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Jun 23, 2014 04:09 PM

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

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  1. Area Four has a pretty good argument for breakfast sandwich.

    Moody's for best pastrami sandwich

    Kirkland Tap & Trotter for best meat in tube form

    7 Replies
      1. re: mkfisher

        Roast beef sandwich (non North Shore style) - Flour

        Brazilian fish stew - fish moqueca at Muqueca

        1. re: mkfisher

          I think Flour is a contender for best breakfast sandwich!

          1. re: dori_pm

            Sorry but the flour egg is just weird.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              has a lot of cream mixed in, weird but delicious.

        2. Steak Frites - Aquitaine Boston

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bellachefa

            I have ordered this every Aquitaine visit over a number of years; totally enamored of the truffle vinaigrette. But our last visit, maybe 6 mo's ago, the beef was ridiculously tough (first time ever). Have you had it more recently and was it as tender as always?

          2. Creme Brulee, Keon's Haverhill MA
            not cold, vanilla bean and maybe a few berries with fresh cream.

              1. re: enhF94

                Oh you're just being cheeky aren't you? :-)

                1. 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.

                  1. re: enhF94

                    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.

                    1. re: jgg13

                      I like the crust crunchiness, enhF94, but I find the excessive salt and greasiness intolerable. Oh well. It's been a few years for me, so please let me know if these things have changed.

                      1. re: jajjguy

                        You say "excessive salt and greasiness", I say "delicious" :)

                        Kidding aside - I've been eating their pizza for years and never find it particularly salty. Greasy, sometimes depending on what it is.

                        But we probably have different thresholds of what constitutes salty.

                        1. re: jajjguy

                          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.

                2. 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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jajjguy

                    Agree on 3LF - best espresso/cappuccino

                    1. re: jajjguy

                      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.