Gary’s Birthday Dinner at Masa in the South End

How is everbody doing out there? That was a really neat little blizzard we had yesterday- wasn’t it? I think it’s a lot of fun to increase the degree of difficulty in getting things done around the holidays- don’t you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. So, today is Gary’s birthday, but we had decided that we would celebrate last night because today is coincidentally the day that Lauren needs to move out of her apartment in Boston, so too much back and forthing today for a dinner in Boston. Why, in a blizzard, didn’t we just eat someplace locally you ask? Yes that would have been the smart thing to do, but alas. Below is a photo of Gary shoveling off the car so Lauren and I could get out of the driveway…

I drove Lauren and her roommate into Boston mid- day so they could get started on packing. We got behind the line of plows so it took about two hours, but that was okay- at least it was safe. Gary drove Graham and Charlie in and we all met at Masa on Tremont Street in the South End. Part of what sold me on Masa last night was the fact that they have valet parking because in a snow emergency in Boston there is very little on street parking in the South End or anywhere in Boston.

Well- I am really learning a lot about picking restaurants and here is what I learned last night. If you are going out in a blizzard or right after a blizzard, and you want to go some place that will feel warm and festive, go to a small, really popular restaurant- maybe close to a lot of shops or something. Masa is located at the end of Tremont street near Arlington and it was absolutely deserted. It was also cold inside- probably because it wasn’t worth it to them to turn up the heat. I have friends that have been to this restaurant and really like it, but this is not a good post-blizzard destination. In addition, it was very dark inside, but I could see by the light of the tiny candle that my silverware was not clean. I found this a little unsettling. On the positive side, I should say that Masa is a Southwestern restaurant and the decor was very authentic and fun and the service was very good. They were very nice about replacing silverware and offered to move us to a warmer part of the restaurant.  About the food…

For appetizers:

Gary and Graham tried the Smoked Garlic and Maine Mussel Soup. Gary liked it and Graham said it didn’t have much flavor. Both agreed that it was not warm enough.

Lauren and I split the Smoked Chicken Chile Relleno which was the best thing that I tasted all evening- spicy and flavorful but not hot.

Main courses:

We had…

Chicken Breast a la Cerveza- Lauren liked this- the sauce and vegetables were delicious!

Trout special with salsa and a really large pile of very rich stuffing. This was a giant mound of pretty tasty food . As you know, I am not a big  fan of the giant mound, but a lot of people would be happy with the size of these portions. Also included with the trout was the head with eye – this is where the dark restaurant was a positive!

Southwestern Steak Frites- really big piece of good meat totally consumed !

Cowboy Cut Chile Rubbed Sirloin Strip- ditto above comment!

Ancho Molasses Grilled Pork Tenderloin, black bean sauce, smokey apple salsa- this was good- the meat was tender, the apple salsa was just okay.

For dessert we tried:

Lemon meringue pie, chocolate mousse and a banana creation that I didn’t try- the pie was okay and the chocolate mouse was very good.

I guess the food was all and all pretty good especially if you are a big steak or meat eater. Masa, however, was not my favorite- I don’t like huge portions and while I don’t think it is typical of this restaurant to be empty, it was a real bummer. Don’t tell Gary though because he had a good time anyway. Happy Birthday Gary and Bon Appitite!

Robin and Lauren

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Gary’s Birthday Dinner at Masa in the South End

  1. Diane Kaneb

    This is so real! What I love about this review is that it doesn’t pretend not to have been affected by a bad day. We can all relate to that!

    Still, it sounds like a restaurant that my husband and sons would like…perfect for carnivores with big appetites. The absense of a crowd in a blizzard at least isn’t a bad thing for those of us too disorganized to make a reservation.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment Diane! Hope your holidays are great!

  3. THIS IS THE FIRST POST I HAVE EVER READ OF 52!!

    Wow, I am so impressed and bet you guys re having a blast with all of your cuisine adventures. Happy belated to Gar-dog and I hope to see you all this week!

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