Tag Archives: restaurants

A Place of Our Own

Emily introduced me to sushi a few years ago and, since then, we’ve gone to about six or seven places in the Boston area and never more than once. None of the places we went to were necessarily bad (except for the one in Somerville where the waitress corrected Emily in the most condescending manner possible. Good fish though.), but there was just nothing there to make us come back.

But now I think we’ve finally found a place that’s worth revisiting a second time. We went to Cafe Sushi in Cambridge tonight and it was one of the better sushi places I’ve been to, either in Boston or anywhere else. It’s a middle-sized place, definitely larger than some of the hole-in-the-walls we’ve been to recently, but nowhere near as large as Fins. The waitstaff were friendly and helpful and it’s convenient to get to, especially for the car-less.

Now, the fish was good and I enjoyed the rolls, but that’s not what sold me. They have craft beers! From Japan. Of course, I managed to go through almost their entire selection of Japanese beers, but not all, so I still have a reason to go back again. They serve beer brewed by Hitachino Nest, which has the most adorable owl mascot. I tried the Sweet Stout, the White Ale and the Red Rice Ale, all of which were uniquely flavored and delicious in their own ways.

The White Ale is crisp, sweet and refreshing. The sweet stout, very smooth, mellow and also very refreshing. The Red Rice Ale was extremely fruity and sweet. Emily said it tasted like gummy bears and I think that’s the best possible description. It was a great trio of beers and if I can find them outside of Cafe Sushi, I’ll definitely pick them up.

If you want great sushi, great beer and without a hefty price tag, I recommend checking out Cafe Sushi.

I give it four owls. In their nests. Eek! They even have a little owl icon for the Chrome tab.

-D-

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The North End Excursion (Part II)

There are places in this world where the skin of our world has been worn thin. Here, breaches can happen and travelers from our world can cross over to the other….just as they can also cross over into our world. These are places where the very fabric of reality has been frayed and where the unreal and impossible realities of other dimensions bleed into our own. These are places where the mad prophets have visions of phantasms and the insane see their brain-fever dreams made unbearable reality.

It was during my researches into the Necronomicon that I believed I found the location of one of these places. The Mad American prophet Lovecraft gave vague instruction about the location of a nexus where demons could cross into our world with the same ease that we cross the street. I made the decision that I would track down this place, this portal into other worlds, and I would see for myself if it truly existed.

With a fellow explorer, we made our way deep into the North End. We walked through markets that reeked of fish and sold strange and exotic fruits. We trudged up main thoroughfares clogged with the pulsing hum of humanity, tourists unaware of how close they were to some dark, elder nightmare

And after an hour of climbing up and down hills, we determined that Lovecraft was full of horseshit. We gave up on our quest and headed to the local Applebees, where we enjoyed four dollar Killians (a Friday special!) and nachos. I also ordered the Cowboy Burger, a delicious all-beef patty topped with fried onion rings and applewood smoked bacon and slathered with melted cheddar cheese. My fellow traveler into the dark abysses that hide beneath the skin of the world ordered the Bourbon Black and Bleu burger, which was covered in bleu cheese, mushrooms and smoky mayo.

It was delicious.

-D-

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Restaurant Review: Hungry Mother

Emily and I have gone to a few restaurants in the area now and I think we have a good bead on what’s good in Boston/Cambridge.

For us, the best restaurant we’ve gone to, either here or elsewhere, is Hungry Mother. We’ve only been there twice, because that’s as often as we can afford to go there, but both times we’ve been there, it’s been great every step of the way.

The food is always excellent and they make use of locally grown produce whenever possible. Since they advertise as a Southern style restaurant, they do have to dip into Appalachia for some of their ingredients.

Last night, we ordered the Smoked Beef Tongue ‘Au Jus’ and the Carolina BBQ Pork Biscuits to start. Emily got the Braised Beef Cheek ‘Parmentier’ and I got the Cast Iron Chicken.

Both the beef tongue and the pork biscuits were the right size for appetizers, so we were both still hungry when the main course came. And they were a great blend of flavors: The smokiness of the tongue mixed well with a horseradish and swiss cheese. And no offense to my home state, but that was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had and I’m angry it was in such small amounts.

My chicken was phenomenal and was probably the best chicken I’ve ever had. Rather than masking the chicken in a bunch of spices and sauces, they used the flavor of the chicken, accenting it with this green sauce stuff. It was the right balance of taste and some of the most tender chicken I’ve had.

The last time I was there, I had their Catfish Pecan ‘Meuniere’, which I can still vividly picture. I miss that catfish.

Emily’s beef cheek was also amazing. Very tender meat. Great mixture of textures and spices.

After dinner, we ordered the seven layer cake, which was everything I’ve wanted out of a restaurant’s dessert. Usually, it seems like they try and overwhelm you with some kind of overly-chocolatey death by fudge concoction. The seven layer cake went the opposite route by being light and airy without being oversweet. It was the perfect way to end the dinner.

Hungry Mother has a good selection of drinks. I tried their hefe weissbier (Weihenstephaner) and a whiskey (Redbreast 12yr.), both good.

Their waitstaff was always on hand and helpful. When our original selection for dessert was sold out, they even gave us a free scoop of their ice cream, which was also the best ice cream I’ve ever had. They were never intrusive and always managed to arrive right when we needed them. Duane, our water for most of the night, was also knowledgeable about the mixed drinks.

I realize I’m using the word “best” and “perfect” a lot here, but really, there’s no other way to describe Hungry Mother. Everything has either met or exceeded expectation threefold both times we went there. The atmosphere is relaxed, the food is delicious and the staff are among the best (there’s that word again).

I can’t recommend them enough. If you’re willing to spend the money for it, it’s the best dining experience I’ve had.

Dylan Charles

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