Best of Boston 2009

| Boston Magazine |

CRAVINGS

When you can’t fight temptation anymore (and really, what’s the point?), here’s where to go for the treat you need to have. Right. Now.

Photos by Tim Llewellyn

 

FRENCH FRIES, Radius

Yes, you’ll want fries with—or without—that burger [Best of Boston 2009 Hamburger]. With one genius exception (minced fines herbes), chef Michael Schlow imposes none of his fancy French roots on these golden über-tubers. And thankfully, he’s not stingy with the salt. 8 High St., Boston, 617-426-1234, radiusrestaurant.com.

 

ICE CREAM, Toscanini’s

This sweet spot’s rotating cast of ultracreamy flavors ranges from worldly (burnt caramel, bananas foster) to otherworldly (mango chili, sage) and everything in between, providing thrills for ice cream traditionalists and adventurists alike. 899 Main St., Cambridge, 617-491-5877, tosci.com.

 

HOT DOGS, Speed’s

At $7, Speed’s may seem pricey. In truth, we’d cheerfully pay twice that for this humongous all-beef dog with cider tang, slathered in barbecue sauce and served (if desired) with chili, mustard, onions, and relish on a toasted-just-right bun. 42 Newmarket Sq., Roxbury, 617-839-0102, bostonspeeddog.com.

 

LOBSTER ROLLS, Neptune Oyster

Cold with mayo, or hot with butter? Neptune ends the great lobster roll debate by excelling at both. The constant is perfectly firm, sweet lobster piled into a large brioche roll, with a particularly generous percentage of tail meat. 63 Salem St., Boston, 617-742-3474, neptuneoyster.com.

 

FRIED CLAMS, B&G Oysters

The accompanying paper towel is merely decorative, considering B&G’s semolina-dusted Ipswich bellies shed virtually no grease from their crisp nooks and crannies (which justifies double-dunking them in the addictive house tartar sauce). 550 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-0550, bandgoysters.com.

 

FRUIT PIES, Petsi Pies

Only the most flavorful morsels of perfectly ripe, sweet fruits make the cut for Renee McLeod’s blueberry, mixed berry, and tart cherry crumb desserts. We’re pie-eyed with love. 285 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-661-7437; 31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-0801, petsipies.com.

 

DOUGHNUTS, Kane’s Donuts

Fluffy, not too sweet, never greasy—these were the criteria by which old-school favorite Kane’s earned its nod. Stars include the fluffy honey-dipped and the insanely moist buttercrunch cake, dubbed by one taster as "the best I’ve ever had." 120 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, 781-233-8499, kanesdonuts.com.

 

BURRITOS, Cantina La Mexicana

Surging past a field of (alas) generally bland contenders, the recently renamed Union Square taqueria packs its "burro" with grilled veggies and savory charred pork, distributes those goodies evenly, and mercifully eases up on the rice padding. 247 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-5232, lataqueria.us.

 

CANNOLI, Modern Pastry

The North End’s bakeries are famous for long lines and cannoli, but the latter doesn’t always justify the former. Among far too many soggy pretenders, this crisp shell filled with silky-smooth ricotta cream is unquestionably worth the wait. 257 Hanover St., Boston, 617-523-3783, modernpastry.com.

 

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  • frederick

    spanish octopus, hearts of palm, greek sardines, pacific fish with avocado & citrus on everything? If that's local I'll eat my hat. The PR marketing machine is local though…

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