We’re going to level with you. We didn’t always believe in the Allston restaurant renaissance. There was a time (a fairly recent time, in fact), where we dismissed everything within a fifteen minute radius of Packard’s Corner as food that would be passable after a drunken fratty party, but inedible otherwise. Dear reader, we’re going to say something we don’t admit very often: we were wrong. In the past several years, Allston has blossomed into one of Boston’s top dining destinations and, although the neighborhood can be nearly unbearable on weekend nights during the school year, in the summer, it’s downright mellow and, dare we say, worth checking out, even if you have to take the B Line. While there are tons of fantastic restaurants all along Brighton Ave, the concentration between Harvard Ave and Linden Street is particularly impressive. Below, a guide to five of your best bets.
•At the tiny Carlo’s Cucina Italiana, the portions are huge, the prices are fair, and the food is hailed for being tasty and authentic. It’s a little bit of the North End, right in Allston, but without the tourists. Score!
•The beer list is the star at Sunset Grill & Tap and rightly so with 112 beers on tap and 380 by the bottle. The food isn’t gourmet by any means, but the burgers and Tex Mex treats are much better than they need to be.
•Punjab Palace, the new restaurant from the owners of India Quality is hailed by many as Boston’s best Indian food and inspires the sort of devotion usually reserved for high-end spots.
•Only a few months old and already a favorite with the Chowhound set, New Trend Eatery is hailed for its authentic Cantonese food at bargain prices. The seafood is the highlight here.
•Spike’s Junkyard Dogs has The best hot dogs in Boston. Period. Seriously, we sang a song of praise when this Providence chain entered the Hub.
[Photo: Flickr: BehindDarkEyes]