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Nov 13, 2011 07:18 PM

Chowhound returns - reviews and request for help

left Boston 2005 and was back for the weekend. Visited some old favourites.

1. muqueca for lunch. Has moved to new bigger location. Fried plantain is good as always. Fish muqueca is delicious but quite heavy on salt. Seafood casserole is good too but much greasier than I remembered. Prices have gone up quite a bit.

2. Infusion tea spa. Bubble tea still great.

3. Bakery next to infusion. Yam cake dessert. Good stuff.

4. Shanghai gate. Chef is still the same! Ordered triple delight appetiser, lion meatball, golden ribs, and bear curd wrap meat soup. Everything is tasty. Ribs are a tad dry, there's msg in everything but not too heavy. Appetiser is too salty. Meatball is really tender. Prices are, gulp, the same as in 2005!

5. Flour cafe for breakfast. New mass ave location! They don't have twice baked brioche. Sob. Their Croissants are still probably the only ones that taste like, ..., croissants in France. scones are great.

6. Shangri-la for brunch. Salty soy milk has not phase separated enough. I added more vinegar to no avail. Soft tofu curd is lukewarm... Other dishes, steamed intestines, are full of msg so much so that I can't eat it. I reviewed this place many years ago. Still think it's the top three Taiwanese brunch in Boston but my tolerance for msg must have gone down.

7. Jo jo Taipei for dinner. Stinky tofu hotpot and the special squash with fungus. Both were pretty good. Almost all tables have a stinky tofu hotpot. Pretty authentic rendition.

All in all, a good trip. However, I am a bit underwhelmed and hope to get suggestions from you for my trip back again next week (6 days) My expectations have changed too since I have lived in Seattle, ny, and Taiwan in the past few years. Will be living in Asia (china, korea, singapore) the next few years so am not looking for Asian recommendations. Am very partial to ethnic food so south American (not Mexican) eastern/western European (not French or Italian), middle eastern are all good. Will for example, plan to visit Manchu picchu, sultan kitchen, etc.

Thanks a lot in advance fir your help!

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  1. Definitely make a trip to Sofra, the Middle Eastern-influenced bakery owned by Ana Sortun, of Oleana fame. For Eastern European, Cafe Polonia (in Dorchester and Salem) is excellent, interesting, and unusual.

    1. jazz,

      welcome back!

      Oleana is my top recommendation; Turkish/Mediterranean; unique items; very serious farm to table and all-things-Turkish etc knowledgeable chef (originally from Seattle).

      Biryani Park- Sri Lankan in Melrose; recent long thread of CH raves.

      Macchu Pichu(really Pollo las Brasas(?) across the street from MP; same owner) for the chicken, tamales, and pork and sweet potato sandwich

      El Chalan, Chelsea, for even better (but very close) Peruvian rotisserie chicken

      Montecristo in Somerville for terrific Pupusas revueltas (we always get them as takeout as the place is a dump.)There are other good pupusas in Chelsea( another Montecristo, unrelated) and E. Boston too.

      East Boston has many CH latino faves like Rincon Limon for ceviche. A search will yield long threads.

      Some CHs like Helmand, Afghani in Cambridge.

      Esperia Grill, Brighton, has excellent moussaka and pork gyros.

      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

      Esperia Grill
      344 Washington Street, Boston, MA

      Montecristo Restaurant
      146 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

      Biryani Park
      105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Thanks all. Super excited to be back. Ashamed to admit that I haven't visited Olecan despite sending six whole years in Boston; will correct this mistake next week. Biryani Park seems interesting; am very familiar with Southern Indian, especially Kerelan, Tamil, etc but will probably be unable to resist.

        keep the suggestions coming!

        Biryani Park
        105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

      2. Orinoco, there's one in the South End, and one in Brookline Village, for Venezuelan. I've been to the Brookline location twice, and really liked the food and drinks. It does get a bit noisy, it's v. lively.

        1. One thing we have that is not always easy to find in the US is excellent and authentic Spanish food. The two top spots are Taberna de Haro and Estragon. Both have very good Spanish wine lists as well as great food.

          Taberna De Haro
          999 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

          700 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          1 Reply
          1. re: BobB

            jazz, there are fans of the above 2 places and there are not-fans.just sayin'. but that is the world of CH of course. Toro is another tapas place w/ many fans.Some trad but a lot of creativity too. I like it if i order the right things, but hits and misses are a bit equal for me there. However, their paella is really terrific, and while you will soon be eating enough far east rice to last a few lifetimes, it won't be anything like this rice!

            Wherever you go, we are all looking forward to reading your posts.

            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          2. No need to sob, Flour sometimes has the twice baked brioche (its name escapes me at the moment), just not always.