The Usual Suspects [Greater Boston, MA]




I went to Bow Market on a Saturday just recently, and tried out a couple of the open places. A lot of the food options are still missing, though–I can’t help but feel that the fish place and Saus and the Filipino joint are missing a huge opportunity by not being open yet. There were a lot of people there on a summer day and patronizing Jaju and Maxi Kiosko because that’s kind of what there is now.

The Jaju pierogies are pretty good, if a little greasy. Good flavor in all the varieties we tried, the dough is really nice and the sauerkraut was dynamite. At Maxi Kiosko the empanadas were quality tho small, and the completo Chilean hot dog I bought was no gourmet item but was loaded with avocado and ok tomato. Pretty solid!


also. last week I came back from a business trip from beautiful Jersey City (aside: if you go there def. hit up Little India for some amazing South Indian food. Idlis and dosas everywhere. Sapthagiri was great and Chutney’s no slouch either. If I can get my act together I’ll put up reviews) and it was my birthday, so since the s.o. and I aren’t going out to celebrate until next week (to Sarma) I decided to take myself to Highland Kitchen.

I ordered a super old man meal: a Seelbach cocktail, three Cape Cod oysters and a hanger steak. (Note: I was not wearing a raccoon coat nor did I regale anyone with backslapping tales of my time as a robber baron). Overall, it was an enjoyable solo outing though there were some flaws.

I was there early and seated quickly by a nice front of house. Waitress was fine, though a bit desultory. My cocktail took a while to come out and the balance on it tasted right but it was warm when it got to me. I’m not a fan of that. The oysters came out soon afterwards and they were top notch–shucked beautifully, fresh as all hell and just plain delicious. Since I’m kind of a naked oyster purist I tasted the accompaniments separately and they seemed pretty good, if you go in for that mignonette stuff.

It took a while for the hanger steak to come out, but when it did the steak itself was excellent, seasoned well and cooked just like I wanted it on the rare side of medium rare. But here’s the rub: it was served with a really beautiful salad, obviously local greens and cherry tomatoes put together with care. But somewhere along the line in the creative process, someone decided that the thing to do was pile all of that fresh green salad ALL OVER THE TOP of a smoldering perfectly cooked slab of beef. The result, my friends? A whole lot of wilting. I set the lettuce free as soon as I could, but there was a fair amount of damage and more than a few casualties. I really do not understand the thought process on this, I’ll admit. Anyway, even with that questionable bit of judgement involved the two components of the dish were right good and in the main I left the place pretty satisfied. Since I live right around the block from this place, I maybe should go more often.


Nice review. Thanks. I’m disappointed, though, when you say “I was not wearing a raccoon coat nor did I regale anyone with backslapping tales of my time as a robber baron”. If you’re not a robber baron, then you don’t eat like this every day. Why am I wasting my time cultivating you?


@honkman, I know this was a while back but can you tell us more about Ronsky?


cVery small place with excellent (but a bit more expensive) panninis - I really like the black truffle porchetta and the roasted cauliflower/fig jam/goat cheese. He recently also started limited dinner with some pasta dishes (but haven’t tried yet).
Added bonus - you need only two minutes to Morano Gelato for the best gelato/ice cream in Boston to finish a visit


Black truffle porchetta sounds amazing. Thanks honkman!


I don’t know if this counts as a “usual suspect”, but we’ve had Tasty Mo:Mo on our list for ages and finally tried it since we were in the area. It’s a no-frills place with a counter to order, a couple of tables, and a smattering of seats. The menu is pretty short, and we went with chilli momos: vegan and chicken. One of my pet peeves with vegetable dumplings is when they’re stuffed with filler like rice noodles; these were the opposite: full of vegetables and a bit of tofu. Both were delicious, and the chilli sauce was delicious and surprisingly spicy. We’ll be back!

(Peter Sward) #129

I found the momo’s to be excellent but the chili sauce was just spicy but lacked flavor apart from hot.


Interesting, I didn’t find the sauce one-note in the way you did. I saw the sauce described as sweet somewhere (maybe on the menu?), which had me worried as I’m not a big fan of sweetness in savory foods, but I thought it was well-balanced.


For those Southeastern Mass. bar pizza fans, the Lynwood in Randolph offers Southeastern Mass. bar pizza, something that my husband and I grew up with and still enjoy. They also offer par-baked bar pies for takeout, which take about an hour from ordering to pickup because they have to be baked and then cooled. (I’m assuming that cooling accounts for ! the extra time). The recommended finishing cooking is five minutes in a pre-heated 500 degree oven. They are really good, just about as good as they are out of the restaurant oven, and you can finish the cooking at your convenience. IMG_2463|700x525


Oh, and I bought some round pizza pans at Restaurant Depot but didn’t use them. Next time I will to see if the edges get a bit darker.

(Peter Sward) #133

Not Your Average Joe’s in Burlington started their Octoberfest in mid-October, and it runs until October 7. I tried the PORK SCHNITZEL (20). “Heritage pork chop pounded thin, breaded and pan-seared with a creamy mustard sauce, braised red cabbage, and spätzle noodles”. The mustard sauce was absent, so I got that on the side. This was an enormous piece of pork, and it was crispy and really tender. Both the cabbage and the noodles were really good.


OK there has not been enough activity lately, as is being discussed in another thread. My eating has been severely limited the last 6 weeks for medical reasons but here goes. Met an out-of-town friend last night at Grafton Street Pub (she was staying at the Harvard Faculty Club, making it highly convenient). About the one thing on the menu I could eat was the herb-roasted chicken. To my great surprise and delight it was really good – half of a very small chicken, well-seasoned but not salty, and even the breast meat was moist and tasty. The skin was not crisp but aside from that it was delicious. The mashed potatoes were good and actually hot, the accompanying jus was rich and there were very pretty baby rainbow carrots completing the plate. So altogether an unexpectedly good meal.
I have also been twice in the past month to Wu Burger and can attest that their burgers are better than Five Guys, Smash Burger, Tasty Burger or B. Goode (and, obviously, the big chains). Not a high bar admittedly but there it is.
Please post your latest eating experience(s), no matter how mundane – we all love reading them!


I liked Wu Burger a lot the one time I went. I still like the Tasty, though burger quality can vary.

My Usual Suspect this time is Man-O-Salwa just outside Union. I hit this place up constantly, and though sometimes I’m disappointed because they are oddly sometimes closed for no reason they consistently put out a spicy and juicy set of kebab and they make a dynamite garlic naan and the whole shebang costs you under six bucks. They have unfortunately of late scaled back the amount of the cilantro/yogurty sauce that accompanies this order (which is a shame, as I used to use the extra for salad dressing) but this still remains an excellent deal. Will be moving to Medford soon, and I’ll miss this place being in the neighborhood.


Oh, p-thru, Oh p_thru,

  1. This board will not die, as long as you can eat.

  2. M-O-S has always disappointed me because I have never been able to get any food there. They’ve either never even been open at all, or ready to offer food when I’ve been there. Plus there’s the 'yuge Chumpanzee sign on School around from where they are. Do I dare park there?


My sole experience there the burger was so overcooked as to be inedible. Guess I will have to give them another shot.

Can’t wait to get your Medford intel!


I’ve tried to stop in a few times while in the neighborhood and they have been closed on both occasions. I will keep trying though.


Hit up two places recently - first time for me on both:

Gourmet China House – pleasantly surprised. While it’s a got a lot of the old standards and the more typical hot/spicy dishes that seem to be the rage these days, I found everything really well prepared. Good wok-hei – a nice aroma and taste - to the dishes. Spicy green beans were super tasty. Their spicy fish filets (sorry, blanking on English translations – shui zhu yu) came in a good, spicy sauce. Had a “live chicken nugget” dish (my sister and I giggled at that translation), which was live, whole chicken chopped into bite-sized pieces and sauteed with cucumbers and chili peppers. Felt like a homey dish which we enjoyed, but you should avoid if you don’t like chicken bones. We also ordered soup dumplings which weren’t bad; the thin skin was nice and the broth was tasty, but we didn’t love the texture of the filling.

Had a late afternoon/early dinner meal at Little Donkey. Our goal was to try the Impossible burger (success!) but lingered for a few other snacks and dessert. The burger was good and suited me fine. It’s a thinner patty, and no one asked about degree of done-ness so I assume this is how they serve it – well-done, no fake “bloody juices”. It tasted great, with the fixings, though my DCs all picked out their pickles. We split the fried chicken sandwich (pickle brined) which was nice, and had the tofu cheese puffs with unagi/eel. Overall a good dish, but didn’t get much of any cheese in the tofu puffs. Was my DCs’ first taste of unagi, and they loved it. The bites of eel were terrific! We all had desserts which were very good, and I’m not a big dessert person. Thumbs up from us!


Took some much-loved but rarely seen cousins – in from Seattle to watch their high school son row in the Head of the Charles – to Eastern Standard last night. Eastern Standard is my go-to for visitors whose tastes I don’t know: there is something there for everyone, you can rely on the service to be impeccable, and it’s always comfortable. We shared a charcuterie plate which had 3 types of cured meat (none of which I tried but they were pronounced delicious), pork rillettes, duck liver mousse, coarse country pate of lamb, various mustards, pickles and other accoutrements, and toasted baguette. I am still limited in my eating (drat it) but had a bite or two of the pork, duck liver and lamb pate and all were spectacular – and I am a tough critic of these types of things as I make them myself. One DC had the smoked pork blade with grilled peach (my bite was excellent), another had the baked rigatoni and I had the cassarecce pasta with maitakes and goat cheese. Ordering mistake as I am not a huge pasta lover but the maitakes and goat cheese were great! Service was, as always, absolutely terrific. Eastern Standard, to me, is the epitome of a “usual suspect” - it is not new or glamorous but I am absolutely never disappointed when I go there.

What is your go-to “usual suspect”?