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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Dot Ave Renaissance

Situated between the bustling I-93 and the sleek new Field’s Corner T Station, Dorchester Avenue has been growing in leaps and bounds.Home to a diverse community of Vietnamese, African-American, Caribbean, Irish, and Latino residents and businesses, Dorchester Avenue’s neighborhood is growing more than 3 times faster than the City of Boston. Coupled with the fact that 20,000 vehicles per day travel through the business district, it’s no wonder that Dorchester Avenue faces massive reconstruction in order to alleviate traffic congestion during peak hours.This project includes major reconstruction of fifteen Dorchester Avenue intersections, new sidewalks, and new traffic lights at Gibson Street, Park Street, and in front of the Dorchester House building. In addition, the creation of a bike land on Dorchester Avenue from Lower Mills to Broadway will be incorporated.Funded with federal stimulus money under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the complete reconstruction stretches from Ashmont Street to Old Colony Avenue.  It is expected to be complete within two yearsShanti – Indian Restaurant

With its low lighting, rich colors, and beautiful decor, there’s only one thing you can really think upon entering Shanti–“Damn, this looks like a good date place.” Visually stimulating without being overwhelming or gaudy, Shanti lets the restaurant goer forget he’s on Dorchester Avenue with one step in the door. And we hadn’t even gotten the menu yet. The menu was fairly extensive, more so than most Indian places in the area–probably because the menu has been expanded to include Bangladeshi and Pakistani dishes in addition to Indian food. The result is a long list of different meat dishes, vegetable dishes, salads and soups. The drink menu, too, seemed fairly well-developed. Though my girlfriend stuck with her usual palak paneer (a creamed spinach and homemade cheese dish), I went for a Pakistani-style chicken dish–both of which were great, and so large we both took home full boxes of leftovers. At around 11 to 13 dollars a dish, they are fairly well-priced, as well. Had we gone at lunch, we’d have taken advantage of the $7.99 lunch buffet. Overall, Shanti is the place to go when you want to have delicious South Asian food in an atmosphere where you can actually hear them and have a conversation. One warning: you may end up hearing, and then dancing to, some Bollywood hits, which (when I was there) sounded suspiciously like Janet Jackson. But that, of course, only adds to the fun.Sugar Bowl

 With the exception of various cooperate chains, coffee shops are relatively absent from Dorchester. Missing that old world charm? The Sugar Bowl Café features exposed brick and baroque style chairs, the demi-tasse spoons and ceramic cups, the huge menu of sandwiches and ice cream. The coffee itself is much like homemade coffee – and that is a compliment. The cage itself is roomy; a great place to meet with friends or work on a project. The service is a tad slow, but the cute girls with southie ascents make up for that.Harp & Bard – American Style Restaurant

The Harp and Bard is one of those places you should go if you’re into pretty good, kind-of overpriced, all-American food accompanied by TVs surrounding you on all sides, and a decent bar area. The atmosphere was what is to be expected for a neighborhood bar and grill–dark hardwood booths, a large, shiny bar area, and big windows looking out onto Dorchester Ave.   This may not be where you want to go for a deep conversation, but it’s a pleasant place to go for a pretty good meal–though we tried the fish and chips (great fish, decent chips) and chicken cordon bleu (great marks for chicken, and also the sides of mashed potatoes and broccoli), the variety of pizzas are supposedly some of the better menu items offered. The menu itself offers comfort foods—from buffalo chicken nachos to hamburgers to a variety of pizzas to pastas—and they all appear to be delicious. Though the quality of the food is high, it was still surprising to see the menu prices slightly higher than we had expected.  The Harp and Bard is a great place to go if you want to have a few beers and appetizers while watching the game, or out with a bunch of friends for night of hanging out. It’s exudes a friendly atmosphere, and that’s exactly what a restaurant on Dorchester Ave should do.Real Taco

The Mexican food revolution in Boston started five years ago with Boca Grande and Ann’s Taqueria. Ever since, taco joints have been spawning from all corners of Boston. Real Taco is more or less the same you have come to expect. For a mere $5, you’ll fetch an overstuffed burrito filled with flavorful white meat chicken, rice, beans, guacamole, and sour cream. The atmosphere isn’t anything to write home about. The service is efficient and almost as quick as fast food. It’s not exactly authentic Mexican food, but it’s delicious on a budget.