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Chowhound new year resolutions

Bob Dobalina Jan 1, 2014 12:08 PM

Treb's comment in a thread below led to this post:

What are your 2014 Boston Chow-related resolutions?

Here are a couple for me:

Gotta get over to Yumewokatare to try the porky ramen
Go back to Thai North
Find a replacement for the declining Vinny's at Night and Pescatore

And eat less and exercise more... ;)

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  1. b
    Bellachefa RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 1, 2014 02:26 PM

    I still haven't tried bon bon chicken

    I now fear disappointment.

    1. digga RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 1, 2014 02:37 PM

      We STILL haven't made it to Yoma, though we dearly love Burmese food.

      Have yet to try Thai North. Is it close in caliber to Lers Ros or Pok Pok PDX (yet still worlds away from Chiang Mai/Isan, I guess)?

      Eat more Korean food in GBA. I'd like to try Manna and Kaju. We and some out-of-town Korean friends tried Bon Chon Allston this past fall and were not wowed - they all thought the sauces were too sweet. Eat more frequently at Buk Kyung Union Sq - jajiangmyun or jampong. Yum.

      Though we've been in Arlington for 3.5 years, we haven't tried Toraya. We got a take-out party platter from Gen last night to go with our Mo√ęt-Chandon - definitely not earth-shaking, but we both loved the tiny space so we'd like to eat in.

      Much as we both love a game whilst eating, we need to eat less frequently at pubs. Though we took my parents to Matt Murphy's for Xmas eve dinner this year and it reminded us how much we love that place. Fish n chips, baked haddock, calamari, cozy atmosphere...exactly what we wanted on that cold evening. Instant love for my parents. PJ Ryan's a few nights later for the Pats game made us miss our old 'hood like crazy. Comfy, decent food, all the servers knowing us and chatting it up.

      I've been making my own pizza lately (Jim Lahey's recipe) but we need to find a take-out replacement for Nicola.

      We're the last ones to try Angela's. One of these days, I swear to you! Generally speaking, we need to explore East Boston.

      I love old school Italian-American. Our go-to Italian is Il Casale but I crave places with platters as big as your head, with heaping portions of linguine and clams (yo, what can I say....I'm from RI!!).

      Handmade noodles a la Gene's or ExNE.

      Eat more exercise less.

      8 Replies
      1. re: digga
        b
        Bellachefa RE: digga Jan 1, 2014 02:52 PM

        Bon Chon, that's what I meant. See, I'm already suspicious of a letdown! LOL!

        I would like to try the oyster slider at Island Creek.

        I regret not trying the Cuban at Chez Henri. Living south of the city, it is hard enough to make it to New Deal and Formaggio bbq and a sandwich from Alive and Kickin'

        Resolution: I would like to follow thru and readdress my relationship with sea urchin. My first and only experience turned me green. Even though all these years later, I know it was because of poor quality and execution, I have still never swalloed one of those creatures again. But where? Where to find that perfect bite, that perfect swallow after a life altering bad bite?

        1. re: Bellachefa
          digga RE: Bellachefa Jan 1, 2014 02:54 PM

          I've also never "gotten" sea urchin. Are we missing out? I'm adding that to my (growing) list of resolutions.

          Something that has been on my list for years is the perfect burger. I'm a pescatarian who desperately wants to eat 1 or 2 perfect burgers a year. Fries have to be equally good and I must have a nice glass of red. Washington Sq Tavern (in homage to Limster)? jm curley? A few bites of the miso burger at Strip T's last year was a let-down.

          1. re: digga
            k
            Klunco RE: digga Jan 3, 2014 08:21 AM

            Like you, I eat about 4 burgers a year and I want them to be good. I had all three of these this year plus the one at Shake Shack. My favorite was by far the one at JM Curley. Everything about it was just so so tasty and absolutely worth it if you only have a few a year.

            Washing Sq. also does a very classic pub-burger with minimal toppings that is very satisfying. A large, well seasoned, and super juicy burger and you can get sweet potato fries on the side. My only complaint is the bun, which I always find hard and bland, but then again I'm one of those non-purist burger "weirdos" who actually likes a flavorful brioche bun.

            1. re: Klunco
              opinionatedchef RE: Klunco Jan 24, 2014 10:05 PM

              nothing weird about you, k.

            2. re: digga
              t
              TimTamGirl RE: digga Jan 6, 2014 07:11 AM

              I am well-known as a booster for Russell House, but honestly, their burger is truly fantastic. Get it half-and-half (fries and salad, instead of one or the other) and enjoy the hell out of one of Sam's awesome cocktails too.

              1. re: TimTamGirl
                maillard RE: TimTamGirl Jan 6, 2014 09:21 AM

                Half and half! That is brilliant. I am always torn. I wonder if jm Curley does this as well...

          2. re: digga
            Luther RE: digga Jan 4, 2014 12:16 PM

            I had about 5 dishes at Lers Ros (one visit) and I think S&I is just as good.

            1. re: digga
              enhF94 RE: digga Jan 4, 2014 07:18 PM

              Angela's! Let's race to see who can not be last.

              Digga, if you like Jim Lahey's recipe, you might also enjoy Modernist Cuisine at Home's pizza doughs - the neapolitan has 00 flour and added gluten, and I _finally_ cracked super-flat pizza with it. It marked the end of a decade screwing up and was maybe the most satisfying crunch I have ever cooked.

            2. m
              mrtan RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 2, 2014 05:54 PM

              More Yume ramen this year. Asta. Bondir Concord. Alden & Harlow a month after it opens. Continue bibimbap quest.

              1. Boston_Otter RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 2, 2014 06:54 PM

                I will finally try YumeWoKatare! It's only a block or two away from me, but the ridiculous lines always push me away. I'll brave the cold. Once they're actually, er, open.

                Get over to State Park.

                Eat somewhere snazzy that requires a suit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Boston_Otter
                  v
                  verka RE: Boston_Otter Jan 2, 2014 08:13 PM

                  No lines tonight, the place was pretty much empty at 8! And the ramen is just as tasty.

                2. enhF94 RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 3, 2014 07:46 AM

                  Strip-T's, I guess. And Tupelo, I never made it there. Maybe rediscover the whole Inman Square area.

                  Write a couple of multiparagraph write-ups for the board.

                  Find a Devon-style cider that's even better than Downeast.

                  Eat more fish.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: enhF94
                    opinionatedchef RE: enhF94 Jan 3, 2014 03:04 PM

                    enh, might you elaborate on that 'Devon style cider' and Downeast? My Love was first turned on to Bantam at Strip T's, so i'd love to tell him about these others. thx.

                    def'ly Eat More Fish. Exc. resolution.

                    1. re: enhF94
                      Boston_Otter RE: enhF94 Jan 3, 2014 03:17 PM

                      I don't know what "Devon-style" is, but if you like sweeter ciders, you might try the new Stella Cidre (yes, it's spelled that way).

                      1. re: enhF94
                        enhF94 RE: enhF94 Jan 4, 2014 06:51 PM

                        Downeast cider comes in cans, but Olde Magoun's Saloon in Somerville has it on draft, which is marginally better. It's pretty good either way, sweetish and rough with a long finish. Downeast is the closest cider to Devon scrumpy I've found so far, and while delicious, it's a shadow of scrumpy.

                        I'm still learning Devon-style cider (part of the "west country cider" family I suppose), so I can't tell y'all much except that

                        1. Devon is like Normandy, so awesome dairy/fish/apples (see also: clotted cream), with the added benefit of not being in France.

                        2. the style is different than most US, leaning toward cloudy (and if you're on-site, unfiltered and unpasteurized, but no way on imports as you know) and sometimes hay-filtered, which wow. Some are cured in oak barrels, if that's your thing. Several had basically no sourness at all, and that didn't even fit on the sweet-dry spectrum - just living yeast with that amazing-but-possibly-poisonous flavor, biological and tannic. Uncarbonated. I'm not describing it well partly because it's been a couple of years and partly because even then, I had no analogue for the flavors.

                        3. No apple booze-soda to be found.

                        Boston_Otter, I had snooted my way past the Stella Cidre, assuming it was a malic-acid fortified appletini, so thanks for hauling me off my high horse. I'll give it a try!

                        Interesting intro in this dated article (http://bbc.in/1i69PED), including quotes from the owner of one of only _four_ cider houses left in England, which is where cider changed forever for me from "bad soda" to "art." I don't keep a bucket list but if I did, Ye Olde Cider Bar would be on it.

                        1. re: enhF94
                          Boston_Otter RE: enhF94 Jan 5, 2014 06:22 AM

                          My caveat is that you're far more schooled in the specifics of cider than I am, and I've only had Downeast from cans, so the Stella might taste like appletini to you. Let me know, I'm trying to learn more about the different types.

                      2. k
                        Klunco RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 3, 2014 08:28 AM

                        Get back to Thai North; agreed!

                        Investigate Korean Food in Boston. I've always heard it's sub-par, but are there any places worth seeking out? I definitely want to hit Kaju tofu house in Allston. There seems to be a lot of Korean restuarants in that area, are any of them standouts?

                        Check out Bronwyn, Union Square just always seems like such a hike from where we are, but I really want to try this place.

                        Get back to Root for delicious vegan food.

                        Write more about the good, but not great eating experiences we have. I tend to shy away from publically flogging a place unless it is truly deserved (rare) and yet, unless a meal is truly a stand-out, I rarely write about it. For all those meals that are good but not exceptional, I'd like to write more to get a dialogue going.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Klunco
                          Luther RE: Klunco Jan 4, 2014 12:20 PM

                          Kaju stands out because it's a specialist, which is refreshing when nearly all Asian restaurants in the area try to serve virtually every popular dish associated with their particular culture. But the food itself isn't very good. The soondubu jigae at Korean Garden down the street is better, with better banchan.

                          Really the only Korean food I've had in MA that is remarkably good is the gamjatang at Hanmaru. It's a fun, casual restaurant, refreshingly not overpriced like most of the KBBQ type places.

                          1. re: Luther
                            k
                            Klunco RE: Luther Jan 4, 2014 12:59 PM

                            Thanks for the recommendations! Sounds like we'll hit Hanmaru first and then Korean Garden. I agree that the pricing of Korean BBQ has turned me off of trying more places. Any other recommended dishes at either place?

                          2. re: Klunco
                            t
                            twinkie RE: Klunco Jan 4, 2014 09:15 PM

                            Buk Kyung II in Allston is pretty solid Korean style Chinese. The jjajangmyun is excellent, as well as their jjampong. Their paejun isn't the best, but ok. I'd get the tangsuyuk (fried pork in sweet sauce) instead and make sure you're ready to eat it while it's hot.

                            If you're really wanting the best Korean food that Massachusetts has to offer, go to Woo Jung in Ayer. They make their own noodles and I would eat there every day if I could.

                            1. re: twinkie
                              tatsu RE: twinkie Jan 5, 2014 03:09 PM

                              Which noodles do they make specifically?

                              1. re: twinkie
                                k
                                Klunco RE: twinkie Jan 6, 2014 06:09 PM

                                Thanks for recommending specific dishes! I have zero knowledge of Korean-style Chinese food, so I'll start my education with these.

                              2. re: Klunco
                                t
                                TimTamGirl RE: Klunco Jan 6, 2014 07:23 AM

                                I would crawl over ground glass for the ok-dol bibimbap at the Korean stall at the Allston Super 88 - I can never remember the name, but it's the one across from the Chinese BBQ stall.

                                1. re: TimTamGirl
                                  k
                                  Klunco RE: TimTamGirl Jan 6, 2014 09:03 AM

                                  Oh wow, haven't been there in a while but I agree. I used to love the bibimbap at Misono (across from the Chinese BBQ stall) and happily paid the dollar surcharge for the stone bowl. Thanks for the reminder!

                                2. re: Klunco
                                  enhF94 RE: Klunco Jan 6, 2014 04:55 PM

                                  I liked the bi bim bap at Chung Ki Wa in Medford, recommended on this board by others, but I'm a definite beginner.

                                3. r
                                  RoyRon RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 3, 2014 02:37 PM

                                  Here are a couple of my resolutions:

                                  Try at least one new restaurant (new to me) per month. I think many of us get in a rut and keep going back to our tried and true favorites whenever we get cravings for a particular type of food. I'm very guilty of this so I'm going to try to branch out and try a greater variety of places.

                                  I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to Japanese restaurants in that if they aren't owned and operated by Japanese people I tend to avoid them. If the itamae-sani isn't Japanese the sushi just never seems quite right to me. So I'm going to commit to being more open minded and giving other non-Japanese owned places a try.

                                  I'm definitely going to give Yume wo Katare a try . This place has been on my list of places I want to try ever since it opened but, like many others, the long wait times have discouraged me. Hope to make it there soon.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: RoyRon
                                    Bob Dobalina RE: RoyRon Jan 3, 2014 06:36 PM

                                    I already accomplished one of my resolutions! Went to Yumewokatare tonight - earned a "perfect!"

                                  2. black_lab RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 4, 2014 11:57 AM

                                    Not to shop at Whole Foods! (realistically I still may go there for some organic produce, but that is it)

                                    At the River Street WF the other day, most of the Stonyfield Organic yogurts in the dairy section were expired. Milk had one day to expiration, and pre packaged Bell & Evans chicken ranged from expired to 2 days out. The yellow onions were all sorry looking and avocado I purchased was rotten when cut into at home. WF continues its steady downward trend.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: black_lab
                                      d
                                      devilham RE: black_lab Jan 4, 2014 01:06 PM

                                      Amen to that, I don't have a quality problem per se, as I shop at the Dedham one that has some pretty high turnover, but the place itself is not good for regular grocery shopping....it's like you have to settle for the WF version/interpretation of whatever it is your looking for (tortilla chips I am looking at you), and it's invariably overpriced and under-good.

                                      1. re: devilham
                                        h
                                        hyde RE: devilham Jan 6, 2014 03:27 AM

                                        "overpriced and undergood."

                                        nail. head.

                                        and the C.E.O. is an ass.

                                        1. re: hyde
                                          opinionatedchef RE: hyde Jan 11, 2014 07:33 PM

                                          hyde, i know nothin' about the WF CEO, but it seems to me that if that criteria were a deal breaker for your vendors, you might have to become self sustaining.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                            h
                                            hyde RE: opinionatedchef Jan 12, 2014 11:33 AM

                                            He's not a total dick but he needs to shut up in public. He learned some after calling Obamacare, 'fascism" in a WSJ op-ed piece but he treats his workers ok.

                                            I still think the place is overpriced.

                                    2. a
                                      alegramarcel RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 4, 2014 08:40 PM

                                      Love the idea of foodie resolutions... Would you cross post in general topics? I'm tempted to myself, but don't want to steal your idea!

                                      I'm not in Boston, but I'm resolving to get rid of my old spices! I got rid of some last year... but I should get rid of lots more. They are way. too. old.!

                                      I can't even tell you how old the ones I got already got rid of were, for fear of public shaming.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: alegramarcel
                                        m
                                        maestrette RE: alegramarcel Jan 5, 2014 03:14 PM

                                        I replaced all my spices last year when we moved to Boston from Atlanta. I don't think you realize how much flavor they lose until you start cooking with the new ones. We are lucky to have a Penzeys location nearby.

                                        1. re: alegramarcel
                                          Boston_Otter RE: alegramarcel Jan 6, 2014 07:15 AM

                                          If you're on a total spice replacement kick, you might check out Aldis if there's one nearby. Their basic spices are very decent quality and crazy cheap. I use them for basic stuff and Penzey's for the fancy blends, seasoned salts, etc.

                                        2. p
                                          pocketviking RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 9, 2014 02:40 PM

                                          Less meh take-out, more cooking.

                                          Bust out of Camberville more often. Boston Chinatown at least once a month & get out to Lowell (first stop: Simply Khmer).

                                          Count down the minutes until H Mart opens in Central Square!

                                          1. viperlush RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 12, 2014 10:27 AM

                                            Try somewhere new once a month.

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