Brown Sugar Cafe – My Thai

1033 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215 (617) 787.4242

*On Commonwealth Ave, after Babcock St and before Packards Corner

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Sparkling wine
  • Singha beer x3
  • –Plates–
  • Chicken Lollipops: batter fried de-boned chicken wings w/ seasoned ground shrimp, chicken and mushroom stuffing
  • Brown Sugar Spareribs
  • Fresh Rolls w/ House Special Turnip sauce
  • Bird of Paradise: salmon, shrimp, sea scallops, squid, mussels and vegetables in hot & sour broth spiced w/ exotic lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil
  • Roast Duck Curry: honey roasted duck in delicious red curry with pineapple chunks, tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves
  • Brown Sugar Duck: glazed with chef’s tangy sauce
  • Pad Thai w/ Duck
  • (I think we got a lot of duck in this one…)
  • –Desserts–
  • Fried Espresso Ice cream
  • $135.52 w/tax ($29.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

Seth: Makeda is a huge Thai fan and had been talking up this place for a little while. When a reservation attempt at a Mediterranean place didn’t work out this was our next choice. We made our way down Comm Ave, into the restaurant and into our seats without a wait. It mostly filled up as dinner went along but it doesn’t appear it’d be a problem in the future. I convinced my dinner companions that starting with a bottle of Champagne was a good idea and we moved right into the appetizers. The stuffed chicken lollipops were an original a tasty idea. The fresh rolls were just that, rolls of bright fresh veggies in a really nice dipping sauce. The Spareribs, I couldn’t turn down and I’m glad we didn’t. Perfectly cooked a with a slightly sweet glaze, they didn’t disappoint. I picked the Duck Curry hoping for a little zing with my favorite poultry option. The entrée was delicious. I agree with Ren with her Pad Thai being top-notch. I’ve always been a fan and this version was really superb. John’s duck was in a fantastic!! sauce and nicely cooked. Makeda’s dish came in a rich flavorful broth that I likened a little to Pho in its complexity. We chatted and ate and snuck in a round of beers before the food was completely gone. Once again, when it’s the four of us, we do not turn away from a dessert, splitting a deep-fried espresso ice cream that closed out the meal quite well. My favorite thing: that sparerib sticks in my memory

Ren: Schedule conflicts lead us to have our first ever Saturday night blog night which also brought a difficulty in making reservations. Thus we ended up at Thai restaurant Brown Sugar were no reservations are necessary and we didn’t have to wait. We started the evenings festivities with a bottle of champagne  an order of spareribs, wings, and Thai rolls.  The ribs fell off the bones, the wings were paired with an excellent sauce, and the rolls were made with fresh veggies. They were brought out one by one which allowed us to enjoy each dish. My entrée of duck pad thai arrived soon after. I would have to say it was the best pad thai I have ever had, which could also be because it was the first duck pad thai I ever had. We finished the evening off with a beer and espresso fried ice cream which was very well executed with the perfect amount of crust. Definitely a must for any Thai food fan, I will be returning for the pad thai. My favorite thing: The flavorful pad thai

Food: Seth 8 Ren 8 Food Average: 8 Tasty Thai food. Original and interesting appetizers. Some great food to check out

Service: Seth 7 Ren 6.5 Very average to a little below service. Not really around when we needed her and a few mistakes

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Nicely done spot, making use of their space. The requisite fish tanks and a really gorgeous tapestry on the wall. Wait till you see their version of Happy Birthday to a guest. Makes all the other ones you’ve ever seen pale in comparison

Total Average: 7.583 Take away the spotty service which may very well be the exception with this spot and you have one of the best Thai places in the city. Go check it out

One bad thing: The service miscues and perhaps John’s under-cooked veggies


Punjab Palace – Excellent Indian

109 Brighton Ave. Allston, MA 02134 (617) 254-1500

*In Allston, a block east from the Intersection of Harvard St and Brighton Ave

Seth & Ren

  • –Drinks–
  • Chimay Blue
  • Old Monk 10,000
  • –Plates–
  • Vegetable Samosa
  • Lamb Marsala
  • Goat Marsala
  • Garlic Naan x2
  • –Desserts–
  • Kheer (Rice dessert)
  • $58.90 w/ tax ($12.45 in Drinks)

Ave. Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-35

Seth: I’m always a fan of finding new places to try Indian food. This is the cuisine we wanted this week and I’ve had this place on my list for some time. On a gorgeous early spring day, Ren and I took my motorcycle out to Allston to check it out. The space is nice when you walk in. Not too big, it had a warm, clean feel to it. Not overly polished but nice at the same time. I was impressed my the beer list right off and liked what I saw in terms of pricing. Ren and I both started with a nice beer and ordered the vegetable samosas to start. I probably would have ordered meat ones if they had them but these were delicious. They brought out that traditional crispy bread with the three dipping sauces before them, but one of the sauces accompanied the flaky crust of the samosa nicely. For entrées with both got Marsala, which is a creamy tomato curry sauce. Ren with the goat and myself with the lamb. I really enjoy lamb and I’ve too often had it over cooked or dried out. Not here! It was delicious and tender and perfectly cooked. I asked before hand what level of spicy they cooked with. Most Indian places tame down the level of spice for the uninitiated american palate but, once again, not here. I ordered medium spicy and it was perfect. A full-bodied level of spicy that didn’t take over the flavor but had me sweating just a little by the time I was finishing my meal. We ordered two servings of garlic naan as we are both big fans. We didn’t quite finish it all but it was so good I’m glad we ordered the extra. Big pieces of crushed garlic baked into the bread. So good! The service was great throughout and we kept one eye on the TV showing some hilarious Bollywood music videos. We closed out the meal with the rice dessert kheer and were on our way with some leftovers and very satisfied. My favorite thing: The exquisitely cooked lamb marsala.

Ren: Strange weather patterns bring early warmth and an excursion to Punjab Palace on the recently storage freed motorcycle. A quiet little eatery welcomed us with smells of curry, the sounds of non stop Bollywood productions, and decent display of alcoholic proportions.  From the display I chose a quite reasonably priced Chimay blue and we started out with a plate of samosa’s: a dish we tend to favor as a precursor to our meal whenever it is on a menu. Being a little wary on the state of juiciness of the lamb, due to previously dry experiences, I ordered the goat masala paired with an order of garlic naan. The flavors and creaminess of this dish literally blew me away. It is one of the better masala dishes I have ever ordered. The naan stuffed with whole cloves of garlic was a perfect way to scoop the delicious masala. My dinning companion ordered the lamb masala and I’ll have to say the lamb was cooked perfectly and literally melted in my mouth. The waiter seemed to be surprised by my interest in both the chimay and goat: an interesting reaction. His attentiveness and desire to please was a treat compared to our last Indian experience. We ended the meal with one of my favorite desserts ever: the delicious kheer. My favorite thing: everything! But I guess I have to pick one so I’ll go with the creamy masala.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* This was really good Indian food. Everything we had, was well cooked and solid

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Nice, clean little place. Seats maybe 25-30. Nothing too fancy but all nicely done. Cool touch with the TV playing non-stop Bollywood.

Service: Seth 8 Ren 8.5 Good service. There when we needed him, took the plates when they were dirty. Was accommodating with our requests on how to pay and how to pack the leftovers.

Total Average: 8.250 Good place to go if your craving some above average Indian food, with a decent beer selection and good service.

One bad thing: Neither of could really think of something. No visible missteps

Bukhara – Indian Bistro

701 Centre St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (617) 522-2195

*On the main strip of Centre St before the monument

Seth and Ren, +1 guest

  • 2 Samosas (Meat filled pastry)
  • 1 Taj Mahal (Light Indian beer)
  • 1 Fresh lemonade
  • 1 Malbec Alberto
  • 1 Shrimp Curry
  • 1 Lamb Vindaloo
  • 1 Duck Masala
  • 2 Garlic Naan
  • 1 Kheer (Rice/milk based dessert)
  • $88.17 w/ tax

Seth: I have some mixed emotions about this place. To start, the food was really good. The somasas we got were some of the better I’ve had; with the crust soft and flaky and the meat seasoned nicely. The mint sauce that it came with accompanied it well. For the entrée, I got the shrimp curry (medium heat). The shrimp was cooked just right, and the level of spice was delicious. The garlic naan was soft and flavorful and perfect for dipping in the sauce that came with the entrée. I’ve never had kheer, but it closed out the meal well. I have mixed emotions because the service. Ren goes into detail more, but it negatively distracted the entire meal. My favorite thing: The samosa. Yum!

Ren: This place was perfectly suited to my needs this week as I had my wisdom teeth pulled a couple of hours prior to our dining experience. The samosas were delicious and perfectly paired with their version of sweet and sour sauce. They were however a little difficult for me to eat and I felt a little like a rabbit as I attempted to nibble on the delicious treat. The duck masala however was perfect in every way; soft and flavorful. I loved the way the kheer balanced my meal. I could have definitely eaten several orders of this decadent dessert. The service was so-so and I would have been prepared to give them an average rating. That is until the end of the service when our waiter came over to the table to drop the check and completely ignored all the plates on our table walking away with nothing in his hand until I reminded him we wanted a few of our dishes wrapped. I would say this is a perfect place for take out unless you don’t require much attention and order everything you want at the beginning of your meal. I also really dig the decisively Indian decor. My favorite thing: The duck masala. Flavorful delight!

Ave Price/Person: 15-25$ w/ Drinks: 20-30$ We did have a 40$ groupon for this today.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Ave: 8.5  *Certified Dericious* (We’re going to start giving this award when our food ave score is 8.5 and above) This food was really good; this restaurants saving grace.

Service: Seth 5 Ren 3.5 Pretty terrible; not actively but more passively. They were not paying attention when they should, never took away a dish, and nothing extra in the way of improving the dining experience.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 Nicely put together. We liked the decorative entrance way. The atmosphere as a whole was well done. Ren really liked the drape covered light fixtures.

Total: 6.75 Without the service score the average would be 8.125. Translation: Take out or delivery.

One bad thing: The service.