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On the cheap

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On the Cheap: Union Square Donuts

My first maple-bacon donut was overnighted to my freshman-year roommate and me by his mother in Portland, Oregon. I hadn't had one since.
Pastry perfected in Somerville
By LUKE PYENSON  |  March 08, 2013
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On the Cheap: Piperi Mediterranean Grill

Anyone who has experienced the falafel-toppings orgy found in any Maoz falafel joint will feel at home at the universe's very first Piperi Mediterranean Grill.

By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  January 25, 2013
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On the Cheap: iYO Cafe

Without any children at my disposal, I decided the best way to evaluate iYO Cafe, a self-serve yogurt and waffle shop, would be to rally some girlfriends and smoke a fat joint before heading over.
DIY dessert in Davis Square
By ARIEL SHEARER  |  October 12, 2012
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On the Cheap: Suya Joint

A new Roslindale Square restaurant offers hearty stews, dumplings, and rice dishes prepared in home-style West African tradition.
Your new go-to fufu spot in Roslindale Square
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  March 09, 2012
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On the Cheap: Veggie Galaxy

In Harvard Square, sub-Passim, reside the health-nut pizzacrats at Veggie Planet. But take a kick down Mass Ave into Central and you'll find a chromed throwback joint sporting a similar moniker: Veggie Galaxy.
A down-home diner serving vegetarian food for the masses  
By STEVE MILLER  |  November 11, 2011
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Review: Strip T's

Under any other circumstances, I would actually not speak this restaurant's cheeky name out loud.
A perfect family restaurant with a playful menu
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  November 04, 2011


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Review: Robinwood Café & Grille

The diner — that hallowed bastion of old-time Americana, the predecessor to modern fast-food joints — is simply not one of our long suits. In this relatively weak field, Robinwood Café & Grille, a Jamaica Plain diner, executes solidly on the standby
Executing solidly in the classic New England Greek-American diner tradition
By MC SLIM JB  |  August 19, 2011
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Review: Seven Star Street Bistro

The trick to loving Seven Star Street Bistro is to forget how enticingly they've managed to remodel such a tiny sliver of space, and to take their name literally.
Taking tasty Chinese cuisine to the street
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  August 12, 2011
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Review: Jasmine Taste of Persia

Boston is fortunate to boast a number of worthy budget-priced Persian restaurants, among which Jasmine Taste of Persia, located in a stretch of Watertown thick with indie restaurants and Armenian bakeries/grocers, has to rate highly.
A winning introduction to an underrated cuisine
By MC SLIM JB  |  August 05, 2011
comfort food from Fill Bellys

Review: Fill Belly's

As the wheels of the food truck turn, so does the cyclical nature of trends. Fill Belly's latest spin is a retro one: a brick-and-mortar storefront.
A JP comfort-food spot that's been around the block
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  July 29, 2011
Tamarind House -- thai food

Review: Tamarind House

Tamarind House perhaps shows too restrained a hand with its cuisine's boldest flavors, but it's a useful step up from the bowdlerized meekness of the suburban Thai run-of-the-mill.
A gentle step down from our fiercest traditional Thai restaurants
By MC SLIM JB  |  July 22, 2011


Lorenz Island Kuisine curry goat

Review: Lorenz Island Kuisine

When I find a family-run place that seems to serve as an anchor for neighborhood life — serving three meals a day, doing a brisk takeout business, offering live music, DJs, and poetry readings a few nights a month — I think, "Damn, wish my neighborhood
Fresh, traditional Jamaican fare in a friendly neighborhood spot
By MC SLIM JB  |  July 08, 2011
Southwestern lunch food at Bella Drew's

Review: Bella Drew's

Bella Drew's, a new luncheonette, serves what it calls Southwestern-style cuisine, a regionalism expressed mostly by liberal applications of avocado.
Mix-and-match Southwestern for the Financial District crowd  
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  July 01, 2011
Jaho Coffee and Tea brings Slow-Life to South End

Review: Jaho Coffee & Tea

Jaho is dedicated to slow living and slow brewing, but the haughty morning attitude of Boston commuters rushing for a cup may challenge this shop's efforts to make caffeine consumption relaxing.
A slow-life beverage chem lab opens in the South End
By ARIEL SHEARER  |  June 17, 2011
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Review: Sticky Rice Café

At Sticky Rice Café in West Roxbury, the atmosphere is perhaps more conducive to takeout, though there is room to eat in.
Strong soups and tasty Thai in West Roxbury
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  April 08, 2011
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Hotly anticipated budget-dining openings for 2011

Critics often struggle to keep up with new restaurants, let alone worthy, unreviewed ones that have been around a while.
A look ahead on the cheap
By MC SLIM JB  |  December 31, 2010


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2010: The year in cheap eats

The endless recession may be crimping our dining-out habits, but 2010 continued to showcase Boston as a great place for frugal fressers.
Another good year on a tight budget
By MC SLIM JB  |  December 24, 2010
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Dot2Dot Café

Restaurants specializing in breakfast fare tend to fall into two categories.
Brunch every day? Certainly, when it's this good  
By MC SLIM JB  |  October 15, 2010
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Sichuan Gourmet

I’ve been miffed for some years that Boston’s suburbs had all the best Sichuan restaurants.
Traditional Sichuan flavors to reawaken your jaded palate
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 28, 2010
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Griko Lakay

My first visit to Griyo Lakay, a tiny Haitian restaurant near Franklin Park, reminded me of playing an adventure game: “You enter a storefront furnished with four booths. There are no signs, menus, customers, or staff in sight. At the back is a counter o
Abundant, heart-warming Haitian fare awaits intrepid diners
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 21, 2010
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Yasu

I adore Korean “BBQ”: marinated slices of raw meats that you cook on a little grill inset directly into your tabletop.
Tiptoeing into the shallow end of the Korean-cuisine pool
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 07, 2010


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Falafel Corner

Much anguished ink has been spilled on the mall-ification of Harvard Square, as many quirky veteran restaurants have given way to unremarkable national chain outlets. But things aren’t all dire: some interesting, worthy venues have opened lately with mo
A Middle Eastern takeout joint that’s way better than it has to be 
By MC SLIM JB  |  April 30, 2010
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Maria's Taqueria

Apple's ubiquitous iPhone ads would have you believe there's a portable application for every possible problem. How about this one: finding good, inexpensive chow in culinary dead zones at odd hours of the day?
Fast, fresh Mexican in a neighborhood that needs it
By MC SLIM JB  |  July 10, 2009
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Mt. Everest Kitchen

Asked to create pithy descriptions of obscure cuisines, food writers often triangulate, using familiar geographic signposts to nudge readers into the general neighborhood.
The strange yet strangely familiar (and undeniably delicious) cuisine of Nepal
By MC SLIM JB  |  July 03, 2009
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Scup's in the Harbor

Scouting out great cheap restaurants takes me down some strange byways, but I almost never make it to Boston's waterfront. Most places with water views tend to be overpriced or mediocre. Perhaps it's the high cost of picturesque real estate, or that own
How refreshing: a waterfront joint that's actually quite good
By MC SLIM JB  |  June 26, 2009
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Halal Indian Cuisine

I imagine many diners who like Indian cuisine and can tolerate some chili heat have had this frustrating discussion with their server: "Curry: spicy, please." "Would you like that mild, medium, or hot?" "Hot, please." "Ooh, hot here is very hot." "Hot,
Negotiating one's way to solid Northern Indian fare
By MC SLIM JB  |  June 05, 2009


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Corner Pub of Chinatown

Some folks bemoaned the closing of Weggie's, a Leather District dive that slung drinks for years to Big Dig workers (which presumably accounts for some of the workmanship).
Sometimes upgrading a beloved old dive is a good thing
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 29, 2009
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Flat Patties

A fast-food cheeseburger is like a drunken assignation with a stranger met at a wedding reception: momentarily delectable but often leading to shame, nausea, and possibly even health issues.
Making a virtue of a usually guilt-ridden quickie
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 08, 2009
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Chuck and Ann's

How many Boston restaurants can you name that have been in business for 47 years — with the same staff?
A sweet little snapshot of a simpler time
By MC SLIM JB  |  April 29, 2009
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Alex's Chimis

I haven't eaten much Dominican food since the South End's excellent Miami Café closed. But Alex's Chimis, a humble, 12-seat counter-service storefront, has rekindled my fire for the cuisine.
Soulful fare from the heart of the Dominican Republic
By MC SLIM JB  |  March 25, 2009