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Any info on Happy’s Bar & Kitchen

Looking for a menu if anyone has seen one. Or a report if anyone has been there.

Sorry if this is a repeat but I did a search and haven't come up with any info as of yet.

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  1. Website here, but no menu on it yet: http://happysbarandkitchen.com/

    I've been in, quite liked what I tried, a few bar-snack kind of things. Big, loud space, ought to do well as a Sox pre-game stop. It's only been open to the public for a week, so it may take a bit for service to settle down. I'm most curious about the proper Jewish deli items on the menu: chicken soup, pastrami, etc., since decent versions of those are so rare in Boston.


    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Thanks for the website link, looks like the menu is now on the site. Pastrami only appears on the lunch menu.

      1. re: Jpan99

        No prices on the menu. Hopefully they add those soon. I hate when restaurants have menus online without prices.

        1. re: Jpan99

          From the breakfast menu: "Judy’s Ridiculously Delicious Creamy Soft Scrambled Eggs".

          Also, "Perfect Spaghetti", "The Greatest Wedge... Ever", and "Decadent and Gooey Grilled Cheese Sandwich". What, you couldn't wait for the Phantom Gourmet to review that sandwich?

          I so hate menu prose like that. Underpromise, overdeliver, I say.

          But I like that it's doing three-meal service.


      2. I emailed them this morning asking if they took reservations and if they could email/fax a menu. Awaiting reply.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kodiak604

          they definitely take reservations...I called yesterday, because I wanted to go for pre-Sox brunch on Mother's day. However, they are not yet open for lunch/brunch. But they would have made a reservation for me, if they were!

          They have an Opentable page with info, but it says they can't make a reservation through it yet...I imagine that will be coming shortly.

          1. re: Kodiak604

            The other day, they faxed a menu to me. They were having computer issues and couldn't email it. The pastrami sandwich isn't on it, and I thought there was a part of it missing. On Monday, I went for a late lunch and there was a sign that said they didn't open until 4:30-5. I don't remember which time it said(old age is kicking in).

          2. We went and were disappointed to say the least, but I was waiting to see if anyone else had any feedback. I'm also curious about the chicken soup, but I did not see any pastrami or "etc." (in terms of deli food) anywhere on the menu at all. Ordered lemony roast chicken and got a single teeeeensy piece of chicken in salty, sort of cornstarchy-seeming gravy. It's not their fault I am not that much of a gravy person, or that I don't like olives, which the orzo side dish was completely full of. But it was still just ... not good. Guy at the next table got the "TV dinner" and it too looked kind of gross and gloopy and like, well, TV dinner. I honestly felt as if some kind of prank were being played on us. And I am really not that fussy.

            They do seem to take reservations, though. Let us know if the promised pastrami ever materializes on the menu, or do you have to say the secret password ... ?

            1 Reply
            1. re: BostonCookieMonster

              Wow thanks for the report. Definitely does not sound promising.

            2. we stopped in post-Sox game on Friday night just for drinks and a snack. I thought the cocktails were good, but pricey...$14 seems high for a mixed drink. We had their DIY Nachos, which served a plate of chips, and a lazy susan with a small pitcher of melted cheese, some sour cream, salsa fresca, guac, sliced black olives, sliced red jalapenos. I enjoyed this over the usual loaded plates of nachos. but its definitely a smaller thing than you might get elsewhere. They were happy to bring us more chips, though, when we used up the original portion and still had toppings.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ChinaCat

                "Melted cheese" as in like a Velveeta style cheese or the canned/bagged stuff you get with your Fenway or Garden nachos? I am no nacho snob by any means, but liquid cheese on nachos has never worked for me especially in a restaurant setting. A better idea would be to bring out the nachos with the cheese melted on it and then let you add your toppings on your own.

                1. re: Gordough

                  it didn't seem to be orange-y velveeta style cheese. It was pale yellow, the color of natural cheddar, and creamy. It was a little like fondue, or a queso dip. It didn't harden much as it cooled, so it wasn't straight melted cheese either. I liked it, because the chips don't get all soggy, and you don't have some with more cheese, and some with none.

                2. re: ChinaCat

                  To be fair, the shaker drinks are of the birdbath, 12- or 14-ounce cocktail glass variety. I'd be happier at that price if they took the trouble to chill the glasses, though.


                3. It (the food) sounds schmancier than I expected from the pre-opening press, but I'd give it a whirl, if I ever manage to get out.

                  1. Yesterday, I stopped by Happy's and ordered the chicken soup as well as the pastrami sandwich. It was very disappointing. The chicken soup was more like a thick stew with maybe 1/2 cup of broth, and there were so many diced carrots that it looked liked it was some sort of carrot dish. Some rice, a type of tiny pasta, a few mini meatball sized matzo balls(they had no flavor), many small morsels of chicken as well as what tasted like sage filled the shallow bowl. There was so much "stuff" that I had to tip the plate to get a spoonfull of liquid. The sandwich was also disappointing. It must have been sitting for a little while before it was brought to me because the bottom of the toasted rye was soggy. The rye was toasted, not grilled. I had taken for granted that it wouldn't have been either. The pastrami was ok but nothing special. The service was very good, but that's the only real positive. It's pretty disappointing. From the opening press, I was hoping it would be decent. I won't be back anytime soon.

                    1. UMPH....That kind of sums up my experience. Lets start off with the good: service was great. The host and hostess could not have been nicer. Our waiter was attentive, not overbearing, knew when to come over at just the right moments. Would be interested to see what the service is like with a packed house. We went on Saturday night at 7:30 and there were plenty of open tables.
                      Now to the things I did not like:
                      1) as mentioned in an earlier post I emailed them asking if they took reservations and if they could email or fax a menu to me because at that point their website was not up yet (this was about 4 days before I had dinner, so early last week). I have yet to hear back from them. I just do not expect that type of lack of business acumen from Michael or one of his restaurants. Luckily the website did go live so I was able to find a menu.
                      2) The table we sat at was sticky. At first I thought it may have been the varnish, but soon realized it was just dirty and I did a self cleaning wipe.
                      3) On face value the menu looks good, but that is where it ends. There were 5 of us at dinner. We started with 3 appetizers and a salad. The salad, which was an arugula salad was your basic arugula salad, that i would grade as "fine". Nothing special nothing bad. The best of the starters oddly enough was the french fries and gravy, which is not saying alot. The fries were awesome. Hand cut, skin on, the kind of fries you indulge in from the creepy trailers at carnivals. The gravy which was served on the side was thick and robust and salty (I like salt). But the portion was tiny, not small, tiny. And for $8, we were expecting alot more. I definitely think they missed the boat here though. They could have been innovative with this dish like the Biltmore in Newton does (there they do gravy, cheese and a sunny side up egg on top). While these fries were good, they were just boring. Next we had the DIY Nachos. Once again, tiny portion. Not enough chips. The cheese was like a queso dip cheese. Guacamole was good. Rest of the sides were forgettable. Looked cool at first but then it just became annoying, but not as annoying as the reverse potato skins, which frankly should not be called that. It was an orb, reminded of the small fish bowls that beta fighting fish come in, about the size of a softball that was 3/4 of the way filled with "just ok" mashed potatoes that then had sour cream, bacon bits, scallions dolloped on top. Then on top of that they jammed the top with lightly fried skins. It was like the fast pealed a potato and just fried the skin. It arrived and it looked cool and then you figured out there was no practical way to eat it. the skins were falling all over the table. and then you got inside and with was just a loaded mash potato. Disappointing to say the least. It was basically like we ordered two sides for appetizers (fries and gravy and loaded mash).
                      3) The meals were all just ok. I had the chicken milanese. the portion was about 4/5ths of where it should have been, it was fan friend nicely, although i found that the batter was a bit heavy. I am thinking they double dip, first in flour and then in egg and crumbs. I think in this instance the flour could be skipped. It was served with a nice side of lightly tossed greens with a few tomatoes. Two diners had the pasta with homemade sauce. It was fine, have had alot better at both nicer and not so nicer restaurants. Another diner had the "kitchen sink" chopped salad, and as she said, they should not be calling it the kitchen sink...because it did not have all that much in it. The last diner had the chicken dish. Once again, small portion, and boring. It was with grilled zucchini and summer squash (both of which were over cooked and an orzo dish that was in a ramekin. Once again, not good. It was soggy and the textures were just not playing out right.
                      We skipped dessert as I just wanted it all to be over. Not what I was hoping for. Showed promise but it looks like they spent too much time thinking of the wording on the menu and not enough time perfecting the food. Hopefully things get better for them and maybe this is just them working out the kinks after only being open for 8 days.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kodiak604

                        You reminded me that I left out a comment about the fries. I agree. Very salty. They came with the pastrami sandwich, but I only had 2-3 of them.

                      2. we went last night for dinner, after the early Sox game (so arrived about 7:30). There were no tables so sat in the bar.

                        Service was a little odd...not bad, just disjointed. This may well have been a function of being at a bar table. We had maybe 5 different servers, and no one seemed to know what was already done, or not done. Tea was ordered but never brought. Drinks came, but no one offered a second round until they were long gone.

                        Food...mixed results, not great. From the appetizers menu we shared an order of duck tacos. We were served 2 small tacos, with shredded duck meat, some guacamole, a little bit of jalpeno, and something creamy ( sour cream mixed with something...it was a little thinner than sour cream). These were quite delicious. Only 2 or 3 bites each, but very tasty.

                        For entrees, my friend had the big bowl of ramen. Well, the bowl was big, but I wouldn't say the contents were all that big. It was noodles, miso broth, shrimp and veggies. She declared it decent, but really, really salty and a little boring. I ordered the Tuesday "blue plate special", the 1 pound meatball with spaghetti. Well, its not spaghetti, it's fettucine, but that's okay. The meatball itself is kind of ridiculously large. I mean, who needs a 1 lb meatball? I had to take about 2/3 of it home. it was very tasty, and the sauce had a nice spice too it. Although like other things, it was very, very salty.

                        For dessert we shared an unremarkable nutella tart.

                        So far, I'm ambivalent about the place. I liked the small plates (the nachos, and the tacos), and I like the cocktails, though I think they are overpriced. I like the bar area, it still seems like a good place for a post-Sox drink and a snack.

                        Oh, and MCSlim...I was drinking rocks cocktails, such as the strawberry basil margarita, and the tip of the hat (hendricks gin, cucumber, and something). They were very good, not too sweet or over the top, but definitely not 12-14 oz's and I think overpriced at $14. Maybe shaker cocktails are a better deal?

                        1. I and group of friends went last night . I was tentative about the menu after reading the so-so reviews but ended up having a good meal.

                          Having been to Burton's a couple of times before, I was surprised by how much bigger Happy's space feels. The decoration is fun to look at, and as one of my friends described it best as "kitschy chic", so may not be everyone's thing and could be, to some dinners, off-putting.

                          Service was pleasant and attentive. Our server patiently explained most of the menu to us since none of the dishes have details listed. What is in the kitchen sink salad? What does "New Greek" mean? What is "Fall River Style"? The server explained the meaning behind all of them, except was stumped on "Fall River Style". The dinner special was the turkey meatloaf, which no one was thinking about ordering until we saw it served at another table. Three of my DC ordered it, only to learn, there were only two left for the night, and this was at 7:30 - pretty early in the night. After we ordered, we then saw someone else get the burger and that almost made a couple of us change our minds again. The TV Dinner of the night was three pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a little wedge of cheesecake served on a plastic tray just like the ones from school, another item that looked tasty.

                          We started with only one appetizer: the homemade ricotta, which was served with a dash of good olive oil, red pepper flakes and slivered sage. The ricotta was creamy and light, balanced nicely with the olive oil.

                          Some of my DC had a salad and an appetizer for dinner. We tried the shrimp with mango chutney - just spicy enough that the mango chutney sweetness nicely counter-balances the light spice; shaved asparagus and mushroom salad - mostly just an arugula salad with some asparagus, mushroom and parmesan; the mussels - despite being labeled such, the broth was not spicy but very flavorful; and the Ceasar, which was same old same old.

                          Everyone who ordered the turkey meatloaf loved it. One of my DC, who never finishes anything, finished her plate and wiped it clean with the bread served at the table. I ended up with the Fisherman's stew and for some reason I thought I would be getting a big bowl. I had 6 clams, a 3 oz piece of cod and a decent amount of chorizo; I wasn't hungry after finishing it, but would have liked a little more seafood. The broth, with potatos and kale, had great flavor, but didn't seem to really pick up the "oomph" and depth of the chorizo and seafood. Lastly, a DC had the shortribs; she always ordered shortribs whenever we go out, and she loved it - tender, tasty and nicely flavored. She was too full to finish her noodles and veggies, and there were a lot of vegetables in her dish.

                          Overall, we all enjoyed the food, thought the wine and beer list odd and slightly expensive (at least wines by the glass) and want to come back to try some of the other items.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ladym16

                            I suspect "Fall River style" is meant to suggest Azorean-American home cooking.


                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              Yes, I would assume a marriage of caldeirada and caldo verde that seems so common in these parts.

                              1. re: almansa

                                I agree: the chouriço makes sense for Fall River, where most of the Lusophone cooks are Azorean-American, but the kale and potatoes aren't typical in a fish stew.

                                As at Tico, I don't think Schlow cares much about what's traditional. You could call this another bit of annoyingly twee prose on a menu that is full of it.


                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                  Potato is probably the most common soup base in Portugal as well as in Brazil (except more yuca is used). The combination of of salt cod and potatos in a soup would not be uncommon at all in Portuguese cooking (and in Brazil the yuca base is key to "bobo de camarao" with shrimp, but yuca/potato also shows up in some versions of "caldo de sururu" (a mussel soup)). Its the sum of things which would be odd, so as almansa says they are taking two different local greatest hits of Portuguese cooking and throwing them together. Potato soups are simpler, which makes sense considering potatoes were traditionally inexpensive year round sustenance (this also isn't particularly Azorean, where they actually have less variations on chourico than other portuguese regions). Dunno, take the Fall River reference as a tip of the hat to Emeril and "chourice" in everything. :-)

                          2. We went for the first time this past Wed, pre-Sox, around 530pm. We sat at the bar...We were waited on by Frank Reardon and the younger guy (Ray?). B wanted fried pickles and he got the WOWBurger. Pickles were really bad - heavy breading, the pickles were dessciated and not puckery AT ALL. We both thought it was roasted zucchini. (Frank took it off our check.) B liked his burger, although it was north of the medium he ordered. He loved the fried onion strings on it. Good fries. I was going to order the (housemade) fettucine in tomato basil Sunday-style gravy but changed my order last minute to the sashimi salad. What a mistake. Lame, scant, and wafer-thin slices of salmon, tuna, and worst of all, fishy-tasting (in a bad way) scallop, all strewn over forgettable greens dressed a bit too heavy-handily with yuzu vinaigrette. I ate up the sashimi (except the scallop) and then I was left with a $19 bowl of soggy salad. Frank offered to get the manager, but I am a low-maintenance diner. I didn't want to sit there talking to the manager complaining about a salad. Please just give the kitchen my feedback and we might come back to try something else. Frank disclosed that their gravy is ALMOST as good as his own and that he actually modified his after trying the kitchen's. I should have stuck with my gut instinct. Ray made me a pert dry prosecco cocktail. Yum.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: digga

                              I had heard recently that they had gotten a new chef and was hoping for better reviews since my dismal meal about a month ago.