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Lambextravaganza!

m
Misterie Mar 24, 2009 09:40 AM

With Spring upon us and Easter around the corner my thoughts have turned to Lamb dishes of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. I'd love to hear your recommendations for restaurants serving delicious lamb dishes - anything from simple succulent kabobs to tender lamb chops to smothered shanks, from tandori to stews to sausages. To keep you all focused, my preference is for a place I can take a crew of 6-8 people, T-accessible a plus but not a requirement, nothing too expensive (entrees < $20) , just good lamb dishes - greek, indian, persian, north african, whatever. Thanks in advance!

  1. m
    Misterie Apr 28, 2009 11:51 AM

    So we finally had the Lambextravaganza @ Brookline Family Restaurant this past Sat night. We had a ball - mostly due to great DCs and the quirkiness of the restaurant. Service, as promised, was spotty (had to prompt for menus and drinks...server didn't think one of the DC was serious when he ordered Baklava to start...turkish coffees never arrived), but the food was very solid for a no frills restaurant. It was nothing to swoon over - perhaps the stuffed eggplant or turkish pizza topped the offerings - but it was fun. For a Sat night there were a total of 3 parties eating at 8 pm, so perhaps this restaurant hits its peak at a different time or day? Lamb chops, lamb kabobs, turkish pizzas with lamb and with sausage, sultan's delight (lamb over eggplant), and numerous hot and cold apps were devoured happily with no complaints.

    Still...it left me still yearning for the original Lambextravaganza I had about 6-8 years ago at the Indian/Pakistani place in the Super 88 Food Court - where we had endless plates full of perfectly cooked lamb chops....we gave him the heads up a day or two beforehand and he set us up! The sikh chef who cooked there has since left and cooks at Kabob Factory these days, i think. He is a master with the Tandor.

    Thanks again to all for their recommendations.

    1. m
      Misterie Apr 6, 2009 08:23 AM

      We've settled on Brookline Family Restaurant. T-Accessible; price accessible (shade cheaper than Helmand); never been there (a big plus); can grab a pint at Matt Murphy's afterwards; numerous lamb options. Thanks to all for their great suggestions; will try some of them soon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Misterie
        GretchenS Apr 6, 2009 10:44 AM

        I think you'll really like it, the food is always great there, but I should have mentioned before that the service can be a bit lackadaisical. Not uncaring, just unpolished. if you need another utensil or napkin you are best off just helping yourself (no one will raise an eyebrow), that kind of thing.

      2. MC Slim JB Mar 31, 2009 10:06 AM

        Lots of great stuff on here already! Let me add:

        Hunkar begendi at Brookline Family, a lamb stew on top of an ethereal eggplant puree.

        Spicy lamb bolognese at Pops.

        Bean and lamb-stock soup at Jerusalem Pita.

        Gyros at Farm Grille and Rotisserie.

        Lamb/eggplant dumplings at Oleana.

        Pincho moruno at Estragon.

        M'katef (also a nice merguez sausage) at Cafe Baraka.

        Lamb kebab sandwich at Pita Kabob.

        Khorma (leg of lamb) challow at The Helmand.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        3 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB
          s
          Stride Mar 31, 2009 10:30 AM

          I'll add the Lamb Shamday at Martsa on Elm, and another vote for anything lamb at Helmand.

          1. re: Stride
            MC Slim JB Mar 31, 2009 10:46 AM

            I love the beef shamday there, didn't know Martsa did it with lamb! Wicked.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          2. re: MC Slim JB
            litchick Mar 31, 2009 02:44 PM

            OMG I love that spicy lamb bolognese at Pops. Easily one of my favorite indulgence dishes around town.

          3. m
            Misterie Mar 31, 2009 06:47 AM

            Thanks all...many good ones...keep them coming if anyone has any other great ideas. I agree with Sultans...miss working down there...Zoe's Lamb with Cumin is awesome...we had the original Lambextravaganza years ago at the Indian place in the Super 88 Market in Allston years ago when they had a different cook there - 8-10 friends and piles and piles of lamb rib chops. I've heard he's at Kabob Factory now...not as economical as the food court.

            Since it hasn't been mentioned, the Aegean's Lamb Rib Appetizer is the best deal on their menu...it's an appetizer but you get a large pile of delicious lamb (not the perfect lamb rib chops but another cut with more fat but oh so delicious).

            All these great ideas make it really hard to pick just one...if the economy wasn't in reverse we'd have to have a Lamb Crawl.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Misterie
              BostonZest Mar 31, 2009 10:31 AM

              Mentioning the 88 food court in this conversation reminded me of the Mongolian Lamb at Wisteria. I don't know if they make it at the food court but it was one of my must haves when they were on Newbury.

            2. d
              douglord Mar 29, 2009 10:47 AM

              Try the Tandori Lamb at Kashmir.

              One of the best lamb rib chops around.

              1. n
                nasilemak Mar 28, 2009 05:55 PM

                Spring Lamb sauteed and cooked with tomatoes and wine - Desfina

                Lamb pizza - Scampo

                1. y
                  yummieeee Mar 26, 2009 11:46 PM

                  For good lamb kabobs try Demos in either Watertown or Waltham. Sorry it's not near the T but it might be worth the trip to Framingham to try the sichuan goumet. They had a great lamb dish. Chengdu spicy lamb. They rated it three chilis but i didn't find it overly spicy. Great flavor and very tender. Good size portions. It's a great place to order a bunch of meals and then share them.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: yummieeee
                    t
                    Taralli Mar 27, 2009 05:20 AM

                    Demos in Watertown is T-accessible if you're willing to take a bus from Harvard Sq(#71 goes right by), and it's a 5" walk up Mt. Auburn from Watertown Sq. accessible by #57 from Kenmore and #70 from Central Sq.

                    1. re: yummieeee
                      s
                      Spenbald Mar 27, 2009 07:02 PM

                      Uggh. I'm sorry, but Demo's is just not worth a trip. If you're going to head all the way to Watertown, better to try Jasmie or Fordee's on the east end of town. Much better food at either location. Have had lamb at both locations that is juicy and tender, but nothing more than gristly fat from Demo's.

                      We had INCREDIBLE lamb four ways at Craigie on Main last Friday, including a merguez that just exploded in your mouth with rich, spiced lamb flavor. Also had an amazing special at Trattoria Il Panino back in December with lamb ravioli and an entire braised lamb shank with broccoli rabe. Absolutely delicious.

                      1. re: yummieeee
                        b
                        Blumie Apr 28, 2009 12:37 PM

                        Because I hate to see it get lost as this thread continues to grow, I want to reiterate the deliciousness of the Chengdu spicy lamb at Sichuan Gourmet. It is one of my favorite items on their menu.

                      2. l
                        lulatula Mar 26, 2009 11:31 AM

                        I had a great lamb shank with a fig and merlot reduction at Dalias Bistro and Wine Bar in Brookline on Monday night. It is on their restaurant week menu and worth every penny.

                        1. BostonZest Mar 25, 2009 06:43 PM

                          I love this game!

                          Lamb lamejun from Eastern Lamejun Bakers in Belmont. You can even have them in the freezer when lamb cravings strike.

                          www.easternlamejun.com

                          145 Belmont St
                          Belmont, MA 02478
                          (617) 484-5239

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BostonZest
                            GretchenS Mar 26, 2009 08:59 AM

                            excellent call, it's been too long since I had those in the freezer....

                          2. p
                            pickledtink Mar 25, 2009 05:02 PM

                            Two weekends ago I had the Lamb with cumin in spicy sauce (from the North-South side of the menu) at Zoe's in Somerville. I thought it was great! A large plate of very tender bits of spice-encrusted lamb. Not a high heat level, but a good amount of interesting spice and flavor in each chopstick size-bite.

                            Yum!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pickledtink
                              litchick Mar 25, 2009 06:50 PM

                              just had that a 1/2 hr ago! i still like the qingdo version a bit better, but the zoe's is plenty tasty.

                            2. c
                              cpingenot Mar 25, 2009 03:30 PM

                              The Lamb kabobs at Sultan's Kitchen convinced me that I really could like lamb after all.

                              1. fmcoxe6188 Mar 25, 2009 09:15 AM

                                Ive been rather obsessed with Lamb recently myself- I have to say I was impressed with the lamb sandwich at Flour bakery. Well seasoned, nice chutney...tasty for lunch.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: fmcoxe6188
                                  BostonZest Mar 25, 2009 09:57 AM

                                  And, that reminds me of the Lamb sandwich at Sel de la Terre from the Boulangerie and sometimes on the lunch menu at the State street location. You would have to check before you go. I don't see it on the menu today.

                                  1. re: fmcoxe6188
                                    steinpilz Mar 26, 2009 04:43 AM

                                    The lamb sandwich at Flour Bakery is great.

                                  2. hotoynoodle Mar 25, 2009 06:40 AM

                                    braised lamb shoulder over flatbread with yogurt at casablanca. it was an appetizer but plenty big for a main -- about $12 i think. excellent.

                                    1. r
                                      RichardA Mar 24, 2009 06:25 PM

                                      Had some excellent lamb bacon at Troquet tonight

                                      1. BostonZest Mar 24, 2009 03:46 PM

                                        Love the lamb shank on the Winter menu at Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway. Just check that they haven't switched to the Spring menu if you're going for the lamb.

                                        1. litchick Mar 24, 2009 01:49 PM

                                          There's a lamb shwarma at Sofra in Watertown that I melt for.
                                          http://www.sofrabakery.com/

                                          And the lamb with spicy cumin sauce at Qingdao Garden --- wow.

                                          Of course, I echo the rec for Helmand. When I think lamb, I think Helmand.

                                          1. y
                                            y2000k Mar 24, 2009 11:38 AM

                                            I just read here on Boston Chowhound about the $20 Sunday Lamb Roast at Rialto:
                                            http://www.rialto-restaurant.com/news...

                                            I've always enjoyed the lamb soup at Beijing Star in Waltham.

                                            1. g
                                              gourmaniac Mar 24, 2009 11:29 AM

                                              Here are a couple. The roast lamb and eggplant sandwich at Artu (~$6-8) and the Sultan's delight and adana kebab at Family Turkish restaurant.

                                              1. galangatron Mar 24, 2009 10:45 AM

                                                second the recommendation for the helmand. especially for the qabelee (chunks of braised lamb shank baked with rice, raisins, and glazed carrots), chowpan (grilled rack of lamb), and lamb lawand (sauteed leg of lamb). they also have lots of good non-lamb and vegetarian options

                                                1. GretchenS Mar 24, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                  Helmand Restaurant in Cambridge has outstanding rack of lamb and loads of other good things -- those aushak (leek ravioli) are amazing as is the banjan (eggplant) app. The lamb is a bit outside your price parameters although most other things on the menu are well within. http://www.helmandrestaurantcambridge.com/home5.htm

                                                  The grilled kofte and adana kabob (skewered lamb concoctions) at the Brookline Family Restaurant are both great – I usually get them as part of the mixed grill which is great for getting lots of tastes. Other favorites there are the mucver (zucchini fritters), falafel and stuffed kofte apps, the latter having a lamb filling. This is definitely a place to share everything family-style. http://brooklinefamilyrestaurant.com/

                                                  There are some very interesting lamb dishes on the Sichuan part of the menu at Chilli Garden in Medford Square.—I know we really liked the home-style lamb and can’t remember the other one we liked a lot. The wait staff are really good with recommendations there. And don’t miss the wontons with chili sauce, they are fabulous.

                                                  1. c
                                                    cpingenot Mar 24, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                    The lamb kabobs at Sultan's kitchen (near Gov. Center/ State Street) convinced me that I really could like lamb after all.

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