Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Fat Cat Restaurant (Quincy, MA) and Patron's Mexican Kitchen (Allston, Boston, MA)

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Two of my best friends from college got married this weekend, and we had the bachelor party for the groom Thursday.  We went for laid back, going to the F1 Boston kart racing track in Quincy, which was a blast, followed that with lunch, then went climbing at Central Rock Gym in Watertown, and finally drinks and some food in Boston at Patron's Mexican Kitchen.  Both F1 Boston and Central Rock were a blast, though I highly recommend you have some cold water on hand for the kart racing, as it is pretty easy to get overheated in there.

Lunch was at The Fat Cat Restaurant in Quincy, a superb little pub with some of the best bone-in chicken wings I have ever had.  I went for a Philly Cheesesteak, which was well made, on pretty standard bread, but with roasted peppers, caramelized onions, smoked shiitake mushrooms, and both cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  The steak was perfect, still juicy and delicious, and the vegetables were spectacular.  It also came with hand cut french fries, which were really good and insanely crisp, but which I did not end up having much of because I was so full from the sandwich and a few wings.

Those wings were really the key to the meal; we ordered 50 for the table, as three people were having them for their primary meal, and one other person and I were just having a couple each.  The wings are big, but not gigantic, cooked perfectly so the skin was crispy and crunchy, but the meat did not seem overcooked or dry.  The exterior held the sauces well, so it did not just slough off and leave just a small amount on the wing or drumstick, but instead coated them completely and evenly.  Those sauces were the best part, and we picked three:  XXX, Cajun, and Qcity.  The XXX is a buffalo style, made with house-infused habanero vodka; it had far, far more flavor than any other sauce of an equivalent heat level that I have ever had, including the Mango Habanero from Buffalo Wild Wings, a personal favorite.  The Cajun comes as either a sauce or a dry rub, and we went dry; it was good, a little spicy, but nothing super incredible.  Qcity was my top choice, and it was also probably the simplest; essentially, it was just honey and pepper, and it was just absolutely awesome, with intense honey flavor without being overly sweet.

For dessert, I had bread pudding, which was served in a giant ramekin.  Essentially just big pieces of bread with a slightly sweet sauce, but so, so much more in flavor.  It also had a giant mound of delicious homemade whipped cream, which was closer to clotted cream than the stuff that comes in a can, both in flavor and texture.  By this point, I was so stuffed that I could not finish the bread pudding, which was very disappointing considering how incredibly good it was.

Fat Cat had a couple good options on draught, including Belhaven Scottish Ale, which I love, and Berkshire Brewing Company's Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale.  They also have a handful of interesting looking cocktails and alcoholic coffee drinks.  They do their own infusing, including the aforementioned habanero vodka.  Since Dan, the groom, is obsessed with insanely spicy things (the table gifts at the wedding were bottles of various hot sauces) we got him a shot, and the waitress (an awesome Irish lady) added a second on the house to congratulate him on getting married.  We each tried a tiny bit, and as soon as I took a very tiny sip, I felt an incredible burning sensation in my mouth and began to hiccup instantly, a phenomenon that has never occurred before.  I think Dan enjoyed the vodka, but if not, it was at the very least a very cool concept and it makes one hell of a wing sauce.

All in all, this was a really good meal, and pretty reasonably priced at under $130 for 50 wings, my sandwich (only $7, which was insane considering how much food there was and its quality), an order of fish and chips, four desserts, plus about a dozen drinks between the five of us.  I highly recommend it.

Not so long ago, Allston's Sunset Grill and Tap was topped by Big City, one of the greatest beer bars in the northeast, with about 130 taps, good food, and great ambiance.  Sadly, it is now Patron's Mexican Kitchen, a mediocre bar with a couple mediocre pool tables and seriously lacking staff.  Our waiter was acceptable at best, but the manager was a major asshole, making rude and snide comments about a couple members of our party to some employees who were playing pool next to us.  We ordered wings again (they were also served the following night at the rehearsal dinner, and ordered at Amherst Brewing Company when we went out after that...Dan really likes wings), which were decent, but nothing special.  I ordered nachos, and instead of nachos, we received the $7 bowl of multicolored chips; absolutely pathetic.  The beer list has been cut tremendously, to only a couple dozen options on draught and a similar number in bottles.  I do not know what the reason for this is, as downstairs still offers over 130 taps and 380 bottle varieties.  All in all, this is no longer worth going to; just have drinks and food down at Sunset Grill and Tap.  That said, we had a good time, but only because it was a great group of people.

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