Wednesday, December 26, 2007

T.R. Brennan's in Manchester Destroyed By Fire

A fire destroyed a landmark restaurant in Manchester, NH, Christmas morning. According to the New Hamsphire Union Leader, a fire broke out at T.R. Brennan's around 1:00 AM, burning the restaurant to the ground. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

T.R. Brennan's was a popular restaurant in the eastern part of Manchester, located on Hanover Street just west of where Routes 93 and 101 split. It opened in 2002, offering traditional American fare, including steak, seafood, and chicken dishes, as well as a variety of other entrees.

According to the Union Leader, the owner does plan to rebuild T.R. Brennan's, hopefully opening by St. Patrick's Day.

For more on the fire at T.R. Brennan's, go to this link:
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Fire+levels+city+restaurant+T.R.+Brennan%27s&articleId=686752fe-94e4-47e5-9cbe-c11e952299bb

Monday, December 24, 2007

Latest Review: Impastable Dream in Ogunquit

photo of Impastable Dream, Ogunquit, MaineThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is an Italian restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, called the Impastable Dream. A cozy, romantic restaurant located on Shore Road (about midway between Perkins Cove and the center of Ogunquit), the Impastable Dream is favorite among locals, but isn't very well know to tourists and other visitors to the Ogunquit area. The restaurant's menu features a mix of pasta dishes and veal, chicken, and seafood entries, and the prices are mostly decent. To read more about the Impastable Dream, click the link above.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two of Boston's Best New Restaurants for 2007

Every year, a number of new restaurants introduce themselves to the city of Boston, with 2007 being no exception. And 2007 has been a good one for restaurant openings, with dining spots such as Saray in Allston, Coda in the South End, La Verdad in the Fenway neighborhood, Vlora in the Back Bay, and Salvatore's in the Seaport District getting favorable reviews from critics and diners alike. There are two other restaurants that opened in 2007 that particularly impressed Boston's Hidden Restaurants (the parent site of this blog). And while Angela's Cafe in East Boston and Mrs. Jones in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester are little-known dining spots, they can easily be considered two of the best new restaurants that have come to Boston in 2007.

Angela's Cafe is located on the edge of Eagle Hill, a mostly residential neighborhood in East Boston. It is a small place that features authentic Mexican cuisine, including interesting specials every day. Some of the standouts at this family-owned dining spot include an incredibly smooth and mild guacamole and a chicken enchilada plate with an outstanding homemade mole sauce that takes a long time for them to make and simply has too many ingredients to mention here.

Mrs. Jones is one of the few Southern-style soul food joints within the city limits of Boston. It is located in Lower Mills, which borders Milton and is one of Boston's quieter neighborhoods. Mrs. Jones is more of a takeout place than a sitdown restaurant, though they do have a few seats along the side of the place. A number of unique entrees can be ordered at Mrs. Jones (though they are not available every day), including deep fried turkey, oxtails, neck bones, and pig feet, and their pork chops are among the best in the area.

2008 is just around the corner, and with it, even more new restaurants on their way to Boston. Hopefully 2008 will be as good a year for new dining spots as 2007 was, though it will indeed to be rather tough to beat Angela's Cafe and Mrs. Jones.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Papa Razzi to Take Over Old TGI Friday's Location in Boston's Back Bay

Papa Razzi, an East Coast restaurant chain that features Italian cuisine, is planning to move into the old TGI Friday's space on Newbury Street in the Back Bay of Boston. According to the Boston Business Journal, the new Papa Razzi should be open in the spring of 2008.

The Papa Razzi that is presently on nearby Dartmouth Street in the Back Bay will close, according to the executive vice president of the Back Bay Restaurant Group (the corporate parent of Papa Razzi's, Abe and Louie's, Joe's American Bar and Grill, and others), with a new Back Bay Restaurant Group dining spot possibly moving into the Dartmouth Street location at some point in the future.

For more information on Papa Razzi's move to Newbury Street, go to the Boston Business Journal link below:

http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/12/17/daily36.html

Review: Santarpio's Pizza, East Boston

The lights may be too bright, the wooden walls might not be real wood, and the waiters may not always be in the best of moods, but for pizza in the Boston area, Santarpio's is tough to beat.

We drove through some exceptionally rough rush-hour traffic last night to grab a few pies at Santarpio's (three to eat there, and two to take with us). It was after 7:00 by the time we arrived, but the place was only about half-full. Two out of the three of us were regulars at Santarpio's, so we didn't even bother with menus, ordering pizzas and beer about 30 seconds after grabbing a table in the side room (the newbie in our group had to scramble to decided what to order, but he did all right).

The pizzas were, as usual, just about perfect; lots of hearty sauce on a thin crust, with just the right amount of cheese on top. And as is the case with Santarpio's pizzas, occasionally there were pockets of garlic that at times nearly overwhelmed, but never quite reached that point.

Prices have gone up a bit at Santarpio's over the years, but the bill came to $80 for 5 pizzas and 8 beers, which really isn't such a bad deal.

So today I have a pepperoni pizza (a 'roni, as they call it at Santarpio's) in my freezer, just waiting to be eaten. I am hoping to save it for a Christmas Eve party that I am going to, but it may not make it, depending on how hungry I am over the coming days.

Santarpio's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 17, 2007

Latest Review: Punjab Cafe in Quincy

photo of Punjab Cafe, Quincy, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is an Indian restaurant on the Southern Artery just east of Quincy Center called Punjab Cafe. Located on a busy road with little parking, Punjab Cafe is worth making the effort to go to, as its mostly Northern Indian cuisine is among the best south of Boston. It is a small restaurant, with perhaps 15 tables or so, but Punjab is not well known, so it is rarely crowded. To read more about Punjab Cafe in Quincy, please click on the link above.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dunkin' Donuts to Have Self-Service Kiosks in Hess Gas Stations

Dunkin' Donuts, has announced that a number of convenience stores located within Hess gas stations will soon offer coffee and donuts via self-service kiosks. According to the Dunkin' Donuts Web site, Hess stores, mostly outside of the New England area, will start adding their self-service stations in January, 2008. Dunkin' Donuts, which is based in Canton, MA, also said that they will offer hot chocolate along with coffee and donuts.

To see the Dunkin' Donuts press release on this story, please go to the link below:

https://www.dunkindonuts.com/aboutus/press/PressRelease.aspx?viewtype=current&id=100110

Reminder About Favorite Hamburger Poll

A quick reminder that the Boston Restaurant Talk blog has a December poll that asks the question, "What is your favorite place for hamburgers in the Greater Boston area?"

If you would like to vote for your favorite burger place, please go to the following page:
http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com/2007/12/poll-vote-for-your-favorite-hamburger.html

Results will be given on this site around the beginning of January. And once again, thanks for your vote!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Legal Sea Foods Opening in Old Jimmy's Harborside Location

According to the Boston Business Journal, Legal Sea Foods will be opening a restaurant at 242 Northern Avenue in the Seaport District of Boston, the spot where Jimmy's Harborside resided since the early 20th century. The restaurant, which will apparently be an upscale complex, will be more than 20,000 square feet in size, and will include a roofdeck. The restaurant is slated to open in 2010.

For more information on the opening of Legal Sea Foods in the Seaport District of Boston, go to this Boston Business Journal link:

http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/12/10/daily36.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lynn Fells Parkway Christmas Lights

photo of Christmas lights, Lynn Fells Parkway, SaugusWe took a trip up to Revere tonight for dinner. We had been looking for another restaurant off of Broadway, but couldn't find it so we decided to go to Uncle Pete's Hickory Ribs on Route 60 in Revere instead. It turned out to be a good choice, as the food was terrific there, with excellent steak tips, loin ribs, and bourbon steak. Appetizers were also very good, and the prices were reasonable. Overall, I thought it was a great place, though perhaps not quite up to the level of Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington. We will probably write about Uncle Pete's Hickory Ribs in more detail within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site, so stay tuned.

photo of Christmas lights, Lynn Fells Parkway, SaugusAfter leaving Uncle Pete's, we took a drive up to Saugus to do our annual Christmas lights viewing along the Lynn Fells Parkway, as well as a few of the roads that lead off of it. For those of you who haven't gone up to see the Lynn Fells Parkway displays, you are definitely in for a treat, as it is one of the best places in the Boston area to see people's Christmas decorations. And there is one house in particular on the Lynn Fells Parkway that stands head and shoulders above most, if not all of the others as far as Christmas lights (the photos shown here are of that house).

photo of Christmas lights, Lynn Fells Parkway, SaugusThe house shown here, which is near the start of the Lynn Fells Parkway (and across from the road that leads into the Breakheart Reservation), is lit up so well that airplanes must be able to see it even from 40,000 feet. But it is not just the house that is decorated; the yard is full of all kinds of figures, lighted trees, and so much more. Indeed, it rivals the house in Jamaica Plain that everyone seems to be talking about these days. To see pictures of that house, click the "Christmas lights" label below. Also, click the pictures here to see larger versions of the photos.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best Restaurants of 2007

Just a reminder that Boston's Hidden Restaurants has posted its Best Boston Restaurants of 2007 page. The restaurants listed include the best little-known Boston and New England restaurants of the year in the opinion of the site. A few restaurants mentioned are Shanti in Dorchester (Indian), Dok Bua in Brookline (Thai), the Lynwood Cafe in Randolph (pizza), and the Farm Grill in Newton (Greek).

If you have a favorite restaurant from 2007, feel free to post a review within the Readers' Favorite Restaurants section within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. And please don't hesitate to contact the site about their picks for 2007.

Monday, December 10, 2007

CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar Coming to Foxboro

The Kraft Group, owners of the New England Patriots, have announced that they will team up with CBS to bring a restaurant called the CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar to the new Patriot Place.

According to WBZ-TV, the three-story restaurant and entertainment complex should open sometime next fall, and will have broadcasting facilities for WBZ, WBCN, and CBS Sports.

Patriot Place, a unique new development located next to Gillette Stadium, is presently home to many other restaurants, as well as a hotel, a theater, and a number of shops.

For more on the upcoming opening of the CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar (including images), go to the WBZ link below:

http://wbz.com/CBS-and-the-Kraft-Group-launch-new-themed-restaura/1303219

Latest Review: Winthrop Arms, Winthrop, MA

photo of the Winthrop Arms, Winthrop, MAThe latest review that is within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is a dining spot within a grand old hotel along the Winthrop coast called the Winthrop Arms. The Winthrop Arms, which is on the first floor of the hotel by the same name, is a charming, cozy restaurant with traditional American food, along with some Italian dishes. Prices are decent and the seating is comfortable, making the Winthrop Arms a good place to go as a family. To read more about the Winthrop Arms in Winthrop, please click on the link above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fire Damages El Pelon Taqueria in Boston

A fire broke out at El Pelon Taqueria in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston yesterday, shutting the popular Mexican restaurant down for the time being. At this point in time, it is not know when--or if--El Pelon will open up again.

For more information and photos of El Pelon Taqueria after the fire, please go to the below (from the Phoenix Phlog):

http://thephoenix.com/phlog/PermaLink,guid,08983185-841a-4398-ba6f-228a712bcca5.aspx

UPDATE: El Pelon Taqueria was destroyed in another fire on the morning of January 6, 2009. Five other Fenway-area restaurants were also gutted in the fire. For more details, please go to the link below:

Several Restaurants Destroyed in Fenway Fire

New Restaurant Coming to Boston's Seaport District

Michael Schlow, who runs several Boston-area restaurants, including Great Bay, Radius, and Via Matta, will be opening a new restaurant at the upcoming Marriott Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in the Seaport District next month. It will be located at the intersection of Congress Street and D Street, across from the World Trade Center.

No name has been given to the place yet, but according to the Boston Business Journal, it will have a chef's communal table, an exhibition kitchen, and outdoor seating.

Information from this story has come from the following Boston Business Journal link:

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/11/12/daily10.html

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dunkin' Brands Sells Togo’s Sandwich Chain

Dunkin' Brands has announced the selling of its sandwich shop chain to a private equity firm. According to the Quincy Patriot Ledger, the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts has sold Togo's to Mainsail Partners, a firm based in San Francisco.

Dunkin’ Brands, which has its headquarters in Canton, MA, had put Togo's on the market more than a year ago. The company also owns Baskin-Robbins, an ice cream chain.

Smokey Bones Barbeque To Be Sold

Smokey Bones Barbeque, which has nearly 75 locations in the United States (including locations in Taunton, Stoughton, and Tyngsboro, MA), will be sold by Darden Restaurants to Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sun Capital owns a number of restaurant chains, including Bruegger's Bagels, Boston Market, and Friendly's.

It is unknown at the present time how many of the Smokey Bones locations, if any, will close once the sale goes through.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Burger in Boston

What restaurant or burger joint do you consider to be the best place for a hamburger in the Boston area? Let us know by placing a vote on this page! Choose from the list below or feel free to write in your own pick. (Results will be listed on January 1, 2008.)

[ED NOTE: This poll is now closed. To see the results, go to http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com/2008/01/results-of-december-hamburger-poll.html. To find more current polls (or view other polls that are now closed), click the "polls" link in the labels section below).




Audubon Circle, Boston


Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Cambridge


Bristol Lounge, Boston


Charlie's Kitchen, Cambridge


Costello's, Jamaica Plain


The Druid, Cambridge


Eagles Deli, Brighton


Flat Patties, Cambridge


Flippin Burgers, Newton Centre


Fuddruckers, various locations


Miracle of Science, Cambridge


O'Sullivan's, Somerville


UBurger, Boston



Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude, 2007

photo of Kennebunk Prelude, 2007The 2007 Kennebunkport Prelude began this past weekend, with many more events scheduled for next weekend (December 8 and 9). We headed up there on Saturday afternoon for a few hours (we were staying in nearby Perkins Cove for the weekend). It was cold, but well worth going to (and every bit as fun as it was last year), with stores lit up, parades through the town, people dressed up in all kinds of costumes, and restaurants absolutely jam-packed with people. This last point is why we dined mainly in Wells and Ogunquit rather than in Kennebunkport, going to the Bull N' Claw in Wells, and the Front Porch and the Impastable Dream in Ogunquit. Later this week, I will write in detail about these dining spots in the Boston Restaurant Blog, the blog which is within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site.

Results of November Pizza Poll

The Boston pizza poll that we had up on the site for November is now closed, with the results being of no great surprise. First place went to Pizzeria Regina in the North End, with about 19.5% of the vote, while Santarpio's in East Boston and Emma's in Cambridge were tied for second place, each with about 13% of the vote.

Here are the top five finishers in the Boston pizza poll:

1) Pizzeria Regina, North End, 19.5%
2) Santarpio's, East Boston; Emma's, Cambridge [TIE], 13% each
4) Lynwood Cafe, Randolph, 8.5%
5) The Paddock, Somerville; Upper Crust, various locations [TIE], 6.5% each

Other places that received votes were CF Donovan's in Dorchester, Taso's Euro Cafe in Norwood, Picco in the South End, Town Spa in Stoughton, Pinocchio's in Harvard Square, Beauty's Pizza in Cambridge, Louie's in Woburn, Monte's in Lynn, Armando's in Cambridge, Joe V's in the South End, Kelley Square Pub in East Boston, and Ernesto's in the North End.

Thanks to everyone for participating in the pizza poll!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Latest Review: Pleasant Cafe, Roslindale

photo of the Pleasant Cafe, Roslindale, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is an old-fashioned Italian restaurant and pizza joint in the Roslindale section of Boston called the Pleasant Cafe. The Pleasant Cafe, which is located on Washington Street near the West Roxbury border, is an historic dining spot that has been around for many decades. The pizza is considered by many to be the best in Roslindale, and the Italian food is of the classic red sauce variety, and is very reasonably priced. To read more about the Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale, please click on the link above.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quiet Restaurants Near Busy Boston-Area Malls

Now that Thanksgiving is over, a lot of people are now in the Christmas shopping mode. Malls and shopping centers around the Boston area have been packed the last few days, with many of the chain restaurants completely packed with shoppers coming from, or going to, stores in the malls or shopping centers.

At some point in the near future, a page might go up on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site that lists and describes a handful of restaurants that are near busy malls and shopping centers that are quiet spots to relax and get away from all the craziness. This page might not be available for awhile, though, so if you are looking for quiet dining spots near the malls this holiday season, here is a sampling of places you might want to check out.

NEAR COPLEY PLACE/PRUDENTIAL CENTER, BOSTON:
House of Siam (Thai), 542 Columbus Avenue, Boston

NEAR THE CAMBRIDGESIDE GALLERIA, CAMBRIDGE:
The Similans (Thai), 145 1st Street, Cambridge

NEAR THE MEADOW GLEN MALL, MEDFORD:
Oasis Restaurant (Brazilian), 373 Main Street, Medford

NEAR THE ARSENAL MALL, WATERTOWN:
Strip-T's Restaurant (soup, sandwiches), 93 School Street, Watertown

NEAR THE CHESTNUT HILL MALL/ATRIUM, CHESTNUT HILL:
O'Hara's (Irish pub) -- 1185 Walnut Street, Newton

NEAR THE NORTHSHORE MALL, PEABODY:
Capone's (Italian) -- 147 Summit Street, Peabody

NEAR THE WOBURN MALL, WOBURN:
Venetian Moon Ristorante (Italian), 680 Main Street, Reading

NEAR THE BURLINGTON MALL, BURLINGTON:
New Jang Su (Korean) -- 260 Cambridge Street, Burlington

NEAR THE NATICK COLLECTION, NATICK:
Villa Restaurant (Italian), 48 E Plain Street, Wayland

NEAR THE DEDHAM MALL, DEDHAM:
Olde Irish Alehouse (Irish pub), 2 Bridge Street, Dedham

NEAR THE SOUTH SHORE PLAZA, BRAINTREE:
Campanale's Restaurant (Italian) -- 88 Pearl Street, Braintree

NEAR THE DERBY STREET SHOPPES, HINGHAM:
Sweet Lemons (Thai), 828 Washington Street, Weymouth

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Lights (and a Crown) in Boston

photo of Christmas lights on the Arborway, Jamaica PlainWe went to Doyle's in Jamaica Plain the other night for a leisurely dinner, then we took a ride along the nearby Arborway to see what Dominic Luberto might be up to with with the Christmas lights on his house this year. As some readers might remember, we had taken photos of Mr. Luberto's house last year and posted a couple of the pictures on this blog (see Christmas Lights on the Arborway, Jamaica Plain link). Well this year, Mr. Luberto appears to have outdone himself, as he has added even more to his now-famous Christmas display.

photo of Christmas lights on the Arborway, Jamaica PlainThe first thing we noticed has we approached the house was not the Christmas lights on the house, but the brightly-lit crown attached to the roof of the house. The trees to the right of the house were nicely decorated, too, with one of the trees being lit up as an American flag. Next to the trees was a Jewish star, and in front of the house were a variety of life-size figures.

The lights should be up for at least a month if not more, so if you live in the Boston area, you have plenty of time to see the display. In the meantime, enjoy the photos here; by the way, if you want to see larger versions of the pictures, simply click on the ones shown here.

Latest Review: Taso's Euro-Cafe, Norwood

photo of Taso's Euro-Cafe, Norwood, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is a Greek restaurant in Norwood called Taso's Euro-Cafe. Located next to Norwood Memorial Airport (just off Route 1 north, a few miles south of Route 128), Taso's Euro-Cafe is a full-service restaurant that serves homemade Greek and American dishes to everyone from locals to pilots to professional athletes to rock stars (Norwood Airport caters to many who fit in the last two categories). The appetizers, main entrees, and desserts at Taso's Euro-Cafe are all excellent, and the prices are very low. To read more about Taso's Euro-Cafe, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Two New RSS Feeds for Boston's Hidden Restaurants

The Boston's Hidden Restaurants site continues to add more RSS feeds, this time adding a feed for the Viewers' Favorite Restaurants feature, as well as for the Unreviewed Restaurants section.

The Viewers' Favorite Restaurants feature is a section where our readers can post information on restaurants that they think are truly special places. As of this moment, our readers have given us about 100 reviews, with more coming in each week. The RSS feed for this section, which shows the latest posts from our readers is:
RSS buttonViewers' Favorite Restaurants RSS feed


The Unreviewed Boston and New England Restaurants section includes mostly little-known restaurants that we have not yet evaluated, but sound like potentially interesting places (and are also dining spots that we hope to try in the future). And while we have not reviewed these restaurants, readers are able to post their own reviews on these dining spots by using the forms at the bottom of each page. As of today, we have included about 100 restaurants in this special feature. The RSS feed for this section, which shows the latest reviews from our readers, is:
RSS buttonUnreviewed Boston and New England Restaurants RSS feed


By the way, if you are unfamiliar with RSS feeds, please go to our What is RSS? page. This page will give you all the information you will need on what an RSS feed is; how you can use standalone RSS feed readers, or online readers, to view feeds; and which sections of our site are set up for RSS feeds.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reminder About Pizza Poll

Just a quick reminder that the Boston Restaurant Talk blog has a poll going on through the month of November that centers around favorite pizza places in the Boston area.

If you would like to vote for your favorite pizza place, please go to the following page:
http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com/2007/11/vote-for-your-favorite-pizza-place-in.html

Results will be given on this site around the beginning of December. Thanks for voting!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Latest Review: La Hacienda in Somerville

photo of La Hacienda, Somerville, MAThe latest review that we have added to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is for a place called La Hacienda, in Somerville. Located just south of Union Square on the Cambridge border, La Hacienda is what some might consider to be a dive bar. Their menu, however, is extensive, and they serve some of the best bar pizza north of Boston. La Hacienda has been in this working-class section of Somerville since the late 1930s, and it is still going strong today, though it remains a hidden gem of sorts, partly because of its rather obscure location. For a full review on La Hacienda, click the link shown above.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Three Boston Bars Close As the Result of New Fire Safety Law

Three drinking establishments in Boston have been shut down for failing to comply with the new fire safety law concerning sprinkler systems. According to WBZ TV, the Milky Way Lounge on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, Kay's Oasis on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester, and Packy Connors on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury have been closed because of the law. In addition, a popular bar west of Boston--the Sit n' Bull Pub on Main Street in Maynard--was also forced to shut down.

WBZ also reported that two other bars had not complied with the new law as of the deadline yesterday. However, the Sunset Grill on Brighton Avenue in Allston and The Barking Crab on Sleeper Street in Boston will stay open for now because they are currently appealing the ruling.

The new fire safety law was put into place because of the fire at the Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that killed 100 people in the winter of 2003.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Out: Best Hidden Boston Restaurants of 2007

The Best Boston Restaurants of 2007 page on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is now up and running.

A quick reminder that these are the best "hidden" restaurants of 2007, as decided by Boston's Hidden Restaurants, so more popular places such as Eastern Standard, Pizzeria Regina, Pigalle, Oleana, and Legal Sea Foods won't be on it. But if you are looking for some of the best lesser-known restaurants around Boston and New England, hopefully this list should be of help. Enjoy the new "Best Of 2007" section, and feel free to post comments about other little-know restaurants that you really like!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Potbellies Kitchen in South Boston Is Now St. Alphonzo's Kitchen

photo of Saint Alphonzo's Kitchen, South Boston, MAPotbellies Kitchen, a restaurant in South Boston that has gotten good press over the past several months, has had a name change. It is now called St. Alphonzo's Kitchen. The food is the same, the decor hasn't changed, and the same people are there; apparently, the only thing that has changed is the name. (St. Alphonzo's Kitchen is at 87 A Street near the Broadway T stop. The phone number is 617-269-2233.)

Latest Review: Shanti in Dorchester

photo of Shanti: Taste of India, Dorchester, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is Shanti: Taste of India, an Indian restaurant in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester. Shanti is a cozy, romantic dining spot at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Savin Hill Avenue that features a wide variety of Indian cuisine. The prices are a bit higher than some of the other Indian restaurants in the Boston area, but the food is certainly worth it. For a full review on Shanti: Taste of India, click the link shown above.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Boston Restaurants, Bars, In Danger of Closing Over Lack of Sprinklers

A number of Boston-area restaurants, bars, and nightclubs may be closing down unless they have fire sprinklers installed by Thursday. According to the Boston Globe, nearly 70 places face being shut down on Thursday, due to a state law passed in 2004 after the tragic Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

According to the Globe, two of the nightspots are Daisy Buchanan's on Newbury Street in the Back Bay and C.F. Donovan's on Savin Hill Avenue in Dorchester.

For more information on this story, go to the Boston Globe article at:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/11/10/bars_face_shutdown_over_sprinklers/

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Few More Dining Spots for Readers to Review

Boston's Hidden Restaurants' special feature on Unreviewed Restaurants continues to grow. The restaurants listed in this section are dining spots that we have not reviewed yet, but we believe may be interesting spots to try. And even though we have not yet reviewed these places, each restaurant page includes an area where readers can write their own reviews to post onto our site.

We have already listed a few of the unreviewed restaurants on this blog; some others that we have not yet mentioned include Court House Seafood, which is a highly regarded (but little-known) seafood restaurant in East Cambridge. Another dining spot of interest is Modern Apizza, a classic pizza joint in New Haven, CT. An intriguing-sounding place next to the Connecticut River in Vermont is the Windsor Station Restaurant in the town of Windsor. A restaurant that sounds like one I need to personally check out soon is Kabob and Curry Restaurant, an Indian dining spot near Brown University on the East Side of Providence, RI. And finally, for those who yearn for something a bit more upscale, there is the Harvest Restaurant, an elegant country restaurant in beautiful Pomfret, CT.

Once again, if you have tried any restaurants in our Unreviewed Restaurants section, post a review on our site whenever you have the chance. Thank you very much!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Latest Review: George's Coney Island in Worcester

photo of George's Coney Island, Worcester, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is a hot dog stand in Worcester called George's Coney Island. Located just south of downtown in a dusty, rather nondescript area, George's Coney Island is a classic place with a huge neon sign of a hot dog dripping mustard out front. The interior is as Spartan as can get, and the old wooden booths are filled with carvings of names, etc. But the grilled hot dogs, which cost little more than a dollar, are absolutely tremendous, with the special chili sauce adding incredible flavor to them. To read more about George's Coney Island, please click on the link above.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Webmaster Resources and Utilities

Just another quick aside from the world of restaurants for a moment...

As someone who writes the code for Web pages from scratch, I often find it frustrating to get needed resources and utilities from other Web sites. Because of this, I have started to create a new section on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site called Web Resources and Utilities for Webmasters that allows other webmasters and Web designers (as well as anyone else working on a Web site) a place to find information that may be helpful to them.

This new feature is just getting up and running, so there are only a few pages, including an HTML Color Code Chart that features a chart of 216 Web-safe colors that you can use on your Web site; a page showing Valid Color Names for HTML and CSS Files; a chart of ASCII Character Codes for HTML Pages, including ASCII numbers and entity names that can be used to display both standard and non-standard characters; and a listing of Validator, Spell Check, Link Check Utilities for Web Pages.

I will try to get more resources added to this section over the coming months, including information on XHTML, Web standards, and other items that might come in handy if you are working on a Web site. And if you know of any useful Web resources or utilities that should be added to this section, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Pizza Place in Boston [POLL CLOSED]

What is your favorite pizza place in the Boston area? Let us know by placing a vote on this page! Choose from the list below or feel free to write in your own pick. (Results will be listed on December 1.)

[ED NOTE: This poll is now closed. To find more current polls (or view other polls that are now closed), click the "polls" link in the labels section below).




Armando's, Cambridge


Emma's, Cambridge


Ernesto's, Boston


Galleria Umberto, Boston


Lynwood Cafe, Randolph


Monte's, Lynn


The Paddock, Somerville


Picco, Boston


Pinocchio's, Cambridge


Pizzeria Regina, Boston


Santarpio's, East Boston


Upper Crust, various locations




Latest Review: 158 Main in Jeffersonville, VT

photo of 158 Main, Jeffersonville, VTThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is 158 Main, a restaurant and bakery in Jeffersonville, VT (on the other side of Smugglers' Notch from Stowe). 158 Main is housed in an historic building in the center of Jeffersonville, and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also sell fresh homemade breads, made daily on the premises (diners can actually see the bread being made in the morning). For a full review on 158 Main, click the link shown above.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Credit Card Information Stolen from Not Your Average Joe's

According to the Boston Globe and other sources, credit card data has been stolen from Not Your Average Joe's, a local restaurant chain. It appears that more than 3,000 people who have dined at Not Your Average Joe's have had their credit card information stolen.

According to an information page on the Web site of Not Your Average Joe's, there has not been any evidence of credit card data being stolen after September 29.

for more information, go to the Not Your Average Joe's Web site at:

http://www.notyouraveragejoes.com/

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bob's Southern Bistro in the South End to Close; Night Town to Take Its Place

Bob's Southern Bistro, a soul-food restuarant and jazz club, is closing down. An upscale restaurant and lounge will be taking its place, probably opening sometime in December.

Bob's, which used to be known as Bob the Chef's, will be renamed Night Town, according to the Boston Globe. The new restaurant will concentrate on American cuisine, and they will feature a variety of entertainment.

For more information on the closing of Bob's Southern Bistro, please go to this link:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/30/bistro_ending_its_soulful_reign/

Monday, October 29, 2007

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, 2007 World Champions

Just wanted to step away from talk about Boston restaurants to congratulate the Boston Red Sox on sweeping the Colorado Rockies to win the 2007 World Series. It was a magical moment, seeing the Sox celebrating last night once again.

There are lots of players to tip our hats to in 2007, including Mike Lowell (an incredibly classy person both on and off the field), Jon Lester (for coming back from cancer to end up winning the clinching game of the World Series), David Ortiz (for being perhaps the best clutch hitter in Red Sox history), and so many others.

Thanks also to the front office for bringing so many great young players up through the farm system and onto the team, such as Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Lester, Jon Papelbon, and others.

Finally, congratulations to the Colorado Rockies for getting to the World Series in spectacular fashion, and showing a lot of class and grace both during and after the World Series. Best of luck to you in 2008.

A few final notes....to the front office, please find a way to keep Mike Lowell. He is a great player as well as a true team leader who is the glue that holds this team together; to Coco Crisp, who may have played his last game for the Sox, thanks for the lasting memories of all the incredible catches you made in the outfield, and best of luck wherever you are in 2008; and finally, to Sox fans, get ready for another rolling rally!

Once again, congrats to the 2007 Red Sox, and thanks for making 2007 such an exciting year.

By the way, If you would like to see photos of the post-victory celebration, check out this link:
http://jfishsports.blogspot.com/2007/10/2007-world-series-champions-boston-red.html

ED NOTE: Plans for the "rolling rally" through Boston are now in place. The rolling rally will be held on Tuesday, starting at Fenway Park somewhere around noon. It will proceed east on Boylston Street, going past Boston Common and ending at City Hall and Government Center. Duck boats will be used to transport the Red Sox players, but they will not travel on the Charles River. (And Mayor Tom Menino said that he is expecting Jonathan Papelbon to live up to his promise of doing a dance routine; expect him to do it along the rally route.) Stay tuned for more details on the rolling rally in case plans and/or times are changed at all.

Reminder About Our Email Newsletter List

Just a reminder about Boston's Hidden Restaurants having a quarterly newsletter that gives information on new reviews, various features, and other items connected with the site.

If you wish to be on our email newsletter list, please email us and we will put you on the list. Thanks very much!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Latest Review: New Brown Jug in Chelsea

photo of New Brown Jug, Chelsea, MAOur latest featured restaurant on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is the New Brown Jug, which is just off of the Revere Beach Parkway (Route 16) in Chelsea, near the Route 1 intersection. The New Brown Jug is a pizza joint and bar that serves bar pizza and calzones. The dining room, with its high-back wooden booths and neon signs, has the feel of a classic, old-school dining spot. To read more about the New Brown Jug on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site, please go to the link above.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Restaurants Near Fenway (Site of World Series Game 1 Between Red Sox and Rockies)

Congratulations to Manny Ramirez, Julio Lugo, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, Jon Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and all the Red Sox last night for winning Game Seven of the ALCS last night. It was a truly amazing finish to an incredible comeback against the Indians, who had been up in the series 3-1 at one point.

The World Series against the Colorado Rockies begins at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. It should be an interesting matchup between these two teams, and it could end up being another seven-game series. Best of luck to the Sox once again!

Being that this is a restaurant blog, I'd like to mention, especially to folks coming to the games from out of town who are unfamiliar to Boston, that the area around Fenway Park has a number of excellent restaurants to go to before the games. If you would like to learn about some of these restaurants (many of which are within a short walk of Fenway Park), check out the Restaurants Near Fenway Park page that is a special feature within our Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. As mentioned, this page lists a number restaurants within walking distance of Fenway, and it also lists a handful that are slightly farther away from the park, but still nearby. And most of the restaurants on our list are little-known restaurants that are favorites of Boston locals.

For those coming to Boston for the first time, welcome to our city, and enjoy the cozy confines of Fenway. And, of course, go, Red Sox!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, October 20

The 12th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is being held at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center on Tremont Street in Boston on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The festival will include chefs and speakers from around the country, educational exhibitions, and a number of natural food providers and producers.

The Reggie Lewis Athletic Center is at 1350 Tremont Street. There is free parking available, and the Roxbury Crossing T Stop (Orange Line) is across the street.

For more information, go to http://www.bostonveg.org/.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Latest Review: Pasta Market Cafe in Malden

photo of the Pasta Market Cafe, Malden, MAAnother new review can be found on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site. The restaurant is in the Judson Square section of Malden, and it is called the Pasta Market Cafe. Located just south of Malden Center on Ferry Street, the Pasta Market Cafe specializes in homemade pasta dishes as well as Italian-style pizza. The pasta at the Pasta Market Cafe is about as good as you will find in the Boston area. To read more about the Pasta Market Cafe, please go to the link shown above.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cardinal O' Malley Coming to Bad Abbots, Quincy, for Theology on Tap

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, will be a special guest for Theology on Tap at Bad Abbots in Quincy on Wednesday, October 10. Lectures and discussions will begin at 7:00 PM.

For more information on Bad Abbots, go to this link:
http://www.badabbots.com/

And for more information on Theology on Tap, jump to this site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theology_on_Tap

This is the second of six Theology on Tap sessions being held at Bad Abbots. The next session will be held on October 24.

Java Jo's Coffee House in Milton Damaged by Fire

Java Jo’s Coffee Shop on in East Milton Square sustained damage from a fire that started around dinnertime on Monday night in a nearby building. Several communities were called in to help the Milton fire department put out the Adams Street fire.

According to the Boston Globe, a member of the fire department stated that the fire was probably electrical in nature.

No word at this point as to the extent of the damage at Java Jo’s.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Latest Review: Angela's Cafe in East Boston

photo of Angela's Cafe, East Boston, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is for a new Mexican restaurant in East Boston called Angela's Cafe. Located in the historic Eagle Hill section of East Boston, Angela's Cafe resides in a small spot that has only a handful of tables (as well as some counter seating). The food at Angela's reflects the heritage of the people who own the restaurant (they are from the Puebla section of Mexico), with outstanding sauces, including a tremendous mole sauce. To read more about Angela's Cafe, click the link here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oktoberfest in Harvard Square, Cambridge (Sunday, October 7)

The annual Oktoberfest will be held this Sunday (October 7) in Cambridge. It will run from 12:00 noon to 6:00 in the evening, and will take place in Harvard Square. Several restaurants will be involved in the Oktoberfest festivities, including Grendel's Den, Z-Square, Pizzeria Uno, and Upstairs on the Square.

If you would like more information, please call (617) 491-3434 or go to this Web site:

http://www.harvardsquare.com/Home/Articles/Oktoberfest-Schedule-Announced.aspx

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Boston's Hidden Restaurants and MySpace

For those of you who are users of social networking sites, it may be of interest to you that Boston's Hidden Restaurants has a MySpace page. The page is used mainly to introduce MySpace users to Boston's Hidden Restaurants, but it is also a place where folks can comment on the site, the Boston restaurant scene in general, or anything else related to our Boston restaurant guide.

The link to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants MySpace page is http://www.myspace.com/hiddenboston. If you are a member of MySpace, feel free to post comments or add yourself as a friend. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Latest Review: Moulton's in Medford

photo of Moulton's, Medford, MAOur latest review is a no-frills seafood restaurant in Medford, MA, called Moulton's Seafood Restaurant. Moulton's, which used to be mainly a fish market, now has a dining room with a handful of tables. And what Moulton's lacks in decor, it more than makes up for in its incredible seafood dishes. Prices are good, parking is fairly easy, and there are rarely crowds there on weeknights. For more information on Moulton's, click the link above to read our review.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

James Beard Foundation's Taste America in Boston September 28-29

The James Beard Foundation's Taste America food festival is coming to Boston this weekend.

The foundation, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, is hosting events at Veronique (20 Chapel Street
Brookline) at 7:00 PM on Friday, September 28, and at Williams-Sonoma in Copley Place from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, September 29.

General admission tickets for Friday's benefit dinner at Veronique are $125 each, while Saturday's events at Copley Place are free of charge.

For more information, go to the James Beard Foundation's Taste America page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Harpoon Octoberfest, Boston, September 28-29, 2007

The 18th annual Harpoon Octoberfest will be taking place this weekend (September 28 and 29) at the Harpoon Brewery on Boston's Waterfront. The cost to attend is $15.00 and there are a limited number of tickets. For more information, including directions and a phone number, please go to the Harpoon Brewery Web site.

Our Latest Review: Gold Star Restaurant in Worcester

photo of Gold Star Restaurant, Worcester, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is the Gold Star Restaurant, a family-style diner located on West Boylston Street just north of downtown Worcester. The Gold Star Restaurant is a favorite among locals on the north side of Worcester, but it isn't well known elsewhere. They serve breakfast and lunch, and have a good amount of space inside the place, including both tables and counter seating. For more on the Gold Star Restaurant, please click the link above.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review of Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

A review of the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, which was held today next to Fenway Park in Boston, can be found at the following address within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/blogentries/food-festival-0907.html

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Subscribe to Our Questions and Answers Feed

Boston's Hidden Restaurants has a new section on questions and answers concerning Boston and New England restaurants. Unlike the forum on the site, anyone can participate, with no registration necessary (and all postings are moderated, so any questionable postings, including spam, will never make it to the site).

Many of the questions in this section have been posted by the founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants, but any viewer can post his or her own question, as well as reply to existing ones.

The Questions and Answers feature has an RSS feed, so if you would like to subscibe to this section, please click the RSS button below. And if you have any questions on RSS feeds, there is another link below that brings you to a page that will help clarify the use of feeds.

RSS button Subscribe to our Questions and Answers feed! What is RSS?

Latest Review: Mrs. Jones in Dorchester

photo of Mrs. Jones, Dorchester, MAAnother new review is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. Mrs. Jones is a Southern-style restaurant in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester that caters mostly to people looking for takeout food. The menu at Mrs. Jones features a number of interesting soul food items, including collard greens, ham hocks, deep-fried turkey, and sweet potato pie. Click the link here to find out more about this terrific new restaurant that is only a short distance away from the Southeast Expressway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, Sunday, September 23

The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival is coming to the Fenway area of Boston once again. It will be held on Sunday, September 23 and will go from 11 AM to 4 PM, and will include food from a number of dining spots around Boston.

For more information on the Food Festival, go to this link within the Phantom Gourmet's site:

http://www.phantomgourmetfoodfestival.com/

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Three New Restaurants Opening This Week

According to sources from Chowhound, the Weekly Dig, and others, three new restaurants will be opening up the week of September 17 (with all three possibly opening tomorrow, though that is not definite). Myers and Chang, a Chinese restaurant, will be opening on Washington Street in the South End, while Kingston Station, an American bistro, will be opening on Kingston Street in downtown Boston. And in Somerville, the Ball Square Cafe will be opening on Broadway, in the spot where Sound Bites used to be (they recently moved next door to where El Guapo used to be).

If anyone tries any of these restaurants, please post a comment here letting us know what you think. Thanks!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another New Review: Mul's Diner, South Boston

photo of Mul's Diner, South Boston, MAAnother restaurant is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site this week. Mul's Diner is a classic restaurant in South Boston, just a short distance away from the downtown section of the city. Mul's Diner is open for breakfast and lunch, and features a wide array of comfort food items, including some deliciously fluffy pancakes and some of the best home fries in the area. Mul's is located on West Broadway, across the street from Amrheins (both restaurants are, in fact, owned by the same people).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

More Restaurants for Readers to Review

Last week I mentioned a few restaurants that we had just added to the Unreviewed Restaurants section of Boston's Hidden Restaurants. This week I'm going to list a few more that are in this featured section of the site. (Just a quick reminder that the restaurants in this feature are places that we have not reviewed yet, but that we believe may be interesting places to try.)

One place that we think looks very interesting is the Mile Away Restaurant, which is a Swiss restaurant located in a farm in Milford, NH, a short distance north of the Massachusetts border. Another interesting sounding dining spot is Gian Carlo's Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in the old mill complex of Woonsocket, RI. A place that sounds like it is the perfect spot for a special occasion is the Altnaveigh Inn and Restaurant Altnaveigh Inn and Restaurant in Storrs, CT, which is just east of Hartford near the University of Connecticut. And last but not least is Becky's Diner, an old-school dining spot in Portland, ME, that seems to be a favorite among the locals.

Again, if you have tried any restaurants in our Unreviewed Restaurants section, feel free to post a review on our site. Thank you!

Join Our Email Newsletter List

For those of you who don't know, Boston's Hidden Restaurants (the site with which this blog is affiliated) has a quarterly newsletter that gives information on new reviews, various features, and other items connected with the site.

If you would like to be on our email newsletter list, please email us and we'll add you to the list. Thanks!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Latest Review: Old Timer Restaurant in Clinton

photo of Old Timer Restaurant, Clinton, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is the Old Timer Restaurant, an historic Irish pub in the central Massachusetts town of Clinton. The Old Timer is a cozy old spot that has been in Clinton for decades, but is little-known outside of the area. It is a particularly good spot to go this time of year, as it is minutes from Sterling, Princeton, Bolton, and Berlin, where there are a number of apple orchards and farmstands.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Several New Restaurants For Readers to Review!

The Unreviewed Restaurants section of Boston's Hidden Restaurants continues to grow, with four new entries to this section.

Before I mention the new listings, a quick explanation is needed as to the purpose of the Unreviewed Restaurants section. First of all, the restaurants listed here are places that we have not reviewed yet, but tend to be lesser-known, interesting looking New England restaurants that seem to be good fits for our site. Second, these restaurants can be reviewed by our readers, as each page has a form where viewers can let us know what they think.

So which restaurants have we recently added? Well, one place, Sharky's Cantina, is a Mexican restaurant in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard that seems to be a fun, casual place for folks who are heading to or from the ferry, which is close by. Another place in Massachusetts is Autentica, restaurant in South Hadley that features New Mexican cuisine. Up north, the Bobcat Cafe is a brewpub in the scenic town of Bristol, VT, that features a number of microbrews and a bar that is a hundred years old. Finally, if you like steamed hamburgers (and who doesn't?), Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT, sounds like a place to check out.

If you have been to any of these restaurants (or any of the others in our Unreviewed Restaurants section), please don't hesitate to post a review on our site to let us know what you think of these places. Thanks very much!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Two New Restaurants Come to Arlington

Arlington Center is the site of two restaurant openings this week; Rio Brazilian Barbeque and Manna Sushi.

Rio Brazilian Barbeque is housed in the former digs of Punjab, which moved into a larger spot a couple of doors down earlier this year. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served at Rio, and a weekend brunch will be offered. The address for Rio Brazilian Barbeque is 473 Mass. Avenue, and the phone number is 781-483-3063.

Manna Sushi is located where Bombay Classic used to be, on the same side of Medford Street as the Regent Theatre. In addition to sushi, Manna will be serving a number of Japanese and Korean entrees. The address for Manna Sushi is 9 Medford Street, and the phone number is 781-648-8878.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another Review: The Dish, Boston (South End)

Another new review is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. The Dish is a charming restaurant in the heart of the South End of Boston. They specialize mainly in upscale comfort food and New American dishes, with the menu changing seasonally. The inside of the restaurant is small but attractive, and there is an outdoor dining area during the warmer months. Click the link here to read more about The Dish.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fund for Families of Firefighters

A quick update concerning yesterday's tragic fire at the Tai Ho restaurant in West Roxbury; a fund has been set up by the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union to help the families of the two firefighters who lost their lives battling the blaze. If you would like to donate, here is the address:

West Roxbury Firefighter's Fund
Boston Firefighter's Credit Union
60 Hallet Street
Dorchester, MA 02124

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Deadly Fire Destroys West Roxbury Restaurant

A fire that started in a restaurant on Centre Street in West Roxbury resulted in the deaths of two firefighters last night. According to the Boston Globe, the fire started at the Tai Ho restaurant and quickly spread to adjoining businesses, including another restaurant, the Himalayan Bistro. In addition to the deaths of the two firefighters, twelve others were injured, including two critically.

The fire happened only a couple of weeks before the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial Official Unveiling and Dedication at the State House, which will be held on September 11. If anyone would like to help out in any way, please go to the Web site at
http://www.mafirememorial.org/

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rio Brazilian in Arlington Just About Ready to Open

Rio Brazilian, a Brazilian barbecue restaurant that is going into the spot vacated by Punjab (they moved a few doors down), appears to be on the verge of opening.

Located across the street from Tango, an Argentinian restaurant, Rio will add even more diversity to the Arlington restaurant scene once it opens. In addition to Argentinian and Brazilian cuisine, diners coming to Arlington have the option of Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Italian food. Not bad for what was once considered a restaurant wasteland a couple of decades ago...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Participate in Our Questions and Answers Section!

There is another new feature within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. It is a questions and answers section for Boston restaurants where anyone can answer existing questions about Boston and New England restaurants, or post new questions for other people to answer.

Boston's Hidden Restaurants does have a forum that allows people to do something similar, but the forum only allows registered users to post or reply. With this new section, anyone can participate, with no registration needed.

Many of the questions have been posted by the founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants, and a number of others have been transferred from the aforementioned restaurant forum. Feel free to join in, as this should end up being an interesting and fun new feature on Boston's Hidden Restaurants!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One More New Review: Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain

photo of Bella Luna, Jamaica Plain, MAAnother newly reviewed restaurant is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site this week. Bella Luna is a funky Italian restaurant located in the heart of Jamaica Plain. Although the food at Bella Luna is good, what make this restaurant especially memorable is the fact that it is attached to a bowling alley (downstairs). The restaurant has an attractive dining room, as well as an outdoor patio, and features a number of Italian and Italian-American entrees.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Please Tell Us About Your Experiences at Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week finished up this past Friday, and with it, lots of talk about which restaurants were good, and which were not so good.

If anyone went to any restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, feel free to post a comment here. Were there any surprises, either positive or negative? How was the service? The atmosphere? The overall experience? Definitely let us know. Thanks!

Reminder: We Need Your Restaurant Reviews!

Just a reminder that Boston's Hidden Restaurants is looking for readers to post reviews of restaurants and/or post favorite restaurants in the Boston and New England area.

Our site includes a number of restaurants that we have not yet been to, but seem to be places that may be good dining spots to feature in the future (once we try them out). Check some of these restaurants out at the link below, and use the forms on the individual restaurant pages to post your own reviews if you wish:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/otherrestaurants/

Also, if you would like to tell us about your favorite restaurant, please post it here:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/FavoriteRestaurantsHome.html

Thanks for any posts you add to Boston's Hidden Restaurants!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Latest Review: Martin's Coffee Shop, Brookline

photo of Martin's Coffee Shop, Brookline, MAAnother new review can be found on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site. The restaurant is in Brookline Village, and it is called Martin's Coffee Shop. Martin's has been around for a long time, but it is hardly known outside of Brookline. In addition to the terrific coffee at Martin's, they also have excellent breakfasts that are sometimes too big to finish in one sitting. They also have some unusual dishes, including an Albanian omelette.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Restaurants Participating in Restaurant Week, Boston

With Restaurant Week in full swing around the Boston area, a list of participating restaurants might be of help to diners. Below are the participating restaurants listed by location:

Downtown Boston and the Waterfront:
Anthony's Pier 4, Atrium Lounge, Aura, Avenue One, Avila, Blu, Bonfire, Boston College Club, Cafe Fleuri, Caliterra Bar and Grille, Daily Catch, Finale, Harborside Grill and Patio, Ivy, KO Prime, Legal Sea Foods, Les Zygomates, Mantra, McCormick and Schmick, Meritage, Parker's, Pigalle, Radius, Rustic Kitchen, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sauciety, Sel de la Terre, Sorriso Trattoria, Tantric, Teatro, Union Oyster House, Via Matta, Vintage Lounge,

North End:
Antico Forno, Bacco, Cantina Italiana, Davide Restaurant, Eclano, Lucia Ristorante, Marco, Maurizio's, Nebo, Red Sky, Ristorante Fiore, Taranta, Terramia Ristorante, Tresca, Vinoteca di Monica, Artu,

Beacon Hill:
75 Chestnut, Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro, Grotto, Hampshire House, Hungry I, Lala Rokh, Pierrot Bistrot Francais, Scollay Square,

Back Bay:
29 Newbury Restaurant, 33 Restaurant and Lounge, Azure, Boston Public Meat, Bouchee, Brasserie Jo, Cafe at the Taj, Ciao Bella, Croma Restaurant, Davio's, Domani, Excelsior, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Kashmir, Laurel, Legal Sea Foods, L'Espalier, Oak Room, Osushi, Palm Restaurant, Sasso, Smith and Wollensky, Sorellina, Stanhope Grille, Tapeo, Top of the Hub, Turner Fisheries, Vinny T's, Vox Populi, Wine Cellar,

South End:
209 Boston, Aquitaine, B and G Oysters, Bob's Southern Bistro, Butcher Shop, Icarus, Masa, Mela, Metropolis Cafe, Mistral, Petit Robert, Pho Republique, Pops Restaurant, Sage, Sibling Rivalry, Tremont 647, Union Bar and Grille

Fenway and Kenmore Square:
Burton's Grill, Eastern Standard, Elephant Walk, Great Bay, Petit Robert

Other Boston Neighborhoods:
Birch Street Bistro (Roslindale), dbar (Dorchester), Masona Grill (West Roxbury), Olives (Charlestown), Tangierino (Charlestown), Vintage Restaurant (West Roxbury)

Cambridge:
Atrium, Bambara, Blue Room, Casablanca, Chez Henri, Dante, Elephant Walk, Grafton Street Pub, Harvest, Henrietta's Table, MC2, OM, Redline Food and Drink, Rialto, Sandrine's Bistro, Sidney's Grille, Temple Bar, UpStairs on the Square, Z Square, Zephyr on The Charles,

Brookline:
Dalia's Bistro, Fireplace, La Morra, Lineage

Restaurants West of Boston:
Aquitaine Bis (Chestnut Hill), Ariadne (Newton), Chiara (Westwood), Colonial Inn (Concord), Dalya's Restaurant (Bedford), Elephant Walk (Waltham), Fava (Needham), Flora Restaurant (Arlington), Lumiere (Newton), Metropolitan Club (Chestnut Hill), Quince (Needham), Ristorante Olivio (Arlington), Tango (Arlington), Truffles Grille and Wine Bar (Milford), Tryst (Arlington)

Restaurants North of Boston:
Bistro 5 (Medford), Catch (Winchester), EVOO (Somerville), Grand Cafe (Rockport), Left Bank (Tyngsboro)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Update on Boston Restaurant Closings, Openings Section

Boston's Hidden Restaurants now has a section that lists Boston-area restaurants that have closed, as well as those that have recently opened.

The link to this section is:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/closings-openings.html

For those of you who use RSS feeds, we have included a feed that comes in handy, especially if you have a desktop RSS reader. This feed will alert you to restaurant closings or openings automatically.

http://www.hiddenboston.com/restaurantnews.xml

If you know of any restaurants in the Boston area that have opened or closed anytime from May 2007 on, post a comment here, or contact us at Boston's Hidden Restaurants.

Anthony Spinazzola Foundation to Shut Down

The Anthony Spinazzola Foundation, which has helped countless people in need and has also helped train people in the culinary arts, is closing. According to the Boston Globe, Chris Spinazzola, the chairperson, is closing the foundation down for several reasons, including the health of his wife, former talk-show host Marjorie Clapprood, who is getting treatment for leukemia.

The Globe also mentions that because of the foundation's closing, the Anthony Spinazzola Gala Festival of Food and Wine will no longer be held.

ED NOTE: While the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation is shutting down, another organization that Marjorie Clapprood has been a part of continues to help people in need. One Family, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end family homelessness in Massachusetts, is looking for people to get involved in a variety of ways. If you are interested in more information on One Family, please visit their Web site at http://www.onefamilyinc.org.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Latest Review: Blackjack Pasta Bar, Boston

photo of Blackjack Pasta Bar, Boston, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is the Blackjack Pasta Bar, which is in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, just a few blocks south of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. The Blackjack Pasta Bar is a tiny Italian restaurant that primarily does takeout, though there are a few tables both inside and outside. They have more than 20 different sauces from which to choose, as well as a variety of pastas.

Szechuan Bay in Somerville Damaged By Fire

According to Channel 7 News and several posters on the Chowhound site, a fire caused extensive damage to Szechuan Bay, a Chinese restaurant located on Broadway in the Teele Square section of Somerville near the Arlington border.

The fire caused about $200,000 in damage, according to Channel 7 news, and it looks as though Szechuan Bay will probably will be closed for the forseeable future. Hopefully they will be able to rebuild.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Restaurant Week, Boston

Restaurant Week in Boston has begun. This year, it will last for two weeks, with the first week being from Sunday, August 5 to Friday, August 10, and the second week being from Sunday, August 12 to Friday, August 17.

Prices for meals will be around $20 for lunch and $33 for dinner (both are three-course meals).

About 150 restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week this year. A few of the restaurants that will be taking part in Restaurant Week include Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, Chez Henri in Cambridge, Sibling Rivalry in the South End, Tangierino in Charlestown, and Marco in the North End. (Please note that some restaurants are serving dinner only.) For more information on Restaurant Week, go to http://www.restaurantweekboston.com or http://www.opentable.com.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Contact Us About Restaurant Openings, Closings

Boston's Hidden Restaurants (the site that this blog is affiliated with) is in the process of creating a new section that lists Boston-area restaurants that have opened recently, as well as those that have closed. This section will also include an RSS feed so that viewers will have the option of accessing this section directly from their desktop, as well as getting automatic notifications whenever the list is updated.

This new section should be up and running over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, if you know of any restaurants in the Boston area that have opened (or closed) over the past three months, please post a comment here, or contact us at Boston's Hidden Restaurants.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Yet Another Review: Kashish in Belmont

photo of Kashish, Belmont, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is Kashish, an Indian restaurant in Belmont Center. Kasish is an attractive, serene little dining spot that has excellent Indian food, lots of parking in the back, and doesn't get the crowds that Punjab in Arlington and a few other Indian restaurants nearby tend to get.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tango in Arlington Expanding, Renovating; Will Re-Open Soon

Tango, an Argentinian restaurant in Arlington Center, is in the midst of renovations, including an expansion that should add much needed space to this small dining spot on Mass. Ave. As of late July, Tango remains closed while these renovations are taking place, but should be re-opening soon.

For those who have not yet been to Tango, the restaurant features a number of beef, chicken, and seafood dishes, with perhaps the wonderful steak dishes being its top draw.

More information should be coming soon on Tango's re-opening, so keep checking back over the coming days...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Copia in Charlestown Closes Its Doors For Good Over the Weekend

Copia, a Mediterranean restaurant in City Square, Charlestown, closed its doors on Sunday, July 22, according to their Web site. This upscale restaurant, which replaced Meze Estiatorio last fall, was a decent dining spot in a bad location; it was nearly invisible from the road, and it was at a major (and sometimes hectic) intersection that often kept drivers from looking at anything but the traffic lights and the cars around them.

It is not known what will be going into the spot vacated by Copia. If anyone has any information, please post a message here. Thanks very much.

Monday, July 23, 2007

One More New Review: T. Anthonys Pizzeria, Boston

photo of T. Anthony's, Boston, MAOne more new restaurant review is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site today. T. Anthony's Pizzeria is a pizza place near Boston University that is wildly popular with BU students, though not so well-known among the rest of the Boston-area population. T. Anthony's specializes in thin-crust pizza with a slightly chewy crust and delicious sauce and cheese, with an overall taste that is a bit similar to pizza commonly found in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs.

The Dining Car Chocorua: An Unusual Dining Experience in North Conway

photo of Dining Car Chocorua, North Conway, NHWe spent some time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire over the past few days, including North Conway, Jackson, and other towns in the eastern section of the White Mountains. While in North Conway, we had lunch in one of the cars on the Conway Scenic Railroad. The Dining Car "Chocorua" is an interesting experience; you sit in an attractive, historic passenger car, looking out over the scenery of the Mount Washington Valley while enjoying tasty food that is supplied by the Crawford Restaurant.

The train goes about 20 miles from North Conway to Bartlett and back, and takes just under 2 hours total. The Conway Scenic Railroad also has both shorter and longer trips (including one through Crawford Notch, which is one of the most beautiful parts of New England), but if you want to combine a pleasant dining experience with an historic train ride, the Dining Car "Chocorua" is the way to go.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wagamama Coming to Harvard Square, Cambridge

Wagamama, a chain of Japanese noodle houses, will be coming to 57 JFK Street in Harvard Square by mid-August, according to the restaurant chain's Web site.

Wagamama has expanded throughout the world over the past few years, now operating nearly 80 restaurants, including one that recently opened in Boston's Faneuil Hall. Their restaurants are modeled after traditional Japanese ramen bars and include such items as ramen, chilli men, kare noodle, and teppan.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Latest Review: Sadie's in Waltham, MA

photo of Sadie's, Waltham, MAThe latest review that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is Sadie's, a restaurant and bar just off of Moody Street in Waltham. Sadie's has mostly pub grub, with its specialty being the steak tips (they actually rival some of the best tips in the Boston area). Sadie's is a no-frills type place that has little atmosphere, but for those who love steak tips, this is a restaurant well worth going to.

IHOP to Buy Applebee's for More Than $2 Billion

The pancake chain IHOP made it official on Sunday; it is purchasing Applebee's, a chain of family-style restaurants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal has been made official, with IHOP buying Applebee's for $2.2 billion. This deal will create a huge chain of well over 3,000 restaurants.

It is unknown at the time whether this move will cause some IHOP and/or Applebee's locations to close. It is possible that this will happen, as family-style restaurant chains have been doing poorly of late, with some Applebee's (including ones in Newton and Braintree) shutting down recently.

More information can be found at the Wall Street Journal Web site. Below is a link to the story:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118457058237667410.html

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Four-Alarm Fire at Sal's Restaurant in Waltham This Morning

Sal's, a restaurant on Main Street in Waltham, was destroyed by a four-alarm fire this morning. According to WBZ Boston, part of the building collapsed as firefighters went in, though fortunately they are all right.

Sal's is a local institution that has been around for more than 40 years. Hopefully the owners will try to rebuild the business. If there are any updates over the coming days about Sal's, I'll try to post them as soon as possible...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Salvatore's Is Now Open in the Seaport District of Boston

The folks who have brought Sal's Pizza to a number of cities and towns around the Boston area have just opened a new restaurant, this one called Salvatore's on Northern Avenue in the Seaport District of Boston.

The menu at Salvatore's appears to be more extensive than those at the Sal's Pizza locations, with a number of pasta, chicken, veal, and seafood dishes, as well as gourmet, signature, and specialty pizzas.

It also looks as though Sal's Pizza in Lawrence is now called Salvatore's, too, although it is not yet known what changes there will be to their existing menu.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Revere Beach Restaurants: Are Any Closing?

As the newspapers and radio stations have reported, Revere Beach is undergoing major renovations this summer, with sidewalks being added and head-in parking being taken away. While these are potentially beneficial changes to the area, they also seem to be hurting at least a few of the businesses on the beach this summer. I had heard a rumor about one restaurant on Revere Beach possibly closing (no names, though it isn't Kelly's). If anyone has heard anything else about restaurants hurting for business and/or potentially closing, please drop me a line here. Thanks!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Latest Review: Louie's Seafood in Raynham

photo of Louie's Seafood, Raynham, MAOur latest featured restaurant on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is Louie's Seafood, which is on Route 138 in Raynham, MA. Louie's Seafood is an old-fashioned seafood joint with all kinds of fresh seafood and a shaded porch in the front for those hot summer days that seem to suddenly be upon us once again.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mrs. Jones in Lower Mills, Dorchester, Is Now Open

Thanks to C. Hamster and Chowhound for getting the word out that Mrs. Jones in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester is now open. It sounds like the menu features BBQ and Southern-style cuisine, including ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings, and macaroni and cheese.

Lower Mills is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Boston, but it has never really had an "anchor" (that is, a destination-type business). With the opening of this restaurant, however, there is that much more reason to go to this quiet section of Dorchester.

I hope to get to Mrs. Jones over the coming weeks, and will report back once I do.

A Few Favorite Restaurants, According to Our Viewers

Boston's Hidden Restaurants has a section where folks can tell about their favorite restaurants in Boston, New England, and beyond. And many of these reviews are particularly interesting. Here are a few samples from this section:

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The Oyster Cabin in Uxbridge, MA sounds like a cozy, romantic restaurant. According to our reader's review, they feature New American cuisine with a bit of a twist.

The Starry Night Cafe in Ferrisburg, VT features food from local farms and has art from Vermont artists on the walls. The reviewer says that the calamari is excellent.

The Sippican Cafe in Marion, MA made quite an impression on one of our viewers. The review of the Sippican Cafe that is posted on our site is a very entertaining read!

Aspirations Cafe in Hollis, NH sounds like a terrific place to grab a breakfast or lunch while visiting this beautiful part of New Hampshire that is just over the Massachusetts border. It sounds like much of the food is of the comfort variety, including macaroni and cheese as well as beef stew.

Belle's Bistro in Westford, MA sounds like a very nice upscale restaurant that is small but attractive inside. The reviewer recommends the seared scallops, which are worth the slightly high price.

Kagawa Sushi Bar and Restaurant in Quincy, MA looks to be a great place to order sushi as well as traditional Japanese entrees. Our reader says that they have an extensive wine, beer, and sake list.

The Causeway in Gloucester, MA is a local hangout that features fresh seafood, as well as Italian and American entrees. Our reviewer gives the impression that it is a place where Gloucester townies go, so it may be a restaurant favored by local fishermen in the area.

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There are plenty of other reviews from our readers in this section of Boston's Hidden Restaurants, so if you're looking for some hidden gems that we haven't featured, this might be a good place to look!

Boston Restaurant Forum Is Back Up!

Well, that was quick! The Boston Restaurant Forum within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is up and running once again. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Boston Restaurant Forum Is Down

Just a quick note that the Boston Restaurant Forum within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is temporarily down. We hope to have it back up within the next 24 hours. Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One More New Review: Lawton's in Lawrence, MA

photo of Lawton's, Lawrence, MAAnother new review is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. Lawton's is a tiny hot dog stand on the banks of a canal in Lawrence's historic district. The hot dogs at Lawton's are deep-fried, making them more or less qualify as rippers (though they don't always rip apart in the oil) and the dogs are simply delicious, possibly one of the best hot dogs in New England.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Going on Vacation? Try These Resources for Restaurants!

It is almost July 4, and with it, vacation time for many people in Boston and New England. And more than a few vacationers will be traveling far from home, to different parts of the country.

Whenever I travel to California, New York, Washington, D.C., or elsewhere, I typically use a couple of Web sites that allow me to ask those in the know about good restaurants in these areas. One of these sites, which many, many people use these days, is Chowhound. This site is basically a huge forum where you can ask people about restaurants in nearly any part of the country.

Another, lesser-known site, is also a forum. It is called LTHForum.com, and it is based in the Chicago area, but a section of the site is dedicated to restaurants in other parts of the United States. I find that people who frequent this site really know their stuff when it comes to restaurants in around the country.

The URL for Chowhound is http://www.chowhound.com/, and the site for LTHForum.com is http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewforum.php?f=15.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Photos from the BBQ Beach Party in Boston This Weekend

Below are some pictures I took at the Phantom Gourmet's BBQ Beach Party at City Hall Plaza in Boston:


photo of Cowboys Barbeque and Rib Co., Texas

photo of Dave's Good Ole Boys Bar-B-Que, New York

photo of FatDaddy's House of Bones, Ohio

photo of Jack's Down Home Barbecue, Pennsylvania

photo of Q, Virginia

photo of RIB-BINS BBQ, Pennsylvania

photo of Willingham's, Memphis

Yet One More Review: Sawaddee Thai in Providence, RI

photo of Sawaddee Thai Restaurant, Providence, RIAnother new review is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. The restaurant, which is on the East Side of Providence, RI, is called Sawaddee Thai. Located in a quiet, upscale neighborhood of beautiful homes and tree-shaded streets, Sawaddee Thai is not well-known outside of this section of Providence, but it is an excellent Thai restaurant that includes both authentic Thai dishes as well as the more familiar, Americanized entrees.