Dining Out, Dining In

After six days in New Orleans, it was a relief to return to Boston where the desire to eat out is mitigated by the fact that there are so few places of interest.  In contrast, the markets in Boston for food are exemplary.  So when you combine the dull and lackluster restaurants with the first-rate markets, what do you get? Great home cooking at about 1/10th the price of eating out.

We’re talking a maximum of $4 per person.

I’ve stopped shopping at Whole Foods except for emergencies and dry pasta: Manicaretti.  The prices have gone up, the quality stays the same.

New Deal has amazing products: Soft shell crabs the size of frisbees for $4.99 and small pieces of wonderful hiramasa, toro, sword, grouper, etc. that you can saute and then complement with bazillions of vegetables.

Russo’s has terrific vegetables from around the globe: India, China, Japan, Vietnam, North Africa, Italy.  Plus: Seasonal stuff like fava and asparagus.  If you’re lucky, you can find morels, matsutake, and blood oj from Sicily.

Super 88: Chinese greens on the cheap.  Amazing varieties and far better than broccoli, cauliflower, and other western veg.

Tropical Foods has great Caribbean tubers, fruits, and vegetables.

Meat at TJ‘s is good as long as you stick to the $3.99 dark, ground Empire turkey.  Otherwise, we’re talking birds from Shaw’s in the Kosher section or beef and pork from Savenor’s.

Now back to “The Warmth of Other Suns.”

2 thoughts on “Dining Out, Dining In

  1. As a Boston based chef, I spend hours reading food blogs. It was a relief to visit Shrink in the Kitchen.

    We’re talking highfalutin sentence structure and the author of an upcoming book on the psychology of chefs and restaurants to be published in 2012 by Berkeley/Penguin. An article that led to the writing of this book appears in Saveur in the Fall of 2011 and an earlier piece that spoke to the themes was in Gastronomica in 2006.

    I wish the author thought more highly of Boston restaurants since, as a Boston chef, I take his criticism personally and see no reason to think: Maybe Boston restaurants could be better.

  2. As a painfully insecure Boston chef, I enjoy reading what this James Beard winner has to say about food. I do wish he thought more highly of Boston chefs and that’s why I comment anonymously.

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