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On The Cheap


The Snack Bar and O Senhor Ramos

Soul-satisfying, authentic Azorean specialties — oh, and sub-shop fare, too
Despite frequenting East Cambridge, I’m abashed to admit I overlooked the Snack Bar for years.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  October 28, 2009


Ducali Pizzeria and Bar

Good Italian-American pies and cheap drafts: any questions?
My old boss liked to say that people are happiest when reality exceeds their expectations.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  October 21, 2009


Bon Savor

A gifted new chef prompts a rare critical reassessment
With so many worthy unreviewed restaurants out there, it’s difficult to re-review a place the Phoenix has already covered.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  October 14, 2009


Boston Kebab House

An oasis of fresh Turkish and American food in the Financial District desert
Dozens of lousy fast-food chain outlets dot the Financial District. (If I worked there, I'd frequent Chinatown for lunch.)
By: MC SLIM JB  |  October 07, 2009


Buddy's Truck Stop

That increasingly rare bird: the honest-to-goodness old-time diner
The modern truck stop typically sits in an interstate-adjacent service area with a parking lot that can accommodate scores of big rigs.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  September 30, 2009


Rino's Place

Old-school, groaning-platter Italian-American meets authentic Italian in Eastie
I often chat up local chefs about their favorite restaurants, usually over drinks at late-night watering holes.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  September 23, 2009



An old friend in new digs still slings an outstanding gyros sandwich
There are many reasons to silently mourn the closing of Filene's in Downtown Crossing, but I know I vociferously wailed at the accompanying evictions of several worthy take-out restaurants that operated at the famed department store's sidewalk level.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  September 16, 2009


J.M.P. International Foods

An Indian food-court stall delivers the home-style goods
Hooking up with a great cheap-eats restaurant can be like finding romance: you can scour the wide world in vain, then one day discover something terrific right under your nose.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  September 11, 2009


Mike's Bánh-Mì

A great Vietnamese sandwich for both beginners and advanced eaters
Someday I'll be able to review a bánh-mì joint without providing a primer. But as a raft of new college students are arriving from the provinces, I'll once again offer Bánh Mì 101.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  September 02, 2009


La Fogata

A cozy Eastie spot for Colombian snacks and more
Few Boston neighborhoods are as blessed with affordable restaurants, or as unfairly overlooked, as Eastie.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  August 26, 2009


Stella's Pizza

A little slice of mid-century American heaven
Asked what I thought about Stella's the other day, I went on at some length about the swank South End fine-dining Italian destination.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  August 24, 2009


Dorado Tacos and Cemitas

Braving the early crowds for street-food flavors from Baja and Puebla
Braving the early crowds for street-food flavors from Baja and Puebla
By: MC SLIM JB  |  August 12, 2009

roti list

Ali's Roti Restaurant

A taste of Trinidadian love, with echoes of the Punjab
Watching folks eat at national fast-food outlets depresses me. Not only are they paying for advertising, but they're getting so little give-a-damn in their food. You sense that acutely after dining at a neighborhood place like Ali's Roti, a 22-seat counter-service Trinidadian restaurant at the western edge of the South End.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  August 05, 2009


El Mondonguito

A place to dance, drink, and maybe get a little Puerto Rican nosh
I keep finding good, inexpensive food in Boston in unlikely places: a commercial shipyard, a construction-company lot, a mall food court, and what looks like someone's house in a residential neighborhood.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  July 29, 2009


M and M Ribs

Back-yard barbecue made extraordinary by a seasoned pro
In America, there's barbecue, and then there's barbecue. For most of us, barbecue means direct, high-heat grilling over a gas flame or charcoal, the method used in most back yards. To the growing cult of authentic-barbecue aficionados, only slow, indirect cooking of meats using hardwood smoke at low temperatures (200 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit) is the real deal.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  July 22, 2009



A small-plates concept elevates a veteran Thai place above the pedestrian
For more than 10 years, the Great Thai Chef held forth in Somerville's Union Square.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  July 15, 2009


Maria's Taqueria

Fast, fresh Mexican in a neighborhood that needs it
Apple's ubiquitous iPhone ads would have you believe there's a portable application for every possible problem. How about this one: finding good, inexpensive chow in culinary dead zones at odd hours of the day?
By: MC SLIM JB  |  July 08, 2009


Mt. Everest Kitchen

The strange yet strangely familiar (and undeniably delicious) cuisine of Nepal
Asked to create pithy descriptions of obscure cuisines, food writers often triangulate, using familiar geographic signposts to nudge readers into the general neighborhood.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  July 01, 2009


Scup's in the Harbor

How refreshing: a waterfront joint that's actually quite good
Scouting out great cheap restaurants takes me down some strange byways, but I almost never make it to Boston's waterfront. Most places with water views tend to be overpriced or mediocre. Perhaps it's the high cost of picturesque real estate, or that owners count on the scenery to mask their shortcomings.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  June 24, 2009


South End Pita

Even sandwich shops need a little time to grow up
Restaurant critics must perform a balancing act. We want to bring attention to worthy new places, but slagging a brand-new venue during its shakedown cruise for slow service or uneven kitchen output isn't really fair.
By: MC SLIM JB  |  June 17, 2009


Jack and the Bean Bowl

A tasty vegetarian/vegan cart sneaks past the Back Bay’s guardians of dullness
A tasty vegetarian/vegan cart sneaks past the Back Bay's guardians of dullness
By: MC SLIM JB  |  June 10, 2009

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