Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brewer's Coalition Newton

When I heard that Brewer's Coalition in Newton was doing a $5 Burger and Fries at lunch they immediately went on my must visit list and I finally got around to it today.



They are actually located in Newtonville and have a shared parking lot in the back.



It's a bar! Hightops in the middle and low tops around the outside. Bright and clean inside.



Beware of the craft beer list you get with the menu, it doesn't have prices on it, so your cheap lunch might not be cheap after all. With the $5 burger, you need to buy a beverage so here is my $2.50 Coke. There is an obvious reason I always have just water with my lunch.



Not bad for $5! The burger did come out medium but I guess that's the best I get when ordering a medium rare burger. The burger was juicy and loosely packed, not the best quality beef and completely unseasoned. I got all excited when I saw the hand cut fries but they were cold. Three Asian guys got the table next to me and ordered four burgers. OK, probably waiting for one more. Nope, one gentleman promptly devoured both burgers and all the fries. This could have been a nice and cheapish lunch if the fries had been hot.

Address 344 Walnut St, Newton, MA 02460 
Phone number (617) 964-7600


Brewer's Coalition Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saffron Tewksbury

Saffron Indian Grill in Tewksbury opened recently in the space that was home to Top Garden, once an excellent Sichuan restaurant but when it was sold and the owner took his head chef and left for greener pastures, it became just a decent Sichuan place. It was then sold and morphed into a generic Chinese takeout place and ultimately it was replaced by Saffron.



It's in a small plaza just off Rte38 and is very easy to miss. There is parking but it's shared with quite a few businesses. They took out the vestibule and I think the lack of double doors will hurt them in the winter time since it's going to be really drafty. Nice sign.



The inside looks very pleasant with a modern look and feel. Tables and chairs seem to be a leftover from Top Garden's days.



They serve lunch every day and I was excited to see that they had Thali on the menu. It's like getting your own buffet. They also have Naanwitches and Sliders for lunch. I went with the mixed Thali ($9.95) and let the chef decide on the contents. There was a small salad included that was just undressed slight dry greens. The Naan wasn't very good, lacked the fluffiness of a good naan and was just flat. The waitress said that they had worked on the tandoori in the morning so maybe it wasn't hot enough. I got a chicken curry, a mixed vegetable curry and dal soup and an onion pakora as an app. The onion pakora was really tasty and cooked through. Both curries were excellent and really nicely spiced and borderline spicy. Neither the veggies or the chicken was overcooked, and in fact, the chicken was excellent and juicy. The basmati rice was also tasty and fluffy. I'm not a fan of Raita but I tried it and it seemed fine. The rice pudding wasn't the overly sweet concoction you usually get so it was pleasant. More customers arrived and it seemed to be Thalis on every table.

Update: I went back the next day since I was intrigued by the sliders.



You can get three for $8.50 so that's what I went with. From the left we have LAMB SEEKH SLIDER ground lamb & spices ($3.25), ALOO TIKKI SLIDER spiced mashed potato ($2.95) and CHICKEN KEEMA SLIDER ground chicken, herbs & spices ($3.25). The potato one was quite mild but was crispy. The lamb was really tasty and cooked well but the chicken was super delicious and very tasty so that was clearly the favorite. This was a very light lunch, could have eaten a couple more. I tried to order the Chickpea Fries but they had no fries at all.

Address 1921 Main Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876 
Phone number (978) 677-6775

Saffron Indian Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Longhorn Steakhouse Tewksbury

I must admit to signing up with Longhorn's email club just to get a free appetizer and since I was in the area today I decided to visit their Tewksbury location.



Gorgeous day but the morning was really cold. They are literally located at the offramp from Rte 495.




For my free appetizer, I picked the Wild West Shrimp ($9.99). "We start with crispy, hand-battered shrimp and put the flavor in overdrive with spicy cherry peppers, garlic butter and housemade Ranch dressing". Nicely fried small shrimps with tasty cherry peppers and a tasty dressing. I had to ask what the nice dressing was and I was really surprised when the waitress told me it was just ranch dressing. I normally don't like ranch at all but for some reason, this one was very pleasant.




I went with a lunch combo ($9.99) and picked Loaded Potato Soup and Half Steak & Bacon Cheddar Melt sandwich. The soup was very nice and tasty. The sandwich was OK despite being a bit short on the melt part. Also got a small cup with a few potato chips with bacon and cheese that was tasty. How can you go wrong with bacon?




This must be one of the smaller longhorns around.




Nice bar area where they stuck me and where I presided in singular splendor. The dining room actually got pretty busy.


Address 1910 Andover Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876
Phone number (978) 640-5813

Long Horn Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 23, 2016

Luna Rossa Tewksbury

Luna Rossa in Tewksbury is located in a small plaza just off Rte 93 and it has been quite a while since I last paid them a visit.



They have very small frontage.



The inside is quite large and very pleasant with the semi-open kitchen in the back and a large bar to the left.



Of course you get some warm crusty bread with a very nice dipping oil that had some parmesan added.



From the extensive lunch menu, I picked the Linguine Carbonara ($11.99). "Linguine with pancetta and peas in an egg cream sauce". This was a seriously huge portion with nicely cooked pasta and crispy pancetta. The pasta needed salt but was cooked well. The original Italian version does NOT have peas added and it should stay that way. Service was very pleasant.

Address 1699 Shawsheen St, Tewksbury, MA 01876
Phone number (978) 851-9282


Luna Rossa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Shiraz Watertown

Shiraz Persian Cuisine in Watertown is located in what looks like a mostly industrial area.



It looked nice from the outside. On street metered parking only.



The inside was also nice with good quality furniture. It was empty when I got here for lunch and it remained empty.



Bar area but no bar seating.



I got a big basket of warm pita bread, nice. Less nice was the packaged butter, some hummus would have been a nice addition.



From their lunch menu I picked the Beef Kubideh (10.99). "Two skewered ground beef grilled on open fire served with rice grilled tomato". The rice was nice and fluffy and the beef was seasoned and cooked well. I tried to substitute the grilled tomato but that was a no go. For a surcharge I could have half rice and half salad. Some salad and hummus would have been nice. The food was tasty but since it was only rice and beef, it was a bit boring. If you wanted two different skewers they charge you three dollars more, doesn't make any sense to me. At dinner, the upcharge is four dollars.

Address 72 Bigelow Ave, Watertown, MA 02472
Phone number (617) 923-2222

Shiraz Persian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thip's Kitchen Lowell

The owner of the famous SE Asian Restaurant in Lowell is back with Thip's Kitchen in Lowell that serves breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri.



They are located inside the museum with only a small sign at the entrance on Denton Street. There is off street free parking. The museum isn't that hard to find, take the last exit ramp off the Lowell Connector and you are on Dutton Street. A couple of traffic lights later, they are on the left and you are on the right.



A very pleasant dining area  that was spotless with waitress service and you can see the buffet in the back. I must say that the buffet was a bargain at $7.95. They also have a normal lunch menu with very reasonable prices.



The first trip to the buffet yielded Phat Prig Bai Grapao T-3 (Ground Chicken with Basil), Phad Nuer Gratium L-3 (Beef with Hot Basil Leaves). See below for the spiciness explanation. Both were excellent and very tasty with a rich and complex flavor and seriously spicy. I can take the T-3 but the L-3 was borderline too hot. The fried rice next was nice and light. Nam Prig Ong T-2 (Chicken in Tomatoes) was super tasty and just a little bit spicy. That could be due to me having tasted the really hot stuff first. I skipped the Massaman Curry since it was just carrots and tomatoes and I also skipped the Butter Chicken I-2 since I wanted to concentrate on the Laos and Thai stuff. Pork with Ginger was very pleasant and a mild dish. The Thai spring roll L-1? was just OK and my least favorite. The Chicken Dumpling L-0, on the other hand, was excellent, super thin crispy wrapper and really tasty filling with a hint of heat. The Crab Rangoon was tasty and had a good amount of (fake) crab inside,



The second trip yielded much the same with the addition of the Pad Thai. The Pad Thai was nicely seasoned but was just a plain Pad Thai.



They had a nice little sign explaining the heat level and the L-3 wasn't joking. Everything on the buffet was hot (temperature wise) and fresh and the service was very pleasant and was the environment.



China Star is literally three minutes away so I had to stop for some Roasted Pork Belly ($9.75/Lbs).

Address 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01854 
Phone number (978) 237-5130

Thip's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Taste of Burlington 2016

Taste of Burlington is a yearly event held at the Marriot in Burlington and this is the sixth year it has been held and is sponsored by Chopps Steakhouse and Mercedes of Burlington. The event was a sell-out.



When general admission was let in, it became a madhouse but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the staff got busy clearing out the debris quickly.



Cafe Escadrille had spicy tuna maki and sashimi with jalapeno and a very nice sauce. The Bancroft had an excellent beef tartare with a deep fried beetroot chip. I went for seconds for the tartare.



Del Frisco's Grille brought a version of their excellent Ahi Tuna Tacos that I love and I must admit that I had a few of these. The Capital Grille served up some very nice tenderloin with a very tasty sauce. The beef was cooked perfectly, of course.



I think Besito missed the mark slightly here by bringing Guacamole and Salsa when their food is really great. Wegmans had lugged a full wheel of parmesan cheese into the hall. That's a serious amount of money sitting there.



Island Creek Oyster Bar showed up with the full crew from their soon to be opened restaurant and had a really excellent scallop ceviche and really tasty shrimp. I can't wait until they open in the newly created "The District".



L'Andana showed up with some truly well made and tasty Ricotta Gnocchi served with Parmesan Crema, Marsala and Truffle Oil. Sorry Fishbones, for the out of focus picture of your really excellent seafood ceviche.



delSur brought mini beef empanadas that were really good with a nice salsa. Hint, if someone asks what the salsas are, don't just rattle off the names in Spanish, that doesn't help at all. Burtons Grill brought some nice tuna served on top of toasted lotus root. This worked really well.



Cornbread from Redstone American Grill. They also brought some Grilled Chicken Fondue that was really tasty.



Growing up, I always hated the red beets that I was forced to eat and I have since later tried red beet salad with the same results. Somehow I talked myself into trying the roasted beets from Osteria Nino and much to my amazement, I finished all of it! They also brought their famous meatballs and they were super tasty and tender, as usual.



Best dish of the night for me, Truffle Lobster Salad from Hilton Garden Inn served on a super fresh and flaky croissant. Yup, had a few of these. Chopps Steakhouse brought some really tasty dry aged beef that was excellent.


I'm so happy that we now have a Buffalo Wild Wings here now and I'm especially happy on Half Price Tuesdays. All the sauces and rubs I have tried have been very good but I don't think I'll try the Habanero Mango again. Phui, that was HOT!


Seasons 52 brought their famous desserts and I tried both the BELGIAN CHOCOLATE S’MORE and the CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER TORTE and both were excellent with a slight edge to the Chocolate peanut butter torte. At the end, there was a gentleman from Boston Cigar Factory sitting there and actually rolling cigars. Very interesting and there was also a Miss Massachusetts strolling around. Tips to the vendors attending, please have a sign next to the food so we know what you are serving (and so I can take a picture of it).

Disclaimer: I was invited as a media guest but all opinions are my own.