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T Rex -- Brookline Village in General

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winstont Sep 3, 2008 11:47 AM

I was wondering if anyone had stopped in T Rex Tacqueria in Brookline Village. I know its rather a long shot since they just opened today, but I am debating dinner tonight and wanted to hear the scoop.

Also, I just moved into Brookline Village from inside Boston and am looking for any food recommendations. I don't know the area to well and my roommates and I are all currently rather busy, at least enough that we don't really have the opportunity to scope out possible dinning/ take out destinations. I did grab some take out from Brookline Family Restaurant the other day and loved it, but haven't really investigated the culinary scene further. All of us love all types of food (two are pesco-vegetarians) and have been spoiled by our previous proximity to great restaurant. I would really appreciate any restaurant or take out recommendatios - we really need to build up our list (staple neighborhood sushi, pizza, indian, thai... etc.) Thanks in advance!

  1. p
    psc109 Sep 3, 2008 12:37 PM

    I was thinking about trying T Rex tonight too.

    For take out subs/wraps/pizza go to Brookline Spa. Mangia next to T Rex has good neapolitan style pizza. Matt Murphys is a great Irish style pub. Stoli Bar is a Russian eatry that you need to try and you already found Brookline Family Restaurant.

    10 Replies
    1. re: psc109
      mabelm4050 Sep 3, 2008 01:07 PM

      Second the Brookline Spa. Better than average subs, salads, sandwiches, etc. Coolidge Corner is not too far from you, so I'd recommend Rod Dee Thai for takeout. They are supposed to be opening another branch in Washington Square which might be closer for you from Brookline Village.

      1. re: mabelm4050
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps Sep 3, 2008 01:13 PM

        No, Coolidge Corner is much closer than Washington Square. Washington Street meanders a lot on its way out, but Harvard Street is a relatively straight shot.

        Where's T Rex? Is it where that other taqueria was, a couple doors from Serendipity?

        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          mabelm4050 Sep 3, 2008 01:41 PM

          T Rex is across from the CVS on Cypress, corner of Washington.

          I'll disagree that Coolidge Corner is much closer that Washington Square. Wash. Sq. is also a straight shot, but up Washington instead of Harvard.

          1. re: mabelm4050
            BarmyFotheringayPhipps Sep 3, 2008 02:26 PM

            But starting from the split in front of the liquor store, Coolidge Corner is a little over half a mile away and Washington Square is just about exactly a mile away. So Washington Square is nearly twice as far from Brookline Village as Coolidge Corner, although neither distance is at all untenable.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              galleygirl Sep 3, 2008 03:35 PM

              But walking up to Coolidge Corner is more entertaining along the way, a few more commercial venues, while Washington Sq. is all residential....walking to CC, one could stop at a number of Indian groceries, get a peddy, stop at Stop and Shop, get a beverage at a pub, etc....

              1. re: galleygirl
                Prav Sep 5, 2008 09:36 AM

                Indian groceries?

                1. re: Prav
                  Allstonian Sep 5, 2008 12:13 PM

                  Yes, there are two different small Indian grocers on Harvard Street between the Stop & Shop and Coolidge Corner. Neither of them holds a candle to the shops in Waltham, but they're handy in a pinch.

                  1. re: Prav
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps Sep 5, 2008 12:14 PM

                    There's a couple of Indian groceries on Harvard between Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner. Neither as good as the places on Moody Street in Waltham, like Patel Brothers, but useful nonetheless.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      l
                      lergnom Sep 5, 2008 12:47 PM

                      There's another, almost directly across the street from this new taqueria.

                      The markets are each slightly different, perhaps a competitive niche-making thing.

                      1. re: lergnom
                        galleygirl Sep 5, 2008 07:20 PM

                        That's right, that makes 3!

      2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Sep 3, 2008 01:06 PM

        Sichuan Garden is a must. Don't bother with the food at Matt Murphy's -- I was once served a plate of fish and chips that I took as a personal insult.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          s
          stay_classy Sep 3, 2008 01:09 PM

          I second not trying Matt Murphys--Not for the food, at least. Ended up there for brunch (pretty much by mistake) one Sunday and got to experience what cold and rubbery eggs taste like.

          Go try Orinoco-- As much love as I have for the SE, I like this location better. Absolutely try the datiles (dates stuffed with almond paste and an almond and wrapped with bacon), and go in on a Sunday night when Rick (the GM/Ops guy) is behind the bar-- he make some serious cocktails.

          1. re: stay_classy
            p
            psc109 Sep 4, 2008 10:13 AM

            Never had brunch at M Murphy's but I enjoy the shepherds pie, beef stew, fish and chips and the cheese plate. The session music is pretty good too.

        2. l
          lergnom Sep 3, 2008 02:38 PM

          Welcome to the neighborhood!

          A few tips: New Paris - next to aforementioned T.Rex - for eclairs. Manga is Italian pizza, while the others in the Village are Greek. Sichuan Garden can be excellent, especially if you order the Sichuan food - and try anything off the separate Sichuan menu. The new hamburger place - Frank & The Boys - is kind of $$ for basic, griddle cooked burgers. The best burger in the area is probably Coolidge Corner Clubhouse (which is guess where). The Korean place opposite Pierce School - forget the name - can be good. I like their stews. Martin's is a decent breakfast counter. The carryout Italian place - changed names recently but similar food - has good sandwiches. The little cafe on Station Street past the post office is pretty good. The sandwich shop on the corner, next to the yarn place - I still think of it by the old name - is just okay.

          BTW, one of my daughters loves Brookline Spa's Buffalo Chicken pizza - by the slice - and they use Boar's Head meat for the sandwiches.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lergnom
            Allstonian Sep 3, 2008 03:02 PM

            The Korean restaurant is Minsok.

            Has New Paris improved again? I was a fan of their eclairs for decades, but the last time I bought a dozen of the minis they were horrible, with chocolate icing that tasted mostly of wax and over-stiffened, off-tasting pastry cream filling.

            1. re: Allstonian
              l
              lergnom Sep 3, 2008 04:41 PM

              We get them now and again and there has been variance but no general change.

              Minsok is not bad, especially if you're not Korean and aren't comparing it to food from home, from your grandmother or from your favorite restaurant growing up.

              I would say in the Village it's easier to point out the no-go places: the take-out only Chinese place, Village Pizza & Village Fare - though both can do a decent eggplant parm and, of course, if you go to Brookline High - and, for many, Village Smokehouse. The rest are at least worth trying to see what you like. There's even La Morra on Rt 9.

              1. re: lergnom
                Joanie Sep 4, 2008 04:29 AM

                I never know which is Village Fare vs. Village Pizza, but I've gotten a decent crab salad sub from one and steak & cheese from the other.

                1. re: Joanie
                  l
                  lergnom Sep 4, 2008 07:16 AM

                  Village Fare is the one at Cypress. High school hangout once open campus kicks in, meaning soon. I think it's the better of the two. They both make decent, meaning fair, sandwiches. It must be hard for them with Town Hall closed because Town employees are / were a big portion of their lunch businesses.

          2. pamalamb Sep 3, 2008 03:03 PM

            I really love Pomodoro. Every meal I've had there has been great. Everything's very fresh and fitting with the seasons. It's a pain that they're cash-only, though. They do a lovely brunch with live jazz.

            1. Aromatherapy Sep 4, 2008 04:21 AM

              Useful thread on Brookline: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/525476

              1. Trumpetguy Sep 4, 2008 09:31 AM

                I tried to go last night, but it seemed incredibly slow waiting in line...I bailed :(

                1 Reply
                1. re: Trumpetguy
                  w
                  winstont Sep 4, 2008 01:58 PM

                  Thanks for all the recommendations!!

                  I actually went to T Rex last night with three other people. We got there around 8:30 so there was not a line- but that does not mean it wasnt slow. Let me preface this by saying all of us have or do work in the restaurant industry and have at one point worked an opening- so we did sympathize with their plight but the experience was less than desirable. They have some tempting burritos and I decided to go with the veggie burrito with pumpkin seed mole sauce, another had the same with chicken and the other two had chicken mole. We took turns ordering and the first two of our orders came out right away (one chicken mole and mine) yet, when my order was called out they said with chicken, but handed me my slip. When I asked if there was meat in the burrito and explained I was a vegetarian she looked at me puzzled and said she did not know- then turned to the burrito maker who also didn’t know. He then proceeded to unwrap my burrito and stick his bare hand into it to check for chicken- when he discovered there was no meat he then suto- wrapped it back up and put it on the counter where the girl who had taken my order put it back in the bag, mean while dropping some of my filling onto the counter before handing it back to me. Without a word she just went on to what she had been doing. The third order came out wrong - but at this point we were starving and had been waiting for like 20 minutes so she said she would take it anyway-- and then the fourth order never came. A customer came in ordered and was served as we stood their waiting for our last burrito. Finally we asked about it and they made it up- again with no apology. After returning home I discovered my burrito, which I ordered to contain veggies, beans, light on the rice, no sour cream and guacamole – consisted of veggies, sour cream and copious amounts of rice- no guac or beans – and my “hot” sauce was beyond mild salsa (mind you they even handed me back the slip with all my requests, so I can rule out that the person who took my order in fact heard it correctly). I was absolutely starving so I enjoyed the burrito based on the pure fact that it was edible food- so my critic of the actual burrito itself may not be very accurate. I probably will return – it’s a block from my apartment and I did enjoy the pumpkin mole sauce (although they do need to put a lot more in the burrito) – I don’t usually rant about restaurant experiences but this one really just put a damper on our evening

                2. c
                  catsmeow Sep 4, 2008 03:33 PM

                  New England Soup has really good soups. It's just above Bertuccis across from the Brookline Village train station.

                  1. c
                    cookiezim Sep 5, 2008 09:23 AM

                    I just went over to T-Rex to try it for lunch and it's closed until 5:00 p.m. tonight due to a power outage. Luckily Virginia's is open for business - I recommend the number 13 on a wrap - smoked turkey, cheddar, avocado spread - yum.

                    1. l
                      lergnom Sep 6, 2008 03:26 PM

                      I've had two burritos from there - shared. Tasty. A far more varied menu:

                      Special Burritos - all with sour cream & guacamole, rice, beans & cheese. All are $6. Same size as Anna's, Boca, etc. Not much more expensive if you want the stuff that's extra at those places.
                      - Black mole chicken
                      - Carnitas adobado
                      - Pumpkin seed green mole (chicken)
                      - Tinga poblana - chicken and chorizo

                      Their usual burritos - all large ($5.50) all also include guacamole & sour cream with your choice of the usual chicken, steak, carnitas and veggies.

                      Plates ($8) include the above plus chicken enchiladas ($6).

                      Tacos ($2.75) are chicken, steak, carnitas, veggie.

                      Tortas - yeah! - ($6) are choice of meat in 3 styles, Puebla, Jalisco & Wahaca.

                      1. a
                        avial Sep 6, 2008 08:19 PM

                        Went today around 5:30pm with 2 DCs. We had:
                        1 Adobado plate (carnitas adobado)
                        1 Torta, w/steak + puebla sauce
                        1 Carnitas taco

                        plate: rice was void of any flavor and slightly undercooked. I cannot comprehend how anyone can manage to under cook rice when it's such an essential component. This happened to me at El Pelon a few years back where the rice, albeit being brightly orange, was almost raw. The adobado was also devoid of any flavor except for the natural pork flavor. Had this been carnitas, I would have accepted that, but it was adobado, which should be in a red sauce with some heat.

                        steak torta: small, ~4" diameter compared to other tortas in the area, even La Verdad's. Came with a side of tortilla chips that were fried in store, very thin. Steak was overcooked and puebla sauce tasted a lot like a mix of mayo + tabasco perhaps. Given the $6 price tag, this is significantly less food than the $6 burrito without any kind of justification - tortilla chips don't count certainly.

                        carnitas taco: the DC that ordered this thought that the tortilla was too large at 6" as it encouraged them to overload on the toppings (tomatoes and lettuce) and upset the balance between tortilla and toppings.

                        Our conclusion was that T-Rex is too family-oriented, aiming squarely for the many families in Brookline with little kids that don't necessarily handle strong flavors and heat (though I'm sure that there are families that can). This is unfortuante despite the dozen+ photos of the owner in Mexico or South American in local restaurants and family kitchens with what looks like amazing local food. If they're not able to put out flavorful base meats like adobado or steak, then creating decent sauces to cover that fact is not a good approach.

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