HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Just moved to Boston and need help!

n
nader Sep 18, 2008 08:06 PM

Hi all,
My wife and I just moved to Boston (Brookline, really) from Montreal and are looking for recs on places we have to hit up. We're looking for ideas of places to go to based mainly on location, with preference given to (in order):

1. Brookline (close to Coolidge Corner and Washington Square)
2. Downtown Boston
3. Cambridge, close to Harvard Square
4. Anywhere else accessible by T

Other than that, we're looking for good deals and great meals (not asking too much, I hope!). Some places we've tried so far and have enjoyed are Khao Sarn, Pho Lemongrass and Brookline Family in Brookline, 9 Tastes and Oleana in Cambridge and Legal Sea Food near the Chestnut Hill Mall in Newton. We've liked all of these places and are looking for more "authentic" Boston experiences. Along this line, we've had Regina pizzas and JPLicks ice creams and have loved them too!

So, in short, I'd like any ideas you have, as we like to eat out and will report back here on any exciting finds we may encounter along the way.

One thing we're dying to find right now is a good baguette, which has so far been impossible to find, though we're gonna try to find Clear Flour, which I hear is the best source in our area.

Cheers!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. smooncakes RE: nader Sep 18, 2008 08:50 PM

    Try the new location of Orinoco in Brookline, great arepas and other south american food.

    1. a
      ace52387 RE: nader Sep 18, 2008 10:22 PM

      Sichuan Garden right next to brookline family restaurant is good if you like spicy food. I would steer clear of beef w/ broccoli or peking ravioli's (do they even have those on the menu?) here though.

      I think Xinh Xinh in downtown is much better than pho lemongrass, but if you wanna stay closer, I also prefer le's down in allston, and pho viet in the super 88 (also allston).

      I hear a lot of great things about Athan's bakery in washington square, but I can only attest to the chocolate gelato, and that is awesome. Herell's in Allston, just down harvard ave has good Ice Cream if you liked JP licks. Chocolate pudding and mudslide are my favorites there so far.

      Shanghai gate, which is also just down harvard ave from coolidge corner is great. Again steer clear of beef w/ broccoli or peking ravioli's if they have it there. There's a bunch of other great places in Allston like Jo Jo Taipei, Rangoli, ah the list goes on! Michael's Deli is a great lunch spot in coolidge corner. Shwarma king, rod dee and dok bua are all around there also.

      In Chinatown, you can go to a dimsum house with pushcarts. My favorite of those is China Pearl, but a lot of the items are almost indistinguishable from Hei La Moon's equivalents. Last time I tried, the lines at Hei La Moon are longer though, probably because their space is smaller. You can try the different bakeries. Eldo's has more pastries, but a lot of their items are very similar other than that. Peach Farm has a great scallop/garlic/vermicelli dish. It and Jumbo also have great steamed fish. Penang is good for malaysian.

      Oishii is in chestnut Hill, and it's got quality sushi. You can get the standard stuff, or order from the chef's menu that includes some foie gras creations and kobe beef.

      LA Burdick's chocolate shop in harvard sq is great. I love the pave glace and their macaroons. Their other baked goods look great, and their hot chocolate is good. Tamarind bay is there too and it's great indian food.

      For a more boston-ish experience, I'd go around the North End more. Maria's, Modern's, Mike's pastries, all good. Antico forno and umberto I like for casual food, and Mamma Maria is pretty good for high end. It is so saturated with restaurants, so there are definitely plenty of goodies to be eaten there.

      11 Replies
      1. re: ace52387
        enhF94 RE: ace52387 Sep 23, 2008 04:25 PM

        ...peking ravioli being the boston term for Jiaozi, so named because in the 50s, Joyce Chen had a restaurant in the North End and hoped to sell more dumplings. Or so I'm told.

        Other boston terms to watch for:
        "tonic," sometimes known in lesser parts as "soda" or "pop"
        "spa," aka an after-school sub shop
        "spuckie," a sometimes name for a sub sandwich (on a spuccadella roll)
        "frappe," aka a tourist milkshake

        1. re: enhF94
          m
          mkel34 RE: enhF94 Sep 23, 2008 04:44 PM

          Living within 10 miles of Boston for 26 of my 30 years, the only term I've seen used frequently is frappe. Tonic is something you mix with liquor.

          1. re: mkel34
            b
            bachslunch RE: mkel34 Sep 23, 2008 05:00 PM

            Longtime Boston area local here, and I'll vouch for "tonic," "spa," and "frappe" as enhF4 has defined them. Note that unlike the rest of the nation, "milkshake" means milk shaken up with flavored syrup around here, while "frappe" is the thick ice cream and flavoring beverage every other place in the US calls a "milkshake."

            1. re: mkel34
              p
              Parsnipity RE: mkel34 Sep 24, 2008 12:03 PM

              "Oxford Spa" in Cambridge outside Harvard Square, "Thurston Spa" in Somerville outside Magoun Square- to name just a few. I spent a little while wondering why people seemed to be coming and going with sandwiches and coffee rather than freshly plucked brows and polished nails...

              1. re: mkel34
                p
                Pumpkinseed RE: mkel34 Sep 24, 2008 02:00 PM

                Until the dumpy little Star Market near me in Brookline was renovated during the past year, the sign over the soda aisle said "Tonic."

                And we mustn't forget that "jimmies" = what the rest of the world calls "sprinkles."

                1. re: Pumpkinseed
                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Pumpkinseed Sep 24, 2008 11:58 PM

                  Well, except in England, where they're called "Hundreds and thousands." And where I'm from, "jimmies" were the chocolate ones and "sprinkles" were the rainbow ones.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                    p
                    Pumpkinseed RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Sep 25, 2008 06:51 AM

                    Yup, I also grew up with the chocolate vs. rainbow jimmies/sprinkles distinction.

                2. re: mkel34
                  s
                  scratchie RE: mkel34 May 27, 2010 06:29 AM

                  I've grown up in Eastern Massachusetts and lived here for most of the last 45 years, and mkel34 is basically correct.

                  I can't remember the last time I heard someone say "Tonic".
                  Nobody ever says the word "spa" (nobody did when I was a kid, either, i.e. "I'm goin' down the spa"), although you see it on the signs at old convenience stores.
                  I have never encountered the word "spuckie" in the wild, not once.
                  The term "frappe" seems to be falling out of favor.

                  1. re: scratchie
                    BobB RE: scratchie May 27, 2010 07:09 AM

                    You haven't been listening to my family then - I somehow escaped the Boston accent myself, but my sisters still say tonic when referring to soda. And I worked at a spa as a kid, in the '60s - though that is a dying usage.

                    Spuckie, on the other hand - no. From what I can find, it's local to Southie (South Boston) only. I grew up in Somerville in an Irish/Italian neighborhood and never heard it used by anyone.

                    1. re: BobB
                      Allstonian RE: BobB May 27, 2010 07:55 AM

                      I grew up in Allston saying "tonic," but changed over to "soda" probably in high school or college (in the 1970s.) Nowadays I have a tendency to deliberately and non-locally call it "pop."

                      Definitely also grew up in a neighborhood of spas, but again by the 70s or so that was dying out. I've picked up Barmy's southwestern habit of calling them "bodegas" whether or not they're actually Latino.

                      And I never even heard of a spuckie until Cutty's opened, but growing up I only knew one or two girls from Southie.

                      1. re: Allstonian
                        s
                        scratchie RE: Allstonian May 27, 2010 08:31 AM

                        I grew up saying "tonic" too, but switched years ago and, as I said, literally can't remember the last time I heard anyone use it as a synonym for "soda pop".

            2. opinionatedchef RE: nader Sep 18, 2008 10:37 PM

              (Warning- this is pretty darn long! I guess I was feeling expansive tonight!!)

              Nader,
              Welcome to our historic and handsome city.You have made some good dining choices so far, so you've been doing your CH homework! I hope you went to the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End. This is many afficianados' fav pizza place period. It is the original(and only worthwhile) location of what is now a chain and most importantly, its pizzas taste like no others , partly because of the WWII oven they use, which is more than 'seasoned' by now. This pizza tastes like it does in Rome. It is also a tiny CROWDED, loud, FUNKY space; unique; not decor-changed since the 50's maybe. If you haven’t been there, don't go on a wkend,and go for lunch or earlier dinner to avoid lines.

              Regina’s is located on the outer edge of the compact North End, so after pizza, walk over to the Hanover St. (main drag) area and feel the history of this unique neighborhood.Its oldest extant buildings are from the early 19th c.; through the centuries it has been peopled successively, by : rich bostonians, blacks,jews, italians. It has been Italian since the early 20th c. While harbor-dwelling yuppies have been encroaching of late, it still has lots of sidewalk life, Italian being spoken, bacci being played. There are some wonderful gelato/cafes on Hanover St. I particularly like the gelato at.Cafe Sport, and Modern Pastry is across the street, with wonderful quaresimali(an Easter specialty avail yr.round- a version of almond biscotti)
              and sfogliadel, a very unusual 3 cornered hat of layered/crunchy pastry filled with a farmer's cheese/candied fruit mixture. (While many will steer you to Mike’s Pastry, I won't.)The North End is also home to the 18th c. Old North Church and 19th c. Seamen's Home etc etc. If you like to discover-by-walking, the end of Hanover St away from downtown Boston- leads onto the waterfront area. This is also architecturally and historically fascinating because it is very intact with its 19th c. warehouses/wharves (now waterview condos). With all I've described, you might find it worth your while to go to Regina's and the North End for lunch and the afternoon. You could incorporate the nearby Aquarium, and Sel de la Terre for dinner (excellent ,modern French style, a fav of CHs here.)You could also go the local seafood route and try Neptune Oyster in the North End (a CH favorite.)

              .
              The South End is Boston’s amazing well-preserved and very large Victorian district, chock-a-block w/ handsome brick and brownstone rowhouses and pocket parks, with a large gay population and lots of super restaurants(mostly bistro style). Union Bar and Grill and Acquitaine are my own favs. The former is handsome, dark, comfy with amer.regional food; the latter is trad French, very well executed and very attractive room.(somewhat like your L'Express.) Tremont 647 is a popular asian and latin influenced amer regional grilled food bistro. It has a FUN Sunday brunch, their famous Pajama Brunch, where all their servers, chefs etc. wear their pjs.On the edge of the South End is Toro, a very loud crowded Spanish tapas place owned by one of our most famous innovative chefs, Ken Oringer, whose Clio is probably Boston’s most innovative restaurant (and very expensive).

              When you follow Commonwealth Ave. from Brookline (Boston's first street car suburb)into the city, you will come to one of Boston's most beautiful features: Comm Ave between Mass Ave and Arlington St.(next to the Public Garden, the oldest arboretum/public park in the U.S).This part of Comm. Ave was designed after the Champs Elysees and is a long strip of park with handsome 19th c. homes lining both sides. It is parallel to and one block away from Newbury Street, Boston’s center of couture and art galleries , with many restaurants. (My own fav is a handsome bustling , terrific Amer. Regional food bistro,Sonsie, at the Newbury St. end by Mass. Ave. (and close to Clio) . It is dark and handsome, LOUD and always crowded; very popular w/ the Euro set, and with a sidewalk- fronting wall that opens up in season.

              At the other end of Newbury St. and across the Public Garden, away from Comm Ave, is Beacon Hill, Boston’s well preserved elite neighborhood of 18th and 19th c. town and rowhouses. Near the State House side of Beacon Hill (and the Boston Common) is No.9 Park, exp. innovative Northern Italian, beloved by many CHs. At the base of another side of Beacon Hill is Charles St., dating from the same time period and where there are many restnts. and handsome shops. Lala Rokh is a very good romantic quiet Persian restaurant. On the Govt.Centyer side of Beacon Hill is another CH fav- Grotto.

              Lastly, I would steer you to our Chinatown. Very small but still unique. It dates back to the early 19th c. when it was the center of the garment industry here. It’s dirty and funky but has interesting buildings, and the Chinatown Gate, and plenty of good food (another CH will fill you in on fav places I’m sure.). Nearby is a new and newly famous Japanese restnt- O Ya; recently heralded as ‘one of best new restnts in u.s’. by some famous critic. Very expensive and innovative.

              If you do decide to visit the subway- accessible bustling, historic Harvard Square area of Cambridge, I would steer you to Casablanca and Craigie Street Bistro.Since you were willing to walk to Oleana from the subway, I think you would benefit greatly by walking from the Harv Sq T to EVOO( our most frequented bistro.)

              I'm sure you will be pleased with Clearflour's breads. Iggy's is another justly famous bread bakery. Their breads are sold in Whole Foods and many other stores.Pigs Fly Breads, while made in Maine, have a new outlet near you and their breads are very innovative and amazing.

              In Brookline, there are many many excellent Asian restaurants on which other CHs can wax more informatively than I. For traditional quality Japnese sushi we like Mr. Sushi. For more unusual non-sushi dishes, there is an excellent below-ground Japanese place on a side street across from the Coolidge Corner Cinema.

              In Brookline Village is Pomodoro and the Turkish Family Restaurant and the excellent Chinese place, Szichuan Garden, which has many unusual dishes and has been extensively CH- covered. A few blocks from Brookline Village is La Morra, with some very good Northern Italian food and many special dinner events throughout the year. I don't think you'll find Jewish delis here that will thrill you. A T ride west will get you to 51 Lincoln in Newton Highlands. Interesting international menu with some innovative twists.
              In Brookline and Allston,you are surrounded by the full variety of ethnic shopping options - Asian, Russian, Latin, etc etc. Marty's has a lot of French and other European foodstuffs.(For a large number of Armenian , Greek and Middle Eastern foodstores, you'd go to Watertown, the center of Boston's substantial Armenian community[and a bus ride from Harv Sq.])
              Brookline Liquor Mart is one of Boston's best wine stores. FYI, a large percentage of Boston CH posts are about food places in your neck of the woods, as it is a real culinary nexus. Brookline follows a general rule in the U.S.: where there is a substantial Jewish community,there is a large number of ethnic and other restaurants and food stores (as well as excellent libraries and schools!).So congratulations! You're in a great spot!
              We look forward to reading your reports.

              2 Replies
              1. re: opinionatedchef
                t
                Taralli RE: opinionatedchef Sep 19, 2008 01:28 PM

                I believe Shiki is the below ground Japanese place this hound means.

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  a
                  AnnieP RE: opinionatedchef Sep 23, 2008 06:07 PM

                  Wow- there is lots of good info in this thread. Two things to add: 1) while in the Beacon Hill area, I would suggest checking out 75 Chestnut. I've had only good experiences there in terms of service and food. As for tonic, I grew up in this area, and tonic is what my dad, who would be in his 90s if he were alive, always called Coke, etc. And don't forget jimmies for your ice cream...Enjoy...

                2. Joanie RE: nader Sep 19, 2008 05:51 AM

                  You're basically asking what's good in Boston and besides the things herein, you just need to read the board. There are several Coolidge Corner and Brookline threads. Lots on the south end, north end, back bay, Jamaica Plain, etc. (the different sections of town) and of course the same is true for Cambridge. So a search will help with all these things. As far as the baguette goes, there's a newish bakery Tatte (I think) on Beacon St. just outside Kenmore that might work altho they may be more dessert oriented. JP has two good bakeries, Blue Frog and Canto 6 (who get their bread from Clearflour) who you may want to check out.

                  1. BostonZest RE: nader Sep 19, 2008 08:05 AM

                    Welcome to Boston and this lovely Chowhound community. You have been given lots of good info and the boards are loaded with more.

                    I hope you have found your farmers' Market - Coolidge Corner on Thursday afternoons.
                    Here is information on it from a piece I did earlier this year. It will continue through the end of October.

                    http://www.bostonzest.com/2008/06/bro...

                    1. b
                      BBHound RE: nader Sep 19, 2008 01:11 PM

                      Here is an earlier thread with a similar theme:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/414432

                      1. poptart RE: nader Sep 19, 2008 01:53 PM

                        I second the Brookline Farmer's market....right in Coolidge Corner. Clear Flour has a stand there as well. This is a fantastic market and you will enjoy shopping there very much!

                        1. l
                          lgss RE: nader Sep 19, 2008 07:23 PM

                          Harvard Square....Veggie Planet at Club Passim
                          Central Square...Asmara (Eritrean/Ethiopian)
                          Porter Square...Elephant Walk (French/Cambodian)
                          Davis Square...Martsa on Elm (Tibetan)
                          All on the red line (I don't know that these would be considered "authentic Boston) but fit your accessible by T requirement.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: lgss
                            n
                            nader RE: lgss Sep 21, 2008 12:21 PM

                            Thanks all for the suggestions! We will surely try them all out in due time...

                            This weekend we ventured out to the beautiful downtown area, trying to figure out where all the malls are and to get some Chinese food (the wife is Chinese, so she needs her weekly fix!). We ended up having lunch at a wonderful Turkish resto near Faneuil Hall (Sultan's Kitchen, I think). The food was good and cheap, though a little heavy on the salt. For dinner, we ended up in Chinatown and went to The New Golden Gate, on the rec of a HK friend from work. We originally wanted to go to Ha Lei Moon (sp?) or Peach Farm but both were super packed. We weren't disappointed with TNGG at all, and had a wonderful beef and brocolli. The noodle dish we had was good, not great, and the Kung Pao chicken had neither any kung nor pao but was flavorful nonetheless.

                            Next week is our culinary tour of Cambridge. I've planned for breakfast at The Neighborhood Resto and Bakery, lunch at Tamarind Bay and dinner at Helmand or Mulan. Any other suggestions along the way??

                            1. re: nader
                              b
                              Bluebell RE: nader Sep 22, 2008 08:05 AM

                              If you really are a fan of big breakfast, feel free to hit the neighborhood, but you may not be hungry for lunch. Petsi Pies is an excellent lighter option.

                              If you are chocolate fans, stop by LA Burdick in Hvd Sq. Also mosey through Cardullo's--it's overpriced, but amusing to see how much stuff they can fit into a tiny store.

                              1. re: nader
                                opinionatedchef RE: nader Sep 25, 2008 08:20 PM

                                mulan is super. they have the best(moistest, meatiest,sweet and smokey) smoked duck
                                of all the many i have had in boston. Also unique to this place (and superb) are the Smoked pork with lotus root and scallions and the Smoked beef spirals(catch a theme here?!)

                              2. re: lgss
                                p
                                Parsnipity RE: lgss Sep 22, 2008 06:50 AM

                                Had the Henry's favorite brunch pizza at Veggie Planet yesterday- roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, asiago cheese and a _generous_ melted pile of delicious goat cheese. One of the best pizzas I've had in a while that wasn't grilled on my own back porch...

                              3. g
                                ghostcat RE: nader Sep 21, 2008 09:35 PM

                                You both sound adventurous, so I'm sure you'll soon be adding to the chow board for new found favorites. I live almost in Coolidge Corner and am out for dinner six nights a week. Jae's is at the foot of my street and is underrated but I've always enjoyed myself there. I go to both the Washington St and Beacon St. Taverns, love Dalia's, the Village Smoke House and Zenna's, not always top choices on this board. When I head into town, Teatro is the easiest to get to on the T, but the Union Bar & Grille and Rocca are also favorites. I've spent more Sundays at the Beehive than some of the musicians. I only go then because it's the easiest night to get in. Upstairs at the Square in Cambridge is great fun and so is Henrietta's Table or Patio, depending on the weather. For an adventure, take the T to So.Station and use the Silver Line to go to the Court House Station. It's the most dramatic T stop in town and from there you can go to the Daily Catch for an alfresco lunch with the best view of the city. You should wander down to at least look at the new ICA building and maybe eat at the Legal Test Kitchen. Boston is a great city to walk around in, so no matter where you are headed, try walking to get half way there. You'll be surprised at what you might discover along the way.

                                1. BobB RE: nader Sep 23, 2008 07:28 AM

                                  I also live in Brookline and can heartily second the recommendation for Shiki, a most atypical (for the US) Japanese place. For sushi our #1 pick at the moment is Gari, on Harvard St. a block or so towards Brookline Village. It's one of the few "fusion" restaurants that doesn't just deliver the worst of both East & West. Besides, it's worth a visit for the high-tech rest room alone!

                                  There are no great Jewish delis left in Boston but you can get truly excellent corned beef at Michael's, he has it flown in from NYC. If, like my wife, you're into hearty whole-grain breads the new When Pigs Fly outlet on Beacon St has a great selection, but my personal taste runs more to the classical European-style breads (baguettes, brioche, German rye, etc) for which Clear Flour is the absolute best in the entire region, I trust you've managed to find them by now.

                                  -----
                                  Clear Flour Bread Bakery
                                  178 Thorndike St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                  Gari-Japanese Fusion
                                  187 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                  Michael's Deli
                                  256 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                  Shiki
                                  9 Babcock St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                  When Pigs Fly Breads
                                  1378 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                                  1. mini_me RE: nader Sep 23, 2008 10:27 AM

                                    My favorites are ...

                                    Brookline: Shiki (izakaya style), Brookline Family Restaurant, Sichuan Garden (order from the chinese menu), Dok Bua (one of the best Thai), Michael's Deli (roast beef), Min Sok (korean sashimi and awesome kalbi jin), Orinoco (but I've only been the the south end location), Zaftigs is very popular for brunch.

                                    Southend: Flour for lunch or breakfast, Toro (tapas), Chocolee (freshly made beignets)

                                    Cambridge (Inman): Muqueca (brazilian), Christina's (best ice cream!), Oleana, Burdicks for hot chocolate and cake (skip finale!!)

                                    I've documented my eats on my blog (with photos). Some of the restaurants are echoed by many on the Boston chow board =)

                                    http://bostonchomps.blogspot.com

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mini_me
                                      l
                                      Lucymax RE: mini_me Sep 23, 2008 03:35 PM

                                      For Cambridge, I agree about Upstairs on the Square. This is one of my favorite restaurants, for several reasons really: great decor, great food, and they have lots of special events (live dancing music about once a month -- you can actually dine and dance, amazingly). Also in Cambridge, Harvest is really a great restaurant. I think they really deliver, and also have great service. The bar area is very cozy, if you just want a drink and appetizers.

                                    2. g
                                      goodeater RE: nader Sep 24, 2008 11:21 AM

                                      I live in Brookline too and agree with most of the above posts but no one has mentioned one of our favorite take out sandwich places -- the Brookline Spa on Harvard St. It doesnt look like much and it took me years to give it a try, but the sandwiches are great. We always stop there before a road trip so we dont have to buy bad food on the highway.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: goodeater
                                        p
                                        Parsnipity RE: goodeater Sep 24, 2008 12:06 PM

                                        Ah ha- I knew there was another "Spa" I'd been to. Their sandwiches are really good.

                                      2. ChefJune RE: nader Sep 24, 2008 12:23 PM

                                        No one's yet mentioned my favorite places in the area. FAovorite chef in Boston/Cambridge is Jody Adams, and I love her ITalian version of the refurbished Rialto in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. She occasionally does cooking class/lunches on Saturday. Very informative and lots of fun.

                                        I also love Hamersley's Bistro and Icarus. Both are South End mainstays. Not trendy, but just consistently wonderful food.

                                        1. r
                                          rseliskar RE: nader May 26, 2010 10:45 PM

                                          Hi,
                                          Just moved to Waltham from Montreal... bread sucks here so far... did you ever find that baguette? Any other suggestions for another Montrealer? thanks!

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: rseliskar
                                            Tir_na_nOg RE: rseliskar May 26, 2010 11:58 PM

                                            No decent bread in Waltham that I can think of (although it is the best foodie town west of Cambridge/Boston).

                                            Boston isn't a bread town, unfortunately. My favorite is B&R in Framingham (you can pick up their excellent French baguettes at Formaggio Kitchen near Fresh Pond in Cambridge).

                                            Speaking of which, go to Formaggio Kitchen immediately. Not what you asked, but good advice anyway for a Boston newbie! If you go on Saturday at lunch time they have BBQ on the sidewalk.

                                            -----
                                            Formaggio Kitchen
                                            244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                            B&R Bread
                                            151 Cochituate Rd, Framingham, MA

                                            1. re: Tir_na_nOg
                                              Karl S RE: Tir_na_nOg May 27, 2010 02:33 AM

                                              Well, there are more options, like Clear Flour in Brookline, Iggy's in Cambridge, some good stuff at Russo's in Watertown, Rosenfeld's Bagels in Newton Center, different things at different shops in the Little Armenia section of Watertown, et cet.

                                              1. re: Karl S
                                                Tir_na_nOg RE: Karl S May 27, 2010 04:59 AM

                                                Didn't mean to imply there is no good bread in Boston, just that it's harder to find than in some parts of the country.

                                                But Fredid told me we are the "Ice Cream Capital of the US". Whoo-hoo!!!

                                                1. re: Tir_na_nOg
                                                  Karl S RE: Tir_na_nOg May 27, 2010 05:43 AM

                                                  Not really. We used to be, back in the late 1980s, when there were over a dozen frozen dessert shacks in the Harvard Square area alone. Not no mo.

                                                  1. re: Tir_na_nOg
                                                    Karl S RE: Tir_na_nOg May 27, 2010 05:45 AM

                                                    Boston is a *way* better bread town now than it was a generation ago, when Au Bon Pain represented its pinnacle in that regard. We have quite a number of fine bread bakeries in various neighborhoods all over the place. They are just not usually in prime real estate locations with high foot traffic, because overhead for real estate has long been a huge problem for food establishments in the greater Boston area. A diligent search of these boards will uncover many riches.

                                                2. re: Tir_na_nOg
                                                  b
                                                  bear RE: Tir_na_nOg May 27, 2010 06:50 AM

                                                  B&R is pretty easy to get to from Waltham. Right up the Mass. Pike to Rte. 30, head toward Framingham. It's in a strip mall on the left, but easy to miss.

                                                  I've gotten some delicious prune-walnut bread and some good cookies in the past, so it's worth going to check out what's available that day at the store. It's important to remember that they close around 3, though.

                                                3. re: rseliskar
                                                  BobB RE: rseliskar May 27, 2010 05:36 AM

                                                  Clear Flour is an amazing bakery, but their standard baguette is one of their weaker offerings, in my opinion. I've had far better versions in small towns in France. Their Ancienne Baguette is better - it's a bit darker, with a much better (crisper) crust. But it's only available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

                                                  1. re: rseliskar
                                                    BostonZest RE: rseliskar May 27, 2010 05:42 AM

                                                    Try the farmers market this time of year. We don't have good bread in the Back Bay until the markets open and then we have lots of choices.

                                                    June 6 th Newton opens
                                                    http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/Parks/spec...

                                                    June 10th the Belmont market will open
                                                    http://www.belmontfarmersmarket.org/v...

                                                    June 12 the Waltham Market opens
                                                    http://www.waltham-community.org/Farm...

                                                    Penny
                                                    http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                                    1. re: rseliskar
                                                      Berheenia RE: rseliskar May 28, 2010 10:46 AM

                                                      Japonaise Bakery in Brookline makes a fine baguette.
                                                      Now you're in Mass you might want to note the Blue Laws still state: Liquor Stores must be closed for Memorial, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Days.

                                                    2. rlh RE: nader May 27, 2010 05:53 AM

                                                      FYI, Russo's Watertown imports some specialty breads and bagels from Montreal, however, to get that fresh baguette (Russo's is just OK when fresh and heads downhill really fast), I agree that Clear Flour and B&R are very good options, but for me the very best is from Mamadou's Artisan Bakery in Winchester - probably too off the beaten track and out of the way for you, but I know they sell at the Arlington and Belmont Farmers Markets and maybe Lexingon - all of his bread I've had has been amazing.

                                                      -----
                                                      Mamadou's Artisan Bakery
                                                      63 Swanton St, Winchester, MA 01890

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: rlh
                                                        Karl S RE: rlh May 27, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                        Any good baguette heads downhill really fast, btw. It's a bread that is meant to be eaten soon after purchase - one buys them at different times of day just before the meal they are intended to be used for. Just like good bagels and hard rollls. Unfortunately, Americans assume that resistance to staling is necessarily an indication of quality, whereas it really is a function of the type of bread.

                                                        1. re: rlh
                                                          PinchOfSalt RE: rlh May 27, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                          Amen! There are other bakeries whose breads I enjoy (all mentioned in this thread) but Mamadou's is at the very top of my list. Every loaf that I have tried has been scrumptious. Great crust, great crumb, no loaf lasts long enough to stale.

                                                        Show Hidden Posts