Archive for the ‘Out of the Rotation’ Category

Out of My Rotation

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

If you visit The Foodie frequently, you know that I’m generally a fairly chummy, positive guy. But every once in a while I think I owe it to my small gathering of readers to let them know about Boston-area places to avoid that have fallen out of my good graces over time.

Though it IS important to know the hottest, freshest, sauciest grub brothels around – it is equally clutch to remember places to stay away from (or that have fallen below par compared to their peers).

So I compiled this list to keep you safe, to tuck you in at the right tables across Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, and beyond.

Turned out there were nine local restos that I’ve been supressing negative thoughts about:

Once a favorite of mine with a commendable burger, solid main plates and tantalizing specials, WSL has slowly fallen behind in my view. It all started when their mains lost creativity and portion sizes dwindled to the point of the ridiculous. Execution has suffered as well, but they do remain crowded so appear to be holding on to a crowd. The Foodie thinks you can find better Contemporary American fare elsewhere at this price point.

It pains me to pound these words out on my keyboard, but Temple Bar joins the trio of slipping establishments on Mass Ave that include WSL and what was Rafiki (RIP). This used to be such a solid spot – what happened? A few sub-par brunch experiences dealt the first blow. That was followed by an ever-smaller selection of appetizing-sounding entrees on the menu that left me relegated to one flatbread pizza and the burger. The final blow came just recently, when we witnessed extremely delusional flavor combinations (e.g., salad with duck and blue cheese) and fell prey to ordering some of these weirdly-concocted dishes.

Wins The Foodie award for least creative restaurant in Cambridge. Should be renamed to Cambridge One Menu. Though the food here has always been decent, I have never once seen a special or any significant shift in their pizza pie rotation. With other spots like Posto, L’Impasto, Gran Gusto, Area Four, Otto and Za cooking up great authentic Italian slices or zany twists on the traditional – the one trick wonder Cambridge One has fallen off my regular rotation.

This is one of those spots that I drove by recently and realized I hadn’t been back to in years. Dali was once a destination for me and over the years has slipped off my food-dar completely. I guess a combination of being perennially crowded, slips in service, and the opening of many other small plate-oriented joints in town has pulled my attention away. No doubt their food is still decent, but there are other restaurants that are more worth an hour-long wait.

When I first moved to the area, Punjabi was my first encounter with great Indian food. But my paneer-plated palate has since been refined by Guru the Caterer, The Kebab Factory, and Punjab (Arlington). Punjabi is comparatively watered-down and flavorless compared to these other kings of curry. I am thankful to Punjabi for opening the doors, but I no longer enter through theirs.

Though they make a decent latte and press out some good sammiches, Sherman has long fallen off my rotation. Granted, most sandwich joints around town are not worth the money, but I can name five other places with better lattes and sammies that I’d hit up first. Sorry Sherman.

I really gave these guys a good shot at entering the rotation. I really did. But too many weird sandwich experiences threw me off. Another reason why the sandwich scene sucks.

I remember when Beerworks actually had a decent burger and when their beer was worth drinking before 500 craft brewers entered the MA scene. A combination of gristle-ridden burgers with unmelted cheese and the advent of the gastropub has driven me away from this establishment completely.

As a college student, Sunset is where PBR and Natty Ice-drinkers go to taste real beer. Though they boast a huge number of brewskies, their kegs tend to be badly managed and you end up with a rare Belgian Ale or German Lager that has been sitting too long in its barrel. I guess a Bud Ice loyalist wouldn’t know the difference, but make no mistake about it, Sunset is NOT a place for true beer snobs.

So that concludes a post that proves The Foodie can be a critic as well as a gushing gourmet grub enthusiast. Let me know if I’m off on any of these views via Twitter or FB.