Critics often struggle to keep up with new restaurants, let alone worthy, unreviewed ones that have been around a while. Yet as we approach another new year, it's hard not to get excited about certain pending cheap-eats openings. Here's a small sample:
THE WHOLY GRAIN | 275 Shawmut Ave, Boston | Opening in a former mobster's social club, this South End bakery/café will focus on takeout of made-to-order and prepared healthy meals, including sandwiches of artisan breads and house-roasted meats. A small outdoor patio will offer seating in nicer weather.
FLOATING ROCK | 485 Mass Ave, Cambridge | Now that the original in Revere has closed, lovers of traditional Khmer cuisine are understandably anxious to have a place in town to get their fix of tiger's tears, squid salad, fried quail, spicy chili pork, and the occasional hit of prahok.
DELUXE STATION DINER | 70 Union St, Newton Centre | The second outlet from the folks behind Watertown's beloved Deluxe Town Diner will feature extraordinary breakfast foods (notably fantastic jonnycakes, ployes, pancakes, and waffles) and upscale versions of American diner fare.
BULL | 57 JFK St, Cambridge | Located in the bottom floor of the Galeria in Harvard Square, the focus here will be Korean barbecue, where customers cook marinated meats and seafood over tabletop gas grills.
POE'S CHESTER SQUARE PUB | 728 Tremont St, Boston | Taking over a former video-rental store (remember those?), this outlet from the Parish Cafe crew is a new casual neighborhood playground for talented chef Brian Poe, who elevated the food at the Rattlesnake out of chain-level hell.
BOSPHORUS | 1164 Cambridge St, Cambridge | I've often called Turkish one of the world's great cuisines, and think it's a bit underserved and underrated in Boston. This new spot will help remedy that shortfall for folks in and around Inman Square, right next door to forthcoming artisanal butcher Akimenko Meats.
SPEED'S FENWAY | Boston | Coming to an as-yet-unspecified storefront location near Fenway Park, the king of Boston dogs is expanding beyond its small truck in Roxbury's Newmarket Square. Speed's monster frankfurter with house-made condiments and chili ought to become an essential pre-Sox stop.
STAFF MEAL | Boston's food-truck renaissance rolls on, thanks in part to a newly friendly city bureaucracy. The mobile cuisine at Staff Meal, the brainchild of veteran fine-dining chefs Adam Gendreau and Patrick Gilmartin, will center on cured, pickled, stewed, fried, and roasted meats and offal, like a swank-meat-blend burger, oxtail sandwiches, and chicken-liver lasagna.
Watch this space for detailed reviews as these places get rolling!