Phantom Gourmet: Great 8 Spots For Latin Food
Emanadas, paella, ceviche and more; Phantom is most definitely a lover of Latin cuisine. These are the 8 Greatest places he's found to get it.
Kicking off the Great 8 is Dona Habana in Boston. This colorful Cuban restaurant is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. The decor is sizzling with beautiful murals, classic cars and even animated artwork featuring Cuban cigars. The offerings are just as tasty.
There are 53 flavors of hand crafted mojitos, appetizers like crisply plantain cups filled with shredded beef and garlic shrimp, a phenomenal Cubano sandwich, a lobster that's literally lit on fire, and a head-turning whole fried red snapper.
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Los Andes in Providence is a high-energy eatery serving Latin dishes like fresh ceviche served in a martini glass. But nothing will make your heart stop like their incomparable Paella. Loaded with seafood, chicken and chorizo, this saffron scented rice dish is cooked slowly and then stuffed inside a 2-pound lobster.
Another Great 8 winner is Tango in Arlington. This Argentinian steakhouse offers choice cuts and a whole lot more. Diners should always start with one of the housemade empanadas, filled by hand with your choice of chicken, vegetables, ham and cheese, or beef. Move on to one of their sensational steaks served with plenty of chimichurri. If you want to feed the whole table, the Parrillada is a must. It's a big meal that includes beef short rib, chorizo, chicken, sweetbreads and blood sausage.
Boston's South End
Masa in Boston's South End is not your father's Tex-Mex place. Here you'll find romantic dim lighting and a sultry southwest interior. The menu is lined with Latin and south of the border staples like grilled chorizo and empanadas. If you are looking for something more substantial, Masa's always offers tasty entrees like a perfectly seasoned steak.
Red Fin Crudo & Kitchen
Red Fin Crudo & Kitchen in Providence provides creative Latin-Mediterranean food in a funky dining room with a long cocktail and raw bar in the front, and an open kitchen in the back. Much of the Red Fin menu is made up of shareable tapas, like Tamales and Prawns in a smoked tomato broth, over stuffed empanadas and some of the best fried chicken around.
Another Great 8 winner is La Qchara in Melrose. This casual, counter service spots brings Venezuelan flavors to brunch. The menu boasts everything from vitamin rich smoothies to sweet starts to your day, like the caramelly Tostadas Francesas - French Toast topped with almond slivers and fresh fruit. There is even a Venezuelan version of eggs Benedict, which looks nothing like the original. It's served on a arepa, topped with chorizo and finished with Guasacaca cream sauce.
La Brasa in Somerville is a stylish spot that relies on an open fire for most of its dishes. Wood is constantly coming into the restaurant to feed the fire used to cook all of the dishes, like the tender Skirt Steak, marinated in soy and mirin, and served on a bed of baby lettuce. Or try tasty tacos stuffed with slow cooked pork and salsa verde.
Boston's South End
Rounding off the Great 8 is Vejigantes in Boston's South End. Here, they cook up authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in a festive atmosphere, clad in traditional masks often seen at celebrations in San Juan. The menu is just as fun, with dishes like Shredded Plantain Fritters, and overstuffed empanadas. No dish beats the Paella Marinara. The Spanish styled seafood dish is given a Puerto Rican twist - served in a handmade dish that's crafted by shredding, shaping and frying plantains.
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