Pan Thai serves up traditional, savory Thai dishes ranging from mild to spicy in a chic, green-tinged setting. Kick off meals with the crab rangoon, a mélange of crab meat and cream cheese that blends dairy with the sea better than brie-coated wetsuits ($5.95). Pan Thai's salads, such as the green-papaya salad stuffed with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and a spicy house dressing ($6.95), make a slimming supper. Pasta plates are completely solid and topped with options such as the red-curry noodle in a spicy basil sauce ($9.95) or the pad thai, which comes in chicken, pork, and veggie-and-tofu incarnations ($9.95). Wash down spice-laden sustenance with a sweet thai iced coffee, a creamy, caffeinated concoction with a strong java flavor ($2.50).
Symphony 8's staff entertains taste buds with a menu of burgers, pizzas, and more dished out in a fun, modern setting, replete with bright-red walls and a handcrafted black bar. Fromage fans can dig into the restaurant’s baked mac 'n' cheese ($14), which integrates four cheeses, cream, and parmesan-herb bread crumbs; lobster can be added to the dish ($8) or spoon-fed bits of mozzarella. Beefy delicacies take multiple forms, such as steak tips in a house marinade ($16) or filet mignon served with sautéed spinach and mashed potato ($20), and grilled pizzas ($11+) and burgers, crowned with an assortment of cheeses and other toppings ($1+), recite regal speeches to enthralled place settings. If visitors from the nearby Symphony Hall need post-show entertainment, Symphony 8 has four HDTVs and a radio that plays symphonies backwards. The kitchen keeps late hours, serving food until 12 a.m. every day.
True to its name, Pho Basil serves its popular pho with a side of basil leaves. Of course, with so many other fragrant ingredients––fresh bean sprouts, lime, onion, scallion, cilantro––topping the savory broths, it's easy to see how the tiny herb might get overlooked. Luckily it still packs a sweet, peppery punch to soup bowls filled with rare steak, shrimp, calamari, or shredded chicken, or to a Thai green curry chock full of yellow squash, Chinese eggplant, and other veggies named after trendy paint colors. While pho is a star player on the menu, the Thai and Vietnamese restaurant also features daily specials, which may include catfish and broccoli steamed inside a banana leaf or a curry puff stuffed with chicken, potatoes, and onions, and served with a cucumber dressing. But the biggest surprise at Pho Basil might be the warm, accommodating atmosphere. The Phoenix called the service in the "vanilla, caramel, and turquoise" restaurant "attentive and sweet", while Boston.com called the dining room "sparkling white" and noted that the business "treats its clientele––in jeans, sweat pants, and hoodies––like kings."
No, he wasn't born in Sicily. In fact—according to a 2011 article in the Boston Globe—Doug Ferriman started out in the pizza business without even knowing how to make dough. But he learned fast, besting 120 competitors and two Italian chefs to take second place at the International Pizza Challenge later that year. Ferriman is also one of only two people to have won the International Pizza Expo's Pizza of the Year honor more than once, in 2004 and 2007, according to trade magazine Pizza Today. Finally, in the 2013 competition, Ferriman won first in the non-traditional category in the northeast region.
Today, Ferriman brings his dough tossing know-how to Crazy Dough's Pizza, which he co-owns with his wife, Melissa. Their labor-of-love-turned-small-business-success-story, which has been documented in media outlets such as the Boston Business Journal, can be explained by their commitment to quality ingredients and diverse recipes. Their chefs start with a solid pizza foundation of North Dakota flour, vine-ripened California plum tomatoes, and Wisconsin cheese. Next, they transform raw dough into three pizza types: pan-baked, rectangular sicilian pies; hearty brick-oven rounds; or their specialty fire-grilled pizzas, cooked to a crispy, smoky finish on an open-flame hickory grill.
Finally, guests can choose from a huge selection of off-the-wall toppings and signature combinations, such as cheeseburger bacon or potato bacon cheddar. The shops also attract guests with $5 Pabst Blue Ribbon pitchers, calzones, and Crazy Dough Bowls—salads whose bread-bowl exterior can be eaten or worn as a savory hat.
If a customer is unsure what to order at Pad Thai Cafe, there’s no need to question the staff—the chef’s suggestions are already on the menu. The Boston-fried rice features egg, crispy chicken, and sausage over a tomato sauce infused with pineapple and raisins. The ba mee song kruang, meanwhile, blends surf and turf with roast pork and a fish ball over a bed of egg noodles. Of course, the menu has plenty more to choose from, including Thai curries, noodle dishes, and fried rice. Even dessert has its share of rice, except it’s sticky-sweet, sprinkled with fresh mango and mung beans, and served with a side of coconut milk.
When Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, and The Boston Globe's resident foodies all flock to a restaurant—praising the Hot Mess, Mac Attack, and The King, respectively—you know it’s a hit. That's the Boston Burger Company, whose founders have created a destination burger joint to rival the best of America's burgeoning burger scene.
Of their 24 burgers, all but three boast an eight-ounce certified Angus burger patty. But even their veggie, conch, and turkey burgers get the same creative, careful preparation—they can be beer-battered and fried or rubbed with Cajun seasoning, but all are cooked to perfection. Each burger is crowned with some inventive and surprising toppings, including balsamic mayo, fried bananas, and mac and cheese, to name a few. These seriously imaginative recipes have garnered a lot of attention, winning Rachael Ray's Battle of the Best Burger competition, Boston Magazine's Battle of the Burger, and a place in Guy Fieri's heart on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
The burgers are not the menu's only notable edibles, however. Besides creating a collection of classic salads and chicken sandwiches, chefs also fry up boneless wings tossed in one of eight sauces—including honey barbecue, garlic parmesan, or terodactyl sauce, a tangy fusion of teriyaki and barbecue sauces.