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Jun 9, 2009 05:59 AM

A recap on my Boston Food Excursions

For those who haven't seen any of my other posts, I'm a part time Bostonite. Most of my time is spent in Charlottesville, VA studying for my MBA; I'm a Manhattan transplant who has a summer internship in Boston, and come up many weekends as my girlfriend lives here. Anyway, here's a recap of some of the places we've tried over the past month and 1/2 and our reviews (in order of tastiness):

EVOO - The chinese box was aamzing, atmosphere great and prices were right, if this restaurant was within walkign distance of our apartment I'd probably gain 2 to 300 lbs this summer. IMO this place has everything a great night out needs.

Oleana - A close second to EVOO, the ingredients are amazingly fresh, wine list is pretty cool and the menu is inventive. The whipped feta appetizer was incredible as was everything else we had, the gf had the flattened chicken dish and I had the rabbit, each was an incredible meal. We need to return for dessert one day!

Toro - Tapas are one of our favorite meals and Toro comes in as my third favorite tapas restaurant behind Casa Mono and Mercat (both in NY). There is enough variety on the menu to really get a great sampling and the wine list is as creative as the food - I probably wouldn't bring my parents here but for a fun night out this will be our go to spot.

Abe & Louie's - My gf's Mom loves the crab cake here so this is their must have whenever they visit Boston. The rib eye steak was delicious; I prefer a steak off my own grill on a patio, but for an outstanding (if pricey) meal A&L does deliver great eats, for a steakhouse its also tremendously comfortable and not stuffy at all.

Pasha (Arlington) - On a random evening the gf and I found ourselves in Arlington, and noticed a new Turkish restaurant. Pasha was great, I've really missed ethnic food since moving out of NY and have been dying to find grilled lamb in that middle eastern style. The adana kebab was amazing and I'm dying to go back to try the Donner Kebab, the rice pudding was tremendous as well.

Henrietta's Table - Delcious meal but a huge space and the service did feel a bit rushed. In a weird way HT feels like a hotel restaurant and the boutique at the front gives it a weird ambiance. The food was great and I loved the ingredients, my pork chop was perfectly cooked, but the atmosphere felt sterile for a farm to table type place.

Navy Yard Bistro - On a night when the gf and I were looking to take advantage of the great weather we decided to take a short walk to the NYB. I had the grouper which was really well cooked, and the jasmin rice was a perfect compliment. For a neighborhood restaurant this place is great, probably not a destination but for a random Tuesday its perfect.

The Blue Room (brunch) - The day after a recent triathlon we rewarded ourselves with brunch at the Blue Room, last October we had brunch here and thought it was outstanding, sadly our memories were better than the food. This time around the brunch was just ok, the best thing I had was the saffron rice; really the brunch this past weekend felt more like leftovers than an attempt at a unique experience. Time to find a new place for our lazy Sundays.

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  1. Interesting reviews, glad you found Pasha. Try the brunch at Craigie on Main next time, I thought it was the best brunch I've had in many years, maybe ever.

    1. I'm afraid to ask what kind of meat is in the Donner Kebab...

      (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

      8 Replies
      1. re: Stride

        Typically the Doner Kebeb is ground lamb meat, including the nasty bits, which are formed into a meatloaf shape, built up quite thickly on a spit, then roasted. When cooked the meat is shaved off for a sandwich that's packed into a pita bread and may or may not include various toppings. I only know this because there was a segment on a recent re-run of Gordon Ramsey's F Word program....

        1. re: Gio

          Thank you. That's a relief. I was envisioning Sweeney Todd in the kitchen... :-)

          1. re: Gio

            Doner meat is often delivered in a frozen lollipop that is dumped onto the spit by the kebab shop. More enterprising UK kebab shops have them made by local halal butchers. The difference in flavour is night and day, and it's probably much less nasty!

          2. re: Stride

            It's the German (middle eastern immigrants') version of shwarma: blamb. Nice pun, btw.

            1. re: almansa

              The doner kebab is said to have originated in West Berlin via Turkish immigrants, and to my mind I've never tasted better than in Berlin, where the meat is shaved very thin, and the salad is fresh, and the sauces are tasty.

              British doner kebabs are more variable, but often excellent post-drinking food, with a thicker shaving of doner meat. It's often packed with meat, but with uninspiring shredded cabbage, onion, cucumber and tomato slices, plus a pickled chili pepper. House-made chili sauce is common. And you can have chips with it.

              Doner kebabs in Boston? I'll give it a shot. It's not the same when it's a gyro.

              1. re: chickendhansak

                I agree with the Berlin comment. 10 x better there and 3 x cheaper. I'm hearing there's good ones in Calgary which I'll hit in the summer, hopefully they can hold a candle to Berlin's. I like the place on Beacon St. in Coolidge Corner once in a while.

              2. re: almansa

                It's definitely a Turkish dish. And believe me, it's ubiquitous in that country!