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Jun 22, 2008 09:50 AM

ex-bostonian is back and looking for chow...

hello, bostonian CHs. i used to actually post around these parts a wayyyy long time ago. but then i texpatriated to austin and as a result, just lurk around these day.

it's been over 3 years since i've been back in the city, so i have a lot of catching up to do during my july trip. of course, i have my old favorites but i am wondering what i've been missing since 2005.

can you recommend (or warn me against) any new-to-me places that are fairly recent additions and worth checking out?

given my dining companions, i am looking for more casual or moderate places as opposed to fine dining.

p.s. since i live in austin, i will not be having anything resembling mexican or BBQ during my trip, as i get my fill of that here now.


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  1. What are the old favorites you will include. That would give us some idea of what you might like. We'd also be able to let you know if any of your old favorites have changed since you left.

    4 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      ahhh, good point. i'm a little hopped up on cold meds so my brain is mushy.

      here are some places i loved, to give you an idea of what i like and so you can weigh in if they totally suck now.

      penang, pretty much anything at the eatery, some chinatown places i only know by their sign, hong kong eatery, pho republique, buddha's delight, koreana

      bukhara, JP seafood cafe, centre street cafe, el oriental de cuba, ten tables, milky way

      coolidge corner specific:
      the falafel place i can't remember the name of, tsunami, fugakyu, anna's taqueria, jae's

      charlie's kitchen, dali, redbone's, middle east, elephant walk, taberna de haro, asmara, casablanca, chez henri

      addis red sea, fig's pizza, artu's, formaggio kitchen, umberto's, the other side cafe, trident, watertown deluxe diner, atasca, redbone's, taranta, sel del atterre, radius, bartley's, chacarero, tapeo, steve's greek

      bars and bar food:
      bukowski's, b-side, river gods, sunset grill & tap, that hipster place in the south end decorated with albums, silvertone, noir, grendal's

      tealuxe, 1369, diesel cafe

      1. re: dinaofdoom

        The falafel place in Coolidge Corner you're thinking of is probably Rami's which is still there and still gets generally (though not universally) high reviews on the board.

        Taberna de Haro is still the best and most authentic Spanish in town, but you're misremembering its location, it's on Beacon St in Brookline, right where the C line comes above ground. Their outdoor seating is great in warm weather, though you may have to wait a bit for a table.

        1. re: BobB

          oh, you are so right, i put it in the wrong section.
          i have fond memories of dining al fresco and then walking home to coolidge corner.

        2. re: dinaofdoom

          Sadly, the Chinatown Eatery is no more. There are a few more roasted meat places in chinatown than there were 3 years ago, but Hong Kong Eatery still rules -- had some char siu and roasted pork and duck there a week ago -- all great.

          In Coolidge Corner, note the addition of Shiki - not primarily sushi, but very good izakaya-style japanese. Very recent positive review of it accords with what I remember from going there a few months ago.

      2. You'll be surprised at the change in Allston: Packards Corner to Union Square is the current hot restaurant row, as far as inexpensive ethnic places go.

        4 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          interesting. i will have to check it out. back in my day, it was very much the "student ghetto".

          1. re: dinaofdoom

            It's still that, but the food scene is booming. The Grecian Yearning burned, rather spectacularly, just a couple of weeks ago, unfortunatley taking out a couple of decent little Korean places with it - for all the years it was there, I never ate there once. However, there's now Burmese, Turkish, Cambodian/Thai (and Thai on its own), Shanghainese, Taiwanese, a tiny and excellent dim sum parlor, a couple of new Indian restaurants, and not one but TWO shabu-shabu places, besides a bunch of quite good places that were around when you lived in Boston before.

            1. re: Allstonian

              sounds like it is undergoing quite the renaissance.
              i do love me some reasonably priced ethnic food so will have to try the burmese since i haven't yet.

              that is one thing i don't like about austin-- these isn't a lot of diversity in terms of food.

              1. re: dinaofdoom

                Check out the thai spot, S and I Thai, the malaysian Aneka Rasa and Shanghai Gate all in Allston.

        2. You've got a good memory. Tsunami in Brookline has moved down a couple of store fronts. There is a Vietnamese place called Zenna's that I like in the Coolidge Corner area. Sel de la Terre is better than ever but you might think about heading to Rocca's in the So. End or Teatro on Tremont St, downtown. They are both a bit upscale but casual and have really good food. Many Chows recommend Neptune Oyster in the No. End and it's one of the best small places in town. My sister and her friend were in town last week and we ended up at Al Dente's on Salem St in the the No. End, which I don't think I've seen mentined on this board, but we had a great time. There are many new fun places since you've moved away, I'm sure you'll get many more suggestions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ghostcat

            i always have a good memory when it comes to food ;-)

            i lived in boston long enough to see the south end get totally rehabbed into destination dining so it will be interesting to see how other parts of the city have changed.

            as for the downtown/north end, i am of italian descent so i always shyed away from all the touristy places down there. but i know there can be some gems despite the tourists. checking out the board, i saw some good reviews for neptune oyster and will probably hit it up when i am not accompanied by my vegetarian friend and my seafood-hating family.

          2. FuLoon in Malden Center. All sorts of real-deal, straight-from-the-old-country Chinese cookery, in a surprisingly versatile range of cooking styles. Reviewed at length in this board.

            375 Main St, Malden, MA 02148