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Dollar Dumplings in Central Sq. Sunday – a dream come true!

26 Sep

If you hanker for dumplings as much as I do, you need to go to this Sunday afternoon. And Joyce Chen gets a stamp to her name.

dumplings

Participating Restaurants:

1369 Coffee House, 757 Massachusetts Ave
Asgard, 350 Massachusetts Ave
Dosa Factory, 571 Massachusetts Ave
The Middle East,  472 Massachusetts Ave
Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room, 907 Main Street
Thelonious Monkfish, 524 Massachusetts Ave
Yoki, 485 Massachusetts Ave
Zuzu’s, 474 Massachusetts Ave

New Bedford – it’s a catch!

8 Aug

NB1

Sir Eatsalot has been on a hiatus thanks to several life-changing events. That does not mean he has stopped eating or opining on food, if you’ve been following twitter. If anything, he has been hogging more. Namely, fresh catch and tons of shellfish, thanks to the move to the country’s biggest fishing port — New Bedford.

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For those who don’t know, this is a small city with a big history. Once the whaling capital of the world (I highly recommend the free film “The City That Lit The World” at the Visitor Center downtown) and home to the world’s biggest Whaling Museum, it boasts a working fishing port and, as a result, great fish markets and good value restaurants.

Ethnically diverse, it also presents unique Portuguese and Cape Verdean delights that I have only begun to explore. Watch this blog for a tantalizing glimpse of the delightful meals I’ve tried at Inner Bay – my local favourite! Continue reading

An exciting foodie crawl in East Somerville tonight

25 Sep

As a longtime fan of East Somerville’s hidden gems, I am really excited about the foodie crawl tonight organized by East Somerville Main Streets. Look’s like there will be 12 restaurants covering three continents and dessert parties afterwards – how cool is that?!

Visit them on Facebook; Check out their VIDEO from last year; their recent Greater Somerville interview, or press release.  Tickets are available here or at the following locations: Mudflat Studio (81 Broadway), Vinny’s (76 Broadway),  Taco Loco (44 Broadway), Sullivan Square Liquors (30 Broadway), or  D-Squared (Davis Square).

The event starts at the Mudflat studios at 5:45 p.m. — don’t be tardy and bring a good appetite!

Loud but tasty – that’s life at the Burro

17 Sep

A potent margarita with a side of skull, hot and sweet crispy pork belly, spicy Chingon cucumbers, a perfectly grilled yet juicy street cart style half chicken, and the three-cheese and meat baked fundido.  These are some of my favorite dishes off the dinner menu at at The Painted Burro Mexican kitchen and tequila bar.

Chef- owner Joe Cassinelli of Posto features a unique seasonal menu highlighting the diverse regional cuisines of Latin America from delicious moles and 10 types of tacos to  a mind boggling list of 100 craft tequilas.

He is specially proud of the street foods he found throughout his travels that he has incorporated in the menu, like the cholo corn and street cart chicken.

As a huge chicken snob – I truly believe Americans don’t know how to cook chicken – this is one of few restaurants I’ve found in the area that cooks a mean one – like the chicken at Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken and Grill in Union Square, or the pan roasted boneless half chicken at Highland Kitchen. I highly recommend any of these if you’re in the mood for chicken that isn’t boiled, rubbery or just plain tasteless.

The restaurant opened in March by jazzing up the old Gargoyles space, putting the bar up against the window and opening it up for a bigger dining space with some heavy old refurbished wood furniture.

After six months of popularity but complaints about the noise level, they recently added some sound proofing that has definitely improved the casual and funky atmosphere.

Still, expect to raise your voice – it kinda goes with the mood of the place and honestly, the food is so good, you won’t mind anything. I’m yet to order something I didn’t find amazing. Especially the sweet endings like the mango-jalapeno popsicles – they have special ones daily, so ask.

The Painted Burro
219 Elm St., Davis Square
Somerville, MA
P:  617.776.0005
Hours: 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Get your dosa fix – or make it yourself

26 Jul

Growing up in the fish-and-rice obsessed Calcuttal, the South Indian dosa was a once-in-a-while treat. I remember we’d drive to a little diner-like place on Chowringhee next to gas station for these e-nor-mous conical dosas – larger than my arm span.

The ones I really liked were the cheap street cart ones that my dad wouldn’t touch because it spelled bad oil and food poisoning. But the ting-ting of the dosa man and his rickety cart always sent me running down for the treat and my iron stomach was none the worse for the clearly poisonous ware!

When I went away to college in Pune, I was hit hard with the lack of regular Bengali food in a mostly vegetarian landscape – especially fish and meat. One of the cheaper things I could afford to eat out as a student there was the Udipi staple – idli and dosa. In the two years I was there, that quickly lost appeal and I swore off dosas for a while, refusing to touch them when I was visited home.

Fast forward to Boston where my South Indian friends would make dosas and idlis on weekends as a special treat. With even the best of Bengali food never tasting the way it did back home – and the same with all Indian food here – dosas became a real treat – again. We would take the train out to Framingham to go to the only Udipi restaurant in the area although it wasn’t very good and often made us sick.

Now we have many more options. I take my friends to Dosa Factory in Central Square where it is decent and cheap, and liked one that comes with the weekend vegetarian buffet at the fairly new Dosa Temple on Somerville Avenue (though I am yet to try one off the regular menu that looks really promising). They have a list of 15 dosas from Continue reading

Spicy crab curry – in a pinch

17 Jul

When it rains, I craaaave crabs. Even when it’s quite dry, I pine for the spicy crab curry we ate at home in Calcutta on rainy afternoons especially during the monsoons. So I couldn’t resist the temptation when I found packs of rock crab claws being sold at Market Basket cheap. Dang it, I would make myself a crab curry. My treat.

It didn’t take long and it wasn’t complicated and despite it being the wrong kind of crabs and wrong kind of weather, it ended up being the right kind of taste. Here’s my vaguely remembered, slightly simplified recipe, step-by-step.

1. Buy crabs. These were the rock hard kind that I cracked in advance but thinner shells work better.

2. Add a spoonful each of salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. More chili if you want it to be more spicy – I know I do.

3. Peel and dice a potato or two and toss in with the crabs and masala.

4. Grind up the ingredients you’ll need for the curry — red onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies.

5. Heat some oil in a wok and lightly toss the spice-coated crab and potatoes pieces on high heat for a couple minutes and put aside.

6. Add the ground paste to the oil with some whole garam masala – cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick – and toss until the paste is brown.

7. After oil separates, throw in the crabs and potatoes and toss well. Add a sprinkling of salt and sugar.

8. After it is fairly dry and beginning to stick, add a tumbler of hot water and cook on low heat. Throw in some split green chilies and frozen peas for taste and heat. Continue reading

Teşekkür Ederim Istanbul’lu, for laz pancakes

16 Jul

Leave your preconceived notions of Turkish food (I mean generic Mediterranean dolmas or lamb kababs) behind when you walk into Istanbul’lu.

The small Teele Square eatery has become quite the neighborhood gem over the past year and boasts amazing brunch specialties that you won’t find anywhere else. Specifically, the laz pancakes and cilbir.

The pancakes reminded me of ‘pithe’, a homemade snack or dessert in Bengal, and is mostly  fried dough, soft in the inside and crunchy on the outside. It is sprinkled with honey and feta and tastes divine – with a side of scrambled eggs.

As for the cilbir, yogurt and eggs may not sound like they mix, but they do, and beautifully. Prettily presented in a metal wok, the poached eggs hide in a mix of creamy yogurt and hot butter garlic oil. It also comes in a spinach and onions version. Both are oddly intriguing and satisfying. Continue reading