Tupelo – Modern Southern

1193 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02139

www.tupelo02139.com (617) 868.0004

*In Inman Sq. in Cambridge at the intersection of Cambridge and Tremont St

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Cote du Rhone
  • Abita Amber
  • Monk’s Blood
  • Ommegang
  • Peak Organic x2
  • Abita Turbodog
  • zombie killer
  • Mulled Red Wine
  • –Plates–
  • Fried Oysters w/ Tabasco aioli and house pickles
  • Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!) *Night Special*
  • Triple-Fried Chicken wings *Night Special*
  • Deep fried Crispy Grits squares
  • Small Cajun Gumbo w/ pulled chicken, fresh okra and smoked andouille sausage
  • Southern Fried Chicken w/ hominy mashed potatoes, collard greens and pickled red cabbage
  • Crawfish Chowder *Night Special*
  • BBQ Pulled Pork w/ collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes
  • The King’s Favorite Meatloaf w/ jalapeño mac&cheese, collard greens and pan gravy
  • Texas Style Beef Chili w/ cheddar cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapeño peppers
  • –Dessert–
  • Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • $211.86 w/tax ($65 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Back out to Cambridge we went to check out some Southern food this week. Our search had put us to this location as well as a spot on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had a reservation and arrived a little late but was promptly sat. Our server was energetic and excited about our dinner. We decided on splitting four appetizers and got our first round of drinks. I had Peaks organic first and was especially excited about the Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!). When it came it was delicious but the pork wasn’t as tender as I was hoping for. The oysters and wings were really good and I liked the originality of the deep-fried grits squares. For my entrée I decided on the meatloaf. It had good flavor and was tender enough. The accompanying collard greens were perfect and the mac & cheese was good though reminiscent of Velveeta. Bites of the Southern fried chicken highlighted the tasty crust and the Chili was good spicy, nice and hearty and flavorful. Ren’s BBQ pulled pork was cooked well and with one of the pickles proved an enjoyable mouthful. I had a another beer as I finished off my dinner and once again, though quite full, we decided on splitting a couple of desserts. I really liked the pie, which had a fantastic crumble on top. The Mississippi mud pie was decadence and too much for me after a couple small bites. My favorite thing: Either the pulled pork or those fried oysters

Ren: The smell of BBQ and the yearn for grits brought us over to Tupelo in Inman Square. Southern style comfort food is just what we needed to warm our bellies and incite conversation. I started the meal with a delicious Saison. For appetizers we split a pork belly corn dog, deep-fried grits, triple fried wings, and fried oysters. Everything was incredibly delicious, succulent and paired with excellent sauces. For my entrée I chose the bbq pulled pork with collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes paired with a cherry mead. The collard greens were the best I have ever had and the rest was pretty good. Everyone else’s dish was very good especially John’s craw fish chowder with Gruyère biscuits. We ended the meal with a slice of cranberry apple pie and a slice of mud pie. Both were a little sweet for me but definitely tasty so I ordered a glass of mulled wine to finish my meal. Tupelo is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious southern food. My favorite thing: the wonderful crawfish chowder

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average:  8.5 *Certified Dericious* Delicious appetizers, great concepts of the food, some Southern classics and some modern updates. Execution on a few dishes fell a little short, but awesome overall

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Our server was friendly, original and gave us as much advice and recommendations as we asked for, plus some. The service was timely and he worked with our requests for timing and bill splitting

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8.5 A cute little place in Inman Sq. Good place for a date. I’m glad they took reservations as the place was pretty filled up. Decor on the walls was well done

Total Average: 8.333 Really good food, fantastic service and another great Date Night spot

One bad thing: A couple of food execution errors. The Southern Fried Chicken was a little over done and the Chowder may not have been seasoned as well as it could have been

Hungry Mother – Southern Comfort

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave. Cambridge, MA 02141

www.hungrymothercambridge.com (617) 499-0090

*A couple blocks from Hampshire St and Broadway. Near Kendall Sq Cinema

Seth & Ren, +1 guest

  • –Drinks–
  • Stirred cocktail
  • Vieux Carre cocktail
  • Meadowlark IPA x2
  • Old Monk cocktail
  • Gin Mule
  • –Plates–
  • Duck liver pate
  • Bluefish croquettes
  • Stube Ranch Wagyu beef with creamed corn and blackened arrowhead cabbage x2
  • Grilled Striped Bass with fried green tomato and summer squash
  • Bacon and Sweetbread skewers with tomato and chimichurri (free tasting)
  • –Deserts–
  • Chocolate cream pie with whipped cream and caramel sauce
  • $166.39 w/ tax ($50.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-40 w/Drinks: $40-60

Seth: On a rainy Friday afternoon we finally made our way to hungry mother.  Ren and I finally accepted a 45 minute wait and it was worth it.  I arrived first and put in out name, and Ren and john arrived minutes later.  Once we were sat we figured out our cocktails pretty quick and got to ordering.  We started with an appetizer of duck liver pate, which was tasty but perhaps not as rich as I would have liked. The blue fish croquettes on the other hand were absolutely phenomenal.  While were waiting for out  entrées, the chef brought us out a free tasting of sweet bread and bacon skewers with a chimichurri sauce.  I’m pretty sure this is my first experience with sweet bread and paired with the tomato and bacon, I’m now a fan.  Ren and I couldn’t resist ordering the same entrée this week, as one cannot turn down wagyu beef.  I’m glad I went ahead with this as the beef was tender and perfectly cooked.  It came with a nice cream corn and blackened cabbage that added the proper contrast to the dish.  Somewhere in there we ordered a second round of drinks.  I followed up my first cocktail with an IPA.  As is mandatory, we picked out a dessert to share, decided on the chocolate pie with the  caramel sauce.   I was completely full and could only have one bite, but it was sweet and moist and tasty.  Hungry Mother has an ever revolving menu, so I will absolutely be here again.  As a note: be sure to make reservations in advance. My favorite thing: That incredible cut of beef.

Ren: Hungry Mother equals taste bud bliss! Me and Seth have been meaning to go here for quite sometime and a visit with a friend finally prompted a visit. Joined by my boyfriend we set off on a journey of delectable proportions. We commenced with a few tasty beverages from the bar. My Vieux Carré was excellently made as was every concoction we ordered; especially a taste of a Corpse Reviver variation invented by the bartender. The round of sumptuous taste relievers was followed by an appetizer of pâté and shortly after by an appetizer of blue fish croquettes. The pâté was tasteful but not quite as rich as I would have like it to be. The croquettes, however, were incredibly flavorful and well-balanced. The chef  then sent us a taste of sweet bread paired with bacon and tomato to tease our taste buds and prepare us for our entrées that followed which were mind-blowing! My boyfriends striped bass, Seth’s and my Wagyu steak were all cooked to perfection. Everything simply melted in our mouths. My steak was well paired with a creamed corn and a side of cabbage. We topped the evening off with a smooth and tasty chocolate pie with coffee whipped cream and caramel sauce. Two words: go here! We had an amazing experience and I am definitely going back whenever I am in the area. My favorite thing: my out of this world Wagyu steak with the creamed corn.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.75 Food Average: 8.625 *Certified Dericious* Tasty, well done, intelligent southern inspired comfort food

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Cute little place with nice wood tables and a good crowd. Everyone seemed so pleased to be here

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Excellent service. Napkins folded when you step away. Knowledgeable of the menu and doing their job well.

Total Average: 8.625 A place we’ve been meaning to get to and it was worth the wait. Cute place, well thought out delicious food. Check this place out. *Make reservations a week in advance.*

One bad thing: The pate I guess was a little drier and less rich than I was hoping for. Not bad per say but have to  find something to put here.

East Side Bar & Grille – Italian Seafood

561 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02141

www.eastsidebarandgrille.com (617) 661-3278

*On the corner of Cambridge St and 7th St.

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Harpoon IPA x2
  • Harpoon Hefeweizen x2
  • –Plates–
  • P.E.I. Mussels sautéed in a chipotle garlic cream sauce
  • Veal Marsala sautéed with fresh mushrooms and prosciutto
  • Shrimp Scampi sautéed in special sauce of wine
  • Shrimp & Scallop Florentine: Sautéed shrimp, scallops and spinach tossed in a pink vodka sauce served over Angel hair pasta
  • Home made Crab cakes: Fresh crab meat mixed with spices and herbs, on fresh sautéed spinach, topped with jumbo shrimp and scallop. With saffron dijon sauce
  • –Dessert–
  • Tiramisu
  • Chocolate Chip Cannoli
  • $117.45 w/ tax ($20.00 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-30

Seth: It’s been a bit since we’ve had Italian or seafood, or been to Cambridge so we put all these together for this weeks spot. A bit of an old school Rat Pack style Italian joint welcomed and we were sat right away. We started with a beer and a chipotle cream sauce Mussels that were a great start. The bread that came we devoured dipping it in the left over sauce. This probably had something to do with not being able to finish but half my entrée later. The service was enthusiastic and the music in homage to Sinatra. We all ordered entrées next. I wanted what’s known as their ‘famous’ steak tips but decided to opt for something I don’t make regularly myself and got the Shrimp and Scallop Florentine. The seafood was cooked well and the sauce was nice. I was a little under-whelmed but it was good. I had bites of Makeda’s crab caked that were meaty and done nicely. Ren’s veal was delicious with a fantastic accompanying sauce. John’s Shrimp scampi had a nice zesty wine butter sauce to it. None of us were able to finish and all had our leftovers bagged. As is tradition though, we can’t very well go with out dessert. We couldn’t quite settle on one so we ordered both the tiramisu and the cannoli. The latter tasted almost of cookie dough and not really in the good way. The tiramisu was really nice and light and far better than our last attempt at Q Restaurant. Ren and I had a second beer in there somewhere and when we were all quite full, we took our leave. My favorite thing: The mussels were a perfect starter

Ren: A little jaunt to the north brought us to East Side Grille where tales of four and half stars teased our appetites and thoughts of Italian proportions settled our decision. We commenced the evening with a few Harpoon drafts and an appetizer of mussels and cream sauce: which was rich and delicious and reminded us of a fondue. The atmosphere was Italian family style with a few paintings of happy couple taking promenades and wait staff with casual food knowledge and big personalities. It is a comfortable establishment with decent food. After appetizers we were given a round of side salads which is my favorite thing about family style restaurants. Then a wondrous veal marsala with a side of mashed potatoes was delivered to my seat. It was an above average, nice, broth style dish. Everyone else’s entrées were of similar ranking. We finished the meal with a slice of tiramisu and a chocolate chip cannoli. The cannoli was ok and the tiramisu was good and light. All in all its better than most average Italian but not quite high-class: worth a visit if you’re in the area. My favorite thing: the delicious mussels!

Food: Seth 7.5 Ren 7.5 Food Average:  7.5 Above average Italian food with a lot of seafood influence. Great sauces, fresh food.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 7 A bit of a Rat-Pack feel with the old-school decorations and vibe that permeates the place.

Service: Seth 7.5 Ren 7.5 Good average service. Plates were taken and the right
questions were asked. Not as knowledgeable as they could have been on their own menu

Total Average: 7.417 This had really good reviews and I think we only caught flashes of that for our trip. Maybe it needs another visit but it was hardly above average

One bad thing: Not much to put here. Perhaps our tables proximity to the servers station and the kitchen doors

Cuchi Cuchi – International Tapas

795 Main St. Cambridge, MA 02130

www.cuchicuchi.cc (617) 864-2929

*A block before Main St meets Mass Ave in Central Sq

Seth & Ren, + 3 guests

  • Drinks
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Ricky Ricardo
  • Pimm’s Cup
  • Orient Express
  • Let me Entertain you
  • Ali Cat
  • Blood Orange Sidecar
  • Raspberry Beret
  • Plates
  • Fruits De Mer (seafood, cream sauce, puff pastry…yum)
  • 3 Savory Cornets w/ Tuna tartare and Avocado Mousse
  • St. Jacob’s Zucchini (Deep-fried w/ Serrano ham & Manchego)
  • Potato Croquettes w/ two dipping sauces
  • Mexican Deep-fried Tomato w/ pico de gallo
  • Brie en Croûte w/ walnuts and bacon in a puff pastry
  • Grilled Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri sauce
  • Baby Back Ribs w/ Apple Fritters (!!!)
  • Cuban Cigar (Beef short ribs wrapped in dough)
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Fried Artichoke Hearts filled w/ gorgonzola, pistachios and basil
  • Desserts
  • Cornucopia (Pizzelle cone filled w/ fresh fruit, fruit kissel and whipped cream
  • French Banana Bread Extravaganza!
  • $303.88 w/tax ($107.00 in Drinks!)

Seth: I love small plates. What could be better than getting a taste of ten different awesome dishes. When we go out to eat we tend to share most everything as it is, but this type of restaurant allows for a couple bites of many different rich and tasty dishes. We actually got eleven plates, two desserts and two cocktails apiece. All of them were better than the last. The timing of dishes was perfect as no more than three dishes were on the table at once. The Fruits de Mer was a newer dish, which after trying out, we were asked what we thought and if it should be a permanent item. It was a puff pastry bowl filled with a brandy cream sauce and perfectly cooked selection of seafood. From shrimp and scallops to lobster and snow crab; all delicious. The baby back ribs were cooked perfectly and were paired with cooked apple fritters that reminded my a little of fried dough and even had a dusting of powdered sugar on them. The tuna tartare was really nice and their presentation (pictured right) was spot on. The Cuban Cigar (one of my selections) was like nothing I’ve had before. Beef short ribs, cooked nicely, wrapped in a tasty dough, accompanied with a black bean salsa; another item I’ll have to be back to try again. The Beef Stroganoff was like what you’ve had before, just better. All the dishes we tried were just awesome. Some I’ll definitely try again. After the plates came the desserts. Now this brings a whole new argument to the table. While the Cornucopia was nice, with delicious fresh fruit, the French Banana Bread Extravaganza could make a case for the best dish of the night. If for nothing else at all, come here and get a nice cocktail and have this dessert. I can’t even justify it with words. It was just really well done and perfectly executed. My girlfriend missed out on this dinner tonight and I will now have to remedy the situation shortly on one of our upcoming date nights. My Favorite thing: Obviously the aforementioned dessert. For the plates, I’ll have to go with the  Baby Back ribs.

Ren:  This weeks culinary journey lead us to Cuchi Cuchi; a seemingly Moulin Rouge inspired restaurant to my great surprise and delight. Simply put: this was by far one of my favorite restaurants to date. Walking into the restaurant we were greeted by a burlesque inspired host complete with a feather in her hair and a very friendly attitude. The décor was extravagant and elegant at the same time complete with gauze covered mirrors, antique chairs, risqué French art, and a little bedazzle flair. Between the five of us we chose eleven mouth-watering dishes that were beautiful prepared, succulent and rich, and the table delivery was very well spaced out. I chose the apple cider braised baby back ribs with apple turnovers and the potato croquettes (pictured left) with cheese and tomato dipping sauces. The ribs literally fell off the bone and melted in my mouth not to mention the turnovers reminded me a little of fried dough. None of our dinner choices were a disappointment; everything was incredibly delicious. Their muddled cocktails I ordered were very delightful and tasty as were the other drinks ordered at the table. The waitress was evidently fairly new to Cuchi Cuchi and made a few minor mistakes; however her personality and poise more than made up for her slip-ups. I can’t wait to return here as soon as possible for My favorite thing: the mouth-watering baby back ribs paired with a cocktail from their extensive drink menu.

Ave Price/Person: $35-50 w/ Drinks: $45-65

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Food Ave: 8.75 *Certified Dericious*  Delicious and varied food from all over the world

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8  A very accompanying waitress, who made some great suggestions and was there when we needed her. Cutely dressed in a flappers attire which tied nicely with the decor.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 9 Ren 9.5 Such a cute, eclectic, well done place. Some may say it’s a little over the top or garish but I think the whole thing is done well. (Including some occasional bedazzling)

Total: 8.750 One of the best so far. Well rounded and tasty!

One bad thing: Our waters were empty a couple of times