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Jul 1, 2010 07:23 AM

Foodee moving to Boston from DC - what can I expect?

I am spending a final summer in DC enjoying the area and all it has to offer. This fall, I am moving back to New England - where I grew up. During my time away, I have nurtured my foodee tendencies and I am curious what I can expect when I get to Boston. While in DC, I have enjoyed the restaurants, diverse markets, and culinary schools that the area offers. I am looking forward to exploring the Boston area, but want to have an idea of what I will find and what I should not miss!

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  1. Welcome back ksueroy! As to what to expect it depends, I think, on where you settle in Boston. Personally I am a big fan of the options in the Cambridge / Somerville area, though I understand there's goodness to be had in other areas as well. If you do settle in Somerville or Cambridge, there's a plethora of ethnic eateries the explore. I'd point you to Union Square for one, for Peruvian food at Machu Picchu, and maybe a stop of the Reliable market to pick up some Asian food to take home. Union Square also has an excellent farmer's market on Saturday mornings. From Union it's a short (10-15) minute walk over to Inman, where you can pick up a torta to go at Olecito, or stop into Tupelo for tasty southern-inspired food. Christina's Spices can be fun to browse, while eating some ice cream from their shop next door. There's tons more in both Squares - just search the forums a bit.

    Machu Picchu
    307 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    12 Springfield St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    7 Replies
    1. re: Dea

      Thanks for the intel Dea! I love the Peruvian food recommendation - I am a big fan and have several options here in DC. I also adore the Belgium dining experience - we have a great place here in Brasserie Beck - anything in this genre in Boston?

      1861 Smith St, North Providence, RI 02911

      1. re: ksueroy

        Yeah, as MCSlimJB notes below, we're SOL on Belgian food, which is a shame. There is a frite shop opening in downtown Boston, called Saus, who will bring that part of the Belgian food world to the area, but sadly that's it. Hopefully some smart restauranteur will come along and fill that niche someday.

      2. re: Dea

        IMHO, way, WAY better Peruvian at Rincon Limeno in East Boston. I find the food at Machu Picchu to be mediocre at best.

        Rincon Limeno
        409 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128

        Machu Picchu
        307 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Except for the Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken, the satellite store across the street with the pollos a la brasa.

          Machu Picchu
          307 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            Totally agree about the chicken place.

          2. re: StriperGuy

            I agree StriperGuy. Took my son's g/f to Ricon Limeno on your advice, she loved it.
            She grew up in Lima and hasn't been back for 5 years. She was smiling from ear
            to ear.

        2. Whoa, for a second there I though Fordee's was moving to DC. Just headline dyslexia. Phew!

          My experience of the DC scene is limited, but I'd probably get my last licks in at Minibar, eat as much Southern, New Southern, and real BBQ as possible (a weak link here), get a Ben's half-smoke, and maybe splurge once at the Inn at Little Washington before moving. We don't have anything like Layalina (no high-end Syrian at all), Marcel's (not a single Belgian restaurant), or Rasika (our high-end Indian is rather weak). The mid-range Thai places I've been to there seem more traditional than here; our more authentic Thai places are all very modest (but awesome).

          Overall, I think Boston's dining scene is comparably diverse, though our in-town farmer's markets could be better. Can't really speak to the culinary schools issue beyond BU's excellent wine program for pros, unless you mean continuing education for amateur cooks and oenophiles, of which we have plenty.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            MC Slim - can you elaborate on not having anything like Layalina - specifically, what is the middle eastern food scene like in Boston?

            I do think the farmer's market scene is going to improve with this move - I wonder, are you a chef as well? If you are - considering the market scene in Boston - what kinds of food to you find yourself preparing?

            1. re: ksueroy

              Purely a home chef who cooks fairly simply at home, though a wide range of cuisines.

              Boston has few traditional Middle Eastern restaurants that would be considered fine dining, almost no white-tablecloth ones at all. Layalina is probably one of the highest-rated restaurants in the DC area for food; none of Boston's traditional Lebanese or Syrian restaurants would rate in our top 50. Though there are a bunch that are very good, they tend to be pretty modest. Oleana is a rare example of a highly-rated restaurant in that tradition, but the chef ranges much further over the map (all around the Mediterranean) and takes a more creative, non-traditional approach.


              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          2. I've only been to DC a couple times... I know, I know... and in my very limited time there I found the restaurants to be surprisingly expensive compared to what I was used to. Not fancy places--restaurants on the low-key, casual end. So hey, maybe your dollar will stretch farther up here.

            1. My advice (If you like them) make sure you have your fill of crab this summer. I moved to Cambridge from Baltimore/NoVa a couple years ago and what I miss most are steamed crabs.

              1. What i miss most about dc is great ethiopian and amsterdam falafal(and komi)

                What I love most about moving back to boston is being able to find a decent sub and not having to settle for ben and jerrys ice cream.

                1 Reply
                1. re: joth68

                  Sweet. I also think that the OP should take in some taverns before heading up our way ... Tabard Inn, Agaiinn, etc. We have the Gallows, but not a lot of other places I'd consider to be gastropubby.

                  Second the rec for the crab boil ... spent a few hours and lost my fingerprints working thru a bucket not long ago. You wont find that here. But, you can get lobsters, clams and steamers to tide you over.