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Boston Restaurant Blog -- April, 2007

Below are blog entries from April, 2007. Use the links in the left column to do a quick search of blog entries, or to see blog entries from other months. And feel free to use the "Comments" links under each blog entry to reply to us; your comments just might end up in our Boston restaurant blog! (Note: This page is part of our restaurant features section.)

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APRIL, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007
A Few New Restaurants in Boston

A number of new restaurants have opened up in the Boston area over first few months of 2007 (and late 2006), with more on the way. Some of these dining spots are getting a lot of press, while others have basically just appeared with little or no fanfare. Below is a list of some of these restaurants that have either recently opened, or are about to open:

B. Good, Brookline:
healthy sandwich place coming to Harvard Street

Broadway Diner, Arlington:
diner in old Olive Branch location

CF Donovan's, Hyde Park:
new branch of original in Dorchester

Deep Ellum, Allston:
contemporary pub grub with good beer list

Geoffrey's, Roslindale:
beloved old Boston restaurant reappearing in Roslindale

Georgie D's, Stoneham:
new Italian restaurant on Main Street

La Verdad, Boston:
highly-anticipated Mexican restaurant near Fenway Park

Mifune, Arlington:
Chinese and Japanese restaurant in center of town

Mrs. Jones, Dorchester:
new soul food restaurant coming to Lower Mills

O Ya, Boston:
cozy Japanese restaurant in Leather District

Rocca, Boston:
upscale Italian restaurant on Harrison Avenue

I actually haven't been to any of the above restaurants yet, but am looking to try at least a few of them. Deep Ellum, Mrs. Jones (which isn't open yet), and Rocca are probably the three that pique my interest the most. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2007
Tasty Takeout from Mandarin King, Quincy

Last weekend, I didn't do much in the way of restaurants. In fact, the only restaurant I went to at all was for takeout food on Saturday night. Being that we were near the Quincy/Braintree border and were in the mood for Chinese food, I decided to swing by one of Quincy's many fine Chinese restaurants. And the place we ended up trying was Mandarin King, a small Chinese restaurant in the shadows of the old Fore River Shipyard near the Weymouth border.

Mandarin King doesn't look like much from the outside, as it is in a low, squat building in an area filled with apartments, auto shops, and fast-food joints. But the interior is rather pleasant and peaceful, with a number of tables set off to the side in a little dining room area. It seems that it is a popular place for takeout, as most of the tables were empty. I picked up the order and we were soon enjoying some really good Chinese food while watching the Sox game.

We started out with some decent vegetable dumplings that were more chunky than smooth inside (I like it better when the veggies are ground almost to a pulp, but that's just me). Then we moved on to the Americanized part of our order--an order of chicken fingers. They were pretty good, and weren't quite as greasy as they are in your typical Chinese takeout joint. Finally we dove into the main entrees; the Singapore rice noodle dish was excellent, though a bit milder than I am used to. And the pad Thai was very tasty, with delicious noodles mixed with chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and peanut sauce.

I'd say that the food at Mandarin King was satisfying overall, though I don't think it is quite up to the level of the best that Chinatown in Boston has to offer. But it is a whole lot better than your basic suburban Chinese restaurant, so I would wholeheartedly recommend checking out Mandarin King if you happen to be in the Quincy area.

For those of you looking for the address of Mandarin King, here it is: Mandarin King, 656 Washington Street, Quincy, MA 02169. The phone number is (617) 786-8889.

Related Blog Entries: Chinese restaurants, Quincy restaurants

Friday, April 20, 2007
Finally, We Have Ice Cream Weather in Boston

What a relief it is to see the sun after so many days of wind, rain, snow, and flooding in Boston and New England. It has indeed been a gloomy April so far, but now it looks like the sun will be around for many days, and temperatures could get near 80 by next week. Sooooo, we all know what that means, don't we? That's right--it is time once again to start hitting the ice cream stands!

I have already gone to a couple of places for ice cream this spring, one of which is a newcomer to our list of ice cream stands in the Boston and New England area that is on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. The place is called the Ice Creamsmith, and it is located in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. And while it is not a rural ice cream stand (like Kimball's in Carlisle) with picnic tables, crickets, and lots of stars in the sky above, the Ice Creamsmith is definitely an excellent place to go for an ice cream fix. Check out our ice cream page to read about the Ice Creamsmith and some of our other favorite ice cream stands in Boston and New England. And if you know of some others, please tell us about them!

Related Blog Entries: ice cream stands

Saturday, April 14, 2007
Good Food Cheap at Harry's in Westborough

One restaurant that I have been trying to get to since forever is Harry's Restaurant on Route 9 in Westborough. Various people I know have told me many tales about Harry's, including one such story mentioning the fact that you can get a pitcher of beer with your scrambled eggs there. So armed with this rather delightful bit of news, we headed over to Harry's recently after a trip to the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston.

photo of Harry's Restaurant, Westborough, MA Upon entering Harry's, I was struck by how much the place looked like some of the delis and diners I have been to in and around New York City. I hadn't realized that this was a simple, basic, dirt-cheap roadside food joint with so many types of food that I love, including monte cristos, pastrami, chicken in a basket, franks and beans, macaroni and cheese, and corned beef. And it was these last two items that I tried at Harry's on our recent trip. The macaroni and cheese was very creamy with a good amount of bread crumbs,and the hot corned beef sandwich was better than most I have had in the Boston area, including those from some of the better-known delis in the region.

I realize that Harry's might not be the kind of place I should be going to all the time (mainly because I don't think my heart could take it), but do they ever have a great menu if you like comfort food as much as I do. And it seems that many people do, as Harry's is an institution in Metro West, with the place being crowded at all hours, including 2:00 on a Sunday, which is when we went. It may not be a hidden gem, but it is a place I could grow to love, and it the type of unique, fun, old-fashioned roadside joint that I hope is around for a long, long time.

Related Blog Entries: diners

Friday, April 6, 2007
Samples of Viewers' Top Restaurant Picks

As many of you know, Boston's Hidden Restaurants has a Viewers' Favorite Restaurants section. This special feature within the site allows our readers to tell us about some of their favorite places to eat, and it has been growing of late, with a number of interesting restaurants posted over the past couple of months.

The postings of favorite restaurants are shown in chronological order, with about 10 restaurants per page. The pages we have as of April, 2007, are:

--Favorite Restaurants: February, 2007 to April, 2007

--Favorite Restaurants: December, 2006 to February, 2007

--Favorite Restaurants: October, 2006 to December, 2006

--Favorite Restaurants: August, 2006 to October, 2006

--Favorite Restaurants: May, 2006 to August, 2006

--Favorite Restaurants: February, 2006 to May, 2006

--Favorite Restaurants: January, 2006 to February, 2006

Feel free to tell us what your favorite restaurant is! Chances are, it will be added to the pages shown above. We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Nice Meal at The Biltmore, Newton

For those of you who remember the old Biltmore Cafe in Newton Upper Falls from a few years back and beyond, get ready to be shocked; The Biltmore is now an upscale bistro with excellent New American cuisine as well as some great comfort food entrees. Yes, gone is the "bucket of blood" that once catered to softball teams, local construction workers, a smattering of troublemakers, and the occasional white-collar worker. And while you can still recognize the old Biltmore with its dark wood and old photos and signs adorning the walls, the new Biltmore is far, far different from the old Biltmore.

photo of The Biltmore, Newton, MA We took a trip out to The Biltmore a few days ago to see how much it has changed. I used to go there all the time when I played softball in the Newton area, and I remember it being a place where you might get a plate of ravioli and a few beers. Well, the standard ravioli dish and the other pasta dishes are mostly gone, having been replaced by slow-roasted pork belly, spicy mussels, and ribeye steak, as well as several more "downscale" items such as meatloaf, steak tips, and burgers. After starting with a wonderful mushroom barley soup, we ordered the spicy mussels and the steak tips. The mussels were fresh and incredibly tasty, with a spicy sauce that absolutely propelled the dish to greatness. The steak tips, however, were not quite up to the level of the mussels; the marinade was mild and complemented the tips nicely, and the tips themselves were delicious, but a couple of them were tough and gristly. The rice that came with the tips was bland and watery, and the Caesar salad was fresh with crisp lettuce, though it had a slightly stronger than average anchovy taste. The beer list was fairly short but excellent; I ordered an Allagash White, which was an outstanding Belgian-type ale.

Based on the one meal we had at the new Biltmore, I would have to say that they have a good thing going. I've heard that some of the other dishes at The Biltmore are out of this world, so I'm looking forward to trying it again. I do miss the old Johnny's Biltmore Cafe a bit (for purely sentimental reasons), but the new Biltmore should make folks soon forget what used to be there.

Related Blog Entries: American restaurants, Newton restaurants

Sunday, April 1, 2007
Visitor Information Page for 2007 Boston Marathon Runners

Just wanted to let folks know that our Boston Visitor Information for 2007 Boston Marathon Runners page is up and running; marathon runners are invited to take a look at this page to find more information about the Boston area.

Best of luck to all who are running in the 2007 Boston Marathon! And, of course, if runners (or anyone else) have questions on specific places to eat in the Boston area, please contact us.

Related Blog Entries: Boston Marathon