Link

400 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA 02144

 www.fivehorsestavern.com (617) 764.1655

*On the corner of Grove St. and Highland Ave.

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Tea
  • Harpoon Coffee Porter
  • Stone IPA
  • Julius Dunkel
  • Bear Republic Heritage
  • –Plates–
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Drunken Wings: tequila, chile, beer marinated, lime and salt
  • Two Tacos: Tuna & Pork Belly
  • K.F.Cornish Guinea Hen x2 : with jalapeno cheddar mashed potatoes, pork belly spiked mac and cheese
  • Duck Three Ways : hoisin marinated duck breast, chicken fried duck leg, confit duck thigh spring roll, garlic Chinese broccoli, baby carrots
  • Roasted Chicken: 1/2 chicken, mashed potatoes and mesclun salad
  • –Dessert–
  • Nutella Banana
  • $139.58 w/tax ($31 in Drinks)

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

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Guest (John): I heard good things about Five Horses from a few friends so I decided to suggest it for a blog review visit. Over all I was slightly disappointing after the exceedingly high reviews. It was decent for bar food but lacked the depth my spoiled taste buds were craving. (This was due to a recent visit to Menton). The drunken wings were a bit limey, the

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tuna taco was underwhelming, however I thought the pork belly taco had the best flavor combinations of the night. The cornish hen was cooked very well but lacked seasoning.

The mac and cheese was good but a bit overwhelming in richness and became too much after a few bites. The mashed potatoes weren’t as flavorful as I expected despite the cheese and jalapenos mixed in. The dessert was average. If you’re looking for slightly upscale pub food with a twist I might recommend this place. They had some really great ideas but might need to work a bit on the execution. My favorite thing: The pork belly taco.

Ren: This week we headed corralled the gang and headed over to Five Horses Tavern near Davis square. The atmosphere walking into the restaurant was welcoming and cozy and we were immediately shown to a table. Though I wish it had been one of the comfy looking leather booths. I was told ahead of time that the pork belly taco was a must have. So we commenced the meal with a pork belly taco, tuna taco, baby bok choy in a oneevinaigrette sauce, and an order of the drunken wings.

The pork belly taco was all I hoped it would be with crisp shell to the pork and tender succulent inside. Everything else was good though I thought they could have dialed down the lime on the wings as it overwhelmed the flavor a bit. I chased down the appetizers with a delicious Julius Dunkel an excellent Belgian beer with a good balance of hop and smoothness.

Our entrees came shortly after the appetizers. I ordered the duck three ways which consisted of a duck spring roll, battered fried duck drum, and sliced duck breast. The veggies were well prepared, the drum was very tender and the spring roll was quite tasty. I was however a little disappointed by the slight dryness of the duck breast. The mashed potatoes on Makeda’s plate was very tasty and the pork belly mac and cheese on John and Seth’s plates was definitely one of the stars of the night with its cheesy rich glory; though maybe a little over rich. Though we were quite full at the end we deemed in necessary to sample one of the dessert on the menu for the sake of the blog. We went with the nutella and banana on brioche, crust cut off and a raspberry dipping sauce. It was delightful but simple and reminded me off all the times I sat down with a banana and a jar of nutella for a snack. All in all it was a good evening. I would recommend Five Horses to anyone looking to hang with friends at a bar with decent food, at decent prices, and a decent beer selection. My favorite thing: The wonderfully executed delicious pork belly taco.

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Food: John 6.5 Ren 7.5 Food Average: 7 Some tasty above average bar food with a decent beer selection. Food was creative.

Service: John 6.5 Ren 7.5 Fairly attentive server. Everything was satisfactory.

Decor/Atmosphere: John 7 Ren 8 Relaxed atmosphere with attractive decor and cozy leather booths. Good place to hang out with friends for a laid back and friendly evening.

Total Average:   7.167

One bad thing: Everything was fairly satisfactory if there had to be one complaint it would be the lack of napkins on the table when dessert arrived.

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

B & G Oysters – Sublime Seafood

550 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02116

www.bandgoysters.com (617) 423-0550

*On the corner of Tremont St and Waltham St, across from Boston Center For the Arts

Seth & Ren

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Val De Sil Montenovo Godello 2006
  • Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale x2
  • –Plates–
  • A Dozen Oysters: 4 Chincoteagues (Virginia), 4 Baynes Sound (British Columbia) and 4 Pebble Beach (Washington)
  • Clam Chowder w/ bacon lardons and spicy croutons
  • Fried Oysters w/ a house made tartar sauce
  • Fried Point Judith Calamari w/ a spicy aïoli
  • Hake (Cod-like fish) w/a lobster bisque, pearl onions and artichoke hearts
  • Mac and cheese w/ parmesan and mascarpone
  • –Dessert–
  • Rhubard Tartlet
  • $152.36 w/tax  ($23 in Drinks) 

Ave Price/Person: $50-60 w/ Drinks: $60-75

Seth: Barbara Lynch has some pretty incredible restaurants around the city. B & G is one that I’ve been meaning to get to for quite some time. The opportunity arouse with a call from Ren and I jumped at the chance. We had a 6pm reservation and arrived a few minutes early. We were sat immediately with the assistant manager coming by for a hello in the first minutes after sitting down. Our waiter came by and we made some small talk and ordered a beer apiece as we surveyed the menu. We started off with the dozen oysters; four apiece of three different types. All quite fresh and delicious. Three appetizers followed that: First the clam chowder. I usually a fan of thicker cream based chowder, but the bite that this one contained had me almost licking the bowl. Fried oysters and fried calamari followed. An amazing spicy ailoi accompanied the nicely cooked, thinly battered calamari and the fried oysters sat on a half shell with a little tartar sauce between them. I think it had a little wasabi in it but I’m not sure. A beautiful white wine arrived before the entrée. Light, crisp and so delicious, we had to restrain ourselves to keep from finishing it too quickly. We split the Hake plate next and the mac and cheese. The Hake had a bit of lobster bisque, and some roasted pearl onions and artichoke hearts that all paired exquisitely. The mac and cheese had a really tasty lightness and creaminess to it that was  a treat. To close it all off we requested the Rhubard tartlet. I liked it. It was nice but I wish they hadn’t tamed down the tartness so much. It’s my favorite part and was hoping for more of a throwback to my mothers rhubarb dessert. My favorite thing: The fresh oyster opening.

Ren: A series of events strayed us from our original plan to dine at Citizens Public House and we instead found ourselves at a small but elegant restaurant by the name of B&G Oyster. Through a chain of acquaintance we were greeted at the door as if we were old friends and promptly seated. The selections on the menu were vast in flavor and the decisions difficult to be sure. Several moments of discussion and a delicious Lagunitas red brick ale later we came up with and executed our dining plan for the evening.  They started us off with a fresh salmon ceviche amuse bouche which was followed by a dozen amazing oysters; I could have sworn one of which tasted like bubble gum. Next up was fried oysters with a homemade tartar sauce, fried calamari with a spicy aioli, a clam chowder with a kick, and a sample of their fish deviled eggs. Now I normally prefer a clam chowder a bit creamier but I found their  broth to really compliment the flavor. At this time our charming and attentive waiter David brought over an incredibly delicious and crisp bottle of Godello; which we had to prevent ourselves from downing in one gulp. Next up we dined upon Hake with artichokes, pearl onions, and a chowder sauce as well as an order of parmesan mac & cheese. Let me tell you that mac & cheese was just out of this world light and delicious; I’m told the secret is the mascarpone they add. We finished off the meal with a rhubarb tart which while light and perfect for spring was a little lacking on the tartness we love about rhubarb.  It was an incredibly delightful evening
that we will definitely be repeating in the near future with more dining companions. My Favorite thing: A tie between the fresh amazing oysters and spectacular mac & cheese.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious*  Fresh fish and other seafood. Great sides. Good execution in all dishes.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 It’s a small space that’s well-managed. Cute and clean and a good vibe

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Great and attentive service. Present when you needed and gone when you didn’t

Total Average: 8.333 Cute, delicious, great little date spot. Got to check a box for another Barbara Lynch location! Woot.

One bad thing: Perhaps the loss of tartness to the rhubarb

Sweet Cheeks Q – Upscale BBQ

1381 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02215

www.sweetcheeksq.com (617) 266-1300

*In the Fenway area, a block from the intersections of Boylston St and Brookline Ave

Seth & Ren, + 3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Wolavers Brown Ale
  • Rogue Dead Guy
  • Peak Organic IPA
  • Rocky Top
  • –Plates–
  • Bucket of Biscuits w/ an extra
  • Hush Puppies (Fried batter)
  • Fat Cheeks Tray w/ Brisket, Pork Ribs and Pulled Pork
  • Pulled Chicken Tray
  • Brisket Tray
  • Pulled Pork Tray
  • $134.39 w/ tax ($30 in Drinks) 

Ave Price/Person: $18-25 w/ Drinks: $25-35

Seth: For something new we looked to do a BBQ place this week. We had been to Red Bones in Somerville before and thought to try something new. (In hindsight, we should have stuck with what we knew) Ren had a friend that worked here so in we came. It’s a nice looking restaurant and I like the long picnic-like tables. The options for food mostly were different tray options, with one, two or three meat choices, accompanied with two sides, tasty bread & butter pickles and a couple of slices of white bread. We started with the Bucket of biscuits and hush puppies. The biscuits were huge, tasty and came with this excellent honey butter. The hush puppies were the best I’ve had though I’ve only had these at two other places. I ordered the tray with one meat option choosing the pulled pork. I wanted the pork belly, but unfortunately, they were all out after a busier than expected lunch. I ordered the broccoli cheese casserole and coleslaw as sides. The pulled pork was moist and had a good smoky flavor to it. I tried it in a couple of their sauces which were quite good. The sides weren’t quite as nice. The casserole seemed to have been sitting too long and the flavors were far to lost in each other. I’m normally quite the coleslaw fan but was again disappointed. I’m not sure where they went wrong but they did. As far as our friends food it was a mixed bad as well. The Mac and cheese was enjoyed, as was the pork ribs and pulled chicken. Most everything else fell far short. The Brisket was almost inedible it was so dry and even their sauces couldn’t save it. The potato salad also missed the mark. One redeeming quality: A good whiskey and beer selection. As there a number of other BBQ places in the Boston area, ones cheaper and better, we will probably not be returning. Random famous person sighting: John Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, came in a few minutes before we left. My favorite thing: The biscuits with that scrumptious butter honey.

Ren: This week we headed over to former Top Chef star Tiffani Faison’s new BBQ hub: Sweet Cheeks Q. This joint also employs a friend of mine and as we hadn’t reviewed a BBQ place as of then we thought it would be a good option. With mixed emotions, just one word describes my experience: disappointed. While there were definitely items that teased my tasted buds there were several other that were inexcusably flavorless. The biscuits with honey butter and hush puppy appetizers were probably the most delicious items I tasted. In fact I would go so far as to say the hush puppies were probably the best I ever had. The beverage I selected was also a highlight of my evening, it was a delicious apple cider flavored drink garnished with a dried apple ring. For my entrée I ended up splitting the Fat Cheeks tray which contained a choice of three meats and two sides. We chose the pulled pork, brisket, and ribs (though pork belly would have been our first choice) with a side of mac&cheese and potato salad. The ribs, pulled pork, and mac&cheese were decent but not extremely flavorful. The brisket was dry and flavorless, (I have never had worse; which I know seems harsh but all my previous brisket experiences have been out of this world delectable) the potato salad was quite bland and the potatoes were too big. Perhaps these differentials in flavors is due to the fact that they recently opened their doors; in that light I may return in the far future to see if they’ve managed to work out the kinks. My favorite thing: The redeeming hush puppies.

Food: Seth 7 Ren 6 Food Ave: 6.5 There were some bright spots with the pulled pork, biscuits and the hush puppies, but for the price this food is not good enough.

Service: Seth 8 Ren 8 The waitress was attentive and had a few recommendations. Even as the place was busy she was around enough. Though the were out of pork belly, she checked for us when there would be more

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 Nicely done space with a touch of industrial look to it. The tables where kind of like large benches, giving it a little bit of a picnic like feel; complete with water in Mason jars and BBQ sauce containers being homey like.

Total Average: 7.416 Nice looking place but the food is just not worth the money.

One bad thing: The Brisket was criminally dry

The Publick House – Belgian Bierhaus

1648 Beacon St. Brookline, MA 02445

eatgoodfooddrinkbetterbeer.com (617) 277-2880

*In Brookline near the corner of Washington St and Beacon St

Seth and Ren, +2 guests

  • Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Red beer
  • Schneider Edel-Weisse beer
  • Red’s Rye draft beer
  • Bailey’s on the rocks
  • Verhaeghe Echte Kriek beer
  • Combination Charcuterie/Artisan Cheese board 
  • Unclassic Ceaser salad w/ mustard beer vinaigrette
  • Trappist Meatloaf
  • Moules Frites: Pot 2 (Steamed Mussels w/ a fish stock sauce and fries)
  • Famous Mac & Cheese w/ roasted garlic, caramelized onions, spicy andouille sausage and bacon!
  • $126.17 w/ tax ($42 in drinks)

Seth: Holy beer selection! How have I not been to this restaurant before? Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for good beer (and good food) and this place has a long list of hard to find, stronger than usual and delicious beers. 34 beers on tap and 3 pages of bottled beers in my cursory glance at the menu. The food was just plain good. Nothing disappointing in the bunch. The mussels were cooked right and the sauce (with chives, tomatoes, roasted garlic and prosciutto in it) paired very well. Ren loved the meatloaf, which i thought was quite good, as it was tender and rich. The mac & cheese is labeled famous and with how we ordered it, I could see how it got this moniker. So rich and cheesy, the pasta was cooked just right and the bites with the andouille in it were over the top. As for the salad, the dressing was a nice twist on anything I’ve had before and was pleasant. My favorite thing: The Famous Mac & Cheese. Tasty, filling and cheesy! 

Ren: These Belgian style beer houses are by far some of my favorite kind of restaurants to frequent. The atmosphere reminds my of a local pub where you may run into someone you know combined with a delightful European influence. The lights are dim, voices loud, large steins to small goblets paired for a perfect beer experience, not to mention rich hearty aromas wafting from every direction.  The service was friendly and precise. She was well versed in their beer and food and chatted away with us as though we were her only table in the busy establishment. The food is rich and hearty combined with an array of meaty tantalizers. I would suggest this establishment as the perfect environment for a friendly get together or a place to catch up. My Favorite thing: The vast delicious beer selection.

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

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Ave: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* (Awarded for an 8.5 or higher) Excellent comfort food. Rich and filling with twist on some familiar options.

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Service was what you would hope for in a restaurant. She was present when you needed something even while the place was full. She made suggestions when asked and handled our group of four well. At the end we got into favorite restaurant talk for a little bit and she even recommended a few of her own favorite places. Great finish!

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 The place was warm and inviting, with soft colors and a lot of wood. Over all it was clean and made you think a little of a beer garden.

Total: 8.25 I’m predicting another visit soon to try out more of the beer selection. Well worth a visit.

One bad thing: Though there was a bit of miss-communication on my part, the food ended up all arriving at the same time. This included the appetizers, cheese board and then entrées. Even though we planned on sharing all the dishes there was a bit too much on the table at once.