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In Boston in a couple of weeks for a day or two on business. What is not be missed?

Westy Nov 28, 2011 11:14 AM

Hello -

Looks like I will be in Bsoton in about two weeks. Haven't been back in a few years. What is great? I used to like Redbones, but not even sure if it is still open. What else is great in Boston/Cambridge? Trying to keep the entree around $20.


55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

  1. KWagle Nov 29, 2011 04:12 PM

    Where are you coming *from*? We have awesome Sichuan food in Boston (better than NYC) but if you're coming from say DC, which has a couple of equally awesome places, it would be silly to recommend those unless you're a Sichuan food specialist.

    3 Replies
    1. re: KWagle
      Westy Nov 30, 2011 06:55 AM

      Up from NC.

      1. re: Westy
        KWagle Dec 2, 2011 01:43 AM

        Oh, in that case: if you like spicy (and sometimes hot) food we do have a number of excellent Sichuan rstaurants here. The one with the consistently best *cooking* though not the most interesting menu is "Sichuan Gourmet" of which the best of the four locations is Framingham, where the master chef works on weekends (during the week he's in Sharon.) The Brookline location also has an excellent kitchen, and FOH staff who can help you navigate the menu. Do make sure to speak to them and not just to the waiters, who aren't really as good at helping newcomers to the cuisine.

        (More interesting menus can be found at both Red Peppers and Chilli Garden, but their cooking technique isn't quite as consistently solid as SG, which has only been off on one occasion, which happens to be the only occasion we were there when the usual FOH staff was absent.)

        1. re: KWagle
          Westy Dec 2, 2011 05:30 AM

          I used to live right around the corner fromt he Framingham location. I loved it. it was also excellent when it was a Thai place. Their green duck curry lives on in my memories.

    2. b
      bear Nov 29, 2011 11:10 AM

      This recent thread might be of use:


      1. q
        quirkydeb Nov 28, 2011 05:44 PM

        How about Helmand for Afghani food? It has some mighty tasty lamb.

        1 Reply
        1. re: quirkydeb
          GretchenS Nov 29, 2011 10:50 AM

          Helmand is a tremendous suggestion. Green Line to Lechmere and a short walk. Reservations a good idea. http://www.helmandrestaurant.com/ The rack of lamb is amazing although a bit above your price point, but I could be very happy with two or three apps -- the aushak and banjan are both superb and most people like the kaddo although it is too sweet for me.

        2. viperlush Nov 28, 2011 01:41 PM

          Oleana in Cambridge for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern(?).

          Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore for seafood.

          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          Island Creek Oyster Bar
          500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          5 Replies
          1. re: viperlush
            Parsnipity Nov 28, 2011 01:46 PM

            Agree- both are not-to-be-missed. However, make reservations ASAP because everyone else finds them chow-worthy as well. Oleana can fit your price constraints if you order small plates or wisely, ICOB probably not as likely.

            If Redbones and Davis Square is on your list, you could also try Pizzeria Posto which is T-accessible and good atmosphere, good flatbread pizzas, nice wine bar- some info on their site about the only Neapolitan-certified oven in the area, etc, etc.

            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            Pizzeria Posto
            187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

            1. re: Parsnipity
              viperlush Nov 28, 2011 03:41 PM

              Good call on ICOB, I completely skipped over the $20 entree bit. I've never been a fan of the entrees at Oleana and prefer their small plates.

              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. re: viperlush
                Madrid Nov 28, 2011 06:34 PM

                I *love* the mezze at Oleana. that's my favorite to go when I have the money and child care....would never even think about an entree there.

                I just got back from the tapas bar menu at Rendezvous in Central Square. Only at the bar, and only on Mondays...wow, it's a huge value. the Bluefish cakes, actually just anything on the tapas menu is outstanding.

                1. re: Madrid
                  viperlush Nov 28, 2011 07:38 PM

                  I do a really bad job with order mains at Oleana. The menu descriptions never seem to match the dish I imagine. I need to stick with the mezze and dessert.

                  I keep forgeting about Mondays at Redezvous, thanks for the reminder. One of my favorite restaurants in the area. Had a really great meal @ the bar last NYE.

                  1. re: viperlush
                    Westy Nov 29, 2011 05:52 AM

                    You know...i have the chef's cookbook...and I have to say the same holds true there. I thought it was a lack of skill on my end (which is likely parlty to blame), but I read it, imagine what it will taste like, and then it is different. maybe because the palette is so different from my usual style of cooking (BBQ, Chinese, a little Italian).

          2. JayNBoston Nov 28, 2011 01:30 PM

            Redbones is still open. I always like Bartley's Burgers or Otto Pizza in Harvard Square. You mentioned you like Italian; Al Fresco in Davis Square is excellent.

            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

            1. Science Chick Nov 28, 2011 11:23 AM

              What are your likes/dislikes, geographic constraints, car/T?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Science Chick
                Westy Nov 28, 2011 11:42 AM

                1. Italian
                2. BBQ
                3. Middle Eastern
                Dislike :
                1. Indian (actually, I like it but had my fill)

                I will be staying in downtown Boston. No car, so it needs to be T-0Accessible. A short walk won't kill me.

                1. re: Westy
                  boston_bc Nov 28, 2011 08:08 PM

                  Here are some suggestions for the under $20 price range:

                  Burgers - great burgers at R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville

                  Italian - lots of good choices in the North End. Tresca makes awesome homemade pasta. Also, La Galleria Humberto is great for slices and Arrancini for takeout. Also, excellent relatively inexpensive traditional Italian is at La Piccola Venezia on Hanover Street.
                  Dessert in the North End is great at Cafe Vittoria, right next to Mike's Pastry. Awesome desserts and coffee.

                  As for BBQ, Boston is not all that great. Redbones, Blue Ribbon (Newton) and the Village Smokehouse (Brookline) are all decent, but really don't compare to Southern BBQ.

                  Middle Eastern? Tangierino in Charlestown is great. Also, Cafe Barada (Cambridge, Mass Ave) is excellent Lebanese food. More low key and only accepts cash.

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