NY hound seeks chowish restos near BU for possible suppers on my own
Coming to a conference sited @ BU, so don't now when others will be asking me to dinner. So - not reservation ahead places. Easy to walk to from BU (George Sherman Union) if that is realistic, or short cab ride.
I like "nice" places - in NY, say like Degustation - and middle places NY, Cafe Loup bistorish but not precious, and ethnic places - esp. Chinese but most things. Price point: $60 including one glass of wine, tax and tip. I like the option of sitting @ a table ather than having to sit at bar.
I don’t know if we’re attending the same conference or not (WCBCT?), but I found a restaurant tonight that you would probably enjoy. I had hiked down from campus to Coolidge Corner, looking, believe it or not, for Anna’s Taqueria (a $5 burrito joint with very tasty carnitas, IMHO). Anyway, I didn’t find Anna’s – THANK GOD – but I did find a little Japanese restaurant called Shiki, which has earned some praises on this board. I ate there on my own and had a wonderful meal. I ordered two appetizers off the Specials menu: a cold dish of fermented black beans and Japanese yam, and a hot dish of roasted black pork belly. I was warned that the fermented black beans were an acquired taste, so I was expecting them to be very pungent and strong-tasting. They weren’t at all; they had a wonderful roasty, earthy flavor that went beautifully with the yam. The waitress told me that Japanese people usually eat fermented bean dishes with rice, so I tried it like that, too. It was good, but honestly, the bean/yam combo stood up well all by itself. It’s served with a garnish of okra and a little soy sauce; wasabi is optional. (NB: it turns out that fermented beans have a little bit of a slimy texture, which sounds like it would be awful, but wasn’t. Imagine if the beans had been mixed with a raw quail egg – the texture’s a little like that.) The pork belly went very nicely with the bean dish – each slice was a little piece of rich, tender, bacon-y heaven. It came with a slice of lime and some shredded daikon and bean sprouts for garnish. I found that a little squirt of lime juice and a teaspoon of the daikon went beautifully with each slice of pork. The waitress recommended, and I got, a glass of Kubota Senju sake, which was NOT CHEAP but made an excellent pairing with the appetizers. The sake was exceptionally smooth, dry, and balanced, with a subtle taste of fruit (I got a pleasant banana flavor from it).
I still had some room left over, and I wanted to consume the rest of my sake with a little food, so I ordered the scallop tartare appetizer off the main menu. This dish consisted of diced raw scallop mixed with mayo and shiso and wrapped in smoked salmon. It sounded interesting, but was only OK. The ingredients were absolutely fresh and there was an interesting juxtaposition of bold flavors, but those flavors overwhelmed the scallops so that you couldn’t taste them at all.
If you do go to Shiki, I recommend consulting the wait staff, being adventurous, and taking advantage of the Specials menu. It’s well worth your while, and the price range is about what you were looking for. Another option, if you like Japanese-inspired food, is Fugakyu around the corner on Beacon. I haven’t eaten there in many years, but I remember it being good, and it looked pretty popular tonight.
Best of luck chow-hunting during your visit!
9 Babcock Street, Brookline, MA 02446
Good suggestions so far.
Sichuan Gourmet: Just opened on Beacon St. (you might still find it listed as Chef Chang's House on Google Maps and such) and does a few really good sichuan dishes (you can find the thread about it on the first page of this board)
Audobon Circle: This was mentioned, but has a few really nice sandwiches and a really good burger (decent potstickers, too). Great place to sit and have some drinks (NOT before/after a Sox game, though)
Lower Depths: If you want low end, this place has one of the most extensive beer lists in the city (~200) as well as some top notch $1 hot dogs (buttered & grilled and topped with anything you want -- guac, mac & cheese, ground brown mustard, etc.)
At the same time, for $60 I'd encourage you to venture out beyond the BU confines to the best restaurants in the city that we rave about on this board -- Neptune Oyster and Modern Pastry in the North End, Cragie on Main in Cambridge, Coppa or Toro in the South End, etc. All of them are accessible by public transportation.
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
257 Hanover St, Boston, MA
476 Commonwealth Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02215
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
1004 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
In nearby Allston tons of ethnic food:
Also neaby is Yoma for Burmese food. Exotic, approachable and delicious. This is one of the more unusual and tasty ethnic foods Boston has to offer. http://yomaboston.com I would probably put this near the top of my list just because it is not something you will likely find elsewhere.
Food in food court (formerly Super88 supermarket) 1 Brighton Ave Boston, Massachusetts has a ton of options including good Vietnamese, Taiwanese, passable Indian and Hong Kong style roast meats.
Blue Asia has excellent homey Taiwanese.
Soulfire has very good BBQ: www.soulfirebbq.com
S&I Thai is a nice homey Thai place.
S&I To Go
168A Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Blue Asia Cafe
113 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
2nd Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq. close to you, and very much like Balthazar in NYC, if you want a reference. Agree with Joanie's others, also consider Trattoria Toscana.
130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Thumbs up to Eastern Standard and Taberna de Haro, though the former can be hard to get into without a reservation (except during the middle of - NOT before or after - a home Red Sox game, as Fenway Park is just a couple of blocks away).
Also not far is the Coolidge Corner neighborhood of Brookline - about a 15 minute walk if you take the back streets. There you'll find several good options like Lineage (American), Khao Sarn (Thai), Gari (sushi/fusion), and Shiki (izakaya-style Japanese)..
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
250 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
9 Babcock St, Brookline, MA 02446
Don't forget FuGakYu, The Regal Beagle and Buddachen! Also in Coolidge Corner. Or Beacon Street Tavern, which is right off the St. Mary's stop....Outdoor seating!
Beacon Street Tavern
1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446
308 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Brown Sugar (Comm Ave) = great Thai food.
There are also two Chinese places in Allston that everybody raves about, Jo Jo Taipei and Shanghai Gate.
Steve's Kitchen in Allston for breakfast.
I'll leave the upscale suggestions to others.
204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Brown Sugar Cafe
1033 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
120 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134