Dine Out Boston formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston starts today and runs through Friday, August 10th and then again from August 12 – 17th.
Lunch $15/$20/$25 | Dinner $28/$33/$38
Participating restaurants offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner at one of the three price options (shown above). While one can choose from personal favorites to the newest dining spots, I encourage people to try more expensive dining options from restaurants you’ve never been before. Dine Out gives one a chance to enjoy these restaurants without breaking the bank (provided you stick to the prix fixe menu – something I never can seem to do). Hurry up and be sure to make a dinner reservation.
Dine Out Boston 2018
Earlier this spring EaterBoston published their Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide. By clicking on the link you can read through the nearly 60 restaurants and bars that provide dollar oyster deals throughout Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. Here are a few of my favorite places from that list.
Ashmont Grill every Thursday, starting at 5PM and available while they last.
Bar Boulud Available Monday thru Friday from 4:30-6:30PM this is part of a larger happy hour which also includes other bar bites, selection of local beers, cocktails, including frosé.
Bastille Kitchen from 4:30PM – 7PM Monday thru Saturday dollar oysters are available which you can pair with their monthly wine specials featuring a specific glass of wine for just $5.
Boston Chops on Sundays only from 3-5PM available at the bar and patio only.
Boston Public Market offers this deal the first Sunday of every month, from 11AM – 7PM (or while supplies last).
Les Zygomates offers up dollar East Coast oysters Monday thru Friday from 3-7PM in the bar area only.
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar in Southie is every Monday from 5PM – 1AM.
Marliave offers this deal from 4-6PM and from 9-10PM seven days a week.
Oak Long Bar + Kitchen available from the patio menu only, this daily special runs from 4-5PM.
Earlier 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Last 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.
600 Harrison Avenue in the South End