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August 2014 Openings and Closings

Looks like One of The Kind in the Allson Super 88 food court is gone; its replacement will be a place called Chilipa, serving "Mala XiangGuo (SPICY BOWL), we offer different kind of meat, seafood, and veggies, just pick your ingredients and spice level, it will be cooked and served to you in one of our giant wooden bowl, a bowl that full of taste." The dish also translates as "Overbearing spicy pot".

Sounds like Fire & Ice, only not terrible. Intriguing!

Per their website, the menu includes: "Snow peas (Snow Bean), Chrysanthemum (crowndaisy Chrysanthemum), melon (Winter Melon), Lotus (Lotus Roots), Prince mushroom (King Mushroom), lettuce (Lettuce), Kelp (Seaweed), black fungus (Wood Fungus), beans (Green Bean), tofu foam (Fried Tofu), cilantro (Parsley), fresh yuba (Tofu Sheet), broccoli (Broccoli), potato chips (Sliced ​​Potato), wide powder (Think Vermicelli), mushroom (Enokitake), West celery (celery), Chinese cabbage (Cabbage), bean sprouts (bean sprouts), Shanghai cuisine (Bok Choy), Frog (frog), Inner Mongolia lamb (lamb), cod fillets (Fish Filet), tripe (Omasum), Kidney (Pig Kidney), black pepper beef balls (Beef Ball), tongue (Beef Tongue), Sirloin tablets (Beef Brisket) trotter (Pork Trotter) pig ear (Pork Ear), fresh squid (Squid), sausage (Cantonese sausage), Taiwan meatballs (Taiwan Pork Ball) Shrimp (Prawn), mussels (Mussels), Crispy intestine (Sausage) American beef (Snow Beef) broth (Pork Intestine), clams (Clam Meat), luncheon meat (Luncheon Meat) lobster balls (Lobster Ball), Pig (Pig Blood Cake), swimming shrimp ( Live Shimp), Fuzhou fish balls (Fuzhou Fishball), tendon pill (Beef Tendon Ball) cuttlefish (Octopus)".


They are targeting August 1 to open. Website: http://www.chilipa.com/ h/t: Jenny Ondioline.

Chinese text on their "About" page translated: "Selected by the 13 kinds of Chinese herbal medicine coupled with carefully brewed condiment, while the integrated hot, delicious do not get angry. Matched according to their preferences diners pick the north and south of the ingredients, carefully prepared by professional chefs, and hemp. Spicy. Fresh. Incense in a pot. The tailor-made gourmet food for you."



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  1. BISq (aka Bergamot Inman Square, fka Angel's Share) was slated to open towards the end of this month. I'm not sure if this is still true.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mkfisher

      I walked by the other day and it was desolate. Will check it out again this week.

      1. re: mvi

        They now have a FB page and are "coming very soon" whatever that means. Inman is really a unique area for food choices. Looking forward to this new spot.

        1. re: mvi

          Walked by yesterday and it's still desolate -- bare walls/flooring; no sign of recent work. I'm excited for it to open, but opening day still looks at least weeks away.

          1. re: huuvola

            Unofficial target is for October opening.

          2. re: mvi

            Hi MVI. Can you link to the BISq fbook page or let me know how you found it? I just did a search - both on google and on fbook - and wasn't able to find it. Thanks for your help!

            1. re: kdemayo

              No problem. I follow Bergamot on FB and they wrote about it, adding the link to the post. Here it is:

              If for some reason the link doesn't work, go to Bergamot's FB page and scroll down a little. It's there.

      2. This concept does not interest me in the slightest but 18 months in "The Wreck of the Hesperus" slot in the 88 food court will doom them anyhow.

        I will miss One of The Kind, though after they lost that first chef (who was freakin' great) they never had any consistency and when you asked about stuff on the menu they looked at each other like you were asking about disappeared family members.

        We'll see.
        I still miss the two Thai ladies, their tom yum soup was the best.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hyde

          This doesn't appeal to me either. This seems to be really popular at the food court in flushing, ny (the shiny fancy one), but it's too easy to overwhelm the bowl with too many ingredients and flavors. But there are so many more options at that food court v. The fewer options in Allston.

          I'm very sad about One of the Kind. I loved those lamb skewers. It does seem to be a cursed spot.

          1. re: hyde

            I have to say, I went for the first time today, and I was converted... It was a little confusing (to me, anyway), but here is the gist of it...You select meats and seafood separately, and pay by the pound; $8.88. In addition to, or instead of that, you can get a small $5.50, or large, $7.50, of any combo of veggies you like...I was happy to see, and select thin slices of taro, slices of interesting mushrooms, chrysanthemum stem (I think) enoki mushrooms, slices of fried tofu and tofu skin in a edition to fresh shrimp, the aforementioned lobster balls and blanched squid....I order the hottest, of the 5 degrees....They brought it out, and when the owner saw my Anglo face, he was very concerned, asking if I really wanted that. Yes I did!

            And it was properly hot, in the Sichuan way; LOTS of Sichuan peppercorns for that tingling ma la, dried peppers, and some pickled Thai Chilis, as well as the chili oil, so lots of layers, and lots of flavors....I DID have to have a glass of milk later in the afternoon, but you can bet I'll be back again!

          2. Wood fungus--the frozen yogurt of 2014.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hiddenboston

              I'm just grateful I'm not the guy who has to castrate all those lobsters.


            2. I, for one, cannot wait to try the sirloin tablets!

              I'm a sucker for overbearing spicy pots.

              1. An Indonesian caterer (business name: Kaki Lima, Bahasa for "street food cart") is aiming to open a restaurant in the Boston area "soon", and will do a couple of pop-ups August 7 and 14 at the new East Boston Kitchen.

                More details at Eater Boston: http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...


                1. Maybe this will be the month that Zoe's emerges from the collapsed cascade.

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: smtucker

                    I called Zoe's today and was told that they expect to open next week. I look forward to their return, but I wouldn't make specific dinner plans there yet.

                    1. re: owades

                      Not just yet.... but I am really ready.

                      1. re: mkfisher

                        I went by today and thought I saw a sign on the door saying grand opening 8/12/14, hoping I read it right.

                        1. re: lc02139

                          Marking calendar... and will drive by to confirm. Heck, I might park and take a picture.

                            1. re: hiddenboston

                              And if Foodler is to be believed, they're currently open!

                              I am pretty sure the menu has been updated, there are some things that I don't recall seeing previously and some of the verbiage/names are definitely different.


                              1. re: jgg13

                                I made the mistake of thinking that since they'd previously been around that the first night wouldn't be horrible. Short story is that it's a zoo and while it'd be nice to throw business their way I'd stay far away. Considering that I already prefer Chilli Garden and despite Zoes being a 5min walk for me I think I'll just continue sending my business to Chilli Garden.

                                I ended up canceling my takeout order after waiting nearly 1.5 hours - and my order hadn't even been processed, snickering to myself when they'd tell new orders that it'd be a "few minutes".

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  My delivery order arrived 2 hours after I placed it. I'd pretty much given up. But the food was good. Glad to have them back.

                                  1. re: jajjguy

                                    Good to hear the quality was fine, that was another concern of mine while watching the madhouse unfold - would they sacrifice quality just to start churning stuff out? OTOH considering that dishes were coming out of the kitchen one at a time every few minutes, it didn't seem like they were doing any sort of churning.

                                    I'm happy for them and it's a good story, but their blatant lying (telling people who were placing orders it'd be 15-20 mins when ppl have been waiting there 1+ hours) irked me. Sure, places do that all the time but it irks me then too. A little transparency would have been nice

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      It's their first day open after nearly a year. They beat the bushes to get people to show up and were swarmed. In the past, deliveries have arrived very quickly. I'm willing to cut them some slack on this one and hope things settle quickly.

                                      1. re: jajjguy

                                        Sure, but why lie to people? Why gladly take their order and tell them it'll be 15-20 minutes when that's obviously not even close to being true? If they're swarmed just be up front and say "It's taking 1.5-2 hours to fulfill orders right now" and let people accept that or not. That's the only thing which really annoyed me about last night.

                                        And yes, I know that this was the first day and they used to be pretty normal. They were already #2 on my totem pole prior to the closing and I wish them luck - my initial point here was just a warning for anyone else who might be wanting to do the right thing and throw business at them right away, you're probably better off waiting until the dust settles.

                                        1. re: jgg13

                                          I couldn't wait so I just placed an order. it's around 5pm now (i thought around now they would not be so swamped) and I was quoted a 45min wait. will see what happens.

                                          1. re: lossless

                                            I actually wouldn't be surprised to see it all work itself out quickly.

                                            1. re: lossless

                                              Ordered on the phone around 5pm, was told it'd be 45min, got the food in 20min. Midsized order. Not so helpful a data point I suppose given that few people eat dinner at 5:20pm. But if you barely had lunch and want a very early dinner, then all seems good to go.

                                    2. re: jgg13

                                      Ordered at 7p tonight, was quoted 45 min and the food arrived in 30. Most of the dishes (whole fish, eggplant basil, dan dan noodles) were as good as before. The ground pork with sichuan long beans however, was over salted to the point of being inedible by itself. Glad to see them back and I'm sure the kinks will get worked out.

                                      1. re: black_lab

                                        Yep, some friends tried them this weekend and it was properly timed. I never doubted it'd be AOK but it was worth waiting until it was.

                                        Re food quality, I still say that I prefer chilli garden much more, although with Zoe less than a 5 min walk and gc charging a $3 delivery fee (plus usually around $7 in tip) it's a lot cheaper for me to go to Zoe. I'm willing to deal with some stuff not perfect for that

                                2. re: lc02139

                                  Wow, that must've just gone up, since it definitely wasn't there on Saturday when I did a walk-by to check. Great news! Tomorrow, tomorrow...

                            2. Wasabi (corner of Walden and Mass. Ave. in Cambridge) appears to be on the verge of opening. New sign, paper's off the windows, furniture in place. The latest in a string of short-lived restaurants. Maybe this one will have the magic touch?

                              1. it's more of a july opening but chatime (bubble tea and other beverages) has opened on harrison ave in chinatown

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: galangatron

                                  And if you don't mind waiting 15 minutes for your drink in a space about as wide as a crawl space, this is the spot for you.

                                  Their drinks aren't bad, but twice I've gone, and it's taken a 15 minute wait each time. Their uncomfortable, narrow space where there are tables too, makes the wait that much worse.

                                2. I just noticed a sign for a new brick & mortar Bon Me on Congress St. just over the channel on the South Boston side.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mkfisher

                                    Summer St. in Fort Point is also getting an outpost (or cousin) of Basta Pasta.

                                  2. Today is the last day for The Castlebar in Brighton. Rough patch for the neighborhood. Joey's closed, Imperial Pizza closed, Brighton Beer Works and Green Briar are slated to be sold, their fates unknown.


                                    1. A new place in Winchester called Alchemy is supposedly going to open in the fall. It is located in the center of town in a space previously occupied by It Rains Fishes (Thai restaurant) and numerous other places that have failed over the years. It is a very nice spot but it is off the street and therefore hard to notice if you are not looking for it. A sign in the window just says Organic Foods, Sushi and Crudos, etc. Winchester could sure use another dining choice so I'm crossing my fingers.

                                      1. chili hot pot is opening on adams street in fields corner

                                        1. After 15 years, Cafe Vanille on Charles Street in Boston will be closing permanently on September 14. Tatte is lined up to take over and will have savory as well as sweet items, per this article:


                                          1. In the midst of a bowl of dan dan noodles at Chilipa as I type. Mary Chung's version is still the local leader, but there's a pleasing chili glow and decent but not overwhelming Sichuan peppercorn tingling. I'm pleased. Not bad for $6.95.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                              I want to know what "Heart-broken Bean Jelly" is!

                                              Hmm - looks like a Chengdu specialty:

                                              1. re: Allstonian

                                                Oh, the Green Bean Jelly (or sometimes noodle?) with spicy Sichuan Oil at many Sichuan places...

                                            2. Boston Restaurant Talk is reporting that Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville is closed. I guess, stale and expensive cupcakes was not a sustainable business model.


                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: ChocolateMilkshake

                                                Can't make money being assholes to your customers? I'm shocked!

                                                  1. re: ChocolateMilkshake

                                                    More like "moving down the street where there's zero foot traffic, then doing a crappy job of running your catering and food truck businesses" isn't a sustainable business model. Not surprising at all.

                                                  2. Chef Chang's House has opened in the former Wine Cellar space on Mass. Ave in the Back Bay. I wonder if it's the same owners as the former Chef Chang's in Brookline which is now Sichuan Gourmet? And if so, is that a good thing or not necessarily?

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: rozziegirl

                                                      So Chef Chang's has officially opened? I've been hearing conflicting reports. A few people told me it's on the verge of opening but not quite yet.

                                                      1. re: rozziegirl

                                                        Its not Chef Chang's House, just Chef Changs's (on back bay!)

                                                        The menu is entirely different than the Beacon St. location, so I 'm guessing they are unrelated.

                                                        If they could restore it to its former glory, it would be a good thing, IMO. I ate there on the first day it opened and was a regular customer. Despite it's very real decline I always had a soft spot for it and the family who ran it.

                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                          The new Chang's is open, and the menu looks rather more traditional (Sichuan and "Northern") than its probably-unrelated namesake: https://www.toasttab.com/chef-changs-... Amazing to see some of those dishes in a Back Bay Chinese restaurant.

                                                          I have fond memories of Old Man Chang carving Peking duck tableside. He must have been 100 the last time he did so for us.


                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            The menu does look terrific! I'm going to try to get over there soon. I seriously doubt its related to the original.

                                                            I helped the older lady (owner's sister?) study for her citizenship test.

                                                            The late Stephen J. Gould and I would eat there before Sox games once in awhile. And Stephen King had his driver stop there sometimes and pick up food to take to the game. He had a beer with us once.

                                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                                              Several sources telling me there is definitely no connection between the bygone Brookline place and this one.


                                                            2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              The family had kids at our elementary school. Their parents retired. Nice people. Sisters were maybe still are involved in other restaurants.

                                                        2. Snappy Pattys opens in West Medford on Thursday for dinner according to UrbanDaddy. The head chef is Nick Dowling from Franklin Cafe and Citizen Public. The menu sounds really good AND most importantly affordable. They are going to be changing entrees daily according to what's available. Very excited about a place like this outside of the city and hope it's comparable to citizen public which I'm a big fan of.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: AaronInBoston

                                                            Tried to go to Snappy Patty's last night and there was a wait to get in. They said it would be about an hour, so we went elsewhere.

                                                            Nijiya Japanese restaurant in Medford Square is set to open today, 8/8/14.

                                                            1. re: pemma

                                                              I was excited about Nijiya until the big all-you-can-eat signs came up. Hoping anyway but not optimistic.

                                                          2. There's a sign for the Prospect Lounge on Prospect St. (near Mass Ave.) across from The Field. Per sign on the window, they'll have an international tapas menu. Looks like construction is just getting started.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: mkfisher

                                                              Is that the new place from the All Asia folks? I know they had been planning to open a place in that (approximate) location.

                                                              1. re: jajjguy

                                                                Yes, same owners as All Asia. It's been in the planning stages since even before All Asia was demolished last summer. It was originally going to be called Valhalla. Their website is here: http://prospectlounge.com

                                                            2. Boston Restaurant Talk has confirmed that M3 on Highland Ave. in Somerville has been seized by the state. No ideas about why or for how long. Thus it is closed. If it reopens any time soon, I'm sure one of us will update.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: mvi

                                                                "Seized by the state" in roughly 99 out of 100 cases means "didn't pay their taxes."

                                                                1. re: mvi

                                                                  According to Davis Square LJ, there's a notice on the door that says that the Constable's Office seized the restaurant on behalf of landlord Christos Poutahidis, because the restaurant owes the landlord $25,238.

                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                    As an addendum, a friend of mine who visits the place frequently tells me that M3 has been cash-only for months prior to this seizure.

                                                                2. According to Waltham Patch and Downtown Waltham, Watch City Brewing will be replaced by Boston Beer Works.

                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                        I’m still pissed about the 1999 Boston Beer Works menu redesign. Mako skewers and “buckets” of things.

                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          Well, Watch City sucked pretty hard by itself.

                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                            Right. My husband and I gave it another try last year, thinking that as residents we should try and support more Waltham businesses. It seemed even sadder and more neglected than it had been previously. Too bad another meh place is moving in.

                                                                          2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                            I've never eaten at Beer Works or Watch City but at least the beer will be better under new ownership. I had a few road sodas at the Framingham Beer Works a 4-5 months ago and was pleasantly surprised at their hoppy red ale.

                                                                            I heard that the brewing equipment at the Watch City location was in horrible shape and only worthy of scrap. Rust and corrosion doesn't lend itself to well made beer.

                                                                            1. re: Unfoodie

                                                                              Brewing equipment was auctioned off for about $40k to an upstart brewery in western MA. Still in useable condition, but since it was a pugsley system, had open ferementers.

                                                                              1. re: LStaff

                                                                                Good luck to them. People who went to the auction told me the equipment was rusted which makes sense considering how bad their beer was.

                                                                        2. re: bear

                                                                          When they got rejected from Davis Square, the Beer Works guys said they had another location in mind. I guess this is what they had in mind. Not too surprising, really.

                                                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                            No, I guess not too surprising but a bit of a bummer. Moody has been pretty good about not having too many chains on the main commercial drag (not perfect...Margarita's, anyone?) so it was disappointing that something independent wasn't going in there. It's a pretty big space, though, so whatever went in there would have to having some substantial financial backing.

                                                                            It won't draw me to Moody for a beer and a burger any more than Watch City did.

                                                                            1. re: bear

                                                                              I heard a rumor Trillium was looking at the space but Boston Beer Works had just taken it. So sad.

                                                                              1. re: pcarC4

                                                                                That would have been infinitely better.

                                                                                1. re: pcarC4

                                                                                  Trillium seems to really embrace their neighborhood. A move/expansion to Waltham feels like it's not in line with the brand.

                                                                                  1. re: mkfisher

                                                                                    And then Trillium posts things like this that make me look like an idiot


                                                                          2. MAST', the early contender for Worst Restaurant Name of 2014, has pushed back its planned August opening in DTX to some time after Labor Day.


                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                              Still shaking my head at that one...

                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                That's too bad they pushed it back. I'd think they'd be more punctual about their opening.


                                                                              2. Hammersley's Bistro is closing in October.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. Excited about this one based on one really good experience at the Beverly location...La Victoria Tacqueria is coming to Arlington Center, on Medford St, across from the Regent Theater. I saw the papered up storefront just now. No idea about the opening date.


                                                                                  1. Didn't remember reading this in this thread, but I have no intention of checking it all now. On our way to Umberto's for lunch today on the T, we noticed that Bagel Rising in Allston near Comm ave and Harvard was closed. On the way back we could read a sign that said closed, but not what else it said. I'm thinking an untenable rent hike.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: kimfair1

                                                                                      It's an OK situation. Same ownership is renovating and re-opening at the end of this month under the same name as their other places = Pavement. Same bagels will be back and, also, an espresso machine :-) We need to support them and Refuge, etc. now that Starbux is in Allston.
                                                                                      More here: http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...

                                                                                    2. Manna House in Arlington has closed, according to the Facebook page run by the owner family. Sad to hear - their spicy pork bulgogi was the best I'd had around the Boston area.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: lossless

                                                                                        Very sad about manna house, one my absolute favorites in boston. We took all of our out of town guests there. Any kimchi dish was amazing. Also loved the spicy pork and bimibap.

                                                                                      2. Just saw a posting on Facebook from Biryani Park:

                                                                                        "Dear friends,
                                                                                        It has been many months since Biryani Park closed, and we've missed you all very much. Now, at long last, I have found a new location in Cambridge at Curry N Wok, 2378 Mass Ave Cambridge.
                                                                                        We will open our kitchen tomorrow night, Tuesday August 19, to welcome all our old friends to our new home. Come visit us at Curry N Wok between 6 and 9 to try out our new menu of South Indian treats.
                                                                                        We hope to see you soon.

                                                                                        1. I just ate at Fire & Ice and indeed, it was terrible.

                                                                                          1. Bummer to learn that tonight is Schzewan Dumpling's last night...they are closing shop and moving to Londonderry NH....at least that's what I understood from the guy taking my delivery order.

                                                                                            Super bummed. Best spicy wings and dumplings around...

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: TechieTechie

                                                                                              TT - You scared the $#!t out of me with this post so we walked over to Szechuan's Dumpling tonight to get the full story. In fact, they are NOT closing but will be under new management, starting this week. They emphasized that the cooks will remain the same. Perhaps there was a communication breakdown over the phone?

                                                                                            2. Santana Rae's in Methuen has notices in the doors and windows that it has closed

                                                                                              1. Walking back to my car after a dental appointment, I saw a banner that Lee's Burgers is moving into the space on Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner formerly occupied by Naked Pizza and Quizno's. I assume this is connected to the place in Newton.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. Bambara at the Hotel Marlowe in East Cambridge has just reopened after a summer upgrade and renovation, which means higher prices. I admit to liking this place several years ago when I stayed there and then moved into the neighborhood, but I feel it went way downhill and began to be one of those generic hotel restaurants. Bad food, bad service and a stale menu that never changed. Any recent comments or reviews would be appreciated as the new place unfolds.

                                                                                                  1. I saw somewhere (sigh, can’t find it now) a report that Teriyaki House (fka DooWee and Rice) had “closed for renovations,” but they did, in fact, renovate and are now open.

                                                                                                    Same bao, some house made udon.

                                                                                                    1. Was apartment hunting on Saturday at the Watermark in Kendall and was told by a building employee that something called Dumpling Darling will be going in on the ground floor between Cambridge Spirits and Kika. It looks like a really small space from the outside, but hard to tell.

                                                                                                      1. Slightly off topic, but is anyone else having a hard time finding this thread? It's never on the first page anymore, in fact I've searched through 7 pages where July 24 is the last comment and still don't see it unless I search for August. Someone posted 20 hrs ago yet for me, it still doesn't show up in the first couple pages. This has been going on for a few weeks, or is it just something weird on my end?

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: total13

                                                                                                          And even now this doesn't show up on the first page. It's seemed very static in general but this is odd.

                                                                                                          1. re: total13

                                                                                                            When you first log into the Boston thread, there are a few choices as to how you see the thread. They're listed just above the first topic. Click on "Last Reply" and you'll get the list of topics ordered by when the latest reply was posted to a topic. "Last Reply" is right next to the number of topics you can choose to see on a page. You might have accidentally clicked on one of the other choices. I did that once and had to figure out the same problem you're having now,

                                                                                                            1. re: catsmeow

                                                                                                              Thanks, I was having the same problem and your solution works.

                                                                                                              1. re: catsmeow

                                                                                                                Thank you so much, that was annoying as hell. Probably changed when they added all their dumb categories.

                                                                                                          2. In the former Spün location (or maybe next door, it's the same building at Powderhouse Circle in Somerville) there's a sign up that says "Frozen Hoagies" with a picture of an ice-cream sandwich in a cookie. No further information.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: enhF94

                                                                                                              I think that's the food truck.

                                                                                                              1. re: CportJ

                                                                                                                Frozen Hoagies in Powderhouse Circle will be a brick & mortar version of the food truck, according to their Facebook page.

                                                                                                            2. Looks like Beijing Chinese Dining has opened on Mass. Ave. in Lexington in the old Khushboo space. Menu seems pretty standard Chinese-American. Any experiences?

                                                                                                              1. Wasabi, near Porter Square, has a big "Grand Opening" banner up.

                                                                                                                1. Sadly, Cafe Kofofo on Cambridge St. in East Cambridge has closed up shop as of the 15th. There's a nice note on the door. The people who worked here were great, and their smoothies were delicious, but it never seemed to get much foot traffic. It wasn't a destination spot, either. The space is just lovely so I hope someone grabs it up soon.

                                                                                                                  One block away and on the other side of the street, The Lone Star Taco Bar people are hard at work on the former Pugs/ Lizzy's.

                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mvi

                                                                                                                    Looks like they are making slow progress on Loyal Nine near there. Do you know what's happening with the liquor store that was supposed to go in just down the street?

                                                                                                                    1. re: CportJ

                                                                                                                      The one near New Deal? I actually asked a workman there today what was going in, as there has been some action, but he said he was the wrong person to ask as he was only there for the day. The windows are still all papered up, but they have been removing rugs and other stuff over the past few weeks, so presumably something is going on. It's a big space. I'm sure Albert (just a few doors up) does not want to see a liquor store in there, even though he only sells beer and wine. (And a ton of scratch tickets.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: mvi

                                                                                                                        Yes, that's the one. Thanks for the update! If Albert did not charge more than other local liquor stores, he would probably have less to worry about. I'm hoping the new place will save me the trek to SavMor across the McGrath.

                                                                                                                        1. re: CportJ

                                                                                                                          I agree with you there. SavMor's prices are better, but if you are on foot, it's surely a pain. Albert has been stocking higher end wines and craft beers, but it's the same detached service. Just do not go to that wine store in the nearby Star Market. The worst.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mvi

                                                                                                                            There's a young guy at Albert's who is very enthusiastic about wine and loves to talk with customers -- anything but detached.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                                              That's nice you have developed a relationship with him. He never says anything to me and I have been in the neighborhood for quite some time. The two women are a lot friendlier. But there you go. Maybe if I ask him about wine, he'll have a conversation.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mvi

                                                                                                                                Interesting, yeah he may respond to your wine curiosity. He got especially excited when I asked about a grower Champagne that I hadn't seen elsewhere. Not the most knowledgeable wine person but learning fast and very enthusiastic.

                                                                                                                              2. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                                                His name is Fabian. Knows more about beer, but definitely not chatty. Albert's son is also helpful with beer.

                                                                                                                    2. Market has taken over the old Busy Bee Bakery space on Hurd St. in Melrose. It seems like a cafe with catering and take-out options and an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.


                                                                                                                      1. Two restaurants in the building I live in (1105 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge) have recently closed. One is the long-lived Dolphin Seafood—their other location in Natick remains open—and the other is the Mexican place underneath, called Cancun. The lower-level location seems cursed, since nothing has ever thrived (or lasted very long) there, but Dolphin has been a successful fixture here for decades. I believe they were the last remaining original retail tenant since the building opened in 1974. Founder Peter Giannacopoulos, who started here and later opened the Natick branch, is retiring and his son John, who has been running the Cambridge location, is taking over in Natick. See http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                                                                        It appears that a branch of Boston Burger Company will be taking over the Dolphin location. Not exactly an underrepresented cuisine in the Harvard Square area (sigh).

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: owades

                                                                                                                          I'm glad we got in one last meal at Dolphin this summer. I'm gonna miss that place.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                            I'm sad about it too. I used to eat lunch there a lot when I taught in the Square. If I'd known it was on the brink of closing, I would've had one last round of scrod and seafood chowder.

                                                                                                                        2. It's sad to see OotK go. Even though they discontinued my favorite dish (a fabulous thing I have never seen elsewhere, steamed pork belly served over a dome not of preserved vegetable, but of sticky rice) I always enjoyed their food and (apparently unlike the owner of Chilipa) the owner was always friendly and seemingly cheerful.

                                                                                                                          Reviews of Chilipa are not promising.


                                                                                                                          "the food overall didnt taste bad. i asked for the most spicy, but it wasnt spicy and numbing enough. there’s a pool of oil on the bottom of pot. the meat def was NOT fresh. i had mild diarrhea afterwards. my friend reported the same thing after she went: the meat was really not fresh."

                                                                                                                          My friend Andy Tannenbaum, who is no stranger to Chinese food or spice (or even to some of you) reported that he didn't find the meat stale but:

                                                                                                                          "he ordered a bowl of various "fill your own bowl" stuff "mild." it came out so spicy he couldn't eat it, so we swapped. they sell food by the pound, and they fill the bowl themselves, and give you huge amounts so that you pay more. my officemate paid almost $20 for his lunch. I ate the food, it was pretty good kinda, it had enough pepper and hua jiao so that you would have liked it, though he ordered it mild. It was really pretty ridiculous, much too hot for a normal person"

                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                            I've still not done the bowl -- the concept simply doesn't appeal to me -- but as a matter of fact, this afternoon I made a lunch of the dan dan noodles for about the third time since they opened, and I remain perfectly happy with them. They won't make me forget Mary Chung anytime soon, but they're within walking distance.

                                                                                                                            And no, they've never given me the squits, either.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                              I feel another place doomed in that cursed spot.

                                                                                                                              Its horrifying if it actually made someone unwell. I have eaten countless times at Pho Viet, Kantin, the BiBimBap place across from it, and even JMPand have never gotten sick( with the exception of over eating) from any of them.

                                                                                                                              I still miss the tom yum noodle soup that the two thai ladies used to serve up in that stall.

                                                                                                                              1. re: hyde

                                                                                                                                I've been eating around the 88 Connection food court regularly for, what -- 15 years? Never had an issue beyond the usual secondary burn when capsaicin-rich chilies are involved. We're not exactly Singapore in terms of inspection and enforcement, but you're as likely to get food-borne illness from a fine-dining restaurant in Boston as the more humble places.

                                                                                                                                I know most Chowhounds already understand this, but the persistence of suspicion among less-enlightened diners of inexpensive traditional restaurants is one of the most galling things to me about the Boston, maybe the American, restaurant scene. It's a pernicious myth we should all be evangelizing against at every opportunity.

                                                                                                                                I know I'm preaching to the choir, but please: wheedle your friends into eating in Dorchester and Eastie and Chinatown and Allston at every chance. Boston doesn't get the respect it deserves as a dining scene, and not enough general joy is being experienced, because not enough non-Hounds have been exposed to places that value what's on the plate more than the trappings of the dining room.

                                                                                                                                Do you like local clams? Me, too! Let's go to this not-so-fancy place that serves this amazing clam dish for $13. (That would be Thảo Ngọc in Fields Corner.)


                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                  It's hard to fight a myth such as that when e.g. the previous restaurant in that space was determined to be "closed permanently" by the smell from the rotting food in its freezers.

                                                                                                                                  (Note that I agree with you, but others might not because of what they observe or read. I think I once entered the bathroom at S88 and was pretty horrified.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                                    No, the bathrooms between the food court and the store are thoroughly disgusting -- I do hope that's just water that's a quarter-inch deep on the floor -- but since I've never seen anyone preparing food in there, yeah, that's not really a food safety issue.

                                                                                                                                    Not sure what you mean about the "closed permanently," though: there had been a restaurant there, the owners and staff literally disappeared and never came back, and after a few months, you could smell rotting food in the space. Over a year later, the stall was cleared out and it became the short-lived One of the Kind. What does that have to do with anything?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                      That "Mary Celeste" walkaway remains one of the strangest things I have seen in restaurants in the Boston area. Woks still on the stove, food in the fridge, napkins on the counter, and noone there.

                                                                                                                                      It's doomed, i tell ya! Doomed!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hyde

                                                                                                                                        Still a cooler full of Pepsi products on the counter for months, if I remember correctly! It was all creepy enough that nobody reached around and helped themselves to a Mountain Dew!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                                      No, it's not hard to fight the myth when you've got one horror story against a thousand great experiences. The Globe once offered a nightmare glimpse behind the scenes at Mistral, too. Perspective, please.