Category Archives: Inman Sq

Olecito, Inman Sq

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Where: Olecito – 12 Springfield Street, Cambridge MA
When: June, 2012

I’m a big fan of Ole in Inman Square and, before I started this blog as an excuse to eat out as much as possible, I would come up with excuses to get people to go there with me. “I’m celebrating growing my hair out!”, “I found the perfect nail polish color!”, “I perfected my cursive Gs!”… You get the point. I love Ole.

Because of my immobility (are you sick of hearing about my broken foot yet?) a good friend offered to come over with dinner from Olecito, Ole’s little brother who only does take-away, across the street. I clearly win the competition for world’s greatest friends.

I had picked up dinner from Olecito once before and had gotten the Arrachera Tacos which come with marinated steak, pinto bean spread, jack cheese, lettuce, and avocado sauce per a friend’s recommendation. Although very, very good (its still my friend’s go-to dish from there) it was a little heavy for me so this time I went for the Baja Tacos which come with battered fish (or shrimp), pickled cabbage, chipotle mayo, and cilantro pesto. Oh My My! Now this is what I am talking about.

The Baja Tacos were light, zesty, creamy, crisp, and just exploded in your mouth with flavor. I got two of them but likely could have eaten another two if they had been put in front of me. We also got some chips and guacamole which were delicious, as you can see by the empty guacamole container in front of me in the photo.

Overall, Olecito has a small menu and no seating but if you are looking for a quick, delicious dinner to go – this place is for you.  I’ve never tried anything but the tacos and likely never will as these own my heart.

Ole and Olecito are up there with The Painted Burro and East Coast Grill for my favorite shrimp / fish taco places in the greater Boston area. Olé!

How did Olecito measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

Olecito on Urbanspoon

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Highland Kitchen, Porter / Union Sq (ish?)

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Where: Highland Kitchen – 150 Highland Avenue  Somerville, MA
When: May, 2012

A few weeks ago the lovely Mr and soon-to-be Mrs Juddles came down to Somerville to have dinner with Libby and I. Our last dinner took us to the Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem which is fairly close to where they live and the one before that was at my place so this time we chose a restaurant near Libby’s. What better choice than Highland Kitchen which is just a stone’s throw away! The Juddles put our name on the list and with over an hour’s wait we went to Libby’s for a few glasses of wine. When we headed back down they were just about to call us to be seated – perfect timing.

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We started with the oysters which were a special (Wellfleet maybe or am I getting my oysters confused?). I loved them, as usual, and could have eaten another dozen just on my own.

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Libby and I decided to share a couple of appetizers and then a sandwich. First we started with the Ricotta and Mozzarella Fritters with a Chile-honey dipping sauce. Oh my. These fritters just melted in your mouth and the sweet spiciness of the sauce is such a nice compliment to the salty creaminess of the cheese. I think I may get these every time I go back. The photo is a bit blurry as I may have been shaking from mild excitement.

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We then split the Smoked Bluefish Cakes with mango-mustard hot sauce and scallions. These were really good, smokey and tangy with the sauce. Light but substantial.

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Now our main course… We split the Blackened Catfish Po’ Boy that came with remoulade, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on french bread. This photo doesn’t do it justice but you get the idea. The catfish was really nicely cooked, or fried I should say, with a crispy layer outside and nice and flaky inside. As for the remoulade, I could eat that shit by the bowlful. The bread was perfect for it as well, toasted and not too doughy. The fries were delicious. Overall, fantastic.

We decided to get two desserts to share with the table, which is always a good idea…

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The first, which Judd was adamant about (that’s praise, not judgement), was the Hot Fudge Sundae with Vanilla Ice Cream and Whipped Cream. This was good, although very melty, and I would have likely really enjoyed it if we hadn’t gotten the second dessert but it just got blown out of the water by the second one.

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Now this is the dessert that blew my socks off. Warm Banana Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. I have been so fond of bread puddings this past year – I have got to make one at home sometime as its rare to find other foods that are as comforting. The bread pudding was firm yet totally bursting with banana and caramel flavors. The ice cream, although simple, went along with it perfectly. Yes, please.

Overall, loved everything we got to order, especially the fritters and the bread pudding. The service was great (and wine glasses quickly replenished) and Highland Kitchen has a busy but friendly atmosphere. I’d definitely go back and likely will, many times. Just beware of the wait.

How did Highland Kitchen measure up? 4.75 Spoons!

Highland Kitchen on Urbanspoon

East Coast Grill, Inman Sq

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Where: East Coast Grill -1271 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02139
When: April, 2012

Well, I haven’t been this impressed with a restaurant in a while! East Coast Grill has been around as long as I can remember and I have never heard anything but rave reviews so I can’t really tell you why I haven’t been there before. Maybe its because they always seem so crowded anytime I have gone by? Or maybe I don’t spend enough time in Inman Sq? I don’t know but I do know that I will be going back often.

20120428-081344.jpg We got there around 8pm and sat at the bar for a drink while waiting for a table. We squeezed ourselves into the two seats right by the window, in front of the oyster bar, where we were sure we were cramping the date next to us. The bar and restaurant alike are both busy and lively but, other than the two little seats we snagged, doesn’t feel too crowded. We both ordered the House Margaritas which came with Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila & Grand Marnier.I’ve recently become a big Margarita fan and these were spot on. Frankly, I don’t know if they could taste any better.

A table was ready for us about 10 minutes later. Everything on the menu looked great, its all seafood and bbq which I think is a great combo, but a couple of things stood out. For starters, the oysters of course.

Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the house oysters as well as the oysters they had on special. He said they always have the Island Creek Oysters from Duxbury as they just think those are the best. We were sold and got a half dozen to share. They were delicious, just lovely.

We then got an order of the 1/2 Pound of Buffalo Fried Gulf White Shrimp with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip & Celery Sticks. I have been obsessed with buffalo shrimp ever since having them at Red Bones years ago (back when I was a pescatarian so alternated between the buffalo shrimp and catfish fingers) so anytime I see them on the menu I have to get them. These were great big juicy shrimp just lightly battered and fried then smothered in buffalo sauce. Delicious.

For my entree I got another starter as I already had a good amount of oysters, shrimp, and margarita in me. I ordered the Chile Crusted Black ‘n Blue Tuna Taco with Arugula, Avocado, Lime Pickled Jicama & an Orange – Chipotle Glaze. Holy crap, you guys. This was the best taco I have ever had in my life. No joke. It was exploding with flavor and yet was light and fresh. Amazing.

Overall, fantastic service, great atmosphere, and amazing food. Great place for a group (make a reservation), with friends or even on a date. I would go back anytime, just let me know when you are available.

How did East Coast Grill measure up? 4.75 Spoons!

East Coast Grill on Urbanspoon

All Star Sandwich Bar, Inman Sq

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Where: All Star Sandwich Bar – 1245 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02139
When: January, 2012

How did it take me well over a month to write about a sandwich shop? Too much eating, too little time I say! Plus this is a bit of a dodgy photo so was hard to motivate myself around it.

Alyssa and I had plans to get together for brunch / lunch on MLK Day as we both had it off from work. After I researched a bunch of local places that had a Sunday brunch I wanted to try (TW Foods being on the top of my list) I was reminded that it was not Sunday but, in fact, Monday. Turns out not many places advertise Monday brunches. Alyssa suggested the All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Sq which I had never been to so was happy to try after hearing many good things about it!

We got there shortly before noon and were quickly seated. Anyone that came in after us had to wait quite a while before getting a table as the place quickly filled up. Yay for being an early luncher / failed bruncher!

I got the BLT which came with thick-sliced bacon, Boston lettuce, tomato, and herb mayo on sourdough. I love BLTs and this one was no exception. The bacon was perfect with just the right amounts of tomato and mayo. The bread was nicely toasted but not too hard as some tend to get after being toasted. Alyssa got the Gobbbler (I think? It’s been too long although I clearly remember mine!) which came with oven roasted turkey, apple-sausage stuffing, orange-cranberry relish, mayo, and gravy on rustic white bread. She had gotten it before so knew exactly what she wanted and was not disappointed. Their pickles and fries are both worth getting as well, if your sandwich doesn’t already come with both.

One of the perks of this place is that they have a big cookie jar of oreos at the counter that you can help yourself to on your way out (or on your way in, I suppose). Love me some oreos.

Overall, great sandwich place to go to with friends or when you just want to grab a quick bite. Might be tough getting a large table for a group based on the line but worth a try. Casual, comfortable, good service, great sandwiches.


How did All Star Sandwich Bar measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

All Star Sandwich Bar on Urbanspoon