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Apr 4, 2008 09:59 AM

Porter Square Chow

Whats good?

I've had a couple of ok cheap meals at the Asian food court, but nothing amazing. What am I missing there, or near Porter in general? I'd love a few recommendations, since I do my food-shopping at that Shaws every week. I'm open to any and all cuisines and price ranges, as long as the place is within walking distance of Porter.

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  1. Chowhound gini, one of the most prolific posters on the Boston board, moved to Porter about a year ago and started a similar thread that became fairly comprehensive:

    9 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      Thanks, dunno why I didnt find this through search.

      1. re: Hegenbarth

        Well, periodic topic recycling is a good thing. But so is hyperlinking.

        A few things I enjoy at the Porter Exchange:

        Cafe Mami - stir-fried hamburger set, oyako don, teriyaki don
        Chocho's - bibimbap
        Blue Fin - curry-flavored chicken set, misoyaki chicken set

      2. re: finlero

        That's me! Though my second quarter resolution is to not be so prolific. The board, it consumes me.

        One year later, here's what I'm digging:
        Bakeries: Hi-Rise, Petsi's (for sweet as well as their awesome, weekend-only, savory scones), Formaggio for B&R breads, supplemented by trips to Clear Flour
        Fish: Mostly East Cambridge places for me, Whole Foods & Farmers' Markets when available.
        Grocer/Butcher: Market Basket, supplemented by Whole Foods & Savenor's (excellent duck) and Russo's (produce, dairy)
        Thai: Sugar & Spice for a quick fix, supplemented by Brookline. Tamarind House always seems greasy to me.
        Pub: The Druid (close)/River Gods (not close). West Side Lounge when I'm feelin' lounge-y. Gargoyles when I'm feelin' groovy.
        Korean: Wuchon House/Buk Kyung/The place in the mall when I'm desperate
        Indian: Kebob Factory/Namaskar (Northern/Southern), that place in Union when I'm ordering in.
        Pizza: Sigh. Nowhere yet. No, I haven't been to Gran Gusto. No, I don't know why.
        Deli: ASSBAR & Hi-Rise don't count, do they?. Haven't tried Oxford Spa yet.
        Cubano: Chez Henri
        Sushi: Blue Fin, supplemented by Toroya in Arlington, with occasional trips to Kotobuyaki with buonastella.
        Tempura: Tompapo
        Donburi: Ittyo
        Chinese: Zoe's/Qingdao(Shanghai, Sichuan/Northern)
        Torta: Tacos Lupita
        Bagels: Freeze 'em from NY. The place out in Newton when I drive. Iggy's in desperation.
        Cafe: Rustica. Do not get their iced tea. It's brewed though the coffee machine.

        1. re: gini

          Get thee to Gran Gusto. pizza is excellent. Toss in DiMio and Armando's for pizza as well.

          Kotobuyaki is not to be missed.

          1. re: gini

            BTW, I've seen savory scones at Petsi's on Wednesday mornings.

            1. re: beetlebug

              Good to know! I did have a gorganzola, ham & onion biscuit this morning.

            2. re: gini

              gini - For Deli, my advice would be to forget Oxford Spa (infuriatingly stingy portions of meat in their sandwiches, especially at those prices) and walk in the other direction from Porter Square, to Pemberton. Their sandwiches are generous, and made with top-quality ingredients.

              1. re: triple creme

                I do quite like the sandwiches at Pemberton Farm. I haven't visited them in quite some time. Thanks for the reminder!

                1. re: gini

                  Their soups and prepared foods are good too.

          2. I would add just a few:

            Martsa on Elm for delicious Tibetan
            Cafe Barada for Lebanese
            Addis Red Sea for Ethiopian
            Christopher's for Sunday brunch (I like their omelettes)

            1. Christopher's is a good place for a cheap, casual meal --- good pub-type food with a Cambridgey slant -- naturally-raised chicken and beef, veggie burgers (regular burgers, too), multi-grain rolls.

              1. Walking Distance to Porter and Yummy? I like. . .

                Tamarind House. I think it's delicious, healthy, friendly and cheap. I've never found it to be greasy.
                -I can't stand Sugar and Spice. One time I swear I got La Choy chow mein noodles with jarred beef gravy there.
                Petsi Pies on Beacon St. Lovely pies, sweet and otherwise. The coffee isn't bad either.
                Danny's Diner: Cheap, no frill's diner like grandpa use to go to, before the coronary.
                Zoe's on Beacon St. Very good, cheap Chinese. Stay away from the Americanized menu. I only get take out or eat in the restaurant. The waitress there has always been extremely friendly to me and my guests as well.
                Addis Red Sea: All right Ethiopian.
                Harvard House of Pizza: Normal pizza, done correctly.
                Harvard Wine Shop: Pretty decent liquor store, especially for its size. Friendly staff, I still miss the cat.
                Chez Henri, kind of a walk towards Harvard Sq., but great drinks.
                Martsa in Davis Square. Tibetan diaspora. Eg, Tibetan food strongly influenced by Indian, Thai and American. . . stuff.

                1. Changsho-Chinese
                  Sullivan's- Burgers (on Beacon St. across from Petsi)
                  Chez Henri- special occasions