Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beijing Chinese Dining Lexington

There was no free parking today when I went to Beijing Chinese Dining in Lexington so I had to shell out a quarter for an hour of parking.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly ($7.95) ordered extra spicy and this time it worked. Unfortunately, the pork belly was seriously dry but the fried rice was delicious as always, light and fluffy with eggs and peas.

The Hot & Sour soup seems to have stabilized at hot and sweet instead of hot and sour. Not bad but different. I tried to give them some feedback, but the website has no contact form or email listed.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Abby Park Milton

If you are going to the Cape or are stuck in traffic on the way back, it might be a good idea to stop at Abby Park in Milton. They are located just a short drive south of Boston and easily accessible from Rte 93. There used to be a video store in this location with an adult section that is now part of the dining room.

The interior is bright with an open kitchen, a bar in the middle and more seating on the other side. Good quality furniture and linen table cloth. Nice artworks on the walls.

I was here for the Sunday Brunch with a Live Jazz band adding to the ambiance. I started with a cup of New England Clam Chowder ($6) that was very tasty but very short on content. The few clams were very tender and the chowder had a nice smoky flavor from the bacon.

This was followed by CRAB CAKE BENEDICT ($15) with poached eggs, English muffin, lump crab cake, hollandaise, home fries. The crab cake was fantastic and was 99% crab not sure what the binder was, but it didn't detract from the crab. It was also cooked perfectly with a nice sear on the outside and really moist on the inside without falling apart. The eggs were also poached to perfection and the homemade hollandaise was really good. Potatoes were also cooked really well with a nice crispy outside. The little salad had a nice dressing. What a good dish this was!

The funky shaped bar in the middle. They have been doing the Jazz Brunch during July so today was the last day. The service was very good with really nicely dressed waitstaff. They have some other specials going during the summer:
- Kids Eat Free: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.
- $2 Taco Deal: Monday – Friday 3-6 p.m.
- Ladies First: Mondays 6 to 9 p.m., 3-course meal (house wine, cocktail or beer included) for $30
- Burger and a Beer for $10: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.

The meal was complimentary of the Abby Park, but all opinions are my own.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Temazcal Lynnfield

I haven't been back to Temazcal in Lynnfield for a while so it was time for a Saturday lunch visit. Between looking at Google Traffic and actually getting to Rte 128 reality had changed. Do you know how Google can show traffic in real time? They use the GPS data from people's phones to determine how fast the phone moves.

This is just called Mole Poblano ($18) on the menu. Roasted half chicken, sesame, Mexican chocolate, agave sweet potato mash. I usually stick to the beans spread for the chips but tried both the red and the green salsa and they really have improved and was seriously tasty now. The chicken was cooked nicely but where is the mole? There was none to be found but after the bartender gave me some on the side, it was a much better dish and in fact, the mole itself was delicious. I really don't like sweet potatoes but decided to give them another chance, but I still don't like them. Serving chicken on the bone on top of a mound of mashed potatoes in a bowl makes it impossible to cut the chicken. How come nobody is thinking about things like this? Yes, I sent them feedback both about the sauce and the serving.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Margaritas Medford

I was invited to a Media Event at Margaritas in Medford to celebrate National Tequila Day that is actually today. Margaritas currently have 26 location in NE and most of them have the same menu.

Chips and Salsa greeted us as we arrived. The chips were fresh and the salsa was very tasty with a nice consistency.

Guacamole was made fresh tableside. They don't normally do this, but the guacamole is made in small batches during the day.

The finished product. It could have done with some more salt and seasoning, but I liked the texture.

This is the Beehive Paloma. 2 oz of Hornitos Spiced Honey Tequila, ½ of a Lime and 4 oz of Jarritos Grapefruit Soda. Very interesting taste from the honey tequila.

Mexican Grilled Corn. Grilled corn, right on the cob, just like from the streets of Mexico. Topped with chipotle aioli and queso fresco. This was delicious even if it was messy to eat. It had a nice char from the grill.

Coconut Shrimp Salad. Magic dusted shrimp tossed in coconut sauce over lettuce, salsa fresco, roasted corn salsa, cucumbers and queso fresco. Served with tequila lime dressing. Nice and fresh and the dressing was excellent. All the dishes were served in tasting size, normally the dishes are about three times as big.

It was time to have a look around and all the tiles and the chairs are handmade in Mexico as is the artwork that is all over the place. This is just a small example. I haven't been to a Margaritas for quite a while and never paid much attention to the decorations, but this was impressive.

Carnitas Enchilada in Tomatillo Sauce served with refried bean and black beans. A classic taste that comes together in perfect harmony. Slow-roasted carnitas (pork) tucked inside a corn tortilla with a blend of cheeses, then topped with our housemade tomatillo sauce and baked to perfection. The pork was excellent, tender and flavorful as was the beans. I especially like the refried beans that had actual beans left in for texture. The tomatillo sauce was really well made.

Fish Tacos Del Mar. Baja style tacos with beer-battered fish, onion, cilantro, orange slaw, mild three-pepper sauce and avocado on a white corn tortillas. Another good dish, not sure what the fish was but it was not tilapia.

Fried Ice Cream. Sweet and salty, smooth yet crunchy; vanilla ice cream with a crushed pretzel shell, covered in chocolate sauce, honey or both. What can I say? It's crunchy ice cream! There were margaritas consumed during the meal as well as the house made Sangria. The hospitality was outstanding with the chef explaining each dish and we also got a lecture about the history of tequila, the growing and the distilling process.

This meal was complimentary of Margaritas, but all opinions are my own.

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Taipei Gourmet Lexington

I didn't really know where to go today so I ended up at my old stand-by, Taipei Gourmet in Lexington.

I ordered Chicken with Hot Pepper ($7.99) and Beef with Hot Long Peppers arrived instead. How complicated is this? Anyway, this gave me more time to enjoy the H&S soup. When the chicken arrived it wasn't extra spicy but the dish was OK with a nice hint of smoke from the charred chilies.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Noodles & Company Burlington

Noodles & Company in Burlington is good for a quick and cheap lunch, but I haven't been back since last year due to the indoor seating.

A small Wisconsin Mac & Cheese ($4.59). A classic blend of cheddar and jack cheeses, cream and elbow macaroni and the pasta was cooked nicely al dente and who doesn't like cheese? I added a Thai Curry Soup ($1.25). Yellow coconut curry broth, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, tomato, red onion and rice noodles. It's marked as spicy on the menu but wasn't really. The curry did have a very nice balance and all the veggies were fresh and crispy.

If you can find seating up front it's nice.

On the other hand, if you are relegated to the purgatory in the back, it's not so nice. They are opening in Woburn later this year and it should be interesting to see what the interior looks like.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wahlburgers Lynnfield

Wahlburgers is the latest eatery to open in the Market Street complex in Lynnfield and I decided to take the backroads up here today for lunch on this perfect day.

They are located in the farthest corner from the entrance and they have a nice little patio outside.

This is the Our Burger ($7.15) topped with wahl sauce, onion, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato & government cheese. Decent size for a 1/3 lbs burger. The two rings of onions were so big that they ended up outside the burger. Who is stupid enough to send out something like that? The pickles were all located in one spot in one corner. I ordered the burger medium rare and at best it was medium. The burger also had a fair amount of gristly bits in it. Apart from that it was tender and juicy. The bun was toasted and very soft.

I haven't heard anything good about the fries so I went with the Onion Rings ($3.35!). Crispy Fried Bermuda onion sliced thin, tossed in sea salt and parsley. They were delicious and the best part of the meal. It was also a substantial serving so despite the price it wasn't a bad deal at all. Did I say that they were delicious?

You can do takeout here for either to go or you can sit in the back or you can opt for table service.

They do serve alcohol and the bar did fill up a little bit later. Were there screaming kids? Yes, of course.

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