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Entries in Boston (3)

Friday
Apr262013

Restaurant Review - Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão

200 Dartmouth St.
Boston, MA 02116

(617) 585.6300

I hadn’t planned on doing a review of this restaurant.  Frankly, it promised to be a gluttonous experience….not in the vein of “healthy options dining out.”  My mind changed while speaking to the bartender of the restaurant, who was at work the day of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  She shared her story with some tears, and I did the same.  The building was surrounded by news crews….and so business was off.

The first challenge was parking.  The restaurant is in the same complex as the Westin Hotel.  While there is parking there, I’ve found it is always full.  So I parked over at the Marriott, and walked down the Dartmouth Street. 

News crews were still on the corner covering the events of the day.  It was hard to get into the restaurant without remembering.

The bar was at the top of the entry stairs off Dartmouth.  Sitting at the bar, a member of the news crew came in and commented how they were tired of eating meat all week at Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse. How can you ever tire of eating meat?

The truth is, a client requested to dine at this restaurant.  The client loves being a carnivore, and Fogo didn’t disappoint.  He warned us not to eat anything during the day, good advice before the “all you can eat” experience.

The web site sets out an expectation:

Dining Experience

Step 1: Sit down, relax, and enjoy a drink while we explain the Fogo® dining experience.

Step 2: Visit our gourmet salad and sides bar. Enjoy over 30 items including fresh cut vegetables, imported cheeses, cured meats and Brazilian side dishes.

Step 3: Turn your card green side up, signaling that you are ready for our gaucho chefs to begin tableside service.

Step 4: Choose from the 15 cuts of delectable fire roasted meats that are brought to your table, sliced, and served by our gaucho chefs.

Step 5: When you are satisfied, flip the disc to the red side until you are ready for more offerings.

Step 6: If you wish, end the meal with one of our delicious desserts.

The dining room has a large salad bar in the middle, with rooms off the side.  Dinners are fixed price, $48.50, (Salad Bar Only - $24.50).

Once seated, we immediately were ushered to the salad bar.  “Don’t waste your time with the cheap filler,” warned our client.  The truth is the salad bar had a little of everything, and had I not wanted to have some meat it would have been a fine dinner in its own right.  When you go to a meat place, salad goes along with it…and is not the main course.

As we were finishing our salads, the gaucho chefs brought skewers of
meat cut at your table. Options included picanha, filet mignon, beef ancho, alcatra, fralsinha, costela, cordeiro, frango, costela de porco, lombo and linguica.  Suffice to say the beef, chicken, lamb, pork and sausages were all served hot and sizzling, with diners needing to “help” hold slices as the gaucho wields the big knife.

Our client mentioned he wore an older shirt as it is quite possible to get some meat juice on your clothes.  I didn’t get anything on my shirt, although the tablecloth was fairly covered.

Passing on the dessert course was my concession, although the others had chocolate molten cake, papaya cream, and turtle cheesecake.

I also flipped my disc to red before the others, so while I sampled everything didn’t leave feeling bloated.  All and all we must make sacrifices! 

Hours

Lunch
Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30


Dinner
Mon-Thur 5:00-10:00
Fri 5:00-10:30
Sat 4:30-10:30
Sun 3:30-9:00

Fogo de Chão gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy. 

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money

 

Friday
Sep142012

Beantown Pub

Beantown Pub

100 Tremont Street
Boston MA 02108

(617) 426-0111

Boston’s duck tours all stop in front of the Beantown Pub, sitting across from the Granary Burial Ground, and proclaim, “The Beantown Pub is the only place in Boston where you can have a Sam Adams across from Sam Adams.”  You see, the original Sam Adams has been buried at the Granary Burial Ground since Oct. 1803 and somehow must look upon the Samuel Adams Brewery with a certain amount of amusement.

In the shadow of the Suffolk University Law School and the Tremont Temple Baptist Church sits a little piece of history on Tremont Street.  The Beantown Pub is a narrow establishment, where past the long bar is a more open area with pool tables.

My first indication of this being more bar than restaurant should have been the name, Beantown PUB.  The second was the nice large man telling me I couldn’t take pictures inside the place (so apologies in advance for the lack of pictures.)  The third was the sound of the blasting music, causing me to yell at the person I was with or the bartender.

The food menu was simple, and we were guided to the Lobster Roll.  The Lobster Roll had rather dry lobster smushed into a grilled hot dog bun.  My dinner companion had calamari, again proving anything fried is good, and Buffalo Wings.  The fact Buffalo Wings remained on the plate at the end of the evening were indicative.

The ambiance is dark with loud music.  The place was packed with twenty somethings out for an enjoyable evening.

As a college – area pub, the Beantown Pub was rocking and a blast.  It’s a pub serving pub food, as opposed to a restaurant with a bar.  If you are looking for a quiet intimate restaurant in the area, the Beantown Pub is not the place.

Hours

Mon – Sat 11am till 2am
Sun – 12 noon till 2am

Beantown Pub gets a Green Light – Go and enjoy

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money

Friday
Aug032012

Barking Crab - Boston

Barking Crab - Boston

88 Sleeper Street
Boston, MA 02210

617-426-CRAB

A work colleague traveled to Boston from India for two weeks.  On his last trip, we went to Legal Harborside.  We also went to Khatta Mitta - Ming 3, where the food was declared fabulous (although there was a debate on the correct temperature for serving Jalebi – with Wikipedia saying warm or cold.)

The next request was a bit intimidating, “I would like to spend a Saturday with you, for the entire day, and meet your entire family.”   It often takes a holiday for my family to get together unless one of the kids needs something.  “Hey, I’d like you to meet this work mate of mine on a Saturday,” wasn’t going to cut it.  I’d have to…..buy lunch.  Bribe them with food and beverage.

We set off on a walking tour provided by Lorraine Giargiari of Burnams.  Lorraine has opened a small Boston tour business were you get to see Boston the best way…walking.  We met at the PO Square Garage, and spent the morning walking through Boston and in/out of many buildings.  Lorraine does a great job picking up on the cues from the people on the tour…like, “You want to see churches?  Let’s go this way.”  (She can be reached at 508-333-6582 to arrange a personal or group tour.)

As 1:00 approached, we had worked up a pretty good hunger and other coworkers and my son and his wife were on their way.

We met at the Barking Crab in Boston.  According to their website, “Opened in May of 1994 as an outdoor summer restaurant, we were known for our first three years as Venus — Seafood in the Rough. After a successful second season, the restaurant expanded into the adjoining Neptune Lobster and Seafood Market, adding a wood-burning stove and becoming a year-round operation.” 

What I like about the Barking Crab is it is just comfortable.  It has a feel of an ocean side clam shack, with the Fort Point channel on one side.  Paid parking is easy in front of the restaurant, although you can save $5 if you park 2 lots over.  Dress code?  Wear something.  No pretenses here.

The hostess was pleased to greet us, and took our names and sent us over to the outside bar where our coaster was indicating seating after one beverage.

Our entire group was seated at an inside picnic table…what could be more natural at a clam shack.

The menu was wide and varied, with a large number of specials.  Frankly, most in our group either went with a special, or quickly decided on a standard summer preference (for example, I went with an (overly buttered) Lobster Roll.)

What a great place for getting a group together.  Our day was beautiful with temperatures in the 80s.  Sitting at a picnic table under a cover was very natural.  I’ve been to the Barking Crab in foul winter weather, when chowder is more interesting, and always have a great time.

Marcus Thompson - General ManagerSo we had a few spontaneous discussions going around the table when Marcus Thompson, General Manager came by.  What a gracious host!  He chatted about the food, including his favorites, and subtly adjusted the size of an order for us when he determined we wouldn’t have had enough food for the size of the party.

Overall, all the people at the Barking Crab seemed to be having a nice time.  From the hostess, to the bartender (very efficient), to the wait staff, to Marcus…to a person they all were smiling, and more than happy to help us with group pictures, etc. 

So when you find yourself looking for something “easy” to do on the waterfront, the Barking Crab is worth a visit.

Note – There is now a Barking Crab in Newport, too.

Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-10:00pm kitchen, Bar until 11:00pm.
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am-11:00pm kitchen, Bar until 12:00am.

Barking Crab - Boston gets a

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money