Dish Gal's guide to getting the most out of life, one meal at a time...

Pops restaurant in the South End (and hatch chilies)

Did you know that there are certain foods only good for an extremely short period of the year? More elusive than the summer tomato, their prime season literally lasts mere days. An example of this is the hatch chili. These chilies, harvested in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, are only available a few weeks out of the year. So why am I talking about these fleeting foods?

I think that Pops in the South End is the hatch chili of Boston restaurants.

What I'm calling “Pops season” is actually perhaps my favorite time of the year—warm enough to dine outside, but chilly enough that you should probably bring a sweater. And while dining alfresco on a hot summer night of course has its pros, I almost prefer the chilly nights. You can savor your food instead of sweating into it, linger with an espresso after your meal, and not feel the intense stares and glares of those anxiously waiting for your table.Moreover, Pops has one of my favorite patio spots in Boston, but doesn’t exactly have food that I’d ever want to eat when the sun is beating down on me. Meatloaf in spring or summer? No thanks. But those blissful few weeks in September/early October? A glass of red wine, a savory pasta dish, and a cool autumn breeze—sign me up.

Went to Pops a few weeks ago with Lynn and enjoyed said red wine and savory pasta dish. Here's my spicy lamb bolognese-- not the best pasta I've ever had, but certainly yummy:
I ordered the small portion, just $10, and then a side of the seared brussel sprouts:
Yum! and a HUGE portion.

Lynn started with the Portuguese crab and lobster soup, which she praised for not being too creamy or heavy.And then she opted for the other pasta option, the angel hair with cherry tomatoes and artichoke fondutta-- which reminds me of pasta dishes I like to make for my weeknight dinners (obviously a bit more fancy, though):But Pops season, by my definition, is fleeting. As soon as it becomes too cold to sit outside, I’ll be back at my preferred indoor spots like the Franklin CafĂ© or Garden at the Cellar. And when summer rolls back around, I’ll be sitting outside of Masa with a margarita in hand.

But for these next few weeks? The Pops patio is certainly worth seeking out, while you can.


POPS on Urbanspoon

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