Friday, July 28, 2006

Restaurant Row in North Cambridge

Though relatively few people know it, Massachusetts Avenue from the Arlington line to Porter Square has an amazing amount of restaurants. No matter what type of food you are looking for, you can find it in North Cambridge.

What are some of the restaurants on this stretch of Mass. Ave.? For starters, you have Christopher's (comfort food), Thai Kitchen, Frank's Steak House, Greek Corner, Passage to India, Joe Sent Me (steak tips), Ali Baba Tandoor (Afghan), Newtowne Grille (pub food), Bengal Cafe, Cafe Barada (Middle Eastern), Spirit (pub food), and Elephant Walk (Cambodian). And this is just a sampling of what is on this road.

My personal favorites along Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge are probably Greek Corner, Cafe Barada, Christopher's, and Spirit, though Joe Sent Me has some of the best steak tips in the Boston area. Then there are the lunch specials at Thai Kitchen, the pizza at the Newtowne Grille, and....well, I guess I could go on and on. People often talk about the restaurant rows of Moody Street in Waltham and Peterborough Street in the Fens, but for my money, I'd take Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge over either of these.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Looking for the Best Calamari in the Boston Area

I have been eating calamari like there's no tomorrow of late; some of the places I've recently had it include the Dock and Dine in Old Saybrook, CT; Louie's Seafood in Raynham, MA; and The Lobster Tale in Brant Rock (a part of Marshfield, MA).

Though the restaurants above all have good calamari (especially The Lobster Tale), I would love to find some other places that have it. If you know of any, please post a comment here, or let me know through the Boston's Hidden Restaurants forum.. Thanks!

Friday, July 21, 2006

75 Chestnut Remains a Great Beacon Hill Option

We went to 75 Chestnut in Boston the other night to check out the changes made to the restaurant. They have gone from a romantic, elegant, expensive dining spot to a cozy neighborhood restaurant and pub. And while this seems like a big leap (or a big step back, depending on how you look at it), I really feel like they have made a good move here.

Why? Because 75 Chestnut is popular with the Beacon Hill locals, who generally are not looking to impress or be seen; indeed, the crowd we saw there the other night seemed to simply want to have a good meal and chat about the day. That is not something that even wealthy people want to do on a regular basis if they have to spend a ton of money and dress up a bit. So now, the locals have a place that has great quality food, decent prices, and is more casual.

Congrats to 75 Chestnut for becoming a place that the locals will likely be very happy about!

75 Chestnut on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lunch at the Bear Rock Cafe, Reading, MA

A few of us went to the Bear Rock Cafe in Reading on Sunday. The Bear Rock Cafe is located in the fairly new shopping center on North Street that is also home to Jordan's Furniture. I was pretty impressed with the Bear Rock, as their fresh sandwiches compared favorably with Panera, which is a much bigger and more popular chain.

Panera may have some competition, though, as Bear Rock is growing slowly but surely, with locations in a number of states across the country. And with a clean, comfortable environment that suggests a mountain theme (which is weird, since the chain began its days in Raleigh, North Carolina), the Bear Rock should do well not only in Reading, but also wherever it opens in the future.

As of now, there are only two Bear Rock Cafes in Massachusetts: One in Reading and one in Leominster. I bet there will be more coming soon, though.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Seafood Restaurants On Cape Ann in Massachusetts

I am hoping to get up to Cape Ann over the next couple of weeks. It is a great time of year to go, as it is usually less crowded than Cape Cod, and there are so many great beaches, shops, restaurants, and places to walk around and take pictures.

I have a number of favorite restaurants in the Cape Ann area, including the Village Restaurant in Essex, Woodman's, which is also in Essex, and the Lobster Pool in Gloucester. I know of some other restaurants in the Cape Ann area, including Essex Seafood in Essex, the White Rainbow in Gloucester, and My Place by the Sea in Rockport. If you have tried any of these places, or know of any other good restaurants in the Cape Ann area, let me know. Thanks a lot!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Louie's Seafood, Raynham, MA

We went for a long bike ride along the East Bay Bike Path in Warren, Barrington, and Riverside, RI, yesterday. It was a hot day and we did about 15 miles, so sadly, we were not hungry enough to eat at one of the several interesting restaurants in the funky town of Warren. So we headed out, driving back into Massachusetts through towns such as Swansea, Dighton, Rehoboth, and Taunton.

Because it was July 4th, few restaurants were open, and the ones that were either looked sketchy or were chains, which we didn't want to do. So we continued into Raynham, and came across a little seafood shack called Louie's Seafood. We ordered a haddock basket, calamari, and chicken, and grabbed an outdoor picnic table on their deck. Well, the food at Louie's turned out to be really good, especially the calamari, which was fried but not too greasy.

While I wouldn't put Louie's Seafood in the same category as Tony's Clam Shop in Quincy, Woodman's in Essex, or the Lobster Pool in Rockport, it was definitely worth going to, and capped off a fine day in Southern New England on the 4th of July.