It can now be said that East Boston is one of the most interesting, if not THE most interesting, sections of Boston for dining out. Much like another neighborhood within the city (Allston), Eastie has all kinds of little independent eateries and cheap eats spots, though unlike Allston, where nearly every kind of ethnic cuisine is represented, East Boston seems to have a focus on Mexican, Central American, and South American food, and to a lesser extent, Italian fare. But other types of cuisine can be found in this densely packed area just across the water from downtown, including an Indian and Pakistani place in Jeffries Point that is a real treasure, and one of several good dining spots in this quiet and mostly residential neighborhood of Eastie.
Located a few blocks east of Maverick Square near Piers Park (one of the real gems of the Boston park system that has some of the most jaw-dropping views of the city that you will see), Mehak is one of several restaurants along--or just off of--this section of Sumner Street. Because it is on what is basically a side street that simply ends at the water a few blocks east, Mehak isn't exactly a place that gets seen by an abundance of people driving by. And making the restaurant even less known is the fact that Jeffries Point is mostly partitioned off from the rest of East Boston by Logan Airport and the water. Mehak is a rather tiny spot, with an easy-to-miss exterior and an interior that has less than 10 tables. The dining area is pleasant, however, with contemporary lighting that you might find in an art studio, a shiny hardwood floor, and softly colored walls.
Mehak focuses on Halal food, which, like Kosher fare, is based on standards or requirements set in place for the items served. The restaurant features some dishes that you might not commonly see at other Indian restaurants in the area, including shami kabab (fried meat mixed with lentils and spices), beef feet, gosht saag (goat in spinach sauce), and haleem (mashed chicken with lentils). A few items of note include the vegetable and chicken samosas, each of which come with a sweet plum sauce and a bright and fresh-tasting cilantro sauce; a capli kabab, which is a fried spiced meat patty that has a consistency and texture not unlike sausage; freshly baked breads such as the tandoori naan, which is a mild-tasting leavened flatbread baked in a clay oven; a rich and creamy chicken tikka masala that is a bit more spicy and hot than your typical tikka masala dish; and an earthy-tasting chicken palak, which is similar to the popular chicken saag dish, though this has more of a coarse texture to the spinach and, as is the case with the aforementioned chicken tikka masala, a little more heat than what you might expect (though it is still fairly mild). Drinks at Mehak include a freshly made mango lassi (a chilled yogurt drink) that is a perfect thirst quencher for a hot summer night, and falooda, which is a Pakistani drink made with basil seeds and rose syrup. Desserts include rice and carrot pudding, balls of sweet cheese in almond milk, and deep fried wheat and milk balls soaked in syrup.
Mehak is just one of many little family-run restaurants in East Boston, but it is perhaps the only Indian restaurant in this section of Beantown, and certainly the only place in Eastie that serves Pakistani fare. For those who might be looking for a change of pace from the many good Latin American restaurants--and several decent Italian spots--in East Boston, Mehak is surely a place worth considering.
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