Tag Archives: 3.75 Spoons

West Bridge, Kendall Sq

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Where: West Bridge – 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

I haven’t spooned anyone in so long! Actually, that’s not true, I have been spooning like its going out of style but just haven’t polished up any drafts to a postable state in a while.

You know its been too long when you are writing about a menu item that no longer exist, as the case here at West Bridge in Kendall Sq. A colleague and I headed across the street from our office to West Bridge for lunch on one of those fall days where the sun was no where to be seen and the chill of the rain goes through you right to the bone. Obviously I got soup. And a glass of prosecco on tap. Just kidding, I would never do that during the work day…

I started with the Sunflower Chowder featuring a Woodbury clam as an ode to the traditional clam chowder. I had emailed Jared at West Bridge who told me that Chef Matthew Gaudet blends sunflowers into a familiar cream-based broth and finishes it with smoked pork shoulder. This chowder was… simply amazing. It was creamy and salty but not heavy. It was so damn good I regretted ordering a meal on top of this as I wanted another bowl. I don’t think a rainy day goes by that I don’t think about this dish. They also feature a larger portion for dinner, thank god.

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I then got the GLT, which is the item no longer on their menu. The GLT stands for Guanciale (an Italian style of unsmoked bacon), Lettuce and Tomato. Its a glorified BLT, which is probably one of my favorite sandwiches. It came served with thinly sliced fried chips and some pickled veggies. I loved the flavors of this sandwich but the Guanciale was a wee bit too fatty for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love fat, but this was Fatty with a capital F. Even putting aside my concerns about having a heart attack on the spot, I couldn’t eat more than half of it as it was just too much for me. I ended up wrapping up the other half and eating it later on a flight. It did travel well.

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Overall, the chowder was phenomenal, the service was great, loved the clean simple design of the restaurant, and they have prosecco on tap (so I hear). The sandwich was good but I don’t think I could get it again (and I don’t have a choice as they don’t have it on the menu anymore anyways) as it was just too fatty for me. I’m happy to have West Bridge just around the corner for many more lunches, dinners, and after work libations.

How did West Bridge measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

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Cambridge Common, Harvard Sq

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Where: Cambridge Common– 1667 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138
When: September 2012

I used to be a brunch person going almost every weekend -t was my Sunday equivalent of church. I would roll out of bed, put on my Sunday worst (sweatshirt, sneaks, ponytail) and head down to Sound Bites around the corner for something delicious and typically greasy. This would usually be followed by a few hours on the sofa watching mind numbing tv as I was too full to do anything else. Why did I stop, right?

Well, I moved to a different part of town but I still jump at the chance to go out for brunch so was thrilled when a friend was in town at the last minute and suggested meeting up on Sunday morning. In shorts, tees and ponytails we headed to Cambridge Common to check out their brunch menu. We sat outside in the sunshine which was just perfect. They had me at Breakfast B.L.T.

The Breakfast B.L.T. comes with applewood smoked bacon, fried egg, avocado, baby spinach, and tomato with chipotle mayo on multi-grain toast and is served with home fries and fresh fruit. The combination of the salty bacon and egg with the buttery avocado and spicy mayo is out of this world. It’s a good sized sandwich but doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate a whole cow. The home fries were good as well – nice and crispy.

Overall, service was good and we got plenty of coffee refills (perhaps too many even). We were happy to able to sit outside as its a little dark indoors (great for nighttime though). Food was crave worthy. I’ll be back, as I always am.

How did Cambridge Common measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

India Palace, Union Sq

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Where: India Palace – 23 Union Square Somerville, MA 02143
When: April 2012

As good as India Palace turned out to be, it wasn’t my intention to go there when I started off my night around 8pm. We started at Brick and Mortar in Central Square (where the old Enormous Room used to be, RIP) where we had a couple cocktails (delicious). We then decided to head over to Union Square to Casa B, which I had been wanting to try. After being told there was a 2 hour wait (gasp!) we decided to find another place since it was already creeping up on 10pm. We headed over to Machu Picchu where we quickly got a seat and ordered a couple glasses of wine as we looked over the menu. As we flipped from page to page something very quickly became apparently – they didn’t have a single non-meat item on the menu. Not one. As comical as it was, we were hungry and this wouldn’t work as not everyone in our party was a carnivore like I am. We apologized and left as everyone looked on confused. We had seen India Palace before we chose Machu Picchu so we decided to go back there. There was only one other party in there but they were happy to have us and the service was extra good because of it.

We started with vegetable samosas which we inhaled before I had a chance to snap a picture of them. They were filled with potatoes and green peas – good but nothing out of the ordinary.

For dinner we had the Malai Kofta and Chana Masala. The Malai Kofta is a dish of vegetable balls crooked in a creamy sauce with fresh herbs and mild spices and the Chana Masala is chick peas cooked with onion, tomatoes, herbs and spices. The latter was good, totally fine really, but the Malai Kofta was so good. I couldn’t get enough. I think this is my favorite Indian dish and not every place does it well (ahem, Anna Purna) so when I get a good one I can’t stop. I could eat this one from India Palace day and night.

Overall, India Palace is a great neighborhood Indian restaurant with good service and well prepared meals. Great for groups (especially since they were so empty), small parties, the works. Reasonably priced and good sized portions. I’d definitely go back if I lived in that neighborhood but its a bit of a hike when we have so many good places around my area already.

How did India Palace measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

India Palace on Urbanspoon

The Painted Burro, Davis Sq

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Where: The Painted Burro – 219 Elm Street Somerville, MA
When: March 2012

I have been on the edge of my seat for months with the much anticipated opening of Posto’s second restaurant, The Painted Burro. For months I’ve been stalking their facebook page and drooling over the drinks, food and art they had been working on.

Libby and I chose, coincidentally, to go on their first official opening day. I knew this could go one of two ways: they either did their homework and gave themselves plenty of time to perfect the menu, train staff and get it right or they set an arbitrary deadline and rushed to the finish.

The first thing I noticed was the decor – I love the Mexican inspired art covering the walls, the colorful clay skulls lining the shelves, and reclaimed wood that the bar is made out of of.

We were quickly seated and greeted by our server who was very sweet but noticeably nervous. The first thing she asked is if we had been to The Painted Burro before. Libby and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh as it was their first night. No, we did not come for lunch (which I don’t even think they are open for). Our server then spilt water on our table but that very well could have been the fault of the Mexican inspired, but maybe not practical, water pitcher. I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for our server as she was trying hard and was new, they all were really.

We made this really easy for her by ordering the same thing – two De La Casa Margaritas and two orders of the Dos Tacos with Gulf Shrimp Diablo. Our margaritas, which had Agavales Blanco, Combier, lime juice, and agave nectar, came out quickly and went down like lemonade on a hot summer day. Not too tart, not sweet, just right. I’m smacking my lips just thinking about them.

While we waited for our food we were given some chips and salsa which I could not get enough of. I wasn’t that hungry when I walked in but once that salsa hit my tongue it was as though my stomach opened up and was grumbling for more. So good!

The Gulf Shrimp tacos 20120320-102248.jpgcame with avocado salsa and baja mayo. The plate came with two tacos each but each one had two tortillas and were overstuffed so we quickly discovered that we could easily make four tacos of each of our plates. We agreed that they were good tacos, the shrimp was cooked well and the seasoning was well balanced. The guacamole seemed a little subdued to me but the baja mayo was fantastic. They were very filling.

We both got another drink during dinner which was a bit difficult to do as we couldn’t catch anyone’s attention, eventually we managed and realized our server was a little overwhelmed with her tables.

Overall, I love the atmosphere of The Painted Burro, the drinks were fantastic, the chips and salsa were memorable, the tacos were good but not necessarily crave-able (like Ole’s), and service a little chaotic. I’m sure once everyone gets in the swing of things that last point will change though. I’d recommend this restaurant for large groups, dinner with friends, date nights, or just drinks at the bar – which I definitely will be doing. Soon.

How did The Painted Burro measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

The Painted Burro on Urbanspoon

Think Tank, Kendall Sq

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Where: Think Tank– 1 Kendall Square  Cambridge, MA 02139
When: March, 2012

With our team all in town for an offsite training I was charged with choosing where we would go for dinner two nights in a row. The first night was easy, we went to Area Four right across from our office in Tech Sq. For our second night I needed to find a place  close to our office with a variety of menu options and capable of holding 14 of us. Easy! I first tried Emma’s Pizza but they don’t take reservations. Bummer. I then tried the Cambridge Brewing Company but they said they were full and couldn’t take our reservation. Mmmm ok… I love a lot of the other restaurants in that area, like The Friendly Toast, Hungry Mother, and Atasca, but didn’t think they would work for such a large group with such a variety of backgrounds and tastes. Then I remembered Think Tank. I was looking forward to trying Think Tank when it opened in June of 2010 but within a month it was flooded when Boston was hit with one of our crazy tropical storms so they had to shut down for a few months to renovate. I did go there for a drink sometime last year and played trivia at the bar which was something a little different. I remember Think Tank being really empty though so hoped it would be a bit busier this time.

We showed up for our reservation and the hostess seemed to have no idea I had made a reservation which was a little strange as I spoke to an actual person on the phone a couple days earlier (makes you wonder what the point is, right?). Regardless, they were able to quickly pull a table together and seat us in the back where we had the whole room to ourselves. Our server was awesome – he was attentive, efficient, informative, and very friendly (and even commented on my awesome Costco kids glasses – flattery will get you everywhere).

Our meals came out quickly and everyone seemed really pleased with what they ordered. We had people ordering burgers, noodles, steak, salads, pork belly, a little of everything. I ordered the Seoul Burger, the restaurants’ most popular dish (which I can now see why). The Seoul Burger is a Korean BBQ marinated beef patty with lettuce, tomato, a fried egg, with sriracha aioli, on a poppy seed bun. To round it out I got the garlic fries.

This was a damn good burger. Not your traditional burger but also not so crazy that you forget you are eating a burger. It all worked well together. The beef was cooked just the way I ordered it – medium – and the smokiness of the BBQ sauce mixed with the aioli creating this creamy sauce with a bit of a zing (there wasn’t too much of it either which is good – less is more in this case). The fries were exactly as they were described – garlicky. I’d definitely get both of these items again if I were to go back.

Overall, the service was fantastic and Think Tank has a great atmosphere. Photo booth, anyone? The downside, and maybe I’ve just been unlucky, is that it always seems really empty which doesn’t give it a very lively vibe. As we were leaving they were converting the back room into a dance area and the place was filling up quickly so I’m thinking its more of a late night spot. I’d recommend Think Tank for large groups and casual dinners with friends or colleagues. I don’t think it would be my first pick for a date night although I’ve definitely been to less romantic places.

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How did Think Tank measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

Think Tank on Urbanspoon