What Charmin Bears Love: Food|Dogs|Sephora

Our foodie instincts take over when we're out and about.

Boston: Saying Goodbye!

on September 12, 2011

I probably mentioned previously that I’m now not just a Charmin Bear, but I am officially a Californian Charmin Bear.  I moved about two months ago, but have been away in Europe for half of that time.  I’ve been back for a few weeks now and should get back to my bearly duties.

Before I left Boston, I had met up with friends, colleagues, old acquaintances for a farewell meal.  Most of the places were restaurants I’ve been to before and have blogged about, but here are a few new ones.

Stephanie’s @ 190 Newbury Street

Stephanie's - Mac & Cheese with Proscuitto and Truffle Oil

Stephanie's - Mac & Cheese with Proscuitto and Truffle Oil

Stephanie’s is a popular restaurant located right on Newbury Street.  I ordered the Mac & Cheese and opted to add proscuitto and truffle oil for an extra $3, making my meal $19 pre-tax.  It’s quite steep for lunch, but it’s expected for a popular restaurant in Boston’s most frequented outdoor shopping area.  The macaroni was baked with 3 cheeses, so it was quite heavy even without the truffle oil.  But I couldn’t resist.  I love the smell of truffle.  The bread crumbs were nice and crunchy.  I liked the dish, but definitely had trouble finishing.  Besides the food, I really liked Stephanie’s because of the exceptional service.  I sat outside and had brought Ted & FM.  Without me even asking, the hostess went and grabbed a bowl of water for the doggies.  Also, if you ever get cold sitting outdoors, they have blankets!

Anh Hong @ 291 Adam Street

I come to Anh Hong a lot with my Vietnamese friends.  It’s one of the many Vietnamese places in Dorchester aka Boston’s Little Saigon that serves up some good authentic Vietnamese food.  I usually eat the Bo 7 Mon, seven dishes of beef (sometimes I opt for fish instead), but today I’m going to write about some of my other favorites.

Anh Hong - Com Bi Cha Suon Trung Chien

Anh Hong - Com Bi Cha Suon Trung Chien

Translation: BBQ pork chop (suon), julienne pork (bi), steamed pork cake (cha) & fried egg (trung chien) over rice.  It’s really hard to find people who make this right.  I’m really picky about my bi and cha (my parents both grew up in Vietnam and are well versed in Vietnamese cuisine), but this was totally acceptable.  The bi was aromatic, the cha was flavorful and juicy.

Anh Hong - Canh Cua

Anh Hong - Canh Chua

Canh Chua is sour fish soup!  If you like sour stuff, you’d like this a lot.  Canh Chua is usually made with fish, but can be made with chicken or other meats as well.  I used to hate fish, but as I got older, my taste buds have changed dramatically and I now love fish.  The broth is clear, sweet and sour, a bit spicy and definitely helps open your appetite.  The two main ingredients that really make this soup is taro stem (some people replace this with celery, but I hate celery) and tamarind.  Yum!

Anh Hong - Che Dac Biet

Anh Hong - Che Dac Biet

It’s really a Che Ba Mau (tri-colored drink) that they added some additional ingredients too.  Dac Biet just means special.  All it translates to is “Special Shake.”  So like the tri-colored drink, it has red bean, mung bean, coconut milk and jelly.  Anh Hong, however, added some crushed peanuts, sesame and boba as well.  Surprisingly, it makes a delightful difference.  Well, I also liked that their red bean tasted fresh and soft.  The boba was chewy.  I always get it when I come here!

Papagayo @ 283 Summer Street

I came to Papagayo with some coworkers for lunch.  It’s relatively close to the downtown area, but across the bridge towards the waterfront.  It can be kind of a walk for some.

Papagayo - Chili Dusted Calamari

Papagayo - Chili Dusted Calamari

We started off with the Chili Dusted Calamari appetizer.  It had pickled jalapenos, tomatoes, and drizzled with chipotle crema.  Sounds like it would pack a kick right?  It was actually quite bland and didn’t leave me wanting more.  I decided after a few bites that I would save room for the other stuff.

Papagayo - Table Side Guacamole

Papagayo - Table Side Guacamole

We also ordered the Table Side Guacamole.  It’s called that because they prepare it right in front of you.  Oh how inventive!  Please note the sarcasm.  I guess Boston’s a bit behind.  I’ve seen this done many times at restaurants in other cities like DC and NY.  I was so not impressed.  I couldn’t care less if they prepped it in the kitchen.  If anything, prepping it in front of my face made me kind of cranky.  It’s such a tease.  I was hungry and all I could think about was “are you done yet!?”  It was good guacamole though.  Fresh and full of flavor.  The chips they give you though was amazing.  You can tell it just came out of the deep frier rather than a Tostito’s bag.

Papagayo - Fish Tacos

Papagayo - Fish Tacos

I mentioned earlier that I’ve developed a liking for fish, so I got fish tacos.  The fish they used was tilapia.  The sidekicks were avocado, picked red onions, a garlic cream sauce and I asked for them to leave the cabbage slaw on the side.  I don’t like cold slaw or any kind of slaw for that matter.  I’m not sure if the slaw was what was suppose to make this taco yummy, but it was quite bland and only okay tasting.  I wouldn’t recommend it.

Pomodoro @ 319 Hanover Street

My group, not the entire department, wanted to go out to eat one last time together.  We chose Pomodoro since Little Italy isn’t too far away from work.  Giacomo’s is always really busy, so we decided to go a couple stores down to Pomodoro, who also received rave reviews on Yelp.

Pomodoro - Calamari

Pomodoro - Calamari

They gave us a free appetizer, which seems to be the general practice here.  The calamari was good.  The batter was really light and the seasoning was just right.

Pomodoro - Tiger Shrimp Pasta

Pomodoro - Tiger Shrimp Pasta

One of my coworkers ordered the Tiger Shrimp pasta, which is tiger shrimp (obviously) tossed with linguini in a white sauce with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.  I didn’t have a bite, but she said she really liked it.

Pomodoro - Seafood Fra Diavolo

Pomodoro - Seafood Fra Diavolo

A majority of us each ordered our own Seafood Fra Diavolo, which featured an assortment of fresh fish and shellfish tossed in a spicy marinara sauce over linguini.  I forgot to ask for penne.  I’m not a huge linguini fan.  Although this was delicious, I think Giacomo’s is definitely better.  This was also $24, much more expensive than Giacomo’s.

Pomodoro - Seared Chicken Breast

Pomodoro - Seared Chicken Breast

Another one of my coworkers got the Seared Chicken Breast.  It’s chicken with a marsala scented wild mushroom ragu, tossed with papardelle noodles.  I didn’t try it.  I normally would think anything with mushroom tastes good, but my coworker informed me that it was not.  Pass on this one!

Pomodoro - Tiramisu

Pomodoro - Tiramisu

Another freebie.  Pomodoro likes to serve its customers a small slice of cake after their meal.  It meh.  Nothing spectacular but it was “free.” Or was it?  My theory is that places like Pomodoro jack up their prices and give you all these “free” things to make you think they’re a good value.  In actuality, you already paid for it by paying for an entree that you could’ve gotten cheaper somewhere else.  I will stick to Giacomo’s!

Fóumami @ 225 Franklin Street

I met up with a high school friend for lunch during work hours.  She works right across from Fóumami and has been meaning to try it, so we met up here.  I was always reluctant because I thought prices were a bit steep ($8 + tax), but I wouldn’t mind going for a friend!

Fóumami - Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich

Fóumami - Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich

I ordered the Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich, which included soy garlic marinated ribeye steak, sautéed onions, romaine lettuce.  It was really good.  Mouthwateringly good.  After eating with my friend, I came back for lunch again on a different day.  Instead of regular slices of bread, they use shao bing instead.  What is shao bing?  Think scallion pancake texture.  I love how crispy it was on the outside yet warm and slightly chewy on the inside.  It’s my favorite type of “bread.”  Is there a food truck that serves this in LA?!

Kingston Station @ 25 Kingston Street

For my goodbye lunch, I chose Kingston Station for the department.  I figured everyone eats sandwiches and burgers, and I’ve been meaning to try this place out.

Kingston Station - Station Burger

Kingston Station - Station Burger

I ordered the Station Burger, which has a sunny side up egg (the big seller for me), bacon, gruyere cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, house cut fries and a pickle.  I hate pickles so I passed it on to one of my coworkers.  I thought this was pretty tough to mess up.  All you really needed to cook was the patty.  I was pretty disappointed because I thought it was overly oily.  My hands were drenched in grease every time I picked the burger up for a bite.  That’s just disgusting.  I don’t know how many napkins I actually needed.  I like my fair share of grease and fat, but this is too much!

Well, this is probably going to be my last Boston entry for a long time.  My new territory is LA and I can tell you I’ve already found a few gems!  Will update soon!

– CBT

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