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30 Day Ethnic Food Challenge

i'm planning to eat Greater Boston's best ethnic foods everyday for 30 days. Here's my starting list. It's only IMHO so please challenge me.

Tampopo
Oriental de Cuba
Bon Chon
S&I To Go
Taqueria Mexico
Taiwan Cafe
Garlic n'Lemons
phien's kitchen (laotian)

habesha (ethiopian)
tawakal (somali)

el jardin (colombian)

d'leomar (dominican)

indian dhaba (indo-chinese)
jnj turo turo filipino cuisine (filipino)

house of tibet kitchen (tibetan)

kathmandu spice (nepali)

jamaica's flavor (jamaican)

anh hong (vietnamese)

ba le banh mi (banh mi)

cafe mami (japanese

Q pot
Boston Kabob
YoMa!
Oishii (Chestnut Hill)
Floating Rock
Terra Brasilis
Galleria Umberto
Vinnie's at Night
Tangerino
India Quality
Rincon Limon
Santarpios
Pikaichi
Rami's
Azama
Penang
Szechuan Gourmet (Framingham)
Dong Khanh
Mi Pueblito
Taberna de haro
O'Cantinho
Family Restaurant

My plan is to save money and lose weight. You see where I'm going with this. Omissions? Substitutions? Suggestions please.

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Taqueria Mexico
24 Charles St, Waltham, MA 02453

Terra Brasilis Restaurant
1506 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169

Dong Khanh
81 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

Tampopo
1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

India Quality Restaurant
484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

S&I To Go
168A Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Mi Pueblito Restaurant
333 Border St, Boston, MA 02128

Pikaichi
1 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

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  1. Ain't nobody gonna lose weight eating at places like Galleria Umberto and Taqueria Mexico -- Exhibit A: me! -- but I applaud your initiative.

    If you're going to Azama Grill, might as well also swing by both Garlic N Lemons and Boston Kabob Company, both a little over a block away and both more than worth a stop.

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    Taqueria Mexico
    24 Charles St, Waltham, MA 02453

    Azama Grill
    54 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

      Excellent choices. I am however trying to diversify and find the best examples of our ethnic offerings hubwise. Last August I sampled 24 cuisines in 24 hours in a 2.4 mile radius just 24 minutes from my friends house in Long Island. He paid so I saved money but I can't say if I lost or gained. Blood work would've freaked my physician out I'm sure. I'm counting on suggestions and heated debate to shape my list for this monthlong food challenge.

      1. re: EATTV

        Are you doing a blog or jornal article which you expect others to repeat parts of this on demand: eg are looking only for full time restaurants, or is it simply the challenge of eating ethnic food straight for 30 days? If the latter you might add some festivals into your routine, although the chow can be variable, but there are things offered you can't regularly get in restaurants. Does this mean you already did the NYC to Boston crawl up 95?

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7869...

        1. re: itaunas

          Itaunas

          The NYC to Boston food trip is finally happening this week after many postponements due to work demands and several natural disasters which really kill the appetite.
          However, the sun is shinning today.

          I do plan to blog the thirty day challenge but it is a personal digestable journey of inspiration for me. I learn something new about cooking and dining every day. I'm whittling down my list and determining all the logistics first like specialties and not to be missed extras. I want to learn about the condiments, what's on the table, utensils, pairings, desserts. If Festivals fit in the 30 day window that would be awesome but my intention is to focus on ethnic foods that are available all the time. If any were street foods that would be huge.

          1. re: EATTV

            There are some Asian street foods which show up occasionally at festivals, primarily in Lowell, but others around the area (Cambridge riverfest). For Portuguese street food you can get Sardines grilled over charcoal at some South Coast Festivals, but not usually at the social club feasts, and no charcoal roasted chestnuts unfortunately (the skewers of meat are good "social food" if not street food). At Brazilian festivals there is a bunch: churrasquinho (skewers), acarajé, pamonha, pastelão (fried empanada type pastry where the dough is said to be chinese inspired), boiled corn and even the x-tudo or hot dog are generally street food (the x-tudo lanches are often made out of a fixed location, but with seating in the middle of the road). A pastel and caldo de cana is a classic "on the go" snack. About the only thing you won't easily find is 'tapioca.'

            As far as the losing weight, I think that depends more on how you set up the tour and self-restraint, as opposed to the actual foods but I'll try to come up with some lighter but still good options. 3 square meals isn't going to lose you some weight, something more along the lines of a lighter breakfast, followed by a full lunch, and restrained dinner/snacking (good time for your street foods)... then saving calorie and $$ splurges for Sunday (eg only once a week) might be a better approach.

            Surpised that nobody mentioned it, but O'Cantinho is long gone. Given your lunching around Blackstone Valley I won't suggest a lot of Portuguese, but have a plate or two in mind at JJ's in Somerville.

            Glad to hear you are making the road trip and looking to hear about it!

            1. re: itaunas

              Wow as ever. Great stuff and now I'm starving for things I've never eaten. This challenge isn't a real diet or a budget but I'm guessing that I will be so wrapped up in the stories that I'll sample tons, learn loads, and break even on the weight. As for the budget...this will be invaluable.

              1. re: EATTV

                If you just break even on the weight, I'll be really jealous. Can't "weight" to read your reports.

              2. re: itaunas

                The Portuguese American Civic League does have grilled sardines at their annual Holy Ghost festival on Springfield Street, Cambridge/Somerville. I am not sure when it will be this year but it is usually held in early July.

                1. re: hckybg

                  I had to check to see if I posted a note regarding this!! I love grilled sardines - had them like a million yrs ago (in other words - in my younger days) when I visited Portugal. Insanely good!!

                  I did a search & apparently the feast will be on July 8th (7pm-12 midnight), 9th (11am-4pm and 7pm-12 midnight) & 10th (10am- 12 midnight) this year.

                  1. re: threedogs

                    Thanks for checking! Friday and Saturday nights are usually the best times to go, they have pretty much wound down by Sunday and have a fish soup lunch (which I believe is still open to all, though I think most are regulars). But on the weekend nights the street is closed and people are out and the kids are playing. The grill is fired up and there are lots of good choices to eat, from those sardines to good basic french fries. Lots of nice people too, I've learned most of what I know about the Azores from the people I've sat near in past years.

        1. re: Allstonian

          Ok. Hello Rangoon. What should be had at YoMa?

          1. re: EATTV

            any of the salads. especially the laphetthot (tea leaf salad), jinnthot (ginger salad), and thayettheethot (green mango salad)

              1. You gotta have a hot pot spot on your list - Q

                1. phien's kitchen (laotian)
                  habesha (ethiopian)
                  tawakal (somali)
                  el jardin (colombian)
                  d'leomar (dominican)
                  indian dhaba (indo-chinese)
                  jnj turo turo filipino cuisine (filipino)
                  house of tibet kitchen (tibetan)
                  kathmandu spice (nepali)
                  jamaica's flavor (jamaican)
                  anh hong (vietnamese)
                  ba le banh mi (banh mi)
                  cafe mami (japanese)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: galangatron

                    Now we're talking. I know some of these but this opens things up. I wonder if I could manage 3 squares a day for 30 days? Maybe if it were street food. I would need a driver.

                    Also, Filipino has illusive for me. What to order? Specialty of that house?

                    And, what does Somali entail?

                    Phien's is definite. I my have to make a pre challenge strike there.

                    1. re: EATTV

                      Cafe Baraka perhaps? Istanbulu? Lala Rokh? It might take a year we're blessed with such a lovely range of choices. Sunrise cafe for vietnamese? Half of Allston/Brighton, East Boston and Dorchester? Hmmm...this makes for great planning.

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                      Baraka Cafe
                      80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      Lala Rokh
                      97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                      1. re: EATTV

                        Filipino=lots of pork preps, which we love, but they also have chix & fish: http://jnjturoturo.com/menu.html. Habesha=lots of beef preps, cooked or raw-w/Ethiopian spiced butter), stews of various other meats and veggies, etc.: http://ethiopianhabesharestaurant.com/. I would also add Rosticeria/Taqueria Jalisco in Eastie: http://www.grubhub.com/boston/taqueri...

                        1. re: EATTV

                          it's a turo turo ("point point" in tagalog) restaurant. they have a few different dishes available each day at a steam table. you can also order from a short list of items that are cooked to order

                          dinuguan (pork blood stew), kare kare (oxtails and beef tripe in peanut sauce), sisig (minced pork, pig ears, and pig liver on a sizzling plate), sinigang (sour soup with chopped pork ribs and water spinach), lechong kawali (fried pork belly with liver paste), and patatim (braised pork leg) are all good dishes

                      2. South Indian- Udupi in Shrewsbury ot Dosa Temple in Ashland

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                        Udupi
                        378 Maple Ave, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

                        Dosa Temple
                        59 Pond St, Ashland, MA 01721