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Jul 9, 2009 07:38 AM

North Adams Chow?

Going to a concert at MASS MoCA this Saturday evening. We would like to have an early dinner before the concert. Not too expensive, but something nice. I'm not a steak eater, so there needs to be other choices for me - and I'm the chowhound of the three of us.

Can anyone recommend a place for us?

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  1. I'm from North Adams originally and I really don't think there are a lot of great resteraunts in town. There were a few but they couldn't survive in the area. There is one called Jae's Inn on Rt. 8 (minutes from MoCA) that I've heard good things about but I've never eaten there. If you don't like Jae's menu.. I would head to Williamstown--a short drive, but there is Sushi Thai Garden on Spring Street, The '6 House pub and Coyote Flaco. Have fun and make sure to check out the galleries on Main Street!

    Jae's Inn
    1111 S State St North, Adams, MA

    2 Replies
    1. re: musicrx65

      Any idea how the Misty Moonlight diner is?

      1. re: trufflehound

        In a word (or a few)..not worth eating at. I'd skip Coyote Flaco too; if you're interested in latin cuisine, there's a great (and reasonably priced) restaurant on the MoCA campus called Cafe Latino. Great drinks too.

    2. Here is a recent thread that might be useful:

      I like Jae's (usually a lot). If you like sushi, they have the best around (in Northern Berkshire anyway). I had sushi at sushi thai garden (which is about 10-15 minute drive away from North Adams) recently and it was pretty bad. It was at the end of the night, somebody else had ordered it, but i wouldn't bother at the beginning of the night ( at STG). if you love sushi and are really particular, you might want to forget about it altogether. At Jae's I usually get the sushi, but I like the rad nar (with pan fried noodles) and their pad thai. They have non-Asian menu items as well; probably best to check their menu.

      There's some support for Cafe Latino in the other thread, I don't really eat there a lot but they've been pretty good the few times I've gone (they are also closing in September, incidentally). Lickety Split serves Herrell's Ice Cream (a la Herrell's in Northampton, MA if you're familiar); they're a good option if you're looking for something sweet and good afterward. Those are both in the MASS MoCA campus; CL is to the left of the upside down trees as you walk to the museum entrance; LS is right inside the museum.

      The Hub is on Main Street ; it wasn't bad the one time I ate there. I got the jumbalaya. I like the atmosphere and decor but it's a little "cozy" which could be good or bad depending on your tastes.

      Hope that helps. I'm sure the show will be good, they do a really good job over there. Welcome to North Adams and MoCA!

      7 Replies
      1. re: mothly

        Nice tips, mothly and musicrx. Do you know of this list is up-to-date? (Have some of these restaurants closed down?)

        1. re: cimui

          LOL, I didn't realize Key West was a "Lounge & Deli," but I guess they didn't have a "Dives" category....

          To answer your question, however: yes some of those have closed down. Some of the info isn't correct either (like some of those restaurants are not in North Adams but adjacent towns). It's a no good list.

        2. re: mothly

          Cafe Latino is now closed. Jae's is excellent, that would be my choice!

          1. re: NBP

            I'm surprised. The local paper just had a story that said they were shutting their doors on Sep 15.


            1. re: NBP

              Check it out online, I've understood from recent newspaper articles that they are remaining open until the end of the summer, and their fish tacos are outstanding.
              Trufflehound, Misty Moonlight is what it is, a vintage diner. I like it a lot for Western sandwiches, but then again, I like the old fashioned decor and the Elvis posters, etc. etc. It's NOT great food, and not festive, and although it's open for breakfast and lunch, I doubt that it's open for dinner.

              1. re: NBP

                FYI to anyone reading this: Cafe Latino, as noted by other posters, is not closing until early or mid Sept. Is definitely open through the summer. Like the Tsarina, I love the fish tacos....and the family meals are a good deal too.

                1. re: mjoyous

                  Bummer that Cafe Latino *will* be closing. Love the fish tacos and the guac. Also if there's a show I would recommend a reservation if you can get one -- we tried to walk in last summer at the Son Volt show and were DENIED.

                  Puppymomma, enjoy Aimee Mann, I thought about going to that show. :)

            2. Thank you all for the recommendations! I think we are going to Jae's. I LOVE sushi, and Joe is very excited by the menu. It will be a great evening! And now I have some other places to try next time.

              1. We ate at Jae's. It was very conveniently located to Mass MOcA. I have some very positive things to say, and some very negative things to say.

                My husband got the red claypot curry with beef and the chicken satay appetizer. He got the lava cake for dessert. All of his food was AMAZING!

                Dave got the calamari appetizer, pad thai with chicken and shrimp, and a sushi roll. I tried his calamari and pad thai. They were both AMAZING too. He was VERY happy with his sushi.

                I ordered two sushi rolls - a yellowfin with scallions and a regular tuna with scallions. My experience was not as good. My sushi, which was my meal, wasn't brought out until my husband and friend were half way through with their meals. Maybe the sushi guy was behind, but that wasn't cool! Also, there was so little fish in the sushi that it was disappointing.

                Service was very slow in general. Even drinks. It took forever go just get our drinks.

                My mojito was seriously lacking any alcohol.

                The worst of it all was that they there was no air conditioning. It had been a very hot and sticky day. Oh, and I don't know why, but we were seated in the bar area.

                4 Replies
                1. re: puppymomma

                  Welcome to the world of Jae's. Inconsistency is a constant, so to speak. And they often fail at getting food out appropriately if there's more than 2 at the table. When they're good, they're great. Other times......................

                  1. re: puppymomma

                    Puppymomma, it took us a long time to get our drinks (just beer) and food, as well, even though we were one of only two or three other occupied tables in the place at the time. We weren't in a hurry, though, so the timing wasn't as bothersome as it could've been.

                    Our seafood soon dubu jigae was decent (flavorful broth tho the single clam was too tough to eat and there were no vegetables or egg), bulgogi was sliced in larger pieces and a little tougher than I prefer and a bit too sweet. I only had one bite of a friend's yellowtail and scallion roll with chili paste. It's hard to tell how fresh the fish is when there's chili paste masking the flavor, but there wasn't an overly large amount of chili paste and I didn't detect any offensive "fishy" flavors. Fish and rice were both a good texture. I'd like to come back and try more of the sushi.

                    One annoying thing about the service was that our waitress (the owner?) tried to upsell us. We asked whether the bulgogi came with vegetables. At first she claimed she didn't know and would go check, but after our friend, a local who eats at Jae's frequently, said that it did come with vegetables, she tried to convince us that it only came with a very, very small portion and we should order a side, as well. Our plate, when it came, included a pretty large portion of asparagus, broccoli, carrots and other veggies. The upsell didn't cause any harm in the end, but it was not very classy.

                    1. re: cimui

                      Um, watch out for those locals, they're not to be trusted for half the distance you can throw them. They're much more fishy than the sushi. ;)

                      The owner is actually a guy named Jae, so that wasn't him. I don't think our waitress was trying to upsell though. That would require extra effort, and I just don't think she was quite with it. Service can be pretty laissez faire there; the servers seem unable to overcome their own inertia at times.

                      1. re: mothly

                        Hmm, I dunno. I can throw locals pretty far. =P

                        The woman who waited on our table did seem to have some sort of management role (she told another waitress to seat us when we first walked in), so I do think she should've known better whether a dish came with veggies or not. I'm probably a lot more cynical than you are and thought it was a clear attempt to upsell. But alright, I can accept that her actions are subject to interpretation.

                  2. I had a shockingly decent meal at China Buffet, tonight. Based on the menu and the location, I would've guessed that this restaurant was just another crummy gringoized Chinese joint. There's egg foo young and chop suey on the menu and I think the restaurant mostly functions as a buffet. But against all odds, my meal from there by delivery, tonight, has me convinced that there is some skill in the kitchen.

                    China Buffet doesn't avoid being gloppy and overly sweet in all dishes, but our kung pao ji ding (kung pao chicken) was legit -- nicely spicy, though not from Sichuan peppercorns -- and the ma po dofu was decent. We also had an order of egg foo young, an Americanized Chinese dish, and boneless spare ribs. The spare ribs were basically cha shao rou, far, far too sweet, and oddly Dr. Peppery in flavor, but egg foo young was actually quite enjoyable and not too greasy.

                    Perhaps my expectations were lowered after a number of meals at McDonalds (yes, I know there are far better places in North Adams, but few that are dog friendly / takeout and open late). Given that context, China Buffet really did turn out to be a pleasant surprise for us. The folks who run the place are from Fujian province, which I unfortunately didn't find out until after I'd placed my order. I suspect it'd be worth an ask to find out what Fujianese specialties they have on the menu.


                    On a separate note, I should also maybe mention Desperados in nearby Wiliamstown, MA for the kind and efficient service. Folks who work there were lovely and helpful, though in all honestly, the food was just edible, not actively good. There are a good number of vegetarian options. I'd think about returning for the service alone.