would say that pizza is the perfect fast food for any occasion. Whether
it’s a quick lunch for the kids, late-night munchies, or even
breakfast leftovers, it’s hard to find anything as pleasing
as pizza. The challenge in this town is to find “the ultimate
All to often it’s either a matter of "This is so greasy!",
"Where’s the cheese?", or "Can you heat that
up a little more?" Most of my pizza outings are neither appetizing
or fulfilling, unless I venture off the beating path to Cleveland
Circle where Pino's Pizza reigns supreme.
As a BC undergrad, I was close enough to get a weekly (and in most
cases “daily”) fix. While I may not reside in the area
anymore, Pino's is still without peer and definitely
worth the trip. As a matter of fact, when the urge strikes, I’ve
traveled from Roxbury on a one hour lunch break through afternoon
traffic just to get a slice. That should tell you how good Pino’s
If you like thin crust pizza, Pino’s is in
a class by itself with a perfect blend of sauce and cheese ().
It never ceases to amaze how a little care and attention can elevate
the eating experience. Nicky and his crew display that care and attention,
resulting in fresh, great-tasting pizzas.
It doesn't stop there folks. Pino's makes a world
famous steak and cheese sub that will make any Philly native miss
home (). Quality
thin slices of steak grilled over onions (or however you like it),
on the freshest rolls. This is real steak, not that dry, gummy meat
that these places usually serve. Makes my mouth water just thinking
about it. Pino's also serves a variety of pasta's,
salads and lunch combinations at a reasonable price. All of Pino's
dishes are made out front, in full view of the customer. With their
fast and friendly service Pino's is a cut above the
If you’re not willing to travel to Cleveland Circle, a strong
substitute is the Boston House of Pizza on Huntington
Avenue. Props to BHP for holding it down as one of Boston's oldest
pizza places. It may not be the same as back in the day, but they’re
still reliable for that all important slice on the go.
1920 Beacon Street, Cleveland Circle (Near the movie theatre)
10:00am - 1am
Sun: 10:00am - 12pm
$5 - $10
pizza in Boston" - hands down
seems to be no end to the increasing wave of innovative restaurants
invading the South End of Boston. If you love food, then that's a good
In a competitive restaurant town like Boston, the key is to provide
a service that somehow stands out to those looking for new and exciting
dining options. Since Boston is to seafood as Texas is to barbeque,
not only must seafood restaurants meet a certain standard, the restaurant
must also go above and beyond the call of duty to entice the average
Jasper White's Summer Shack features a traditional
clam shack/cafeteria style setting that is definitely unique in this
town. Recently opening in what was previously the Sheri movie theatre
directly across from the Sheridan Hotel, you can order to go or stay.
Skeptical? Stay, it is worth it. Here is how it works:
For starters, you get to choose from a menu that offers over 20 appetizers,
grilled fish choices, and other dinner specialties. They also have sandwiches
and plenty of side orders to round out your meal. Simply check off your
selections and take your menu to the window to place an order (you may
also place a separate order for the raw bar with the waitress). When
your name is called, pick up your neatly packaged meal on a tray complete
with with everything you need.
This is obviously not your typical dining establishment, and would probably
a bad choice for that romantic anniversary dinner. Regardless, I really
enjoyed the straight forward approach and best of all, the service was
fast. As soon as your order is ready, you can pick it up (which is great
if you have kids). Furthermore, anything missing in the order can be
retrieved on the spot.
atmosphere is bright and eclectic. Both the walls and furniture were
dazzling and full of life. There is a laid-back, easygoing nature to
the Shack and I was truly impressed with how orderly and well planned
the system was executed. The set-up is efficient and remarkably calm
for a place where both customers and staff are on the move.
With such a large variety of items to choose from, the Summer
Shack has something for everyone. The Bermuda Fish and Crab
Chowder was spicy. The Grilled Eggplant was light and flavorful. The
clams were blazin' fresh
and fabulous, and fried to perfection.
If you prefer a lighter meal, try the Grilled Bluefish. It's perfect.
Also, having cornbread served with the meal was a refreshing switch
from the typical dinner roll.
While the food was well prepared, I must applaud the effort and integrity
put into making a creative and captivating environment to dine in. There
is always something to say about presentation and the positive or negative
effect it can have on your meal. The meal was presented in a charming
and colorful manner, all the way down to the dishes it was served on.
As a distinctive feature, the staff cleans the tables and floors while
is top caliber and the restaurant shines because of it. The staff is
friendly and attentive.
As a new feature the there is a late night menu served from 11:00PM-1:00AM
Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
10 Scotia Street (South End)
$12 - $20
||Great food backed
by efficient and friendly service
The best way to know
the cooking of New Orleans is to be raised there. For those of us less
fortunate, a few trips to New Orleans to feast on crabs, crawfish, gumbos,
bisques, grits, and redfish, will generally do the trick. Otherwise, the
challenge is to find a decent Louisiana-style restaurant here at home
that truly embraces the subtleties of Cajun and/or Creaole cooking.
the few restaurants in Boston that does justice to contemporary southern
Louisiana cooking, Rouge has been a runaway success since
its opening last year. One reason is the smart, uncluttered look of the
dining spaces, simultaneously elegant and festive. Another is the menu.
Rouge's flavorful creations reflect a modern approach
to Southern and traditional American cooking -- a variety of barbecues,
cleverly composed salads, and incredible desserts.
chic has been the cachet of this sleek and intimate South End spot, just
a few blocks above Massachusetts Avenue. Exposed brick, mahogany, and
soft light from elegant wall lamps adorned with traditional Mardi Gras
masks create the ideal New Orleans mood.
is a blend of modern sophistication and Southern-inspired flavors. A star
among the many fine appetizers is the New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp served
on garlic toast, Hush Puppies and Smoked Trout, and the House-made Boudin
Sausage. Entrées include Blackened Catfish, Knife and Fork Fried
Chicken, Wild Virginian Striped Bass, and my favorite, the Barbecued Ribs.
The mostly California wine list is both impressive in range and nicely
organized. Service is a pleasing combination of informality and friendliness.
for two, with drinks, average in the $60-$70 range. Not bad for a South
End restaurant. Overall, Rouge receives a confident .
are recommended, however, it you can get there before 6pm, it's probably
is located at 480 Columbus Avenue, in Boston's South End.
Columbus Avenue (South End)
5:30pm - 10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm (Bar til 1pm)
Sun: Brunch 11:00am - 3:00pm
$16 - $25
dishes in an attractive environment
Boston's local restaurants
have always provided us with a rich tradition of food and family. From
1947-1983 my Great Aunt and Grandmother ran the Southern Diner
in the South End. It was here that my true love and appreciation for good
food began, ignited by their heavenly cooking. Similarly, we have been
blessed with a history of neighborhood restaurants that consistently deliver
unbelievable meals, family style, at affordable prices.
In keeping with this tradition, Grille 657 has emerged
as a place with promise. Just off Dorchester's Codman Square, it serves
up a variety of outstanding soul food dishes, in a comfortable and relaxed
Let's break it down
First and foremost, the atmosphere sets the standard for the food to come.
657 is cozy and inviting. Rarely do you find a restaurant
that gives off an instant sense of family as you walk in the door. It
was refreshing and so was the food.
The steak tips were blazin' .
Marinated and grilled to perfection, they're ideal for lunch. The tips
were served with rice and a salad which were both fresh and tasty. All
of the chicken, meat and seafood products are of the highest quality which
is reflected in the presentation and taste of the entrees.
For a reasonable price, the Sunday Brunch gets you 4 choices from a select
list. 657's staff is not afraid to try new and exciting dishes, prepared
with flare and style. However if you are less adventurous, old time favorites
such as the macaroni and cheese are a sure bet. If you want a more traditional
meal, the french toast is divine.
Overall, Grille 657 receives a confident .
Hat's off to the staff for a sensational meal. This restaurant is definitely
making it's mark on Boston's map as an up and coming hot spot. Just in
time for summer!
Grille 657 is located at 657 Washington Street in Dorchester.
Washington Street (Codman Square)
8:00am - 3:00pm
Sat: 8:00am - 3:30pm
Sun: Brunch 10:00am - 3:00pm
$5 - $10
||A mouth watering
variety of soul food and desserts in a relaxed Codman Square setting.
Maison Robert, in
the Old City Hall building downtown, continues to challenge the competition
for recognition as Boston's best French restaurant. The main dining room,
dotted with chandeliers and graced with 18 feet high ceilings and arch
windows, was once the treasurer's office of the old City Hall.
Service is particularly good -- dismissing past concerns. If you're not
familiar with French cuisine, don't worry. The waiters are knowledgeable
of the menu and will take the time to explain how each meal is prepared.
Dishes are mainly contemporary French (with some American), all prepared
with a healthy dose of creativity.Try the grilled duck breast (have it
prepared medium rare), or the Poulet du Vermont (young Vermont chicken).
The the wine list is excellent, although at eye-popping prices. If you're
a fan of white wines, try the Cakebread Cellars 2000 Chardonnay. It's
a great complement to most of the entrees, and is reasonably priced. Desserts
are heavenly, particularly the Grand Marnier Souffle'. It takes approximately
30 minutes to prepare, so be sure to order the souffle' with the main
Maison Robert is the perfect dining experience from the wonderful tasting
menu, to the beautiful room to, and, most exceptionally, the knowledgeable,
and friendly staff. We were treated like royalty and, after a nearly 4
hour meal, we felt like royalty. This was one of the best dining experiences
in the city. I look forward to returning.
Reservations are essential.
Back to Dining
Boston is historically
known for it’s great seafood. The Naked Fish however,
puts an interesting “twist” on this concept by casting seafood
in a funky Caribbean/Cuban theme. The result is an interesting mix of
minimally seasoned, fresh seafood immersed in a sensual Latin aura. Simply
put: The Naked Fish makes seafood sexy.
The “Naked” approach to preparing seafood involves use of
a wood-fired grill with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. This preparation
method allows diners to experience the full flavor of the fish.
Aside from the "Naked" fish preparations, patrons also have
the option of "Not-So-Naked" pan-fried entrées served
with sauces. Offers include roasted Chilean sea bass with tomatoes, capers
and kalamata olives or peppercorn tuna with a Cuban rum-cream sauce. For
the less adventurous, there’s even fish and chips.
In addition to almost 20 seafood entrées on the printed menu, which
changes every five to six weeks, there are four to five daily specials.
The menu also features a dozen appetizers, such as Mussels Sofrito and
Grilled Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp.
Naked Fish’s food wouldn’t be complete without
funky beverages, which rack up 28 percent of the concept’s sales.
The restaurant offers Cuban drinks like the Mojito and the Habana Colada.
An open-kitchen design provides the diner with the opportunity to watch
the chefs in action. And the interior design is straight from the art
deco streets of Miami’s South Beach.
I had the mahi-mahi and it was delicious. I also shared a salad with my
dining companion and it was absolutely delicious. It was a simple field
greens salad but the dressing was to die for.
The staff was very friendly and upon receiving our menus, we were left
with a small clipboard on our table with the specials for the day, and
on the other side, the restaurants philosophy. A nice touch!
Reservations are not required for most weeknights, but I would expect
weekends to be quite busy. Call ahead.
This is a great dining experience for exceptional “Cuban inspired”
seafood without the traditional “Legals” approach. Expect
to spend between $50 - $60 for two.
Back to Dining
156-150 Blue Hill Ave
Merengue Restaurant situated in the heart of Roxbury on lower Blue
Hill Avenue is a "must visit" restaurant that successfully combines
an appealing atmosphere, excellent food, and warm and courteous service.
Although the restaurant was established in 1994, it recently moved to
its stylish new location at 156-160 Blue Hill Avenue.
Upon entering, we
were warmly greeted by the host who gave us the option of dining in one
of two different areas of the restaurant. The front, or main dining area,
includes an area for take out and delivery, while the side room provides
a more private atmosphere.
An attractive surrounding
of bright engaging colors adorns the walls and is supported by the paintings
of many well-known artists. The sounds of salsa in the background provide
a feeling of being in the Islands and complement the dining experience.
One is immediately
overwhelmed at the number of selections available on the menu. The fare
is Dominican, which means plenty of meat and seafood choices, so vegetarians
beware. In total, there are appropriately 70 or more items to choose from.
We started off with
the fried plantain (sweet) and the mashed plantains, both of which were
perfectly prepared. For entries, we selected the Chuletas Encebolladas
(Pork Chops and Onions), and the Chillo Entero al Gusto (Red Snapper).
The snapper in particular, was prepared with a delicious spicy vinaigrette
sauce. The pork chops were well seasoned with just the right flavor to
compliment the Moro (Spanish Rice). Throughout the meal, service was consistent
and attentive. The portions are generous, so, if you should happen to
have room left, you can always try the Postre del Dia (Dessert of the
In total, dinner for
two with drinks came to just under $30. Not bad for a great meal in this
town. In addition to dining in, you can also take out, and the Merengue
also delivers. They also have a catering service for special occasions.
Visit the Merengue's
website at http://www.merenguerestaurant.com/
Back to Dining
469 Blue Hill Avenue
Restaurant and Catering, situated in the heart of the Grove Hall section
of Dorchester has become a warm and cozy place for friends and loved ones
to gather over a scrumptious home cooked meal. Keith's Place, which has
become nationally acclaimed for specialties such as Sweet Potato Pancakes
and their one-of-a-kind Omelets was one of the original businesses that
ignited the rebirth of Grove Hall over five years ago.
The owner, Cheryl
Straughter started her restaurant eight years ago in a small storefront
on Blue Hill Avenue just down the street from her current location. She
named the restaurant after her son Keith, and as a result of it's growth,
obtained the current, larger location at 469 Blue Hill Avenue. Today,
Keith's Place is the only full-service restaurant in Grove Hall.
Stop in for lunch
on any given day and experience such lunch favorites as Golden Fried Catfish,
a Hot Stuffed Shrimp Wrap or Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs with sides of Mac and
Cheese, Collard Greens, and a homemade buttermilk biscuit. Wash it all
down with the house specialty, a cool refreshing "Keith's Krush",
and finish the meal with a slice of delightful Sweet Potato Pie.
Don't miss the wonderful
Sunday Brunch, which features an assortment of Cheryl's specials, some
of which have included Southern Fried Porgies, Banana Pecan Pancakes,
the Ultimate Veggie Omelet, Wild Blueberry French Toast, Cajun Salmon
Cakes, homemade Fish Hash and "Sizzlin" Sirloin Steak Tips.
Brunch has become so popular you'll have to get there early or wait in
line for a table.
Make sure you stop by and bring your friends for the good Old Fashioned
Southern "Fish Fry" for lunch every Friday. Because Keith's
uses only fresh fish, the menu changes each week with the market. Past
offerings have included Porgies, Catfish, Whiting, Bass, Croakers, Red
Snapper, Haddock, Corn-on-the-cob, Fried Okra and Hushpuppies.
The Summer Jazz and Fish Fry event on Friday nights was very successful
this year. The shows featured local talent and were held outside in the
park beside the restaurant. The Fish Fry ran from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. If
you missed it this year, you'll have a chance to enjoy it when it starts
again next summer. Cheryl would like to thank all of you who participated.
Keith's Place also provides catering services for functions such as business
meetings, weddings, birthday parties, dinner parties and various other
events. Their catering talents have provided services ranging from a private
reception for the Mayor's office to dinner for celebrity Kirk Franklin.
Please note that Keith's Place serves no Pork Products.
Keith's Place received the prestigious Phantom Gourmet's Hidden Jewel
Award in March of this year and was also featured on Channel 5's evening
edition of Chronicle as one of the Best Local Restaurants around New England.
As Cheryl like's to say, "Come in with an Appetite, and Leave with
Hours of operation
are Tuesday through Friday - 6:30am to 2:00pm, Saturdays - 7:00am to 2:00pm,
Sundays 7:00am to 3:00pm (breakfast only).
Back to Dining
for a terrific meal, exceptional service, and great atmosphere? Make your
way over to Sonsie on Newbury Street.
a flavorful and eclectic menu in a relaxed atmosphere with a great view
of Newbury Street. The dishes are basic bistro and feature an eclectic
menu that includes Northern Italian pasta dishes and American specialties.
Lunch, brunch and
dinner are available seven days a week featuring award-wining Chef Bill
Poirier's nationally acclaimed seasonal menu. Highlights on the menu include
Grilled Salmon with Filo Baked Asparagus, Seared Sea Scallops and Crab
Cakes, Poached Halibut and Pan Roast Lobster, and my favorite, the Classic
Steak Au Poivre. And no meal is complete with out a sampling of their
award-winning Best of Boston Chocolate Bread Pudding.
The atmosphere at
Sonsie is can best be described as
noisy and upscale. The
facility is contemporary and lively and possibly the premier hangout spot
for the Newbury Street elite as well as those who want to meet them. The
mahogany bar serves the best martinis in town in addition to adding to
the overall ambience of the restaurant. During warm-weather months, the
entire front of Sonsie becomes an open-air café so everybody
can keep an eye on who's promenading along chic Newbury.
The Red Room Lounge,
located downstairs at Sonsie, adds another layer to the restaurant.
Classic cocktails are served in the cozy European lounge with deep leather
chairs and sofas from 7 pm to 1 am, Wednesday through Saturdays.
On weekends, Sonsie
is crowded elbow-to-elbow, so reservations are highly suggested. Carryout
is available. Entrances and walkways are wheelchair friendly. Parking
can be arranged for customers.
Note to Guys: Sonsie
fits the bill for that "special occasion" dinner.
Visit Sonsie on the
web at: www.SonsieBoston.com/
Back to Dining
Jake's Boss BBQ
Upon entering Jake's
Boss BBQ in Jamaica Plain, the first thing that catches your attention
is the huge torso of a bull that appears to be crashing through the restaurant's
back wall. It's a short-lived diversion, as the smell of slow-cooked,
smoked barbecue takes control of your hunger.
Cooked over hard woods and special fruit woods, Jake's uses a special
blend of herbs and spices to add a tender and intoxicating flavor to it's
meats. If you have ever had meat cooked long and slow and experienced
fall-off-the-bone tenderness and distinctive hickory flavor, you can begin
to understand why Jake's BBQ is legendary.
Choose from BBQ chicken, "Oink" ribs, or "Moo" ribs,
sliced pork and brisket, rib tips, and wings. Add to that, one of Jake's
many sides which include "Miss Eva's rice", homemade Mac-N-Cheese
made with 3 different cheeses,
Sweet Mashed Potatoes, Collard
Greens, and Potato Salad.
If you can't make up your mind, try one of Jake's combos. The Boss's Plate
combo includes smoked chicken, ribs, chopped BBQ, brisket, and Sausage.
For the hardy appetite, try one of Jake's combo boxes that are designed
to feed 4, 6, or 8 people.
Jake's is also one of only a few restaurants in the area to offer deep
fried turkeys. Particularly popular around the holiday seasons, plan to
place your order at least two days in advance for this delicious specialty.
If you've got a taste for good BBQ, get to Jake's in Jamaica Plain. After
you've enjoyed his "que" give him the "Jake Shake"
(shake your head in approval).
Delivery is available with a minimum $15 order. Jake's is also available
Back to Dining
House of Blues Gospel Brunch
96 Winthrop St.
style food, soul-stiring gospel music, and a Sunday morning sermon.
Sound like an unusual combination? It is, and it's called the House
of Blues Gospel Brunch.
The Cambridge establishment, long known for it's showcase for Blues
greats, has become a popular Sunday morning retreat for those needing
both spiritual and nutritional nourishment.
All guests are seated
in the upstairs room (which is typically used for concerts), in a series
of long tables. It gets a little tight at times, but it's an opportunity
to meet those next to you. The buffet, which is a combination of down-home
Southern-style food and New Orleans favorites, consists of entrees such
Steamship Round of Beef
BBQ Chicken Legs
Jalapeño Corn Bread
Squash Ala Florance
Roasted Garlic Potatoes
While in the mist
of eating all this good food, your host for the morning begins with
a prayer, and then introduces this week's gospel group. Each week the
brunch features a different gospel group from a local church. Typically,
they do rock the house!
It's a great experience, and a fun way to enjoy a Sunday morning. Tickets
(which go quickly) must be purchased in advance. There are three seatings
to choose from: 10am, 12 noon, or 2pm. You can also walk in without
a reservation, for the second floor, which has the same great buffet
choices, but without the live music. You can however, view the music
from several large TV monitors.
Visit the House
of Blue's website at http://www.hob.com/
Back to Dining