Up until a few weeks ago, I would have never considered myself a “foodie” or by its definition: “Someone who seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.” Sure, my friends and I like trying new restaurants and I read a lot online about the Boston food scene, but I guess I thought everyone else was doing the same. However, I was having lunch with a group of peers and we started talking about restaurants we liked in the area. I started listing off all my favorite places across the city and found out:
- I go out to eat way more than the average person (which must be where all my money goes…)
- People aren’t taking advantage of all the amazing restaurants in Boston!
I decided for the month of February that I was going to document the places I went and the food I ate and share some of my experiences. I had the opportunity to go back to some of my favorites as well as check a few names off of my foodie bucket list. In the interest of time, I’m going to share my two favorite tried and true restaurants and two of the best new places I tried this month. If you ever need recommendations, you know where to find me!
Tried and True
I really wanted to use this month as a chance to try new places, but there are a few places I just can’t resist.
75 Kneeland Street, Boston
Anyone who knows me knows that I love any type of Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Korean-I love them all. A lesser known fact may be that Crave is actually my FAVORITE restaurant of all time. This amazing spot on the edge of Chinatown is known for their Korean fried chicken, but they also have amazing sushi, drinks, and even some outliers like truffle fries and kielbasa bites (which are excellent by the way). The menu is extensive and can be a little overwhelming, so here are my must try dishes:
- Korean Fried Chicken (pictured above): It’s what they’re known for and very different from any other fried chicken you’ve ever had. I prefer the soy garlic, but they also have multiple levels of spicy!
- Tuna Dumplings (pictured above): The dumpling itself is made out of tuna, the filling is crab, lobster and mango, and they sit in individual spoons of sweet ponzu sauce. I can’t even accurately describe them in words. You just have to try them
- Bulgogi Fried Rice (pictured above): Drop a fried egg onto any meal and it’s instantly better in my opinion.
- Sushi: The sushi here is mostly named after popular movies and tv shows (see: “Khaleesi” & “Crave the New Black”) and it’s all really, really good. My two personal favorites are the “So Cheesy” (literally comes on a plate of melted cheese) and “Simply Basil” (who knew basil and sushi would go together so well?)
73 Main Street, Charlestown
Besides being in the heart of one of Boston’s most dreamy neighborhoods, Tangerino is a versatile restaurant, lounge and cigar/hookah bar. My best friend was born and raised in Morocco, and after spending two weeks there a few years back, I needed to find a place to get my tagine fix. The upstairs is a formal restaurant and the downstairs is a hookah and cigar lounge. Both levels serve the same menu so it’s all about what vibe you’re looking for. Here are my go-to’s:
- Lemony Chicken Tagine: A tagine is named for the actual pot it’s cooked in. The result of slow cooking in the tagine results in tender braised chicken and preserved lemons with crazy amounts of flavor.
- Mint Tea (pictured above): If you’ve ever been to Morocco, you know how good the tea is. I literally drank hot tea on the beach in the middle of summer when I was there. It’s a lot harder to find places here that make it with actual mint leaves, so this is always a treat for me.
- Tender Short Rib Tagine (pictured above): This meal will make you love prunes. I know that sounds weird but something about how they caramelize them and then mix with the tender short rib is out. of. this. world. All that on top of couscous and you’ve got a great comfort meal for a cold February day.
1282 Boylston Street (Fenway)
100 Northern Avenue (Seaport)
Going to Honeygrow was a completely unplanned yet extremely pleasant experience. My friend and I were going to a show at House of Blues and needed something quick and easy to eat. We walked past this place and without even knowing what kind of food it was, (I mean what does Honeygrow even mean?) decided to try it out. I’ll start out by saying this place is definitely the restaurant of the future. No cashiers, only screens where you can custom order and pay for your meal. Really cool, but I can see it getting annoying during a rush.
As for the food itself, you have the option of a stir-fry, a salad, and a snack/dessert bowl called a Honeybar which is three fruits, a honey of your choice, a topping and whipped cream. Kind of a random mix, but it’s supposed to be super fresh and healthy (emphasis on “supposed to.”)
I opted for the Spicy Garlic stir fry which was freshly made egg white noodles, all-natural roast chicken, bell peppers, broccoli, red onions and pineapple (pictured above). I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it knocked it out of the park (no pun intended.) Like WOW this was good. I will definitely be returning and I can see a lot more of these opening up across the city!
160 Commonwealth Ave.
This was one of the only planned adventures for the month. I had friends visiting, and wanted to show them the cool side of Boston’s food scene while going somewhere I had been dying to try. B&B is a quirky, New Orleans style tapas restaurant with dishes you won’t find anywhere else in Beantown. The decor is southern, dark and a little edgy (see: the “Voodoo Lounge” bar.) They have a fantastic drink menu and extensive bourbon list, if you’re into that kind of thing. I opted for the “Voodoo on the Bayou,” a rum drink which was great, but too sweet to be drinking in Boston in the middle of February and not on vacation somewhere warm. But I digress…
We started with the warm honey-glazed biscuits which were served with smoked cinnamon butter and pimento cheese spread. I promise they will satisfy every craving you have and leave you happy and content before the actual meal even arrives.
We opted to get our own dishes instead of eating tapas style. I ordered the cast iron rabbit and dumplings. I ate a lot of rabbit when I studied abroad in Italy and really missed it (I always compare it to duck for those of you who are scared to try.) This was stewed with veggies and served with dumplings on top. It was absolutely perfect for the rainy day we were having.
Finally, it wouldn’t have been New Orleans-themed food without Beignets. Deep fried and covered in powdered sugar…do I even need to say anything else?
If you couldn’t tell, I had a great month! I travelled all over the city and got to spend a lot of time with good friends over some phenomenal food. I could write a book on the food I ate just in the month of February, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, I will be spending the month of March hitting the gym. See you around fellow foodies!