Tag Archives: 4 spoons

India Castle, Central Sq

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Where: India Castle – 928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
When: June 2012

With the foot still broken (seriously?) its time to try Indian food delivery. There is a place near me that I had ordered from before, pre-Five Spoons, that I did not like at all so made sure to avoid it. I was thrilled to find that India Castle, which I used to go to all the time when I lived on Harvard Street in Central Sq, delivers to my neighborhood. Let the ordering begin!

We got an order of Meat Samosas (homemade turnovers stuffed with lightly tempered and fresh minced lamb with peas) to share and then I got the Malai Kofta, my favorite Indian dish ever, which is balls of minced vegetables cooked with mild Indian spices in a tomato cream sauce. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Well, it was.

The Samosas were good but I didn’t find them to be above and beyond Samosas from a lot of other places – pretty standard but you can’t go wrong with them. The Malai Kofta, on the other hand, was amazing. The sauce was rich, with a touch of spice and cream. The vegetable balls were soft but firm bursting with Indian spices and flavors. Nice and saucy to slather on naan or polish off with rice. My only complaint would be that I want double the amount of vegetable balls but no one ever seems to give you more than two per order anyways.

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Overall, India Castle delivered hot, flavorful dinner pretty quickly considering they are a little ways away from me. The Samosas were good but the Malai Kofta was delicious, definitely better than any other place I have discovered near me. I haven’t been into the restaurant in years but I remember it being nice, service good and everything all around authentic. I’ll definitely be ordering from here again, broken foot or not.

How did India Castle measure up? 4 Spoons!

India Castle on Urbanspoon

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Casa B, Union Sq

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Where: Casa B – 253 Washington Street, Somerville MA 02143
When: June, 2012

After my failed attempt to go to Casa B a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance to to go again, this time with a reservation. We got there for 7pm and were taken downstairs, which seemed to have a pretty different feel to it (cozier and more intimate than upstairs), to be seated. Originally we were taken to the bar to sit in this double bar stool thing which was a bit awkward so we requested, and were granted, a table. Thank god.

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We started with the Tabla de Ceviches which is an assortment of three ceviches, marinated in citrus, root vegetable chips. The three ceviches were langosta (lobster), merluza (hake) y salmón (salmon, obviously). They were all really good, fresh, light and zesty but the hake was probably my favorite. The trio of ceviches was served with plantain chips which were crunchy and earthy, a nice compliment to the lightness of the seafood.

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Next we got the Bacalaitos Fritos con Brandada y Alioli de Cilantro (salted cod fritters, brandade, with cilantro aioli). I expected these little deep fried fritters it to be really incredible but it fell a little flat for me. It was crispy and had the potential to be amazing but it was a little heavy and flavors a little muddled. The aioli was really good.

This was my favorite dish of the night. Camarones Rellenos de Yuca Envueltos en Tocineta con Salsa de Cilantro y Jengibre (Yucca Stuffed Shrimp wrapped in Bacon, Cilantro Ginger Dipping Sauce). The shrimp were succulent; yucca, earthy and bacon, salty. The sauce mellowed the flavors out and gave it a burst of freshness. I could have eaten a couple dozen of these.

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Next, we got the Albóndigas en Salsa de Guayaba (Meatballs in Guava Sauce). The meatballs were tender and juicy with the sauce adding a sweetness to balance them out. I thought that this was an unusual menu item for a tapas place, but what do I know? It totally fit and worked.

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For dessert, we got the Tres Leches – Leche Condensada, Evaporada,  Clásica Decorado con Merengue (Three Milk Cake: Condensed, Evaporated, Cream, topped with Meringue) which had come highly recommended from a friend. This little cake was really good – moist, soft, light, and fluffy. It satisfied my need for something sweet at the end of ever meal.

Overall, the service was great, atmosphere vibrant yet intimate, and food above average. Great for groups, a date, or just out with a friend. I’d definitely go again.

How did Casa B measure up? 4 Spoons!

Casa B on Urbanspoon

Zinneken’s, Harvard Sq

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Where: Zinneken’s – 1154 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge 02138
When: May, 2012

Twas the day before Memorial day and I was drunk. It was an accident.

The day started at 11am with manicures at a little place in Porter Square. I was grateful that they had Miami Beat, the color I had already on my toes. After that we walked down to Harvard Square and sat outside at the Legal Seafood’s for oysters, salads, and gin and tonics. It was absolutely gorgeous out and one round quickly turned into three rounds. We eventually headed to Dorchester for a friend’s BBQ. There we ate some more, listened to some piano and singing, met lots of new people, and shared some wine. During the BBQ, waffles was brought up consistently so, as the sun went down, we decided we needed to head back to Harvard Sq on a search for waffles.

We waltzed into Zinneken’s and excited looked over the menu, finally settling on the Dame Blanche. The Dame Blanche is a waffle with whipped cream and Belgian chocolate. I eagerly cut the waffle in half before I got to take a photo so you will just need to imagine it as a whole. The waffle was hot and fresh; chocolate warm and gooey; cream light and sweet. It was just as I remembered them from my short visit to Belgium a few years ago.

This waffle was the perfect end to the night. Except we didn’t stop there…

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Overall, from what I remember, the staff were very nice, decor simple and clean, and waffles amazing. I’ll have to go back and take my time enjoying my waffle instead of just inhaling it.

How did Zinneken’s measure up? 4 Spoons!

Otto Pizza, Harvard Sq

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Where: Otto Pizza – 1432 Mass Ave. Cambridge MA 02139
When: May, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I signed up with Boston Cares, a volunteer organization here in Boston. The day after I did my orientation I was so eager to pick up an opportunity that I signed up for a Books for Prisoners program in Quincy. I spent the evening reading through letters from prisoners and helping choose books for them based on what their interests and requests were. All were polite and friendly, a few heartbreaking. I didn’t finish up until about 9pm so by the time I got back to Harvard Sq it was almost 10 and I was starving.

Pizza isn’t my usual go-to quick and easy meal but it was a chilly rainy night and that’s just what was on my mind.

I got two slices from Otto Pizza thinking, foolishly, that I would eat one and save the other for work the next day. Instead, I inhaled them both the moment I got home.

The slice on the left is the Chicken, Mushroom and Fontina Pizza and the one on the right in the Chicken and Basil Pizza. Both were delicious, especially after having been out in the rain (as you can see the raindrops that I couldn’t protect my pizza from on the bag below) and so hungry, but the Chicken, Mushroom, and Fontina was just to die for. And here I thought I wasn’t a fan of Fontina… It was creamy and salty and just plain good. The Chicken Basil one was as well but there was something a little more indulgent about the one on the left.

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Overall, I’d definitely get pizza from Otto Pizza again. The place is tiny so I wouldn’t t recommend going their to eat in but they were friendly and quick quick a few slices to go and their slices were mighty tasty.

How would Otto Pizza measure up? 4 Spoons!

Otto Pizza on Urbanspoon

Emma’s Pizza, Kendall Sq

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Where: Emma’s -40 Hampshire Street Cambridge, MA 02139
When: April, 2012

Happy Pizza Week!

I’ve been to, and enjoyed, Emma’s quite a few times so was excited to go back and get to write about it. I had plans to go to the Kendall Square Cinema to see Bully beforehand which was great as that gave us plenty to discuss at dinner, not like we need more topics. If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend Bully. Its a great documentary about bullying although I need to warn you that it will make you mad. Some kids, and adults I may add, are just damn mean. Be kind, people. Be kind.

Ok, I’ll leave the movie reviews to the movie critics and stick to food.

We got to Emma’s Pizza around 8:30 on a Saturday so expected the worst – a wait. Surprisingly, we only had to wait a few minutes before being seated. Lucky us! I love the atmosphere at Emma’s – its small and cozy, bustling but not loud or crowded. We had a groupon to use but, surprisingly, couldn’t order enough to make it worthwhile to use so we decided to save it for another visit. We got the large Artichoke Hearts, Garlic, House Roasted Tomatoes, Rosemary Sauce, Light Mozzarella, and Ricotta Pizza with the intention of taking some of it home. That, of course, did not happen. I don’t eat a ton of pizza so wouldn’t consider myself anywhere near a connoisseur but have to say I really like the rosemary sauce on this pizza. All the toppings worked really well together as well. As far as pizzas go, its a good one.

Overall, I think Emma’s is such a sweet little place perfect for a date or a night out with friends. The pizza is very good and service serious and swift. I’ll definitely be going back and would love to try one of their salads or something a bit lighter as I always tend to overeat and roll out of there thinking I can’t possibly eat again.

How did Emma’s measure up? 4 Spoons!

Emma's Pizza on Urbanspoon

The Elephant Walk, Porter Sq

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Where: The Elephant Walk – 2067 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140
When: April, 2012

With the Elephant Walk just a few blocks from where I live its a wonder why I haven’t been there more than once in the last 5 years. My last experience wasn’t particularly uplifting (company, not the food or service) so had to give it another go. We had just gotten one of those groupons (what are they called when they are not from Groupon?) from Google Offers for the Elephant Walk so chose to go there the same night for dinner. Of course we forgot the actual groupon so knew we would have to go back again soon. The pressure was on to like it, knowing we’d be eating there again.

We were seated quickly and the service was excellent. Our server was really knowledgeable about traditional Cambodian food as well as French. She was able to answer Libby’s questions without missing a beat (Libby having lived in Vietnam is a lot more knowledgeable about this cuisine than I am). The space is airy and open with high ceilings. It was busy but didn’t feel chaotic. We also had the added benefit of sitting next to two ladies maybe 10 years older than us who were discussing past relationships, especially one that was particularly narcissistic. I am sure we often make our dining neighbors try to eavesdrop as well.

Libby got the Amok Royal: A Cambodian signature dish – a spicy, steamed, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, shellfish and Southeast Asian catfish with coconut milk and complex Khmer seasonings; garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper. She loved it.

I got the Crevettes Amrita: Natural shrimp sautéed in a lightly sweet and spicy Cambodian satay sauce with coriander, cumin, cardamom, galangal, cinnamon, ginger, peanuts, star anise and lemongrass; with button mushroom, onion and scallion. I barely stopped to talk during dinner, it was delicious. The portions are generous and flavors worked really well together. I’ve actually since considered getting this dish for take away as I have still been thinking about it.

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Overall, the service and atmosphere were great and our meals were both delicious. The menu is extensive so you may be in trouble if you have a hard time making decisions. We did think the prices were a little steep for a the meals. Both were excellent, as I said, but we were surprised that most dishes were close to $20 for the area and ingredients.

I was also excited to find that The Elephant Walk has a bar downstairs, I had no idea! Porter Sq doesn’t have a ton of bars that I like to go to so this is on my list as places to go for a drink or two when in the neighborhood.

How did The Elephant Walk measure up? 4 Spoons!

Elephant Walk on Urbanspoon