The Other Critics

#Onestar for Hash Tag Haven Firebrand Saints; Surprising Sichuan in Tewksbury

• Devra First is unimpressed with Kendall Square’s techie Firebrand Saints. Sure, “Firebrand Saints is the restaurant most likely to be the birthplace of the latest Internet meme, to host a conversation where people speak in hashtags, to inspire a satirical television show called Cantabrigia.” But roast chicken is “flabby skinned” and accompanied by a “confusing medley” of black olive mashed potatoes, capers, and leeks; hummus contains chewy bits of cold lamb; the roster of ice creams is “unforgivably boring.” #onestar [Globe]

• MC Slim JB, on the other hand, had a tastier experience with Firebrand’s chicken: He’ll “return to any place whose wide-open kitchen can do such a terrific spit-roasted lemon-sage chicken … half of a big bird redolent of fresh herbs, boasting crisped skin and the rotisserie miracle of equally moist breast and leg meat, flanking a chunky mash of fingerling potatoes studded with black olives and capers,” he writes in a slightly older, pre-New Year review. Maybe things have gone downhill since he visited? [Stuff]

• Boston’s Corby Kummer sups at Kendall Square’s Catalyst, where “the food … is as uneven as it is ambitious.” Appetizers and salads are promising, but garganelli with bacon and black-truffle butter was an “undercooked, buttery, underflavored disaster, with cardboardy tubes of ridged pasta.” And caramelized onion soup was “puréed to obliterate every bit of textural interest.” [Boston]

• It’s a frappe-off at JM Curley and Griddler’s! At Griddler’s, writes Fiona Coxe, “Each sip introduced flavors of cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg, and fruity apple. A chewy oat cluster made it up my straw from time to time, which added a great texture and crunch.” Meanwhile, at JMC, a strawberry-coconut concoction was “well-mixed, with even distribution of both coconut and strawberries. The strawberries were frozen solid, and their sweet tart flavor added a delicious burst of flavor.” [Boston]

• Outstanding Sichuan in … Tewksbury? Sure ‘nuff. Chili peanut vinaigrette, which tops many dishes at Top Garden, is “addictive.” Tea-smoked duck showcases “juicy, smoky flesh.” And twin lobsters for $17.95 are a steal. [Globe]

#Onestar for Hash Tag Haven Firebrand Saints; Surprising Sichuan in Tewksbury