Boston Restaurant Talk serves up the news.
The Alewife garage is not my place for a Pleasant Dining Experience.
Once you were inside, it didn't look or feel different from any other restaurant.
You've been everywhere. :-)
with its much more limited menu, and a bocce court in the basement. I brought my parents there once.
When the chain closed it, they hung a sign promising to return to the area with a larger restaurant, but they never did. It became a Subway for many years, and is now Revival Cafe.
I used to take my dad there when he would visit on a work day (my then job was steps away).
And Steve's ice cream shop next door, the beginnings of mix-ins, or at least their claim to it.
Valentine's day several years ago. The place was not crowded, unlike every other restaurant. At one point the opposite sex couple at an adjacent table both went to use the same gender bathroom. After about 10 minutes the manager held the bathroom door open while yelling for them to leave. The woman looked extremely embarrassed, the man rather pleased with himself. They quickly signed the check and left.
My partner and I agreed that was the last time we'd go to any location of the chain. (Not because of bathroom sex but because the food was bad and the atmosphere depressing.)
All special occasion sex must be now be referred to as "Valentines Day Bertucci's Restroom Sex."
Been there a few times seeing people off who had visited us in the city and parked at Alewife from the 'burbs. That Bertucci's was a little worn out, but waitstaff was friendly and food was edible.
Not recently, but way back when I commuted out into the burbs by bus, I stopped there for dinner on the way home every few weeks before getting on the train home.
Yes, people went there, or at least used to. At one point, long waits were actually pretty common. Easy meeting place for people on the Red Line and nearby residents living around the Rindge Ave neighborhood, both of whom probably never stepped foot in the garage. Once you were inside you would forget you were surrounded by concrete. Movie theatre is a fairly short walk from there and has cheap screenings for students, so,you could make an inexpensive night out of it if you didn’t have a car. Sad to see it go after so long. Already miss the tables near the brick oven that would keep you nice and toasty during a winter meal. Sigh.
I used to work in that neighborhood and it was the only place along with Summer Shack for a decent business lunch.
a few of my coworkers go there when there is that once-a-fiscal-quarter traffic backup within the alewife garage. why traffic can back up so badly that it takes 90 minutes to exit a garage is beyond me. anyways, they'd wait out the traffic there.
Before I really knew anything about Boston, its neighborhoods, and how to get around, was in Cambridge in 2003, on the other side of Route 2.
I certainly went on the walk to get pie from there multiple times, even more often than I walked over to Lanes and Games to toss a few frames. Can't say that I got laid in the bathroom at either establishment, though.
Bertucci's fell out of my routine after I moved away, but I recently thought to visit the Newton Corner one a couple of weeks ago, as I look to rotate other pizza into my diet with the closure of the Allston Regina. It's a decent pie, if not sometimes a little crunchy and burnt.
If anything, it reminds me both of my awkward early time in (greater) Boston, and of a childhood visit to my aunt and uncle in Newton (who still live there - I'm overdue to say hello to them!)
Unless you can appreciate a post where Will LaTulippe talks about getting laid or not laid at random Boston establishments.
To come back online from Yom Kippur and find this amazingness. Wow.
While I love Will's comment, I'm a little disappointed that other UHub regulars aren't weighing in about establishments in which they have or have not gotten laid.
For the record, I have not gotten laid at Golden Temple.
Eeka's Jewish. Huh.
Don't be stereotyping me. Non-Jews eat there sometimes too. A lot of us just happen to like the place is all.
I didn’t say that because you said Golden Temple, I said it because you said “came back from Yom Kippur”, which said to me that you observe it.
I know. I was making a silly comment implying you figured I was Jewish because of the stereotype that American Jews like gentrified Chinese-American places.
you were right around the corner from Max & Leo's. THAT is where you get pizza.
I've heard *of* them because of their affiliation with Game On!, but I didn't know that was a thing in my random-ass corner of Cambridge in 2003-04.
Can someone get their roll recipe before the whole ship goes down?
The first and last time I went to Bertucci’s was for my anniversary. We didn’t make reservations at any other restaurant because it was a weeknight. Surprise surprise, half the city’s restaurants were reserved for Christmas parties, so we ended up at the Kendall Square location. I got a cold, greasy bowl of soup and my partner a cold calzone. We should have known there was an issue because it was the only dead empty restaurant. Also, it is a pizza place, but their pizza oven was not being used. That was the weirdest part. What they were using, I do not know. Probably the microwave.
So many snobbish comments about a fake Italian restaurant ( a restaurant that did help many a college student earn, burn and learn) relax
But college students schlepping all the way up to Alewife?
service ain't food snobbery, in my book: it's just an opinion.
Bertucci's did a solid, family-friendly, decent-value take on Italian-American cuisine, a genre with maybe 140 years of history here, that while distinct from its traditional regional forebears in Mamma Italy (usually Campanian or Sicilian) deserves respect, when done with respect. But a mediocre, tired, sad old restaurant, whatever the idiom, isn't much fun.
I'd had many enjoyable nights at Bertucci's over the years -- my memorable first one included bocce at the Davis Square original a few weeks before some drunkie's errant throw bonked an innocent bystander, the end of that very cool feature. And I occasionally got pies delivered from the bygone outlet on Stanhope Street because their style travels better than most -- Neapolitan thin-crust really suffers from its own steam in a pizza box, for instance. But I think the chain slipped in the past decade, even at the shinier outlets. The rolls were still great; the rest didn't thrill me like it used to.
Now if someone were to say, "If you like Italian-American food like Bertucci's, you're a cretin and a philistine with the benighted palate of an Andelman brother", *that* would be snobbery.
Agree all around but worth adding the place was a solid dinner in the 90s and wasn't able to change with the times.
They are in the same category as Uno's. They were a notch above other franchises when they first expanded but couldn't keep with the times. In both places it felt like walking into 1996. I miss the music, not the suburban dining. As they aged, the ownership stopped caring about quality. Not an uncommon story.
a slightly different story for me. I frequented the original Uno and Due in Chicago in my gap year there, and thought the chain expansion's early outlets produced a decent facsimile of the super-charming originals, but it eventually went really cut-rate. I gave the Burlington store a shot shortly before it closed, incented by a $10 coupon, and it was gross, a travesty, a greasy blot on a fond memory.
I loved the OG outlets' version of Chicago style, a mind-bender to a New England kid raised on Greek-American "House of Pizza" pan pizza. Sure, it's really a casserole, but staggering and delicious when done with care. I even like the stuffed Chicago style, which is more like a scarciedda or pizza chiena than a Campanian pie. I still get a chiena at Bob's in Medford every Easter or so.
It's an old question about places we used to love: did Bertucci's slip, or did my tastes just change? It's usually a bit of both. But I suspect Uno's hard nose-dive on ingredients and quality was deliberate corporate strategy rather than stasis, senescent decline, or greedy, lazy adult children driving their dad's grand, built-from-nothing success over a cliff (RIP, The Hilltop and Anthony's Pier Four.)
I wouldn't complain if a pal suggested Bertucci's for the sake of the kids or a convenient location, but Uno is now unspeakable.
Holy (expletive), please tell me that you've also been watching Succession.
drug-addled failsons are at least partially meant to recall Don Jr. and Eric.
But I think the more apt comparison is Fred Trump as Logan Roy and Donald as the Kendall-like pathetic shadow that can never live up to Dad's success. Donald blew his $400M bequest from Fred, then another $200M reality-TV fortune with his jaw-dropping business incompetence: what kind of dunce loses money owning casinos? His nine-figure debt is his own making, an Everest-size shit-pile for his quivering, talentless, loveless spoiled brats to inherit.
If Trump loses, penury and prison await him: no wonder he's willing to shred every vestige of American democracy to hang on to his current lucrative grift.
Frank Giuffrida and Anthony Athanas built legendary local restaurants and fortunes out of nothing but the sweat of their brows, only for their hapless progeny to piss it all away in a few short years. Fred is the nasty, ruthlessly-effective patriarch, Donald the preening idiot that copied Dad's worst traits, the naked bigotry and repulsive, bullying crassness, but not enough business acumen to preserve the family fortune.
There you have it: three families you could base Succession II on. (Possible fourth: a lo-fi version on the Andelman clan, done for a couple grand with late-model iPhones, a modest spray-tanning budget, and cardboard backdrops, for airing on local-access cable TV.) If you sell the pilot, you can cut me in for ten percent with a story-by credit.
The Demoulas Story.
I'm surprised that hasn't been at least a book, actually.
I never thought of Succession-as-Trump-allegory, but now that you say so, Tom is a terrific Jared Kushner.
A good friend of mine worked as a GM for Bertucci's way back and he used to tell me (paraphrasing here) that unlike Unos, or most other local pizza chains, Bertucci's would get its ingredients from special distributers and that was why the food was different and more expensive (olives from Spain, cheese from Greece, etc, etc).
I actually got some the other day from Bertuccis (my kids like it w/the rolls) and there is something different about it. They don't put that olive on the pizza like they used to either.
THERE was a bread roll that I was in love with. Bertucci's was close, but Hilltop was better.
I miss the waitstaff, too. Hitting Hilltop on a Saturday slightly earlier than the early bird special to have a couple of drinks and a meal before continuing home to Malden. The waitress took a look at my license and declared, "You're well preserved!" Meant and taken lovingly.
And I agree with your assessment that time affects both the restaurant quality and personal tastes.
I don't have a particularly strong connection to Bertucci's and none at all with that location, but with COVID-19 keeping me out of an office I have developed a longing for some meeting ordering pizza from them and there being the big bag of rolls leftover in the break room.
Local chains that grew a bit too much and lost flavor/quality:
Bertucci - somewhat
Anna's Taqueria - somewhat
...surely others if I took a few minutes more to think of them...
The Coffee Connection wasn't the same after it got bought by Starbucks. The expansion outlets of the North End's The Daily Catch were not good, ditto Pizzeria Regina, ditto Revere's Kelly's Roast Beef. Bread & Circus was better than Whole Foods. Floating Rock was brilliant in Revere, awful once it moved to Cambridge. Legal once had some charm; no more.
The Boston Chicken in Porter Square was great years ago, before they started expanding,
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