5 Nights & Mornings in Beacon Hill
I'm looking for Boston delights. I'll be there one week only, April 3-8. Lunches are already spoken for. Staying at the Liberty. I'm looking for quick breakfasts and exciting dinners. I prefer flavor over fashion; surprises over high ticket. Living in Portland means that I get to eat well (when I ever get out) at home, but being on the road should mean that I get to eat stuff Portland isn't known for (it would be great to find good Carribean, Cambodian, Indian): basically, I'm looking for what you do best. What do you have for me?
I know that I should be able to find it trolling what's already posted, but it's tough to know where these places are if you don't know the geography.
I'd definitely recommend Neptune Oyster in the North End for the Hot Buttered Lobster Roll...on brioche with perfect thin fries! Across the river from you is an Afghani restaurant in Cambridge, The Helmand...too bad your lunches are spoken for, I would definitely send you to Chacerero for the best sandwich ever!
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113
Beacon Hill is pretty central; it's walking distance to the North End (our Little Italy) and Chinatown. I've had very good espresso at Caffe Paradiso in the North End if that's of interest, though I don't know the neighborhood well enough to recommend a breakfast place there. (Vittoria Caffe down the street is more picturesque but the one espresso I had there was awful.)
Since you mention Cambodian food, the best place in the area is Thmor Da in Revere. It's a small storefront place, very modest, but the food is fantastic - I just went last weekend and it's as good as ever. It's about a 20 minute ride on the T (Revere Beach stop on the blue line) and then a 5 minute walk. As I recall they close pretty early (8:00) which isn't such a problem because it's in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood where you wouldn't really want to wander after dark, especially alone. There's also Floating Rock, which moved from the space where Thmor Da is now to a much swankier place in Cambridge, but it *just* reopened yesterday - when it was in Revere the food was great but no one's reported on the new location yet so I don't know if they have their act together yet. ('m going next week for lunch, I hope it's still great!) If you ask the concierge about Cambodian food they may recommend Elephant Walk, which has a very nice room and severely toned-down flavors - not worth it in my opinion.
you are from portland maine, not oregon, yes? here is a link to a very detailed post(scroll down) that may not be exactly what you are looking for but will have some relevant references (lala rokh on beacon hill for persian and la verdad in kenmore sq. for some amazing tacos)
.I have a feeling this may not concern you, but i will mention that our best ethnic restnts are usually located in very unattractive and often dirty parts of our handsome historic city (very different from your home town, where i have never seen dirty crummy where the restnts are.) Fortunately you will be staying in an attractive part of Boston. In the non-Portland ethnic vein, I would direct you to a really super Lebanese place with a wide array of interesting unusual sides and terrific shwarma.:
Garlin 'n Lemons
thanks to all you CHs and the boston food press, we had a delicious time at Garlic 'n Lemons today. as usual, we did a pretty thorough menu sweep.
--Spicy chicken shwarma rollup on the thinner crispy Saj bread.
A really unique experience of textures and robust flavors with tomato, beet radish, shredded lettuce, garlic sauce, all mixed with juicy marinated chicken shwarma. (This was so superior to the eggplant burger(sujek) rollup and the spiced chicken kebab rollup(both served as naked kebab on bread)- that this is what we will keep with.)What a huge difference that saj bread makes!
--2 soups of the day- red lentil and chicken rice tomato- were both very hearty and well flavored.
-- Mouska (not the casserole as in Greece)- rich cold 'stew' of eggplant, onion,chickpeas, tomato sauce. The Egyptian Aziza further down Harvard- also does an excellent version of this.
-- Couscous (not, it's actually bulghur)flavored with tomato sauce,onion, parsley.....
--Babaganoosh- smoky, creamy perfect
--Spiced fried potatoes (our only not-cold side)Unique and so flavorful
Other Good dishes:
--Tabouli- primarily parsley and lemon, w/ a bit of cracked wheat/bulghur
-- cucumber tomato feta salad
spiced chicken kebab rollup and eggplant sujek rollup. not bad tasting or anything; just nothing special compared to the textures and flavors of the chicken shwarma rollup.
Did not try any of the desserts.(i detest rosewater and wasn't in the mood for the baklava type things)
Friendly helpful people. Atmosphere bright and light filled (though they need to do a better job cleaning up and bussing tables.)
Looking forward to many return visits,thanks to youall.
Garlic 'n Lemons
133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
These are terrific posts, folks - especially when accompanied by partial directions and mass transit travel times. Good points about parts of town - when visiting from beyond (in my case Portland Oregon), you don't have a good idea of what you're getting yourself into. Some have pointed out that I'll be sleeping near Chinatown. Any great Chinese?
Keep 'em coming! Thanks!
Best meal of the week was at Neptune Oysters: outstanding. Right up there with it was Gourmet Dumpling House. Also ate at Terramia (good - would've been more enjoyable had the pacing of service been better), Pizzeria Regina (much better than average - but I didn't think it was worth making a big deal about), and Cafe Bella Vita and Upstairs on the Square (both totally forgettable.) Surprisingly, one of the most exciting meals I had all week was at Plimoth Plantation, where they served up a taste of two cultures.
Thanks to all the 'hounds who sent me in the right directions: I look forward to eating in Boston again!
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113
Gourmet Dumpling House
52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111
98 Salem St., North End, Boston, MA 02113
Cafe Bella Vita
30 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114