Do you have a favorite that you go back to time-and-time again because (1) it’s comfy, (2) you feel welcome, (3) the food is predictably delicious to you? But you try not to report back because you’ll sound like a broken record?
After a poor meal out on Saturday, we redeemed ourselves yesterday. I had an engagement early afternoon but met up with the guys at the newly reopened MIT Museum. B told me that they stopped into Mex for a small taco snack and beverages before heading into the museum. He said it was a fun lively place and that his food was good. He forgot to take photos.
The new museum is awesome. We couldn’t cover all of it so we will return soon. I hadn’t eaten all day so I was ready to settle for anything when I came up with the brilliant idea of heading to PJ Ryan’s, our go-to that we hadn’t frequented in some time. Mike our favorite bartender was working. It was unusually crowded for a non-Patriots Sunday but the crowd there is always very chill. He left his post to chat. It’s like seeing family (hugs all around and asking how life has been). And of course we had a reliably good meal of buffalo Brussels sprouts (I like them here because the dish is not overdosed with Buffalo sauce), veggie chili, a huge salmon sandwich, and chicken tenders (Spring onion is branching out a little). We left feeling that balance in our little world had been restored.
My “Cheers” is Dali in Somerville. I’m comfortable going there on my own, I know the food, Julio and the staff know the pace at which I like to get my tapas, and they don’t rush you. It’s like the best pair of comfy shoes (or cozy sweater/sweatshirt). They’re family.
East Coast Grill and The Blue Room were all that for us back in the day. Branch Line and more recently Da LaPosta are growing on us. After a first visit to SRV this past weekend I could see cicchetti and a glass of wine as a weekly thing.
I lived across the street from the Blue Room so I saved on gas and parking . It was great under both Chris Schlesinger and Steve Johnson. Not just great food, great atmosphere. And Reggie behind the bar.
FYI, we went to De LaPosta last night specifically because of your recommendation in the context of your previous love for ECG and TBR. We enjoyed the meatbal pizza (almost a white pizza but with dollops of tomato conserva and Calabrian chili, great cloth-like crust, though some might prefer crispier), spicy lobster paccheri (pasta extremely al dente, reminded us of our visit to Babbo; breadcrumbs were a nice touch), and chicken parm (described on menu as “half chicken,” which seems about right!). The Caesar salad dressing was pleasantly anchovy-tasting, but we prefer the croutons and Little Gem lettuce that Jinny’s uses.
This is so good to hear! I bike by Dali on my way to/from work and am always curious but never able to stop at that point.
We’ve been looking for a comfy sweatshirt of a place (a great descriptor!) and will definitely try Dali and PJ Ryan’s. Our previous comfy sweatshirt spots - Corner Tavern and Figs - are geographically unworkable now. Thanks @LindaWhit and @digga !
As @MaxEntropy noted, Reggie (wherever he is) should be 82 years old this year. He had been retired for a few years already when the Blue Room closed in 2017, but still visited the restaurant routinely. I remember toward the end they had a picture of him with a votive candle at the end of the bar to honor him. I have not crossed paths with him since those Blue Room days, alas.
We used to hit up Corner Tavern once in a while on our way to Fenway (we had a tradition of parking on Mem Drive and walking over Harvard Bridge). The guy in the kitchen could turn out some pretty decent food with only a salamander at his disposal.