North American eateries

Ratings are on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale used to be 0 to 10, so restaurants written about before 2012 may have only had their ratings adjusted by formula and not by hand (hence all the 2s, 5s, 8s, etc.) The scale works as follows:

24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
15 14 13 12 11 10
9 8 7 6 5 4
3 2 1

An asymmetrical 0 to 24 scale may not be intuitive, I realize. But as a rule of thumb: a double-digit score means I liked it, while a single-digit score... less so. Also, as you might expect, scores from many years ago may not be very reliable, so do check the dates.

Eastern New England

I'll include the addresses for the sake of the database, but if you've ever tried finding your way around in New England, you already know they won't help.

Click on the column titles to sort the entries!

Name Cuisine Address Last update Score
Addis Red SeaEthiopianTrenton btw Waltham/Hanson, Boston, MA2003-12-0711
Pretty good Ethiopian. I am spoiled in that I have had lots of Ethiopian food, so I know that this is middle-of-the-pack fare; if I'd never had Ethiopian before I'm sure I'd consider it awesome, because Ethiopian is such a tasty cuisine.
Al-HassounMiddle EasternCommonwealth btw St. Mary's/Cummington, Boston, MA2003-01-258
Was out at Boston University on business, ran across the street to get lunch, and this was the only place that looked potentially decent. It was okay. Grape leaves were better than the falafel, which was better than the hummus.
Big Sky Bread Co.BakeryUnion btw Beacon/Herrick, Newton, MA2003-02-282
I saw the "free slices" sign in the window and thought, ah, a would-be Great Harvest. Well, they're never going to be another Great Harvest so long as they offer stale bread slices and desiccated scones at jacked-up prices. It wasn't even like I tried it in the afternoon when you might expect things to be a bit dried out. Awful.
Burrito MaxMexican (burritos)Beacon & Commonwealth, Boston, MA2003-08-035
On the one hand, on a stretch of road with little to offer beyond McDonald's and Burger King and Taco Bell, it's nice to find a place serving actual food. But it's still not very good.
Cafe JaffaMiddle EasternGloucester & Public Alley 443, Boston, MA2001-04-255
Steered clear of the falafel after a couple of bad experiences with it elsewhere and got the grape leaves with hummus. The grape leaves themselves were fine, but the pita was inferior and the whole affair was dominated by roughage that was pure filler. Can't recommend it.
India ParadiseIndianUnion btw Herrick/Langley, Newton, MA2003-02-2711
I tried this Chinese-run Indian place because it seemed to offer more than the usual suspects: I tried an appetizer of puffed grains and crushed pooris (too much like rice crispies for dinner) and some spinach naan along with my less daring navratan korma. Perfectly fine but nothing noteworthy.
JP LicksDessert (ice cream)Beacon & Langley, Newton, MA2003-02-285
Okay ice cream, but ridiculously expensive. Three bucks for two spoonfuls. Gramercy Tavern can get away with that. This place can't.
Laureen'sBistroMain & Town Hall, Falmouth, MA2005-06-088
It was nice to find a place on Cape Cod that wasn't all about the seafood. That said, I wasn't too thrilled about the fact that the roasted vegetable quesadilla on lavosh that I ordered turned out to be mostly eggplant, or about the fact that the soup I ordered was bland enough that, for the first time ever, I actually made use of the salt shaker in a restaurant.
Pat's PizzaPizzaMill & US-2, Orono, ME2004-09-125
This is apparently the consensus choice for best pizza in Maine. So, a pretty good reason not to move to Maine.
Sweet TomatoesPizzachain2005-06-098
Okay ultra-thin crust pizza with fresh sauce, but toppings are bad (raw cubes of green pepper, for instance).

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