HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Restaurants everyone seems to HATE but you love

b
BackBayGirl May 30, 2009 09:23 PM

And on the opposite side, what restaurants often are panned on the board that you secretly or not so secretly like.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Johnresa RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 12:25 AM

    I love Fire and Ice and The Cheesecake Factory....they are both hated here.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Johnresa
      t
      teezeetoo RE: Johnresa May 31, 2009 05:45 AM

      Golden Temple. I know its expensive, american, lacks all authenticity, blah, blah - i love the bar, the quality of the food is very good, and they even make tea I like. I just accept that I'll keep going and I don't mind getting sneered at.

      1. re: teezeetoo
        p
        purple bot RE: teezeetoo May 31, 2009 06:26 AM

        Actually, I'm going to agree with you. It's a guilty pleasure of mine as well. They make really good mai tais too. Not too sweet.

        1. re: purple bot
          d
          devilham RE: purple bot Jun 2, 2009 09:59 AM

          I am going to third this one, the drinks are STRONG (I like the suffering bastard meself), and it's solid American style chinese, which is sometimes just what I am craving.....not always the perfect fit, but sort of almost a comfort food sometimes.

        2. re: teezeetoo
          t
          TheScribe RE: teezeetoo Jun 2, 2009 10:30 AM

          I have to second Golden Temple. When I want a big, fat Chinese meal with a better-than-average atmosphere, this is my go-to spot. I also -- dare I admit it -- like Arirang, the Korean buffet spot on Mass. Ave. So sue me.

          http://thegeminiweb.com

          1. re: TheScribe
            e
            edgewater RE: TheScribe Jun 4, 2009 05:05 AM

            I also like the Golden Temple especially the chicken liver with cashews appetizer.
            They also make great martinis.

        3. re: Johnresa
          m
          makonna RE: Johnresa May 31, 2009 01:11 PM

          We do really like the Cheesecake Factory as well. Lots of food for two meals. A huge menu of choices and who can argue the cheesecake.

        4. Snoop37 RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 08:51 AM

          i like Top of the Hub. I love their chowder, short ribs, and made to order baked cookies dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Snoop37
            BostonZest RE: Snoop37 May 31, 2009 12:17 PM

            I like Tip of the Hub for drinks and nibbles with Boston visitors. We also used to use view to distract a family member with dementia for a holiday meal. It worked and gave us a topic of conversation and something to keep her occupied while we waited.

            By the way, the staff was helpful in pushing our meal through the kitchen so that she had a short wait between courses. The food was okay.

            1. re: Snoop37
              Prav RE: Snoop37 May 31, 2009 12:55 PM

              Me too...those exact items, as well.

            2. 9
              9lives RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 08:59 AM

              I'm a minority here that I like Joe's on the Waterfront or Sail Loft. Ms 9 runs a small boutique hotel and marina nearby and it's just so close.

              I also see the Ipswich Shellfish Co ( a quality supplier used by many restaurants) unloading at Joe's.

              I can rarely get Ms 9 into Sail Loft; even though she's a long time friend of the owner. The Sea to You truck that they buy from doesn't help the cause. Never order the blackened tuna. BTW, I stopped at Sea to You yesterday and their downhill alert is still in effect. Tuna of a color that I've never seen in nature; and I've caught hundreds of tuna. Good fried clams and cold beer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 9lives
                t
                twentyoystahs RE: 9lives May 31, 2009 10:09 AM

                I love Joe's too, and their burger is really one of the best in the city, i think, It's never mentioned but it's one of the best choices on their menu.
                And The Sail Loft is just such a classic Boston experience I would go there just for that --and perhaps a beer, some chowder, an app or two. Certainly not a dining destination but a fun spot, especially on a sunny day or warm evening.

              2. ScubaSteve RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 09:03 AM

                Redbones and The Barking Crab

                5 Replies
                1. re: ScubaSteve
                  rlove RE: ScubaSteve May 31, 2009 09:29 AM

                  Second Barking Crab.

                  On a warm, breezy day, it is my #1 stop for lobster. I wouldn't want to eat indoors, and I would not order much beyond lobster, but I don't get the disrespect that place gets on this board. I really like it.

                  1. re: rlove
                    ScubaSteve RE: rlove May 31, 2009 09:40 AM

                    i just go for warm breezes, reggae, beers and maybe shrimps and crab legs.

                  2. re: ScubaSteve
                    ChickenBrocandZiti RE: ScubaSteve May 31, 2009 10:14 AM

                    I second both of those places.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve
                      d
                      d.gould RE: ScubaSteve Jun 2, 2009 12:58 PM

                      redbones is a guilty pleasure of mine. its not high end place, but it's a bbq joint and frankly a high end would just be weird. it is what it is and what it is is fabulous.

                      1. re: ScubaSteve
                        BobB RE: ScubaSteve Jun 2, 2009 01:26 PM

                        Redbones definitely, but it's not universally hated out here, lots of people like it.

                      2. e
                        emilief RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 09:28 AM

                        Legal Seafood- Chestnut Hill and Framingham, especially for the oysters.

                        1. d
                          dsmoxie RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 09:39 AM

                          The spicy pork bulgoki at Seoul Food.

                          1. litchick RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 09:54 AM

                            Christopher's and Summer Shack. Seriously. I know people hate 'em, but I have really never had bad meals at either place (maybe because I always order basically the same stuff).

                            Two words: buffalo tofu.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: litchick
                              w
                              wmassnative RE: litchick Jun 1, 2009 12:53 PM

                              I have to second the buffalo tofu... and the Moscow mules!

                              1. re: litchick
                                i
                                italyinmind RE: litchick Jun 1, 2009 03:21 PM

                                I've always enjoyed Christopher's as well. Usually think of it as a fall/winter place with the fireplace, and I keep my orders basic, but have been consistently satisfied.

                                1. re: litchick
                                  g
                                  Gabatta RE: litchick Jun 2, 2009 07:39 PM

                                  IMO Summer Shack in Alewife has the best oysters around.

                                2. c
                                  chuck s RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 11:07 AM

                                  The late Great Bay and Summer Shack. I get a clam roll at the latter, just the right amount of clams, or the cold seafood platter (oysters, clams, shrimp, crab legs etc).

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: chuck s
                                    h
                                    hckybg RE: chuck s May 31, 2009 03:55 PM

                                    I too have never had a bad meal at Summer Shack, and really enjoyed the lobster roll and corn dogs that I have had there. Maybe their fish isn't always the most interesting, but I never felt cheated. And I liked the scallops I had last time I went to the Alewife location.

                                    1. re: chuck s
                                      p
                                      Parsnipity RE: chuck s Jun 1, 2009 11:51 AM

                                      I have to agree with Summer Shack. It's a great go-to for out of town guests for us-- easy parking, our visitors get to gawk at the lobster tanks, and I always enjoy my meal. Plus, I ran into Jasper White in another context recently and the man was wearing black socks with red crabs on them. You gotta respect that.

                                      1. re: Parsnipity
                                        p
                                        pollystyrene RE: Parsnipity Jun 1, 2009 08:05 PM

                                        I do.

                                        1. re: Parsnipity
                                          p
                                          pollystyrene RE: Parsnipity Jun 1, 2009 08:09 PM

                                          The apparently secret Chow favorite: The Cheesecake Factory. Also, Rudy's in Teele Sq. and Johnny D's.

                                          EDIT: My posts keep popping up in the wrong spot! This was a response to the OP.

                                        2. re: chuck s
                                          Rubee RE: chuck s Jun 1, 2009 02:49 PM

                                          I've had good meals at Summer Shack too (have only been to the one in Cambridge), and think they make the best baked stuffed in the city. We tend to get the same things - the wood-grilled seafood specials (especially the bluefish), or splurge on that baked stuffed lobster with shrimp, or the signature pan-roasted lobster.

                                          1. re: Rubee
                                            litchick RE: Rubee Jun 2, 2009 12:34 PM

                                            Love the bluefish!

                                        3. s
                                          SASSYMI2 RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 06:45 PM

                                          Cheesecake Factory, hands down.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: SASSYMI2
                                            gastropunk46 RE: SASSYMI2 Jun 2, 2009 06:36 PM

                                            cheesecake factory gets a big pppp..uuuu...

                                          2. MrsCheese RE: BackBayGirl May 31, 2009 06:56 PM

                                            The board opinion on Trattoria Il Panino always seems lukewarm at best, but I really like it. We go there very frequently, especially in the summer when we can sit outside. They have a ragu with lamb, etc. in it that is very good, and I really like the frutti di mare. We haven't branched out into the rest of the menu much, so maybe we got lucky with what we order, but we really enjoy it there. It's hard enough to get into on a Friday night during the summer as it is though, so everyone else can just keep on hating. ;-)

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: MrsCheese
                                              n
                                              Northender RE: MrsCheese Jun 1, 2009 02:04 PM

                                              I think the board likes it OK , it's just the no water policy that is a turn off.

                                              1. re: MrsCheese
                                                hotoynoodle RE: MrsCheese Jun 2, 2009 07:12 AM

                                                i like il panino, especially that little one. i stick with the classics and have never had a bad meal there.

                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                  m
                                                  mrwhiskers RE: hotoynoodle Jun 2, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                  i ilke il panino ok too. even the one on mass ave in camb. has servicable pizza. no, i take that back, more than servicable pizza in a pizza wasteland.

                                              2. s
                                                Scruffy The Cat RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 12:20 PM

                                                I have had 2 very good meals with thoughtful, unpretentious service and a not-crazy tab at Olives in Charlestown. I know Todd English is everybody's whipping boy but try as I might, I couldn't find anything to criticize. Was it L'Espalier? No. But the two times I went (midweek) were really pleasant experiences.

                                                1. p
                                                  powerfulpierre RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                  ARTU, either location. I agree the ambiance is not 5 star and the service can have a touch of Durgin Park, but we always find it comfortable and enjoyable. It's our go-to place when we just need to relax for lunch or early dinner. Maybe it's closer to home cooking than I realized. Of course, a glass or two of house red doesn't hurt. And their sandwiches are wonderful!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: powerfulpierre
                                                    g
                                                    gourmaniac RE: powerfulpierre Jun 1, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                    Most hounds have posted very favorably on Artu especially the sandwiches. The roast lamb with eggplant is one of my favorite sandwiches in the city.

                                                    1. re: gourmaniac
                                                      p
                                                      powerfulpierre RE: gourmaniac Jun 2, 2009 12:12 PM

                                                      Gourmaniac - You're correct that "hate" is much too strong a word but it seems that ARTU doesn't get the respect it deserves, IMO. And you're absolutely right that the lamb and eggplant is outstanding. Mrs and I get one of those and a mozzarella, tomato, and basil, split them and all is right in the world.

                                                      1. re: gourmaniac
                                                        Bob Dobalina RE: gourmaniac Jun 2, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                        Seems that there has been universal love for the sandwiches and highly inconsistent results from the dining-in experience.

                                                    2. p
                                                      phonelady RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 01:33 PM

                                                      Ruth's Chris

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: phonelady
                                                        p
                                                        phatchris RE: phonelady Jun 1, 2009 01:51 PM

                                                        Kingfish Hall....the shrimp bowl they have at lunch ia pretty amazing.

                                                        1. re: phatchris
                                                          n
                                                          Northender RE: phatchris Jun 1, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                          I have always like KH - my only reasons for not going are the price points - but I have always had good food there.

                                                          1. re: phatchris
                                                            rlh RE: phatchris Jun 1, 2009 02:16 PM

                                                            Also a fan of KH - though pricey, it is ALWAYS good with solid service and hefty portions.

                                                        2. almansa RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 01:51 PM

                                                          I think it garners more indifference that hatred on this board, but I like Bertucci's. There, I said it. Their lemon rosemary wings are unassailable.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: almansa
                                                            hotoynoodle RE: almansa Jun 1, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                            i like it too -- sporkie pizza, well-done.

                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                              k
                                                              kt1969 RE: hotoynoodle Jun 1, 2009 08:09 PM

                                                              Mmmm, sporkie. Yum.

                                                              1. re: kt1969
                                                                yumyum RE: kt1969 Jun 2, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                Third on the sporkie.

                                                                1. re: yumyum
                                                                  t
                                                                  taves7 RE: yumyum Jun 4, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                                  I LOVE their lasagna.

                                                            2. re: almansa
                                                              r
                                                              rebeccacceber RE: almansa Nov 19, 2009 01:46 PM

                                                              there is nothing better than those rolls... they are magic

                                                            3. a
                                                              A.A. RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 02:09 PM

                                                              The Publick House and The Roadhouse. They have their problems, but I still likes them. Of course, the beer is the chief reason why.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: A.A.
                                                                n
                                                                NoAddedSweetener RE: A.A. Jun 2, 2009 10:25 AM

                                                                I second the Publick house in a big way!
                                                                Roadhouse...not so much.

                                                                1. re: A.A.
                                                                  litchick RE: A.A. Jun 2, 2009 12:36 PM

                                                                  Yes, I too like them both. Road House comes in second to Publick House for me (we never intend to go there -- we just end up there because Publick is too crowdy) but I still have had some good food and beer. Mostly beer.

                                                                2. rlh RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 02:17 PM

                                                                  Border Cafe - mostly the Harvard Square original, but sometimes Burlington as well (NEVER Saugus) - the fajitas are solid, and the freshly-fried chips come with better salsa than most places offer. The popcorn shrimp app has always been a must order when there.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: rlh
                                                                    s
                                                                    Splendid Spatula RE: rlh Jun 2, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                    Confess to loving that catfish new orleans. and those chips, I usually manage to hoover up a whole basket of them.

                                                                    1. re: rlh
                                                                      p
                                                                      plumtomato RE: rlh Jun 4, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                                      Love Border Cafe in Harvard! Mmm, sangria. And quesadilla with marinated chicken! DH tried to order the popcorn crawfish but they were out of crawfish (Saturday night, Celtics playoff -- not really surprised but he was disappointed anyway).

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      sweetpearl RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 02:25 PM

                                                                      I have to say I love Antico Forno for soups, salads, and pastas.

                                                                      1. Delhiwala RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                                        Summer Shack (Cambridge) - a pleasant place for an enjoyable seafood meal wth out of town guests.

                                                                        Barking Crab (Boston) - better than OK food in a great atmosphere.

                                                                        La Paloma (Quincy) - very good Mexican food and drinks for not too much money.

                                                                        1. v
                                                                          vballgal RE: BackBayGirl Jun 1, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                                          some have already been mentioned (bertucci's, cheesecake) but also the fireplace in washington square has been panned on the board and i really like - i used to live in that area and had a couple very solid meals there, plus in the summer they have outdoor seating, which is always a plus!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: vballgal
                                                                            AnjLM RE: vballgal Jun 2, 2009 04:25 AM

                                                                            Cheesecake factory and summer shack.

                                                                          2. Joanie RE: BackBayGirl Jun 2, 2009 05:38 AM

                                                                            The obvious answer is Sonsie. And probably about 3/4 of the stuff I post about.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                                              MrsCheese RE: Joanie Jun 2, 2009 04:55 PM

                                                                              I'm with you on Sonsie. Every meal I've had there has been good (though it's been a while - I'm not on Newbury often).

                                                                              1. re: MrsCheese
                                                                                AnjLM RE: MrsCheese Jun 3, 2009 04:24 AM

                                                                                I also agree with Sonsie...especially their chocolate bread pudding!

                                                                            2. LindaWhit RE: BackBayGirl Jun 2, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                                              Summer Shack (Alewife location) - have really never had bad service or food there. But other than one time, I've always eaten at the bar.

                                                                              Bertucci's - have never disliked it and used to work next to the old test kitchen in Wakefield, so got to try the new stuff before it was rolled out to the rest of the restaurants. Ordered 25-30 pizzas from them once a month for our company.

                                                                              Dali - longtime favorite; exclaim often enough about a special dessert, and they end up bringing it back on a regular basis (fresones and the churros). I crave their tapas if not there every couple of weeks or so...and there are enough of them that I can rotate some in and out so I'm having different things each time. And some damn good sangria. Plus, the people are just good people there.

                                                                              TGIFriday's - yeah, I know. But they have a relatively decent wine selection when I go with a friend to the Methuen location (midway between her home and my workplace), and usually decent snicky-snacks/apps and dinners. Plus, the service in the bar at the Methuen location has always been friendly and prompt.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                gastropunk46 RE: LindaWhit Jun 2, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                Dali- I dont know how this is in the hate but love column. How can anyone can hate the tapas and sangria. I never had a bad experience here.

                                                                                1. re: gastropunk46
                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: gastropunk46 Jun 2, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                                  Do a search. There's enough posted out on the Boston board that people don't like the wait; don't like the expensive sangria; the tapas aren't "authentic" enough.

                                                                                  But it gets my love. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: gastropunk46
                                                                                    NiKoLe1625 RE: gastropunk46 Jun 2, 2009 04:09 PM

                                                                                    LOVE Dali! We had my best friend's birthday there last year and it was great. The wait was not unbearable... its just as bad if not worse at Toro!

                                                                                    1. re: gastropunk46
                                                                                      h
                                                                                      headmaster RE: gastropunk46 Jun 8, 2009 11:00 AM

                                                                                      Dali totally belongs in the Love, not love but hate, column. It's a small location, so a long wait is what it is. Hardly fair to punish a place for being busy. Tapeo, has sometimes disappointed me, but Dali never has.

                                                                                      Also, Blue Ginger. I know it's a bit pricey, but 1) the Bing bar is fantastic. If you haven't been since that opened, go. Reasonable prices in there, and great food. And 2) I get the sense that many board people dislike it not for its value/quality, but merely because Ming is famous and successful. There's a lot of carping about the merchandising, which I have always found to be plenty understated. But it's a terrific wine list, the best calamari I have ever had anywhere at any time (my kids, 5 and 12, always order it and scarf it down), and enough variety from visit to visit without absolutely everything being new that I have no complaints. Other than price. Which is real. (Pretty cool kids that love calamari, too....)

                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: LindaWhit Nov 19, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                                      I just re-read my post here since there was a new post, and I realized I didn't mean TGIF's in Methuen. I meant Not Your Average Joe's. WAY better than TGIFs (and after a recent visit, their wine selection has improved!).

                                                                                    3. cassoulady RE: BackBayGirl Jun 2, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                                      summer shack- i go to dalton st a lot and have oysters a lot and a corn on the cob.
                                                                                      Giacomos- some people like it, some people hate it, i always get the fish special and it is always good- i had the halibut last night with a mango salsa, it was great and fresh.

                                                                                      1. r
                                                                                        Ralphie_in_Boston RE: BackBayGirl Jun 3, 2009 11:34 AM

                                                                                        Legal's. Sue me! I always have a good meal there, so sue me! :P ;)

                                                                                        1. okra RE: BackBayGirl Jun 4, 2009 05:49 AM

                                                                                          Sunset Grill in Allston - now listen... I know lots of their food isn't amazing, but... Go @ lunch, try the empanadas. They're making the dough fresh, mine was cooked perfectly, golden brown, not a hint of oil left on it, nice filling, over greens with a housemade tomato based salsa that was all very well executed.

                                                                                          If you've been in the business, you know that a lot of the staff in the back of the house is not from this country - let them make what they know, and this is what you get!

                                                                                          My $0.02

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Sunset Grill & Tap
                                                                                          130 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: okra
                                                                                            Bob Dobalina RE: okra Jun 4, 2009 06:24 AM

                                                                                            A well-reasoned chow argument!

                                                                                            1. re: okra
                                                                                              litchick RE: okra Jun 8, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                                              Too bad the Sunset Cantina doesn't have any similarly redeeming qualities.

                                                                                              1. re: litchick
                                                                                                Prav RE: litchick Jun 8, 2009 09:04 AM

                                                                                                Except their trashy but delicious nachos! ;)

                                                                                            2. CreativeFoodie42 RE: BackBayGirl Jun 4, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                                              It's a sad secret but Papa Razzi is one of my favorite chain restaurants. There is something about their chicken parmesan that I love!

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: CreativeFoodie42
                                                                                                Snoop37 RE: CreativeFoodie42 Jun 4, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                                                                I think most people on this board like Papa Razzi. People seem to say a lot of good things about the place.

                                                                                                1. re: Snoop37
                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                  pollystyrene RE: Snoop37 Jun 4, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                                                  Not me! Yuk!

                                                                                                2. re: CreativeFoodie42
                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                  Food4Thawt RE: CreativeFoodie42 Jun 4, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                                                                  I have to agree. Have always had a decent meal and competent service.

                                                                                                3. C. Hamster RE: BackBayGirl Jun 4, 2009 08:01 AM

                                                                                                  Redbones

                                                                                                  Barking Crab

                                                                                                  Woodman's

                                                                                                  Salsa's (though I don't "love" it)

                                                                                                  Daily Grill (not sure if anyone here hates it but then no one seems to know its there)

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                    BobB RE: C. Hamster Jun 4, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                                                                    I usually like Woodman's OK, but had a terrible meal there a couple of weeks ago. I attribute it to the fact that I was there at about 4:30 in the afternoon, before the real dinner rush, and I suspect that they were pre-cooking a lot of stuff in preparation for the rush. I got the fisherman's platter, and every item on it was more dried out, chewy, and tasteless that what I'm used to getting there. The fish (haddock, one of my favorites) was particularly awful, and I just couldn't finish it.

                                                                                                    I'm not saying I'll never go back, but I would certainly pay more attention to what time of day it is (or maybe just ask them to prepare my items fresh - if they wouldn't take that as an insult).

                                                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                      DTHEASH1 RE: BobB Jun 8, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                                                      In past years, I would always be surprised by Woodman's treatment on CH. In the last two years the prices, while always higher then the rest of the neighborhood, seem totally out of control. What does a large box of shrimp go for now? My memory seems to say $41.99, but I won't be surprised if someone corrects me.

                                                                                                      1. re: DTHEASH1
                                                                                                        macca RE: DTHEASH1 Jun 8, 2009 12:12 PM

                                                                                                        website currently lists them at $34.95

                                                                                                      2. re: BobB
                                                                                                        Bob Dobalina RE: BobB Jun 9, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                                                                        That's really too bad - I had just about the best fried seafood ever about a month ago. Everything that batter-frying should be - not greasy, crispy, hot...That kind of variability just really sucks. Granted we were there on a Sunday with temps in the 50s so they were not slammed, but busy enough. If it was dried out and chewy, I wonder if you got stuff that had been sitting around rather than pre-cooked. :(

                                                                                                    2. n
                                                                                                      noodlely RE: BackBayGirl Jun 9, 2009 12:34 AM

                                                                                                      Jin's in Saugus for Cantonese style family dinners north of boston. Just went there this weekend... where else can you get duck tongue and giant oysters in a clay pot for dinner? and they have parking! I think the parking is 75% of the reason why I go there over chinatown. The place is hated here on the board but I have yet to have had a bad dinner there (I think asking for the chinese menu is key).

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: noodlely
                                                                                                        itaunas RE: noodlely Nov 20, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                                                        noodlely I think Jin has been largely ignored, not hated. In total I can think of less than 5 posters who have reviewed it, mostly positive. There has been criticism of some specifics: the prepared dishes which sit a long time during dim sum, their non-chinese items (really awfully done sushi bar which I was forced to try once), sometimes iffy service, and personally I wish they would ditch the underage nightclubs to focus on food, but for the most part even that isn't an issue because I am never there past 9pm. There are a lot of overlooked gems which are posted about here on the board, so if this is one of yours great and plenty of us pay attention, but if you search out lest hounded locations there is no guarantee others will follow you there. North of Boston isn't going to compete with Chinatown any day soon, but between Fuloon, Chili Garden, Jin, Wonder Taste (another good cantonese option), plus Sichuan Garden II and Sichuan Gourmet a bit further out, there is a lot of variety to explore without worrying about parking.

                                                                                                        Update: One way to generate some interest in what you consider a hidden gem is to make it a bit more accessible to folks who might be interested. An ideal way which requires a bit more work is to setup a chowdown (or chowcrew like fredid), this way others get to benefit from more selection and someone choosing. And it gets people off their tush to actually try it. Its also helpful to compare and be specific. For instance if you really like the rotisserie chicken from El Chalan that is useful alone, but people will pay more attention if you say its more strongly seasoned than Machu Picchu or has more smoke flavor, etc.

                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                        plumtomato RE: BackBayGirl Nov 18, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                                                        I had an absolutely awful, badly served seafood dinner with some out-of-state friends at the Porthole Restaurant on the Lynnway. None of the entrees came out at the same time, and the ones that did come out at the same time were either cold or rubbery. It was a Sunday evening and our group was practically the only people in the restaurant. We got there around 7 and didn't get out til past 11, and all we ordered was apps for the table and one entree each (clam chowder, some fried plates, some fish al diavolo and baked stuffed sole among the items we ordered).

                                                                                                        The appetizer was a daily special, clams casino, and it was actually piping hot and perfect. Not sure how the entrees fell so flat back in the kitchen but they did. I'd like to know if anyone had a good experience there, just because it seemed like a nice place and I'd hate to know that my experience was the norm.

                                                                                                        1. d
                                                                                                          djd RE: BackBayGirl Nov 19, 2009 09:54 PM

                                                                                                          I'm racking my brains trying to think of an appropriately outrageous answer, which is especially challenging given that I--despite liking this board--don't go out to eat a lot. All that comes to mind is you know, after a good show at the Middle East and that extra whiskey someone generously bought for you, MAN does Hi-Fi pizza feel right.

                                                                                                          Show Hidden Posts