Category Archives: Dining

Thank god for Delux in the South End

South End cheap eats in the South End, Cheap Eats in BostonEarlier this year Eater Boston published Delux Cafe Has Defied – and Nourished – Its Neighborhood but they should have used my headline, Thank god for Delux. To quote the article in Eater Boston, “If you’ve ever set foot in Delux, you’ll have noticed that it’s always decorated for Christmas…, and that the walls are lined with vintage albums. Delux’s former owner, Kevin Sheehan — with whom Hafner and Yanney are friends — defined the current look of Delux in the early-to-mid 1990s.” It might be the only restaurant in the neighborhood that has neither a website or a facebook page and still has excellent name recognition.

For more than fifty years this space has been a neighborhood staple, first as Higgins Pub, then the Elbow Room and finally Chez Joie before Delux opened. All provided a safe harbor for unpretentious dining (and drinking). In a neighborhood where $100 a night per couple is the norm, Delux reminds me of a far different South End that existed before the seismic gentrification changes; it is a miracle that the South End still has a treasure like Delux so be sure to show them some love.

Delux is a South End gem

Paying Delux a visit is like taking a trip back in time, giving you a feel for what this neighborhood was like 20+ years ago. Delux has lasted longer than a lot of neighborhood gems from the same time like: Claremont Cafe, Geoffrey’s, Le Gamin, On The Park, Pho Republique and now added to the list, Tremont 647.

Burro Bar South End is hiring

Mexican restaurant in the South End, South End restaurant, south end diningThe Burro Bar, which is opening a new location in space formerly occupied by the Aquitaine Group’s La Motta Ristorante, has posted notices on its windows along Washington Street, indicating that they are now hiring  for: Manager, Sous Chef, Line Cooks, Dishwashers, Hosts, Backservers, Barbacks, Servers and Bartenders in their soon to open South End location.

The Burro Bar South End website describes itself as a neighborhood Mexican kitchen and tequila bar and the newest sibling of The Painted Burro in Somerville and Burro Bar Brookline. Chef Joe Cassinelli’s menu will be a welcome addition to the South End which has very few Mexican options. No word on when the restaurant may open but work continues at a brisk pace.

south end restaurant

burrobarsouthend.com

Boston ranks least friendly city in America for food trucks

According to a recent ranking by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Mayor Walsh and the city of Boston are the worst city for an entrepreneur to open and run a food truck.

The Food Truck Index  – an industry that contributes more than $2b nationally – finds that Boston is prohibitively expensive and is overly bureaucratic. The index, reviewed regulations in twenty of America’s largest cities. They focused on the permitting processes and licensing, complying with restrictions and operating a food truck. The findings were based on on fees, trips to government agencies and the number and level of government procedures from nearly 300 food truck operators in the twenty cities.

While I don’t expect (or want) to live in a city where there is no oversight, it seems like Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston are openly hostile to the food trucks.  For example, in Denver, food truck operators need to make 8 trips to licensing agencies, follow 10 procedures, and pay an average $811 to get their trucks up and running. In Boston, the average cost in fees is $17,066, and to add insult to injury they must make nearly 3X as many trips (22 trips) to government agencies to ensure they are in compliance with more than 30 procedures.

When you compare the out-of-pocket cost for obtaining permits and licenses for a new food truck in Boston it is so incredibly out-of-step to other cities. Even Seattle which ranked 19 out of 20 cities only costs $6,211 (almost 3x less). If you remove both Boston and Seattle from this list, the average cost  in fees for the remaining 18 cities is $1,622; Boston’s fees are roughly 10X that amount.

The astronomical cost associated with permitting and licensing doesn’t stop there either because operating a food truck in Boston is estimated to cost nearly $38,000 in Boston (also ranking us last). Realizing that the cost of operating a food truck in a city like Boston is going to be more expensive than many places in the U.S., the least the city could do is make the licensing and permitting process more affordable and less onerous.

Mayor Walsh – Boston can do better than this.

Taste of the South End

Will you be at The Taste of the South End tonight? Sergio and I hope to see you there. This is one of my favorite events to attend each spring and all the money raised goes to The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.

For more information about the event visit, tasteofthesouthend.org.

South End restaurant, Southern Proper opens tonight

South End diningLast month EaterBoston shared some beautiful photos of Southern Proper, a new restaurant scheduled to open to the public today, in The Girard Apartment building here in the South End. Southern Proper’s entrance is at 600 Harrison Avenue and will have outdoor seating later this spring.

The 1,500 square foot restaurant is Chef Jason Cheek’s latest venture. When he was asked about the menu by Eater Boston he said, “It’ll be heavily oriented toward chicken and beer”, but he also indicated patrons will be able to order smoked sausages, lamb, and pulled pork as well. Most of the menu is under $20, continuing a trend in dining here in the South End of more affordably priced restaurants opening (let’s hope this trend continues). You can check out the full menu on their website, southernproperboston.com.

Jason Cheek’s name might sound familiar to some of you, because he has a distinguished career working at several excellent Boston restaurants including The Maiden, Sam’s at Louis,  Coppa and Toro. Best of luck to Southern Proper.

Southern Proper
600 Harrison Avenue in the South End

South End rumor: Tremont 647 to close and become Japanese bistro

Andy HusbandsOn Wednesday the staff at Andy Husbands Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel were told that both restaurants will close permanently on April 1 with plans to reopen as a Japanese bistro at a later date.

Andy Husbands’ Tremont 647 has been operating in the South End since 1996 and is a popular (and affordable) neighborhood bar and restaurant that will definitely be missed by many. At this point there are no details regarding the Japanese restaurant that will be replace them.

Andy Husbands has in recent years expanded beyond his humble adjoining South End restaurants opening two barbecue restaurants called The Smoke Shop, the first of which opened in Kendall Square in 2016 and the second which opened in Fort Point Channel this past November.

UPDATE: Chef behind Japanese Restaurant replacing 647 & Sister
via EaterBoston

Who’s serving during Grayson in Boston’s South End

On The Bar at Boston ChopsDespite winter storm Grayson (also being referred to as SNOWpocalypse 2018 on Twitter), there remain plenty of options to grab a drink, bite or both this afternoon and evening. I’ve added to EaterBoston’s listing of South End restaurants that will be open and offering treats to encourage you to venture out.

To read the full list of restaurants that will be open tonight in the Greater Boston area, visit EaterBoston here. Below is a larger selection of places in the South End than appear on EaterBoston’s listing.

Area Four Boston Get a free mystery pizza with purchase of any bottle of wine, large-format cocktail, or 64-ounce growler of beer (consumed at A4). Order two; get two pizzas. Allergies/dietary restrictions can be accommodated, but otherwise, the pizza will be a surprise.

Aquitaine Boston is open and serving both lunch and dinner today.

Barcelona Wine Bar “Rain, snow, or shine, we’re open in Boston.” Open from 4 p.m. until “late” with a special hot chocolate bar.

Bar Mezzana Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (bar until 1 a.m.) with burgers and board games. Their delicious chicken parmezzana sandwich will be available.

Boston Chops Open Thursday and serving $1 wings all day.

Clery’s Open at 11 a.m. Thursday and serving $5 Tito’s drinks, and $8 burger with 16-ounce Coors Light, and $4 12-ounce Founders IPA.

Coppa Enoteca is open all day on Thursday.

Five Horses Tavern Open regular hours Thursday (11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.)

The Gallows Open starting at 12 p.m. and serving a $6 chop suey special.

Kava Neo Taverna is open tonight and serving dinner.

Lions Tail Open regular hours on Thursday and offering half priced wings as well as some slider specials not to miss.

Metropolis Cafe is open for dinner on Thursday.

Myers + Chang Open regular hours (starting at 11:30AM) on Thursday.

PICCO Open regular hours serving lunch and dinner on Thursday.

South End Butery Open regular hours – look for Grayson Blizzard drink and food specials tonight.

SRV Boston Open Thursday and serving bottomless meatballs in red sauce for $4 from 5 p.m. to close.

Stephi’s on Tremont Open regular hours Thursday, starting at 11:30 a.m. Try “mom’s chicken soup” and a hot toddy today.

Tremont 647 & Sister Sorel Sister Sorel is opening early at 3PM and Tremont 647 will be open normal hours.

Toro Open regular hours on Thursday.

Trophy Room Open until 2 a.m. Thursday (kitchen until 10 p.m.); keep an eye out for spiked and spicy hot chocolate and bowls of lobster bisque.