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


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.

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.

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