The Other Critics

Local 149 Appeals to All Collars; Tequila-Friendly Tico Is Delightfully Unpretentious

• Devra First visits Southie’s new “neighborhood joint,” Local 149, where “workingman’s lingo” confuses the menu (sections are divvied into categories like “nuts & bolts” and “hand tools”). But the food is sure to appeal to the neighborhood’s medley of “people of all collars — blue, white, ironic vintage T.” Taco salad is like “none other you’ve had before,” while a milkshake made with libido-boosting maca powder offers a “compelling nutty flavor.” [Globe]

• Mat Schaffer tries out Michael Schlow’s newest Back Bay venture, pan-Latin Tico. Here, he discovers “delightfully unpretentious food that’s more about fun than anything else,” although the alcohol comes with a “downtown” price tag. Pan-fried mushroom and cheese quesadillas, garnished with olive tapenade, are crispy-crunchy winners; golden chicken, on the other hand, “drowned in too much saffron aioli.” Instead, perhaps try the “terrif,” “expertly fried” fish tacos. [Herald]

• Robert Nadeau also visits Tico, and he absolutely loves Schlow’s “tequila-friendly” eats. (There are no “weak links” on the tequila list.) He considers the Spanish tortilla with morcilla, potatoes, green onions, and roasted poblano to be a “masterpiece”; sweet corn with bacon, chiles, and Thai basil packs an “herbal aftershock of cilantro.” [Phoenix]

• MC Slim JB wends his way to Camie’s Bakery, an off-the-beaten-path charmer in Cambridge, equidistant from Central, Inman, and Kendall squares. We’re enticed by the “gorgeous” fried goat, “nearly ebony” crisp chunks topped with pikliz, a “vinegary, capsicum-flamed slaw of cabbage and carrots.” Slim also recommends curing a hangover with their fried-pork sub, whose “fatty, slightly spicy goodness” will soften the blow of last night’s sins. [Phoenix]

• Comella’s in Belmont is “sleeker” than others in the mini-chain, writes Kathleen Burge, but the food’s the same: Behold an “astonishingly long menu whose sauce variations create a total of 120 pasta and ravioli combinations.” Marinara is “sweet” and “thick”; pesto is thick, leafy, and “oddly gritty.” More pleasing are the sweet potato raviolis, delicious even without sauce. [Globe]

Local 149 Appeals to All Collars; Tequila-Friendly Tico Is Delightfully