Friday, May 25, 2018

Toraya Arlington

It's Sushi Friday! Maybe not, but I headed out to Toraya in Arlington anyway. Their website has gone missing.

They have parking behind the restaurant, and that's good because available street parking is sparse.

This small restaurant could have been located anywhere in Japan.

It's hard to see, but the chef is doing multiple Chirashi's at once.

There is Miso soup involved that's not bad at all. My Chirashi ($12.95) took a little while to arrive, but this is not fast food. The fish is always super fresh and the rice is properly seasoned. This is still a very good deal.

I thought the fish was cut smaller than what I remember and this is how it looked in '13. I rather see the price go up.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Brothers Kouzina Peabody

My waitress on a previous visit to Brothers Kouzina in Peabody mentioned that their hash was really good, so I decided to check it out today. All the various Brothers in NE are now independently owned.

Coming from Rte 128 north it's really easy to get to, and also to get back on Rte 128 south. There is parking, but not in abundance.

This is a big place with the open kitchen to my left and the bar straight on. It's nice and bright inside, and also spotless.

I didn't see the hash as an option in the eggs section of the menu, but my waitress said that it wasn't a problem. Two eggs over easy with Homemade Corned Beef Hash and homefries (7.75). Look at that toast! Perfectly evenly toasted, and it was buttered all the way to the edges. The eggs were the normal steamed variety, but they were cooked as ordered. Why do I have to go to a BBQ place to get a perfect fried egg? The homefries could have been a lot crispier. The hash was really excellent, and there was a ton of it. The hash was slightly crispy and really well seasoned. The service was service with a smile.

Address: 25 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone: (978) 535-9297

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Khao Hom Billerica

I haven't been back to Khao Hom Thai & Pho in Billerica for a while but had a hankering for something spicy today.

I had the Khao Soi ($12.95) on my first visit in January. "Egg noodles in a curry sauce with pickle green mustard, red onion, cilantro on topped of crispy egg noodle". This time I had the dinner version with duck since the menu indicates that the duck version is only available in dinner size. The online ordering indicates otherwise. Now they know me, so I when I order it spicy, it's spicy. When this arrived I asked: No fresh chilis? She said that in this dish we only use dry chilis that have been quickly toasted. I tasted it, and it was HOT! When I started to poke around, there were sliced fresh chilis all over the place. "The chef must have to know that it was you!" You mix everything together, there goes the crispy noodles, and get a bowl of goodness. The crispy noodles are mostly for decoration anyway. Despite being seriously spicy, it was still very flavorful, with all the required Thai flavor components present. It also had a very nice texture due to the crispy noodles, red onions and the green mustard. The duck, and it was plenty of it, was cooked to perfection. There is a very good chef hiding in this kitchen.

Address 258 Salem Rd, Billerica, MA 01821
Phone 978-362-8269

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Adelita Concord

For my Taco Tuesday, I headed out to the recently opened Adelita in West Concord. They took over the space previously occupied by Vincenzo's Ristorante. Adelita is a sister restaurant to Woods Hill Table that resides just up the street.

I really dislike Rte 2 despite commuting to Maynard for a number of years. They have plenty of parking in this plaza. There is still outdoor seating on the patio.

The inside looked pretty much the same, except for the divider that they removed to make space for the high tops.

There is no complimentary chips and salsa! What Mexican restaurant doesn't give you chips and salsa? You get a bottle of warm water on the table. The obligatory skulls are present, as is the rolled up silverware. This gives you a miniature napkin that you have to straighten out. Not only is this irritating, it also makes the restaurant look cheap. From the small lunch menu, I picked the Tacos Carnitas ($13). "|gluten free, lactose-free | served on three corn tortillas, pulled organic and pasture raised pork, serrano, radish". You also get some lime slices and a very nice tomatillo salsa. What you don't get are rice and beans, and it wasn't even an option to order them as a side. What you do get is three really tasty tacos, with plenty of pulled pork. The chipotle based salsa in the little bottle was delicious and packed a bit of a punch. The corn tortillas were also very good. I'm not a big eater, but this wasn't enough for lunch, especially considering the price. The service wasn't too upbeat either. Not sure if it was due to where I was sitting, but it was cold inside.

Address: 1200 Main St, Concord, MA 01742
Phone: (978) 254-0710

Monday, May 21, 2018

Krispy Krunchy Chicken Stoneham

Krispy Krunchy Chicken is the biggest fast-food chain that you have never heard off. They have more locations than Chick-fil-A (2,200 versus 2,100). They serve spicy Louisiana style fried chicken but doesn't have as many outlets as that other chain (2700). One reason you haven't heard about them is that their business model is to locate the outlets in convenience stores and gas stations. There is one in Wilmington that doesn't show up on their locator map, and one in Stoneham that does show up. The map also shows one in Burlington, but their address is in Batavia, NY. The only reason I found out about them was a sign in a small storefront in North Woburn saying "Opening Soon".

They are located in a Circle K convenience store/gas station. This is the sign you should be looking for. They have no seating inside, the Wilmington location has indoor seating.

Pricelist? We don't need no stinking pricelist. The Wilmington location has an online price list. They had Cajun Bites when I checked them out, but not today.

2 Piece Combo all dark ($3.89). Mashed Potatoes with Gravy ($1.99) 8oz. The biscuit was all soggy on the bottom, but the top was good. It was a BIG serving of real mashed potatoes with the gravy on the side. I really like that the gravy was separate. Both the gravy and the mash was fine, but they needed seasoning. The fried chicken was excellent, crunchy and juicy and cooked really well. The combo comes with a drumstick and a thigh. The thigh was big and it was the whitest dark meat I have ever seen. It wasn't really spicy but had a nice hint of heat.

Since they had no seating, I continued on to the Stoneham Common, where there is plenty of seating.

Address: 250 Main St Stoneham MA 02180
Phone: (781) 279-0977

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fat Biscuit Lynnfield

Fat Biscuit Southern Table & Taps in Lynnfield are located in the Market Street complex. I have been here before and had a very pleasant breakfast.

They weren't very busy at lunch today. I wonder why they have the menus on the wall?

This time I went for the CHICKEN FRIED STEAK (11). "Battered & fried flat iron steak, crispy onions, and white pepper gravy served on a fresh baked biscuit". Shouldn't that be "freshly baked"? Anyway, it wasn't either. The biscuit was rock hard on the outside, and this is a place that takes pride in their biscuits? The crispy onions were delicious. The steak was seriously tenderized and had a nice crispy outside, and it was good sized. The gravy was excellent. The Breakfast Potatoes was cooked with crispy onions and rosemary, unfortunately, most of them were dry and seemed reheated. Maybe there is a reason that they weren't that busy? The Yardhouse next door was hopping.

This is picture #10000 since I bought my refurbished Canon S110 in Jan of '15. #5000 happened on Sept 6 '16. The menu had stains on it, somebody doesn't seem to care here.

Address: 335 Market St, Lynnfield, MA 01940
Phone: (781) 342-5283

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Marco's Peabody

Marco's Restaurant in Peabody opened not that long ago, and I have already heard good things about their food. They are open for lunch on Sundays but only serve from the dinner menu. I don't have a problem with that.

They are located in a small strip mall on the north side of Rte 1. The entrance is before the strip mall so it can be tricky to get here. If you miss the entrance, hang a right into Sonic, and you can make your way here. Guess how I know that?

The inside is modern and very pleasant. It was actually brighter than what the picture shows. Behind the wine bottles in the back is a real Italian pizza oven.

Fresh bread arrives with some condiments. To the left is some chili oil that was really spicy, next was a very pleasant bean spread, followed by some olive oil with a very good quality balsamic.

Two minutes after I got the bread, my LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE ($15.95) arrived. "Baby clams, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes and olive oil". They need to work on their timing a bit. The clams were cooked well and the sauce was very tasty. The pasta could have been a bit more al dente, but it wasn't overcooked. The pepper flakes was a bit sparse, but a drizzle of the excellent chili oil took care of that. I chatted with a couple as they were leaving, and they strongly recommended the eggplant parm and the chicken parm. This was a very pleasant lunch, and I'll be back.

The exciting view of Rte 1! It's very easy to get here from Rte 128 if you are coming from the south and also easy to get back on it.

Address: 47 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone: (978) 854-6906