The best and worst of Brookline?
So we've been in Boston for nearly a year and thanks to you all we've eaten so well. We've been renting in Back Bay and are moving to Brookline for hopefully better chow (well we're moving for other reasons but we are excited for better food options). I would love your input for the hits and misses of Brookline...we've been to a bunch of places already but I want to makes sure not to miss anything (or to skip it on purpose). Thanks so much as always.
for me, some of the bests in the area are shiki (japanese--izakaya/fusion style), brookline family restaurant (turkish), rod dee (thai), and japonaise (japanese pastries--edge of brookline, at st mary's), and prepared foods at bazaar. probably some others i'm forgetting!
i think i try to repress the memory of places I'll never go back to, but for sure fugakyu, anna's, upper crust, and a bunch more dislikes that are maybe personal/idiosyncratic enough that i wouldn't issue general-purpose warnings about them :)
i completely agree with :
SHIKI, i would go for the authentic dishes, they're pretty good, but you can get better sushi elsewhere
rod dee is prob one of my fave restaurants here. all my asian friends love it too.
japonaise has awesome bread desserts. i love the strawberry short cake, chocolate horn, doughnuts, sandwiches, rice balls, heavy cream bread, fruit tarts
7 subs in coolidge corner has really good subs. my fave is the potato/roast beef/bbq sauce
but disagreeing with anotheradam, i like fugakyu (certain good dishes, hatate kaiyaki, chicken katsu curry, the sushi's are not bad either). i also like upper crust but the crust can be a lil too thin/hard sometimes.
my least favorites are both in washington square. GOLDEN temple is sooo not authentic, and even for americanized chinese food (which i love and sometimes crave) its horrible. they all taste the same, too salty.
welcome to our neighborhood. bests by category: dinner/bar: washington square tavern, orinoco. pub food/bar: beacon street pub by a hair because of its outside seating, publick house, matt murphy. value for lunch: fireplace grill's excellent hamburger. expensive treat: la morra, lineage. best sandwiches, michael's deli. Asian and Indian: lemon grass, rod dee, duk boa, khao sarn, szichuan garden, shanghai gate down harvard street to the brighton border. expensive but imho (not shared on this board) best american chinese in boston, golden temple, with best bar hands down (best martini in boston/brookline). go for the clams, the special ribs, the shanghai chicken, the beef udon noodles. best bakeries: clear flour which would win anywhere including nyc and sf. very very good bakeries: japonnaise for pastry, tattes if you don't mind spending too much, athans for baklava, lemon sponge cake, and european style cookies, fruit tarts (not for morning stuff imo). Shiki for best japanese, Super Fusion for best take out japanese. Pinos at cleveland circle for best old fashioned gloppy pizza, no where for really great pizza (go to cambridge, gran gusto). For chains, Panera on harvard for decent coffee and a good sitting space, starbucks on beacon street in washington square for sitting outside. lots more. worst: village smokehouse, the indian buffet place on beacon near harvard, the korean place on beacon near center, pastries from kupels (bagels are tolerable), any food at any starbucks, lucky chinese takeout on beacon. Good breakfast: zaftigs if you don't mind expensive, family,and busy bee if you like very plain with crappy bread which i do not. Lots more: this is a town you could eat out in every day.
Just went to tatte yesterday - bought some of their pastries in spite of the haughty/supercilious staff. The "home made pear juice" was over-flavored with cinnamon (perhaps to hide the lack of pear flavor) and over-sweetened. I would not recommend this place which charges a lot for shortcrust pastry filled (albeit artfully) with nuts - and not much else going for it. The clientele (pretty looking women delicately enjoying each others company ) filling up the place were picturesque - perhaps part of the cost of this place. Sometimes, environment is everything (although I prefer the food to be everything - I realize that it is not something I can get every time)! :-)
Pad kee mao from Khao Sarn (nb: I haven't been to dok bua or rod dee--I am disgracefully lazy and love this one, and it is closer to me than the other two)
Spinach leaf pizza (reheated to fix the crust) from Upper Crust
Falafel in pita from Rami's (with hot sauce) or Shawarma King (no hot sauce, but crisped-up bread). If only they would combine these two...
Bahn Hoi (grilled chicken or lemongrass chicken--can't remember) at Pho Lemongrass (I'm sure there are better Vietnamese restaurants out there, but this one is convenient, has some good value on the wine list, and they don't laugh at me when I make a hot mess trying to roll up the bahn hoi. And I've liked 90% of what I've tried there.)
Potato pancakes at Zaftig's
Butterscotch pudding at Lineage
Blue cheese burger at Washington Square Tavern (even though the roll doesn't do much for me, I love the space and the burger itself is good)
I'm not sure about misses...maybe I've blocked them out? I've found Chef Chow to be yucky for everything except peking duck (that wasn't bad).
And there are lots of places I haven't tried yet...
Oh, and the farmers' market (Thursday afternoons/evenings) is definitely part of the best of Brookline. I may work from home Thursdays during the summer just to make sure I can get there :).
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