Monday, January 9, 2012

Local 149, South Boston

There are some places that you just immediately feel at home once you step through the threshold.  Many of my favorite restaurants have achieved this feeling.  They aren't pretentious, they are fun, laid back and comfortable.  Now, when they have delicious food as well, the combination makes it a spot I want to return to time and again.  


Local 149 in South Boston has quickly become one of these spots to me.  I have visited a couple of times in the past few weeks, and have already settled in to a "go to" cocktail, and have been thrilled with the dishes I have tried.  Everything I've had has been fresh, well cooked, well seasoned and ultimately delicious.  


I began my journey into Local 149 with a selection of their cured meats and cheeses, served with pickled vegetables and the traditional accompaniments.  Obviously cured meats have become rather trendy throughout the restaurant scene, however Local 149 brings a new freshness to it.  Each selection is labeled with its origin, with many locally sourced, and others representing a great cross section of the US.  Meats from Tennessee, Virginia and New York are mingled with those cured right here in New England, and the cheeses hail from California to Ireland with diversity in their flavors and textures.  It is clear that Local 149 has put time and thought into their charcuterie, and it is worth it.  


Second on the list were the Hog Wings.  Yeah- you read that right- Hog Wings. Mini Pork Shanks, trimmed down to resemble chicken drumsticks, fried and coated with a hoison barbecue sauce are served piping hot and with Local 149's own ranch dressing for dipping.  First bite of these was fantastic.  The slightly sweet, slightly spicy BBQ sauce packed the perfect punch, and when dipped into the ranch dressing, accentuated with a healthy dose of dill, the flavors blended well.  However, I was disappointed as the third/fourth bites were reached, when my bites had already eliminated the BBQ sauce, and it no longer imparted it's flavor.  The internal meat, while juicy and well cooked, lacked any discernible flavor, rendering it a little "boring" and subject to discard before fully finished.  Perhaps a bit of a marinade pre-frying would help?


Entrees at Local 149 run the gamut as well - from hearty helpings of Braised Lamb Shank, to warming servings of Chorizo Cassoulet, to the always fun Chicken and Waffles.  They offer a variety, as well, of burgers and sandwiches, and it was here that I found my new obsession.  Saturday evening, dining late and not wanting anything too heavy, my dining companion and I decided to share the Yellow Fin Tuna Burger and the Local Cheeseburger.  My first bite was the Tuna Burger in which large chunks of Yellow Fin Tuna had been formed together into a patty, topped with caramelized onions, eggplant bacon, and wasabi flavored pickles.  The result was incredible.  The tuna was fresh, and rare inside having just been seared on the outside.  It had perfect, subtle flavor and a luxurious consistency that accommodated the toppings wonderfully.  The sweetness from the onions, the  tang and spice from the pickles and the smoke from the "bacon" brought all of the familiar flavors of a burger into play while maintaining the sandwich's unique properties.  We split this bad boy in half- but each of us caught the other eyeing the half that wasn't there- plotting a stealth move of stealing it back.  That was one tasty Tuna Burger!


The Local Cheeseburger was not to be outdone however.  Thick, flavorful and juicy despite it being cooked to a medium well state (by request- I shuddered in horror), it was a burger to be reckoned with.  We elected to have it bedecked with a couple slabs of crispy bacon in addition to it's original toppings of Caerphilly Cheddar cheese and a pickled green onion- it was a very smart decision.  That crisp and smokey bacon lent a wonderful textural contrast to the melted cheese and held up well in the face of the tangy tomato.  The beauty here though was that neither of these flavors interfered with the flavor of the grass fed beef the burger was composed of.  Here was a burger that held true beef flavor- which is so often lost in burgers due to over salting, or just a lower quality beef.  Local 149 though had a truly delicious blend of seasoning and beef, and the result was fantastic.  The fries here were a bit of a misstep for me, limp and a bit soggy, they were easy to bypass.


There is no burger face off here- thank goodness because I wouldn't want to choose a winner.  


Local 149 has quickly become a comfort spot for me- a great place to enjoy a cocktail, a pint of beer from an extensive menu, and enjoy some great food with some inventive twists and turns.   I am already looking forward to my next visit...

9 comments:

Tracey said...

Yay another 149 fan. I do like this place and I love their lamb shank as well as the fantastic duck drumsticks! Great review!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I am going here in a couple of weeks - glad to read so many rave reviews!

Jen said...

I still haven't been. I need to find an excuse to go... *hint*hint*

Boston Food Diary said...

@Jen- I LOVE THIS IDEA! Lets plan a date!!

Elizabeth said...

Don't they have a milkshake too? I want that :)

Boston Food Diary said...

@Elizabeth- they do!!!! Good call! I think perhaps a milkshake crawl is in order ;-)

Daisy said...

I really want to try this place, but it feels so far off the beaten path! (Can you get their easily via public transportation?!)

Boston Food Diary said...

@Daisy- honestly- I dont think its super accessible by public transportation- we did it on a bit of a "crawl" one night and there were a few stops between it and the T. There might be a bus though??

Tracey said...

Totally accessible by public transportation. No. 9 bus from Copley right to P Street - 20 mins. 2 block walk - easy peasy. I live on P. Let me know if you guys come over!

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