Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mr. Chan's Burlington

On a cold and blustery day waiting for the snow to start falling I needed something hearty and Mr. Chan's in Burlington have recently added a Traditional Chinese Menu(pdf). I spied Chicken in Curry Sauce over Rice and since that's one of my favorite dishes, off I went.

I have to admit that the Chicken in Curry Sauce over Rice was really good. Plenty of chicken and sauce and the onions and peppers were nicely cooked as well. This is the mild Chinese curry and the sauce nicely soaks into the rice making the whole thing a delightful mess! A humongous portion for $7.95 and that's the regular menu price. I like $7.95 because with tax and a good tip it comes out to $10 even.
As I write this the first tentative snowflakes starts to arrive.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Went back to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for some more spicy soup.

I asked for extra spicy when ordering the Spicy Noodles Soup with Pork and it was! Look at the color of that broth! There is a heap of sliced Thai bird chilies hiding underneath the Bok Choy and the pork. There is also a mound of really nice thick noodles in there. After attacking this for the better part of an hour it looked pretty much the same, this is a serious amount of food being served here. Less spicy the next time I think, but it was good.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pho #1 Woburn

After a rather mediocre Duck Choo Chee at the Lemon Tree in Burlington, I decided to try the same dish at my (very) local Vietnamese restaurant Pho #1.

If your order from the Woburn Combo Menu ($8.95 at Lunch and $11.95-$12.95 at Dinner) you will get a Fried Spring Roll and a Steamed Dumpling with dipping sauces as part of the deal.

A small bowl of Seaweed soup is also included (chicken, grass noodle, cilantro, scallion and Japanese seaweed in chicken broth). Read the description of the soup on the menu and see how many spelling and grammar mistakes you can find ;-).

Duck Choo Chee was ordered spicy and it was spicy hot but not overly so. No indication of the heat on the combo menu but was marked as two peppers on the normal menu and I would say that this was about 1+. The menu said crispy duck and it really were, but some bits were overly crispy but most were good and the crispy skin was excellent. Be careful, found parts of rib cage left in some pieces. The amount of duck was HUGE compared to the Lemon Tree at least three to four times the amount. The veggies were also very good and not overcooked, green beans were crispy and had the little curly ends removed, zucchini was still crisp and the pea pods were nice as well. Overall I must say that dish blows the socks of the same dish at the Lemon Tree and I just wish that service would do the same but the Lemon Tree wins hands down in that department. Service with a smile is sadly missing here, had to ask for water refills and also for the check.

Pho #1 on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 24, 2012

Masa Woburn

Time for a nice Christmas lunch at Masa in Woburn and I have never seen the parking lot this busy, must be a holiday or something ;-).

Extra Dry Tanqueray Martini with a pickled jalapeno. Since I first had a Dry Martini this way in New Orleans a few years ago, this has been my preferred way of drinking a Dry Martini. It gets really interesting when you get to the bottom of the glass!

Three spreads and some rustic bread. You also get cornbread in the breadbasket, but this bread is way better.

The Clam and Corn chowder with some browned butter and Sage was delicious.

Spicy Tuna Tartare with Soy Ginger Cilantro Vinaigrette, Avocado Puree and Crispy Totopos was also very very good and not really that spicy. The tartare, unfortunately, had a few strand of sinew left in it, shouldn't really happen at a restaurant of this caliber.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tenoch Medford

Special this week at Tenoch in Medford was Tacos Al Pastor.

Pork, Achiote, Cilantro and Pineapple made for a very tasty taco. A word of warning about the red salsa, it HOT very very HOT but also very tasty in small quantities. Not sure if I'm that excited about the pineapple who really belongs in the dessert category.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lemon Tree Burlington

Went back to the Lemon Tree in Burlington to see how they do with spicy.

The Duck Choo Chee was marked with two stars on the menu and I also asked the waitress for spicy and spicy it was! Well, I think it was pretty much spot on for me as a 2-star dish. The duck was thinly sliced and could have been more tender. The veggies were merely OK, eggplant and zucchini was a bit mushy. The rice was almost al dente but on the other hand it wasn't mushy, that would have been worse. Not as busy as last week but still plenty of customers, now I just have to find out what they are eating ;-).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mr. Chan's Burlington

Who in his right mind would order a Vietnamese Pho at a mediocre Chinese restaurant? Yours truly, of course, I was really curious to see what would emerge from the kitchen.

First out were the condiments. A sprig of mint and a bunch of not too fresh looking bean sprouts and some hoisin sauce and some Sriracha. I have no idea what the duck sauce is doing on the table.

The Chicken Pho itself with a garnish of chopped cilantro and green onion. The soup itself was a very weak chicken broth with a lot of very nice and tender chicken pieces and a ton of rice noodles. Dumping in the condiments helped a little, but it tasted mostly of the Sriracha. It was filling and hot! Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lemon Tree Burlington

I haven't been to the Lemon Tree in Burlington since shortly after they opened, but I'm still looking for a decent Thai restaurant in the area.

They have expanded a lot since they opened and now also have a sushi bar. To the left of me there are two more decent sized rooms. 10 minutes later the place was packed, not surprising considering all the tech companies in the area. Sun's main campus is just up the street.

Crazy Noodle # 1 selling, Soft wide fresh rice noodles pan fried with chicken, shrimp, onion, Thai basil, eggs and green vegetable is what it said on the menu and it was marked with one star for heat and that was about right. The chicken was a bit dry, two (2) shrimps were crowding each other, four pieces of onion, eggs? Didn't see any but the green veggie was good as was the noodles. I'll be back to try some more dishes. Service was very good, water was refilled promptly.

Lemon Tree Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Mughals Burlington

Back to The Mughals for some more exciting Indian take-out. Nothing really new today but it was all good.

As you can see, the Papad arrived in a bit of disarray after the trip! Aloo Mutter (Potatoes and Peas), Dhaba Chicken, Shrimp Biryani, Chicken Malabar, Dall Wada is a small fritter up there with the Tandoori Chicken and the Veg Samosa. Even the Tandoori Chicken is really nicely spiced as was the Samosas. The Daal Panchmela in the container was a bit on the thin side. As usual the garlic Naan has plenty of garlic.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pasha Arlington

I love this place! Pasha in Arlington Center is such a nice little restaurant, excellent food and a nice interior, friendly wait staff and the AC are not set to freezing.

I got here too late to get my nice window table up there around the corner, but this will do. Notice the runners is the ceiling, makes it nice and quiet even when busy.

Doner Wrap, Beef and Lamb with veggies and Pasha's Special Dressing and a small salad. I haven't had any success in changing their French Fries so it's still the store-bought ones. The dressing on the salad had too much vinegar on it so it was really really tangy. The beef and lamb in the wrap were excellent!

Pasha Turkish & Mediterranean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feng Shui Chelmsford

Feng Shui in Chelmsford had four locations in Mass, but the place in Framingham has closed. This location in Chelmsford is custom built and both the outside and the inside is beautiful and looks very classy. The staff is professional and very courteous from the hostesses to the servers.

This is the Bar/Lounge area where I normally sit, the only drawback is that you can't see when the buffet is refilled. When you only take 1 picture it's guaranteed to be unfocused.

Notice the linen napkins? Nice. First trip up they were almost out of Nigiri, only one piece left, so I took a couple of Maki rolls instead. I must say that the Tuna and Avocado roll was pretty good with big chunks of Tuna and Avacado. I went back out after a few minutes and

They had just refilled the Nigiri plate so I cleaned it out and I don't feel bad either ;-). This is a lunch buffet so I don't expect top quality sushi, but this isn't bad for the price.

The big yellow blob on the shell is "Seafood and Cheese". It was a mousse of something covered in cheese! Chicken wings are crispy and juicy. Next was Shrimp and Scallops and the tiny white nobs are actually scallops. The Shumai was dry. You need to keep an eye on the Shumai, sometimes it's undercooked.

Feng Shui on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Went back to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for lunch hoping to try something new from the menu. I had seen the Fried Chicken Leg over Rice in the Taiwanese Noodles Rice section of the menu and while it didn't sound very exciting I decided to try it.

While waiting I got a complimentary bowl of Hot and Sour Soup and I thought that was nice. Not the most exciting H&S Soup but there was some shitake mushrooms in there and overall the soup was nice.

This is what arrived! Didn't know what to expect when ordering the Fried Chicken Leg over Rice. I did expect a chicken leg still on the bone, but it was boneless, the owner told me that Americans don't like anything on the bone, it had a very light coating and was very nice and moist and a bit crunchy. I also got a pickled daikon slice, pickled cabbage, roast pork, a marinated egg and some Bok Choy.

I had to take another picture to show how the cooking liquid from the pork has soaked into the rice making it doubly delicious. Overall this was a really really nice lunch!

Taipei Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scugnizzi Arlington

Went to Scugnizzi in Arlington again for some more Pizza and again armed with a Groupon. They are not doing too much business at lunch, a few customers that's all.

Ricottaro pizza, White with Provolone, Ricotta and Spicy Sausage. If I hadn't added extra bacon this would be a very sorry looking pizza! As it is, there is still just one small piece of sausage on each slice. To top it off, the crust had a funny consistency, almost like the oven wasn't hot enough. Previously the pizzas here have been good. I also had a waiter that hadn't passed waiter 101 yet. Overall, a very disappointing lunch but I guess you can't win them all.

Scugnizzi on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Little Q Hot Pot Arlington

I haven't been back to Little Q Hot Pot in Arlington for a while and on this almost snowing day I thought it was an appropriate choice. They also raised the lunch prices by $2 so the $7.95 lunch is now $9.95 and that pushes it up into the expensive range for lunch.

They have a cute little logo of a ram on all their tableware. Nice touch!

Pickled cabbage and boiled peanuts give you something to snack on. The pickled cabbage has gotten a little bit spicier since my last visit but is still fairly mild.

Shandong Noodles, Prime Pork and a Veggie Basket are included in the lunch combo. You get Bok Choy, Corn, Mushroom, Tofu, Watercress and Spinach for your cooking pleasure.

Finally the BROTH! This is the Mala broth and while it's spicy enough it sadly lacks half of its name since it's missing the Sichuan Peppercorns that makes up the numbing part of the name. It's still very good especially at the end of the meal when it has reduced down by half. If you ask, you can get the leftover broth to go.

It's a nice place, a bit Spartan in the decor but pleasant enough. There are more tables around the corner towards the kitchen. No waitress today, the owner was working so I hope they are doing OK. This is a slow week so hopefully that's the reason.

Little Q Hot Pot and Szechuan House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Masa Woburn

Stopped by for their Fiesta Brunch to give it another chance, hopefully, they will have someone in the kitchen that can actually poach an egg! I had bad luck with that before and I'm really surprised that a restaurant of this caliber has cooks that can't even poach an egg.

The interior is very nice, high tops in the bar area near the big windows make it a very well lighted place and look at that nice copper-clad bar.

The two course Fiesta Brunch starts with fresh fruit nicely presented with a light dusting of confectioners sugar.

I can happily report that the poached eggs were almost perfect! The homefries, on the other hand, was a bit overcooked and dry. Not a bad meal in a very nice restaurant and it set me back a whopping $7.95 before tax and tip and that includes linen napkin and coffee.

Masa on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Mughals Burlington

What's better than, after having stuffed yourself silly yesterday with Turkey and all the trimmings, to stuff yourself silly again with some Indian food from the lunch buffet at The Mughals in Burlington? I also didn't look forward to be sharing the road with the rest of the "Boston Drivers" so The Mughals are handy since they are nearby.

Bottom left we have Chicken Pepper Fry, Chilli Potato, Ginger Spice Potato Rolls (New, really tasty), Lamb Roganjosh, Saag Mushroom (left the mushrooms behind), Daal Makhani, Tandoori Chicken and Garlic Naan.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

Back to Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica for some pre-Thanksgiving treats. I wasn't sure if they were going to be slow or incredibly busy so I got there really early.

And this is how it looked at 11:42 AM and there was a lot of tables that was reserved for parties.

Excellent Hot and Sour soup as always. I think the pickled veggies here are better than the Framingham location.

Hot Spicy Cayenne Chicken again! The picture didn't really capture the red hue of the chicken, but it's hot. Not insanely hot but nicely hot.

Sichuan Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Zocalo Arlington

Needed some Mexican before Thanksgiving so I paid a visit to Zocalo in Arlington for my lunch today.

This is such a nice a bright room with nicely tiled tables. They had a few takeout customers while I was there but that was it. Restaurants are normally slow before a big holiday like this.

Make your own quesadilla with poblanos and pork, looks like a small mess but very tasty! There is a very nice guacamole hiding behind that flap.

Zocalo Cocina Mexicana on Urbanspoon