Guest Post by Dan - Five Favorite Boston Restaurants.

A guest post by Meghan’s husband, Dan

Ah, Boston. At times it is the land of small portions and big prices, from real estate to food. That being said, Meg and I have many more restaurant options here than our homelands in suburban and rural Western Pennsylvania (respectively). When we’re looking for a bite to eat outside the house, we have a true Venn diagram of criteria.

 The middle part is acceptable for everyone

The middle part is acceptable for everyone

The below restaurants are the best we’ve found in the Boston area to meet our stringent tastes.

RF O’Sullivan’s

Dad always says when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a burger. Indeed. RF O’Sullivan’s is by far our go-to burger spot. There are many burger options here, but let’s be honest - the star of the show is the beef. I’ve read many places that the cooks here follow strict rules for handling the patties (never press down during cooking). This is the type of burger-related attention to detail that I can really appreciate, and of course the taste speaks for itself. Given the “no pressing” dictum, the burgers come out very tall on a seeded bun. I’m no connoisseur of the French fry compared to my wife, but I’d have to say the fries here are my favorite as well. The spuds are cut thick and served piping hot. I don’t think I’ve experienced another restaurant that is able to serve fries at a temperature that is just south of mouth-burning. Perfecto!

 The burger ritual

The burger ritual

Three years ago, we looked at an apartment right across the street from RF O’Sullivan’s. We didn’t end up living right there, but sometimes I wonder about the burgers we would have had…

Oleana

This place is pricey but it’s mad tasty and worth it. It’s the type of place that’s expensive but welcoming. For example, I’ve encountered many menus in the Boston area that include descriptions only a foodie or someone well-versed in the specific cuisine in question would understand. We get it, it seems fancy to include ingredients on the menu that mere peasants require Google to decipher. That’s why I appreciate that Oleana includes a glossary at the end of their menu.

 Thank you Oleana, for explaining “basturma” - I learned something new.

Thank you Oleana, for explaining “basturma” - I learned something new.

Now, to the food – Oleana specializes in Mediterranean food and balances succulent meat dishes with interesting veggie-based fare. I must admit the plates are small, but this is the type of place where you want to try as many things as possible. From top-notch hummus to beef short rib that is appropriately labeled the Sultan’s delight, there are a ton of great options that keep Meg and I coming back for special occasions.

The Publick House

Another axiom from Dad – if a place cares enough to have top-notch beer, they probably have good food too. The Publick House certainly fits that bill. There’s a sign somewhere that says “no pitchers, no shots”. It reminds me of the type of restaurant we’d always find on family vacations growing up – dark, principled but not presumptuous, and a huge beer menu.

 Imagine it here at night - not too bright

Imagine it here at night - not too bright

Many of the liquid and food items are Belgian-themed. My fry connoisseur especially enjoys the frites here – super short and served with truffle ketchup. I’m not too into the mussels that my parents always order here, but of course I’m always down for a Publick House burger (perhaps of the bison variety if it’s available).

Flatbread

Flatbread has a different take on pizza that keeps Meg and I returning for more. As the name implies, the crust is thin. Beyond that, I get the impression that the pizza here is healthier than your standard slice (but still in a tasty way). It’s succulent without being super salty. I get the same thing every time – pepperoni and mushroom (NO CHEESE PLEASE). Their pepperoni used to be a lot thicker and less greasy than the normal version. I wonder if there was a polarizing pepperoni division among patrons, as they’ve changed to a more mainstream version (I like both but prefer their old unique ‘roni). Meg really enjoys the salads, which I have also grazed from time to time as a palette cleanser for the next slice.

 A vintage moment - Meg sees our pizza coming to the table while I’m still oblivious

A vintage moment - Meg sees our pizza coming to the table while I’m still oblivious

The location in Davis Square has a candlepin bowling alley too. We still need to try the bowling, as we’re always very pizza-focused during our visits here.

I’m going to go on a bit of a side tangent/preaching session here - pizza is still great without cheese. Think about what makes up a pizza. Really, think about it – crust, sauce, pepperoni, maybe some mushrooms and a dash of crushed red peppers. Good stuff right? You don’t need cheese to have an outstanding pizza.

Anna’s Taqueria

A few years ago (before the Meg-in-Boston era) there was a brief month or two that I ended up with no microwave and no lamps after moving to a new apartment. I went to Anna’s Taqueria four nights in a row (shout out to their huge burritos), and I ate in the dark after the sun went down. Meg moved in and decided we should have a microwave for cooking and reheating, and it was probably a good idea to have lighting after sunset. Even with the common appliances available to enable cooking, it’s still a treat for us to navigate the Greater Boston restaurant scene together and find our favorite spots.

Dan has a dairy allergy, loves eating, runs in his spare time, and is married to Meghan.