Roslindale Scoop: Himalayan Bistro Coming to the Neighborhood

Update 3/16/09: I recently heard (from the restaurant) that the Roslindale location for Himalayan Bistro was in doubt. I suppose in this economy there are no sure bets.

I have it on very good authority* that our favorite Indian/Nepali restaurant, Himalayan Bistro, is coming to Roslindale (from West Roxbury), into the oft-turned-over location last assigned to NuVo, and Gusto before that. Perhaps the third “-o” restaurant will be a charm. Assuming they serve up the same superlative food and atmosphere as the West Roxbury location, I’m sure this one will be a keeper. (My only concern is that having the two restaurants so close to each other may result in self-competition.)

*Authority = Himalayan Bistro delivery guy. You don’t get much more authoritative than that.

In other Roslindale Restaurant news, we heard via RVMS recently that Robyn’s Bar and Grill has changed hands to the owners of the Halfway Cafe in Dedham, which could be a change for the better. Roslindale did not need another pizza/sports-bar, and still does not need one, although maybe that’s all the Robyn’s location will ever be. Even more recently, however, we heard an unconfirmed rumor from a neighbor that the sale fell through and Robyn’s is not changing owners.

In other potentially disappointing news, the Roslindale Emac and Bolio’s has changed owners again, this time to a co-owner of the Blue Star Restaurant. I want to like Blue Star, but they can’t seem to get the most basic short-order cooking tasks right. A diner must, first and foremost, deliver greasy food fast, hot, and at the same time for the entire group. At worst, serve the kids first. It also helps for the food to be consistent. Blue Star in our experience (many visits) only occasionally satisfies the basic diner requirements, much less delivers any sort of creative urban-chic reinterpretation of the classic retro diner. (By contrast, Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown is our current Greater Boston favorite — it’s always a good sign when a greasy spoon also actively caters to vegans.)

Which brings me to Emac and Bolio’s, which apparently will be renamed “Select Café.” First, why give up the goodwill associated with the Emac’s trademark? Second, the initial signs of the change-over are not promising. A handwritten sign posted in the window announces that the cafe is under new management, and (1) no credit or debit cards will be accepted and (2) no Emac and Bolio’s gift certificates will be honored. I’d love to be proved wrong about this, but I’m pessimistic that this is going to be the Change We Need in Roslindale — namely, a top rate artisanale snobby espresso shop. We can only hope that Simon’s, Flatblack, Cafe Nation, Diesel, or another of their ilk will come occupy one of the vacant storefronts on the courtyard. That we have any vacancies at all in the square, much less several, is a crime against humanity.

[Tags]Roslindale, Restaurants[/Tags]


  1. adamg Nov 10

    The Robyn’s-not-becoming-Halfway thing was in the Bulletin a couple weeks ago, so it must be true. :-).

  2. Jeff F Nov 11

    I have to disagree with you wrt Blue Star. I have lunch there about once or twice a month (usually with my eight-year old daughter during shopping trips) and it’s always a positive experience. The food comes quickly, the service is attentive (and doesn’t mind children), the bathroom is clean, and the prices are fair. It’s a dependable, friendly, neighborhood spot. Hopefully they’ll maintain that same vibe with the Roslindale Cafe.

    Also, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic about Rosi needing a “top rate (sic) artisanale (ok) snobby (?!) espresso shop”. If so, you may be living in the wrong part of town – people around here generally work for their money, and reward authentic quality. So ‘top rate’ and ‘artisanale’ make sense, but ‘snobby’?! That’s about as unRosi an adjective as I can think of (especially when you contrast us with the neighborhoods immediately to the west and east).

    Speaking of cafes – those places you mentioned? I know at least a couple well – Simon’s has a (mostly) legitimate hippness, but the service is criminally uneven and their pastries cannot hold a candle to those from any of the Rosi square bakeries.

    Diesel though?! Average coffee, bad food, and the floors/counters/etc are always dirty and unsanitary. I used to frequent it back when I was likely to be the only straight guy in there and never felt unwelcome. Nowadays, if you’re not a) under 25, b) explicitly post-industrial or c) wearing some ironic emo/gay garb, you’ll be treated to the smug superior unstares of a bunch of poseur Tufts students. Perhaps success ruined Diesel, but it’s well and truly ruined now.

  3. adam Nov 11

    There seem to be at two camps re Blue Star and I’m somewhat perplexed at how they coexist. We’ve been to Blue Star about twenty times; sometimes it’s been okay, but there have been several instances where the food took over twenty minutes to come out (just fried eggs and potatoes!) and the adults were served several minutes before the kids. I’m also not a fan of the plastic pre-packaged juice containers, which seem tacky. My personal opinion is that diners should serve juice in little diner glasses.

    I’m not sure what you are (sic)ing in my sentence — would you rather see “top rate” hyphenated?

    Anyway, the “snobby” part was a little tongue-in-cheek. All I’m asking for is a well-pulled espresso, which I submit can’t currently be found anywhere in Roslindale. And, yes, I too work for a living, and am quite a bit over 25.

  4. adam Nov 11

    I should mention that I probably haven’t been to Diesel since the 90’s, but I thought it was all right back then. My point is just that Roslindale needs a place that prides itself specifically in coffee/espresso.

  5. adam Nov 11

    One last comment: I consider the Boston Cheese Cellar, Sophia’s Grotto, Delfino, Birch Street Bistro, and to a slightly lesser extent, Geoffrey’s and Fornax, to all fall into the “snobby” category as I’m using it (i.e., as a synonym for chichi or posh). I don’t want to see Roslindale completely gentrified either, but I’m glad all of the above-listed businesses have chosen to locate themselves here.

  6. Ronnie Nov 14

    I, for one, am happy about the new Select Cafe. There is a gorgeous, bewitching, female that works there that puts a pep in my step like no shot of expresso ever could!

Leave a Reply

(Markdown Syntax Permitted)