Gustazo – Waltham, MA

Looking to go somewhere different, we found Gustazo on the old Google machine. The menu looked amazing so we decided to check it out on a Saturday night!

There was definitely an older crowd at the restaurant- it seemed like there were a lot of Waltham locals. Older families too, not necessarily with young kids but more like parents of college students and sons and daughters in their 20s.

Appetizers at Gustazo come one at a time as they are made in the kitchen. The waiter (who was very friendly and attentive) would just pop out with appetizers as they were made.

The appetizers ordered had me craving for more after I finished. They weren’t big in size, but damn they were delicious – and frankly, not easily found elsewhere.

The first appetizer ordered, the bacon wrapped sweet plantains, were unbelievably good. The menu description hooked us into trying them – it just sounded so unique! When it was served, the smell permeated through the air. It tasted even better than it smelled. The orange slices served added sharp contrast of tartness to the goat cheese that was served over the plantains. This was a petite appetizer, but heavenly and so worth ordering.

Yet another interesting appetizer that I just had to try was the oxtail. Served in a bowl, the braised ox tail meat was mixed in with warm creamy polenta and grilled avocado. The ingredients perfectly complimented each other, making it another outstanding order. No regrets here.

After sampling two appetizers, I needed to fill up a meal. We ordered the Arroz Con Pollo a la Chorrera – a Risotto-style Cuban rice with chicken thighs, grilled asparagus, soft poached egg, maduros and rice. Chicken and rice combo was money, and the plantains were awesome too. Samantha agreed, adding that said she wanted to “marry these fried plantains”. The grilled asparagus was lightly salted and was great addition to the meal. I ate all of it and loved every bite.

I decided to indulge with what would be our first affogato ever. As a restaurant that doubles as a cafe, we figured Gustazo would be the right place to give it a go. The espresso was great and the French vanilla ice cream was creamy. It was just the right amount of dessert to split, and we were so glad it was on the menu.

The whole Waltham area has such a great food scene with a diverse selection of restaurants to dine at – Gustazo certainly held its own.

TL; DR: Gustazo has great Cuban dishes with a unique and modern take. With the selection of dishes to choose from, you literally can’t go wrong.

Cha Yen Thai Cookery – Watertown, MA


We went out to dinner with our friends, Todd and Ashley, at Cha Yen Thai Cookery – just outside the city in Watertown center. Cha Yen Thai Cookery is not what you’d call “fine dining”, but it is what you would call “delicious fooding”. There are also great vegetarian and gluten-free options here.

It’s a small space that was quiet that night – although to be fair, it was also raining, and nobody likes to go out when it rains – that and we also went later in the night around 8 pm.

To start it off, we ordered and split appetizers enough to taste test, ordering curry puffs and shrimp donuts ( Donut mind if I do)! The curry puffs had spices and the shrimp donut, which was not a dessert by any means, was nothing I had ever eaten, but in the best way possible.

The Seafood pad thai that we ordered was also nothing short of tasty. The dish had every type of seafood you could think of outside of lobster – calamari, shrimp, and squid. which worked out nicely because there was enough to split into two good-sized portions. In my humble opinion, it’s not Thai food if there’s no kick, so to give it some spice, I asked the waitress for some sriracha sauce for the portion.

After dinner, we debated off-and-on about whether or not we wanted ice cream for about half an hour, basically until they closed (worth noting that they close early on weekdays). The flavors sounded intriguing, and included flavors like green tea, ginger, and Thai iced tea (yes, Thai iced tea coffee, sounds amazing, right?!). The ice cream is also homemade, so it must be good! Next time we go, we’ll try it and report back.

TL;DR: The high ratings online hold up in my book – Cha Yen Thai Cookery is completely worth a trip out to Watertown if you’re in the market for Thai food.

Putterham Grille – Chestnut Hill, Newton, MA


If you’ve been craving Greek food, you’ll be impressed by the food and service at Putterham Grille in Chestnut Hill. Putterham has authentic Greek cuisine for either counter-serve take-out or dine-in. In my opinion, Putterham Grille is a really underrated spot that I presume flies under the radar because it’s in Newton and not Boston. But it surely worth the drive if you can get out to Newton – or if you live in Newton, lucky you! You have a new restaurant you’ll want to go to.! When we arrived at the restaurant, it was pretty crowded, but we were seated right away. The sit-down part of the restaurant is very nice, boasting a calm vibe. The dinner menu featured a rather large amount of items to choose from including a nice mix of entrees and appetizers that sounded unique and authentic to Greek culture.We opted for appetizers to share and sample instead of order entrees. One was the Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Tenders served with a sesame ginger crème on the side and mandarin oranges. The tenders were so good – they were juicy and the teriyaki sauce that was glazed over them was sweet and perfectly complemented the sesame ginger crème and mandarin oranges. You can also order the chicken tenders as a meal, and after tasting them, we kind of wished we did that. Oh well, hindsight’s 20/20.The other appetizer we split were stuffed mushrooms. They were just as good as the tenders, and bonus points because it looked artsy AF when they were served to us. There were five generously-sized stuffed mushrooms drizzled in a balsamic glaze, which was also artfully dripped on the plate. In the middle of the circle of stuffed mushrooms were greens and shredded carrots, which added to the appeal of the plate. The mushrooms tasted just as delightful as they looked. They were savory and satisfying and had a nice consistency.

TL;DR: Putterham Grille boasts a great menu with a wide selection of unique Greek dishes for anyone to enjoy. The beautiful interior and relaxed vibe make it great date spot if you can get out of the city!