The Usual Suspects [Greater Boston, MA]


I’ve been to both joco’s and the gaff - they are both solid neighborhood bar food spots. I’ve only been to each a couple of times so can’t make specific menu recommendations but if you’re in the mood for bar food there is no reason not to go from my experience.


Love the Gaff. We hope to visit the Museum of Industry soon and may tie that in with a lunch at the Gaff.


We really like the Gaff as well, and will give Joco’s a try soon. Thanks!


The Museum is worth visiting. Parking can be a bit confusing, so if you park in the public lot on Pine St. you can walk over to the museum. The Gaff would be a perfect lunch spot for that visit. Report back, please!


Went for dinner last night and they now sell BEER! I actually don’t drink beer so I can’t remember which ones they serve though I do recall Carona. They sell four different beers. At 7pm last night, we were the only people in there. Go. Eat. Drink a beer!


up in Burlington for food shopping, and decided to head back to Ritu Ki Rasoi for lunch. The buffet really holds up here as the best around, and the items change all the time (they’re great about updating what it’ll have on their Facebook page).

Today the makkai pakodi chat was bright and studded with chunks of corn pakora; the mini gunpowder dosas crunchy and spicy and the drumstick leave sambar and daal had depth and a wealth of taste. All kinds of other stuff as well–the eggplant masala was another standout, with perfectly cooked small eggplants in a great sauce. Spectacular vegetable cutlets, too.

There were other things, they were good too. I ate a lot and it was like thirteen bucks.

A real gem.


been too busy lately with a new job and other life stuff to eat out a lot (also, I needed to back off a bit on restaurant food after Noodle Month…) but on Sunday I was in Wakefield for a bit and for a quick bite stopped at the old school Italian joint Sonny Noto’s downtown. (It’s been there since 1952, though it looks like they probably renovated in the later 90’s sometime). It’s pretty close to Sei Bar, so if you’re destination shopping for a meal then for sure go there first for the Hunan food in this town. But if you want a killer steak and cheese, this is the spot—steak that’s clearly shaved in house and tons of it, served on a nice roll that must be made close by and a good bit of melty American cheese. Great meat to bread ratio on the sandwich, too. Best one of these I’ve had in a long time.

Place is low key, you place your order at the counter and the nice local servers bring the food to the table. Menu is mostly standard neighborhood Italian-American–your fettucini alfredo, chicken cacciatore, veal marsala et cetera and so on. What was coming out to the clearly regular clientele looked good. Feels like if this was the place down the block from you, then you’d be OK.

Aside: walking distance from here is the uninspiringly named The Bread Shop which has really good bread and sells local sodas.


We took a friend to Logan this morning and then headed to Cambridge to give Mamaleh’s in Kendall Square a try. Got there a little after 12:00 noon. We figured we’d have a wait but it was 45 minutes without a reservation. Reservations for lunch just don’t click with me.
So we declined. It looked like very tight quarters, especially at the counter. But smelled really good…has anyone been?

We then thought about Mary Chung’s but decided to head to the Greek Corner in North Cambridge. It was great.
We split a bowl of avgolemono soup which was delicious. Nice and lemon-y, and I had one of their Corner Soulvaki special sandwiches with fries (still hand cut).
My husband had the Moussaka plate, rice and salad included.
I enjoyed the gyro, the tzatziki was very garlicy which is fine with me. The pork was tender and well seasoned.
I did not try the moussaka but my husband finished it off.

Perfect lunch spot, busy with lots of families, I’m glad they are still around.


I may have missed this if it was reported earlier, but Mary Chung’s now takes credit cards.


wow,finally! I still remember having to run down the street to the nearest ATM. They had cleared the table and didn’t box up the food, I think they thought I wasn’t coming back.


We tried out the new Olivia’s Bistro on Adams St. in Newton the other night. The space is quite nice with lots of old brick, and the bar looked pretty inviting. It’s an open kitchen. The staff was pleasant, and the owner? Jessie? was very chatty and welcoming. The complimentary bread and olive oil were of very good quality. We both had the shortrib agnolotti with foraged mushrooms, which we decided we would order again. The dish was rich and flavorful. The portion size wasn’t huge, probably given the richness of the sauce, so I’d probably order a light appetizer next time. My husband thought it was the perfect size.

All the pasta is made in-house, which they don’t mention on the menu. We’ll definitely go back and try a few more things. By the time we left at 7:30 on a Monday night, the place was hopping. I suspect they will do well.


Hit Chilli Garden in Medford this afternoon, had not been there in ages. Had sliced pork belly with fresh garlic, dried bean curd with celery salad, and wonton with chili sauce and vinegar (well, that is what I ordered, I think they gave me the wontons with chili sauce/chicken broth as they were very brothy and no hint of vinegar) all from the Sichuan appetizers section, and some much-needed steamed white rice as all 3 things were spicy – lots of ma la going on in that dried bean curd and celery salad and chilies in the other two items. All delicious and some leftovers to bring home.


Date night was at The Local in Woburn, in the old Masa space in the Whole Foods plaza. We had been once before and enjoyed it. My husband got the meatloaf, which I forgot to sample. He said it was a solid meatloaf, and particularly liked the Brussels sprouts. I tried the sausage, pepper and onion bar pizza, which I thought was a decent pie. It wasn’t quite as salty or flavorful as the pies at the Cape Cod Cafe, the Lynwood or Town Spa. The edges were nicely crispy but the rest of the crust was a bit soft. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get the pie, but would order it again if I were in a pizza mood.


I’m curious to know if anyone has tried Raffaele’s Ristorante on Moody St. in Waltham. I’d love to hear some opinions. With Charcoal Guido’s across the street, we haven’t bothered to try it.


can’t help with any intel on Raffaele’s, but I was in Waltham today and hit a couple of the standard old faves. An eggplant panini for later from Domenic’s (and an arancini with sauce on the side for tomorrow’s breakfast!), lunch at Moody’s, some Indian groceries at India Market, picked up homemade coconut yogurt for this week’s breakfast at Alba’s (I always thought this was a Greek market, but apparently the proprietors are actually Albanian-Americans, but once again thanks to @Thimes for his initial mention of this place) and some grapenut ice cream at Lizzy’s. (which was great, btw. the low level sweetness of their product is right up my alley. Might start an ice cream thread on this experience, and I’m not really a dessert guy).

love this town for food. still other walkable spots on Moody from the old thread where I asked for recs that I haven’t even been to, and then there’s the dinner spots not open for lunch. And maybe someday the Moody’s taco spot will open?

My only shame was that I was too full after ice cream for cabeza tacos at Taqueria El Amigo. Next time.


Cheapish date night tonight was at The Boathouse in Harvard Square. We both had fish and chips which were very tasty and reasonably priced. The fries are crispy outside and creamy inside and the fish was crunch and very fresh. The highlight for my husband, though, is the fact that they usually have a pie of the day, and it is often apple. The crust is always surprisingly tender and the filling is balanced and not too sweet. I’d rather pay another couple of bucks for a bigger wine pour, but other than that we were happy at this laid-back neighborhood place.


This place was entirely off my radar. Thanks.


I had a couple of nice meals recently at Toro and Oleana, two places that never disappoint me.

The highlight at Toro was a softshell crab with green curry and radish salad. Not so Spanish, but really delicious. On the downside, the pane con tomate had rather flavorless tomatoes; I should have known better, given the time of year, but in the past I’ve often been surprised by how good this dish is even when tomatoes weren’t in season.

Every dish we had at Oleana was excellent, but one that we hadn’t seen before and was delicious was an asparagus dolma.


that sounds amazing!


I met a friend for dinner at Bambara in Cambridge last night. Third time we have eaten there but I see that I have failed to write it up till now. They have a lot of good things going on there. Lots of interesting small plates to share, comfortable space. Service can be a bit uneven but is always anxious to please if a bit undertrained. Last night we shared: beef tartare (very good, non-standard but very successful garnishes), salmon ceviche (OK, not great, too much mango), thick-cut french fries with harissa aioli (heavenly), Little Gem salad with tahini Caesar dressing, parm shards, boquerones and fried bread (outstanding, we always get this, last night’s was skimpy on the boquerones which is not normally the case), grilled asparagus (very good) and cavatelli with lamb sugo, feta, mint (truly amazing, we so regretted the salmon ceviche because we were much too full by the time the pasta came). I would go back tomorrow and get that salad and the cavatelli (all pastas come in two sizes; we had thankfully ordered the small). I have also had their dry-aged beef burger which was very good and accompanied by those heavenly fries. We first went because of Ted Weesner’s kind of off-beat Boston Globe review (sorry if behind a paywall) and have been glad to have it on our list.