The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread
I was thinking it'd be nice to have an ongoing thread devoted to the superlative version of any dish you choose. Simply name a dish and name the local restaurant that does it best, in your humble and well-chowed opinion. I shall begin:
Crabmeat pie: Grassfields, Andover
Mussels in spicy marinara: Daily Catch, No. End
Greasy drunk Mexican hangover food: Border Cafe, Cambridge
Beef with tomato sauce over rice: Winsor Dim Sum
Breakfast sandwich of any stripe: Sofra
Creme Brulee, Keon's Haverhill MA
not cold, vanilla bean and maybe a few berries with fresh cream.
re: Bob Dobalina
I knew I was firing across the bow of HMS Naples, but I’m prepared to defend it against anything I’ve had in Boston except my homemade neapolitan-style pizza. Did I just double down? Or triple down? I think I did. :)
The crust is crunchy from edge to center, chewy enough to last through the bite, and flavorful. It’s the only example I’ve found in Boston of the Old Forge, PA style “fried” pizza which Myhrvold et al. highlighed in Modernist Cuisine @ Home. The technique is easy to screw up and tricky to get right - and done right, the crust isn't greasy despite the oil. It’s made from scratch on site. Toppings are unnecessary but both classic toppings and modern standards (mushroom gorgonzola) are available.
We're big fans although the living across the street helps. We almost never get delivery pizza because we almost always would rather CS and there's no delivery fee involved :) however when we want to be less lazy we walk down to A4
Not sure I'd call it the best of the best but I'd certainly say it's the best takeout/delivery oriented pizza around. In general I view them as a real step above the typical sub/pizza shop.
my understanding is that one's experience of saltiness can vary (over time) based on one's personal standard salt level, so I respect this complaint.
As for the oil, I can understand your point. I like high flavor and don't mind oil. This comment is also my excuse to link to this WSJ article which recommends using more oil to prevent greasiness (in case anyone else reading the thread had the idea to ask for a low-oil pizza):
specifically for the "too oily" crowd, I will note that I always, only order the small size pizza because the smaller size slightly improves the crustiness of the crust. If I were really overreaching, I might point to the above article and say that a higher oil-to-crust ratio in the small improves the product.
Lobster sandwich: Alive and Kicking, Cambridge
Espresso: Three Little Figs, Somerville
Razor clams: Erbaluce
Whole fish: Erbaluce (frequent special)
Fish filet, creative: Bergamot, Somerville
Housemade ketchup: Kirkland T&T, Somerville
Mystifying desserts: Bergamot, Somerville
Eggplant parm sub: Bob's, Medford
Sushi: Cafe Sushi, Cambridge (dinner omakase)
Eggplant Chinese style: Shanghai Gate, Allston
Deep, old wine cellar: Prezza, Troquet (tie)
Seafood stew: Central Kitchen, Cambridge
I don’t generally pay attention to coffee since college, but I did notice and plotz when one day Three Little Figs had a special on Seattle’s Victrola coffee. I’m not a regular and in fact find the bakery options soporifically uninviting, but I was very lucky that day that a friend was thirsty.
"Drunk food" is its own category. It is not "good food". It is good for a particular purpose, namely (when ingested late at night) converting alcohol into something that will not give you a hammering hangover the next day. There are many Chinese greasy spoons whose uninspiring-to-awful food can perform this same magic.
Fiery Szechuan food: Sichuan Gourmet (either Framingham or Brookline locations)
Torta: El Pelon (Fenway)
Creative sandwiches: All Star Sandwich Bar
Thin-crust Naples-style pizza: Gran Gusto (Cambridge)
Cream of wheat: Neighborhood Restaurant (Somerville)
Baked Alaska: Oleana
Profiteroles: Oleana (creative) / Brasserie Jo (classic)
Moules Frites: Central Kitchen
Secret Burger: Alden & Harlow
Veggie Burger: Christopher's
Oyster Slider: Island Creek Oyster House
Raw Bar: Neptune Oyster
Osso Bucco: Mamma Maria
Pork Chop w Vinegar Peppers: Prezza
Crusty Bread: Iggy's (the factory) Francese Roll Wheel
and French Epi
Beef with Longhorn Green Chilies: Taiwan Cafe
Chilean Sandwich (original chicken): Chacarero
Cumin Lamb / Lamb (teriyaki?) Skewers: Golden
Tomago Nigiri Sushi and Agedashi Tofu: Toraya
Hamachi Kama: Sono Sushi
Clam Chowder and English Style Fried Haddock: Dry Dock Cafe
Onion Rings: Lobster Pool
Florentine Cookies: Lakota Bakery
Iceberg Salad: Za
I want to propose that you don't get to nominate anything that Boston has only one of. Best pizza? Sure. Best banh mi? Works. Best sandwich? Makes sense. Best free-range gluten-free artisanal narwhal brochettes? Makes no sense at all.
Best one-two punch:
a large meatball sub and a side of fried eggplant ( to layer into the sandwich, thank you,Lindsay Crudele) at Emilo's Homemade Italian subs& dinners in Coolidge Square (6 Biegelow ave.) while waiting for Nick at Coolidge Variety next door to box up your order of fresh lamb from Mennonite farmers in western Mass.
Best Artichoke Dish: Carciofe Euno (grilled artichoke stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto) - Euno north end
Best Chicken Parm - Delfinos
Best Tartar Sauce - Neptune Oyster
Best Italian Sandwich - Bob's
Best Clam Chowder - Kelly's
i'll post more as they come to me. The tartar sauce one is odd but it really is unbelievably good.
Runner up: One-Two punch
Climb into car, climb on the Pike, westbound and listen to last weeks NPR "Wait, Wait, Dont tell Me" off your phone.
Climb off at the Sturbridge exit, (if all is right, the show will be ending). Pull into the parking lot at B.T. Smokehouse.
Go inside and order the Brisket Reuben and some potato salad, and then walk down to Yankee Spirits and buy a case of Dogfish Head 90 minutes for 50 dollars. (or any of the Jacks Abby's six packs for 8), by the time you get back your sandwich will be ready.
Sit and consume one of the best sandwiches in Massachusetts and drink several cold Dogfish Heads.
Get someone else to drive, and on the way back listen to last weeks "The Moth" or the last few installments of "99% invisible" with your eyes closed and the windows open.
Ma Po Tofu: Chilli Garden, Medford
Big Mac Cookie: Lakota Bakery, Arlington
Kaddo: Helmand, Cambridge
Chicken Shawerma: Garlic 'n Lemons, Allston
Xi'an Hand Pulled Noodle: Gene's Chinese Flatbread, Woburn (soon)
Fried Haddock: Courthouse Seafood, Cambridge
This reply got away from me a little bit. I started typing and I couldn’t stop.
Pizza – Regina’s North End location
Fries (Large and fluffy) – Drink
Fries (Thinner and crispy) - Aquitaine Boston
Onion Rings – Rowes Wharf Bar
Fried Pickles – jm Curley
Asparagus – Figs, Asparagus Frites
Italian Eggplant Dish – Via Matta, Crunchy Eggplant
Osso Bucco – Mamma Maria
Kale Salad – Ribelle
Green Salad – Catalyst
Sushi – Oishi in Chestnut Hill
Fish Tacos - Dorado
Best BBQ Sandwich – Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge (Saturdays only April-October)
Burger – Back Bay Social Club
No longer available burger #1 – All Star Sandwich Bar, PB&J Burger. Sounds gross, but it had a peanut butter bbq sauce and guava jam, and it was awesome.
No longer available burger #2 – Blue GInger. They used to have a burger with braised red cabbage, wasabi yogurt, and a parmesan shitake crisp. It should never have been removed from the menu.
Beef hash - Craigie on Main
Brunch dish – Toro, Chilaquiles
Dessert Menu – Troquet
Baked Alaska - Catalyst
Profiteroles – Craigie on Main
Ice Cream – Christina’s
Doughnut – Mistral’s Boston Cream pie doughnut at brunch (when available)
Almond Croissant – Flour
Morning Bun – Clear Flour
Chocolate Chip Cookie – Rosie’s
Cupcake – Sportello, Salted Peanut Butter Cupcake
Espresso – Café Fixe
Local Brewery – Maine Beer Company (does Maine count as local?)
re: Dan Boston
Great list. fyi - my husband had the crispy eggplant at via matte a couple of weeks ago and said it was different and smaller, good but not the same. maybe an off night with a new member of the kitchen crew? also trader joes sells a killer Almond Croissant if you ever want a fresh out of the oven pretending you're actually baking treat. Just be sure to proof them overnight!