Thursday, December 31, 2009

J's Tomadachi Sushi--Post holiday lunch

We were feeling overloaded by the holidays. Too much cream, too much meat, and too many chocolate covered pretzels. Despite having gorged on two times our weight of heavy, rich food, we still needed to have lunch. Not feeling terribly much like a salad, there was only one alternative (as far as we were concerned) – Japanese sushi.

Pretty recently, J's Tomadachi Sushi opened on Mass Ave, and we were curious to see what they offered. What better occasion than the weekend after Christmas?

The restaurant had a simple décor, with a bamboo screen, Japanese paintings set against the wall, and funky green hanging lights scattered around. Our waitress was sweet and demure, but we were surprised that she didn't offer us tea when we sat down, as is ordinarily the custom.

Simple Decor
We were pretty blasé in our food orders (possibly because our stomachs couldn't handle anything more exotic), and we have resolved to be more adventurous with future sushi choices. We decided to go with an array of combo plates that all came with miso soup, salad covered in a spicy thousand islandesque dressing, and a small mound of rice. The most interesting was the Veggie Combo ($9.95). It included 6 cucumber avocado rolls and a big veggie roll. We're not quite sure what was in the big veggie roll, but we enjoyed it.

Veggie Combo
The other two combos were the Maki Combo ($9.95) and the Cali Combo ($9.95) – all sushi bar standards, which is not to say they weren't fresh, delicious, and filling for our tender tummies. The Maki Combo came with a California roll, tuna roll, and salmon roll, and the Cali Combo included the same, except instead of rolls, it came with Ngiri.

Maki Combo
Cali Combo
We enjoyed the oblong plates and the descending order college name rolls with Harvard as the most expensive and Berkley as the cheapest.

J's Tomodachi Sushi
201 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115-3043
(617) 236-1464
Boston Restaurant Review

Monday, December 21, 2009

No Name—Fishy chowder and very inedible broiled fish

We were enticed to venture here one cold pre-blizzard evening because of an avid follower’s recommendation. And also the fact that it’s been around since 1917. We have a strong sentimentality for aged restaurants; we believe that like a fine wine, restaurants improve with time. So we went to check out the deal with this potential unnamed jewel.

Little did we know than this diamond in the rough would indeed be just a lump of coal. A note about location: it is way the heck out of the way. The only line that even comes close is the Silver Line (and who takes the Silver Line, anyway?) We walked through the cold from South Station through the blustery night to get there.

The inside décor hadn’t changed since the 1980s, but we excused this lack of evolution to the aged wisdom of the years. Clearly, people came here for the food, or so we assumed. Most of the other restaurant patrons seemed to have never seen a cooked lobster in their lives. We heard a cacophony of languages ranging from Korean to German to Midwestern, all ooing and aahing over the childlike lobster bibs and instructional place mats about how to de-claw said crustacean. We could only imagine what it’s like in the summer, especially since we had prime seating that looked out over Boston Harbor. We were impressed by this, as well as the jovial, friendly waitstaff.

We started with a cup of the famous seafood chowder ($3.95). A delectable uncreamy, potato-less stew of scrod, haddock, and other unknown fish. It was wonderfully thick with fish, the way a chowder should be. However, it was very un-chowderesque in its lack of cream, spice and richness. It was just a hearty fish stew.

A Thick Fish Stew
We should preface: the waitress warned us that fried platters were always better than broiled; however, we believe that the opposite is true. It just takes more skill to get broiled seafood right. The broiled seafood platter ($17.95) was mediocre, expensive and mostly inedible. The swordfish was overcooked to the point that it tasted like tuna out of a can. The three scallops and three shrimp were mighty chewy, almost to the point of rubber bands. The scrod and salmon were cooked correctly, but lacked flavor and were uninspiring. It came with frozen boiled veggies and a heap of rice pilaf. We DO NOT recommend anything broiled at No Name.

Schnasty
Luckily, we also ordered the fried scallops ($14.95). No Name should stick to its roots, and just serve fried food. The scallops were like dollops of heavenly morsels that melted in our mouths. It came with three sides: French fries, cole slaw, and tartar sauce. More tartar sauce than any human should consume in a meal.

Dollops of sweet scallops
Although the scallops and chowder were good, you could find just as good chowder at Atlantic Cafe and fried seafood can be done by pretty much any pub in Boston.

No Name Restaurant
15 Fish Pier St W
Boston, MA 02210
617.338.7539

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Central Kitchen--Casual and homey, with a dash of class

Casual and homey, with a dash of class. That’s what we Palateers thought of Central Kitchen in Central Square, Cambridge. Central Kitchen always seemed alluring, especially when we would gaze in from the cold street and see smiling people merrily drinking glasses of wine and laughing about jokes in which we wished we could be included :(

But then one night, we went to Central Kitchen, and we were those smiling people making the jokes :)

How the tables have turned. We love wine bars because we once had dreams of opening one. There is something magical about wine, overpriced food and bar stools. It’s like a recipe for restaurant success. Boston doesn’t have as many wine bars as other metropolitan areas, ie. our cousins down to the south. But the few wine bars Boston has seem to be of quality; no exception for Central Kitchen. The blending of unique meal options, quality wines, and a relaxing atmosphere is a Palateer likeability elixir.

On the atmosphere, we especially noticed and felt appropriate the wine bottle light fixtures above our table and the large wooden mantle above the bar. The menu was diverse and eclectic, and we were even more impressed to learn that it changes with the seasons or the whims and muses of the chef.

Of course, we started off our meal with wine. Our pleasant Cabernet Sauvignon and loveable sangria were served with crusty bread and a mysterious side spread. We made bets about whether it was butter or hummus. One Palateer has lasting bad memories of eating a whole slice of butter before realizing it wasn’t cheese. It turned out to be hummus, or a light chickpea spread. Either way, it was all consumed.

Our appetizer was a rabbit sausage ($7). It tasted like sausage, which means delicious. The sausage came with a Greek yogurt style sauce, which helped balance the spicy green peppers and sweet roasted red peppers.

Whats up doc?
Our second appetizer was a warm salad with duck confit ($12). The salad was a treasure hunt, or better put, an egg hunt. As one Palateer asked, “What type of cheese is this?” And then remarked, “It’s not cheese, it’s an egg!” Besides the poached egg, we also discovered on our hunt a walnut dressing, golden raisins and little chunks of bacon interwoven within the duck confit and lettuce.

Thats not cheese!
The main course was a saucy Ragout filled with large tomato halves, chunks of zucchini, Parmesan slivers and surprisingly flavor filled soaked celery ($21). In the middle sat a big ol’ hunk of polenta which helped to absorb all the linger juices.

A Plunk of Polenta
Although a bit on the expensive side, Central Kitchen lived up to the allure and is worth more than one visit from the cold.

Central Kitchen
567 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA‎
(617) 491-5599‎

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cafe Kiraz—Has lots of Pizzazz

Are you a sandwich snob? Are you high brow about your hoagie? Are you snooty about your submarine? Are you petulant and particular about your panini? Well, my high class hero aficionado, enter Cafe Kiraz.

For long long years, we believed that the only true sandwich shop in Cambridge was All Star Sandwich Bar. But now, a rival emerges from the Southwest. Who will win this epic battle? And who will be smeared like mustard over the hard rough crust of defeat?

We will let you, dear Reader, decide for yourself.

As for us, we are glad to know that we have two choices for sandwiches in Cambridge. Cafe Kiraz may be full of pizazz, but it ain't got much in terms of seating or interior design. But who cares, because you are there for the sandwich. And my, there are so many sandwiches.

As opposed to All Star Sandwich Bar, which gives you a small list to choose from, Cafe Kiraz goes for the unlimited options. Perhaps this is something that we come to expect in our culture. With our thousands of iphone apps and watch instantly movies on NetFlix, a decision can only be reached through the recommendations of others. That's why, as we stared googly-eyed at the massive menu, a passing stranger was the one who made the decision for us.

A split-second decision yielded us the fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich ($6.50) on focaccia. A classic example of getting what you ask for. No more, no less. All fresh ingredients on soft flavorful bread, nothing to complain about.

Fresh and wholesome
Until you taste a grilled sandwich and realize what you're missing. The grilled chicken, provolone sandwich ($7.25) was a melt-in-your-mouth lullaby. The type of sandwich you only meet once in a lifetime. Caramelized onions added a subtle sweetness, which contrasted favorably with the tanginess of the sun-dried tomato paste and mesclun salad mix. Our one recommendation is to always, repeat always, order the grilled sandwich when you go to a sandwich shop.

Order Grilled...Always Grilled
On a final note, we've heard a rumor that the blended frozen yogurt rivals that of any in Boston, and is a must-have. Anyone who has tried it, we'd love to hear what you think.

Cafe Kiraz
119 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-1505
(617) 868-2233

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Tavern in the Square--Lots of TVs and Physics Defying French Fries

You could get lost in the Tavern in the Square. Like a distracted child in a toy store, we wandered aimlessly confused by the plethora of televisions all competing with different sporting events for the luxury of our eyeballs. We were like, wow man, there a lot of TVs in here, and we decided that all these televisions were very fitting, considering that the Tavern is an American Bar. What is more American than huge televisions, gargantuan sized nachos and beer, yes, lots of beer? We accept this stereotype like a proud boy scout getting his merit badge. We don't need no stinking Foie Gras!

Tavern is a big place and reminded us of its half blooded cousin down the street. It was cavernous but despite its size, it always seems to be full of people. One could write this off to the weekday play time that eager excited adults attend to forget about grownup life (ie Trivia night, karaoke night), yet there is something that draws us back again. Good feng shui? Decent food? A bit of both maybe.

The food at the Tavern ranges from traditional favorites (burgers and such) to the more exotic (risotto fritters) to the more eclectic (fried pickles for appetizers and fried snickers for dessert). So many options, we ruminated, so we ordered beers and took our sweet time. Tavern's got a decent beer selection with lots of stuff on tap. On the excellent recommendation of our waitress we ordered a dead Guy and a Mayflower porter, good beers for pondering over the long menu.

Good Brews
The salads were all very intriguing. We felt the best dish ordered was the marinated feta and avocado salad (9.99). A large heaping pile of greens, strewn with an assembly of white beans, fresh avocado and chunks of feta. The best part were the pistacios which added a nice crunch and the tangy mustard citrus dressing. It was so good, it was actually the second time our guest reviewer (you know who you are) had ordered it.

So good, we ordered it twice
The reuben sandwich and side salad ($10.99) was a disappointment. As John Stewart would say, Tavern, could you meet me at camera three? When you advertise a Reuben to be 'piled high', you better put your corned beef where your mouth is. Some of us have been to Carnegie deli and have expectations.... Not only was it a dismal serving of meat, but the whole blasted sandwich was soggy and mushy. The only redeeming part was the side salad, which was surprisingly large and diverse.

Soggy and dissappointing
Our last entree was the Chicken and Pear sandwich with waffle fries (10.99). A more eclectic sandwich with its slabs of roasted pear, thick chicken breast, melted brie cheese, herb mayonnaise, all on a crunchy french roll. The sandwich hit the spot, but what truly titillated us were the waffle fries. Why are waffle fries so good? We decided because they defy the laws of french fry physics, duh.

Waffle Fries......
A good fun scene and a nice place to bring a lot of friends or casual date, just stopping in to have a beer is a enough sometimes.

Tavern In the Square‎
720 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA‎ - (617) 868-8800‎
Cambridge Restaurant Review

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tides--With Keno and large servings everyone wins

Lets just say one evening you are in the Nahant, that small sliver of almost island that curves off of Revere. Where do the locals go for a good time? They go to Tides. Tides is the IT place (and possibly the only place) in the Nahant. There are good reasons to go--moderate priced decent food that comes in huge servings, plus unlimited amounts of keno (or until your money runs out).

We recommend going right at dusk, this way you can sit at one of the booths or outside tables that look out on the ocean, and at the Keno televisions. Order yourself a black and tan and talk with the guys at the bar about them Sox. When you feel the muse of hunger, don't hold back and get the antacids ready.

The menu is long but there were some things that jumped out at us. The buffalo chicken sandwich ($8.50), advertised as 'better than any other', was pretty darn good. As expected, it was a spicy fried chicken breast on a warm bulky roll enhanced by creamy blue cheese sauce. As we don't often order this item, we can not definitively talk about its supremacy. The veggie side was a nice alternative to the usual french fries.


The fish sandwich ($8.50) was also tasty. A normal sized filet of fried haddock, the mirror image of the buffalo chicken sandwich, sans chicken. Oh yea, the onion rings were awesome.


If you are looking for something a bit healthier, flip to the back of the menu for the Margherita pizza ($11). You should go with the whole wheat crust. The small pizza was freshly prepared and provided enough leftovers for another meal.


If you are wicked hungry, then the steak tips ($14) is the current you want to follow. These juicy tips are all the more enhanced with Tide's NEW marinade. But what ever you do, you have to order it with the french fries and special honey mustard sauce.

Enjoy Tides and if you win big at Keno, you should treat your friends to dessert.

Tides Restaurants & Pub
2 Wilson Road
Nahant, MA 01908-1017
(781) 593-7500

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moody's Falafel Palace--Stomach satisfying hot fresh falafels

New York might have Mamoun's falafel, but Cambridge has Moody's Falafel Palace. Right off the intersection of Mass Ave and Prospect Street, is this local institution that dishes out some of the best and cheapest falafels in Boston. Of all the Middle Eastern restaurants we have been, Moody's does it the best we have seen.

Moody's sacrifices service and seating for delicious food. The Palateers had to fight for the right to sit at the limited counter space. We didn't even try to sit at their one table. We also had to wait in the impossible long line and watch out for cutters. The entire time we were eating, there was always a constant flow of people that kept the wait nice and long.

But it was worth it because even though the food is super cheap, you still feel like you are eating well. From their falafel, shwarma, chicken and hummus sandwiches to their full out platters, you won't be displeased with what you order.

One Palateer had the falafel platter ($5.50), a plate heaped with sliced cucumber and tomato salad, dripping in olive oil formed the base of this feast. On top were four bulging stomach satisfying hot fresh falafels, yummers.

Falafel Platter
The other Palateer, always indecisive, wanted to try a bit of everything, so ordered the vegetarian platter ($5.99). How the plate held all its contents was beyond us. Baba ganoush sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, smooth and rich hummus, the aforementioned cucumber salad, a tasty tabouli salad and two falafels. It was glorious. Both platters were served with fresh warm pita bread and tangy tahini sauce.

Vegetarian Platter (half eaten)
Afterward, we considered ordering foul, but we were already full. Come hungry and come often, because this is how Middle Eastern food was meant to be.

Moody's Falafel Place
25 Central Square
Cambridge, MA 02139-3310
(617) 864-0827

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Camie's Authentic Caribbean Cuisine

Its unassuming décor and non prominent location could easily cause a long term resident to live their whole life in the neighborhood and not even know of its existence. For well over twenty years, Camie's has been providing Cambridge with, dare we say, the finest cuisine from the Caribbean Islands. Camie's is more like walking into a family kitchen than actual restaurant. At times you might feel like you are intruding, but really you are more than welcome.

Like being at someones house, don't expect rapid service, instead go with the flow and take the time to enjoy your company. On any given Saturday morning, you can sit and talk with the neighborhood residents as they stop by to pick up their beef patties and baked goods. Camie's is renowned for its baked goods, but they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We happened to try them out for breakfast. Also just like home, the food is delicious.

It wouldn't be proper to eat at Camie's without trying their signature beef, chicken or fish patties, even for breakfast. Layers of buttery flaky dough surrounding savory spiced fillings that are a delicious snack for anytime. If there is just one reason to go to Camie's its for theses Haitian favorites and at $1.10 per patty, you won't feel bad about buying a baker's dozen for your friends. The owners may even stick in an extra patty for good luck.


Them Patties (we recommend the beef)
Breakfast was so big we decided to split one plate between us (with a few patties on the side). The spinach, tomato and cheese omelet was a massive spinach overflowing gooey diner special. It is a wonderful hangover cure. It comes with home made sliced toast (white or wheat) and scrumptious paprika flavored hash browns. We especially recommend you try Camie's own hot pepper salsa. Served with choice of coffee or orange juice and for only $5.50, you will not, repeat not find a better deal for breakfast in Cambridge.

Half of one plate
This hidden gem, with its inexpensive home cooked food, will keep you coming back for second helpings.

Camie's Authentic Caribbean Cuisine
152 Columbia St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 871-1144

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gaslight--Reflections on the City of Lights

'Twas an inviting entrance, with glowing fire burning lights and a large oaken door. Inside we found a typical Parisian Brasserie, dimly lit with candles and full bottles of Pellegrino on every table. It was a perfect night to be dining in the City of Light. But, wait, we aren’t in France – this is Boston, the City that Shuts Down at 1AM. And yet, Gaslight transported us back to memories of a quaint, but delicious, bistro off of the bustling Champs-Elysees.

Thankfully, we didn’t need to match wits with a surly French waiter, for the service was impeccable. Even the manager took time to inquire about the flavor of our meat. Fast-paced waiters quickly shuttled between tables. We even were able to time to the second how long it would take for one of the staff to clear our plat principaux: 28 seconds. The tables and booths were bunched together tightly, and we even witnessed a nearby table spill some red wine onto a neighbor’s dress.

We didn’t mind at all because all of our attention was focused on our hors d’oeuvres: a roasted pear salad ($8.75) with pungent and tangy Roquefort cheese, crisp Guanciale, a type of uncured Italian bacon, and fresh watercress. It could have been a meal unto itself.

Pear Salad
Our first entrée was the Bar Steak ($19.25). It was a modest-sized 8 oz. sirloin steak, served to perfection at the requisite medium-rare. Smothered in a creamy mustard and onion sauce that enhanced the flavor of the meat. It was all served with a wonderful portion of frites. The second dish was the leg of lamb roti ($18.50), three slices of lamb au jus with a sweet red sauce, and served with a very appropriate and filling portion of Yorkshire pudding and a small side of fresh pea greens.

Bar Steak with Frites
Lamb Roti
Thanks to Gaslight there is no longer a need for the Palateers to jump on the Concorde to the olde country for their steak frites.

Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
560 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 422-0224
Boston Restaurant

Monday, November 16, 2009

Woody's Tap and Grill--A salad wrapped in a pizza inside a wood oven

Stuck away on a side street in Fenway, Woody’s Tap and Grill is a local’s favorite. Most appealing is its wood fired oven that warms the cold cockles of ones heart on any odd November night. With flames unmatched by even the fiery furnaces of hell, the oven glowed enticingly. We hovered towards it, like moths drawn flame, like Icarus flying towards the sun, but the kindly waitress ushered us past before we singed our coats.

Our hungry eyes scanned, the long winding beer and beverage list, but our search was cursory at best. We wanted the renowned wood fired pizza and nothing else would do. There is something special about wood fired pizza, with its daintily burnt crust, its bulbous mounded center and lingering smokiness.

We ordered the vegetable pizza (13.95) and got a pizza and salad to boot. Our zucchini, pepper, onion, tomato slice, red sauce pizza, was overflowing with a balsamic dressed greens. A traditionalist might balk at this creative twist, but us Palateers were enthralled by it.

Pizza and Salad to boot!
Bite of salad here, bite of pizza there. A perfect match. Though, if you are planning to bring home leftovers and then it is well advised that you eat the salad completely.

Woody's Grill & Tap
58 Hemenway St, Boston, MA
(617) 375-9663‎

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cafe Luna --DINING ON THE EDGE

If you're into EXTREME DINING, then go to Cafe Luna. At Cafe Luna, you will indulge in many different kinds of EXTREME FULL THROTTLE DINING! It's like pumping iron on the moon! Or eating a raw gazelle!

At Cafe Luna, you dine on the edge. Of Cafe Luna. On busy Sundays, don't bother waiting in line. Instead, scout out one of the public tables at the newly renovated Central Square common area, and consider yourself served.

We ordered some seasonal favorites that you may not see when you go, but these are indicative of the EXTREME DINING experience that is Cafe Luna. For breakfast, we savored the pumpkin pie french toast, which is – as you can imagine – two thick slices of french toast with pumpkin pie filling. The same stuff you get out of the can but more EXTREME. And excessive amounts of heart stopping, pulse racing whipped cream.

EXTREME FRENCH TOAST
The Strata was an edge-of-your-seat, muscle ripping teeth clenching frittata. A sausage, spinach, cheese and egg exploding atom bomb in your mouth. It was almost painful, but we have steel lined stomachs. It was served with an EXTREME fruit bowl.

EXTREME STRATA
So next time, when you're feeling in the mood to get the same adrenaline rush of jumping out of a plane, stepping in front of a traffic, or self performing an appendectomy, just DO IT. At Cafe Luna.

Cafe Luna
403 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139-4102
Cambridge Restaurant Review

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cuchi Cuchi--feathers and boas, long, lacy leggings

It was 6pm on a Saturday, and the restaurant world was still. We heard rumors of a strange and otherworldly dining experience, so the Palateers embarked to investigate. We came onto the scene, and it was stranger than fiction. Waitresses adorned with feathers and boas, long, lacy leggings, and veils that hid their faces. Who were these women, and why were they masking their identities so? Further interrogation revealed that this peculiar place was known by natives as Cuchi Cuchi.

We knocked and entered to begin our investigation. They were expecting us. Our mademoiselle sat us at our table, and we inquired about the Moulin Rouge-esque qualities of the servers. “Le petite cucine est le masquerade,” she replied with a wink.

The proprietors tried to drunken our senses (and succeeded) with spirits of the most nefariously delicious qualities. Salome's Potion ($11) of blackberry, basil and gin was so good you could lose your head over it. The Moulin Rouge ($11) whispered in your ear with sensuous voices of strawberries and champagne. After drinking deeply in our grandiose oaken thrones, we were ready for the first suspect.

The first suspect was the Italian fried artichoke hearts. Biting through the crispy crust of the artichoke, a surprise creamy Gorgonzola center is what our taste buds encountered. Following the hearts of 'choke, we consumed the Cuban Cigar. Nay, reader, not what you believe for the only thing that was flaming here was the flavor. Slow cooked, boneless beef, wrapped in a fried pastry, and accompanied by black bean salsa. This won the personal favorite prize of one of the Palateers. No sooner had the Cuban cigar touched our lips, then it disappeared like smoke in the wind.


The third suspect was a fishy one. Tuna served rare and slightly seared, with tiny a tartar of watermelon, and sprinkled with a lump of couscous. The Gratin Dauphinois was better than Betty Crocker's.

We ended with the Cornucopia, a delicate conular shell filled the choicest varieties of out-of-season berries and filled with fresh whip cream. Our dessert whipped all suspicions out to sea.


At Cuchi Cuchi, everything comes in all small plates, despite the large plate prices; albeit, it's worth it for the quality. We may not have been Sherlock Holmes in our investigation, but we sure closed that case.

Cuchi Cuchi
795 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139-3509
(617) 864-2929
Cambridge Restaurant Review

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dillons—Plucked from the aether

Amongst the pantheon of pubs which exist in the greater Boston area (it is truly a vast amount), we decided to pluck one out of the aether at random. Dear faithful readers (hi mom and dad!), you will certainly have noticed by now our preference at excluding pubs from our review agenda. We generally assume that every pub in Boston is the same; in fact, we look down upon pub culture as rather uncultured. If you have never lived in Boston, then the novelty of the pub is worth visiting, but it really gets dull after repetitive visits. The menus don't change, the atmosphere and décor is the same from one to another and if you aren't a huge sports fan, then you are rather excluded.

All that being said and our snootiness aside, we were craving a good burger and fries, so we headed over to Dillons on Boylston Street. Dillon's is definitely catering for the early-to-mid thirties scene, thus it had a bit of class to it. It wasn't like putting lipstick on a pig, it was more like a new and classier hog. TVs twice the size of our living room. An eclectic menu that still included old favorites. Large comfortable lounging areas. A sleek ambiance. These were all the little twists that helped to define Dillons from its grungy neighbors down the block. We especially liked that Dillons made a conscience effort not to use beer advertisements and signs as its main modus of decoration. The beer list was the same as any other.

Perched on our tall chairs, one of the Palateers already knew what they wanted (CHEESE BURGER), and as soon as the other looked at the menu, their mind was made up (CHICKEN PANINI, emphasis intended). The waitress was nice, attentive and also eager to protect our table from an encroaching band of Ohioans.

The huge cheese burger hit the spot, comfort food in its best and brightest. The delectable ground round was done perfectly medium rare, served with delectable crunchy hot fries.



The chicken panini didn't live up to the description, but it was thoroughly eaten. None of the essential ingredients burst with flavor. It was ok, not memorable, thus our difficulty in giving specifics.

Amongst the plethora of pub choices, we would choose Dillon's over its counterparts any day.

Dillons
955 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02115-3106
(617) 421-1818
Boston Restaurant Review

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cafe Orlin--Breakfast in the East Village

On one day of our brief New York City adventure, we decided to forgo the typical diner experience in favor of Cafe Orlin.
This was unique. Middle Eastern eggs: Labana cheese, Israeli salad and pita bread.
Just your plain old eggs, hash browns and toast. Simple and wonderfully effervescent.
This one was super delicious. The Tunisian Eggs ($9.50) , spicy peppers and onions, with two over easy eggs on top.

Cafe Orlin
41 St Marks Pl
New York, NY‎ -
(212) 777-1447
New York Restaurant Review

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bagelicious--Great Boston Bagel Hunt (NY addition)

Don't think for a second that the Palateers have forgotten the Amazing Great Boston Bagel Hunt. We have just expanded our horizons to Queens. You know, a suburb of Boston..... When bolt bus tickets are going for $1 one way, whats stopping one from going down south for brunch. That was our thinking at least.

New York City is renowned as the great Valhalla of Bageldom, and Queens, that loveable snuggable borough, is the very banquet seat where the bagel god feasts. We didn't have to walk far to find a good bagel place for breakfast; in fact, you step out your door in Forest Hills and you practically stub your toe on Bagelicious.

One Palateer ordered a pumpernickel bagel with lox spread cream cheese. This is not the type of bagel that Napoleon would have fed to his horse, Nicole. The best component of the bagel was the chunky lox pink cream cheese. Unlike other bagel spots, Bagelicious goes heavy on the lox.


The other Palateer ate an everything bagel with dill and caper cream cheese. The everything bagel was everything one could hope for and the cream cheese gave it all a nice kick.

Service was quick and in Russian. хорошо поесть!!!

Bagelicious
6401 108th St, Flushing, NY
(718) 459-3596
New York Restaurant Review

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chilli Duck--Duckalicious

Sunken away on Boylston Street, right next to the fancy pants Apple store, is the delicious and tantalizing Chilli Duck. Thai cuisine is the specialty here. There must be something that draws Southeast Asian restaurant openers to this part of Boston because there are six other similar restaurants in the neighborhood (Island Hopper, Pho Basil, Pad Thai Cafe, Bangkok City Restaurant, Pan Thai Restaurant and Bangkok Blues). But none are as duckalicious as Chilli Duck.

The basement level restaurant had ducks as the theme. On the walls and on the chairs, over here and over there, ducks were everywhere. It was quaint. Surrounded in such an atmosphere, we felt we had to eat duck. A wise decision.

We ate the Chilli Duck (13.95), the restaurant's namesake. Crispy and sweet, this was a ducky done right. The skin was crunchy, topped with a healthy dollop of chilli sauce and peppers. We are reminiscing and mmm-ing at the thought of it. Only someone who was quacked would peck at his food in this environment.

Here Ducky Ducky Ducky
A close second was the mango curry chicken ($12.95). Smooth but spicy curry was intermingled with succulent chunks of mango. Both dishes came with very healthy portions of steamed vegetables.

Sauced!
Sounds so good, I think we must duck out to taste some more. Quack you later!

Chilli Duck Thai Cuisine
829 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116-2610
(617) 236-5208
Restaurant Review

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crazy Doughs—You'd be mad not to like it

You would be mad not enjoy Crazy Doughs. The strange thing about Crazy Dough's is why it hasn't won greater mass appeal. An impromptu survey of random strangers on the T, yielded a surprisingly small percentage of people who are aware of this gem. They won the Best Pizza award at the International Pizza expo in 2004 and 2007! Are the Palateers the only ones truly impressed by this feat? The Palateers had a fierce argument about the reasons why this pizza restaurant has not garnered success similar to Upper Crust. Maybe because of the multitude of small pizzerias or lack of marketing, we don't know.

What we do know is that they have some pretty darn good pizza and some really cheap beer. How cheap? Try $4 dollar pitchers of PBR (true its not the best, but you can't beat that bargain). Maybe the most memorable experience of eating at Crazy Doughs is staring at their voluminous, all ready cooked pizza selection. At any given time, they might have 20 different types of pizza ready to throw in the oven for your eating enjoyment. The hardest part is figuring out what to try. This is not a pizza shop that you settle just for cheese (though it is a good slice). What did the Palateers feast upon this time? Maybe the potato bacon cheddar, the Reuben, or Roasted Portobello and goat cheese....

4 Bucks, now that is crazy!
We got a large Tuscan Mediterranean (not to be confused with their Nutty Tuscan which won best pizza in 2004). The humungous fresh pie, with copious amounts of plum tomato, marinated artichoke heart, kalamata olive, feta, mozzarella, and fresh pesto, rivaled any pie we have had yet in Boston. We nearly ate the entire pie (all 314 square inches), but we didn't pull a Thelma and Louise and saved three pieces for breakfast.

On a secondary expedition the next day, we also tried the balsamic vinegar and mushroom (Wonderfully fancy pants) and the vegetable sicilian (Mama mia thats a thick a crust!). We ate both and felt happy.

Wonderfully Fancy Pants

Thick Slice Insanity
Do yourself a favor, grab a stranger, buy'em a slice and a pitcher of PBR and become friends.

Crazy Dough's Pizza Co
1124 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215-3601
(617) 266-5656
Boston Restaurant Review

Monday, October 12, 2009

Four Burger--Want more burger

Skeptical and hesitant, we would pass Four Burger every so often and ruminate, “That new fast food joint will never survive.” A burger joint, really, hasn't this been done before, like a billion times served more. But don't fear, cause you won't find any big red shoe clowns here. This is a burger smack down, four times over. Prepared to get grilled!

Situated very visibly on Mass ave in Central square, with simple decor, four Burger has slimmed down the philosophy of burger restaurant into four neat categories: Beef, Black Bean, Turkey and Salmon. But that is where the simplicity ends. For once one determines, the true character of his appetite is when the complexity begins. We decided that our burger adventure will be in the flavor of Organic Vegan Black Bean ($7) and Turkey burger ($7). But first, what type of sauce do you want salsa and guacamole or mango BBQ sauce? Apple & cranberry or soy mayo? What type of cheese: Chedder, American, Gouda, Muenster, Gorgonzola? Don't even get us start about the bun, hun. Fortunately, the cashier could read in our eyes the right choices. When all was said and done, and our perfectly grilled burgers were delivered to our table by a smiling Burgerista in record time. We didn't bite off more than we could chew. Yes, every savory bite was better than the last. Usually turkey burgers are dry and unflavored, but theirs was an excellent carnivore substitute for the beef. The veggie burger was not your run of the mill Boca brand, but a artisanal delight.

What a Turkey...
Holy Guacamole!
What would a burger joint be without fries? Be warned though that the small is more than enough for two people. We had a lovely blend of regular and sweet potato fries (technically they were baked). We also had to splurge on a $5 chocolate milk shake. We recommend you do the same.


Despite the size of the feast, we didn't leave a single crumb or pickle behind.

Four Burgers
704 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 441-5444
Cambridge Restaurant Review