Below are blog entries from May, 2006. 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.)
Monday, May 29, 2006
More Restaurants Near Acadia National Park
Every Memorial Day, I head up to Acadia National Park in Maine, sometimes with a big group, and other times with just one or two people. This year, there were a few of us up there, enjoying the beautiful weather that settled over New England just in time for the weekend.
On Friday, we headed up Route 95, then down Route 1A, stopping in Ellsworth for lunch. We hit the Riverside Cafe, a neat little breakfast and lunch spot in the center of town. Ellsworth has several decent-looking restaurants along its main street, but the Riverside Cafe looked pretty inviting, and it did turn out to have good food, including excellent Hungarian beef soup and a very good pastrami sandwich.
After spending the afternoon along the Ocean Loop in Acadia National Park, we headed to the Lompoc Cafe, which is one of our favorite restaurants in Bar Harbor. Hidden on the back streets of this funky tourist town, the Lompoc is nevertheless a popular spot (especially with locals and college students), and for good reason; everything here is fresh and healthy, including the excellent chicken and white bean burrito, the persian plate, and the goat cheese salad. And the beer selection at the Lompoc is top notch, with such outstanding beverages as Coal Porter and Bar Harbor Real Ale. Oh, and there is a bocce court on the premises, which is a very nice touch. After the Lompoc, we headed over to Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium to get some tasty ice cream (which we would repeat the following night).
On Saturday morning, I took a walk around sleepy little Northeast Harbor, where we stay every year, then we headed back to Bar Harbor for breakfast at Jordan's Restaurant, which is a wildly popular breakfast and lunch spot in the center of town. Jordan's is friendly, quick, and cheap--three important qualities in a breakfast place, for sure. After leaving Jordan's, we headed to Thunder Hole to watch the waves and soak up some sun, then strolled the gardens at the Asticou Inn before heading to lunch at the Docksider Restaurant in Northeast Harbor. The Docksider has always been one of my favorite seafood shacks in New England, and it did not disappoint; the steamers, tuna, chicken, and other dishes were all delicious, and the ice cream wasn't bad, either.
After a pleasant afternoon spent at Pretty Marsh (we didn't see any marsh there, but it WAS pretty) and Eagle Lake, both in Acadia National Park, we went back to Bar Harbor one last time to try another restaurant on the back streets of Bar Harbor called Mama DiMatteo's. This restaurant was a dream come true, with amazing dishes such as macaroni and cheese with fresh lobster meat and veal ravioli with prusciutto. I'm not sure whether I liked the Lompoc Cafe or Mama DiMatteo's better (they are within shouting distance of each other, by the way), but I can't think of too many other places I'd rather go to in Bar Harbor then these two restaurants.
Monday morning came too fast as usual, and after a good breakfast at The Main Sail within the Kimball Terrace Inn in Northeast Harbor, it was time to hit the road. We took Route 1, which is the coastal route, through Camden, Rockland, and several other coastal towns, stopping at the incomparable Moody's Diner along the way. Moody's Diner, which is located in the small town of Waldoboro (a few miles east of Damariscotta and Wiscasset), is one of the best diners in New England, and surely one of the most popular. This classic diner has been around since the 1920s, and is part of a complex that includes a motel and a gift shop. Our meals there were very satisfying, and very easy on the wallet.
Sadly, another great trip to Acadia National Park is over. But I'll be thinking of some of the restaurants we went to for a long time to come, especially the Lompoc Cafe, Mama DiMatteo's, and Moody's Diner. I'll certainly be thinking about all three of them as I try to work the pounds off at the gym this week.
Related Blog Entries: Bar Harbor restaurants, Maine restaurants
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 29, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (2)
Friday, May 26, 2006
The Quest for Classic Roadside Dining Spots
Well, it's Memorial Day, and with it, the unofficial start to the summer. I always start to think about great little roadside diners, truck stops, ice cream stands, and takeout joints around this time of year. And I think that this year, I may do a trip or two with friends to do road trips solely based on finding some of these classic spots.
I already have some places in mind: North of Boston, there is Lawton's Frankfurt Stand in Lawrence, the Agawam Diner in Rowley, the Riverside Restaurant in Brookline, NH, and the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH; south of Boston, there is the Hingham Lobster Pound in Hingham, the Modern Diner in Pawtucket, RI, Iggy's Doughboys and Chowderhouse in Warwick and Narragansett, RI; Sea Swirl in Mystic, CT, and Al Mac's Diner in Fall River; west of Boston, there is Harry's Too in Westboro, George's Coney Island Hot Dogs in Worcester, O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, CT, and Al's Hot Dog Stand in Naugatuck, CT; and finally, in or near Boston itself, there is Simco's Takeout in Mattapan and Buddy's Truck Stop in Somerville.
If you can think of any classic roadside dining spots in the Boston and New England area that I should check out, please let me know. I'm particularly interested in Connecticut, since it seems that there are many interesting diners, ice cream stands, burger joints, and hot dog stands in that state.
Related Blog Entries: New England restaurants
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 26, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (7)
What is RSS? Glad You Asked!
By now, you have probably noticed that our Boston Restaurant Blog has all these funny little orange RSS buttons next to the entries. And all of a sudden, our Boston Restaurant Forum has these little buttons, too. So you're probably asking, "What gives? What is RSS, anyway?" Well, even though it may seem confusing, it is actually a very simple concept, and one that can simplify your browsing when you're on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, although other people think it may stand for something else, but we'll stick with this one for now. We have a page that explains RSS in detail, so if you want to learn all about it, go to our RSS Information Page. But to put it in simple terms, RSS basically lets you see what our latest blog and forum entries are, without having to search through the Web site. In other words, if you want to check out the last few blog entries, RSS technology automatically updates this information everytime a new entry is added, so all you have to do is bookmark the RSS page for the restaurant blog. There are different forms of these pages for both the blog and the forum, all of which are on the RSS Information Page shown above. So head over to that page and find out more about RSS, which, by the way, is being used increasingly by all kinds of Web sites, from news sites to blogs to forums.
And, of course, if you have any questions on how to use RSS, contact us and we will try to help.
Related Blog Entries: RSS feeds
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 19, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (0)
Monday, May 15, 2006
Stomach Flu and Floods Do Not a Happy Foodie Make
Not much in the way of blogs or anything else over the past few days. This food lover has seen his stomach go straight to the dogs over the past few days, and, 10 pounds later (lighter?), I am ready for food, but perhaps should wait another day or two before taking any chances.
My stomach bug, as bad as it was, is nothing compared to what has happened to so many people in the Boston area over the past few days. I was in Winchester, Woburn, and Lawrence today--three communities hit particularly hard by the flooding rains that hit the area. It is indeed humbling to see what kind of damage water can do. And it is also humbling--and inspiring--to see the amazing effort put in by police officers, firefighters, and so many others out there, throwing themselves into thankless, dangerous work without any hesitation.
I know, this has nothing to do with restaurants or anything related to food, but it has given me pause as to what's really important in life. Being unable to eat for three days and watching a car float past an abandoned mill in Lawrence is indeed no fun, but it makes you think about how unimportant a long line at a restaurant or a stale piece of bread at a cafe really is.
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 15, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (0)
Sunday, May 7, 2006
A Leisurely Lunch at M.J. O'Connor's
I did another Walk for Hunger walk today, and for once, it was perfect weather. And, as we did last year, we went to M.J. O'Connor's in Park Plaza after the walk. M.J. O'Connor's, an Irish pub just south of the Boston Common (and the end of the Walk for Hunger route), is a laid-back, cozy place within the Park Plaza Hotel. And it feels a bit like a hotel bar, with guests coming down with newspapers or briefcases, and diners having leisurely meals. But M.J. O'Connor's is also a terrific Irish pub, with good pints, traditional dishes (including a full Irish breakfast), and an overall homey feel.
I have always been a fan of the hamburgers at M.J. O'Connor's, and once again, the place did not disappoint. My char-grilled sirloin burger was perfect, with lots of flavor, crisp bacon and tasty cheese on top, and excellent fries (or chips, as they call them there). Perhaps it was the fact that I had just walked 20 miles and I was famished, but the burger was up there near the top of my list, though O'Sullivan's in Somerville and Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard Square are still quite a bit better than the ones at M.J. O'Connors.
I am hoping to go to M.J. O'Connor's one of these days for either a traditional Irish breakfast or perhaps dinner. I tend to go for lunch or drinks, but maybe it is time to see what else this charming Irish pub in the heart of Boston has to offer.
If you are looking for the address of M.J. O'Connor's, here it is: M.J. O'Connor's, 27 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116; the phone number is (617) 482-2255.
Related Blog Entries: Boston restaurants, Irish pubs
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 7, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (1)
Thursday, May 4, 2006
Several More Restaurants We Need to Try
About a year ago, we listed a few restaurants that we had heard about from our readers and other sources, but had not gotten around to trying. Well, the backlog of restaurants keeps getting bigger, and we only have so many meals to eat. But at the very least, I am going to include some of the restaurants here; hopefully we will get to some of them over the coming months. And once again, to those diners who have given these suggestions for the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site, thank you so much. Also, if you would like to tell us about a restaurant that you like that we haven't been to, go to the Viewers' Favorite Restaurants Page and tell us about the restaurant. It can be in Boston, New England, or anywhere in the country, for that matter!
And now to the list:
1248 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136
phone: (617) 364-9999
A little restaurant in the center of Hyde Park that serves, well, African cuisine! From what I hear, the food is mostly West African, which is a bit different from the Ethiopian cuisine one would find at a place like Addis Red Sea in the South End of Boston.
Athenian Corner Restaurant
207 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
phone: (978) 458-7052
Lowell has several Greek restaurants, but the Athenian Corner is considered by some to be the best. The extensive menu has everything you would expect from a Greek restaurant. The Athenian Corner is located in the center of Lowell.
2263 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
phone: (617) 492-1944
North Cambridge has restaurants of all kinds, including a little Bangladeshi restaurant called the Bengal Cafe. Some of the food is similar to what you might find at an Indian restaurant, but there are also many unique items on the menu.
Joe's Spaghetti and Pizza House
33 Market Street, Northampton, MA 01060
phone: (413) 584-3168
A couple of people I know who live in the Amherst/Hadley/Northampton area say that Joe's Spaghetti and Pizza House, a townie joint in the center of Northampton, is a gem of a place for both pizza and pasta.
Little Q Hotpot
1585 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169
phone: (617) 773-5888
One of a series of Chinese hotpot chains, Little Q is one of many interesting restaurants in Quincy center. Diners at Little Q Hotpot cook the food at their tables, which is a bit similar to some of the Korean and Japanese restaurants in the Boston area.
Main Street Cafe
122 Main Street, North Easton, MA 02356
phone: (508) 238-6788
I know little about the Main Street Cafe in North Easton, but I do know that someone who knows restaurants was raving about it to me. The fact that this little American restaurant is located in one of the most attractive town centers in eastern Massachusetts doesn't hurt, either.
46 Mechanic Street, Leominster, MA 01453
phone: (978) 534-1227
Someone suggested Mojo's in our Viewers' Favorite Restaurant section, and it does sound intriguing. Mojo's is a takeout restaurant in Leominster that has pulled pork, ribs, and other great BBQ dishes. There are so few good barbecue places in the Boston area that this one may be worth a special trip.
141 Eastern Avenue, Lynn, MA 01902
phone: (781) 599-0478
Monte's Restaurant is supposed to have some of the best pizza north of Boston. From what I hear, there is no atmosphere at all at Monte's, but the pizza makes it worth the trip to Lynn.
Skyline Bar and Grill
305 Victory Road, Quincy, MA 02171
phone: (617) 471-1453
Located at Marina Bay in North Quincy, the Skyline has beautiful views of Boston Harbor. The cuisine at the Skyline is mostly American, with some pub grub mixed in for good measure.
570 MacArthur Boulevard (Route 28), Pocasset, MA, 02532
phone: (508) 564-6464
The name may be a bit unusual, but this Cambodian restaurant in the Pocasset section of Bourne on Cape Cod seems to have a bit of a following. In addition to Cambodian cuisine, Stir Crazy also has Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
1586 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169
phone: (617) 479-3300
Trattoria Alba is a cozy-looking place in Quincy center that offers up Italian and Mediterranean food. The menu borders on the upscale at Alba, but the prices seem reasonable.
That's about it for now. Again, if you have any other suggestions for restaurants, let us know!
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 4, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (1)
Monday, May 1, 2006
Great Ice Cream at Dairy Dome, Stoneham
Even though it wasn't all that warm over the past weekend, we couldn't resist going to the Dairy Dome in Stoneham for ice cream on Saturday night. The Dairy Dome has some of the best ice cream in the Boston area (though Kimball Farms in Carlisle is still my favorite). We actually tried the soft serve at the Dairy Dome for the first time, and it was just about the best we have had, too. Granted, you can't do a whole lot to make soft serve ice cream a lot better (or worse) than other places, but it was truly excellent stuff.
The Dairy Dome, which is on Route 28 just south of Stoneham Center, is housed in an old gas station, and actually does have a dome. The former Beacon oil station was built a few years after World War I, and the place is an historic landmark today. But you don't need to be a history lover to fall in love with the Dairy Dome. One taste of the ice cream, whether it is the regular or soft serve, will make you a believer in this unusual ice cream stand located a few miles north of Boston.
By the way, now that the warm weather is (almost) here, I am sure that people will be looking to head to various ice cream stands around the area. If so, we have a list of ice cream stands in Boston and New England that might be able to be of help to you.
Related Blog Entries: ice cream stands
Posted by MH, Boston's Hidden Restaurants, on May 1, 2006.
Permalink | RSS | Comments (0)