Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spicepepper Garden Acton

Spicepepper Garden in Acton is an old favorite of mine so on my way to Bonsai West, I stopped by for lunch today.

The building isn't much to look at, but they have a nice sign.

Fu-Qi Beef and Tendon Slices (7.95). Fuqi feipian 夫妻肺片 means literally "husband and wife lung pieces". The dish was never made with lung pieces, but offal was always involved. Here the tendons and beef are sliced paper thin with a seriously spicy chili oil. This is very hot but also very delicious. There is a big heap of cucumbers hiding underneath, it's all in the presentation.

The menu simply said Chicken in a Fiery Sauce (11.50), so I didn't know what to expect. What arrived was a very familiar dish, Sichuan Gourmet calls it Chicken with Napa Cabbage with Spicy Chili Sauce, and it was similar, down to the garlic and chili powder on top that you mix into the sauce. It had tons of tender chicken resting on Napa Cabbage and Leeks. Not only does it look hot, it's really hot, but also very tasty. I love this dish, so I was really happy when it landed on my table.

Address 36 Great Road, Acton, MA 01720
Phone number (978) 369-8808

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sakura Winchester

I haven't posted about Sakura in Winchester for a couple of years, so it's about time for another post.

They are located in a house with plenty of off street parking.

It's a small place with the Sushi counter in the back. I miss Jay, he was such a nice guy.

I started with the Tempura Crab, and as expected, it was the fake crab. I didn't expect the pieces to be this big. The tempura could have been crispier.

The Tempura Scallops was way bigger than on previous visits.

Pretty much my standard order with Spicy Tuna Maki with crisp in the back. I thought that there was much more rice than before and looking back at earlier pictures confirms that. The salmon was very good, the tuna was a bit dry, the maki was spicy. The waitress is very pleasant and the service is prompt. The AYCE is still $14.95 and not a bad deal since it also includes kitchen items.

Friday, July 21, 2017

TWK Winchester

This month The Serenitee Group loaded their Reward cards with a free sandwich from The Waterfield Kitchen in Winchester to celebrate TWK's new lunch menu. In addition to Sandwiches and Sushi, they now have added dishes like BBQ ribs, Brisket and Pulled Pork plates. The new lunch menu can be found HERE.

I might be easy to impress, but I think the sign on the back of the building is cool.

I really like the bar area with the nice window tables. They got really busy later on at lunch today.

For my free sandwich, I took a chance and picked the TURKEY CLUB ($16). "Smoked rotisserie turkey breast with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and bacon on toasted bread". It comes with French Fries or a Salad, and I picked the salad. I usually stay away from turkey, since there is really nothing more boring in the universe. Having said that, this turkey was fantastic. Smokey, tender and flavorful. The bacon was crisp and very tasty. The salad was fresh with a very light but tasty dressing, and I really liked the pickled onions. I'm really glad I gave this a chance. The best turkey ever!

I had to try the BBQ and picked the PORK RIBS ($20). It comes with fries and coleslaw. I was curious as to how they could do BBQ, and it turns out that they now have a smoker in the kitchen. The ribs were fantastic, tender and smokey with a really tasty BBQ sauce. They were also seriously meaty, no skimpy supermarket ribs here. The fries are always excellent and the slaw was nice, very lightly dressed and crunchy. I also got a warm towel, and that's what I call service. They are working on being able to serve outside in the courtyard, and how nice would that be!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Address 14 Thompson Street, Winchester, MA 01890
Phone number (781) 729-0204

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hoppy's Barbeque Peabody

Everytime BBQ on the North Shore is discussed, Hoppy's Barbeque in Peabody is always mentioned, and I was curious to see if you could get good BBQ on the North Shore. I had to go on a Thursday. Why?

They are easily accessible from Rte 128. Parking is up front or on the side street, both sides.

It's a small place, four tables and that's it. They filled up fast. You order at the counter, and the food is brought out to your table when it's ready. Only bottled water.

Hoppy himself in the spotless kitchen.

Thursdays special is the Pulled Pork Eggroll ($5.95). Only available on Thursdays and much talked about already. It was really good, crispy outside and tasty tender pulled pork on the inside with a few veggies added. They were big enough to almost make a meal alone.

To get to taste as much as possible, I went for the Little Squealer ($17.95). "Baby Back ribs (3), BBQ Chicken Thighs (2), 1/4 lbs Pulled Pork or 1/4 lbs Brisket with two sides". I went with the brisket and asked it to be cut from the fatty end, and I got that, so I was very happy. The brisket wasn't overly fatty, but nice and tender with a very tasty rub. The baby backs looked more like spare ribs but were very tender and tasty. I really liked the Chicken Thighs that was cooked well and had a tangy glaze, and of course they were on the bone. This was a lot of food for the price. But wait, there is more!

My first side was the potato salad and the second one was the Cajun Fries. I got a big heap of hand cut fries that were perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. The fries and egg rolls would make a nice lunch on their own. Service was very friendly and so was Hoppy. So you can get a decent BBQ on the North Shore. Rumor has it that Smokin' Betty will start serving lunch on the weekends soon, so that will give me a chance to try them as well.

Address 38 Forest Street, Peabody MA 01960
Phone number (978) 278-5014

Hoppy's Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

House of Chang Cambridge

I first heard about House of Chang in Cambridge on Instagram when someone posted a picture of what looked like a blazing hot dish.

They are located in West Cambridge in a maze of small streets. There is free on street parking, and they also have parking instruction on their website that doesn't make any sense.

The smallish inside was neat and clean.

You would expect something called Volcano Chicken ($12.25) to be fiercely hot especially since it marked with two peppers on the menu. It was not, it was just mildly spicy, but it was very crispy. This was a bit of a letdown, and it really looks intensely spicy. They also have a real Chinese lunch menu that isn't shown on their website.

Address 282 Concord Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone number (617) 547-9888

House of Chang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, July 17, 2017

Royal India Bistro Lexington

It's Monday, so it's time for my weekly Indian lunch. This week I headed back to Royal India Bistro in Lexington since it's such a pleasant place.

Today I found more free parking just up the street from them.

When the waiter asked how hot I wanted my Goa Shrimp Curry ($8.50), I had no idea, so I asked that the chef to cook it how he likes it. "The famous shrimp curry of Goa, prepared with freshly ground coconut and an array of masterfully blended spices". The rest of the world, including Madhur Jaffrey, calls it Goan Shrimp Curry. The curry was very good with just a hint of heat and lots of flavor. There was enough shrimp in there to keep me happy.

Shortly after noon, they were packed, and I'm not surprised since they have really tasty food. The lady next to me had the Mixed Appetizer ($8.95), and I might go for that the next time.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Clam Shack Salem

The Clam Shack in Salem is located on the waterfront in Willows Park. There is free on street parking as you leave the park and there is also a number of parking lots.

It's a very nice location in the park just off the water. You order at the window and then pick up when your number is called.

Outside seating only, but there are plenty of picnic tables available. There is also more tables out in the park.

They have all the standard items available, but I decided on the Crab Roll ($10.50). The girl said it was fresh bluefin crab, and that's what it looked and tasted like. The bun was nicely toasted. The fries were nothing special, but the fry job was excellent, and there was a good amount of fries. They even asked how much mayo I would like in the crab!

There is plenty of arcade games available across the street.

Address 167 Fort Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Phone number (978) 741-2526

Clam Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato