I know Allston is home to a diverse population, thanks in part to the zillions of students who live in the neighborhood. But seeing different restaurants side by side really drove the point home. Taste of Allston featured American, Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, Indian, Korean, Mediterranean (Lebanese?), and Salvadorean. It was a little jarring to be eating all those flavors in one meal, but it was still fun to try them all.
My favorite dishes of the day:
- Chocolate chip brownie cookies (above) from Angora Cafe - Yes, brownie INSIDE a cookie. Angora's sandwiches were tasty enough, although they suffered from having been grilled earlier in the day and served cold. Angora Cafe will be opening Angora Ice sometime this summer in Chestnut Hill, which will serve only their frozen yogurt.
- Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Potatoes from Garlic 'n Lemons. This restaurant had the best array, sampling six different dishes. The guys working the table were also having a great time, joking with each other and the crowd, which bodes well for the restaurant. I can't wait to try some of their other dishes - their menu includes Armenian lahmajun, which you don't find often, so I'm going to have to see if it's any good.
- Inbound Pizza's schwarma was delicious, even though my sandwich was lacking sauce. I didn't try their pizza, but my friends thought it was tasty.
- Kelly's Roast Beef, which has just opened in the neighborhood, featured clam chowder, just like I like it. It was more watery than other chowders (which I like), and the potatoes and clams were perfectly cooked - not a rubbery clam in sight!
- Papusas and tacos from Taqueria El Carrizal. I love papusas, which are similar to mini quesadillas, and had these been warm, they would have been perfect. The tacos (more like taquitos), stuffed with beef, were crunchy and salty. I had to stop myself from going back for more so I could try all the other restaurants.
Full Disclosure note: My ticket to this event was comped.