Things have been pretty quiet here so I figured I’d chime in. We haven’t been eating out too much other than our usual Saturday brunches, so not much has been happening on the dinner front.
We have a Monday holiday routine of heading out for breakfast sandwiches, and today I thought we’d hit up Time Out Market in the Fenway neighborhood to get a Mamaleh’s pastrami, egg, cheese and Russian dressing on house challah. The sandwich was pretty tasty and we both agreed we’d get it again sometime. George Howell coffee went well on the side. It’s pretty easy to rack up the costs here. The sandwich was $8.75, which isn’t terrible but not cheap, and the coffee was $3.25 for a small. Howell coffee has some inviting pastries from the excellent Seven Stars bakery in Providence, and Union Square donuts looked pretty tempting. We’ll head back when we’re looking for a casual, quick bite. The wood fire in Michael Schlow’s pizza stall had me craving good pizza, and the Craigie burger also piqued my interest to try at least once. There really are lots of appealing choices. The market wasn’t crowded at all at 10 a.m.
Parking is a bit odd. There are attendants at the entrance to the garage encouraging you to get your ticket validated so that the first hour is only $5. That seems steep to me. We ended up walking around the place and heading to Bed and Bath, and were there for a little under two hours, which cost $8. Again, that seems steep considering you are spending top dollar inside the market.
There are a few stores in the building but very poor signage and no marquee that we could see. The indoor entrance to REI didn’t have a sign at all, and we had to guess which sporting good store it was until we were outside. There is also a Blick art supply store, a florist, and a couple more places that escape me now. It will be interesting to see how the businesses hold up under those circumstances, or if customer feedback will have them address some of these issues.
Anyway, we won’t rush back but wouldn’t avoid it if we wanted a quick bite.
We tried Time Out Market a few weeks ago and had a similar assessment; we enjoyed the food we had, but it was pretty pricy. That, together with the general traffic around there, means we wouldn’t make a special trip there, but we’ll visit again if we’re in the area since there were many options that looked good.
I have been there three times now, twice for the pricey-but-delicious warm lobster roll from Saltie Girl, and the third time for a really quite excellent middle eastern spread from Anoush’ella. People complaining about the $5 parking should really compare vs. basically anywhere else in the city (particularly around most of the higher-end restaurants in the South End, Back Bay, etc). I won’t call it a bargain exactly, but a great, accessible place with lots of options, some decent beers, and generally cheaper than a full-service establishment of the same quality.
I went here a week or so back and tried the Ms. Cluck’s place. Their karaage chicken sando is pretty decent, and the pickles are excellent. It was maybe a couple bucks more than I wanted to pay, but wasn’t completely outrageous.
The inside space is fairly nice (if a little generic) overall and I love seeing this great old building get used.
I was referring more to having to pay a significant amount for parking to shop at stores like REI and Bed and Bath. Between the breakfast sandwich at Time Out, walking around exploring the building and shopping at Bed and Bath, we paid $8 for parking. That’s a significant additional cost. Parking at the Parcel 7/Haymarket garage is $3 for three hours with validation. I did notice that parking at the Cambridgeside Galleria is now $5 for the first hour, and it used to be just a couple of bucks, so I guess it’s similar. I can imagine that anyone with parking in the Fenway neighborhood has to take into account people looking for cheaper parking opportunities for Sox games and try to prevent that from filling the garage without bringing any business to the market.
Totally off topic but Assembly Square is free for the first 3 hours. /$2.00 or $2.50 an hour after that.
No validation needed. I was concerned that it would change after Encore opened but not so far.
Add in the T fares, it is still a pretty good deal.
Well, that’s true. I would never pay to park at Bed and Bath, maybe REI once in a while, but I guess it’s nice that they are there if you need a $25 burger and hand towels. Probably the best comparison is the Boston Public Market garage, or maybe Eataly.
I saw lots of stuff from Mamaleh’s. The nova lox sandwich had such generous toppings I saw a lot of folks sharing it. The smoked fish platter was incredible. The Reuben was on the small side. The grilled hotdogs looked great and I don’t even like them.
It’s a little hard to see but the first two long tables are normal table height, then the next 5 or 6 are high tops, then two more low ones at the back. They have wooden high chairs for both heights. In general there is TONS of seating. Besides all those long tables in the middle, several of the stalls on the left as you enter have bar seating on their sides and several on the right have bar seating behind them, plus lots of patio seating and a big room upstairs with more seating and standing room tables. It’s quite green: metal cutlery, real glasses, ceramic plates and bowls. Quite a number of bussers keep the tables cleared and clean although they ought to have little signs telling you that, I saw a lot of people wandering around looking puzzled carrying their dirty dishes. Other than that it all felt very well thought through. The few staffers I talked to said it is a blast working there. Fun visit!
ETA: I got there at 12:30, left an hour later. It was bustling but not crowded and plenty of places to sit. Also, you order and they give you a buzzer to come get your food. I saw plenty of groups who had gotten all different things, which is easy with the setup here.
@GretchenS So many things I wanna say here in response to your post but first and foremost, thank you for such a comprehensive report. As a former Terrier, I’m so pleased to see that beautiful space being used for something fun. And the purveyors actually look awesome and I think they do a good job of representing a delicious swath of Boston cuisine for locals and for tourists. Those nori tacos are definitely calling my name.
My friend with whom I traveled to the Azores in July visited the original Time Out market in Lisbon and she and her husband really enjoyed it (she’s from
Chicago, another land of good eats). Yes, as with all of these type of markets they are a bit sanitized for mass consumption but I’m all for it if they are pumping out good food and trying to provide some sense of community in this mad world we live in.
Personally I can’t wait to visit. We’ve been away here-and-there for the better part of the summer so I’m hoping to get back into posting. I’m putting Time out market on our calendars for sometime in September.
First trip to TO Boston after hours shopping Fenway. Tried the sushi tacos (lobster and tofu 2fer), the shrimp risotto and beef shanks, a spiked cider, Moscow mule and flavored tea from the crazy cats running the bar, took Donuts, bagels and a few pizza slices bck to the apt.
The shrimp risotto was a mixed bag: risotto portion was tiny but tasty the shrimp were meh. The beef shank was outstanding tender and nice au jus. The sushi tacos were excellent but my side of edamame was over cooked grey-green. The bar, solid. The bagels are made once a day so by dinner hour, toast for tomorrow. Donuts and pizza my son will devour.
I liked the space. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Worth a visit. No cash only cc’s. I hope more stalls will open. $100.00 for the evening.