Your Top 5
Yikes - this is impossible to answer without knowing what you want.
For example, do you want steak or do you want ethnic food? Similarly, do you want a fancy dining experience or do you want to try something funky? Finally, do you have any budgetary, location or food restrictions?
We're vegan and I'm gluten-free, so our list takes that into consideration.
Martsa on Elm, Tibetan, Davis Square, Somerville
Asmara, Eritrean/Ethiopian, Central Square, Cambridge
Elephant Walk, French/Cambodian, Porter Sq. Cambridge, Boston, Waltham
Veggie Planet, Harvard Sq, Cambridge
If you're venturing further afield...Organic Garden in Beverly or Life Alive in Lowell.
can you recommend anything specific at namaskar? i've been there twice now for their lunch buffet and found it extremely uninspired. westernized-indian-out-of-a-box was how it felt. the naan was light and buttery, but otherwise it was very yawn-worthy. i'm sure there's more going on since it's been a consistent board favorite, so any guidance would be helpful.
also, as to the centre st brunch--have you tried vee vee's yet? it's only sundays, i think, but it's probably my favorite in the city so far. especially because we haven't had to wait in line for it.
I didn't even know Namaskar did a lunch buffet, since I'm never in Davis Square at lunchtime, but rarely are Indian lunch buffets NOT uninspired. I've never been disappointed in anything I've ordered there, but I keep going back to the saag gosht, which is probably my favorite lamb dish in the entire city.
Agree on the saag gosht.
The dal makhani is outstanding, as has been every vegetarian dish I've tried. These days, we usually get the vegetarian platter for two, which has about a half dozen small servings of assorted vegetarian dishes.
Tandoori meats (freshly made, not from the buffet) are consistently excellent.
But my absolute favorite items at Namaskar are the breads. The poori are the best I've had anywhere.
The Helmand, Afghan, Cambridge
Brookline Family Restaurant, Turkish, Brookline Village
Hungry Mother of Cambridge, Southern-influenced, Cambridge
Oleana, Middle Eastern, Cambridge
The Kebab Factory, Somerville
143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Brookline Family Restaurant
305 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139
The Kebab Factory
414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143
233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02141
FuLoon (all around regional Chinese cookery), Malden Center
No. 9 Park (a Boston area instiution)
La Voile (French bistrot in the sense of extension of your living room hominess)
Dalí (Spanish - ducking the brickbats sure to be thrown my way extolling Taberna de Haro or Ken Oringer's place over this)
Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai's Asian fusion joint in Wellesley)
honorable mention to Brookline Family Restaurant (Turkish in Brookline Village)
Sure, I'll play along. Within Boston city limits only, and may change the list on a moment's notice:
King Fung Garden
Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe (breakfast)
(honorable mention: Franklin Cafe, Ten Tables, Icarus, Pigalle, Mamma Maria, Galleria Umberto, Pizzeria Regina, Peach Farm, Clio, No. 9 Park, Grill 23, Brown Sugar, India Quality, Shabu Zen, Toro, El Pelon)
Expanding out from Boston, but still staying within public transportation range, consider:
Oishii (Chestnut Hill)
Tamarind Bay (Cambridge)
East Coast Grill (Cambridge)
Dok Bua, Matt Murphy's (Brookline), Atasca, Mr. Bartley's, Dolphin Seafood, River Gods (Cambridge), Martsa on Elm, EVOO, Dali (Somerville), Kelly's (Revere Beach).
hearty thanks to everyone who contributed! we had a fabulous weekend. neptune oyster is unbelievably good. the lobster roll was to die for--warm toasty brioche slathered with lobster butter and piled high with some of the most incredibly tender, juicy, sweet lobster i've had (in 25 summers at the cape). WOW.
had delicious dim sum at hei la moon and a great martini at 28 degrees. wish we could stay another night!!