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.
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
On 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
I really like Brussels sprouts when they’ve been roasted to the point of being crispy on the outside, but lately I’ve been shredding the roasted veggie and turning it into a salad. It never fails to please and I like how versatile the salad is.
Lately, I have been adding shredded Parmesan cheese and prosciutto to this salad, but the recipe below includes pomegranate, almond slivers and goat cheese. These items are all optional – you could use cranberries in lieu of pomegranate for example. The entire process takes about 1 hour because you have to let the vegetables cool after roasting them.
lay the brussels sprouts face down and drizzle a little extra olive oil
- 12 medium to large sized brussels sprouts
- Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
- Salt & thyme
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Pomegranate (optional)
- Almond slivers (optional)
After roasting, put them in the refrigerator to cool before shredding
– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
– Prep and clean the vegetables by cutting the stem, removing any old or bad outer leaves, cutting the sprout in half and place in bowl with cold water.
– Drain the water and add enough olive oil to coat the sprouts along with 2-3 healthy pinches of salt and thyme; mix with your hands until the sprouts are thoroughly coated.
– Place on a baking sheet faced down and drizzle a little extra oil and leave in the oven for 20 minutes
– Remove the baking sheet out and flip the sprouts over (they should be cooked on both sides) drizzle a little balsamic over each vegetable, turn off the oven and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to let the balsamic marinade in the heat.
– Let the vegetables cool. I put them in a bowl and into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes then once cooled, take them out and shred them with a knife and add to the salad bowl.
– Add your optional items (I like adding something with color to make the plate pop) and then toss together. Taste the salad to see if it needs more salt.
Serving tip: Just prior to serving I drizzle more olive oil and balsamic over the top of the salad.