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Reef Cafe: RIP

fragolino Jan 5, 2009 04:52 PM

It is with deep sadness that I report the closing of the Reef Cafe in Allston. I saw the note posted on the door today as I walked by which said a new Japanese place would be moving in.

I can remember back to when I'd eat there. I'd place my order with Salaam, he'd call it down to mama who would create some truly delicious food. Back then, I used to go several times a week. The family was so welcoming and generous, that it was hard not to love the place between the great food and atmosphere. Once they became well known though, I don't think they could keep up with the volume and they resorted to pre-cooking and freezing main dishes.
I'd go back for the odd falafel or shawarma sandwich but it wasn't the same.

I'm sad to see them go and I hope other stars of the neighborhood don't go down this path.
Incidentally, I was on my way to Gitlo's when I spotted the note. I was afraid he'd head down the same path after that Globe article, but I'm happy to say that the place is back to what it started out as - great made-to-order dim sum. Let's hope it stays that way!

  1. neongreenkitty Jan 6, 2009 06:49 AM

    We were there the day after Christmas and Salaam told us that he'd be closing soon. He said he was looking for a place in Cambridge. He wants to have a nicer sit-down kind of place. We expressed concern about how to find him when he reopens but he said we would know!

    6 Replies
    1. re: neongreenkitty
      hiddenboston Jan 6, 2009 06:58 AM

      That's potentially great news. I hope they are able to do it.

      1. re: neongreenkitty
        StriperGuy Jan 6, 2009 07:04 AM

        Way cool.

        1. re: neongreenkitty
          powella Jan 6, 2009 10:53 AM

          Thanks neongreenkitty, for preventing my tears from falling. I think I can hold it together now that you've posted this hopeful message. Every time I ate the stuffed cabbage there I had that dreaded thought: "Will this be the last time?" I hope they can find a good location soon.

          We walked by January 2nd and saw the place was closed, no note. I deluded myself into thinking maybe Salaam and family had FINALLY taken a much deserved vacation. RIP, Reef!

          1. re: powella
            powella Aug 8, 2010 04:27 PM

            Ok, hounds- just had to resurrect this old thread in the hopes that someone, somewhere might know something about Salaam and family's plans. Any word? Please, oh please?

            1. re: powella
              StriperGuy Aug 8, 2010 04:58 PM

              I have actually had my eye out, but sadly, no sign of Reef Cafe II.

              1. re: powella
                lipoff Aug 8, 2010 06:45 PM

                I really hope they come back --- the Reef Cafe was one of my favorite places. Oh that pumpkin kibbe!

                It may be a small consolation, but Garlic 'n Lemons, which is nearby the old Reef Cafe spot, is a really terrific Middle Eastern restaurant with a similar price point to the Reef Cafe.

                Garlic 'n Lemons
                133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134

          2. hiddenboston Jan 6, 2009 04:47 AM

            Yeah, the closing of Reef Cafe was very recent (I'm pretty sure they were open as of last week). I was going to write about its closing yesterday on my blog but had about 10 million other things I had to do, so I never got around to it. I'll miss the people there--they were so friendly--and I will definitely miss that amazing falafel sandwich with the pickles inside; as I've said before, it was perhaps one of my top 10 favorite food items in any Boston restaurant.

            1. b
              BostonCharles Jan 5, 2009 10:28 PM

              too bad... it really was good.

              1. MC Slim JB Jan 5, 2009 08:06 PM

                Rats! My favorite fava falafel, just fine Mom's kind of cooking all around. I didn't go often enough, obviously.

                1. Luther Jan 5, 2009 07:21 PM


                  1. StriperGuy Jan 5, 2009 05:08 PM

                    That is sad. I loved the place, but even as I did, it never really hit it's stride and was able to be the well-oiled-machine that any restaurant must become. RIP Reef Cafe.

                    1. GretchenS Jan 5, 2009 05:01 PM

                      This is so sad I can't stand it. My friends and I always argue who has the best falafel and Reef Cafe is (was -- *sigh*) always one of the contenders. And Salaam is so incredibly nice.

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