Sunday, January 14, 2018

Commune Kitchen Arlington

I haven't been back to Commune Kitchen in Arlington for quite a while, mainly because they are now open for lunch only on the weekends.

Luckily there is still free on-street parking in this part of Arlington.

The inside has changed a little bit with the addition of a long communal table. There is also now table service. I'm not sure if this is a weekend thing.

I again had my eye set on the Breakfast Pizza, but that got sidetracked again by the Meatloaf Pizza (15). "Red sauce, house meatloaf, rosemary Anna's potatoes, smoky sweet onions, smoked mozzarella, parmesan". This was one tasty pizza! The potatoes were rosemary, the meatloaf and the sauce were tasty. The crust is super thin and very crisp, just the way I like it. The outer crust is a treat in itself. Very light and really tasty. I normally leave the crust but not here. Here I actually look forward to it. The place quickly got incredibly busy.

Address 203A Broadway, Arlington, MA 02574
Phone number (781) 777-2597

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Gourmet Garden Beverly

Whenever Chinese food on the North Shore is discussed, a few restaurants are always recommended, and among them, Gourmet Garden in Beverly is frequently at the top.

They are in the same plaza as Stop & Shop in North Beverly. There is some outside seating to the right.

They open at 11:30, and when I got there at 11:45 they were still vacuuming so I had to wait for a while. If you open at 11:30, you should be ready. This is the bar area with plenty of bar and booth seating. When I left there were more customers here than in the dining room. In addition to the regular menu, they also have more lunch specials, both Sushi and Chinese. I might be back for the lunch Chirashi (15).

I thought the dining room was very pleasant, bright and sunny with a big sushi bar in the back.

Not a chopstick in sight, but you get linen napkins. You have a choice of soups at lunch, and I picked the H&S. It was hot but completely lacked the sour part.

This is the lunch portion of Shang Hai Duck (12.20). "Roasted duck stir-fried with snow peapods, black mushroom in Shanghai spicy sauce". Well, the black mushrooms didn't make it, but there were shiitakes instead. The peapods were cleaned properly, and there was a really good amount of tender duck breast in the dish. It was marked as spicy on the menu, but it wasn't. What it was was a really tasty dish that I really enjoyed. This is a good place for Chinese/American food, but for real Chinese go to FuLoon in Beverly.

Address 45 Enon St, Beverly, MA 01915
Phone number (978) 720-8177

Gourmet Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tsukiji Bistro Melrose

I headed out to Tsukiji Bistro in Melrose to try something else from the lunch menu. 60+F today going to +5F on Sunday.

There is a 3 hours parking lot behind the building, accessible via a very narrow passageway. It was, of course, filled up.

With my lunch today I got a very forgettable miso soup. There was a refill on the saucer.

The Lunch Bento Box comes with a choice of entree, served with rice, miso soup, salad, and gyoza. I picked the Beef Yakiniku ($12). The gyoza didn't make it, but I got Blistered Shishito Peppers instead, and I'm not complaining about that. None of them were hot, but you can always hope. The Potato Croquettes were crispy but lacked seasoning. Dipping them in the soy sauce took care of that. The salad was fresh but could do with a more interesting dressing. Nice knife work on the lemon. The Beef Yakiniku was tasty with a hint of heat, but the beef was dry. It was, however, a good amount of beef. The avocado and cucumber maki were forgettable. I really like this place for lunch, excellent service, and friendly staff.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sichuan Gourmet Framingham

A post on IG about a special dish at Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham got me on the road today for a visit. Can you believe that we hit 50F+ today?

The pickled veggies here are different, very good but no cabbage.

This dish was so special that it didn't have an English translation on the specials board. The check called it Spicy Numb Beef ($16.95), and I'll go with that. Tender beef, Sichuan peppercorns, and glass noodles.

A better view of what was in the bowl. I forgot the Enokitake mushrooms. This was a super tasty dish with a bit of heat and numbing from the peppercorns. Sichuan peppercorns aren't even peppercorns but part of the citrus family. I couldn't really figure out how to eat this dish. What do you use the thongs for? I ended up using my rice spoon to capture the broth, and then chopsticks for the glass noodles. The glass noodles were really long ones. The broth was excellent. The hostess recommended "Fish with peppercorns" for my next visit. I have to give them a small scumbags award for having the recommended tip amount calculated AFTER taxes. How do you know? Look at the 20% suggested tip, it should be twice the amount pre-tax.

Address 271 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01701
Phone number (508) 626-0248

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Crying Thaiger Malden

I wasn't too impressed with the signature dish at Crying Thaiger in Malden but decided to give their lunch specials a try today since I was in Malden for a haircut.

I'm still a bit confused as to where the free parking is located. I parked behind Dockside on the other side of the road. Further in it's permit only parking.

They have a few stir-fried lunch specials and curries. I picked the Red Curry ($9.95). "Deep red color is made with the blend of fresh bird eyes chili, dried chili, galangal, shallot. Cooked with choice of protein, bamboo shoot, bell peppers, and basil. Served with white rice, side salad, and one appetizer". I went with the Chicken and Fried Shumai as my appetizer. So far so good. The shumai was good, the salad was pleasant, and the red curry was outstandingly good, perfectly seasoned and really tasty. It was marked as two peppers on the menu and had the heat of may one. No big deal, since the seasoning was perfect.

Now it gets complicated when we get into the Add-Ons. The menu said add one appetizer (+1.95). Next line said add one more appetizer - a soup (+2.95) so I went with the last option. The soup here is the Tom Kha. "Coconut soup infused with galangal, herbs, mushroom, cilantro, onion, and scallion". The soup was really tasty, but I could only have a few spoonfuls since I now got all the food delivered at once and had to choose what to eat while it was hot. Next time I'll ask to get the soup, then the apps and then the main. After having the leftover soup, I can only iterate that the soup is delicious, but this was the first time I tried the Tom Kha.

For my extra app, I picked the Fried Fish Balls. "Deep fried fish balls served with spicy tamarind sauce". Normally fish balls aren't that exciting, but these were excellent. Light and very tasty even without the sauce. All the food today was really well made and tasty. When I got the bill, I got charged for an extra appetizer. I explained to the owner how I had read the menu, and she promptly took off the extra charge. They are working on the menu. A nearby table had the Tom Yum soup and it looked pretty fierce.

Address 114 Ferry St Malden, MA 02148
Phone 781-480-1243

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

I was going for half-priced Tacos at Temazcal, but it turned out that they were closed today for repairs, so I headed to FuGaKyu in Lynnfield instead. They have a couple of lunch dishes that I really like.

They are located next to the skating rink.

The rather austere black linen napkins have been replaced with bright pink ones. Looks much better. They now have a number of Chinese items on a separate menu that also includes lunch specials.

With the Chinese lunch specials, you get a small H&S soup. It was not very hot and completely lacked the sour part instead, it was almost sweet. It was also very very thick, it tried to slide out of the spoon. It had some really nice mushrooms in it.

Clams in Black Bean Sauce ($9) from the appetizer section. My appetizer was served at the same time as my lunch, so I ate the hot clams and then the lukewarm lunch. This was a very tasty dish with an outstandingly good black bean sauce. There were shards of shell mixed in and a few clams were sandy.

Black Pepper Chicken ($8) was really tasty with tender chicken. There was a LOT of onions in there and also a few pieces of asparagus. The peppers were cut way too big. Is nobody in the kitchen thinking? The Chinese dishes don't show up on the website.

Address 630 Market St, Lynnfield, MA 01940
Phone number (617) 642-5450

Monday, January 8, 2018

15 Walnut Hamilton

This month The Serenitee Group loaded their Reward cards with $10 to be used at any of their 10 restaurants today only. The only one doing lunch on a Monday was 15 Walnut in South Hamilton so 15 Walnut it was. Cala's is also open for lunch on Mondays, but I missed that.

They are easy to get to from Rte128, and there is plenty of parking.

I really like the cozy interior with the open kitchen in the back (front?).

I started with the THAI GINGER WINGS ($10). "Soy ginger sauce, scallion aioli, pickled cherry peppers". I substituted the ginger aioli for the scallion aioli since I like the ginger one better. The wings were super tasty and cooked perfectly and had a crispy skin. Even the drumette was moist, and that one has a tendency to dry out. The peppers were HOT.

I finally got to try a burger here and ordered the BLUESMOKE BURGER ($16). "House-smoked BBQ sauce, sauerkraut, gruyere cheese, jalapeno jam". The fries are excellent and worth the trip. The burger was tasty and the smoked BBQ sauce is really delicious. I like sauerkraut, and it added an interesting texture to the burger. The jalapeno jam was on the milder side. Service was, as usual, very good. The name of the burger comes from the name of the previous restaurant here, Blue Smoke.

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