Oh Morton's...I love you!!!!!
I've been eating here regulary for years & years and I've never ever ever had an overcooked steak. I've never had a bad meal period. This review is an amalgamation of my many awesome meals here.
Outstanding. Tender, very very flavorful. I usually get it medium rare but on my last trip I tried my dining partner's rare filet and we both agreed that it's Rare from now on.
Again, Oustanding. They only serve this on specific days of the week though, so call ahead. Also, you want to call ahead and reserve your cut --ie: center or end. If you like your meat medium rare call ahead and reserve a center cut--otherwise, what is the point???
I haven't tried it but my dining partner says it's great. But come on, anything with a filet on one side is going to be great.
Bone in or out--One dining partner said the Fleming's ribeye is the best in Boston. I had the Fleming's ribeye once awhile back so I can't compare. If I go back soon I'll do a taste test and edit this post.
These are handsdown without a doubt the BEST crabcakes you will ever find, anywhere, period. They are 90% crab, 5% spice, 5% breading. They are incredible. I don't even like crabcakes and I get these. The meat is actually in huge lumps, not all shredded like other places.
These large shrimp are lightly breaded and come in a buttery sauce. I could eat 2 dozen of these. These are cooked so well, not at all stringy or tough. They are so sweet--I want them now.
This is your classic wedge with blue cheese & anchovies. I dont' like blue cheese but I love this salad. I have no idea what the blue cheese ratio in their dressing is but I love it. My dad doesn't like blue cheese either but he loves this one.
Austrailian Lobster Tail.
Oh Morty, why? This was such a letdown. After having a phenomenal Aussie Lobster Tail years ago at some random restaurant I searched and searched but nobody had it on the menu. Until I found you! But what a disapointment. Dry, totally lacking in flavor. I guess that is why you never order seafood in a steak house.
All of the veggie are exactly as you would expect them. No need for me to comment about them.
Hashbrown potato: It's like all those hasbrown strips were placed in a thick pancake mold. Super crispy and browned on the outside--soft potato goodness on the inside. I take mine with extra sourcream AND extra bacon thank you.
Lyonnaise Potatoes: These are like homefried cubes of potatoes with onions & I think bacon, but can't remember right now. All sauteed. These are my brothers favorite sidedish in the world.
Chocolate cake: The best of the best. Lots of places try to duplicate this, but this is the best. Super chocolatey. Perfect consistency. Served hot with cold icecream.
Keylime Pie: Skip it. Dense and not very lime-y.
Cheesecake: Standard cheesecake. Very good, but nothing remarkable.
I have ordered the $99 deal, and ordered off the menu. I've been with small parties & large parties. Eaten at the bar, in the dining room, with a private function. I always have a great experience. It's expensive, no doubt, but it is worth every penny. This is in my top 5. Right next to Mamma Maria....Now I am drooling.
Focusing on the food and ignoring the history/kitsch/toursit value... this place is great so long as you stick with the seafood classics.
We had father's day dinner here--maybe more like lunner since it was 3:30pm. Undoubtedly they would have gotten fewer stars had it not been for our server--she was AWESOME!!! How often do you get a server who tells you what menu items are terrible and which ones are great and worth your money? Most of us chose to listen to her and the ones who didn't..... they learned their lesson. So onto the food....
Raw Bar: Oysters & Cherrystones. As good as it gets. This is the classic, original. No fancy accoutrements here--just lemon, cocktail sauce, and if you ask, tobasco. Awesome, fresh, reasonably priced.
Fried Calamari: AWESOME. I swear they must have just pulled these out of the water. They were sweet, almost juicy. Not too heavy on the batter like some other places. Also, you get the leggy pieces AND the traditional oval kind. These are some of the best I've ever had.
Steamers: These were so sweet you didn't need the butter. They were nearly grit/sand free too, which always makes me happy.
Clams Casino: I'm not a huge fan to begin with since in most places all you taste is breading. These were above average--you could definitely taste the clams and it wasn't overly breaded/baconed.
For what it's worth, the waitress said to stay away from the baked stuffed clams. Her exact words were "Nobody seems to like them. They are always left pretty much untouched on the plate."
Lobster Roll: It wasn't on the menu but she said we could get it anyways. This came with in a hotdog bun with lettuce, and fries. I don't like lettuce in my lobster rolls but who cares. Great mayo to lobster ratio, lots of meat!!! And not just the wimpy claw pieces. Knuckle & tail were represented well--which makes me happy since knuckle is my favorite piece.
Fried Seafood Platter: again, AWESOME!!! Apparently the scallops were fantastic but I wouldn't know since everyone took one before I could try it. Comes with scallops, shrimp, oysters, clams, fish, calamari, onion rings & fries. Yeah, it is a lot of food. The only downside to that is you only get a couple pieces of each thing. (see scallops)
Lobster Newburg: I was too busy trying to get my fried scallops back from whoever took it off my plate so I barely tried the lobster newburg. I remember it being tasty. Sauce was not too creamy, not too salty. Nothing outstanding though.
Pork Chop: This guy didn't listen to the waitress. But he did say the asparagus was good.
Lazy Man's Lobster: The breading was a little too breaded for our taste, but it wasn't without flavor. I am not a fan of baked lobster, but for those of you who are, it was great. The best selling point was that it wasn't overcooked, and the lobster meat was still juicy and sweet.
Another waitress tip: Don't get the sole. She didn't say why, she just shook her head.
Note: We also got two dishes off the specials: Baked Haddock & Maryland Blue Crabs. I'm not sure about the Crab eater but I know the Haddock guy is a fish snob--he said it was cooked to the perfect temperature (just barely opaque, light & flaky) and he ate it all before anyone could launch a fork onto his plate. He also remarked on the asparagus.
Homemade Gingerbread: Suprisingly good!!! Not overly gingerbreadman-like, more subtle. Especially nice since it was served warm with cold vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate lava cake: Exactly what you would expect.
The best waitress thing ever: So this place hypes up the Indian Pudding simply because it's the same recipe that's been used for 200 years. None of us had ever tried it so we were curious. When we told our waitress she immediately said "oh my god that stuff is disgusting--I can't even look at it." She brought us a small bowl so we could all see it for ourselves. The more adventurous in our group tried it: it had the consistency of really soupy cream of wheat, was a horrible brownish color, and was very very sweet.
My overall notes on Union Oyster House--real seafood lovers rejoice!!! This place has fresh seafood, at reasonable prices, and most importantly they know how to cook it! You never have to fear that your fish will be overdone & dry, or that your food will be tasteless. It's all fresh!!! I would stick with the simpler classics and stay away from the fancy, lobster ravioli type things and of course the non-seafood items, like porkchops. Our whole gang agreed that when we return it'll be fried seafood platters, fish, rawbar & steamers.
ughhhh.... I needed legal temp work so I signed up with Update Legal, Special Counsel, and BHSG. BHSG was the first and most consistent with getting me work so thats why I stuck with them. Probably the only reason.
My overall experience with temp agencies is that they are more concerned with making the companies & firms happy--you are an after thought, if any thought at all. So much so that YOU have to call each agency weekly to remind them that you are looking for work. Apparently some firms have exclusive relationships with certain agencies--unfortunately they don't tell you which ones!
Update Legal has WAY BETTER "benefits"--if you can call it that. You get a referral fee if someone you refer gets placed on a job and completes X amount of hours. And, most importantly of all, at Update you accrue paid time off to use for vacation or sick days. Yup--just like a "real" job.
At BHSG there is no such thing as paid time off--which really sucks when you are working 60 hrs/week for 6 months. Honestly, I don't care if the recruiter doesn't call that often--I don't mind making my weekly call. But not offering accrued paid time off is criminal. Especially since every other temp agency I have heard of DOES!!!
Overall I would give my dining experience 2 stars; however it is a really pretty, clean, and comfortable place. Their drink and food menus are diverse, so it is worth another shot--maybe for something less ambitious like burgers and a beer.
Very pretty. It's all muted tones of greys, dusty greens, dark brown wood & silver. Silver hanging balls to be exact. Huge marble 3-sided bar. I particularly like the bar room/lounge (don't know what to call it) because it is a step down from the restaurant floor, so it feels a little cozier. Overall very nice ambiance.
Not unique--confusing. One heading was "Focaccia" and under it was listed Lobster Scampi. ???? Another heading was "Cool Crostini (by the sea)" and under it was Hummus. ???? Why the "by the sea"? Hummus isn't an ocean product....
3. We had:
Hummus: This came with about 3 tablespoons of hummus, 8 olives, and one slice of bread cut into 4 pieces with the crust cut off. This is the kind of thing a restaurant should just put on your table when you order drinks, like some restaurants give you a loaf of bread. (They give you breadsticks here) I can't imagine any body needing more than 10 seconds to eat it--and am a little a more than annoyed at how very little food it was.
Mousaka: Ok folks, I may be biased here since I can get the real deal from some mean greek ladies. It was kind of like parfait--but with layers of eggplant puree, ground beef, tomato sauce, and cheese. It wasn't the best, and it wasn't authentic, but it was tasty.
Seafood Paella: Chorizo, Mussels, Shrimp, Salmon--this sounded delicious. Unfortunately this was a big disappointment. Did they intentionally suck the flavor out of this dish? There was absolutely no flavor to it whatsoever--it wasn't salty, it wasn't cheesy, it wasn't seafood-y---it had absolutely zero flavor. It was so weird I brought some home to get more opinions. 3 other people were flabbergasted that something with so many ingredients could be so entirely flavorless.
4. Cocktails. Sangria was too sweet, but the mojito packed a punch.
5. Value. Expensive for average food. It's one of the nicer restaurants in the area and the prices reflect it.
6. Service. Excellent. Waitress and hostess were both extremely friendly and prompt.
I've been trusting Kwan with my hair for the past 5 years--and I am always pleased with the cut/color. Here are the selling points:
1. I like long hair. Even if it is a tad too dry on the ends and it needs a healthy cut, I prefer long hair. So, when Kwan recommends 3 inches, and I say 1 inch, she does 1 inch. Whoa people--this is a stylist who actually listens to you!!!! (however, over the years I've come to trust Kwan so when she now say s3 inches I say ok, 3 inches.)
2. She knows how to do long layers that don't end up looking like a mullet!!
3. I've highlighted, lowlighted, partial foiled, full foiled, single processed and brought my hair back to the original. The only coloring I haven't done is bleaching/peroxide--I won't go there. I have black hair and I've been every shade of brown & auburn in the past 5 years and never has it been orange.
4. Xavier & Kyle give awesome shampoo/massages.... I would gladly sit and get my hair washed for hours.
5. The place is really cool looking (but this is an after thought--really it's all about the hair.)
6. All the stylists are nice. Not at all snotty--and this is Newbury St people!! Also--this is a great perk--you get grandfathered in at whatever price you started at, ie: my haircut cost $60 5 years ago and it still costs $60 today. Nice.
Ok--I first started going here about 3 years ago when my best friend found it. They now have 2 locations: 1 in Waltham and 1 in Boston.
This is a no frills, old fashioned, heavy on the extractions kind of place. I don't even want to call it a spa. It is not pretty like Bella Sante or Le Pli. You don't get a fancy robe, and there isn't complimentary tea or stuff like that. However, having said that, I've gotten some of the best facials EVER here. This place is owned & run by Natalya & her husband (don't know his name!) It can be really annoying at times--like their hours are kind of "whenever" so I do NOT recommend walking in--chances are nobody will be there. Also, you never really get a confirmation or reminder from them. But all of this is worth it.
The extractions hurt like hell, but she gets em all. And your face will feel ravaged the rest of the day/night, but rest assured you will have glowing skin as soon as you "recover". I am telling you, this is not for the faint of heart--and if you have sensitive skin you best tell her before she begins. She gives a fantastic massage too. And the best part is that the rates are totally reasonable....plus, if you book online you get 10% off, and if you sign up they send email promotions pretty often. Currently I am scheduled to get a 1 hour massage for $59!!!!! And my last microdermabrasion was only $60!!!
Caveat: We didn't eat here!!!
Ok folks--I will update this when (if) we eat here.... One Sunday I had the great misfortune of having to work. What a lovely treat--my ride picked me up and said "let's try O Ya!" I said "O Yay!" It was 4pm. The restaurant has no sign--it has a big wooden door, the kind that you imagine would be the front door of a 15th century european church. Inside it is dim, sexy, sleek. But that's all I can tell you. Because we asked the wait for 2 people (AT 4PM!!) and she said they were full for the night. We said "Oh no problem, we'll just sit at the bar"--we were so naive. She said "You didn't hear me--we are full for the night." We said "You need a reservation for THE BAR... AT 4PM?" She said "Yes--now go away"
Ok--she didn't say go away. But that's what her eyes said....
Could they really have reserved every single seat in the restaurant AT 4PM for the entire night?? Possibly. Could she have taken one look at my jeans and uggs and said "No way"?? Oh Yeah.
Caveat: This is FRO-YO review only---I haven't tried their smoothies.....
Fro-yo should be smooth, creamy, sort of sweet. This was thick, splenda-sweet, and had ice chips in it. Adding in berry puree a la DQ Blizzard style sounds like a good idea, but really you just end up with a not very well mixed-ice chippy-berry seed disaster. I threw it out.
How does this place stay in business??? Was this opened by a sorority girl whose father has lots of money laying around and wanted her to feel good about her "work ethic"?
Anyways--that's not fair of me. But seriously--how does this place stay in business??? Expensive!! Very little variety!!
Vanilla Cupcake with Cream filling and Chocolate Icing: This was no better than those 100-calorie cupcakes you can buy from Hostess. Honestly--I went out and bought them and did a taste test--they both were spongy, with too sweet-twinkie-esque filling.
Dark Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Icing: Marginally better than the above mentioned "100-calorie" double. Kind of dry, not much chocolate flavor.
I must admit though that the chocolate icing is delicious. Nice, creamy, intense chocolatey flavor--very low on the sugar/grainy factor. However, I'm not paying $3.50 for 1 tablespoon's worth of icing.
It really sucks because I love cupcakes, and it's so hard to find a good one in Boston. I'll just stick with my Duncan Hines mix.
I wouldn't go back--but if you forced me to I would ONLY get the pasta and I would ask for tomato cream sauce AGAIN even though it's not on the menu and they rolled their eyes at me.
Not very good. Way too many other restaurants in the north end to try. Don't waste your time.
1. Frittelle Di Aragosta (lobster fritters).
These are supposedly their specialty--they were horrible. All we could taste was the oil it was fried in. 90% batter. Topped with a heaping pile of fried vegetable strings. Fried beyond vegetable recognition--tasted salty & fried, that was it. Balsamic glaze was bitter.
2. Torta (tomato, onion, goat cheese tart).
Very thick & sweet. Tasted like warm jam pie. Menu says it comes with a "micro sald"--that turned out to be 2 pieces of lettuce.
3. Spaghetti in tomato cream sauce.
This I ordered off the menu--thinking that an italian restaurant that makes fresh pasta and has tomato sauce could easily accomodate this request. They did, but after some eye rolling and fussing. As much as I hate to admit it, this was delicious. Pasta was very fresh, and the tomato sauce was creamy but not too thick.
4. Tagliatelle Bolognese (pasta with meat sauce.)
Salty. Again, the pasta was fresh and therefore great. But the meat sauce, which was supposed to be a mix of veal, beef & pork, was ordinary at best.
5. Decor/Ambiance. Romantic--tiny. We had the great misfortune of being seated next to an extremely loud man who was embarrasing his dinner date every second by asking nearby diners if he could try our meals, and then letting out an ear-piercing laugh that left you wondering whether that was supposed to be a joke or whether he really meant it. After the 4th outburst we just stared in disbelief.
6. Service. Poor. The waiter didn't spill anything or insult us, but he also put up a fight when I asked for spaghetti (which is on the menu) with a tomato cream sauce (which was not on the menu but come on--this is the north end, what italian chef can't whip this up?) Anyways, after complaining and rolling his eyes at me he disappeared for the night. He also complained when we said we'd like to order apps first and then order entrees after we finished the apps--romantic restaurant, date night, we thought we'd enjoy a leisurely dinner. Nope. This guy was all about turn and burn and get the next check in our seats.