The Usual Suspects [Greater Boston, MA]


#21

A couple of nights back I wasn’t in the mood to cook so we got an old favorite, Sicilian from Armando’s in Cambridge. We usually ask ourselves why we don’t get it more often. It’s nicely garlicky with lots of melty cheese. This time, though, it was quite undercooked. That was easily remedied by some time in the toaster oven. Next time I think we’ll just preheat the oven and stick the whole pie in for a few minutes to crisp up the bottom since it’s usually on the verge of being underbaked for our taste. At $19 for a half tray, it’s quite affordable since it easily feeds three of us.


#22

Kicked off a long July 4th weekend with lunch at Moulton’s today. It was great–whole belly clam plate was 20$, and worth it. Lots of clams, nicely fried and not greasy–I was seemingly the first customer at noontime, so probably the oil was fresh! But this was fantastic. The fries were OK, the onion rings were excellent, though too bad there were only three of them. Good house made slaw.

Outstanding service, too. What an exemplary neighborhood restaurant. Recommended.


#23

Here is my annual lobster roll from Kimball Farm in Westford. Work brings me there once a year so I indulge. The roll was $22.95 and includes watermelon and a choice of chips, potato salad or cole slaw. The bun was nicely buttered and grilled and the roll was generously filled with tender meat that was very lightly dressed with mayo and touched with celery. I’m not a connoisseur so I can’t speak to the ratio of claw/tail meat, but the meat was tender and fresh.


#24

We were at Kimball Farm over the 4th of July weekend. My lobster roll was pretty good. It seemed to be largely assorted shredded filler meat, toped with a few whole claws. In the context of food you’d normally get at a place like that it was appreciated. My wife has twin lobsters which were very good. They were not overcooked and seemed to be extremely fresh. It was extremely hot and humid the day we were there and their ice cream coolers were not up to the job. All of the ice cream came out of the window dripping. Everyone was walking around the park with ice cream dripping down their arms. The flavors were good but my kids never cease to amaze me how messy they can get.


#25

Yes, that’s a perfect description of the meat. I’d say the meal is a pretty good value overall.

I can only imagine the sticky mess from those enormous cones! Even the baby cones are huge. Yesterday wasn’t overly hot, so the kids that were with us managed fairly well. Of course, they are teens so that helped a bit.


#26

Had an interview in Waltham today and decided afterwards to reward myself with a couple cabeza tacos at Tacqueria el Amigo. They were excellent, soft tortillas and tender meat, steaming hot and topped with plenty of onion, cilantro and hot sauce. Still top notch.


#27

Got a small Italian sausage pizza from Stella’s Pizza in Watertown the other night. They are my favorite non-gourmet pizza joint. Always wonderful. No longer on my beaten track but always worth the drive IMO.


#28

I like this place too–always game for a slice when I’m going to hit the Armenian markets…


#29

good strategy so you are not too hungry when shopping at the markets…


#30

You should try Max &Leo or Fiorella or even WholeFoods when in the area. We found Stella quite underwhelming - tomato sauce tastes off, too much cheese etc


#31

just another paean to Tacqueria el Amigo: have discovered that it’s awful easy on my way back to Medford from upstate NY on Friday to swing by here off 95 instead of continuing on up to Route 2. Last week ate a plato mexicano for lunch and got a cabeza burrito and veggie burrito to go for dinner that night. Everything was great. Love the salsa and the hot sauces they make here, especially the green one. This place is just fantastic.

My only real complaint is that the Hose Trough Tavern next door is shuttered so that I can’t get a beer too on this stop. I guess you can’t have everything.


#32

Some recent eats.

@smtucker has mentioned Rincon Mexicano in Somerville a couple of times and I finally got over there. Very tasty, I got the Fiesta Tacos which gives you a choice of 3 tacos – the cochinita pibil and carnitas were both excellent, the carne asada was good but I would stick with the porky ones next time. The Mexican rice was nice and fluffy. It is sad that I am rarely in this part of town, I really enjoyed the food.

I had not been to Dumpling Daughter in Weston for a year or two as it is no longer on my route for any reason but I went back last weekend and had two specials: pork dumplings in sesame and chili oil (wonderful thin skins) and kimchi fried rice with sunny-side fried egg. The fried rice was excellent, loads of kimchi with some funk to it. Leftovers made a couple of lunches.

I finally got to Pokeworks in Davis Square. It was my first poke experience so nothing to compare it to but I thoroughly enjoyed it (other than the avocado add-on which was hard as a rock).


#33

@GretchenS. So glad that you enjoyed Rincon Mexicano. The fiesta tacos are a new addition to the menu since it not the Mexico City way. I agree, his pork is excellent, but I also highly recommend the chicken dishes too. He uses dark meat almost exclusively and for whatever reason, really knows how to season and cook this particular meat well.


#34

Good to know! Gringa that I am, the fiesta tacos are right up my alley. :slight_smile:


#35

Maybe because they are really good???


#36

I had the same issue at Poke City in Cambridge recently. Don’t charge me a significant premium for avocado and then give me something that is inedible. It’s fine to say “we don’t have avocado today”, or learn to stick your non ripe avocados in a brown paper bag to quickly ripen.


#37

Had some friends visiting from the DC area last week. We went to the Peabody Essex Museum, and then headed north-ish for the Clam Box experience. I rarely get to Ipswich so this was a treat for me and a first-time experience for my friends. They each selected local clams, mini-meals, one with cole slaw, the other with the fries. My clam allergy precluded having the same order, so I opted for the calamari. Is this a new item? I don’t recall it in the past and have normally selected the haddock. I did the cole slaw and then we all shared a small onion ring.

We ate inside, first time I have done that… and the interior is a bit tired as far as decor goes. The hand dryer in the ladies’ room is loud and the entire dining room knows who chooses to wash their hands. The carpet is on the border of nasty. And it simply didn’t matter. The fried items were not greasy [nor seasoned] and the breading has a nice crunch. I really liked the cole slaw. Had some nice vinegar flavor along with just enough buttermilk.

You do have to ask for lemon for both the ice tea and seafood. The amount of tartar sauce given by default is minuscule but none of us bothered with it particularly.

I had prepared my friends for a wait, but during the last week of August, on a chilly day, there were only 4 tables occupied and one family ahead of us in line. Couldn’t have been an easier visit.


#38

I got around to this place myself today, and really enjoyed it. Pollo torta was juicy and on a good bolillo roll with plenty of avocado, black bean and lettuce/tomato. I’m no expert on the torta given that they aren’t that common here, but this seemed like a good version. I should have asked where they get the rolls…

Also piled on a cochinita pibil taco, which was great with the verde hot sauce on it. Want o explore the pork options here a little more. The s.o. got chicken fajitas that she really liked–well cooked looking chicken and peppers that came with rice, tortillas, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. For once I didn’t drag her somewhere with mostly spicy and meat options!

Service on a Saturday afternoon was brusque but fine and efficient. The place is nicely put together and I love the old photos they have up. A really good little stop–will go back for menudo or pozole sometime.


#39

Not sure if this is quite the right place to post this, but I tried B3 / Back Bay Beats for the first time this weekend and really enjoyed it. I don’t eat much meat, and B3 had plenty of interesting and well-executed vegetable dishes: I especially enjoyed the arugula salad, which was well-balanced and had a nice bit of crunch from some granola, roasted carrot hummus, and Sichuan eggplant with fried tofu. The Berklee students who played that night were great as well, and we found it a very pleasant place to dine.


#40

Wednesday night I met a friend for dinner at Park in Harvard Square. Perhaps it was my low expectations but dinner was delicious! I had the “Bar Steak” which seemed to be a hangar steak, cooked perfectly medium-rare with very nice charring on the outside, an herb-shallot butter that was loaded with green herbs, a nice arugula-frisee salad and Bacon & Gruyére Potato “Skins” which were actually exemplary fries doused in cheese sauce with a bit of bacon and chives. I’d ask for plain fries next time. My DC got a pork chop special – lovely bone-in chop, grilled perfectly, moist and delicious, with a TON of roasted vegs of various sorts, all yummy. Wines by the glass were reasonably priced and a decent pour. At 8:00 a large party came in and the noise level in the smallish back room we were in rapidly became unbearable – thankfully we were done eating and could get the check and get out of there. Our extremely nice waitress said “I’m glad you came early enough to enjoy your meal in peace.” So, would recommend for a simple meal (nothing cutting edge here but I couldn’t ask for a better basic steak frites) but ask for a quiet table if in a small group.