Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Back to Boston: Barbecue at Redbones

Sorry for the delay everyone!  I'm back in Boston and I'll be reviewing local restaurants while I'm home.  First up:  Redbones ( in Davis Square.  It's a loud, busy BBQ restaurant in Somerville.

Let me preface this post by saying that this is my boyfriend's favorite restaurant.  Since I've known him, I've heard nothing but praise for this place.

I was not impressed.

We started out with the tasty Corn Fritters.  These treats, served in a saccharine Vermont maple syrup, could have been dessert, despite being listed on their Apps & Sides menu.

I opted for some more sides instead of going for one of their entrĂ©es.  I got their Buffalo Scallops, Catfingers, and Mac'N Cheese.

The buffalo scallops were flavorful.... but how can anything smothered in buffalo sauce and blue cheese not be?  They definitely had a kick, so much so that I really couldn't tell that I was eating scallops.  It could have been chicken.. or pork.. or anything.

The catfingers are strips of fried fish.  They also have a lot of spice to them.  They are served with Redbones' homemade tartar sauce, of which I've had better.

My mouth was burning after these two dishes.  Maybe that's why their mac'n cheese didn't have any flavor.

It was probably the most disappointing point of my meal.  This might have been due to my boyfriend overselling it.  As a true lover of cheese, I was so excited to try "the best macaroni and cheese around."  It was very heavy in a buttery way, but there was no taste of cheese.

Although we waited over an hour to be sat, we hardly had to wait at all for our meals.  While we did, we were appeased with their delicious corn bread and butter.  They also have an extensive beer list and drink menu.

To be fair, Redbones specializes in BBQ, and I sampled some of their alternative dishes.  It's popular for a reason, and I have at least a little faith in my boyfriend's taste.  I'm sure he'll be dragging me back soon, so I'll let you know if I have a better experience my second time around.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Splurging a Little at Serpentine

I finished my San Francisco eating extravaganza at Serpentine ( at 2495 Third Street.  I don't know if I was enamored with the modern decor, my wonderful dinner companions, or if I had one too many glasses of Pinot Noir, but I swear I was served bliss.  

Serpentine is a small restaurant with an almost warehouse like feel.  It has a high cement ceiling, with windows that stretch across the upper half of the brick walls.  Simple stools, lining the black counter of the bar, sit on a casual wooden floor.  Despite the seemingly cold ambiance, the gentle lighting brings a warmth and intimacy to the restaurant.

I asked the bartender to help me decide between two items on their eclectic menu.  He suggested that I get one as an appetizer and one as my entree... And when you're company is picking up the tab, why not?

We started out with their tender House Made Potato Gnocchi.  It was served in a rich cream sauce, with baby fava leaves, hedgehog & black trumpet mushrooms, English peas, green garlic, pecorino piccolo, fresh oregano, and breadcrumbs mixed in.  We were splitting it between four people, and I shamefully admit I took a little more than my fair share.  

For my main dish, I went with the Roasted Mary's Chicken.  Yes, it sounds boring, especially on a menu that also has choices like Strawberry Salad with a ginger champagne vinaigrette and Pan Seared Chicken Livers, but I do not regret my decision.  It was the BEST piece of chicken I've ever eaten (sorry Nana)!

The chicken was cooked perfectly—so moist!  It was served over Bacon Roasted Asparagus (it is as good as it sounds), Beech Mushrooms, and was topped with a Sherry Jus.  I had already eaten bread, a good portion of gnocchi, but I still managed to finish this entire roasted chicken. 

Everything I put into my mouth was happiness.  I did not want this meal to end.  Thanks to our generous dinner company, it didn’t.

We finished off our feast with a dessert made of a delicious banana ice cream sandwiched between two soft peanut butter cookies, which all sat on top of a delectable bed of caramel. 

Please!  If you are in San Francisco, eat here!  It is well worth it, even if you just want a great ice cream sandwich.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

No Waves at Wipeout

Walking into Wipeout ( on Fisherman's Wharf is like walking onto an amusement park ride.  Gimmicky decorations blanket the walls.  It has all the marks of a theme restaurant, including a giant mural depicting scenes of Pier 39.

Their menu is made up of pretty casual fare:  appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, etc.  I went with the Bread Bowl and Salad combo; I got Chili Con Carne with their Caesar Salad.  

The cheese sprinkled chili sits heavily in the sourdough bread bowl.  After a few bites I wished that I had gone with their New England Clam Chowder, but as a lifelong New Englander, I couldn't bring myself to order my hometown dish in a West Coast restaurant.  

When I get a bread bowl, I want the soup to seep into it.  I rip off pieces of the bread as the soup disappears... I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.  Unfortunately, the hearty chili just sat on top of the bread.  I had a bowl of mediocre chili, and then I had a few bites of mediocre bread.  I could have ordered them separately and it wouldn't have made any difference.

The Caesar Salad was straightforward.  Nothing was wrong with it... but there was nothing special about it either.

Although their chili was lackluster, the waitress recommended a great drink:  their House Margarita.  I splurged and went for the 23 ounce frozen version.  They squeeze real lime juice into every margarita, and I definitely could taste the difference.  I refused to leave until I had sucked down the whole thing.

If you're on Pier 39 and you're hungry, you might want to explore a little more before settling in here. 

If you're here and want a few drinks, especially if you're craving some tequila, this just might be your place.