Friday, September 29, 2006

Wanted: The Best Burger Joint in Connecticut

I will be heading to Manhattan in a couple of weeks, in part to check out various restaurants around the city (as well as to visit family!). I usually take the bus to NYC, but this time, I will be driving to Irvington or Katonah, then hop a train to Grand Central. Since I'm driving, I have the option to check out at least one restaurant in Connecticut, either on the way down or on the way back. I had been thinking of getting pizza at Pepe's or Sally's in New Haven, but now I'm reconsidering.

Basically, what I would love to find is the best burger joint in the state. I'm just not sure which place I should try, though. Should I go to Blackie's in Cheshire? Or Doogie's in Newington? Or Louis Lunch in New Haven? Or somewhere else? I'd love to hear from people who know their burgers. Send me some comments about great burger joints in Connecticut if you have a chance. Thanks!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Burger Joint Coming to Boston

UBurger, a new restaurant in Kenmore Square, will be opening up sometime in the next few days, if it hasn't opened already. It appears that UBurger will be a burger joint, but the place will concentrate on healthier versions of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and fries.

This may become a huge hit in the area, since there really aren't that many great burger joints around the Boston area. And with the recent gentrification of Kenmore Square, college students (and others) in the area will likely give UBurger a warm welcome when they open, since so many dining spots around Kenmore that concentrated on cheap eats have shut down of late.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Technorati Tags on the Way for Boston Restaurant Talk

I will be adding tags to my postings over the next few weeks. What are tags? They are a fairly simple concept that allows for easy categorizing of key words, topics, etc. For instance, on my Pepe's Pizza blog entry, I have tags for "Pepe's Pizza New Haven," "pizza places," and "New Haven pizza." When you click on the links, you will find a number of blogs, including my own, that talk about these topics. These blogs are listed on a blog search site called Technorati.

There are lots of sites out there that explain tags, including The Church at the Gate, which gives info on how to set up Technorati tags. These tags will be coming slowly but surely, but once they are in place on Boston Restaurant Talk, hopefully they will make it easier to find information on the topics mentioned on this blog.


Pizza to Take Home from Tripoli Bakery, Lawrence

Tripoli Bakery makes one of the best pizzas in the Boston area (as well as some of the greatest pastries, too!), but I never thought of getting it to take home until recently, when I discovered that they sell frozen 5-slice packs for under $6.00. I bought a pack, brought it home, cooked the slices in my oven, and I have to say, not much was lost in the freezing process, as the slices were delicious.

This might be the start of a trend for if only Galleria Umberto in Boston (my other favorite Sicilian pizza place) would do the same...


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bertucci's Buys Vinny T's

Bertucci's announced yesterday that they will be buying Vinny T's from Buca, a company from Minnesota. It sounds like Bertucci's will keep Vinny T's and Bertucci's as separate restaurants, which is probably a good move, since the two restaurants generally cater to two different demographic groups.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Honeypot Hill Orchard, Stow

One more quick note today: If you plan on apple picking soon, think about going to Honeypot Hill Orchard in Stow. Amazing spiced donuts there! It's a scenic orchard, too, with lots of views from the hills and a nice little pond at one end of the orchard.

Restaurants I Wish I could Go To Today

Photo of Pipes Cafe, Cardiff, CAIt's another Monday, and the summer is quickly slipping away in New England. And while I do like the cold weather (and the foliage, football, and other stuff that comes with it), the end of the summer always means that I won't be going on quite as many road trips for awhile.

There are some restaurants in various parts of the country that I went to this spring and summer that I really wish I could be back at today. I'd say that my top 5 would be:

Al's Hot Dog Stand, Naugatuck, CT
Pepe's Pizza, New Haven, CT
Pipes Cafe, Cardiff, CA
The Brickskeller, Washington, DC
Diamond Dairy of New York, Manhattan

I might get my wish for #2 and 5 in a few weeks, as I am heading to Manhattan and may stop in New Haven on the way back, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming of these 5 special restaurants as I go through the day today...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Review: Grandma's Kitchen, Whitefield, NH

The latest review posted on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is Grandma's Kitchen, a terrific diner in Whitefield, NH. The town of Whitefield is pretty far from Boston (it is north of the White Mountains), but if you happen to be in the great north woods of New Hampshire, Grandma's Kitchen is a place you might want to seek out.

Zeppy's in Randolph Is Closed

It looks like one of my favorite bagel places in the Boston area has closed for good. Zeppy's on Route 28 in Randolph has been making great bagels for a long time, but they are gone for good. So now there is one less place for bagels in the Boston area. I guess I'll have to stick to Kupel's in Brookline from now on...

If anyone has any news about their closing, please let me know. I can't seem to find any information on its closing anywhere.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

One More Burger to be Added to the Top 5 Burger List

I omitted one of my favorite burgers from the list I posted a few hours ago. The Druid in Inman Square, Cambridge, makes what I think is one of the best burgers in the Boston area. It is heavily spiced, so if you like your burgers plain, The Druid might not be for you. But it is one heckuva burger, in my opinion.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Top 5 Burgers in Boston

I was at O'Sullivan's in Somerville once again last night, this time getting the blackjack burger. That is probably my favorite burger there, as the spicy sauce and cheese combination just makes the flavor of that burger really come out.

I was thinking about burgers last night, as lately everyone has seemed to be talking about what the best burgers in Boston are. Well, we all have our opinions, but this would be my list of top 5 hamburgers in Boston, in no particular order:

O'Sullivan's, Somerville
Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Cambridge
Kelly's Roast Beef, Revere Beach
M.J. O'Connor's, Boston (Theater District)
Mission Bar and Grill, Boston (Brigham Circle)

There are others, including Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge, 75 Chestnut on Beacon Hill in Boston, and Audubon Circle near Kenmore Square, but I'd say that the 5 above are the places to go for me when it comes to burgers.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Latest Review: Duck Creeke Tavern, Wellfleet, MA

Duck Creeke Tavern, Wellfleet, MAA review of the Duck Creeke Tavern in Wellfleet, MA, has been added to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. This is a restaurant that I would have to put at the top of my list for restaurants I have been to in 2006.

If you happen to be on the Outer Cape over the next few weeks (they will be closing for the season a bit later in the fall), I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Orinoco, South End, Boston

I was just reading the Good Eatin With Lynne: Orinoco - Venezuelan with Mis Amigos post and it brought back memories of the incredible meal I had at Orinoco in the South End of Boston several months back. I really do need to get back to this cozy, friendly Venezuelan restaurant. The domino arepa (tortilla with beans and white cheese) appetizer and polvorosa de pollo (chicken in a flaky dough with mixed greens), as well as the pabellon criollo (shredded beef, black beans, rice, carmelized plantains), were all outstanding.

Perhaps I'll head back to Orinoco in a week or two. It was definitely one of the best restaurants I've eaten at this year.


More on Cafe Marliave

It appears that Cafe Marliave was shut down because of nonpayment of back taxes. What a shame that they had to go out in this manner. They aren't the first restaurant to do this, though, and they won't be the last. It would be nice to think that restaurants, or any businesses for that matter, could stay on the straight and narrow and run a clean operation.

Oh well, another old Boston restaurant is gone...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two Old-School Boston Restaurants Have closed

Well, they weren't the best restaurants in Boston, but Cafe Marliave in downtown Boston and the Biltmore Cafe in Newton Upper Falls have both closed over the past couple of weeks. And I am a bit saddened by both of these closings.

Cafe Marliave was one of the few really old-fashioned Italian restaurants left in Boston (outside of the North End, of course). It had a simple charm to it, with its plain booths, red sauce dishes, and gruff waitresses. The food was average at best, but it was a place that was memorable in its own way.

The Biltmore Cafe was a true dive in a town that is surprisingly full of dives (Newton is a very wealthy community). The food was not all that great--mostly pub grub and Italian food, but it was a good place to have some beers while watching the Sox or Bruins on TV, and it was about the least pretentious place around.

I'll miss these two places. Yes, they were by no means fine dining, but they both had an old-time charm to them.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Delis in New York City

I'm making yet another trip to New York next month (and I can't wait!) and will be looking for delis this time around, as I never really seem to get to good delis when Im in Manhattan. I'm hoping to hit either Barney Greengrass in the Upper West Side, the Carnegie Deli in Midtown, or perhaps the Stage Deli, which may be the best of them all.

Diamond Dairy of New York, ManhattanIf I can't find a new deli or Jewish restaurant, I may end up going back to the Diamond Dairy of New York Restaurant on 47th Street. It is actually in the back of a jewelry store (upstairs, looking out over the store). The Kosher food there is outstanding, and while it isn't technically a delicatessen, much of the food on the menu is what you would find in a deli.

I would love to find some hidden deli, though (one that is good, that is!). If anyone knows of any, post a comment here. Perhaps I'll check it out when I'm in New York in a few weeks.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

C.F. Donovan's in Dorchester Is the Perfect Neighborhood Restaurant

We went to C.F. Donovan's in Savin Hill, Dorchester last night for dinner, and as usual, it was a terrific experience.

I had the steak and red bean chili to start, then had the turkey dinner with a salad, garlic mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Everything was delicious; the two Smithwick's I had were great, too!

To me, C.F. Donovan's is the type of place that every neighborhood should have. Both the young and the old come here to eat, and to enjoy the great overall laid-back feel of the place. The people who work there are as nice as can be, too.

I know I'll be back there soon. Next time I might try the lobster raviolis, as I hear they are excellent!

C.F. Donovan's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pepe's Pizza, New Haven: Best Pizza in New England?

Pepe's Pizza, New HavenI'm starting to think that Pepe's Pizza may indeed be the best pizza place in New England, though I'm not quite ready to move Santarpio's and Pizzeria Regina down to #2 and #3 just yet. I've only been to Pepe's once, so I think I need to go back there one or two more times to convince myself that the pizza I had there recently was as good as I thought it was.

I hope to get to New York City later in October. Maybe I can make a quick stop at Pepe's on the way down (and maybe on the way back, too!). Of course, there are other pizza places in New Haven that are supposed to rival Pepe's, including Sally's and Modern Apizza, the latter of which I just read a mouthwatering article on at Pizza Notes from Modern Apizza: Perfection in New Haven. I also did some more reading on the subject of New Haven pizza at randominnyc: Pizza Quest: New Haven.

Perhaps I will go to all three and sample slices from each, taking the rest home. Hmmm, now I REALLY can't wait for my trip to New York!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Couple of Pizza Places I Want to Try

I have been reading a little about Monte's in Lynn and Picco in the South End of Boston. And while they supposedly are very different places for pizza, they are both supposed to be outstanding.

Monte's is a little dive bar near the Lynn/Swampscott border that has been there for a long time. From what I hear, they make one heckuva thin-crust pizza, perhaps like Bianchi's Pizza at Revere Beach or Regina's in the North End.

Picco is a slightly upscale place for pizza and ice cream that is located in the heart of the South End. I have heard mostly good things about their pizza, though a few people have said it is nothing special.

If anyone knows of any other pizza places to try in the Boston area, I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Excellent Subs at D'Agostino's Deli, Arlington

I picked up a couple of turkey subs at D'Agostino's Deli in Arlington Heights the other day for a hike to Walden Pond. I have always liked the subs at D'Agostino's, but after having several subpar subs at other places, the ones at D'Agostino's seem even better than before.

Other good subs at D'Agostino's include the ham and cheese, the meatball, and the chicken parm. Also, D'Agostino's has ready-made dinners that are mostly very good, including ziti with meatballs, mac and cheese, eggplant rollatini, and lasagna.

It's nice to see that the quality at D'Agostino's Deli is still good after all these years. Residents of Arlington Heights are lucky to have such a good spot in their neighborhood.

D'Agostino's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Latest Review: Pho Yuen Dong in Quincy

The latest review on Boston's Hidden Restaurants is that of Pho Yuen Dong in Quincy. Pho Yuen Dong is quickly becoming my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the Boston area (with all due respect to Apsara in Providence, which may be the best I have been to anywhere).

Pho Yuen Dong is in President Plaza, which is just south of Quincy Center, heading toward East Braintree and Weymouth Landing. If you like Vietnamese food, check this place out while it's still not very well known!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Brunch at the Centre Street Cafe, Jamaica Plain

Centre Street Cafe, Jamaica Plain
We went to the Centre Street Cafe in Jamaica Plain over the Labor Day weekend. Our meals were outstanding. The truck stop breakfast was huge, with tasty scrambled eggs, good home fries, an organic pancake with berries in it (and it came with real maple syrup), and crispy bacon. The french toast was also delicious, with a big pile of fresh fruit on top of it.

Dinners are also good at the Centre Street Cafe. If you want to read more about dinners there, head over to the Centre Street Cafe entry on the Boston Restaurant Blog.

Centre Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pinky's Pizza, Medford

Just a quick note that we had some pizza from Pinky's Pizza on Main Street in Medford today, as a friend of mine was moving to a new place in Somerville and we ordered several pizzas for lunch. I had never been to Pinky's, but have heard a lot about it. It was pretty good pizza, though no match for nearby Nick's on Boston Ave. in Medford. The pizza at Pinky's seemed to lean toward Greek pizza, as it was greasy and had some cheddar cheese mixed in, but it didn't seem like a true Greek pizza in the vein of, say, Villa Pizza in Arlington or any of the houses of pizza in the general area.

Pinky's Pizza was ok in my book, and I would probably go back, but if you're in the area, you have to give Nick's a try before heading to Pinky's.

Pinky's Famous Pizza on Urbanspoon