Thursday, August 22, 2019

Cafe Escadrille Burlington

The lunch offerings on this years Dine Out Boston wasn't too impressive in the burbs. The usual suspects had the same menus again, and even Davio's that changes the menus weekly failed to enthral. Cafe Escadrille in Burlington had nothing new on the menu either but have a couple of items that I like, and it's a good value at $20 for a three-course lunch.

Plenty of parking.

The interior is well maintained.

You get very light bread (cold) and butter (even colder). The Soup Du Jour on the Dine Out Boston lunch menu was gazpacho, and that sounded interesting. The soup was delicious and well seasoned and was chockful of finely minced raw veggies.

The second course was Tournedos á la Bordelaise. "Twin Petite Tenderloin Steaks with Artichoke, Spinach, Mashed Potato, Sauce Bordelaise". The tenderloins were ordered rare, and that's how they arrived. The mashed potatoes were helped with two packets of butter and plenty of salt and pepper. Still could have done with more cream. In fact, everything needed salt and pepper. The spinach was cooked perfectly, but the artichokes had one layer of skin left on. The crispy onion strings were a nice addition. After seasoning, this is an enjoyable dish.

I finished with a mini dessert. Chocolate Profiterole With Vanilla Ice-Cream, Chocolate Sauce. This was pleasant. Service was OK. I mentioned to the waitress that the lunch Chirashi wasn't on the menu except for dinner. Her response was "They don't serve Sushi every day". She did understand me since I was pointing at the Chirashi on the dinner menu.

Address 26 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803 Phone number (781) 273-1916

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mexicali Danvers

Mexicali Cantina Grill in Danvers is part of a small but fast-growing chain, and this is the eight location. They opened in late '18 in a location that was previously home to the British Beer Company.

They have a small patio, and the place now looks really inviting. Plenty of parking.

What used to be a dark dining room is now bright and pleasant.

I took a high top in the bar since I like to sit next to the windows. They did a nice job of decorating the inside.

You get thin and fresh warm chips and salsa. I really like the multicolor chips. The salsa was fresh and very good with a hint of heat. It was also seasoned really well. The salsa is almost a reason to go back. Rolled up silverware but it was a good quality napkin with good quality silverware.

The Chili Verde is my benchmark for a Mexican restaurant, and if they do this well, they are likely to do the rest of the dishes well. Lunch Pork Chile Verde (12). "Chunks of pork loin cooked until tender in a mild green tomatillo sauce of green peppers, onions, cilantro and spices. Served with rice and beans". It was also served with corn or flour tortillas. I went with the corn ones that had been lightly grilled and was super fresh and tasty. They don't make their own tortillas. The refried beans had a good texture but needed more seasoning. The rice was fluffy. The Chili Verde was excellent. Tender pork in a very tasty sauce that was well seasoned and tart from the tomatillos. It was also a very generous lunch serving. I definitely will be back to try more dishes. They do a Taco Tuesday special where you can get selected $1 Tacos in the bar with the purchase of something alcoholic. Service was pleasant, but they weren't exactly busy at lunch.

Address: 29 Andover St Danvers, MA 01923 Phone: (978) 304-1860

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Iron Town Diner Saugus

I had an eggcellent egg and hash at Iron Town Diner on my first visit. The waitress assured me that they used brisket in their Reuben and even double-checked with the kitchen.

When I got there and saw all the people waiting for a table, I realized that going on a Saturday wasn't my brightest idea. This picture was taken when I was leaving. It's really convoluted to get in and out of the parking lot.

Every table was taken except one seat at the counter. The counter has an uneven number of seats, so if you are a single diner, there is a good chance to get a seat.

Reuben ($10.99). This is actually brisket even if it looks like round. This is due to how they cook the brisket. You can see some fat on some slices and that would not happen if it was round. The brisket was really tasty and very tender. It was also a generous serving. I swapped the dark rye for light rye that was toasted nicely. I got extra dressing that was very good. The Reuben could have done with more sauerkraut. I picked spicy fries as my side. They were seasoned but not very spicy, and they were also overcooked. Did I say that the brisket was excellent? 

Address: 325 Main St, Saugus, MA 01906 Phone: (781) 558-2070

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dumpling Daughter Weston

Time for another visit to the excellent Dumpling Daughter in Weston. It's run by Nadia Liu Spellman who is the daughter of Sally Ling of the long-gone Sally Ling's restaurant on the waterfront. No wonder the dumpling here is excellent. She recently opened a second location in Kendal Square.

They are located in the same plaza as a supermarket so parking can be tight.

The inside is nice and bright. You order ta the counter, pick up your number, and the food is delivered to your table when ready. Guess who 23 is?

Braised Beef Beijing Noodle Soup ($13). "Beef shank, pickled mustard greens, homemade noodles, scallions, cilantro in beef broth". The beef shank was excellent, tender and really flavorful. Look at that dark and savory broth, it doesn't get much better than this. It was as good this time as the last time. I tried to use the spoon and chopstick but gave up after about twenty minutes. The noodles were just too slippery. I usually stay away from this dish since it often has very icky bits of beef but not here. All the dishes I have tried here has been excellent.

Address 37 Center St, Weston, MA 02493 Phone number (781) 216-8989

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Mi Mexico Lindo Methuen

Mi Mexico Lindo in Methuen has been here for about 15 years, and I have never heard about them. They even have reasonably priced lunch specials.

This is 5 Pleasant Street, but where is the restaurant? You are better off going to the end of the street, hang a left and then quickly another left into the parking lot behind the building.

You will then end up where the entrance is located. There is a big parking lot here.

The inside is your typical Mexican restaurant. No windows but it was nice and well lit inside.

You get good chips with a so-so salsa. Rolled up silverware of course.

On Taco Tuesday they do 99¢ beef tacos, and I had to try one. The ground beef lacked texture, but it was a good amount of ground beef and plenty of fresh lettuce and cheese. In fact, the extra lettuce and cheese turned into a small salad.

The online menu said Chile Verde (9.99). From the takeout menu "Pork loin braised in a green sauce of special fresh Mexican "tomatillos" green peppers, onions and spices. Served with tortillas". The sauce had absolutely no acidity, and it was more of pork in a sauce with some poblano strips. There was some nice guacamole in the middle. The pork was tender, and the sauce was pleasant, but it was far from a Chile Verde. The rice was fluffy and the refried beans were OK. It was also a very generous portion. I'll be back to try some more dishes. The service was friendly. Afterwards, you can always stop at Nevins Farm and say hello to all the animals.

Address: 5 Pleasant St, Methuen, MA 01844 Phone: (978) 682-2271

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Acitrón Arlington

I have been to Acitrón Cocina Mexicana in Arlington a number of times and been pleased with their food. They now do lunch/brunch Sat-Sun.

I rarely go to Arlington after they installed the parking meters. Waltham removed all of theirs.

Did you know that Punjab started here? I miss my lunches there. I usually sit up near the windows, and it wasn't until recently I found out that they have a patio. Can you see the door?

The patio was way bigger than what I expected.

What used to be ho-hum chips and salsa have no turned in to excellent thin chips with a really well seasoned and tasty salsa. I kept on eating chips and salsa.

MOLE POBLANO (14.95). "Shredded chicken cooked with a legendary blend of spices, chilies, nuts and Mexican chocolate made into a rich and flavorful mole sauce, in the traditional Puebla style". It might look like a small portion, but it wasn't. The chicken was tender, and the mole was exceptionally good. A hint of cocoa and a bit of heat made this mole very interesting. The rice was seasoned well as were the beans. I also got three warm corn tortillas that I used to make tacos. The waitress promptly asked if I wanted more tortillas. This place has some seriously delicious food. The service was excellent.

Address 473 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474 Phone number (781) 777-2839

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jimmy's Steer House Saugus

Prime Rib time so I headed out to Jimmy's Steer House in Saugus. Did you know that Grassfields two locations are part of the same chain? They don't have prime rib, but they have a decent Lobster Pie.

The traffic was terrible, but it works OK to take the backroads. Plenty of parking, of course.

The interior is really well kept and impeccably clean.

I did skip the enormous loaf of bread. Kansas City Prime Rib with a baked potato and horseradish. It was tender and beefy and an absolute steal at $12.99. The Baked Potato is always perfectly cooked. Service is always good. I think this location is better than the Arlington one.

Address: 114 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906 Phone: (781) 233-8600