La Casa de Pedro – Watertown, MA

I can’t even begin to express just how much I love Venezuelan food. To me, it’s definitely not an every week thing, but every once in a while it just hits the spot!


The menu is HUGE. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, there are tons of meals to choose. There were so many things we wanted to try that sounded enticing.

The moment you walk into La Casa de Pedro, you feel the festiveness. We’re talking palm trees with Christmas lights and plenty of other plants. There was even a band that played live music. The people next to us left their table after dinner to salsa dance in the open space by the bar. My favorite part was probably eating to the sweets sounds of “Oye Como Va” cover by Santana.

As for the dinner itself, the portions are huge. We split ours and ordered an appetizer, which in retrospect seemed to be the right choice. The appetizer we ordered was a beef arepa – the beef was tender and juicy and the bread was spongy and delicious. Definitely worth a try.


Our entree, Parillada Caraquena, was an amazing combination of white chicken and sirloin steak with rice, fried plantains, and spicy Spanish sausage.


To cap off dinner, we decided to order dessert. The dessert menu isn’t huge, and there are some dessert drinks that looked appealing. Our waiter sold us on the churros, which were not on the menu. I mean, of course, we’re going to order the churros, their heaven on earth.

They were the bomb! Warm churros with melting vanilla ice cream with drizzled hot fudge. Definitely, ask for this if it’s still not on the menu next time you go.

TL;DR: For excellent Venezuelan & Spanish cuisine and lively bar scene, La Casa De Pedro is worth the drive out to Watertown.

Redbones BBQ – Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Everyone knows there is a scarcity of barbecue joints in Boston. You usually have to travel 20 minutes outside of the city to get good BBQ. Redbones BBQ in Davis Square is perhaps the one exception to this statement. As a longtime customer of Redbones, I was excited to show Samantha, who’s never been, what this place is about!


Like many barbecue joints, there is rugged decor in the walls – license plates from other states, vintage metal signs etc. Classic rock blared through the speakers. Everything about this place (including the name) checks out as the perfect BBQ place.


Also important to note that there are sweet and spicy BBQ sauces on the table. My rule for barbecue restaurants is quality sauces = quality of food. Personally, I love to douse my meals with barbecue sauce, so I was very pleased with the tasty sauces at the table.

Now… for the actual food!


We started with some biscuits and peach jam – an extra side that we ordered because we were interested to see how this combo tasted. No regrets here, because it was surprisingly delicious.


I ordered the St. Louis ribs. I loved the dry rub on them and with the sweet sauce, it was just what the doctor ordered. The ribs were large, with tons of meat on the bone. The 2 sides that came with it were good too. The BBQ baked beans were packed with flavor. The mashed potatoes were good too.


Samantha ordered the pulled pork, which came with a spicy BBQ sauce. The serving of the pulled pork and her sides were big, so she had a lot of food to take home! The Mac & cheese was great and cornbread is always a necessity for BBQ plate.

Overall, Redbones once again left me satisfied and smiling, and we had a good experience with delicious grub that we continued to eat as leftovers.

TL; DR: A large menu of southern BBQ classics, Redbones BBQ is the very best of barbecue in the greater Boston area.

Burro Bar – Washington Square, Brookline, MA

Samantha and I seem to be on an accidental taco binge lately.

We had intentions of checking out The Abbey, in Washington Square, Brookline, but every table was taken when we arrived. Instead, we meandered to Burro Bar, a Mexican joint that was nearby.


The vibe of Burro Bar is peppy and modern. Blasting Drake or Lupe Fiasco and the place is full of 20-somethings who love margaritas. Bright colors, contemporary restaurant furniture, and lights echo the vibe.

In terms of food selection, this place has tacos like you’ll never see. I mean, try finding beef tongue tacos anywhere else in the Boston.


Before dinner, we were served a starter of chips and salsa. You get a fair amount of chips. The salsa definitely had some kick to it, so if you don’t like spicy foods this may not be for you.


Now for the important part: the tacos.

The size of the taco is bigger than I expected but you only get one per order Amd for $7-8 it’s not cheap for the amount you’re getting.

I went with the crispy baja style fish taco – a taco loaded with fresh savoy cabbage, doused with a jalapeño slaw, baja mayo and topped with cilantro. It was melt-in-your-mouth good.


While my taco was delicious, Ill admit I had order envy from what Samantha ordered. She went with short rib double stack – which featured a hard taco held within a soft taco. In addition to beef carnitas, it also featured tres quesos, beef carnitas, poblano + onions, oregano, mexican crema, and cotija.

TL;DR All in all, Burro Bar is Mexican eatery that features a menu with creatively stuffed tacos & a large tequila selection in a colorful, eclectic atmosphere.

Naco Taco – Central Square, Cambridge

Tacos are nature’s perfect food — what could possibly be better than a holy combo of meats, cheeses, veggies, and sauces all wrapped up in a warm tortilla?

We’ve been on a bit of a taco kick lately, and we ventured to Naco Taco in Central Square to satisfy the craving. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. The taco menu is full of fresh ingredients mixed together in funky flavor combos and each taco comes on a warm, slightly spongy homemade corn soft corn tortilla (ground and pressed in-house daily). The best part? The most expensive taco is $5, meaning you can order more than one without breaking the bank (we’d recommend 2 or 3 per person).  The menu also features tortas served on homemade corn telera, salads, and a variety of small plates and snacks meant for sharing.

While pretty much everything on the menu looked enticing, we were able to eventually make a decision after what seemed like hours of deliberation.  I went for the Bistec taco — tender and juicy grilled flank steak with avocado, crispy onions, and a slightly spicy chimichurri sauce — and the Duck Confit taco — a generous portion of duck covered in a perfectly sweet pomegranate molasses and topped with crunchy sweet potato sticks and shaved cilantro.  Nate went for three different takes on pork — the Al Pastor, a sweet and savory taco that came with charbroiled pork, onion, and cilantro all mixed with juicy burnt pineapple; the Cochinita Pibil, a combo of pulled pork, radish, and onion with a cilantro crema and a spicy chile de árbol glaze; and the Chorizo, which came with baby yukon potatoes, cilantro, and onion topped with a charred chipotle and tomatillo salsa.  All five tacos were incredibly flavorful and fresh and my only regret is that we couldn’t order every one off the menu so we could try the rest of the flavors in one sitting.

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We also decided to split a half order of the Street Corn off the Cob — sweet corn niblets topped with crumbles of cotija cheese, tangy chile de árbol, a dash of lime juice, and cilantro.  It was the perfect addition to an already delicious meal (and honestly, if that’s what street food looks like in Mexico, then why are we still living here? I propose we all move South of the Border asap…)

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The menu isn’t the only great thing about Naco Taco, either. With walls covered in trendy murals, a cool outdoor patio tricked out with twinkle lights, live music, and a great location (right on Mass Ave. in Central Square), the restaurant has a funky, unpretentious, and relaxed ambiance that fits right in with the vibe of the neighborhood.

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TL;DR:  If you’re in the market for delicious, outside-the-box tacos, Naco Taco is a perfect spot for a quick snack or a full meal that is sure to satisfy.

Bin 26 Enoteca – Beacon Hill, Boston, MA

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Yearning for a night of class and conversation, Samantha and I lined up our next date night details, and it included checking out Bin 26 Enoteca, located on Beacon Hill. The chic Italian wine bar and restaurant is located right on Charles St. The virtually endless wine selection imported from both France and Italy, and for someone who considers themselves a wine novice like myself, it can seem almost intimidating. Even the walls are made from wine glasses! In addition to the wine, Bin 26 is also known for its cheeses and charcuterie meats.

Bin 26 features a virtually endless wine selection imported from both France and Italy, and for someone who considers themselves a wine novice like myself, it can seem almost intimidating. Even the walls are made from wine glasses! 

In addition to the wine, Bin 26 is also known for its cheeses and charcuterie meats. Because Samantha and I are classy only when we want to be (rarely), we had neither. Instead, we ordered a few small dishes from the dinner menu.

The first dish was the beef tagliata–a black & blue beef, with parmesan topped with Arugula, and tarragon, and doused in Truffle Oil. This was my personal favorite, as I’ve come to appreciate a good steak topped with cheese. If there’s one thing Bin 26 nailed was the unsuspecting yet perfect complimentary ingredients on each dish. The arugula and tarragon added excellent flavor that complimented the steak and cheese.  

The second small dish and Samantha’s favorite was the Crispy Duck Leg, served with spinach, frisée, hazelnut butter, blueberries, drizzled with balsamic. Again, the plethora of ingredients added a dynamic punch to an already flavorful duck leg, and I would highly recommend the dish if you’re into ordering duck.

Because we felt like we had to order an Italian dish from an Italian restaurant, the final dish order was the potato gnocchi. The gnocchi was served with shrimp and topped with arugula, tomatoes, marsala, cream, and parmesan cheese. The shrimp and gnocchi combo was an interesting combo that I had never encountered. The quality of the dish was top-notch.

Although the portions are small, the dishes were delicious and the vibe is nice. The friendly wait staff took care of us just fine! Overall we had a great experience here, and would recommend for as a chic and trendy option downtown – and a bonus if you love tasting different types of regional wines!

TL;DR: With a grandiose wine selection and a wide selection of Italian-inspired dishes, Bin 26 Enoteca makes for a classy night out in Boston.

Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar — Coolidge Corner, Brookline

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If there’s one thing in this world that I love, it’s sushi. In fact, I could eat sushi three meals a day and never get sick of it. It’s an obsession, really.  Luckily for me, Boston has no shortage of sushi restaurants — large and small, upscale and basic, funky and traditional — and my goal in life is to try them all.

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Recently, Nate and I decided to visit Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar, a relatively new Asian fusion restaurant in Coolidge Corner that boasts a giant menu of both Chinese favorites and, more importantly (at least in my opinion), dozens of different kinds of Maki, Nigiri, and everything in between.  

The sushi menu featured traditional rolls that any sushi restaurant usually serves — there were a few veggie options for people who don’t love the idea of raw fish, as well as standard maki featuring different combos of salmon, shrimp, crab stick, or eel with avocado or cucumber.  The highlight, however, was the specialty maki menu, featuring interesting and intricate ingredient combos (like the Sweet Lobster Maki — sweet potato tempura topped with lobster, mango, avocado, flying fish roe, and mayo — or the Spicy Baked Scallop maki — served with crab stick, mushroom, flying fish roe, and mayo).  There were also tons of different options for sushi platters and combos, making Jin’s not only a nice date night spot, but also a great option for larger groups.

Nate and I decided to split three different kinds of rolls:  Philadelphia Maki, which came with smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, and scallion; Rainbow Maki, which is a traditional California maki topped with slices of tuna, salmon, squid, and avocado and then garnished with multi-color flying fish roe; and Volcano Maki, which came with eel, shrimp, avocado, and cucumber rolled together and topped with spicy tuna mixed with flying fish roe and crunchy tempura flakes.  

The Philadelphia roll was exactly as expected — the combo of the smoky salmon and the cream cheese with the starchy rice tasted like the Japanese version of a bagel and lox.  The Volcano maki had a slight kick to it, but not enough to really qualify as “spicy” — the avocado and cucumber helped to counteract the spiciness of the tuna, and the tempura flakes gave each bite a nice crunch. The Rainbow maki was easily my favorite — immensely fresh and flavorful, the tuna, salmon, and squid complemented the sweetness of the crab stick. And the green, red, yellow, and black flying fish roe was not only aesthetically pleasing, but also gave the roll a delightfully pleasant texture that elevated the flavor of each bite. (Also flying fish roe is basically Japanese caviar — pinkies up, everyone).  

Portions were on par with most sushi restaurants — each order came with six to eight pieces, so three rolls were enough for two people to split without breaking the bank (although some of the maki options on the menu get very expensive depending on what you choose).  We left satisfied with all of our menu choices (if not wishing that there was such a thing as dessert sushi — someone invent that, already!!) and wanting to return for another visit to try more off the menu.

TL;DR:  Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar is a great option if you’re looking for fresh and flavorful sushi in a casually elegant setting.

Kelly’s Roast Beef – Saugus, MA

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Labor Day marks the official end of summer, and while fall does have a lot to offer in terms of fun (Apple cider donuts! Leaves changing! Halloween! All pumpkin everything!), I’d be lying if I said that I’m not clinging to the last minutes of summer the way sand clings to your feet after a day at the beach.

So, in an attempt to get one more summery activity under our belts, Nate and I decided to go full-on New England and head up to Maine for the weekend. On the way, we stopped in at Kelly’s Roast Beef in Saugus, the second of five locations of the classic Massachusetts-based chain that originated on Revere Beach in 1951. A family-owned and operated business, Kelly’s has won a slew of awards for their lobster rolls, roast beef, and clam chowder. And after our visit this long weekend, it’s easy to understand why.

First of all, the menu is gigantic. The roast beef is only the tip of the iceberg — Kelly’s also serves everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to fried seafood platters to barbecue pulled beef (there are also salads if you want to be that person, but honestly if you’re coming to Kelly’s, you’ve already lost the battle when it comes to calorie counting).

Nate and I decided to go for the classic Kelly’s staple — the roast beef sandwich. The roast beef was thinly-sliced and juicy and it came on a grilled sesame-seed roll. Nate got a large sandwich with mayo and barbecue sauce, while I opted for the small roast beef meal, which came with French fries and thick-cut onion rings.

There wasn’t much of a difference size-wise between the large and small sandwiches, and where my meal came with the fries and onion rings and a fountain drink of my choice, it seemed like the better deal even though it cost a couple dollars more.

The best word I can use to describe the sandwich was perfect — the warm, tender roast beef combined with the slight crunch of the grilled roll and the savory smoothness of the mayo made for a delightful, no-fuss version of the classic roast beef sandwich. After trying one, it’s no wonder that Kelly’s has been in business for six decades.

TL;DR: With seriously delicious roast beef sandwiches (not to mention a menu chock-full of other beachy favorites), Kelly’s lives up to its reputation as Massachusetts’ authority on the best roast beef.