Thursday, April 19, 2018

Angelo's Stoneham

Angelo's Ristorante & Pizzeria in Stoneham is another place that I have driven by countless of times, but today it was time to check out their lunch offerings.

They have some off-street parking spaces. This was the kind of day we had today, and it also snowed heavily for a while this morning. The pizzeria and the restaurant are separate.

The smallish bar area quickly filled up.

The very nice dining room.

You get some warm breadsticks and butter. There was a salt shaker on the table, but no pepper.

I started with the Arancini (4 Piece) (8.00). "Rice balls Filled with Meat sauce, Mozzarella, Peas and Fried". This is from the online menu, the real menu said 3. The arancini were light with nicely cooked rice. The filling was good, the tomato sauce was a bit bland.

From the fairly extensive lunch menu, I picked the PORCHETTA VINEGAR PEPPERS & POTATOES (15.95). "Boneless Pork Roast, Rosemary, garlic, white wine, Homemade Vinegar Peppers, & potatoes Served with Broccoli Rabe". I just realized that the promised vinegar peppers were completely absent. This was a thick cut of pork roast that was nicely seasoned. The piece next to the spicy pepper was bone dry, but the rest was OK. The fingerling potatoes were cold. The broccoli rabe was very good and was sprinkled with hot pepper flakes. The service was friendly.

This is what I call an Espresso machine!

Address: 237 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180
Phone: (781) 279-9035

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Brodie's Pub Peabody

I'm not much of a sandwich person, but it was time to try one of the most talked about sandwiches on the NS, and it can be found at Brodie's Pub in Peabody.

You won't see this for much longer. Moving date is end of October. Metered parking is 25¢/hour and there is free street parking before the pub.

The view from the high-top in the back, where I ended up in the middle of a staff meeting, and that was fine with me.

And here is the NY Style Reuben (10.99). "Marble rye, swiss, sauerkraut, russian dressing". I picked the steak fries as my side, and they were excellent. Crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. Steak fries are excellent when cooked well, and terrible when overcooked. The Reuben was huge, and I really like that they use marble rye, since I'm not a fan of the dark rye. The bread was fresh and toasted. The cheese was properly melted, and I really liked that the sauerkraut was in the middle, so that I could make two sandwiches out of a half. The dressing comes on the side, and that makes perfect sense to me since I can now add as much as I like. There is a pickle hiding back there, and while it was OK, it could have been picklier.

A closeup of the good stuff. If it had melted cheese on the bottom, it would have been perfect. Now it was just almost perfect. The service is always good and friendly here. The price is fair, I had more expensive and smaller reubens. 

Address: 10 1/2 Lowell St, Peabody, MA 01960 
Phone: (978) 977-9988

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tavern in the Square Burlington

I really didn't have any lunch plans today on this cold and rainy Marathon Monday, so when Tavern in the Square notified me that they have loaded a free Bite+Snacks on my card, I headed out to their Burlington location.

I got a nice high-top near the windows. They got quite busy at lunch. It's nice to be warm and dry inside, watching the wet and cold marathon.

For my free Bite, I picked the Sweet Sticky Spicy Korean Pork Ribs (8). "Tamari, sesame, ginger". It also had some nice pickled veggies included. They did a better job seasoning these ribs than the 3S Ribs I had on a previous visit. Unfortunately, these were also on the dry side, but the seasoning was better. I got four ribs.

I then ordered the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Tenders (12). "Sweet pickles, tabasco honey". Chicken tenders are defined as "chicken meat prepared from the pectoralis minor muscles of the animal. These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat". If this is chicken tenders, I would hate to meet the chicken that supplied this. On the good side, these were HOT and crispy. I got four of these enormous "tenders". They were not really overcooked but could have been a lot juicier. I like the peppery watercress. The tabasco honey was really good. When I was done, I asked for a box and something for the honey. My waitress promptly whisked away my plate and returned with the food boxed up. When I got home, I noticed that I was missing both the leftover pickles and the honey. I handed her my Insider card prior to getting the check. When I got the check, the Bite was still on there. 

Address: 100 District Ave, Burlington, MA 01803
Phone: (781) 272-9000

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pokéworks Harvard Square

Pokéworks has just opened their second location in Mass in Harvard Square and to celebrate this, they are doing a BOGO tomorrow (Saturday) all day in the new location.

This is the first thing you see if you come into the square from the north on Mass Ave. Parking? This is Harvard Square, good luck! I found parking on Mass Ave prior to the common and noticed that there were spaces available on the other side of the common.

It's a fairly small location.

There is seating available, and also more seating to my left.

The good stuff.

This is my Salmon Burrito pre-rolling with Masago and Lotus Chips for crunch. Go for the Masago! I'm not too fond of burritos since I like to choose what I bit into, but this is excellent.

Spicy Salmon bowl with both Lotus Chips and Masago. The lotus chips are addictive. For flavor, I choose Sriracha Aioli for both of them, medium in the burrito, heavy in the bowl. I really like the concept of Poké. You get super fresh fish, with lots of different seasonings and textures. I also suspect that this might be healthy. The big roll next to the bowl is my rolled up burrito.

This is how it looked just prior to noon. Thr word is out!

This is an excellent location for people watching and the Red Line entrance is just outside.

Address: 1440 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 441-2999

Disclosure: The food was by courtesy of Pokéworks, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Acapulcos Beverly

Acapulcos are a small NE chain that now has 10 locations, down from 12 in Dec '15. I have been to their Sudbury location and wasn't impressed by either the inside or the food. I decided to visit their Beverly location today for lunch.

They are located so close to the entrance that I completely missed them until I went all the way around. They even have a patio available.

Big bar area. I was greeted with a curt "are you all set?" and I have no clue how to respond to that. Of course I'm not all set, I'm standing next to a wait to be seated sign.

The dining area. They also have a similar sized space on the other side of the entrance. It was bright and the booths were in good condition.

Naturally, you get chips and salsa. The (cold) chips were OK, but the salsa was really good. Chunky and fragrant from herbs with a bit of heat.

I find that a Chili Verde ($11.25) really shows off the restaurant. "Chunks of pork loin cooked until tender in a mild green tomatillo sauce of green peppers, onions, cilantro and spices". Another good indicator is their refried beans. The refried beans were just OK. To my surprise, the rice was really tasty. The pork was very tender but could have used some more seasoning during the braising. The tomatillo sauce could have used some more tomatillos. It needed a tad more acidity. You also get three tortillas to go with your meal. Despite me nitpicking here, it was overall a really tasty dish, and I was happy with my lunch. Not too happy that their CC system was down, and neither was the waiter. Frome their entrance I could see Early Harvest that is also on my list.

900 Cummings Center, Beverly, MA 01915
Phone: (978) 232-0100

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Khao Hom Billerica

Khao Hom in Billerica is my goto place for Thai food on Wednesdays. It's a very pleasant drive on the twisty backroads.

I decided to try the Duck Curry (12.95) today. "Coconut milk, pineapple, green and red bell pepper, tomato, basil". There is no lunch price for this dish. I had no idea how to eat the riced, so I had to ask. Traditionally, you put some curry on the rice and eat it, then repeat. I ordered it extra spicy and got plenty of birds eye chilis. I don't think it was Thai hot, but it was respectable hot. The duck curry is based on a red curry, and it was really tasty. There was also plenty of duck that was really tender and delicious. I'll have this again, it was really good. The owner is so nice, she even gave me extra rice with my leftovers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Pita Chelmsford

Since it's Taco Tuesday, I decided to go for a Greek Taco at Pita Fast Casual Greek in Chelmsford that opened recently. It's just a quick ride up Rte 3 for me.

So what's the name really? Here it looks like Piita, so this doesn't really work.

It's a small place with limited seating, and they were really busy at lunchtime.

The different rotisseries. They had an electric shaver to get the meat off.

I went with the beef and lamb and it was a good amount of meat. At this point, the manager went and took a phone order, and the meat was cooling off.

This finished product. The Traditional with Lamb & Beef (9.99). "Choice of Gyro meat, onions, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce & hand-cut fries topped with seasonings. All Gyros served on our fresh, homemade Pita bread". It was a reasonable amount of onions and tomatoes. I just wish that the onions had been rinsed to remove the acrid taste. The fries were cooked well and seasoned but were unsalted. The meat was tender but could have done with some seasoning. The tzatziki sauce was pleasant, and I'm not too fond of yogurt.

I also ordered a side of Greek Fries (5.49). "Topped with shaved Kasseri & oregano". They were topped alright which means that only the top layer gets the cheese. The oregano was completely absent. To finish it off, the fries were way overcooked. This was a bit surprising since the fries in the gyro was cooked well. You bus your own table, but I noticed that the tables were not wiped down between guests.

Address: 18 Boston Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone: (978) 455-4092