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Jun 23, 2010 08:57 PM

Notes on a whirlwind pass through Boston/Newton

Rubins: closes too early (sorry, it's the summer and we New Yorkers don't get the whole 8:30 thing) and not impressed with the food, silly-looking fish-shaped freezer type chicken nuggets and a small deli sandwich, burger ok.
Ramis: knocked it out of the park. great cigars, mixed grill, chumus, pitas. owner is the quintessential friendly, effusive Israeli restaurant guy--great conversation, great food.
Taam China Newton: Um...where to begin. No Chinese noodles, no rice with our main dishes, food prepared in under 4 minutes (a bit too quick, we thought), rude waitresses/manager? kept asking if we were ready to order when we clearly were still discussing what to order, phone kept ringing in our ears and since no one answered it, it would go to voice mail and we had to hear the voice mail greeting loudly each and every time the phone rang, waitress chased a customer out the door asking for her tip, portion of chicken and vegies was very small--and again, no rice, pou pou platter was ok but not much else.

Bottom line: mediocre food in Boston--disappointing.
RV trip to Maine that led to the Boston stop--priceless.

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  1. On a trip to Boston I found Jerusalem Pita. It is probably the best mid-east restaurant I have been to. Next time through you should try this. Huge portions friendly service. Sefardi hashkochah that was recommended by people at the Bostener Rebbe.
    Bottom line your food need not be mediocre in Boston

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeffrosenbaum

      thanks. my husband is often there on business. he will be happy to know this.

    2. FYI>>>>>>>>>>>

      I am NOT defending Taam China, but be aware that NON-Kosher Chinese restaurants in greater Boston do NOT include Rice with main dishes. It is an ala carte item available for purchase. The same is often true for Hot Tea, and 'Chinese Noodles' are only served with particular food items (such as soup) they are not put out on the table.

      Your comments about this show 'self reference criteria.' It is not fair to judge expectations in Boston by what you may be accustomed to in NY. It would be more fair to compare what was included at Taam China and other Boston area restaurants.

      On another note, if Rubins closed, as opposed to closing early I wouldn't miss it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bagelman01

        Agree with bagelman about Chinese in Boston.

        1. re: bagelman01

          My husband travels for a living so he is all over the U.S. I've been to a few Chinese places out of NY. Bottom line, the portion of Chicken was too small. The rice would have made up for it. The rudeness is just rudeness. But, at the end of the day, my husband will still be a patron on his trips to the Boston area because he hates to fight the Brookline traffic. I still don't understand why you guys never had a good pizza store and that goes back about 15 years. You have an upscale kosher market so...

          1. re: cappucino

            The fact that Zaatar didn't make it should tell you all you need to know about the Boston kosher scene.

            1. re: DeisCane

              Funny. That's exactly what I was thinking when I made that post. Why didn't these people keep Zaatar open?

            2. re: cappucino

              This is the husband and I will not be a patron. Brookline is a pain, but I will go there or buy herring at Shaws before eating at Taam China. Zaatars was wonderful, thanks for the memories. What was the name of the Turkish place that hung around for a while?

          2. What are "Chinese noodles", and why would you expect them to be served with all Chinese food?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Shmendrik

              Wow. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't know what Chinese noodles were.

              1. re: queenscook

                It could mean quite a few things, but if it means the crunchy Chow Mein noodles which some Americans consider an essential part of Chinese cuisine, I'm not sure why their absence is a negative.

                1. re: Shmendrik

                  Not all restaurants serve horrible, generic noodles. Some serve large, crispy home-made noodles. The reason I bothered to mention it is that they are usually placed on the table with dipping sauces as an appetizer to enjoy while you wait for your food. In this case, with the food having been microwaved for 3 minutes, I guess they weren't necessary.

                  1. re: Shmendrik

                    Look, I don't indulge in them either, because of the generally high fat in them, but since, as you say, many consider them an "essential part" of the Chinese restaurant experience, then their absence will be a negative to those who enjoy them, and that is a fair way to judge a restaurant experience.