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Cambridge Street, Allston

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TownSpa Mar 29, 2010 10:01 AM

Looking for recommendations on any of the restaurants on Cambridge Street in Allston, around the N. Beacon/Brighton intersection. Grain and Salt looks great from the outside - how's the food and service? What other restaurants in this area are excellent? Not looking for one particular cuisine or price range. Thanks!

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Grain and Salt
431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

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  1. b
    babka eater RE: TownSpa Mar 29, 2010 10:08 AM

    I have never been to Grain and Salt but I can strongly recommend Yoma, a Burmese restaurant at the intersection of N. Beacon and Brighton. Two of my favorite dishs are the tea leaf salad and the pan fried tofu with coconut cream with pumpkin and shallots.

    Within a short walk, there is a wide range of great ethnic restaurants. Do a search for Allston and you will get useful results such as S&I Thai, JoJo Taipai, Shanghai Gate, Carlos Cucina, and more.

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    Shanghai Gate
    204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    Grain and Salt
    431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

    S&I To Go
    168A Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    6 Replies
    1. re: babka eater
      Allstonian RE: babka eater Mar 29, 2010 10:25 AM

      Barmy and I have only been to Grain & Salt once, quite some time ago - it was very good, but we can't really speak to the current quality of the place. I'll strongly second babka eater's recommendation of YoMa, however. It's the only Burmese restaurant in Boston and is excellent.

      Deep Ellum, also in Union Square a few doors from YoMa, is quite a good pub, if pubby food suits you.

      A few doors down from Grain & Salt on Cambridge Street is Cafe Brazil, which is quite decent as well.

      As mentioned above, there are tons of other good eats very near by; these are just the ones that adhere specifically to your requested location.

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      Cafe Brazil
      421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

      Deep Ellum Bar
      477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

      1. re: Allstonian
        l
        lkmuller RE: Allstonian Mar 29, 2010 01:26 PM

        I like Cafe Brazil and Yoma much better than Grain and Salt. They are all totally different though...

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        Grain and Salt
        431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        Cafe Brazil
        421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        1. re: lkmuller
          C. Hamster RE: lkmuller Mar 29, 2010 01:32 PM

          The last time I ate at Cafe Brazil, it sort of sucked. It was at lunch and we wouldnt even think of taking home the leftovers.

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          Cafe Brazil
          421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

          1. re: C. Hamster
            m
            mmocpi RE: C. Hamster Mar 29, 2010 07:42 PM

            I have also noticed on occasion that the lunch is lacking. I think their dinner is still great.

            1. re: mmocpi
              BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: mmocpi Mar 29, 2010 11:30 PM

              Yeah, I don't know if the lunch and dinner chefs are different or what, but the one time I had lunch at Cafe Brazil, I didn't care for it at all, but it's one of my favorite dinner places in the neighborhood.

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              Cafe Brazil
              421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                C. Hamster RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 30, 2010 08:48 AM

                Good to know. I havent been there for dinner in a few years but recall it being much, much better than the recent lunch we had.

    2. m
      mmocpi RE: TownSpa Mar 29, 2010 07:41 PM

      If the ambiance means something to you, then Grain and Salt has it in spades over Yoma. Probably the most gorgeously decorated restaurant in the area. I also really like Grain and Salt's food (and have never had a complaint with the waiters as well). Cafe Brazil is also a place I would recommend and, again on ambiance, they've got lovely live guitar music on weekend nights.

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      Grain and Salt
      431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

      Cafe Brazil
      421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

      1. StriperGuy RE: TownSpa Mar 30, 2010 01:44 AM

        In an area that has a decent amount of Brazilian Cafe Brazil is mostly mediocre and Grain and Salt is VERY hit or miss. Sometimes good, others downright bad.

        With all of the excellent food in the area I NEVER go to either.

        Try:

        Carlos
        Jo Jo Taipei (nicer decor then grain and salt too)
        Blue Asia
        Privus (for the chicken)
        Several of the Korean places for various dishes
        Yoma (truly amazing Burmese)
        Padaria Brasil (good Brazilian Salgadinhos)
        Yi Soon Bakery
        Shanghai Gate
        S&I (very good thai)
        Everest (decent Nepali)
        Cafe Belo

        I would eat at any of these BEFORE Grain and Salt and Cafe Brasil.

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        Shanghai Gate
        204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

        Grain and Salt
        431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        Cafe Brazil
        421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
        103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

        Yi Soon Bakery
        112 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

        Blue Asia Cafe
        113 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

        4 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy
          b
          babka eater RE: StriperGuy Mar 30, 2010 06:34 AM

          Which Korean restaurants do you all prefer in Allston? What dishes make them special? There is a recent Korean BBQ thread but I am more curious about non-BBQ Korean cuisine.

          Thanks for the reminder about Blue Asia. I remember the strong recommendations provided a couple of months ago.

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          Blue Asia Cafe
          113 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

          1. re: babka eater
            StriperGuy RE: babka eater Mar 30, 2010 06:41 AM

            None of the Korean places are great at everything. Bu Kyung II does some great noodles with black beans and pork, and deep fried pork or chicken. One of the places on Harvard (Color???) does good spicey soups, etc. The Korean Garden place has a big broad all around menu that is decent.

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            Korean Garden
            122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

            1. re: babka eater
              a
              another_adam RE: babka eater Mar 30, 2010 02:08 PM

              I've really liked Myung Dong First Ave (Harvard north of Brighton) for "drinking" type foods like dubu kimchi (tofu with kimchi), but also for soups like al tang (roe stew) or jogae tang (clam stew). They also have haejangguk ("hangover soup"), which I've been meaning to get while the weather's still coolish! They do have things like bibimbap, too, and it's OK, but it's the last page of the menu (and also the soups/stews) that I'd really recommend them for.

              Korea Garden is also solid for bibimbap, and once the weather gets hot, I'll be heading there for naengmyeon. I used to be a fan of both Color and Hanmaru, but lately I've found them disappointing (and I've never been a fan of Bukkyung)

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              Hanmaru Restaurant
              168 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

              1. re: another_adam
                StriperGuy RE: another_adam Mar 30, 2010 06:34 PM

                It was Myung Dong I was thinking of for the spicey soups, thanks.

          2. MABMAQ RE: TownSpa Mar 30, 2010 08:55 AM

            dont' forget Alfredos (behind the Dominos plaza on cambridge st.)- it may be small but the food is great !

            2 Replies
            1. re: MABMAQ
              Allstonian RE: MABMAQ Mar 30, 2010 09:21 AM

              Isn't Alfredo's on Brighton Avenue next to the fire station? I've never been in - can you actually sit and eat there or is it takeaway only?

              1. re: Allstonian
                MABMAQ RE: Allstonian Mar 30, 2010 10:27 AM

                2 small tables inside - best to go during off hours if you want to sit in. everythings homemade even the mozzarella !

            2. t
              TownSpa RE: TownSpa Apr 6, 2010 04:44 AM

              We ended up going to Yoma and really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recommendations. Will definitely check out some of the other places in this area. Oh, we also ducked into Model Cafe for a quick drink on the way home (Deep Ellum was packed). That place is a trip - cash only and a very strong scent of dive bar...Do bands play there?

              1 Reply
              1. re: TownSpa
                Joanie RE: TownSpa Apr 6, 2010 10:54 AM

                Bands have played at the Model but not in a while (that I know of at least). It was a cooler dive before they removed the booths.

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