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Spanish/Latin in Boston

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I'm looking for good suggestions for dinner along the lines of Spanish/Latino fare in Boston. I really don't know what sort of scene Boston has for this, because the only experience I had previously was a Mexican restaurant in Chelsea with an entertaining atmosphere, but mediocre food. This time around I'm considering Dali, but I'm not positive it's really what I want, so I decided I'd go fishing here for any other suggestions. Also, someone mentioned on another thread that Dali has (had?) a sister restaurant on Newbury Street, but I can't find any mention of it on their website.

My friends should be alright with a price range of around $15-$25 for entrees. My main desires are a diverse and hopefully interesting menu with well-executed food, be it Spanish, Cuban, Argentinian, Portugeuse, Mexican, or what-have-you.

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Dali is terrific. Their sister restaurant is Tapeo, on Newbury between Gloucester and Hereford (or the block just before). Both restaurants are very good. For Mexican, Ole in Inman Square (cambridge) is quite good, but not as unique an experience as Dali or Tapeo (incidentally, I'd go to Dali over Tapeo for atmosphere, Tapeo is nice and all, but Dali is much more fun). There are a few portuguese restaurants in cambridge that are supposed to be good--Atasca in Kendall Square in particular. Hope that helps--have fun!!

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Thanks for the response, Researchgal! You seem to be our only Boston-based member, so I'm glad you happened to catch my post. :laugh:

I found websites for both Dali and Tapeo, and Dali definitely looks to have the more lively atmosphere. I'd imagine it also has the bigger crowds on a Saturday night... any idea on the average wait time one can expect?

I'm hoping to be able to visit more than one of these restaurants during my next visit, but I'll likely be outvoted by dining companions! Of course, if the first place can make a good impression it will give more weight to my next suggestions! :wink:

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You have got to try El Pelon Taqueria over on Peterborough over by Fenway Park...best LA style taqueria around. If you feel adventurous, get on the blue line and go over to East Boston ehre you'll find tons of El Salvadorian and Latin taquerias within a short distance from the Maverick stop. Papusas galore!!!


Bacon tastes good, porkchops taste good...

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I'll second or third Dali as a great tapas restaurant. I never did like their main courses, especially the paella. There is a very nice family run Portugese restaurant called Casa Portugal just outside of, or maybe still in Inman Square.

Jim

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Atasco the Portuguese restaurant on Broadway in Cambridge is not bad. I particularly like their appetizers.

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Well, I ended up at Dalî with a group of six at 9pm on a Saturday night. I had called earlier to ask how long the wait would be at that time and was told "about an hour". When we arrived and put our names in we were told "one hour". Sure enough, one hour later we were seated. That hour was killed at the bar and shouting into companion's ears to catch up on old times. It's definitely a fun sort of place. I was expecting a slightly younger crowd actually, but I've got nothing against thirty-somethings. :wink:

I believe that we may have broken some sort of record for the amount of tapas that our table ordered. The only entree ordered by the table was paella (not my call and I didn't actually sample any of it) and even that wasn't enough to slow down the ordering process. I'd really like to try this place again with some slightly more adventurous palates as the night I was there we ordered a lot of repeats rather than getting a broader sampling of variety.

The croquetas de pollo (chicken croquettes), chuletillas (baby lamb chops), and gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic) were the most popular for the whole table. I would pass on the jamón serrano and chorizo as being a bit too pedestrian. Overall, I'd say the food isn't the strongest focus of this place but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's still good on the whole and I would certainly go back (as would all of my dining companions).

At the end of our meal, a woman who I think was the owner came by our table and asked if we wanted any dessert. It was clear that our server was overwhelmed by the amount of dishes we ordered and I guess we were going to be comped our desserts. Unfortunately, they were all out of the deep-fried strawberries (which I REALLY wanted to try), so she came over with an interesting pitcher of wine instead. Since I don't drink, I didn't partake in the fun that followed, but it was entertaining to watch. The pitcher had a triangular bottom with a with a wide neck at the top and a thin spout coming out of the body. The idea was to drink the thin stream of wine from this spout without touching one's lips to it and then extend the bottle to full arm's length while still pouring into one's mouth. Needless to say, it resulted in a lot of wine spilled onto shirts and the like!

Of course, I still missed those deep-fried strawberries. :wink:

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