Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review: Kebab Factory, Somerville

Now that Classic India in Quincy is closed, the Kebab Factory in Somerville is one of maybe two or three restaurants vying for my personal number 1 spot for Indian restaurants in the Boston area. And after heading back there last night (this time with a large group), the place did nothing to change my mind.

We were seated in the back of the restaurant, which has an almost trendy vibe to it with colorful lights throughout the place and a modern, industrial feel. Our servers brought over free cups of garlic potato soup (excellent), and shortly thereafter we ordered a number of appetizers, including lamb samosas, vegetable samosas, and peshawary naan (leavened bread with nuts and raisins). The samosas were good but not any better than what I've had at other Indian restaurants, but the naan was outstanding, with the nuts and raisins adding a nice texture to the bread.

We were soon served our main entrees, which included chicken tikka masala (about the best I've tried anywhere, except perhaps Punjabi Dhaba just down the street), chicken saag (very nice, but not quite as good as last time I had it there), and lamb kebabs (a big hit at our table).

Beers were generally excellent, including the barley-heavy Kingfisher, which I stuck with most of the night.

Prices were about right for what we ordered, with the average cost being about $35 per person, including drinks.

Service was just about flawless, with a number of different people waiting on us throughout the night.

Overall, Kebab Factory greatly impressed once again. Other than perhaps India Quality in Kenmore Square and Shanti in Dorchester, I'd be hard-pressed to think of an Indian restaurant in the Boston area that I enjoy more.

Kebab Factory on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 26, 2008

Latest Review: McKay's, Quincy

photo of McKay's, Quincy, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a breakfast and lunch spot in South Quincy called McKay's. Located in a rather plain-looking building at a busy intersection on Franklin Street across from the historic Adams House (and about midway between Quincy Center and the Braintree line), McKay's is an unpretentious, friendly neighborhood spot that has all kinds of breakfast items, as well as a handful of meals for lunch. To read more about McKay's in South Quincy, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Forty Carrots Coming to Bloomingdale's, Chestnut Hill

The Bloomingdale's department store will soon be bringing its popular Forty Carrots restaurant to their Chestnut Hill Mall location.

Forty Carrots, an in-store dining spot which first opened in 1975 in the 59th Street Bloomingdale's store in Manhattan, will feature mostly healthy foods, including a variety of breads, soups, sandwiches, and salads, as well as their trademark frozen yogurt.

Bloomingdale's started out in 1872 in the Lower East Side of New York, moving to its flagship location on 59th Street in 1886. Today, it an upscale division of Macy's that has about 40 store locations throughout the country.

Max and Dylans Opens in City Square, Charlestown

A second Max and Dylans has opened in the City Square section of Charlestown. It is located where Copia and Meze Estiatorio used to be, at the intersection of Rutherford Avenue (where it becomes North Washington Street) and Chelsea Street.

The menu at Max and Dylans includes some interesting dishes such as miniature beef wellington puff pastries, chicken sliders, rock shrimp macaroni and cheese, filet mignon sandwiches, seared duck flatbreads, and Kobe meatloaf.

The address for the new Max and Dylans in Charlestown is: Max and Dylans, 1 Chelsea Street, Charlestown, MA 02129. The phone number is (617) 242-7400.

The original Max and Dylans is located on West Street in downtown Boston, just off of Boston Common.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brown Sugar (Jersey Street location) to Close

Thanks to posters on Chowhound for reminding us about the imminent closing of the original Brown Sugar location on Jersey Street in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

This news had been made public by the restaurant back in November, with a note on their site stating that "it has been a pleasure serving you at the Brown Sugar Cafe in Fenway over the past 10 years" and that "we will continue to offer your favorite dishes at Brown Sugar Cafe on Comm. Ave....and The Similans [in Cambridge]."

Both of the Brown Sugar Cafes have been among Boston's most popular Thai restaurants, in the Boston area over the past decade or so.. We're glad to hear that they will continue to operate the second location on Commonwealth Avenue as well as the lesser-known Similans.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chipotle Coming to Norwood, Woburn

Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast-growing chain of restaurants that features mainly tacos and burritos, is increasing their presence in the Boston area. Two new Chipotle restaurants are coming to the area, with one in Norwood and the other in Woburn. They should both be open by the end of 2008 or early in 2009.

The Chipotle in Norwood will be located on Route 1 (just north of the Dean Street exit), while the Chipotle in Woburn will be located on Commerce Way (a little north of the Woburn Mall).

As we hear more on the pending openings of both Chipotle restaurants, we will post additional updates...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Masa Southwest Bar and Grill in Woburn is Open

A new restaurant has just opened in Woburn. Masa Southwest Bar and Grill has opened its doors in the Horn Pond Plaza on Route 3 (in the same shopping plaza as Whole Foods) just north of the Winchester line.

The restaurant is upscale but casual, and features mostly Southwestern-style cuisine including chicken with black bean and mango salsa, pork shoulder with borracha sauce, grilled catfish with verde sauce, tequila marinated shrimp, and chipotle apricot glazed short ribs.

The address for the new Masa in Woburn is: Masa Southwest Bar and Grill, 348A Cambridge Road (Horn Pond Plaza), Woburn, MA, 01801. The phone number is (781) 938-8886.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sensing (Guy Martin's New Restaurant) Opening Soon in the North End

It appears that Guy Martin's new restaurant will finally be opening in the North End.

Sensing, a high-end restaurant run by the renowned French chef, will likely be opening sometime in January 2009, according to the Boston Globe. The hotel that will house the restaurant--the Fairmont Battery Wharf--is now open, with Sensing soon to follow. According to the Globe, Guy Martin's new restaurant will feature dishes that include seasonal New England ingredients, and the restaurant will have an open kitchen as well as outdoor seating during the warmer months.

Guy Martin is considered by many to be one of the top chefs in France, and has won numerous awards, including receiving three stars by The Michelin Guide in 2000.

For the full story on the pending opening of Sensing in the North End of Boston, please go to the Boston Globe link below:

Sensing: the mystery of the Michelin starred chef

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reminder: Best Boston Restaurants Of 2008 Is Now Up

Just a quick reminder that our fourth annual "Best Hidden Boston Restaurants" page has been posted to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. The address for the site is http://www.hiddenboston.com/BestRestaurants2008.html.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Latest Review: Genki Ya, Brookline

photo of Genki Ya, Brookline, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Genki Ya, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar in Brookline. Genki Ya, which is located on Harvard Avenue between Coolidge Corner and the Allston neighborhood of Boston, is a tiny restaurant that is brightly lit and clean inside. Both the sushi and the entrees are outstanding, and all of the food at this friendly little dining spot is made with organic ingredients. To read more about Genki Ya in Brookline, please click on the link above.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A New House of Siam Opens on Tremont Street in Boston

Tremont Street in the South End of Boston is now home to a new Thai restaurant that has a familiar name. House of Siam has just opened a new location a few blocks from the original on Columbus Avenue. The new House of Siam is much smaller than the original (which remains open), and the menu is a bit smaller.

The address for the new House of Siam is: House of Siam, 592 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02118. The phone number is: (617) 267-7426.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Port Tavern, a New Irish Pub, Is Coming to Newburyport

State Street in Newburyport will once again have an Irish pub.

The Port Tavern will be moving into the spot where Rosie O'Shea's used to be in the center of this historic seaport near the New Hampshire border. The pub may be open as early as late January, though the Daily News of Newburyport mentions that the owners may be looking at early February for opening.

According to the Daily News, the Port Tavern will have a modern look with an open floor plan, and the seating will be upgraded. The atmosphere will be a bit different from the former Rosie O'Shea's, which was more of an old-fashioned watering hole with a dark, cozy feel and basic bench seating.

For more information on the soon-to-be-open Port Tavern in Newburyport, please go to the Daily News link below:

Businessmen to bring Irish pub back to State Street

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poll: Effect of Proposed Toll Increase on East Boston Restaurants

With sharp toll increases planned for the Boston Harbor tunnels (from $3.50 to $7.00), there is a growing debate as to how these increases might affect East Boston businesses, including the many restaurants located in the neighborhood.

As arguments for and against a toll hike continue, we have decided to set up an informal poll to take a tally about the affect, if any, that the hike would have on East Boston restaurants. Feel free to vote below--results will be posted at the end of December (the official vote on the proposal won't take place until at least January).

What effect will a toll increase (from $3.50 to $7.00) for the Boston Harbor tunnels have on East Boston restaurants?


Poll Results: Effect of Proposed Toll Increase on East Boston Restaurants

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Latest Review: Rufful's Restaurant, Providence, RI

photo of Rufful's Restaurant, Providence, RIThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a diner in the Wayland Square section of Providence, RI, called Rufful's Restaurant. Rufful's is a simple, basic greasy spoon joint that serves breakfast and lunch to residents and visitors of this wealthy neighborhood on the East Side of Providence. The breakfast menu consists of all the basics, while the lunch menu features all kinds of salads and sandwiches (including triple deckers and subs). To read more about Rufful's Restaurant in Providence, please click on the link above.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Boston's Cigar Bars in Danger of Closing

Depending on the outcome of the Boston Health Commission vote this week, cigar bars in Boston may be forced to close.

According to WBZ TV, the Boston Health Commission is going to be voting on whether to shut down all cigar bars and hookah bars. If the vote passes, these bars will have to close within the next five years.

For more on the possible closing of cigar bars in Boston, please go to the link below:

Health Commission Looks To Snuff Out Cigar Bars

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wingstop to Open Two Locations in Boston

Wingstop, a popular national chicken wing chain, may be opening two restaurants in the Boston area.

According to the USA Today Franchise Ownership Center, the company has signed franchise agreements with former Dallas Cowboy and New York Giant lineman Ron Stone to develop two Wingstop locations in Boston. USA Today also mentions that the chain looks to open up to 75 locations in the Northeast within the next five years.

Wingstop, which started in 1994, features nine flavors of wings, from "mild" to "atomic." They also feature boneless strips with the same flavor options.

To read more about the opening of two Wingstop restaurants in the Boston area, please go to the link below:

Wingstop Announces Major Expansion for Northeastern U.S.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Latest Review: Pescatore, Somerville

photo of Pescatore, Somerville, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Pescatore, an Italian seafood restaurant in Somerville. Located on a side street in the Ball Square neighborhood of the city, Pescatore is a bit tough to find, but is an attractive little spot with both a dining room and a takeout area. Prices are very reasonable, and much of the items on the menu are made from scratch. Specialties include a variety of seafood entrees, as well as pasta, chicken, veal, and steak dishes. To read more about Pescatore in Somerville, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Update: Ghazal in Jamaica Plain Is Open

Ghazal Fine Indian Cuisine is now open. Thanks to one of our posters (as well as the folks at Chowhound) for letting us know.

Ghazal is located at 711 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain where Cafe D used to be.

Monday, December 01, 2008

California Pizza Kitchen Opening Soon in Wellesley

California Pizza Kitchen, a national chain of restaurants that specializes in California-style cuisine, will soon be opening a new location in the Linden Square section of Wellesley.

The new California Pizza kitchen is starting to look for workers, so it appears that it will be open shortly in Wellesley. As soon as the restaurant does open, we will post an update on this site.

California Pizza Kitchen, which opened its first restaurant in 1985, currently has more than 240 restaurants in operation.

Lavender Asian Cuisine and Bar Opens in Sudbury

A new restaurant has come to Sudbury. Lavender Asian Cuisine and Bar, a Pan-Asian dining spot, opened last week in the Sudbury Plaza on Route 20.

According to Wicked Local, the Sudbury Town Crier, and the Metrowest Daily News, Lavender features a variety of Asian cuisine, including dishes found in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Japan. The newspaper also mentions that everything is made fresh daily, and no MSG is used.

For more information on the opening of Lavender in Sudbury, please go to the Wicked Local link below:

Lavender restaurant focuses on fresh Asian cuisine in Sudbury

Fire Closes Cafe Belo in Allston

Cafe Belo, a Brazilian dining spot in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, is closed for the forseeable future after a fire heavily damaged the restaurant on Friday morning. According to the Boston Globe, the fire caused about $350,000 in damage to the building, which is located at 181 Brighton Avenue.

Cafe Belo first opened in the neighborhood in 1997 and grew into a small chain of restaurants, including one in Somerville and another in Framingham. (There is another location in Curitiba, Brazil.) The restaurant features a self-service buffet that includes all kinds of meats.

For more information on the fire at Cafe Belo, please go to the Boston Globe article at the link below:

Fire closes flagship of Brazilian cafe chain, social spot

The Abbey Lounge in Somerville Closes

The Abbey Lounge, a rock club located just outside of Inman Square on Beacon Street in Somerville, has shut its doors.

The final show at the Abbey Lounge was held on Wednesday, November 26, and the last day of operation was this past Friday (November 28).

No word on what might be going in to the spot vacated by the Abbey Lounge at this point. Once more information comes along, we will post it here....