Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Mar 3, 2013 05:38 PM

Good weeked of eating...The Gaff, Painted Burro, Local 149

We went to the Gaff after checking out the Rose Museum at Brandeis (a fun Ruscha exhibit, along with fabulous works from the permanent collection). We loved the Gaff! Cozy space, friendly service, great beers on tap and pretty good food, too. I had a serviceable veggie burger, accompanied by fresh McDonald’s-esque fries. An (important) quibble – I wanted the bun to be griddled. B had the buffalo chicken pizza - he told the bartender he loved it. She concurred. He scarfed it down!

A light snack, post-Somerville Theater last night at Painted Burro (our first time there, finally!). Refreshing cucumber and “el Diablo” margaritas. I got the shrimp and fish tacos, short rib and achiote chickecn tacos for B. Fish was fine but nothing special and the shrimp would have been good if it wasn’t so salty. It was tough to discern the flavors through all that saline. At the urging of B, I took at bite of the chicken taco – now that was a tasty bite of food. Honestly, we didn’t mind my just-ok tacos….service was good (even at 10 pm) and we loved the convivial atmosphere (but what the hell was going on in the bar area? Maybe we’re getting too old for that $#!T? LOL!).

We decided to eat in Southie today after seeing the awesome 80’s exhibit at the ICA. Except for lunch at Franklin Southie last year, we never hang out in Southie. We initially sat down in Lincoln Tavern, but it was a zoo…Annoyingly loud and we were ignored. Dude, let’s get outta here….so it turned into late lunch (5 pm) at Local 149, which hit the spot. Neat interior, with lots of fun industrial elements. Low bar, like at Rendezvous. Way more our speed. B had a Dogfish/Sierra Nevada collaboration IPA that he loved. Mussels in bleu cheese/brandy sauce that I thought sounded nasty, but actually was quite rich and good. Waffle fries were a guilty indulgence. Kale salad turned B into a convert via the pert dressing and pickled red onions. The chickpea stew with Brussels sprouts was a bit too salty but it had a vaguely Indian taste that I loved (also, the fact that it was served in a metal bowl gave it an Indian feel). I gave B most of the chorizo that came with it, but I kept one delicious disc. It’s an appetizer and the serving was small but if it was offered in entrée size, I would get it again….just please, ratchet the salt down a little. There were lots of things on the menu that we both order. It’s rare that in one weekend in Boston, we check out new-to-us places that we would re-visit. Successful eating weekend!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I saw something today (dumb Zagat listicle) that suggested David Nevins (ex-Neptune, most recently seen at Nix's Mate in the Fi-Di) is now the chef at Local 149. Their dopey website doesn't reveal anything, but it's an interesting development if true.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      In fact, David Nevins is executive chef, as noted at the bottom of my menu. I noticed it and pointed it out to my partner. It wasn't on his menu but even if it had been, he wouldn't have known him by name. Soon as I said "Neptune a few years back," he was like, "ah ha."

    2. I've only been to the Gaff once, but thought it was really fun. I had a girlie drink of some kind, but it was tasty and the service was very pleasant. There was some decent-looking chow coming out of the "kitchen", which is just about the size of a shoe box.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bear

        Gaff's kitchen WAS tiny...reminded me of Magoun's. How the heck do they do it?! (On that note, Magoun's Waltham scares me a looks rather swanky.)

        1. re: digga

          Swanky, you say? Hmmm...I drove by today but didn't investigate. I hope it is as reasonably priced as the Somerville place, with a similar focus and a laid-back vibe. House-smoked meats, etc. In my mind, something along the lines the Somerville menu would be a great addition to Waltham.

          1. re: digga

            Will the Waltham Magoun's be doing French/Mexican fusion?



            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Can't say I'd be super excited for French/Mexican. Fortunately, looks like a Wednesdays-only March thing.

              The restaurant will be called Cooper House Tavern, and other than mentioning craft beer, an eclectic wine list and small-batch spirits, there isn't much of a hint as to the cuisine. I'm still hoping for a neighborhood place like Olde Magoun's.

              1. re: bear

                I'm just happy that someone *finally* hauled Boston onto the French/Mexican bandwagon, if only for a few nights. We were totally overdue for that. It was embarrassing to have no French/Mexican here while the rest of the country was swimming in it.


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Ha, I think I could have done without that honor!

          2. re: bear

            Every meal I've had at The Gaff was terrible :( Nice beer and service though :)

            1. re: Trumpetguy

              Thanks for the warning, then. I was pretty curious.

          3. I love The Gaff - their beer selection on draft is always great, and they take care of their beers (never had a nasty pour). They've got some casks, as well. I actually like their food quite a bit, too. Their burger is quite tasty, with a garlicky flavor, and the buffalo chicken pizza is excellent. Loved the reuben fritters, too. Nothing fancy, but a good accompaniment for the beers.