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What restaurants don't we talk about enough?

About a year ago I was catching up on the posts and learned about this new place, The Hungry Mother. I've now been twice and loved it. I haven't looked at the posts now for probably 2-3 months, but I'm not seeing new names. Of course, a down economy will certainly slow things up quite a bit, but there's got to be something different / noteworthy / recently upgraded out there. Where do you like?

Personal faves include: East Coast Grill, Oishii, Casa Portugal, The Helmand, Oleana, Chez Henri, Vinny's at Night, Shangri-la, China Pearl, The Blue Room, India Quality, Lala Rokh, Belle Isle Seafood (lobster rolls). For those of you who are more "old-timers," the original Green Street Grill, and Chef Chandler's were particular standouts.

Sometimes, it's just about inspiration...

Thank you!

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  1. Places I like that aren't talked about much on this board include:

    Cronin's in Quincy
    La Cascia's in Medford
    Pasta Lina in Medford
    Qingdao Garden in Cambridge
    El Paisa in East Boston
    Great Thai Chef in Somerville
    Simco's in Mattapan
    Sabatino's in Arlington
    Mrs. Jones in Lower Mills
    Kashish in Belmont

    9 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Is Great Thai Chef the place in Union Sq.?

      1. re: galleygirl

        Yes, it's in the plaza area with the parking lot.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          Okay, so let's discuss. What's good there, and how does it compare with some of my Brookline faves, like Dok Bua, Khao Sarn and Rod Dee? Or even S&I in Allston, which I don't get to enough....

          1. re: galleygirl

            I don't like Great Thai Chef quite as much as Dok Bua or Khao Sarn, but their chicken coconut soup, rama garden, and drunken chicken are all excellent, IMO, as well as several of their other dishes. And I'm a big basil fried rice fan, and theirs is better than most, I'd say. The dirt cheap prices (most dishes under $10) and friendly people working there don't hurt, either.

            1. re: hiddenboston

              Good to know; thanks!
              When I';m in that nabe, for down and dirty, I tend to grab kim bop, the Korean sushi, from Reliable. They have the best kim bop around, with a high seaweed to rice ratio, (there's one with two layers of seaweed, inside the rice, and outside) which I love...

              1. re: galleygirl

                Where do you find the kim bop at Reliable? in a case? near the registers? would love to try it.

                I got a still warm mung bean pancake there one time (apologies I don't know the proper name) which was on a plastic-wrapped styrofoam tray close to the register. It was delicious!

                1. re: yumyum

                  If you're at the register, look down, and it's there. They have a more traditional kim bop that looks like sushi rounds, but they have one in uncut rolls, which is the one with double seaweed...
                  They're both in styrofoam trays, $4.95 I think...

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    For kim bop, another place to try is Han a rum market, really close to Qingdao Garden. It's not nearly as large as Reliable, but for prepared food, I like them better. It's all made on site rather than shipped in from New York.

                    Weekdays, there's side dishes in the fridge, marinated BBQ meats as well. On weekends, they make kim bop, duk (rice cakes), and a nice jun (pancake with scallions and other vegs).

                    1. re: selfish shellfish

                      SS - I concur! The prepped foods at Han A Rheum are delicious (a good variety of ban chan that I can see being prepped behind the counter)!

                      When I've run out of mom's supplies in the fridge, I always go there. The overall selection is small, but the place is clean and tidy and run with a lot of pride, and I find whatever basics I need.

    2. Here are a few that come to mind...
      Savant Project - Mission Hill
      Casa De Pedro - Watertown
      Ashmont Grill - Dorchester
      Quince - Needham

      2 Replies
      1. re: eiareis

        You better get to Quince quick if you want to try it one more time. I understand they failed to renew their restaurant license for 2009. Also closing is Gabriella's, on Highland.

        1. re: random amblings

          I believe that Quince is closed already. I'll double-check on this, but an acquaintance of mine who was heading there the other day told me that the phone was disconnected.

      2. I'd vote for Stellina in Watertown Square. It's been a favorite of ours since we lived in Watertown from 1998 to 2000. We've eaten there dozens of times over the years (most recently last week) and have seldom been disappointed. Food and service always hit the mark, and the ambience is extremely warm and pleasant.

        TM

        -----
        Stellina Restaurant
        47 Main St, Watertown, MA 02472

        1. Boston is lucky to have even one restaurant that represents the staples of West Africa - hearty, homecooked deliciousness such as stewed goat, jaloff rice, moi-moi (steamed black-eyed peas patty), dodo (plantains), fufu, eguzi (melon seed soup), etc. Served up by a very friendly Ghanaian man, any adventurous Chowhound should schlep to Hyde Park to at least give this place a try. It's cheap, delicious, out-of-the-ordinary; three things that embody the spirit of being a Chowhound.

          It's called "The African Cuisine", and it's on Hyde Park Ave, where it intersects w/ River. Across from Ron's Ice Cream (which is also very good, by the way).

          This place is almost NEVER talked about - ha, I think the two posts about it were by me.

          9 Replies
            1. re: Prav

              Prav - I have to note - another hound and I made a big effort to get there, and unfortunately, weren't excited - We did order "strange" - e.g. calve's foot - and weren't shocked that it wasn't very interesting. Other stuff - along the lines of what you've mentioned above - was just OK, although the fufu wasn't appealing.

              One unfortunate but important note: Neither of us are fussy abt our surroundings (I've traveled "on the cheap" through Guatemala) but both my male DC and I would suggest using the bathroom at the police station across the way, rather then the restaurant's.

              Would love to hear that others have had good experiences like Prav's - Maybe we were just there on an off night!

              1. re: fredid

                I think Dante, in East Cambridge, gets the short shrift. It is all around excellent ... and the entire staff really knows their food. The gnocchi is beautiful, the arancini (with truffled honey) is divine, and the menu is always inventive in terms of flavor but never overly fussy. And the view/surroundings ... one of the best views of the Charles anywhere ... and the interior/bar ... it is like cool Miami meets Boston. (Dante did finally get a Best of Boston 2008).

                1. re: academicbistro

                  I actually agree with you! I love Dante-they turned me on to Cauliflower Bisque that I absolutely cannot get enough of. Everything Ive had there has been tasty, and the wait staff is very knowledgeable. Youve actually reminded me that Im due for a visit :-)

                2. re: fredid

                  I can't remember if I ate there before or not. I did notice there's a new place on Hyde Park Ave. more toward Boston that used to be Chez Tata. I think I mentioned this in my recent post about Townsend's $15 deal. And another Latino place between that spot and River St. that used to be Angelina's or something similar. Will do some exploring.

                  1. re: fredid

                    Chowhounders sent me to The African Cuisine to get food for my book club more than a year ago. The owner was absolutely charming and helped me choose items and wrote out cooking and serving instructions for me.

                    A couple of members of my group had been to Africa and throughly enjoyed this food.
                    My experience was with take-out so I can't vouch for the rest rooms.

                    1. re: fredid

                      I also had tried the restaurant when it first opened. Agree with the restroom comment. Asked the waitress what I should try, she came up blank. I asked her what would she order if it was her birthday... Basically she told me I wouldn't like anything. A picky eater I am not, but she was absolutely right.

                    2. re: Prav

                      I completely agree that this place is a rare find. I was in West Africa in Peace Corps and finding this place filled a lonely spot in culinary heart. I LOVE the fufu, moi-moi and palm beer!

                      1. i love this topic. because my wife and i stay within a certain radius of home, i don't have a very deep knowledge of many places, but my favorites are (some of these palces I have seen mentioned and are well-liked, but don't seem to me to be that prominent on the board still):

                        Singh's Roti, Dorchester
                        Joyful Garden, Brighton
                        Chung Shin Yuan, Newton
                        Pho 2000, Fields Corner
                        El Oriental de Cuba, JP
                        Basta Pasta, Cambridge
                        India Quality, Kenmore
                        Taiwan Cafe, Chinatown
                        Hong Kong Eatery, Chinatown

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jylze

                          LOVE Singh's Roti; I've posted about them before....Always good to mention them!