HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Oct 13, 2009 09:11 AM

Fresh Sardines/Brookline Family Restaurant

I noticed Sardines on the menu at Brookline Family Restaurant, which is becoming one of our favorite restaurants for good, quick, and inexpensive. There are quite a number of fish entrees at BFR, but I have not tried any. Also, I have never had fresh sardine, but I am dying to try them. So I'm asking two questions:

How is the fish at BFR?

Have you had sardines there, or anywhere else in the area, and what did you think of them? Is there any similarity to smelts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No similarity to smelts, which are whiter fleshed. Sardines are closer, to, well, sardines. Oilier (and tasty!) flesh, a little darker, like bluefish, and they usually grill them to make them crispy. I've never had the fish at Family Restaurant, becasue whenever I've been there (not that many times) they've been out of what I wanted...

    I adore fresh sardines, this may be enough to get me to try Family Restaurant again (I'm not as enamoured as the rest of the board seems to be...)

    4 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      blue room often does grilled sardines and i love them.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Thanks; I haven't been there in awhile either; it's on the list!

      2. re: galleygirl

        Rendezvous also had a regular sardine appetizer I used to get every time I went. But I just checked their online menu and it's not there anymore. I hope that doesn't mean it's gone!

        1. re: desuka

          The Sardine season in Portugal is near its end, so they take it off the menu. I believe there are still shipments of fresh fish but less frequently, so its worth calling the restaurant directly to see if they might have sardines on a couple more nights but don't expect to spend the winter eating fresh sardines. What I miss are sardines grilled in the wood grill at the Broadway Atasca, I saw a recent mention that Con Sol was seeking a permit to reopen that so who knows, maybe next year that'll be an option.

      3. I love the sardines at Brookline Family Restaurant - in fact, it's pretty much the only dish I get there (which, as galleygirl points out, can be a bit of a problem, since they frequently don't actually have it, and I don't like their other fish dishes so much; mucver sandwiches are my backup plan). It's a sizeable portion, since you get a little "fan" of fish, fried so that they are joined at the tails like little spokes in a semicircle. They're pleasantly oily/fishy but not too much so. They come with rice (white rice with some yellow on top- possibly saffron?) and a salad, though the last time I was there it came with just one or the other of those, not both. Usually I have quite a few leftover fishies, which generally end up coming home and getting wrapped in shiso leafs with umeboshi for the lunchbox :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: another_adam

          It's kind of like an oyster pancake- they're all fried into one object. I'm not a big fan of strong-tasting fish and I found them to be too stinky for me.

          1. re: Luther

            definitely one of our favorite cheap eats places - i like their other fish: very nice trout and I've had their bass and red snapper as well - simply cooked but the times we've ordered fish it has always been fresh and not overcooked. I love sardines but its a tricky fish: rather strong tasting and I like it best grilled over charcoal quickly with a little sea salt, lemon and olive oil. Fried doesn't sound like it would be kind to the fish: works well for smelts though!

        2. erbaluce currently has a grilled fresh sardine appetizer on the menu, served with greens and olive tapenade. Very tasty, had it tonight.