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Looking for unique restaurants

c
c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 02:22 PM

I'm looking for any places that serve unique food, a unique setting, staff, etc. anywhere in the Boston area

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  1. Eatin in Woostah RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 02:31 PM

    What do you mean by unique? Non-chain? Local? Ethnic?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eatin in Woostah
      c
      c.r.ashcroft RE: Eatin in Woostah Sep 7, 2008 03:10 PM

      Not a chain. It can be ethnic. I'm just looking for a unique dining experience in or around Boston

    2. capeanne RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 03:13 PM

      If you have the $ try O Ya ...omakase

      1. MC Slim JB RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 04:24 PM

        Hmmm, interesting topic.

        Boston Speed's Famous Hot Dog Wagon, best dog around, unique setting.
        Chacarero. Does anyone else serve chacareros but these guys? They are wonderful.
        Pita Kabob. Outstanding kubideh.
        Tremont 647 pajama brunch. Servers in nightgowns and bathrobes.
        Santarpio's. Cool old-tavern atmosphere, great charcoal-grilled kebabs.
        Trutony's Deli. Owner is likely to sit down next to you and talk your ear off about the Sox and Pats, most of whom she is close personal friends with.
        Prose. Good food, very surly chef/owner.
        La Voile. Mostly French waitstaff hustles and bounces around that dining room like pinballs in a multiball round.
        Angela's Cafe. About the only real Poblana restaurant in town.
        Villa Mexico Cafe. Good tacos in a gas-station convenience store.
        Pho Viet. Best banh mi in town, served from a seedy food court stall.
        Namaskar. Excellent Desi Chinese dishes (Chinese food as served in India).
        Viva Mi Arepa. Best made-to-order arepa in town.
        Mi Tierra, Waltham. Excellent pupusas.
        Oleana. Coolest patio where you can be served excellent food.
        Pizzeria Regina (North End). Great pizza, and the staff's brusqueness isn't just a shtick; they really do want you to hurry the hell up and order.
        Massimino's. Good North End red-sauce Italian with oddly over-familiar service.
        Mamma Maria. The two-person dining room overlooking North Square is one of the most intimate dining settings in town. Tresca's two-person balcony seat is a close second.
        Deep Ellum. Unlikeliest place to get a well-made old-school cocktail, as it's an Allston beer-geek bar.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB
          d
          deglazer RE: MC Slim JB Sep 8, 2008 05:13 AM

          Seedy? Seems like standard food court ambiance to me.

          La Mamma's in Allston has chacareros. Also noticed that Viga has chicken and a steak sandwiches that sound just like a chacarero (green beans, avocado spread, cheese, tomato etc. http://www.vigaeatery.com/carry-out/s... Has anyone tried these? Are they supposed to be a chacarero or just something similar?

          1. re: deglazer
            p
            purple bot RE: deglazer Sep 8, 2008 05:22 AM

            That sandwich is *somewhat* similar -- I get it sometimes when I'm hankering for a chacarero and just can't get to the real deal. It's a passable substitute, not bad, but nothing to get excited about (like our friend the chacarero, which I do get excited about)

            1. re: deglazer
              MC Slim JB RE: deglazer Sep 8, 2008 06:37 AM

              Agreed: the Super 88 food court ambience is pretty standard, which is to say, worn-looking and not beautifully maintained from a cleanliness standpoint. No seedier than average, but still seedy.

              1. re: deglazer
                kobuta RE: deglazer Sep 8, 2008 07:30 AM

                I'm with you, deglazer. We must define seedy as different from the rest. Super88 foodcourt is loud, not always the cleanest, and no frills. I think of seedy as you may have to watch your goods (recommended for any public place) and possibly your back less you get knifed by someone if a fight breaks out, type of thing.

                I think Super88 has a lot of good, reasonably priced options (no fights I know of). One not mentioned is Ken's Ramen House also in that area. Unique in the Boston area in that there aren't a lot of ramen joints period, let alone good ramen places.

              2. re: MC Slim JB
                finlero RE: MC Slim JB Sep 8, 2008 07:37 AM

                Z Square in Post Office Square also has a flank steak chacarero on the menu. Haven't tried it yet.

              3. intheq RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 05:52 PM

                Addis Red Sea is a interesting experience if you have never had Ethiopian food. Tables are odd wicker-type stands, food is consumed with your hands and the restaurant is below street level making the whole experience unusual.

                1. digga RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 06:43 PM

                  Vinnie's at Night, in the back of an old-school Somerville superette.

                  1. a
                    autopi RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 07:37 PM

                    do you mean unique as in boston/regionally unique (lobster rolls, chacarero), or unique as in weird/idiosyncratic/offbeat (getting really great hot dogs in new market square), or unique as in kind-of-hard-to-find, relatively speaking (ethiopian, indian-chinese, pupuserias) or what? because these are pretty different criteria and it's kind of hard to know what to recommend without understanding the question.

                    1. a
                      ace52387 RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 7, 2008 09:16 PM

                      The Helmand - upscale look afghani food, reasonable prices.
                      Little Q Hot Pot - spitting image of a Chinese hotpot chain
                      Hong Kong Eatery - spitting image of its namesake, an eatery in HK, plus some of the best Chinese fast food in town. I believe their HK style lo mein is pretty novel, as I haven't seen it anywhere else but I could be wrong.
                      Trattoria Toscana - If you go at off hours, some of the servers get chatty, and they tell pretty amusing stories. Great food of course is the real reason you would go.
                      Gargoyles on the square - I think a lot of the food is a little too sweet but it's novel.
                      Rod Dee - Holes in walls seem to get bonus points even when their food is mediocre, but Rod Dee is seriously an awesome hole in the wall. Huge specials board.
                      Baraka Cafe - Tiny tiny little restaurant with great north African food. Crackers + their dips, wow.
                      Fugakyu - ugh. I hate this place for this very reason, but if you're into the "Japanese immerision" thing fugakyu is the way to go. Kimono clad waitresses, private stalls with bamboo curtains, etc.

                      1. s
                        shaebones RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 8, 2008 01:32 AM

                        Tangierino, Charlestown

                        1. SeaSide Tomato RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 8, 2008 07:30 AM

                          Grezzo-North End: raw, vegan delicious food, served in a tiny jewel box of a room by staff who are incredibly healthy looking and enthusiatic and other diners who can be equally so.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: SeaSide Tomato
                            c
                            c.r.ashcroft RE: SeaSide Tomato Sep 8, 2008 12:58 PM

                            Thanks for all the GREAT reccomendations! And as far as unique I mean it in any possible way.

                          2. m
                            mwk RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 8, 2008 01:56 PM

                            Unique, huh?

                            Cafe Polonia in Southie, the only Polish restaurant in the area that I'm aware of.
                            Cafe St. Petersburg in Newton one of the only Russian places around
                            El Sarape in Weymouth, excellent authentic Mexican food
                            Yoma Burmese in Allston, excellent Burmese food...not very common around here
                            Helmand in Cambridge. Afghani food, very good

                            1. l
                              lexpatti RE: c.r.ashcroft Sep 8, 2008 02:16 PM

                              I agree with Tangerinos for a unique (Belly Dancing and Houkas Bar) experience in Charlstown and Dali in Somerville - this place is tapas, funky funky ambiance, great sangria.

                              http://www.dalirestaurant.com/
                              http://www.tangierino.com/
                              I also like Sibling Rivelry (Boston) - mainly for the interesting menu presentation, chef brothers fighting over what's on the menu, fun upbeat place.
                              http://www.siblingrivalryboston.com/

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