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Moving to Hyde Square - your advice requested

gini May 6, 2011 02:51 PM

Hi Chowhounds! After 6 years in Camberville, I'm officially moving to the other side of the river. We've bought a house in the Hyde Square area of JP.

What is your favorite restaurant in the area? I'm a big fan of walking/biking distance, but they can be drivable/T-accessible as necessary.

For a cafe, Ula seems nice, but on the other side of the T. I love Canto 6, but again, it's on the other side. Is there anything by Hyde Square for a good cup of coffee and a croissant?

Do I have to head to Dot for Vietnamese and Brookline for Thai and Chinese?

Is Ghazal the best option for Indian?

Is Pupusa Guanca good for Salvadoran?

What's the best place for a date night - Ten Tables?

What about brunch? I like Center Street Cafe for dinner - is their brunch also the best in town?

Is the Haven my best bet for a beer and a brew?

What are my other grocery store/liquor options than the Stop & Shop and the new Whole Foods?

What else am I missing?

Thank you in advance!


Ten Tables
597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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  1. beetlebug RE: gini May 6, 2011 03:06 PM

    Although it's been a while since I've been, I used to really like Orientale de Cuba.

    I also really dislike Sorella's for breakfast. I've been when it's busy and I've been when it's slow. It's just not good.

    Congratulations on your new house and move!

    388 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    1. Allstonian RE: gini May 6, 2011 03:08 PM

      I *love* Center Street's brunch - enough so that for a couple of years I was a biweekly regular there, even though it involved a two-bus trip from Allston on the Sunday schedule. There are a lot of people who hate on it, in large part because the wait can be way too long - the food's great, but not stand-in-line-for-half-an-hour-or-more great. I particularly love the waffles; a lot of the breakfast specials are tasty but too big to finish (and I don't say that easily!) Get there right when they open, or skip it until after 1 or so.

      Sorrella has its fans, as well, but I've tried them a bunch of times and didn't get it. Seemingly hundreds of variations on pancakes and French toast, but it turns out I don't really care for French toast made with quickbreads (e.g., banana bread.)

      1. j
        johndory RE: gini May 6, 2011 08:46 PM

        Papusa Guanca closed a few months ago and has been replaced by a pizza place that I have not tried. Since Veloura closed, there isn't any good coffee in Hyde Square -- you'll have to go to City Feed or Ula (both very good). I like Canary Square a lot for the brunch and brew categories -- it's a great addition to the neighborhood and much better than Alchemist (and has Pretty Things on tap). Orientale de Cuba is as good as ever. There have also been positive reviews of a new tapas place--Tres Gatos--near Hyde Square.

        I find myself frequently leaving JP for chow because a short drive to Brookline gives you much better options. For example, I prefer Olecito to Purple Catcus; Mangia to any of the various pizza options; Khao Sarn to Wonder Spice; and Fugakyu to JP Seafood.

        There is a liquor store in Hyde Square that's fine for the basics. Blanchard's on Centre has a much wider selection.

        Ten Tables is very good but you'll need to plan ahead to get a seat (see the thread about phone reservations).

        Khao Sarn
        250 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

        Ten Tables
        597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

        Fugakyu Cafe
        621 Boston Post Rd, Sudbury, MA 01776

        Wonder Spice Cafe
        697 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

        655 Washington St, Canton, MA 02021

        12 Springfield St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        Canary Square
        435 S Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130

        1. h
          hoolese RE: gini May 7, 2011 07:03 AM

          Alex's Chimi's for Dominican style rotisserie chicken, the thing I miss most about Hyde Square.

          MIami restaurant for great Dominican/Cuban food, and nice cafe con leche. El Oriental de Cuba has a nice con leche too for your coffee needs.

          A lot of friends have gone to the new Tres Gatos in the old Rhythm and Muse bookstore and dug the spanish tapas there.

          I really like Sorellas for what it is, a cheap greasy breakfast joint. I think its best to stick to simple things like eggs and french toast.

          Alex's Chimis
          358 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

          Miami Restaurant
          381 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

          El Oriental De Cuba
          416 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

          Tres Gatos
          470 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

          1. c
            cwinboston RE: gini May 7, 2011 01:15 PM

            Try VeeVee at the Monument on Centre and South Street.

            South Street Cafe
            5 Turner St, Waltham, MA 02453

            2 Replies
            1. re: cwinboston
              powella RE: cwinboston May 7, 2011 02:09 PM

              Welcome to JP! I echo cwinboston, VeeVee is a fave of ours. Depending on how frequently you eat out and how long you'll live here, you'll probably try everything at least once.

              The Haven is a very welcoming place- we've only eaten there once so far but we liked it a lot.

              There is a liquor store right on Centre Street in Hyde Square but I don't know the name of it. You really can't miss it, very close to Video Underground and Miami Restaurant. Blanchard's is down Centre Street closer to the Monument .

              Whole Foods isn't open yet, so if you're searching for a similar alternative to Stop and Shop a quick bike ride down to South Street will get you to Harvest Coop. It's a smallish grocery store with bulk bins and a selection of wine/beer. Next to Harvest is Fiore's Bakery, which serves organic coffee, sandwiches and bakery items.

              RE: Asian flavors, we have some tasty options in JP including Wonder Spice Cafe, which describes itself as Cambodian/Thai. JP Seafood is Korean/Japanese, including sushi. Both are on Centre Street towards the Monument from Hyde Sq. We have no bahn mi or pho places that I know of, and for anything better than americanized chinese takeout, you'll have to head to neighboring towns.

              Lastly, JP is home to some Irish pubs worth checking out, if only for a pint and to say you've been there. Doyle's on Washington is the most well known example of these. James' Gate on South Street has some pretty good food, and in the winter you'll not find a better spot in JP for a burger and beer next to the fireplace.

              Wonder Spice Cafe
              697 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

              1. re: powella
                C. Hamster RE: powella May 7, 2011 05:31 PM

                The Brendan Behan is right in HS

            2. gini RE: gini May 9, 2011 07:02 AM

              Thanks for the information! Looking forward to exploring more!

              1. g
                gourmaniac RE: gini May 9, 2011 07:18 AM

                Hi Gini: Welcome to JP. No Vietnamese, Thai or Chinese to speak of. I like Wonder Spice well enough but it's pricey for what you get. Thai Spice in West Roxbury has been recommended to me but haven;t tried. RE Indian, Himalayan Bistro is better than Ghazal but further from you. RE shopping, I like Meatland as a a family run butcher. Agree on Alex's Chimis and would add Yely's Coffee house for similar fare. Canary Square and Haven are both good additions to the neighborhood. RE other pub food down and dirty, Costellos and the Galway House are good value.

                Alex's Chimis
                358 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

                Wonder Spice Cafe
                697 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                Galway House
                720 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                Thai Spice
                1745 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA 02132

                Canary Square
                435 S Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130

                1. C. Hamster RE: gini May 9, 2011 08:14 AM

                  I think Ghazal is fantastic.

                  1. p
                    pariss RE: gini Jun 13, 2011 01:49 PM

                    Both City Feed and Real Deal are very good for sandwiches.

                    We moved to the same area in JP a couple of years ago from Brookline (near Allston). It doesn't compare to that area for variety and #'s of places. JP needs a lot more good places I think. That said, I love Tres Gatos, Ten Tables too.

                    No Fish stores to speak of. No good cozy coffee places. The neighborhood can support it - I don't know why it's not there.....

                    Ten Tables
                    5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                    Tres Gatos
                    470 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

                    1. gini RE: gini Jul 19, 2011 09:29 AM

                      Thank you for the replies! Here's what I've sampled in the past month:

                      City Feed - sandwiches which are not unlike Hi-Rise's.

                      Canto 6 - crunchy, buttery croissants that make my mouth water; overly bitter coffee that makes me turn to tea.

                      Ula Cafe - a great place to study.

                      Tostada - an excellent smoothie shop. The cheese sandwich was overly glopped with mayonnaise.

                      Tres Gatos - a crowded and lively tapas spot - Boquerones and Albóndigas were the highlights.

                      The Haven - Scotch Egg is crunchy, salty, porky - good; burger is topped with carmelized onions sent here from the gods.

                      El Orientale de Cuba - Mofongo is dry and under seasoned, best to stick to PR spots for this; cuban steak sandwich is well-seasoned and huge; Steak in Salteado is delicious.

                      JP Seafood served American maki, but not in a bad way. It's exactly what you would want when you want that sort of thing.

                      Tres Gatos
                      470 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: gini
                        gourmaniac RE: gini Jul 19, 2011 09:53 AM

                        I've been liking Super Fusion for sushi now across the street from JP Seafood as the fish is better and a think a tad cheaper. Never been a fan of JP Seafood. Try the Fish and Chips at the Haven. Love Canto 6 but never had their coffee.

                        Super Fusion
                        690 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

                        1. re: gourmaniac
                          gini RE: gourmaniac Jul 19, 2011 10:03 AM

                          I went to Super Fusion in Porter, and while their fish is of good quality, I really disliked eating off of styrofoam - does the JP location also use styrofoam?

                          I sampled the fish and chips at The Haven a couple weeks ago - they were fine, but I prefer the burger.

                          Super Fusion
                          690 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

                          1. re: gini
                            gourmaniac RE: gini Jul 19, 2011 12:33 PM

                            only got takeout from JP location and transfer from aluminum containers to nice plates at home. I have had sushi at the Washington Square location and don't recall styrofoam.

                          2. re: gourmaniac
                            sallyt RE: gourmaniac Jul 19, 2011 11:52 AM

                            The iced latte at Canto 6 is delicious - not bitter at all

                        2. gini RE: gini Aug 22, 2011 10:39 AM

                          We tried out Canary Square this weekend.

                          I cannot say I was impressed. I enjoyed our bottle of wine, but otherwise, we may as well go down the street to TT.

                          Did they really make deviled eggs and plop them on top of an entire bottle of Heinz relish? The trout pate: a white block of shredded something, with a gloppy yellow grease and toasted multigrain bread. Poppy-covered scallops: sweet scallops against an acidic salad was actually quite good, even if the poppy seeds get caught in your teeth. Chocolate cheese cake: an overly zealous raspberry coulis masked the dense milk chocolate cake - perhaps we should have gone for the donuts.

                          I think I'll have to try Alex's Chimi, Miami Cafe, VeeVee, Ghazal next!

                          Alex's Chimis
                          358 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

                          Canary Square
                          435 S Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130

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