Crepes in Brookline

The Resturant:

The Paris Creperie

278 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

(617) 232-1770

Yelp

Andrew’s Take:

Crepes! Sweet Jesus, how have I, a founding member of the Boston Gastronauts, never  engulfed them before? I’ve been told possibly as a wee child crepes may have in fact once graced my mouth hole, but I really can’t recall. So flash forward to twenty something years later. A new friend introduces me to Paris Creperie in Brookline. Before this I’ve only ever watched someone eat crepes, and that person was in fact Ché. For I had already eaten or had other dinner plans, I can’t rightly remember, and was just there to enjoy the wonderful company of a man called Ché. Sustenance enough for some, or so I hear.

So here I am at the creperie with no idea what to expect. I’m told they’re like pancakes. This is another case where I see one thing in my head and am presented with something wholly different. We came to the conclusion that they’re kind of like the unholy love child of a pancake and a tortilla. In essence a French burrito if you will.. Now I’ve encountered the classic Mexican burrito, the Greek burrito, and even Indian burritos, which are all quite tasty, but French Burrito feels like some kind of oxymoron. Yet they are indeed quite tasty.

I myself had the steak and cheese crepe which, as you can imagine, was filled to the brim with deliciousness. (I don’t know if they technical term for the edge of a crepe is “brim” but just go with me on it for now.) This included steak, cheese of an unknown yet awesome variety, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms all neatly presented in one of these nifty crepes. Everything in the crepe was extremely fresh. Even the mushrooms looked like they had just been cut to order. The unique thing about this take on the wrapped sandwich is I feel like I was able to easily taste each individual ingredient included without having to go out of my way to separate them. It’s the polar opposite of our experience with the Fat Sandwiches we’ve encountered before where it becomes one big cheesy, greasy, fried mess in your mouth. With the crepes I could in fact tell what I had in every bite.  Now this might not be as bizarre as some of the fare we usually encounter on here and some of you loyal readers might go out for crepes every day of the week, but for some this might be considered a unique and foreign taste in, on , or around the city of Boston. Especially for me being my first time devouring crepes it was a new experience, and that’s what the Boston Gastronauts are all about!

So in conclusion I want to say thanks to my friend Nell for finally introducing me to crepes and I say crepes = awesome, and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for something different but not too whacky. I mean we’re not talking about more cat food here people, but then again there’s technically nothing stopping me from making my own crepes to fill with cat food, and mailing one to Ché. A crepe could probably fit in one of those flat rate envelopes right?

 

(Special note: Stay tuned in March for our one year anniversary blog extravaganza where in I get to review a cool new restaurant in Boston!)

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Braaaaains! in Brighton.

That’s right ladies and germs we finally did it. We found a place that had brains on the menu. Goat brains to be exact! Read on if you dare!

The Restaurant:

Darbar Resturant

130 N Beacon St

Brighton, MA 02135

(617) 779-8800

Yelp

Andrew’s Take:

After finding out that the nearby Indian restaurant served a goat brain masala my Gastronaut senses were tingling. It had been a while since anything different or unique had found its way into my diet, and brains had always been at the top of my gastronautical wish list so I trudged through the snow left by this most recent blizzard and got me some grey matter. The last time I was at the Darbar Restaurant the waitress was very excited at the prospect of me eating brains, but alas instead I went and ordered the goat curry which was also delicious but bummed the waitress out considerably. This time around I was determined to get the Magaz Masala (what it’s called on the menu), but when I arrived the restaurant was deader than Elvis. The snow must have been keeping the people away that night because this place usually does pretty well and the food is generally very tasty, but I was the only person there. It must have been a really slow day because the same waitress was pretty uninterested by my order and the whole thing was pretty anti-climactic.

Going on these missions alone proves to be a bit disappointing since it’s always nice to have someone there who might not totally be into the nights highlighted fare. It’s times like these when I miss my partner in crime Ché, but he’s now onto bigger and tastier things conquering the city of brotherly love being our interstate correspondent as the fist Philadelphia Gastronaut. We’ll most likely be hearing from him as soon as he settles in and finds something interesting to put in his pie-hole. Until then let me tell you a little something about these tasty brains.

The dish itself is a mash of brains, goat meat, tomatoes, jalapenos, and other vegetables. It’s not like you’re just staring down a whole goats brain and it’s not being served straight from the animals skull a la Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Though that would be pretty B.A. Masala itself means mixture so, of course, like I said, it’s a mashed up mixture of all these ingredients with herbs and spices and all that good stuff, and boy was this stuff spicy. Not too spicy either. In fact, I’d go as far to say the porridge was just right that night. Although it was mixed pretty well you could still pick out some fatty yellow hunks of brain here and there which was perfect for me since I really wanted to zero in on the brain itself for a proper tasting.

The brain itself has a fatty/pasty texture with a meaty (goaty) flavor to it. It reminded me of something I had eaten recently but couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it was definitely on the tip of my tongue (HA!). I eventually came to the conclusion that it had a similar consistency to gnocchi or Italian potato dumplings. Like some kind of firm mashed potato-ey meat thing. Sounds like a great band name. Unfortunately the brain also gave me flash back to our adventures with cat food in that it stuck to my teeth a bit, but it wasn’t nearly as distracting or unpleasant as it was with the cat food. I’d definitely say that brain is a welcome alternative to cat food any day.

The brain (magaz) masala itself was a delicious dish. It was nice and spicy and it went perfectly served with the rice and naan I had ordered along side of it. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to try something really different yet strangely familiar It’s not as icky and weird as you might think if it’s prepared right. In fact it even re-heated just fine. I can say I survived eating microwaved brains for lunch the other day. Now for those afraid of diseases related to the consumption of the brain and or nerve tissue of animals I wouldn’t really put to much thought into it. So far so good. I feel fine and don’t seem to be suffering any ill effects or showing any signs of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or any other prion related afflictions. I’d say the goat brains at the Darbar Restaurant in Brighton pass Boston Gastronaut inspection and receive the seal of approval!

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Gastro-Give Away!!

The Boston Gastronauts and CSN Stores are proud to announce the first ever Gastro-Give Away. We will be holding a contest where in we will be taking requests from you, our readers, for where our next Gastro-venture will be taking us in, on, or around the fine city of Boston. So if you or anybody you know knows of any interesting, unique, or downright bizarre food in the area give us a heads up and if we pick you you could win a $35 gift code redeemable at any one of CSN Stores fine websites. Just in time for the holidays you can browse their assortment of tv tables, cookware, or other modern gifts and knock out some of that last minute shopping. So swing on over to our contact page and shoot us an e-mail at thebostongastronauts@gmail.com with some of your best ideas! Good luck and Happy Holidays fellow Gastronauts!

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Boston Gastrostore Open Just in Time for the Holidays!

That’s right ladies and germs! Just in time for your respective Holidays this season, we’re now peddling our wares on Zazzle! So check it out for the Gastronaut in your life!

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Boston Gastronaut Video Blog Episode 3!

Happy Holidays from the Boston Gastronauts! We hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and yall made sure to get plenty of gibbets and gizzards on turkey day. Ché and I put our best foot forward with this latest installment of our highly anticipated video blog series. On a request (dare) from my cousin Johnny Ché and I decided to try some holiday flavor cat food along with some other surprises. Hope yall dig it and feel free to leave questions and comments here on the blog or even send more requests (dares) in on our contact page!

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Vietnamese Head Cheese Subs in Chinatown!

Well over a month or so ago Ché and I managed to fit this stop in our recently more increasingly busy schedules. Sorry for the delay in posts we know you all are just as “hungry” as we are for new content… Pun intended!

The Resturant:

Sub City

42 Beach St

Boston MA 02111

617-423-1688

Yelp

(The sub shop itself is located inside the Avana Market Place)

 

Andrew’s Take:

A little while back Ché and I headed back on down to Chinatown after Ché’s previous discovery of a place that had amazing Vietnamese sub sandwhiches. What picced out interest the most was the option of having head cheese on your sandwhich. Headcheees for those not in the know is the bits and pieces of an animal left over after being butchered. These pieces are left to sit in lye to seperate from the bone and other crunchy bits and then all that extra meat is suspended in a gelatin and that meaty jello is what we call headcheese. I’m sure there’s a much more scientific or just plain appropriate way of describing that process but I aint no headcheeseologist so thats that best I can do off the cuff.

I have several fond memories of headcheese as a child. Not necessairly eating it as much as I would always wind up being entranced by it at the local grocery store as a child. There was a huge hunk of it sitting behind the glass at the deli down the street from my house, and my mom and I would always check it out. I used to get grossed out when she’d ask me to see if I saw any eyeballs in it. I never saw any, but who knows maybe I just missed em. I swear in all the times I’d been to that store growing up I never saw that hunk of head cheese move or change in any way. For all I know they could be sitting on a block of headcheese that’s twenty something years old by now. That would be kind of cool and disturbing.

Back to the sandwhiches. We went to a tiny place called Sub City. They were doing pretty good business when we got there and when we were leaving they gave us a business card and said we should call in our order next time if we didn’t want to wait. It wasn’t that long of a wait either they are expert sandwhich assembelers and got us fed rather quickly. The sandwhiches themselves were amazing. Everything was so fresh and flavorfull. I guess what makes these subs different from what you can get at any old Subway, besides the headcheese, is that they are stuffed full of fresh veggies. You would probably have to consult Ché on the identity of some of these greens, but I deffinately saw some carrots in there. There’s also the option to go spicy. I don’t know exactly what they put on there but it deffinately brings the heat. So if your not into spicy things you might want to avoid it, but if you dig it I say go for it and tempt the fates.

Another awesome thing about these subs was the bread. Anyone who knows sandwhiches out there knows that a sub is only as good as the bread it’s built on. Let me tell you this roll was incredible. It was a perfect blend of crunchy and flakey on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. If we had been in Philly and this was a steak sandwhich on this roll I would have been in heaven. Don’t get me wrong these subs were incredible too but there’s just something to be said for the perfect Cheese Steak sub.

On to the headcheese itself. All together the sandwhich presented me with a unique flavor and texture combination. The ammount of veggies on this thing was intense but adding that to the bologna-y jello-y texture of the headcheese and you’ve got something interesting going on in your mouth. So while all these ingredients fit together to make an excelent sandwhich when I went in to try some of the headcheese by itself I really wasn’t into it. It was a little too much for me texture and taste wise and looking at it brought back all those fond memories. At the end Che and I both had a little headcheese left so we fed it to the birds and they seemed to really like it.

The best part about this place and these sandwhiches, like most things in Chinatown, is that they’re incredibly afforable. You’re not going to be breaking the bank on three dollar sandwhiches. In this economy we gotta’ take cheap eats where we can find em. As long as it’s not in a dumpster. I recommend this place to all sandwhich afficianados and sub buffs in the area. Go for it. Go spicy, and get the headcheese.

 

 

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Boston Speed Dog in Roxbury (and MICE!)

The Restaurant

Boston Speed Dog
42 Newmarket Sq
Boston, MA 02228
Website
Yelp

Boston Speed Dog is located in a really dour industrial park in Roxbury, and they make some of the best, if not the best, hot dogs in the United States.

Andrew’s Take

Last week Ché revealed to me one of the true gems of the Boston area. It’s taken a while for us to do it but we finally got out to try the notorious Boston Speed Dogs. Located in a food truck in the middle of some lonely industrial park they still manage to draw quite the crowd. We sat and ate right outside the truck as droves of people came by to pick up to go orders or eat there with us. As strong as their reputation is, it’s not hard to see how some people still haven’t heard of these heavenly hot dogs.

I’ve only encountered hot dogs this big on a couple other occasions. Once at a ball park and another time at an amusement park, where giant hot dogs somehow seem fitting. Comparatively these foot long half pound bad boys look really intimidating. Size isn’t necessarily the issue here, though. For me it’s the toppings. You can get it any way you like but you haven’t had one unless it’s “loaded”. Topped with Speed’s very own mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, chilli and onions you might think it looks like a mess, but all these things combine to create a truly unique wiener. The fact that these dogs are also marinated in apple cider and brown sugar enhance the flavor to a degree that makes it obvious upon the first bite that your just not eating any hot dog. You’re eating a Speed Dog.

Make sure you stock up on your napkins cause if you dive in with none your probably going to be sticky for the rest of the day, but it will have been worth it. Make sure to also come with an appetite. I was even surprised I managed to finish mine. I’m sitting here writing this and going through the photos I took some of which have a very concerned looking Ché. One picture in particular Ché is holding the hotdog out in front of him and you can clearly see that it is as long as he is wide. Now Ché isn’t a big fella like myself but he’s still a grown damn man and that makes it sort of terrifying. Terrifyingly delicious!

So if you like hot dogs and you think you got what it takes to tackle a Speed dog I’d highly recommend getting out there sometime soon. The most ironic thing about Speed dogs is definitely the name. I know it was named after the guy who originally opened the stand thirty-so years ago but really theres no way to speedily eat theses things. I’d like to see Koboyashi tackle a pyramid of these and live to talk about it. The only really speedy thing about it is the service. So I definitely recommend going to check out Boston Speed Dogs if you get the chance cause you won’t regret it. Unless I mean if you’re like a vegetarian. Then you should probably stay far far away.

MICE!

No, we’re not eating MICE, at least not yet.  Andrew and Ché are going to be at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo this weekend, selling their new comic book about the Boston Gastronauts.  Ché will also be giving a presentation on the Underground Comics at 2:00 PM.  Not food exactly, but some sustenance for your mind.

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