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Davis Square's "Foundry on Elm"

anyone heard anything about this place?

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  1. They have PR representation, they're interviewing FOH staff, and the website isn't live yet. That's all I know.

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

    Best case: fits perfectly between Highland Kitchen and Gargoyles on the Square.

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    Highland Kitchen
    150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    1 Reply
    1. re: enhF94

      Thanks for this link enh -- I missed the news about the concept. I'm hoping it has a Gallows vibe, a gastropub menu, locals and destination diners as regulars, and a nice cheese course. Is that too much to ask?

      With this and journeyman opening up shortly, I'm as excited as ever to live in my City.

    2. Anyone been to Foundry yet and care to share their impressions?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jongen

        There are a handful of yelp reviews cropping up (under two separate entries), but most of them are the typical mix of "i went there during the friends & family party, 5 stars!" and nitpicking what's likely to be opening night issues. Not sure any have been worth that much attention so far.

        1. re: Boston_Otter

          I don't mind it, but the Eastern Standard decor and menu layout copying is pretty shameless.

          Interior picture:
          http://www.dailycandy.com/boston/arti...

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          Eastern Standard
          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: DoubleMan

            Reminds me a lot of Gaslight's menu and decor as well. Standard, cookie-cutter Disney brasserie look and feel. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the food is good.

            Also, I would contend that 2010 is the year of poutine. I do believe 2009 was the year of Sichuan, even though it spread like wildfire this year.

            1. re: yumyum

              I think "Year of Chicken and Waffles" might be a contender as well.

              1. re: yumyum

                I think of 2010 as "another year of boring comfort-food menus". Can't blame the operators, but yeesh. Meatloaf, again?

                Foundy on Elm's menu looks like a mashup of Gaslight and The Gallows or Russell House Tavern: brasserie plus gastropub. If I lived around there, I'd be starving for something like that. Seems like you have to aim high on the beer front in Somerville. Do they have a full license, or just beer/wine? The performance angle (proposed cabaret or other theatrical entertainment) sounds interesting to me, too, though I guess that's coming later.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  If the economy continues as it is going, I'd expect a lot more comfort food in our future. I just wish places would look into comfort food a la beef stew, Shepherd's (or fish) pie, milk braised pork and the like. There's a whole world of comfort out there. And I mean to try it all.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    Someone should get out there and nail the sausage and mash concept. Cheap to serve and good to eat.

              2. re: DoubleMan

                Seems like just the standard bistro menu layout, not very creative, but not a shameless copy of one particular restaurants unique idea.

                1. re: enhF94

                  Tried the spaetzle last night -- it's very good. The German friend I was with said a) hers is better HA! and b) it would have been better with a sauce of some kind. The dish was flavorful with ham, mushrooms and cheese, but just a tad dry. I love spaetzle as a side with roast meats, and yes, the juices make the dish for me. We also shared the burger, which was very good. Served on a ciabatta roll, not my favorite type, but nicely flavored meat, juicy, and cooked to temp. The ubiquitous beet and goat cheese salad was good, with lots of pine nuts.

                  What was astounding about the Foundry was that on a rainy Monday night, at 8, the vast space was packed and there was a 30 minute wait. The manager told us that since they opened a week ago, it's been full up, both at the tables and the bar. For a newly opened restaurant, the service was pretty good -- our server was more than competent, dunno what those yelpers are on about. We sat in a small banquette near the back where we had a good view of the kitchen which was fun. They were cranking and occasionally singing. It's always nice to actually run into neighbors at a neighborhood spot, and I did. One of the owners was there with his parents from Dublin and he couldn't have looked prouder. Cool crowd, nice room, pretty bar, good food -- it was a pretty sweet scene all around. I think the Foundry might have hit on the right formula for Davis Square.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    And really raising the bar for the Bur'n and Joshua Tree? I realize that they are probably not looking for the same type of crowd, but still...I haven't been in either of those places in ages, but I will be checking out the shiny new penny.

                    How much of the buzz is just that, do you think...?

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I think Burren is going to be just fine, their niche with the live music and pub grub is safe. Just as you wouldn't necessarily go to the Foundry for a properly pulled pint, you wouldn't go to the Burren for a classic cocktail. I think Joshua Tree might have reason to worry, since they are the mediocrest of the mediocres. OTOH they could get the overflow from Foundry if this buzz continues. Time will tell.

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                      Burren
                      247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                      1. re: yumyum

                        If I wanted a properly pulled pint, I would have gone to Redbones (maybe up until recently given all their bartender changes). Actually, I'd still go there. But I was of the impression that the Foundry was supposed to have a lot of taps and be a good beer option? Something about proper ale?

                        I hope you're right and the Joshua Tree will be forced to shape up. On the other hand, it does serve as a magnet to keep people who don't care about service or quality away from the places I might want to go...

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                        Redbones
                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                        Joshua Tree
                        1314 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                        1. re: Parsnipity

                          If The Foundry is anything like The Independent, it will be much better for beer than The Burren. The Burren might be a better bet for the full Guinness pour theatre, though. (Settle the partial pour, send the punter away, "I'll bring it to your table", etc.)

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                          Burren
                          247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                          1. re: Parsnipity

                            From what I understand there are 32 tap lines. But if $6.50 pints of local beer are the norm (heard this was the asking price for a basic Berkshire beer), Redbones and Flatbread don't really have anything to worry about. Although Green Flash IPA on a new tap line might get me in there to at least check it out.

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                            Redbones
                            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                2. I have been there twice and the first time I popped in for a drink before work (easy I work evenings) and it was packed, I took a look at the menu and I feel like it is just "whats hot in food" which I feel like I shouldn't have a problem with but for some reason I do.

                  They have a great beer selection most are in the $5.50 to $6.50 range, I went last night as well and they had $5 80's retro cocktails which I think was pretty fun. For apps we had a scallop ceviche with a mango relish, it was very good and at $6 it was a pretty good deal. The poutine was exactly how poutine is suppose to be the cheese curd was melty fries were surprisingly crunchy and the gravy had a bit more black pepper than most but I thought it was great. My only problem was that it was $9 which I think is a little expensive for fries cheese and gravy. The charcuterie plate was incredible, it had a duck liver pate, prosciutto, and the other pate on the plate was amazing highly recommend it.

                  For meals we had a lamb special which was basically a perfect sandwich, the only thing that was better than that sandwich was the Croque Monsieur, I honestly have never had ham that tasted so good, I polished off the first half in record speed and then toned it down for the second half because I wanted it to last as long as possible.

                  My only issue was with the place was that we were sat at a table that was next to the kitchen when there were plenty of other seats left, I am not sure why that happened.

                  It is very nice and everything I have had or my friends had was very very good. Can't wait to go back again!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: natethegreek

                    We had a similar issue with seating. They placed us in the back near the kitchen and bathroom despite plenty of open tables in the rest of the room. When we asked if we could sit at a booth instead, we were told "sorry, we have a lot of reservations tonight." That was pretty lame seeing as we were one of the reservations. I think those tables way in the back should be some of the last they fill, not the first.

                    Our experience with the food was a bit different than what others have said. We tried the confit pork belly with pickled grapes and frisee. That was very tasty with well-cooked crispy pork belly and delicious pickled grapes. The warm bread basket was also great. That was all we had that we could really recommend. One dc ordered the burger medium-rare. It came out dessicated and grey throughout. She sent it back and they handled it very quickly. The second burger came out just shy of medium-well. My dc ate it, despite being way off temp again. She said it was just "fine" in terms of flavor and seasoning. Because of the first burger being overcooked, they comped it. They didn't need to, but that was a nice touch. Another dc tried the roasted chicken. It was well-cooked and seasoned, but not great. The other dishes we tried were the carmelized onion, olive, anchovy, and thyme flatbread and the grilled chicken sandwich. The flatbread was good except for the three unpitted olives - not cool. I had hoped that the grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, jack cheese, and chipotle mayo was going to be similar to the delicious pressed chicken sandwich that the Independent used to have (I should have asked, I know). Instead, it was just a chicken sandwich like you can find at any pub-style place anywhere. Admittedly, we ordered boring things, but I've enjoyed similar things at the Independent much more.

                    Service was great overall - attentive and friendly - and helped to make up for that weird response about seating.

                    Cocktails were good - better than many places, but definitely not top-tier yet. The main problem with the drinks is that they didn't get enough stirring. The sazerac, which had too much absinthe left in the glass, didn't get enough chilling or dilution. The Scollary Square had the same chilling/dilution problem.

                    They have a "Seelbock" on the menu. That would have been cool as a cocktail with beer replacing the sparkling wine. Nope, just a spelling mistake. And it would have been nice if their Aviation included violette.

                    I'm not going to write-off the place at all. I'll definitely go back, especially once the downstairs saloon opens, but I don't think it will be displacing the Independent or Highland Kitchen in my regular rotation.

                    1. re: DoubleMan

                      Went for lunch on Sunday during Octoberfest. There was a good crowd, but there were still plenty of seats. Nonetheless, we were ushered directly to the rear of the room, next to the bathrooms. (Could this be an age thing? DC and I do not belong to David Square's predominant demographic.) The worst thing about the dry burger (which came medium as ordered) was the overpowering roll. Ended up eating the burger with a fork. DC's eggs were find. Service was friendly and attentive. We'll be back for dinner, but overall the experience left something to be desired.

                  2. Went here last night. It was super-crowded and we were told 1-2 hours for a table at 7:30. I was expecting this and me and my husband had already eaten, but our 2 friends planned to order food. We were able to snag stools at the bar table though, which worked fine. Their taps are pretty impressive- my husband had a Flemish sour that he hadn't ever seen before, which is rare. It was not cheap at $10 for less than a pint, but we're of the opinion that if you'd pay that much for a glass of wine or a cocktail, a rare beer is worth it. Our friends had a flatbread with tallegio ($10) which was nicely cooked and tasty, and the spaetzle entree (?16) which was incredibly rich and I thought could have benefited from the addition of some thing green- either some veg or being on a bed of arugula or something like that. We shared a side of fries ($4) which were really excellent-- crisp, not oily. I'd definitely eat those fries again. Service was good, and I like the decor. My only quibble was the incredibly high noise level. This is not somewhere to go for an in depth conversation. They do have acoustic paneling on the ceiling, but it was still shouting volume at all times. I think they fill a niche in Davis and they certainly seem to be doing good business with a real mixed crowd of ages and levels of dressed-up-ness.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Parsnipity

                      Is that the same Flemish sour ale the Indo's had on tap at times—Monk's Café? If so and you like it, the Wine and Cheese Cask sells it for something like $3.50/bottle. Downtown in Davis has it too for more like $4.20.

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                      Wine and Cheese Cask
                      407 Washington St, Somerville, MA

                      1. re: djd

                        No, it's not Monk's. It was an import from Belgium. I suspect a bottle would be significantly more expensive, ie, I don't think they were price gouging. The beer menu is not online-- anyone know? Also, Slim, they do have full alcohol license. My friends enjoyed their cocktails.