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Reviews

Shed's: Bringing the taste of Texas to Boston

Amanda DeJesus

Words and Photos by Amanda DeJesus

Boston is a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to barbeque. We are known for shellfish, Italian food, and baked beans. Our Northern “realist” attitude is almost the polar opposite of Southern hospitality. The number of successful, reliable barbeque joints here can usually be counted on one hand (Sweet Cheeks and the Smoke Shop, anyone?) But none of this means that good-old Texas barbeque can’t thrive here.

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Stephanie's on Newbury

Bri Garrett

Words and Photos by Rachel Rex 

Everyone loves a good brunch. Whether you want pancakes stacked high or greasy eggs and bacon, there’s plenty of great places in Boston that are friendly to a college student’s wallet. But when Fred, TasteBUds’ former editor-in-chief, came back to Boston for a visit, we knew we had to pick somewhere a little fancier to celebrate his return to Beantown.

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College Meal Hero: Sabor do Brasil

Ally Bryant

Words by Yanir Regev

Walking through the hidden treasure chest that is Allston, there are so many culinary gems to go through. It is easy to miss so many great restaurants, as people constantly flock to Tavern in the Square and Shabu-Zen, and so many amazing places are overlooked. Sabor do Brasil is a personal favorite of mine that I think is so under-appreciated. I almost want to keep it to myself just so I can keep enjoying it. Unfortunately, I feel too guilty not sharing something as great as this place, so buckle up ladies and gents.

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Food Market in Arles, France

Bri Garrett

Words and Photos by Marissa Wu

The sky promised rain as we wove our way through the pressing crowds, past stalls overflowing with spices and meats and pastries. The air tickled our noses with the strong odor of the charcuterie -- all the cured meats and sausages. Ripe produce was abundant, as well as fun specialties like tapenades, whole roasted pigs, pain au chocolat. It was a feat for the eyes. There was a particularly vibrant vine of tomatoes that gave the dreary atmosphere a cheerful kick. After taking a tour and stopping often, I finally settled on Provençal potatoes. My companions preferred to eat and walk, buying goodies that struck their fancy as we ventured about.

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Food Truck Food Crawl

Tiffany Yang-Tran

Words by Emilie Nielsen, Photos by Alice Pinho

Are Food Trucks only for fast food on the go, or is it possible to combine a meal that can compete with the experience of dining at a restaurant?

We tried two Food Trucks, one savory and one sweet, and compared it with your average restaurant dinner experience. To help you decide between dining on the streets or inside a restaurant, we rated our experiences from 1 (worst) - 10 (best) based on taste, looks, and the best bang for your buck.

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Dine Out Boston: Menton

Fred Chang

Words and Photos by Fred Chang

Restaurant Week or "Dine Out Boston" is always a great chance to eat at fun places at a cheaper price. With this being my senior year, and my last confirmed "Dine Out Boston", I figured, why not splurge and go to Menton? For those of you who do not know what or where Menton is, Menton is Boston's only Triple A 5-Diamond, Forbes 5-Star, and Relais & Chateau-recognized restaurant; Menton holds the distinction of being America's only Relais & Chateau affiliate. Serving refined takes on Italian, French, and American cuisine, Menton is the crown jewel of renowned chef, Barbara Lynch's restaurant group, B&G Gruppo, and was formerly headed by Top Chef Seattle winner, Kristen Kish. The restaurant itself is rather far from BU's campus, being located in the Fort Point neighborhood, around a 15-20 minute walk from the South Station T stop. However, the experience and food is a must during anybody's time here in Boston.

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Pho Countryside: Classic Vietnamese Food Right in Kenmore

Rachel Rex

Words by Rebecca Lee, Photos by Samudera Phoa

Terriers in East Campus, rejoice! A new Vietnamese restaurant specializing in pho and other Vietnamese dishes opened in Kenmore Square this past December. Branching out from its original location in Quincy, Pho Countryside serves a wide range of Vietnamese dishes including spring rolls, pho, vermicelli, and rice plates, just to name some.

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George Howell Coffee: A New Respect for Your Morning Cup of Joe

Fred Chang

 

Words and Photos by Jill McKeon

On a Sunday morning at George Howell Coffee, the lively buzz serves as a warm welcome to Howell’s cozy cafe. Tucked into the lobby of a hotel in Downtown Crossing, the cafe offers a nice place to sit and drink your morning coffee. Howell’s respect for coffee is conveyed through the roaster’s direct trade policy, which ensures a fair and healthy financial relationship between the roaster and the coffee farmers. Many coffees offered on the menu are single-origin roasts, meaning they originate from one specific farm.

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Dine Out Boston: Blue Dragon

Fred Chang

Photos by Jocelyn "Jiayin" Fu, words by Fred Chang

Every month since spring semester junior year, my friend Jocelyn, and I do this thing we call “The Monthly Bitch Out.” This is when we go to a nice restaurant that is far, far away from campus, and just rant to each other about whatever it is that grinds our gears, over good food, and sometimes, good wine or drinks. It is one of the most therapeutic things I can ever partake in, because it just relieves me of all of my stress. For the month of March, we decided to go to Blue Dragon for Dine Out Boston. Blue Dragon is an Asian-fusion "small plates" type restaurant over by South Station, owned by renowned Asian chef, Ming Tsai. We chose Blue Dragon over his flagship Blue Ginger, mostly because Blue Ginger is all the way in Wellesley, and neither of us have ever been to a Ming Tsai restaurant before.

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Tacos y Tequila: A Must-Visit in Mexico

Rachel Rex

Photos and Words by Josie Ouellette

Going to Mexico, I expected tacos and margaritas galore. Luckily, that is exactly what I got. Although I stayed at an all-inclusive resort, meaning I had unlimited drinks (by drinks I mean alcohol) and food, I still wanted to venture out to get a real taste of Mexican cuisine. My friend Adrienne and I ended up going to Mexico at the same time as another friend of ours. We decided to meet up for drinks and tacos, and so we wound up at a place called Tacos y Tequila.

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Ganko Ittetsu Ramen

Fred Chang

Photos and words by Amanda DeJesus

More and more ramen shops are finding a home in the Boston area, and one of the best is Ganko Ittetsu. This restaurant is the definition of a hole-in-the-wall: it’s located in Coolidge Corner’s Arcade building and seats twenty-five at most. The sign out front only has Japanese characters, so you really have to know where you’re going. But trust me, this is worth the effort.

 

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Going to Town: Review of Townsman

Amanda Barone

Often, when we are trying a new restaurant in Boston, we look for something foreign and exotic. But Townsman, located downtown just outside of the theatre district, has taken a step back and looked at traditional New England cuisine. They celebrate the Northeastern United States with thoughtful seasonal menus, locally sourced ingredients, and dishes that will recall your childhood.

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Koy Boston

Fred Chang

Photos and Words by Fred Chang

Koy Boston is a Korean-fusion restaurant located just off of Quincy Market in the Faneuil Hall area. It is owned by BU School of Hospitality Administration alumni, Caterina Chang, and her father, who is dubbed "Master Chang." Being able to sit down with a fellow Chang in hospitality, specifically the Food & Beverage industry, and talk to her about her experiences and passion for food, it was a very enlightening experience. The concept for Koy, specifically during dinner, is to be a cozy, artistic atmosphere where you can enjoy a fun dinner with your friends, like how I did, or with a loved one on a special date.

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Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House

Amanda Barone

I am seated in the oldest-running hotel in the country and it’s dark wood is encasing me from the cold, Boston air. The old-time yellow lamps illuminating the room, and booths and big chairs give it a very “homey” feel. The waiter sets the menu in-front of me and I don’t open the it because I know exactly what I am getting, the Boston Cream Pie. The pie was invented inside the hotel itself by Armenian-French chef, M. Sanzian in 1856, and is a rendition of the early American, “Pudding-Cake Pie.”

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PAGU

Katie Fieldhouse

Chef Tracy Chang’s new restaurant, PAGU, located in Cambridge’s Central Square, promises “food, community, and collaboration.” By mixing together Spanish and Japanese cuisine to create an awesome, eclectic menu, it delivers on that promise.

We arrived at PAGU for dinner on a windy Thursday evening. The dining room was dimly lit and buzzing with chatter from its patrons who were enjoying an array of food and expertly crafted cocktails from the bar. The interior is composed of dark woods and black seats to counteract the light walls. Shining brightly through the sleek ambiance stands the open kitchen. Seated at the cherry wood chef’s counter that wraps around the kitchen, we had a front row seat to the action. Throughout our meal, we sat mesmerized as chefs grilled, sauteed, and masterly used chopsticks (to our amazement, as Amanda has yet to master the use of this utensil) to compose beautiful dishes. To our surprise and extreme pleasure, we got to see the mastermind behind PAGU, Chef Chang, at work alongside her team- expediting the dishes emerging from the kitchen.

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Blackbird Doughnuts: Worth the Hype

Fred Chang

Photos and Words by Jill McKeon

The artisanal doughnut trend has been sweeping the nation over the past few years as many culinary pioneers are reinventing an American classic with modern twists. At Blackbird Doughnuts in Boston’s South End, doughnut flavors like the ‘everything bagel’ and the ‘blackberry currant’ are drawing locals and tourists alike to the cozy shop on Tremont Street.

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Olitoki

Fred Chang

Photos by Adrienne Sheh, Words by Josie Ouellette

My mom always told me to never judge a book by its cover. Just because it may look rough does not mean that what is inside won’t be one of the best things you’ve ever read. Hole-in-the-wall restaurants easily apply to this reference.

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