Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Christmas Means Chinese Food

December 24, 2008

When I was growing up back in Hull, there was no bigger treat than a late-night Chinese feast. I’d rip open the white carton containers and grab spare ribs and chicken wings straight out of the hot foil bags adorned with dragons as a fierce wind blew off the ocean and made the windows shake. I’ll be thinking of that memory as I eat my usual Christmas Eve Chinese meal tonight.

Back then the cuisine was what we called “Cantonese.” But it was really much more solid Americanized Chinese food than the food of any region of China. It came, as most Chinese food then did, with little dinner rolls and butter.  (I’ll explain the origin of that New England tradition below.) The restaurant that served the food, Hull’s Sar Ho Village, sadly no longer exists.


In honor of the tradition of eating Chinese food at Christmas, I’m going to list some of my favorite places in the area. I invite you to write in with places I may have missed.

All-Around Favorite

Chinatown. Stoughton, MA – When my father visited last month from Las Vegas, he said he hadn’t had a decent Chinese meal in years. I drove him right down to Cobbs Corner. This is a restaurant that has mastered the traditional favorites but offers a great variety of newer dishes as well. I think it excels in freshness and quality. It crosses generation divides. My father went ultra-old school, ordering beef chop suey and boneless spare ribs! The Fabulous Dana has newer tastes with a palate that prefers moo shu and chow fun dishes. I like everything.

Chinatown/Sea Food 

Several years ago I went on a quest for the best salt and pepper squid in Boston. That quest lead me to a basement restaurant in Chinatown, Peach Farm Restaurant. I’ve since had the whole fried fish, lobster, and scores of other dishes here and never been lead astray.

Chinatown/Fast Food

Chinatown Cafe.  262 Harrison Avenue. This place offers incredible value for the taste. I love to get the black pepper beef. It’s also great for the roast duck noodle soup with wontons, a dish that really hits the spot on a cold winter day. I consider this more a lunch spot. You order at the counter and wait for your number to be called.

Weekday Dim Sum

Chau Chau. Dorchester.  This place offers Chinatown-level food with the convenience of free parking and an easily accessible location. I go when I have  a dim sum fix, when I need Chinese food on my way to the South Shore, or when I’m meeting somebody from the Boston Globe. The location is the same one I used to frequent when it was Linda Mae’s.

Real Szechuan

Mary Chung. Central Square. Cambridge. This is the place to go for as authentic Szechuan cuisine as you can get in Boston. I had the spicy beef broth and noodles, a perfect treat for a raw day, and the Suan La Chow Show, a dumpling dish. In addition to the food, this restaurant brought me back to the old Central Square. I remember the Central Square of when my father first moved to Cambridge as a funky, eclectic locale filled with new ethnic restaurants catering to the student community of MIT. (Remember how many Indian restaurants there used to be!) Mary Chung still has that vibe.

Best Alternative to Golden Temple

Mandarin Gourmet. Putterham Circle, South Brookline. I’ve got nothing against Chef Changs on Beacon Street other than its too inconvenient for me to frequent.  No question Golden Temple has amazing quality. But the prices have gotten so out of control that even former Bernie Madoff clients can’t go there any more. I find that Mandarin Gourmet has solid quality for an array of Chinese dishes. The dinner dishes are superior to the luncheon specials. The fine owners of Mandarin Gourmet have more than lived up to the reputation of the predecessor institution, Ho Sai Gai.

Best Newcomer

Kantin. The food court at the Super 88. Packards Corner. Allston. This place offers all the dishes I like at the Chinatown Cafe only with a parking lot.

Now for a final observations and a story. I’m concerned that aside from Asian Americans — many of them foreign born students — I’m not seeing many young people eating Chinese food these days. I’m well aware of the popularity of Thai and Sushi these days, but I could see Chinese food going the way of print journalism in a few decades.

I’ve heard all kinds of people mock the New England practice of serving dinner rolls with Chinese meals. Even as knowledgeable a source and passionate Kowloon aficionado as Howie Carr stated his befuddlement at it — and Howie, for reasons I’ll enumerate, of all people should know better. Back in the early days of Chinese food in Boston, Chinatown abutted Italian bread bakeries. In fact, it still dies. Wedged right between Chinatown and the Boston Herald is Quinzani’s.  Somehow that proximity lead Chinese restauranteurs to buy dinner rolls along with their meals. A sign of how old-school a Chinese restaurant is in Massachusetts is if they still follow this practice. If anyone has any more detail on the origin of this, please let me know.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.




Echo Bridge Restaurant in Newton

November 27, 2008

I’ve been promising to write more about food. I’ve discovered a restaurant that offers great value and great food, the Echo Bridge Restaurant. I first heard about the great pizza at Echo Bridge in the snack room of the Boston Phoenix almost a decade ago. I asked where it was, but I could never really place the neighborhood. It’s wedged into Newton Upper Falls, a blue collar patch near the border of Needham, amid a very affluent town.

We sat in the dining area adjacent to the bar (which I’ll get to in a second.) We ordered pizza and a salad. We got a large delicious pizza with a doughy crust and tasty sauce. The pizza cost $8.00. That is not a misprint. Imagine a full pizza for $8.00 with extra toppings only $1.00. I saw patrons in other booths ordering Italian and American meals, such as veal cutlet or steak. The highest price on the entire menu was $13.75 for pasta and two veal cutlets — just one was $9.50.

I got a chance to speak with one of the members of the Virgilio family, which has owned the restaurant since 1962, and learned the restaurant’s story. He said he believes it is important to offer quality food at a low price. Even with the large crowds the restaurant gets, the increase in costs in recent years has put a squeeze on profits. Despite that, he vowed to continue the tradition of having a locally-owned place where families can come for a meal.

I didn’t get a chance to have a drink at the bar, which forms a square, but can say it had a great homey vibe. The patrons all seemed to be in lively spirits and to know each other well. It’s been described elsewhere as a “townie” bar, but I hate to traffic in cliches. The decor was sparse other than an old placard for an Italian festival, a terrific, homemade-looking, collage of Boston Bruins highlights over the last four decades, and a Larry Bird poster.

The restaurant reminded me of another Gitell favorite, one I too rarely visit as it is across the river, Greg’s in Watertown.

Let me know if you have favorite old-school places that offer great value. I have a feeling readers will be looking for that.

Roslindale During the Holidays

November 25, 2008

I wrote up a holiday piece about Roslindale Village for the Roslindale Village Main Street organization. I found out a little bit more of the history of Dianne’s Bakery:

Robert Anderson has been baking at Dianne’s Bakery since 1964. During that time he perfected a New England favorite, the butter roll. Rather than paint butter onto dough, Anderson devised a method of layering butter between levels of dough and baking it in a muffin tin. “They go big around holiday time,” Anderson says. “I consider them a must for slopping up gravy.” Dianne’s also offers a collection of holiday pies, apple, pumpkin and sweet potato (from a recipe he adapted from an African American colleague decades ago).

At Boschetto Bakery, customers can find an array of fine cakes and European pastries from baker Joe Murphy. While the bakery sells two kinds of apple pie it is also offers up desserts that can dress up the dinner table, including the intricate and lovely apple tart, the shadow cake, a combination of chocolate and gold cake half-covered with chocolate ganache, and the Boston Cream cake.

Kathy Lacher, co-owner of the Boston Cheese Cellar, which will celebrate its second anniversary in December, recommends a trio for Thanksgiving. “People usually want a soft cheese, a hard cheese, a blue cheese or a goat cheese,” she says, citing Piave Vecchio (a hard cheese,) Nancy’s Camembert (a soft cheese from New York) and Great Hill (a blue cheese from Massachusetts. Lacher customizes cheese baskets as gifts.

Food for the entire Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the season can be bought at The Village Market. Olives and feta cheese are available at the Roslindale Fish Market. The small plates of hummus or baba ganoush – known as “mezzes” – from Droubi Brothers offer an easy and affordable appetizer option for holiday parties. Organic turkeys can be ordered in advance at the Quality Meat Market. Tony DiBenedictis of Tony’s Market can ready a roast, chops or leg of lamb for a holiday dinner. Vouros Bakery is about more than baklava; its cookies are great for a party. Solera Wine Shop and Alex’s Liquors recommend American wines for Thanksgiving.

Arepas and Kabobs at Washington and Grove in West Roxbury

November 24, 2008

Ask most Bostonians about the Grove neighborhood of Boston and you’ll likely be met with blank stares. I didn’t know about it until I attended my first tree lighting with the city. This neighborhood — not to be confused with Grove Hall in Roxbury — constitutes the far west boundary of Boston at the West Roxbury-Dedham line on Washington Street. The closest landmark is the Dedham Mall.

Amazingly, this foreboding little stretch is blessed with wonderful food. I had been curious about Viva Mi Arepa for some time before checking it out a couple years ago. Over time, I’ve ordered the empanadas, arepas and even the roasted chicken the chef prepares. And, I do mean the chef. The owner-operator is a highly-trained culinary expert for emigrated from Haiti to Venezuela. While cooking at a high-end resort in Venezuela, he also picked up the national cuisine.

When my car was in the shop with transmission trouble at nearby Lee Myles, I gingerly brought up the subject of Viva Mi Arepa. I didn’t know what these old-school guys would think of this Venezuelan food. “That guy…” said one of the Lee Myles staff members somewhat loudly prompting me to worry that he was about to launch into a tirade. “That guy can really cook,” he concluded. He told me that Viva Mi Arepa even offers a special paella every Sunday for customers.

Just down the road from Viva Mi Arepa is the newly-expanded Cristelle’s Restaurant. From the outside this restaurant that now occupies the site of the old Sahara Pita Bakery, looks like an ordinary sub shop. Inside, it’s not just a sub shop but a Middle Eastern paradise. I’ve long been surprised that for a neighborhood with such a strong Lebanese and Syrian presence, aside from Samia’s in West Roxbury, which closes too early to order for dinner most nights, there’s a scarcity of Middle Eastern food. Until now.

Cristelle’s offers up not just outstanding hummus, baba ghanoush and falafel, it purveys the rarest of commodities, the classic Mediterranean breakfast. These are such dishes as a warm chickpea or lentil and olive oil foul, a flat meat-pie. Cristelle’s serves these with an array of pickles, radishes, hot peppers, tomatoes and red onion. Last time I stopped in around lunchtime, I saw a couple men gorging on delicious-looking kabobs on skewers. Unbelievable!

Don’t get me wrong. They sell steak and cheeses, pizza, and even pancakes and crepes for breakfast. But I believe their Middle Eastern food is really special.

Also of interest in the Grove is what is going on at Jeha’s Meat Market. Jeha’s is a great place to get beef or lamb sausages. He also offers hot sausages. For larger orders, I’d call ahead.

With the holidays upon us, I’ll be posting a little more on local food to provide a respite to those overtaxed with cooking festive meals.

Barack Obama Eats and Schmoozes at Manny’s

November 21, 2008

The Happy Place

I’ve been very impressed with Barack Obama’s moves since becoming the President-elect. But this afternoon Obama did something to make me swoon: He had lunch at Manny’s Delicatessen in Chicago. All I can say is that this lean arugla-lover has found some soul — or at least soul food.

Back when started, I included Manny’s on my list of approved delis: “Cantors in Los Angeles, Nate & Al’s in Beverly Hills (catch Larry King at breakfast), Manny’s in Chicago, Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Katz’s Deli on Houston Street, Harold’s in Edison, New Jersey (home to the pickle bar), Smallman Street Deli in Pittsburgh. I cannot neglect to mention Schwartz’s Smoked Meat in Montreal, worth a trip to Quebec.”

In retrospect, I don’t think I provided enough detail on Manny’s, about which I had not heard until I ate there with my sister-in-law and her husband, a native Chicagoan. Located near the historic Hull House, Manny’s is most remniscent of Katz’s on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. We walked in on a frigid January day to find a food oasis. It’s the kind of of pleasantly ungentrified place where the odor of corned beef, pickles and pastrami is embedded into the walls. I had a hot corned beef sandwich with a potato pancake and matzo ball soup. It was one of the first restaurants that disavowed me of the notion that good, authentic deli had to come from New York.

My brother-in-law Mitch, my guide to culinary Chicago, Super Dawg, Italian beefs, deep dish pizza, etc., filled me in. Manny’s, he said, was a place where I was just as likely to find a local alderman, judge or political columnist as I was a hungry Bears fan. Or the president-elect and his top adviser.

President-Elect Obama at Manny's

The Taste of Roslindale: September 18

September 9, 2008

 The Taste of Roslindale

I am a tremendous fan of the restaurants in Roslindale Village. At times, however, this leaves me with a problem, sort of a culinary prisoner’s dilemma: Do I stop into Sophia’s Grotto from the Spanish antipasto and open faced ravioli or head over to Geoffrey’s for the chicken saltimbocca?

Now, at least for one night, September 18, I won’t have to torture myself with food scenarios. Many of my favorite eateries will all be under one roof, that of the Annunciation Church on VFW Parkway for the 2nd Annual Taste of Roslindale. Some of the others participating will be Boschetto’s Bakery, the Birch Street Bistro, Bangkok Cafe and Fornax Bread Company.

The event will also feature its own version of a Throwdown called a “Butcher Block.” Mayor Menino and Vinny Marino of the BrickHouse Cafe in Dedham will battle Roslindale’s Charley McCarthy and WCVB’s Susan Wornick in a unique food demonstration. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets for $40-per-person can be purchased upon entry. I’m a board member of the Roslindale Village Main Street, which is sponsoring the event, with proceeds  to benefit the Jason Roberts Challenger Little League Baseball and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

A Mediterranean Hidden Jewel in Dover, NH

September 6, 2008

Now that New Hampshire is very much in play in the presidential election, large numbers of field organizers, door knockers and reporters will be sure to be heading up. For these hungry masses, I have a food find.

My friend, ONE activist Michael Castaldo, told me about a food find in New Hampshire that seemed hard to believe. He described to me a gas station on the Dover-Somersworth line, 20 minutes from Portsmouth, which offered the best hummus he had ever had. For Castaldo, who’s an expert chef with training in some of San Francisco’s finest kitchens as well as a tireless advocate for fighting global poverty, to say this made me take notice.

Yesterday during a reporting trip on which I’ll have more to say later, I took the opportunity meet Castaldo for lunch and find out for myself. Castaldo gave me directions that did not seem promising: ” ‘Citgo: Quick to Go’ — off the Spaulding Turnpike’s Exit 9.” I made my way to the aforementioned location, and it did not seem right. Sure enough, though, I found a Citgo station. When I went in I found Castaldo waiting near a simple table in the middle of what looked like a convenience store. Behind a counter to his left, a woman, whose name I learned was Michelle, was putting food into aluminum to go containers. We sat down at the table, and food started to arrive.

I met the first dish with trepidation. Kibbe. But unlike the usual somewhat dry ground meat, this was raw (though drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.) Castaldo tore off a piece from a fresh piece of pita and dug in. I was reluctant, but Michelle’s husband Amir urged me to give it a try. He said he gets fresh kibbe meat, in this case lamb, from Butcher Boy, and uses it the day of the purchase. I tasted a bite, and before I could come up with an excuse to not eat any more (I’m no Tony Bourdain when it comes to raw meat) other plates were placed before me. While I was impressed with the taste, freshness and shear ingenuity of this dish, I wanted to direct my appetite for those foods I cherish — hummus, baba ganoush, shwarma.

To say these Middle Eastern dishes exceeded expectations would be an understatement. They exceeded expectations exponentially. The organic hummus was so fresh it seemed to be an entirely different food than what people buy in the grocery store. The creamy baba was also superb. But the mezze that wowed me the most was the tabouli, a dish I always pass over at the salad bar. Not this tabouli, made from fresh parsley and lightly seasoned. Michelle also brought out grape leaves. Unlike most grape leaves, which are overpowered by the taste of dill, these combined the flavor of the vegetable with cooked kibbe and rice inside. Simply outstanding. I also enjoyed her mix of rice, chicken and pine nuts, another dish often overdone in many Lebanese restaurants. Here the chicken was moist and filled with flavor.

Michelle also brought out two superior condiments. I’m a hot sauce lover, but can really vouch for her homemade hot sauce prepared with Lebanese chiles. Even better was the creamy garlic sauce. If you ate it you would swear there would have to be mayo or egg in it. Michelle said she made the sauce with only garlic and water. It would improve any chicken, turkey or roast beef sandwich.

But then Michelle took the meal to a whole other level. She made up two rolled up sandwiches — shwarma and pasterma. One of my long standing pet peeves relating to food is going to a place which offers a gyro or shwarma sandwich and then being served a few pieces of ground meat sliced off a formerly frozen chunk from Kronos or some other national meat purveyor. I will interrogate food servers to make sure I’m getting something made on the premises. At Citgo Quick to Go there was no question. The shwarma meat was tender and tasty. Michelle prepared the sandwiches with all the appropriate condiments including her exquisite garlic sauce. An even greater surprise was the pasterma, a spiced, pastrami-like dried meat popular in Turkey and the Middle East. It was eye-openingly good.

As we ate, Michelle and Amir told me a bit of their story. They are both from Lebanon and came to America to escape the violence and strife in that country. Michelle was a chef in Beirut. When Amir bought the gas station, Subway had a store on the premises. When Subway ultimately moved out a few years ago, Michelle sensed an opportunity and bought its kitchen equipment, including the oven used to bake rolls. She bakes meat pies and other Mediterranean offerings on Fridays.

She also is sure to use organic vegetables. “It’s healthier and it tastes better,” she said. The spices are imported from Lebanon. They are also getting into catering and gaining a reputation. She told me a chef from Boston had heard of the place and drove up from Rye Beach to try it that day.

When I left completely full and carrying my leftovers in a bag, I thanked Castaldo for turning me on to the place. It’s a must visit for food lovers or anybody passionate about Middle Eastern food. I’ll have to have the falafel, made fresh, next time.

Quick To Go is located at 196 Tri-City Plaza. The phone number is (603) 740-9410. Call ahead for catering or just to make sure you’re going to hit it on the right day if you’re making a special trip.

A Taste of America’s Cities

August 27, 2008

The National Conference of Democratic Mayors sponsored an event that highlighted one of the great strengths of America’s cities — food. The group gathered the cuisines of 8 American cities and allowed attendees to taste what they had to offer. The cities were Boston, Chicago, Denver, Louisville, Philadelphia, Providence and Seattle.

What a perfect event for me! I love cities and I love food. I’m obviously partial to Boston, which offered Legal Sea Foods clam chowder and giant shrimp cocktail as well Boston Cream Pie. Numerous guests told me how much they liked the shrimp, the chowder and Mayor Menino who was in attendance. 

Boston aside, here’s my view of the other cities’ fare.

Philadelphia — Philly offered only one simple dish, the Philly Cheese Steak. When Dan Kennedy and I were down in Philadelphia for the Republican Convention, both of us were bitterly disappointed with the dry, stringy steak offered to us at the vaunted Jim’s Steak. I remember thinking what’s the big deal, I can get a better sandwich at many sub shops in Boston.

What I got to try from Tony Luke’s completely dispelled my earlier perception of the signature Philadelphia sandwich. The meat was incredibly tender, and the hoagie — as its called down there — was lovingly made. Tony Luke was on hand with his son personally making the sandwiches. He said he made a personal commitment to Mayor Nutter to create the best food possible.

It’s interesting that while not gourmet in any way, Tony Luke’s fresh, crafted sandwich really stood out. Tony Luke told me his business really took off since defeating Bobby Flay in a Throw Down. He’ll be on Dinner: Impossible in September.

Providence — Mayor Cicilline, who is now the head of the NCDM, welcomed me and pointed me over to the Providence station. I sampled both a Sloppy Guiseppi (a version of a Sloppy Joe) and veal stew, which I noted would make for a hearty meal when the weather turns cool in a few weeks. The food was from the Old Canteen on Federal Hill, which offers a tremendous value menu, salad, main dish, dessert.

San Francisco — When I walked by San Francisco’s station, I almost passed right by. I saw a menu that looked like it came right from a public health agenda, heirloom tomatoes, peaches with a fresh mozzarella-like cheese and dungeness crab (which I didn’t get to try.) When I put some cheese and tomatoes into my mouth, I had a taste explosion. The tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and a few sprinkles of sea salt, were filled with flavor; the cheese’s freshness enhanced both the taste of the tomatoes and the peaches.

Mayor Newsom showed up and was far more inquisitive when meeting guests than I thought he would be. He gets a lot of national press, which is understandable. 

Denver — Here the Rocky Mountain Trout Confit stood out. I was less impressed with the Buffalo “Loose Meat” sandwiches.

Louisville — I didn’t know what to expect from this Kentucky city. I wasn’t a big fan of their Hot Browns sandwich. I did like the Derby Pie, a pecan pie with chocolate added. The bourbon whipped cream was a little too bitter although their booth also offered a collection of Kentucky bourbons.

Seattle — Something of a disappointment. I was so excited to sample some poached wild Washington salmon. But then when I took a bite it lacked punch. Many guests, however, were raving about the more than 30 wines from Washington State available for tasting. I counted three guests ask for pinot noir only to learn that that grape is not a specialty of Washington state, cabernet and syrah are.

Chicago — Chicago set up several different cheese cakes. It made for a solid dessert, but I think they would have been better off with Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef.

Summer Food: Cucina Mia and Windy City Eats

August 18, 2008

A Chicago Dog

It’s the summer, and I’ve been heading south in recent weeks. Not the Deep South or even Cape Cod, but the South Shore. On my way down to Nantasket Beach in Hull, I’ve made two extraordinary food finds.

The first is Cucina Mia on Washington Street in Quincy. From the outside, Cucina Mia resembles any one of a number of sub and pizza shops that line Washington Street and Route 3A. Inside, it is a lively Italian café and salumeria with a focus on fresh ingredients.

The signature sandwich is the muffaletta. A muffaletta is a traditional Sicillian sandwich with genoa salami, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, capicola and olive spread. I first encountered the muffaletta at the Central Grocery in New Orleans. Cucina Mia breaks from the Central Grocery orthodoxy in an important way. The co-owner Debbie Mignosa presses the sandwich. When I visited she told me that pressing the sandwich like a panini allowed the oils to properly accent the meats and the bread. As for differences with the vaunted Central Grocery, Mignosa says her recipe comes directly from Sicily, by way of her grandparents, not from New Orleans.

“If you give a good product, people will enjoy it, come back and tell somebody else,” says Mignosa, whose family once owned “The Egg and I” in Quincy.

I am also very excited about Windy City Eats in Weymouth. I was checking out the crowd at Donut King on Middle Street one recent Saturday when I happened to spy a sandwich board hawking a Chicago-style hot dog nearby. I made my way into a hole-in-the-wall. To my delight, I discovered native Midwesterner Grady Carlson selling authentic Chicago dogs.

I ordered his Chicago dog special. Carlson services it in the traditional fashion: poppy seed bun, mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato, pickle, celery salt and jardinière, sortof a hot pepper relish.

While not an aficionado of the Chicago Dog – I love Pearl hot dogs and Speed – I do remember the foray the Chicago dog made into two locations back in the early 1990s, both of which I frequented – Harvard Square next to Charlie’s and Wollaston near the Clam Box. I also make sure to visit Superdog in Chicago with my brother-in-law who quizzed me on the authenticity of Windy City Eats when I told him about it. “Do they use a poppy roll? Do they have jardinière?”

To my amazement, Carlson was very knowledgeable about his craft. He was in close contact with Vienna, the Chicago-company that makes his all beef hot dogs, and knew everything about his predecessors.

I didn’t get a chance to try his Italian Beef, a roast beef sandwich dipped in juice, but I’m eager to sample it next time. He also has tasty, lightly fried french fries.

Eat in Roslindale

July 16, 2008

I file a column for the Roslindale Transcript about the neighborhood’s great eateries in my capacity as a Roslindale Village Main Street board member.

“Due to exorbitant energy costs and the low dollar, folks with a zest for interesting food and travel have few options these days other than watching “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.”

Fortunately, Roslindale Village provides a roll of restaurants, bakeries and food shops, which itself reads like something out of a travel guide. There are specialty shops to purchase fresh meat and cheese, more than five bakeries to procure warm bread, pastries and cakes and restaurants to dine indoors or outside along with a wine shop.

The Boston Globe captured the gastronomic spirit of the neighborhood recently, writing, ‘The village is a food lover’s paradise, with ethnic markets, inviting restaurants, and a belt-straining six bakeries. Here, you can find burritos, baklava, bibimbop, pizza, paella, and pho.’

The unique quality of Roslindale Village goes far beyond offering a diverse set of sumptuous offerings. The neighborhood offers a captivating collection of the old and new, a balanced blend that makes for great eating.”