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

Toro – Spanish Tapas

1704 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.toro-restaurant.com (617) 536-4300

*A block from the intersection of Washington St and Mass. Ave, in the South End

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Papagallo
  • Ward 8
  • Malta
  • Ginger-ale & bitters
  • Tecate
  • Green Flash
  • ‘Gansett Porter
  • –Plates–
  • Máiz Asado (Grilled corn, with alioli, lime, espellette pepper and aged cheese)
  • Costilla de Buey (Kabayaki glazed beef short ribs with chilled farro, cucumbers, radish and hazelnuts)
  • Pato con Membrillo (Smoked duck drumettes with quince glaze)
  • Croquettas de Bacalao (Salt cod fritters with lemon rings and alioli)
  • Panza de Cerdo (Pork Belly with little neck clams and potatoes)
  • Anna’s Empanadas (Chicken and potato empanadas with salsa roja and alioli)
  • Queso de Cabra (Vermont goat cheese with pistachios and tomato honey)
  • Cangrejo (Jonah crab with piquillo peppers and tarragon) 
  • –No Dessert–
  • $137.58 w/ tax ($49 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $20-35 w/ Drinks: $30-50

Editors note: We’re back! Sorry for the extended break. Some vacationing and delays in there. Hope you enjoy and we should be back to our every other week schedule.

Seth: I believe this is my third time back here. But our first time being able to share it one here. The four of us had come back from a day trip up to NH and arrived around 830. We were told 30 minutes and were sat in about 20. I love the feel and atmosphere in this place. It has a lot of character and everyone seems in a good mood. Hard not to be when eating delicious small plates among friends. We mulled over the menu while ordering our first round of drinks. I started with the Ward * which was a nice Rye whiskey based old school cocktail. We decided on 8 different plates to share with the first one arriving in minutes. There was pretty good spacing to start with no more than 2 plates overlapping at once. The Jonah crab arrived first. A pretty small but tasty bite atop a toasted piece of bread. The goats cheese and the empanadas arrived next. The cheese was deliciously rich and tangy and we spread it one some of the bread we gotten. The empanadas came with four which was good; I wouldn’t have wanted to share. The were really nicely done and dipped in that alioli. The short ribs and cod cakes followed. My piece of short rib may have been cooked a touch too much but had great flavor and I saw what their intent was. The cod cakes were awesome and were quickly a front-runner for my favorite thing. We had a bit of a gap after those. Whether the last things took longer to cook or the may have been a slip up with our order. One waitress came and asked us if we were still waiting after 15 minutes or so. It was another 5 or 10 after that before the corn arrived. All three times I’ve been here we’ve ordered these. I think it may be the first thing that people mention when they speak of this place. This grilled corn comes covered in an alioli with pepper, aged cheese and lime. Love these. Should have made it two orders. The pork belly and glazed duck drumettes came last. Any who’ve read this knows I love my pork belly and tonight I wasn’t let down. Cooked right and in a delicious potato based sauce with little neck clams in it. The duck had this quince glaze on it that was sweet and seemed caramelized a bit. They were a perfect last bite to the dinner. The richness was to the end and filled us all up nicely. My favorite thing: This one’s hard but I have to pick the corn.

Ren: A little intermission due to travel and commitments kept us away for a bit but now were back with a review on one of our favorite restaurants: Toro! We have been there two times prior to our review trip and loved it so much we definitely had to return with our significant other and a critiquing eye. Tapas style restaurants are a favorite of mine due to the drawn out dinner and ability to try at least eight dishes without stuffing yourself. We samples quite a variety starting off with crab meat, exquisite fish fritters, empanadas, goat cheese (how can you go wrong) , and finishing off with a crispy delight of pork belly, tender beef ribs, crispy incredible duck legs, and mind-blowing corn on the cob. Yes I did say mind-blowing. The parmesan pepper alioli that tops their corn on the cob in itself makes a trip here worth while…It might just be one of the few foods in this world I would never tire of. To be honest though there wasn’t one disappointing dish at this restaurant and every dish was rich, flavorful, and well prepared. It can be tempting to order everything on the menu but do try to limit it to two or three dishes per person. The food is rich and though the portions seem small it does fill you up especially if you stagger the dished which they usually do a good job at. They also made sure to keep bread on the table for dipping and the crumbs cleaned at the end so we didn’t have to linger with leftovers. There is also a good range of drinks from a basic Tacate to delicious bourbon with peach and lemon Papagallo your alcoholic palate is certain to be satisfied. Not to mention the atmosphere is light and loud with a rowdy selection of music, brick walls, low lights, and bubbling conversation.  There was a bit of a wait in between a few of our dished but for the most part I highly recommend this restaurant as an excellent experience. My favorite thing: the absolutely to die for corn!

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Tasty, rich and delicious selection of Spanish style small plates. You’ll find things you suddenly never knew you always had to try!

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Small to average size place. A nice bar and a huge metal sculpted Bull’s head (Hence the name) up on the back wall. A lot of atmosphere with a good lively feel to it. Not the music you would expect but appropriate.

Service: Seth 7.5 Ren 8 Good service throughout the night. Took the dirty plates pretty quickly. The was good spacing of our dishes until after the 5th, then there was 20 minute gap or so before the rest came.

Total Average: 8.083 Not our first, nor our last trip here. Great food and a nice spot to visit

One bad thing: Perhaps the long wait in the middle of the dishes

Tres Gatos – Local Tapas

 470 Centre St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

www.tresgatosjp.com (617) 477-4851

*In Jamaica Plain, near the intersections of S. Huntington and Centre St

Seth & Ren

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Juan Rojo Tempranillo wine 2006
  • –Plates–
  • Charcuterie plate w/ Lomo Serrano pork, Tetilla cow’s milk cheese, and Valdeón goat’s milk blue cheese
  • Albóndigas (chorizo-spiced pork meatballs, saffron cream, chimichurri)
  • Heritage Pork Belly w/ turnip puree, pork jus, harissa spices
  • Grilled Lamb’s tongue (!) w/ Four Star Farms’ grits, 6-minute egg, turmeric
  • Grilled Bavette Steak w/  charred radicchio, Cabrales blue cheese, and Spanish cider
  • Extra Grilled bread
  • –Dessert–
  • Churros and chocolate
  • $139.10 w/ tax ($59.00 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $25-45 w/ Drinks: $30-70

Seth: Love this new local joint. They just recently celebrated their one year and this is probably my fifth trip here. It was just Ren and I this week and we were looking forward to delicious small plates and a good bottle of wine. We arrived a few minutes after our 8pm reservation (which are recommended, especially weekends) and were promptly sat near the window at a high-top. We looked over the menu, as it changes every couple of months and saw some old favorites and a few new things. We discussed the wine list among ourselves and with the waitress and settled on a nice bottle of red Tempranillo. It had an excellent richness and earthiness to it and paired with the food to follow just right. We ordered a charcuterie plate with two cheeses and four small plates. The cured ham, cow’s cheese, and goat’s blue cheese came with little pieces of bread and some raw honey. They were all very nice with the blue cheese stealing the show. Next came the Albóndigas: a nice little meatball with a saffron cream and a chimichurri. After that was the pork belly sitting on a turnip puree. Pork belly is one of my favorite things ever and each time is different. This version is a little meatier and firmer than others but no less delicious. The skin on top was crispy and the fat, flavorful and melted in my mouth. Then it was the grilled lamb’s tongue with grits and a 6-minute egg. I’ve had cow’s tongue before and the texture has been distracting but the tenderness was perfect with this. It is a particular flavor in itself but with the grits and eggs in one bite the overall flavor was really, really good. Still a little hungry at this point we added some more grilled toast and the grilled Bavette steak. Cooked really well and accompanied with a very strong flavored radicchio a little blue cheese and some cider. This was just enough food but we can’t do without a dessert. Ren snuck in an order of Churros and melted chocolate. A great little Spanish dessert capped of an awesome dinner with a sweet finish. If you live within travel distance and haven’t been here yet, you really need to. My favorite thing: The pork belly

Ren:  To fill our hungry bellies we didn’t need to travel far; for just a stones throw away three cats awaited to meet our every foodie desire. Tres Gatos of Jamaica Plain gladly hosted me and Seth this week. It was my fourth visit here and most certainly won’t be my last. I definitely suggest this place for a romantic night or a social gathering. It has a cozy atmosphere, small dining room, eclectic art, and even a book store in the back. Our host for the evening was a familiar face and had been our waitress on our last two visits. She started off our evening with an excellent wine suggestion that was creamy, full flavored, and paired superbly to our meal. Next we had several choices from the charcuterie my favorite being the flavorful Valdeon goats milk cheese. After the charcuterie we journeyed through Spain in flavor with pork belly, chorizo, lamb tongue, and tender bavette steak. All were simply fabulous and noteworthy. It was my first experience with lamb tongue and won’t be my last. It was extremely tender with a very interesting texture. At the end when Seth ducked away I snuck in a tasty treat of churros and melted chocolate. All in all one of my favorite restaurants to visit and my only complaint would be that I’d like to see our plates for eating changed at least once during the meal. My favorite thing: The surprisingly textured lamb tongue

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Ave: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Delicious, ever-changing, original small plates. Great wine selection.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Very cute little place. Really nice decor and has a hidden gem with a little well-kept book and music store in the back

Service: Seth 8 Ren 8 Nice service with good wine recommendations and is attentive and  friendly. Would have liked our extra plates changed, but not a big thing

Total Average: 8.167 Love this little local place and have never failed to be impressed. Awesome food, great service and a warm and welcoming spot.

One bad thing: The extra plates being left too long

**EDITORS NOTE** Starting after this review we will temporarily be moving to a bi-weekly format. This may last a few months and we’ll keep you updated. Some of the off weeks we will be cooking special recipes and may include a blurb about them on here. Thanks for following us so far and hope you continue to enjoy and Eat Well!

Highland Kitchen – Southern Twist

150 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA 02143

http://highlandkitchen.com/ (617) 625-1131

*At the intersection of Highland Ave and Central St, few blocks from Porter Sq

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  •  Mai Tai Dragon x5
  • Seelbach (Makers Mark cocktail)
  • Highland Fling (Gin cocktail)
  • BBC Coffeehouse Porter
  • Coffee x2
  • –Plates–
  • Pork Belly duck confit with hoisen sauce (!!!)
  • Smoked Bluefish cakes
  • Ricotta & Mozzarella Fritters
  • Handmade Potato Gnocchi w/ shortrib ragout and parmesan
  • Mussels (Returned and removed from the bill)
  • Spicy Jambalaya w/ duck confit, shrimp, andouille sausage, tasso ham and cornbread
  • English Style Beer Battered Fish & Chips
  • Fried Chicken w/ mash and collard greens (Monday Special)
  • –Dessert–
  • Warm Banana Bread Pudding
  • Beignets (a french donut of sorts) w/ cinnamon and sugar (FREE)
  • $171.05 w/ tax ($63.00 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $18-25 w/ Drinks: $25-45

Seth: I’ve been here a few times before and have always loved it. A friend introduced me to this place a few years ago and when another spot we were going to wasn’t going to work this week, this was the next place on my mind. The wait was about twenty minutes but some bar seats opened as we walked in, so we sat for a pre-dinner round of drinks. I knew from before that the Dragon Mai Tai was the way to go. After sharing a sip of mine, everyone else’s second round of drinks were the Mai Tai. We were sat pretty quickly after that. For appetizers, we started with the Pork belly duck confit, smoked bluefish cakes and the ricotta & mozzarella fritters. The pork belly was smoky and amazing with the hoisen sauce. As you may be beginning to learn, pork belly is one of my favorite appetizers EVER! The bluefish cakes were really nicely done and came with an interesting sweet & sour sauce. The fritters were really light, crispy and tasty. For my entrée I got the Monday special: the Fried chicken! The chicken was moist and the batter light and crisp with a slight heat to it. The collard greens were done just right and accompanied nicely with the mashed potatoes and gravy. I had bites of everyone else’s dishes as well. The fried fish was done just right without too much breading. I really like the coleslaw that came with it too. The jambalaya was full of meat, from scrumptious duck confit to nicely cooked shrimp. I had a couple bites of the potato gnocchi and wish I could have had more! It was soft and tasty and the short-rib ragout was awesome. I loved my chicken choice but was a little jealous of Ren’s gnocchi. We also ordered the mussels but unfortunately it was a bad batch and we had to send them back. The waitress and manager were very accompanying with us though. We demolished the food in short order. Which is a little change; we often have a few leftovers. We decided to close out with a dessert and a couple of coffees. We often order bread pudding if a place has it and this one had a banana bread version that was sweet and divine. A couple of minutes into dessert and the manager came back with a free dessert! A french beignets with cinnamon and sugar. Maybe it’s that free is always more tasty but they were really good. Our stomachs quite full, we left sated and satisfied. My favorite thing: The pork belly confit w/ hoisen sauce.

Ren: I’m adding to our dining tails a story mixed with utter bliss and just a pinch of woe by recalling our experience at Highland Kitchen. We were here just one time prior to starting our blog and our previous experience left us excited to return. Even on a Monday night we were told that our wait would be about 25 minutes so we headed over to the bar for pre dinner cocktails. I chose a variation on Highland Fling which was quite refreshing and prepared my palate for the tastes to follow. After a minute of near excitable discussion we were finally able to narrow our appetizers down pork belly, ricotta & mozzarella fritters, and bluefish cakes. The pork belly was succulent with a touch of crisp which was a nice surprise and twist on a dish that is usually described as juicy and tender. The other two apps were simple exquisite delights both flavorful and tender with the perfect amount of breading and cooking time. I ordered the gnocchi with short rib ragout and mussels for my entrée. Unfortunately the mussels had long past reached their prime and I alerted my server who was quick to take it away. A short minute later the manager eagerly rushed to my table to rescue the situation. In short: I had no time to be frustrated and was very pleased by how attentively they dealt with the situation that could have turned ugly. I was very satisfied with my very tender gnocchi and filled the cracks in my stomach with  bites from all my cohorts flavorful dishes. We finished the meal with superb bread pudding, a cup of coffee, and complimentary beignets which tasted a bit like mini fried dough. My favorite thing: The pork belly!

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Ave: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Such good food, all with a hint of southern flair. Nice local food joint with Daily Specials

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 9  Great service. When the mussels were bad, the manager came over to apologize, took them off the bill and later gave us a free dessert! Our server was good and attentive as well

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5  Cute place with really neat light fixtures. A blend of old school, a little southern and some hipster for good measure

Total Average: 8.333 Great food, great drinks, great service. With this comes a wait at dinner time, but it’s worth it.

One bad thing: The mussels

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

Deep Ellum – Drink Den

477 Cambridge St. Allston, MA 02134

www.deepellum-boston.com (617) 787-2337

*In Union Sq. in Allston, near the intersection of Cambridge St and Brighton Ave.

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Orval (Abbey Pale Ale)
  • Hot Old Fashioned
  • Jack D’or
  • Beer of the Gods
  • Black Market (Gin cocktail)
  • Barrel Aged Cocktail
  • Flagraiser (IPA)
  • Blood and Sand
  • Irish coffee w/ Baileys
  • –Plates–
  • Truffeled Gorgonzola Fries
  • Root Beer Braised Pork Belly w/ parsnip puree and apple-fennel slaw
  • Fried Calamari
  • Coffee Braised Lamb Shank w/ aged cheddar polenta, mustard greens, and toasted pistachios x3
  • Chicken Schnitzel w/ braised red cabbage and apples, and fingerling potatoes
  • French Onion Soup
  • –Dessert–
  • Caramel Eggnog Cream Tart x2
  • $217.86 w/ tax ($80 in Drinks)

Seth: As you all know, I love beer. And in a place a bit like the Publick House, this one has a great selection. There’s also quite a few classic and newer cocktails and a great little menu. The three appetizers were all delicious. From the truffle oil Gorgonzola fries (which is just one of the 4 varieties they have) to the delicious(!) root beer braised pork belly and the crispy, well cooked Calamari. Also, that apple-fennel slaw that came with the pork belly was bright and delicious. For the entrees, three of us we too excited about the lamb to not order a few other things. It ended up, we probably should have. The lamb was cooked well, but the sauce used was either not executed properly or it needs some change. I wanted it to be better but it just wasn’t quite there. On top of that the mustard greens were not good. I did get a bite of the french onion soup, which was really good. Also, I snuck a piece of the chicken schnitzel, which was really nicely done with great flavor. We closed out the dinner with a caramel egg nog cream dish that was a good finish. I like this place. I think the drink selection alone is enough to come back for. A great place for a drink and a snack. Especially once that back deck opens back up this spring. My favorite thing: Of course the  pork belly!

Ren: This weeks dining escapades brought us back to Deep Ellum; a restaurant that was high on our must return to list because of an extraordinary dish we had there ( a confit pork belly on a bed of corn grits). To our dismay it was no longer on the menu; however we enjoyed our previous experience enough to add it to our blogging adventures. I’ll have to say right off the bat I will only return when the patio is open again. While being a cozy atmosphere I think I much preferred to sit on there patio where it is a little less cramped. My first drink, The Hornets Nest, I wasn’t particularly pleased with as it mostly tasted like watered wiskey with a touch of bitters. I don’t like to return drinks ever as I feel once you have ordered it, it’s your; however I really wanted to enjoy this dining experience and I was fortunate that the manager was more attentive than our server and allowed me to order a new drink, The Black Market, which was a much better executed drink. I would have liked to see the server ask me if I like the new drink, but the question was never asked. The appetizers that followed were probably my favorite part of the meal: fried calamari, root beer braised pork belly on a parsnip and fennel salad, and gorgonzola truffle fries. The pork belly is prepared excellently; juicy and tender with a crispy top makes for a dish that is simply to die for and my reason for ever returning to Deep Ellum (as well as there truffle fries). I split the french onion soup and coffee braised lamb shank for dinner. Both were delicious but could have been better. The soup needed more cheese and the lamb dish just wasn’t quite tender enough and didn’t taste enough like coffee; not to mention the mustard greens on the plate were too salty and over cooked. It was a decent enough experience but I as I said I probably won’t come back until there patio is open again. My favorite thing: The pork belly!

Ave Price/Person: $15-30 w/ Drinks: $25-45

Food: Seth 7.5 Ren 7 Food Ave: 7.25 Very good appetizers, a little disappointed with the Lamb Shank and the mustard greens.

Service: Seth 7.5 Ren 7 Good service. Made a few recommendations

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 Nice little bar. A lot of dark wood. The lighting was fairly dim. Though not open now for the winter, there is an awesome little know back deck that is perfect on a summer day.

Total: 7.416 Great beer list, good cocktails and some good food options.

One bad thing: The mustard greens were just bad. Overcooked and not properly cleaned