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The Best Dishes Eater Boston’s Team Ate This Month

Creamy grits, a caviar-topped baked potato, and more

A metal dish filled with heaping portions of seafood and vegetables.
The house special rice clay pot with seafood from Pho Hoa and Anh Hong’s new partnership.
Effie Kong/Eater Boston
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Welcome to Eater Boston’s best dishes column, where the team shares the dishes that they couldn’t stop thinking about each month. See past installments here.

A black takeout bowl filled with shrimp, grits, and an orange sauce with flecks of black pepper and green herbs.
Shrimp and grits from Maxine’s On St. James.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Shrimp and grits from Maxine’s On St. James

I was in need of a steaming bowl of comfort food, stat, at the beginning of this month (ahem). The moniker means a little something different to everyone; for me, it means grits. My dad is from the South, and I have wholeheartedly embraced his love for creamy, buttery grits as a salve for just about anything — and the grits at Maxine’s On St. James, a Roxbury restaurant known for its Cajun and Creole cooking, are on another level. My go-to order, the shrimp and grits, are doused in a peppery, herby sauce that warms me to my core. And by some alchemy, the takeout version doesn’t clump up during travel. 304 Dudley Street, Roxbury — Erika Adams, Eater Boston editor

Chicken tenders, broccoli salad, and two cups of dipping sauces arranged on a red and white checkered paper.
Hot Chix’s chicken tenders and broccoli slaw.
Karen Wilber/Eater Boston

Chicken tenders and broccoli slaw from Hot Chix

I think that Hot Chix has hands down been one of the best recent additions to Inman Square. They’ve been honing their setup over the past couple months, including recently getting their sign up, getting set up on the delivery platforms, and also expanding their hours of operation so that now you can get your hands on a Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich most days for lunch and every day for dinner. The chicken tenders plate has been my favorite — so crispy, so juicy — and most recently I asked to swap out the fries (which are also excellent) for broccoli slaw, which is piled high and tossed with tons of cheddar cheese. I’ve been meaning to try the fried mushroom sandwich (which I hear is amazing) for a while now, but the tenders keep calling my name. Oh, and whether you fear spice or embrace it, they’ve got something for you with options for non-spicy, mild, hot, and extra hot. 1220 Cambridge Street, Cambridge — Karen Wilber, Eater Boston contributor

An open-faced brown potato stuffed with fillings and set in a pool of creme fraiche on a white plate.
Chef Louis DiBiccari’s twice-baked potato stuffed with lobster and topped with caviar.
Celina Colby/Eater Boston

Twice-baked potato at Wink & Nod

Revisiting Wink & Nod after more than two years of pandemic closures was like returning to the home of a beloved relative, so I expected a potent cocktail and catching up on local gossip. What I didn’t expect was the classic homey comfort food given an elegant spin by chef Louis DiBiccari, former owner of cocktail lounge Create Boston and meat-forward restaurant Tavern Road, who’s popping up at Wink & Nod while he searches for a physical space for his upcoming restaurant SubRosa. DiBiccari serves a twice-baked potato that’s loaded with chunky lobster, melted miso butter, creamy crème fraiche, and topped with caviar, and frankly, I want to be buried with it. 3 Appleton Street, South End Celina Colby, Eater Boston contributor

House special rice clay pot with seafood at Pho Hoa featuring Anh Hong

Pho Hoa and Anh Hong, two restaurants that have defined the culinary scene of Dorchester’s Little Saigon since their openings in the early 1990s, celebrated a fortuitous marriage this Lunar New Year, unveiling a joint menu under their new partnership. The house special rice clay pot with seafood is a sizzling delight, piled with squid, crab, scallops, and shrimp so generous it reminded me of my grandma’s portions (food pushing is a love language, so I’ve been told). My favorite part was the perfectly cooked rice, the true treasure of the dish. Aromatic and crunchy, cơm cháy, or scorched rice, is something you only get when you cook rice the old-fashioned way — in a pot that doesn’t heat up evenly. 1370 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester — Effie Kong, Eater Boston contributor

A patterned dish filled with cubes of crispy fried pork and a side cup with a dipping sauce in it.
Barbecued and crispy pork over rice at Mahaniyom.
Valerie Li Stack/Eater Boston

Barbecued and crispy pork over rice at Mahaniyom

The silver lining of winter months is the bountiful amount of juicy citrus fruits that this dreary season bestows upon us. At the casual Thai bar Mahaniyom, we found ourselves gravitating toward yum som-o, a pomelo salad with roasted coconut flakes and cashews, fried shallots, and fresh shrimp cooked just right. All ingredients were tossed in a umami-rich concoction that evoked notes of deep savoriness with a hint of floral sweetness, which countered the slight bitter bites of the pomelo. What really knocked it out of the park was the barbecued and crispy pork over rice, a dish that cleverly combined elements of popular street snacks in Thailand. The crispy pork belly, which reminded us of chicharron, offered a contrasting texture to the barbecued pork, which was tender and well-seasoned. In addition to fluffy jasmine rice, a generous dipping of five-spice gravy further enhances the overall flavor. All in all, we had such a delightful meal that we were already plotting our return! 236 Washington Street, Brookline — Valerie Li Stack, Eater Boston contributor

Hot Chix

1220 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139 Visit Website


236 Washington Street, , MA 02445 (617) 487-5986 Visit Website

Wink & Nod

3 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116 617-482-0117 Visit Website

Maxine's On Saint James

304 Dudley Street, , MA 02119 (617) 427-0927 Visit Website

Pho Hoa Restaurant

1370 Dorchester Avenue, , MA 02122 (617) 287-9746 Visit Website