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Estragon vs. Toro

l
Lefty721 Jul 10, 2013 05:49 PM

In another of my questions trying to cement my food visits on my trip in a few months, I'm turning once again to the experts!

I lived in Barcelona for 4 months a few years ago, so I love tapas, and especially paella. I'm hoping I can be steered towards one of the two in my post subject (going for dinner).

My thoughts just looking at the menu. The paella valencia at Toro looks great, and the fact they offer it in a half portion is a plus. The empanada and cod fritters intrigue me in the tapas area. With Estragon, the amount of different dishes they offer is a pus to me, especially with the chorizo and steamed mussels. And the fact they take reservations is a plus.

I'm hoping the CHs can lead me to one of the two. Thanks again!

  1. l
    Lefty721 Jul 12, 2013 07:47 AM

    Thanks for the advice. I think I'm leaning towards Estragon right now, for one due to the range of their menu. I also always have trouble hearing in loud restaurants, so it seems Toro might fit that bill. Some good paella would be nice, but if I had to pick between good paella or a wide range of tapas, I'd choose the tapas.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lefty721
      opinionatedchef Dec 14, 2013 12:37 AM

      lefty, there's a new tapas place-brand new- in Woburn of all places. if we go, i'll report back. It's on the current Boston board as we speak.
      i was very unimpressed w estragon some years ago, but it's supposedly better. did you try it?

      1. re: opinionatedchef
        l
        Lefty721 Dec 18, 2013 12:59 PM

        Interested to see what everyone thinks of the new place in Woburn.

        I did end up going to Estragon and was very pleased. We split a few dishes, the patatas bravas, croquettes, and a mussel dish. The croquettes were amazing, and the sangria is the best sangria I've ever had in the states. Overall it was a great experience.

      2. re: Lefty721
        rlh Dec 16, 2013 02:11 PM

        Toro is ALWAYS crowded with a long wait in a VERY loud room and no reservations for a pricey experience - this is because it is both a scene and has delicious food and drinks with professional service pretty much every time - but it is only Spanish-inspired - to me the food is far more interesting than most of the individual tapas spots I visited in Madrid and Barcelona (San Sebastian is a different, tastier story...).

      3. StriperGuy Jul 11, 2013 07:09 AM

        Don't expect anything even close to Barcelona grade tapas from either establish. A universe away.

        1. a
          addiez Jul 11, 2013 07:07 AM

          Unfortunately I haven't had the paella at either. Luckily you're deciding between two very, very different options. Estragon is super traditional - I lived in Andalusia for six months and have a fair sense of what traditional entails. Toro is great, but much more inventive and strays from what most would consider "authentic" although I did enjoy their tortilla espanola.

          Depending on the size of your group, Toro can be tough based on crowds and wait time. They also have communal tables, which I personally am not a fan of.

          Estragon also has an attached store called Las Ventas, which sells Spanish products and sandwiches. You could pull off doing both if you did one for lunch!

          1. m
            mkfisher Jul 11, 2013 06:40 AM

            As Qianning said, Estragon is more traditional and less of a scene. That being said, the paella valenciana at Toro is one of my 3 favorite restaurant dishes in the city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mkfisher
              opinionatedchef Dec 14, 2013 12:24 AM

              I am totally with you on that paella.

            2. q
              qianning Jul 11, 2013 06:36 AM

              Personally I much prefer the food and menu at Estragon. I just think the selection of tapas is wider, the cooking more traditional (which I like), and the ambiance more congenial and less of a "scene".

              That said I've never had the paella at either establishment, so if that's your main focus, look to others for advice.

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