. Really, there wasn't a bad note all night and the staff could not have been sweeter. It's going to be really hard not to go every night after work for just a few nibbles!

                                                          1. Went for my second time last night with my aunt and uncle visiting from Rome. Once they got over the water in the mason jars everything was great. My aunt and I had the ribs which were tender and delicious. I also had a beet salad that was a special and it had nice delicate flavors. My uncle had catfish and marveled that you could even eat catfish (apparently they don't in Rome). Mr had the blue fish which was accompanied by a lemony tapenade. He usually hates olives but practically licked his plate. The acidity of the tapenade really balanced well with the bluefish. I really like the portion sizes at HM. It helped my uncle get over the stereotype that we all eat enormous servings in the US.

                                                            The real star for me last night was the chocolate cake for dessert. I agreed to split it with Mr but honestly I rarely like chocolate cake from restaurants. I love chocolate in bar form but often find chocolate desserts just to dense or too rich. This cake however was divine! Four layers of light moist not too cloying chocolate cake with a drippy frosting that was almost like pudding or brownie mix but less grainy. It also had some milk chocolate shaving on the top. All accompanied by a cold glass of milk....So good.

                                                            I guess the buttermilk pie will have to wait until next time.

                                                            1. Just thought I'd report back on my visit to Hungry Mother last night. They've changed their menu. No more buttermilk pie! It's been replaced with a lemon-buttermilk panna cotta. Also, the mushroom and pea gnocchi, which was my favorite entree on the menu, has been replaced with a summer squash gnocchi, which was very yummy and really a vegetarian's delight (good mix of veggies). The rhubarb sorbet, which I usually love, was really off last night. It was, for me, overly bitter and most of us found it just too strange to really eat.

                                                              1. Went to Hungry Mother last Thursday night. I grew up in the Tennessee hills in a small town, so I was plenty skeptical about "nice" Southern food (Southern food was born out of necessity - out of being dirt poor and trying to make something tasty out of limited ingredients). And my skepticism rose when I saw red-eye gravy on the menu - I wondered, "what business do a bunch of Cantabridgians have making red-eye gravy?"

                                                                But YUM! I hardly ever order chicken in a restaurant because I find that it's sometimes challenging to make chicken truly special, but I was completely intrigued by the red-eye gravy, so I ordered the chicken. It was amazing - the chicken was so tender that it was hard to keep a piece together on your fork. And the sauce was delicious - not like the red-eye gravy that my parents and grandparents make (useful for sopping biscuits), but still wonderful.

                                                                I was truly impressed and plan to go back very soon. By far the best meal I've had in the Boston area in quite a while.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: knclouse

                                                                  I was there Thurs too...hmmm......and my dad's from Cleveland (TN) and my mom spent most of her childhood in Knoxville....she makes him pinto beans, collards, creamed corn, fried okra, corn bread (no sugar) and sliced tomatoes for his birthday every year. Anyway I loved everything I tried too, boiled peanuts were addictive, oysters and shrimp and grits (the latter's been a source of disappointment elsewhere) were perfectly cooked and seasoned and distinct in flavor. I enjoyed the catfish pate a lot too. Also had the catfish entree, fantastic, unexpectedly crunchy crust, juicy inside.
                                                                  (Surely there is a unique thread in the works?)

                                                                2. also there on thursday evening. loved the spicy pimiento cheese, beef tongue canape, catfish pate, and shrimp and grits

                                                                  1. I would probably repeat everyone's comments here in terms of the quality and taste of the food, but I was disappointed with the service. Despite having a reservation, I waited 45 minutes for my seat (with a party of five). One of the owners stood nearby and never apologized for the wait. Why can't restaurants buy you free drinks or an app when they mess up your wait for a table? Anyway, I may have been satisfied with any acknowedgment. The whole meal took three hours, which is just too long. Again, the food was great but the overall dining experience was not. Please tell me if this was bad luck or if this situation improves with time and experience.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: egc

                                                                      I've only been once, but we were seated promptly (party of 4) at the time of our reservation, and one of the owners stopped by our table a couple of times to check on things. I should add that we were there on a weeknight, which may have made a difference. At any rate, I hope your experience was an anomaly

                                                                    2. I stopped by last nite before a movie. I maybe read it somewhere here, but wish I'd known or remembered that they offered $6 movie tickets if you ate before 6PM. That movie wasn't worth $9.50 (What We Do is Secret whose director and one actor I interviewed and at least they're happy with their work). In any case, I thought it was a nice meal but wasn't as wowed as everyone else. None of those special cocktails quite grabbed me so I went with a sidecar which they served in a martini glass. It packed a punch for sure. We split everything starting with deviled eggs. I thought they were a little over vinegary and it seems like all the deviled eggs I have lately have a super whipped consistency, not the slightly chunky style my mother made which I prefer (maybe like that pizza you grew up with thing). We then got the shrimp and grits and fried oysters. Both nice, esp. the shrimp. Oysters were a little skimpy for $13. Collard greens were much healthier than I'm used to, looked more like spinach than that pale green/gray you get at bbq places, but tasty and it felt like you were eating something healthy. I would have chosen the peach cobbler for dessert but friend preferred the lemon buttermilk panna cotta. Good but not my first style of dessert. Service was great, bread and butter was good. It was all nice but didn't send me out raving like the majority of posters.