Tag Archives: porter square

Temple Bar, Harvard / Porter Sq

Standard


Where: Temple Bar – 1688 Mass Ave Cambridge, MA 02138
When: December, 2011

With my mother in town for the holidays I thought it would be fun to take her out with one of my friends. After narrowing it down to a few places we settled on Temple Bar between Harvard and Porter Squares.

I had been to Temple Bar three other times with very different experiences (food has been great each time) so why not add a fourth. The first time was about 8 years ago to meet a group of friends for drinks and apps. I remember feeling out of my element and terrified by the prices with my very barely livable salary. I sipped on one drink for about 3 hours and made sure not to touch the food (how sad). The second time was about 4 years ago on a date where we mistakenly ate copious amounts of fondue and homemade potato chips with a goat cheese dip. At the time, as vegetarians, we thought it was a genius idea but quickly regretted it. Obviously. The third time was the summer of 2010 when Daniela and I took the now Mrs. Woulfe out for a bachelorette brunch. I had the BLT which was delicious.

You know when you remember what you ate somewhere up to 4 years ago it’s gotta be good (although feeling like I might die of cheese overdose isn’t the best reason for remembering).

So this fourth visit was bound to be another memorable experience.

We ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir which was bold and warm and just right to cut through my sniffles and the chill from the rainy weather outside.

My mother was thrilled to see bavette as she hadn’t seen that on a restaurant menu in the US before. Have I mentioned that my maternal grandparents’ business in Paris is a meat distribution company? They know their meat. When googling bavette I found out that its another name for flank steak which my mum will be happy to learn as that’s fairly common here. Sad to think that a language barrier has been keeping her away from a cut of steak all these years!

So mum got the Grilled Brandt Farm Bavette Steak with Twice Baked Truffled Parmesan Potato, Summer Tomato Salad, and Mojo Vinaigrette which she raved about it. I, as usual, couldn’t decide between two dishes so my friend got one and I got the other. I got the Slow-Braised Boneless Beef Shortrib with Horseradish Mashed Potato, and Crispy Shallots and he got the Grilled 14oz Porterhouse Cut Pork Chop with Vermont Cheddar Stone Ground Grit Cake, Braised Greens, and Grilled Peach Tasso Piperade. After tasting our own we offered each other a bite and both liked the others’ better so we swapped (or he knew which I preferred and was being chivalrous). The pork chop was really juicy and tender and the peach piperade really complimented the saltiness of it. I preferred the horseradish mashed potatoes that came with the short ribs (so creamy and good) as the cheddar stone ground grit cake I got was a little dry.

For dessert we split the Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding with Ginger Caramel, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Oh my. The ginger was really good in it, adding a little spice, balancing out the ridiculously amount of caramel we drizzled on to it. It went perfectly with a cup of bold coffee to round out the evening.

 

How did Temple Bar measure up? 4 Spoons!

Temple Bar on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Super Fusion, Porter Sq

Standard

Where: Super Fusion – 1759 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02140
When: December, 2011

I think I first really noticed Super Fusion, or “Super Fusion Cuisine III” according to their website, while sitting in the window of Beauty Spa waiting for my nails to dry back in October.  I considered getting sushi to go but was hesitant to try a new place when I knew Blue Fin was just around the corner and oh so reliable and delicious.

Dan and I decided we wanted sushi and thought we would try a new place since I’ve dragged him to Blue Fin for years. I’m really glad we did as it was excellent! The space is pretty small with about 10 tables (for two) that can be pushed together and reconfigured according to parties (we know as we had to move when a large party expanded). It was clean and friendly but not really the type of place you would want to sit at for hours sipping wine glazing adoringly at the person across the table from you (no offense, Dan).

To get to the restroom you have to go through the kitchen which I thought was sort of fun as I always like to sneak a peek at the back of the house.

Ok, so we got (in order from left to right):

– Guan Maki – Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, tobiko, sweet potato, cucumber & spicy mayo
– Snowing Maki – Spicy tuna roll topped with spicy tuna and tobiko
-Cambridge Maki – Eel tempura with cucumber, topped with tuna, torched with spciy mayo, eel sauce & tobiko
– Snow Maki – Shrimp tempura topped with snow crab, mayo, and a layer of avocado & mango

The waiter was a really sweet man who, when he saw me taking photos of the food, took out his own phone and excitedly showed me photos of food he had taken. He raved about the photo of the Spicy Ahi Tempura Roll at the Cheesecake Factory telling us how amazing it is and how the entire roll is tempuraed and deep fried. Anyone who can find a gem on a menu like the Cheesecake Factory’s is golden in my book. I was charmed by his shared excitement for food.

When he brought our food out he took the time to explain which rolls were which and what his suggested order to eat them in was. He suggested starting with the Snow Maki, then going to the Snowing Maki and then the last two could be eaten as we wished.

I LOVED the Snowing Maki. I always get spicy tuna maki so this was like that all super charged. The tuna was super fresh and it had great flavor. I also loved the Guan Maki although always have a bit of trouble with those extra large rolls and time eating them right after I ask my dinner companion a question that I know will last at least 40 seconds. I typically would have shied away from sushi with mango but I’m glad I didn’t as the Snow Maki was also very good. We both wished there was a little more avocado over the top though. The only one we weren’t big fans of was the Cambridge Maki although now that I am looking at the description and the photo I am wondering if they gave us the wrong roll as the description says its topped with tuna and spicy mayo but the fish on the top of this one clearly is not tuna. Hmmm. Anyways, whatever this roll was it was a little too fishy for both of us so we didn’t finish it.

Our waiter brought us a couple of complimentary desserts when dinner was over which was very nice of him. It was a tapioca pudding with black bean paste. Turns out I am not a fan of tapioca pudding. Turns out I do hate to make anyone feel bad after a nice gesture and will still eat something I don’t like.

Overall, I think Super Fusion gives Blue Fin a run for its money. Blue Fin has a nicer atmosphere but the sushi was equally delicious and reasonably priced, even for the big fancy rolls. I’ll definitely be going back and adding them to my contacts for when I’m getting take away sushi.

How did Super Fusion measure up? 4 Spoons!

Super Fusion 3 on Urbanspoon

Rod Dee, Porter Sq

Standard

Rod Dee– 1906 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140
When: December, 2011

Rod Dee opened in Porter Square, snuggled between Wok n Roll and Passage to India, last winter. Although a loss for Brookline residents when Rod Dee relocated, as I Cambridge resident I am happy to have gained some great Thai food.

The place is brightly lit, busy, and serves no alcohol. Needless to say I got my food to go.

Being ignorant when it comes to Thai food we stuck to the basics and got an order of Pad Thai with Shrimp and an order of the Green Curry with Tofu. I had never had green curry before so wasn’t sure what to expect but it was delicious and I would definitely get it again. It wasn’t spicy but was full of flavors and seemed almost creamy. The tofu and veggies came over a huge portion of rice. The Pad Thai was also really good although I am not sure I have ever had a bad Pad Thai before. Seems like everyone does it right.

In my haste to eat I forgot to take any photos but I did find this gem online that is not that dissimilar to what the reality looked like. Get in my mouth!!

I was happy to have left over green curry today for lunch, it was just as good.

How did Rod Dee measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

Rod Dee on Urbanspoon