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The Best Deal in Town

October 22, 2009
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Tonight, in order to jolt ourselves out of a crappy week, my roommate and I went to dinner at Masa in the South End. This beautiful, romantic Southwestern restaurant is an excellent place to go out with friends, and especially on a date. The entrees are on the expensive side, but don’t let that fool you. Head to the bar area and feast your eyes on the Tapas menu. Chose from the list of ten for $1 each, or get the combo meal for $10 (which is reduced to $5 for the whole platter from 5-7). Even though tapas are bite-size pieces, this platter will fill you up nicely (or leave room for dessert, and at $5 for an entire meal, why not have dessert?)

The food at Masa is Southwestern with a twist. Each tapas is bursting with flavor and interesting combinations you’ve unlikely tasted elsewhere. Since I don’t speak Spanish, there was an added fun to the whole night because I had no idea what to expect (comparable to Dim Sum). On the platter you’ll find a combination of meats, cheeses, peppers and seafood. My favorites of the night were their chicken toquito, sweet and sour chile shrimp and three cheese empinada. These, however delicious, were on the safe side, so to give you a taste for their unique menu I’ll attempt to describe some of the more exotic options. There was a raw tuna slice with corn and pepper salsa, a smoked oyster, a sausage slice with cranberry confit, salmon with pepper jack cheese, and a sweet potato chip with orange and tamarind caramelized onions. For dessert I tried the margarita Key Lime Pie with coconut crust and raspberry coulis, which was a refreshing palate cleanser and tasty end to the whole meal. My roommate tried the caramelized banana bread pudding served with chocolate ice cream and a sauce neither of us could identify.

Masa is a small, romantic space bathed in warm red and orange light. The music played contributes to the fun atmoshpere, playing a wide range from Radiohead to Spanish music. The service is really great (even when they had just one poor waiter for the whole room) and the people are very friendly. And, like I said, nothing can beat the price. On Thursdays, Masa hosts a Salsa Night with free lessons and live music, which is sure to be an incredible experience.
So if you ever find yourself in the South End of Boston, or looking for a cheap way to spice things up, be sure to check out Masa. It’s sure to be a dinner you won’t soon forget.

Originally written October 28, 2008

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