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East Coast Grill still delivers

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In the early years of Chowhound, people could not say enough good things about East Coast Grill; it clearly was a board favorite. More recently, it seems to have fallen out of favor. It still has its fans (myself among them), but those who don't like the place have become more vocal.

I don't eat at ECG as often as I once did, but I still need to go in regularly for a fix. I did that last night and was very pleased that I did. I was not adventurous with my ordering, sticking with some old standbys, but was rewarded with a delicious meal.

I started with the hell sausage. (That's not what they call it, but it's the insanely spicy sausage from ECG's "hell" repertoir that's currently on the appetizer menu.) It was as delicious (and spicy) as ever, and now is served with a slaw of cabbage, avocado, mango and onion, which is both delicious and helps one cope with the heat of the sausage. A side of inner beauty also is included for dipping (which I happily did).

I then ordered the burnt ends sandwich and an order of their damn good fries (or whatever they call them!). My recollection is that when ECG first opened 25 years ago, the focus was on the BBQ, and one of the reasons the place was such a hit is that such good BBQ was relatively new to Boston. (The HooDoo is the only other place that I can recall where we could get decent BBQ in Boston.) We now have other options, like the wonderful Blue Ribbon, but I think ECQ still does mighty fine BBQ. I used the leftover inner beauty from my sausage on the sandwich, and it was awesome.

So perhaps not the most innovative meal, but I still love the place and still think that one could do far worse in the Boston area than a meal at ECG.

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East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. I ate there a month or so, and could not agree more. So solid. My favorite place for seafood. Their oysters are excellent too.

    1. I remember the first couple of times seeing this laughings guy behind the grill , with a California Angels hat on, and then finding out it was Chris himself. Always there, his cookbooks are still my bibles for slaws and sides. Is he still cooking there? I think there is something to be said about their consistency like you said still there still good ! The first time I tried Inner Beauty.was mind bending.

      3 Replies
      1. re: LeRique

        i have had only very good to excellent meals there. Why it fails to get more attention here is beyond me.

        The BBQ is as good as it gets in Boston and the seafood is excellent.

        Perhaps it is the lack of novelty? Perhaps it is too main stream?

        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

          honestly i feel that their day-to-day food is simply not a very good value. every time i eat there on a normal evening, i'm not unhappy but feel like i've been overcharged for what i ate.

          i don't usually feel this way for their hell nights, brunches & other special events.

          1. re: jgg13

            I agree. But I felt better when I switched from the fish last time I was there, and had the BBQ.

      2. I couldn't agree more. It's true that when I first started going there it was only for the barbecue. Now I go for the fish (and a burnt end or two if I can get them)

        But I swooned when you reminded me of the Hoo Doo - one of my all time favorite places in Boston. It will always be in my Hall of Fame (with an attendant Hall of Shame in so far as our behavior there on a few occasions) The best onion rings I ever had and barbecue sauce with a little chocolate mixed in from what I recall

        3 Replies
        1. re: Northender

          I find the flavors have dulled over the years. still pretty good but it once was (the BBQ) amazing. still solid on the seafood side.

          1. re: Northender

            If I remeber correctly (maybe Joanie knows), I think I remember one of the cooks (Jimmy Ryan maybe) telling me they put Hersey bars in the sauce at the HooDoo. LOVED the ribs - & the piece of bread they'd put under them to sop up all the sauce & juices!
            They are on my 'Last Hurrah" list - the list I made that if I could bring back all my favorites for just 1 night ................... maybe that's a topic for some other time!

            1. re: southie_chick

              Hershey bars were the ingredient and I also think the onion rings were dipped in buttermilk. Last Hurrah list would make a nice thread.

          2. I also agree. We recognize Chris from the photos in his cookbooks and see him around ECG about 25% of the time we're there; almost want to say, hi Chris. But I'm a North Carolina girl and loved the BBQ, had duck BBQ once there, and also for nostalgia reasons: ECG was the last time/place I saw a college roommate, who died several months later of breast cancer, leaving 2 very young children. . Still love the fish, the brunch, the fried oysters,veggies, the friendly service (not as much the noise). I know several cooks who refer to him as "Chris" who like me, have never met him. Chris, you changed Boston food and it was lovely to have ECG here when I came back (after College here) in the late 80's after a long time in foodie revolution Northern California.

            1. I'm not much of a BBQ guy, but when people ask for a great Boston fish restaurant, this is where I direct them (along with Muqueca and Neptune).

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              Muqueca
              1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139