Monday, December 26, 2005

Great Pizza in the North End of Boston

I went to Galleria Umberto in Boston the other day, and was very impressed by the pizza there. They make Sicilian-style pizza there, which is thick squares with lots of cheese on top. I often don't like this kind of pizza, but Galleria Umberto seems to have perfected it. This little pizza joint on Hanover Street is definitely worth seeking out. I put it up there with Santarpio's in East Boston and Regina's in the North End, which speaks volumes for this place.

-MH

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Heading to New York City

Welp, it's time to take a break from writing about local restaurants in my Boston restaurant guide and head down to the Big Apple for a bit. I'm looking forward to finding some new restaurants in Manhattan; hopefully a good pizza place, maybe a decent Italian restaurant, perhaps a nice Vietnamese or Thai place.

New York has such a huge number of restaurants that it's a bit overwhelming at times. That's why I usually put the guide books away and end up finding restaurants by accident, which is more fun anyway. Who knows--maybe I'll find some hidden gems that I can include on my New York restaurants page. I haven't found a great Thai place yet, so perhaps I'll aim for that on this trip.

If anyone has suggestions for hidden gems in Manhattan, let me know. Thai, Mexican, Italian, it doesn't matter; I'd love to hear about any kind of cuisine, as long as the food is good.

-MH

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Best Hidden Restaurants of 2005 is up on the Site!

I finally got around to finishing up the Best Boston Restaurants of 2005 list and have it on the site now. Some great restaurants here, including O'Sullivan's in Somerville and Apsara in Providence, which might be my favorite restaurant in New England.

Does anyone else have any favorite restaurants that they have been to in 2005? If so, drop me a line; hopefully I can check some of these restaurants out in 2006...

-MH

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Great Japanese Restaurant in Roslindale

I went to the Village Sushi and Grille in Roslindale last night once again. This is a great restaurant; one of the best Japanese restaurants in Boston. Last night, I got the spicy yaki soba with chicken. It was incredible. The miso soup was excellent, too, as was the shiraz wine. All in all, the Village Sushi and Grill is a place worth seeking out if you like Japanese food. It's in the heart of Roslindale Square, near a bunch of other good restaurants.

-MH

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cheap Eats in Boston

I recently finished writing a new page on Boston's Hidden Restaurants on cheap eats in Boston, and, while I geared this page toward college students in Boston, some of the restaurants are perfect for anyone looking for a good meal but not looking to spend too much.

A few that stand out are India Quality in Kenmore Square, a terrific Indian restaurant with very friendly people working there; Dok Bua in Brookline, possibly the best Thai restaurant in the Boston area; Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, a famous hamburger joint near Harvard University; and Cafe Jaffa, an outstanding Middle Eastern restaurant in the Back Bay.

If anyone has any other places that I could include on the page, let me know. Thanks!

-MH

Friday, September 23, 2005

Great BBQ in Portsmouth, NH

Went up to the Muddy River Smokehouse in Portsmouth, NH the other day. Although it wasn't quite as good as the Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington, MA, it was one of the best bbq places I've been to in New England. Portsmouth has so many great restaurants, it is tough to choose from them all, but I'll definitely go back to the Muddy River whenever I'm in the neighborhood. Still thinking of the pulled pork pie I had there...yum!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fall Foliage in New England: Restaurants to go to on a Foliage Trip

I recently added a page to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site about New England restaurants that are great places to go to during foliage season. This Fall Foliage in New England restaurants page has mostly diners and old-fashioned New England restaurants that are located in or near prime fall foliage spots in the six New England states, plus New York and Quebec.

My personal favorites on the list for going to on a fall foliage trip? Perhaps the Pilsen Pub in North Hatley, Quebec, mainly because it's in such a beautiful riverside setting. Or maybe The Foxfire Inn in Stowe, VT, because of both the terrific Italian food and the fact that the restaurant is in one of the best foliage areas in New England.

Check out the list for yourself and let me know if any of the restaurants are favorites of yours, too. And let me know of any other New England restaurants that are good stops for a fall foliage road trip.

-MH

Monday, August 08, 2005

Arlington Needs a Good Pizza Place

I live in the suburbs northwest of Boston, and am always frustrated by the lack of good pizza places in Arlington, which is otherwise a terrific town for restaurants. I am not all that impressed by ZA in East Arlington (it's good, but not great), and other than that, the rest of the pizza joints in Arlington are just that--pizza joints. And none of them really stand out, though I do go to the Villa Pizza in Arlington Heights and Sabation's in East Arlington every now and then.

For good pizza, I tend to go next door to Medford, which has Bocelli's in South Medford and Giuseppi's in West Medford, both of which are outstanding. I also go to Cambridge, which has Emma's, a top gourmet pizza place in Kendall Square. But that's about it for the area. If anyone knows of any other great pizza places northwest of Boston, please let me know!

-MH

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Great Restaurant in Rhode Island

Last week, we went to the East Bay part of Rhode Island. This area includes Barrington, Warren, and Bristol. I used to go to Quito's when I went to Bristol in the past, but lately, we've been going to Leo's Pizzeria and Deli, which is a great little Italian restaurant in the center of town.

Everything is good at Leo's, from the pizza to the salads to the veal and the seafood. The name is a bit deceiving, as it is much more than a pizza and sandwich place. What I really like about Leo's is the fact that they have a few tables out on the sidewalk, where you can watch people wander through the tree-shaded streets of this town. And the price is right--my pizza was only $6.00, and the veal dishes are well below $20.

One of these days, I'll get back to Quito's, which is a great clam shack, by the way, but for now, when I'm in the Bristol area, Leo's is the place for me right now.

-MH

Monday, July 11, 2005

New US Travel Guide Pages for Ashland, Hayward, Stonington, Stowe, and Whitefish

Well, my new site, Travel Guide of America, has been picked up by MSN and Google, with Yahoo hopefully not far behind. I have new pages for Ashland, Oregon, Hayward, Wisconsin, Stonington, CT, Stowe, VT, and Whitefish, MT up. There will be more entries to this travel site very soon.

-MH

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Disappointment Turns to Happiness on July 3

What a great weekend July 4 was, weather-wise. We took advantage of it on Sunday, July 3 by going to a Nashua Pride baseball game. The Pride is a triple-A caliber league that is independent, and the brand of ball was very good. And the stadium is terrific. If you like baseball, this is about as good as it gets.

After the game, we hit the farmstands around beautiful Hollis, NH, then headed toward Parker's Maple Barn in Mason for dinner. Only one problem: Parker's is no longer open for dinner. I was saddened by this, as I used to love going to Parker's Maple Barn on a warm summer night, have an old-fashioned dinner, then wandering around the gift shop before heading back to Boston. No more...what a shame.

Getting hungrier by the minute, we headed down Route 13 and stopped at the Riverside Cafe in Brookline, NH. The Riverside looked promising; a quaint old place by the river in a wooded setting. But alas, they were closing early for the holiday. Famished, we drove through Townsend, Groton, Littleton, and Acton, but there weren't many places that looked decent.

By the time we hit Maynard, my blood sugar was lower than Roger Clemens' ERA and I needed something soon. And there it was: In a charming old house just outside of town was an Indian restaurant called Monsoon Indian Bistro. And what a restaurant it was. From the lentil soup to the chicken dosa and Indian bread, everything was incredibly fresh and tasty. And while Monsoon may not be the best Indian restaurant I have been to in Boston (that title goes either to Classic India in Quincy or Punjabi Dhaba in Cambridge), it sure comes close.

My disappointment in Parker's Maple Barn being closed for dinner didn't turn out to be such a bad thing after all...

-MH

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Few More Restaurants Recently Featured on Boston's Hidden Restaurants

In the past few weeks, I have been to some excellent restaurants in the Boston and New England area, some of which are now featured on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site.

Where to start...how about some of the best Japanese food in Boston? There is a place in Roslindale called Village Sushi and Grill that is truly one of the top sushi restaurants in the Boston area. The dinners from the kitchen are very good, too. Village Sushi is in the heart of Roslindale Square, an up-and-coming area for top restaurants in Boston.

Let's stay in Roslindale for a bit longer. Sophia's Grotto is a nice Mediterreanan restaurant right next to Village Sushi. Their fare tends to lean toward Northern Italian cuisine. The atmosphere at Sophia's Grotto is very romantic, with exposed brick and dim lighting, and the restaurant is in a little courtyard away from traffic.

If you're heading up to Cape Ann this summer, you might want to check out The Lobster Pool Restaurant, which is on the Rockport / Gloucester line near Halibut Point. The ocean views from this seafood shack are amazing, and the food rivals Woodman's, in my opinion.

A lot further up the coast, in Maine, is another seafood shack that is about as hidden away as you can get. The Docksider Restaurant is in Northeast Harbor, ME, on Mount Desert Island, far away from the hustle and bustle of the Bar Harbor area.

Still in Maine, in the funky town of Belfast, is Darby's, a restaurant as quirky as the town in which it is located. Darby's serves cuisine of all kinds, from Thai to Italian to American to Jewish to Mexican and so on. And the atmosphere there is that of a classic old tavern.

Well, that's it for now. Those are some of the latest restaurants on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. Stay tuned for more to come soon...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Pages from New Travel Web Site: Bar Harbor, ME; Lake Placid, NY; Marblehead, MA; Mendocino, CA; Rockport, MA; Waterville Valley, NH

As Boston's Hidden Restaurants continues to grow, I have decided to create a new Web site that will have more of a national presence. It is a travel Web site called Travel Guide of America and is in its early stages right now. I have pages for Bar Harbor, ME, Lake Placid, NY, Marblehead, MA, Mendocino, CA, Rockport, MA, and Waterville Valley, NH up right now and have several others in the works. Let me know what you think of these pages. Thanks!

-MH

Thursday, June 02, 2005

web ring

Boston Restaurant Talk is now in a web ring. If you would like to check it out, see below:

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Interesting Photos of Restaurants in Boston and the Northeast

In my work with Boston's Hidden Restaurants, I have come across some rather interesting-looking restaurants. Some photos of these restaurants are below. If you would like to see larger images, click on the pictures.






Photo of Channel Cafe, Boston, MA

The Channel Cafe, in Boston's Fort Point Channel area, is a funky combination of a restaurant and an art gallery.






Photo of The Tavern, Eagle Bay, NY

The Tavern is a classic Adirondack bar in the remote hamlet of Eagle Bay. This townie joint, which is on scenic Route 28 in the central Adirondacks, has great (and VERY cheap) burgers and beer.






Photo of Ristorante Romanza, Providence, RI

Ristorante Romanza is a romantic little Italian restaurant in the heart of the Providence arts district.






Photo of Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille, Chester, CT

The Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille is an old tavern on a winding river in the heart of Chester, CT, a charming village near Essex.






Photo of Cafe Apollonia

Cafe Apollonia is Boston's only Albanian restaurant, and a great place for food. It is in Roslindale, a part of Boston with many great restaurants.



-MH

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Thursday, May 05, 2005

If I Were in San Diego today...

So it looks like another weekend of heavy rain in Boston. This is, what, the 7th or 8th weekend in a row with rain? I love Boston, but this is ridiculous.

With the rain, my daydreams of San Diego, CA, seem to keep popping up more and more (call it California dreaming). The other night, I was listening to a great rock station from Encinitas on Internet radio. It got me to thinking about Encinitas, where my cousins used to live before they moved up the coast to La Costa.

One of my favorite restaurants in Encinitas is the 101 Diner. Located about 4 blocks from my favorite beach in the world (Moonlight Beach), the 101 Diner has everything, from great breakfast and lunch entrees to outdoor seating to a friendly, all-around nice guy of an owner. Almost as good, and just down the street, is Kim's Restaurant, which has terrific Vietnamese food. Better yet, neither of these restaurants is well-known (if you have looked at the site I founded, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, you would know I have a thing for great restaurants that haven't been discovered).

Heading south toward San Diego, another memorable, but little-known, restaurant can be found in beautiful Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Pipes Cafe is a breakfast spot that is mainly frequented by surfers and Cardiff locals looking to show up late to work (word is, Trevor Hoffman, the great reliever for the San Diego Padres, is also a regular here). Pipes has fantastic breakfast plates, and the dining outdoors on the patio is a must.

As you continue down the coast, you come to artsy Solana Beach, home to Fidel's, which is fairly well-known, and for good reason; Fidel's may be the best Mexican restaurant north of San Diego (though I have my personal favorite, which I'll mention in a minute). Fidel's is tough to find, since it's hidden in a neighborhood away from the ocean, but worth seeking out.

Just before you reach San Diego, you hit La Jolla, a tony community that seems to have more investment places than restaurants. I like La Jolla, though, with its spectacular downtown park above the ocean cliffs, and its narrow, crooked lanes. Just south of the center of La Jolla is a little restaurant called Bahia Don Bravo. The owners of this authentic Mexican restaurant have a few branches in San Diego, but this one is special, since you can order the food to go and walk a few blocks down a side street to one of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean that you will ever see. And there is even a bench where the view is, so you can eat in relative comfort. Bahia Don Bravo has the type of Mexican food that you just can't find in Boston. I always go there when traveling to San Diego, and always miss it when I'm back in Boston.

Finally, you reach the wonderful city of San Diego. Where to go for food? Well, there are too many great places to mention here. A couple of standouts are Point Loma Seafood, with its memorable view of the city across the harbor, and the Coyote Cafe in Old Town. But my favorite is a little hamburger joint in Ocean Beach called Hodad's, which is where I had the best cheeseburger I have had anywhere in the country (and I've had a lot of cheeseburgers!). Juicy, thick, hearty, and smothered in cheese, the burgers here are impossibly good. Hodad's is truly amazing.

Well, I guess my daydream of eating my way through San Diego is about done. As I look out my window and see the skyline of Boston, I realize that I do live in a great city. I just wish it wouldn't rain so much.

-MH

Boston's Hidden Restaurants: A Boston Restaurant Guide

Friday, April 29, 2005

Ice Cream Stands in the Boston Area

(Note: Go to the ice cream stands page on Boston's Hidden Restaurants to get more information on some of the ice cream stands and parlors listed below, as well as others not included here.)

It's nice to see the days getting warmer in the Boston area. The Boston Red Sox are playing, the trees are sprouting leaves, and snow is a distant memory. And, of course, ice cream stands are opening as they do every spring in Boston and New England.

While there are literally hundreds of ice cream stands and ice cream parlors in the New England region, some are definitely better than others. One of my favorite places for an ice cream cone is Kimball Farm in Carlisle (there's also one in Westford, but the Kimball's in Carlisle is quieter, and in a more scenic location). They have a petting zoo there, a farm, and some of the tastiest ice cream in New England.

Not many ice cream stands match Kimball's, but Bubbling Brook Restaurant in Westwood comes close. Set in a pastoral area, Bubbling Brook not only has great ice cream (including soft serve), but also delicious sandwiches.

A few other top ice cream stands in the Boston area include Dairy Joy in Weston, which is truly a classic place for ice cream, complete with wooden benches outside; Richardson's in Middleton, which has outstanding ice cream, and a driving range to boot; The Dairy Barn in Randolph, which is a true hidden gem of the Boston area, and has Richardson's ice cream as well as soft serve; Bedford Farms in Bedford, which some say has better ice cream than nearby Kimball's; Erikson's in Maynard, which has a fantastic ginger ice cream; and Crescent Ridge in Sharon, which gets crowded at times, but is worth the wait.

A bit further out from Boston is The Ice House, a classic ice cream stand in the beautiful town of New Castle, NH; The Docksider Restaurant in Northeast Harbor, ME, which has terrific seafood to go along with their tasty ice cream; Hallet's Store, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor on Route 6A in Yarmouth Port with a soda fountain and museum; Oxford Creamery, another classic ice cream stand, this one in Mattapoisett, near New Bedford; Mountain Mist, in Saranac Lake, NY, which is on Lake Flower, a pristine body of water high up in the Adirondacks; and, well, too many others to mention here.

Well, after all that, now I'm really craving an ice cream. Perhaps I'll hit Sullivan's on Castle Island after the Walk for Hunger on Sunday. Or maybe Peaceful Meadows in Whitman. Or....

-MH

Boston's Hidden Restaurants: A Boston Restaurant Guide

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Boston Restaurant Talk Archives

Below are links to the archived Boston Restaurant Talk blog entries. This list will keep expanding with time, so bookmark this page if you wish!

Welcome to Boston Restaurant Talk!

Hello, everybody. I am the founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants, a Boston Web site that describes top Boston restaurants that aren't well-known.

After receiving many comments in my guestbook and through email, I have decided that it might be nice to have a site where people can converse about the Boston and New England restaurant scene.

Feel free to post comments, complaints, information on restaurants, etc. on this site. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Let me get the ball rolling. What is your favorite restaurant (or several of your favorites) to go to in New England? There are many, but I'll start by saying that one of my favorites is APSARA in Providence. It's a little Southeast Asian place in the slightly seedier side of the city that has incredible Vietnamese, Thai, and Cambodian food.

-Marc
Boston's Hidden Restaurants
http://www.hiddenboston.com