Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scugnizzi Arlington

Went back to Scugnizzi in Arlington for lunch today. Only one other customer while I was there.

What's more Italian than Spaghetti and Meatballs? No idea but this was delicious! Spaghetti cooked perfectly al dente, the meatballs was rich and nicely seasoned and very very light and the tomato sauce was fresh and the whole thing was just perfect!
Not so perfect was being charged for bread and the dipping oil! They asked if I wanted it and I guess it might be my fault for not asking if it was included or not. Didn't get charged at my previous visit. A very good way to lose customers.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gyro & Sandwich Village Woburn

Gyro & Sandwich Village in Woburn center has recently opened. They feature Salads, Shawarma (Meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie), Lyulya Kebab (Ground meat cooked on a charcoal grill), and Kebab Roll-ups, Veggie Roll-ups and some standard hot and cold sandwiches.

I was recommended the Shawarma (Meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie) so I ordered spicy beef and the only thing the menu said was "with spicy sauce". There was no rotisserie going so the meat was heated up on a hotplate. The fillings on the roll up were OK but the meat was dry, really really dry and there was no spicy anything evident apart from the sliced jalapenos.

The menu looked nice and the prices were reasonable and they also have table seating "Order at the counter and then take a seat". Maybe I should have tried the Gyro but it's too late now.
12/21/12 Update.
I'm happy to report that this place has closed and I'm not surprised.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Masa Woburn

Needed to go to Whole Foods today so I stopped at Masa in Woburn for lunch.

I like the Red Pepper spread (left) and the Chipotle one (right). The Maple in the middle, not too excited about that.

Santa Fe Roasted Turkey Club with Peppered Bacon and Chipotle Mayo. The Peppered bacon won me over. Is there anything more boring than Turkey Breast? The Chile dusted fries are really really good. The Chipotle mayo actually had a kick to it, which was nice. Not a bad lunch for $7.95 but not as good as the Caesar Wrap. 

Masa on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blue Stove Burlington

Blue Stove is on the second floor in Nordstroms in Burlington and probably the only reason for me to visit the store. Small plates, nicely priced, table seating or you can do as I did and sit at the counter facing the open kitchen and watch the food being prepped.

Started with Salt and Pepper Calamari dusted with Lemon Zest. Perfectly cooked, crunchy and tender and they give you the tentacles as well and I'm happy with that since I think they are the best part. I hear one order coming in "Rings only".

Risotto Croquettes with Serrano Ham & Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce. Looks kind of boring but boy was this good! You cut into the Croquette and it oozed Serrano ham and cheese! The risotto was perfectly cooked and the croquette was crunchy on the outside. The tomato sauce was fantastic, acidic and tomaty and garlicky.(Both pictures I took of this dish was slightly out of focus, sorry).

For some reason, I was offered a Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco to try and it too was delicious! The taco shell was paper thin and I watched them making the shells when I arrived. It's a really nice room and the service was perfect as expected. Prices run from about $5 to $12.50 for the crab cakes.

Blue Stove on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guadalajara Grill Malden

Guadalajara Grill and Bar  in Malden is owned by the same people that operates Mexico Lindo in Melrose and it got a nice write-up in today's Boston Globe.

Beautiful bright interior with nice furniture and decor. There is a row of booths along the wall where I'm sitting. They also serve outside on the patio. Parking is a problem, but they validate for up to two hours in the nearby parking garages.

Homemade chips and salsa arrive promptly and the chips are delicious as are the salsa, rich in flavor, a little bit of a bite from the finely diced onions.

I tried the Beef Fajitas that are served on a bed of green pepper and onions. Comes with Rice and Refried Beans, Pico de Gallo and a good sized dollop of Guacamole. The beef needed seasoning and was mostly overcooked even after I tried to rescue it from the bottom of the dish. Everything else was fine. I liked the refried beans but then I like them out of a can as well. I left the two tortillas since there was enough food without them. The name of the restaurant comes from the hometown of the (owner/manager?). The prices was a little bit high at $9.45 for lunch, but you can't complain about the portion size. I'll be back to try the rest of the menu, very nice people and I have high hopes for this place.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thai Moon Arlington

I heard good things about Thai Moon in Arlington so I decided to pay it a visit for lunch today. It's a small place in Arlington Center and it's really easy to miss unless you know where it is.

Did I say small? Nice interior and impeccable clean. No linen napkins and the tables have the glass tops on top of the table cloths. Not too excited about that.

I had the Garlic Squid, fairly small portion, but the squid was cooked well, could have been more garlicky but then I don't have a meeting in the afternoon. Not a bad dish but could have done with some sort of sauce and I'll be back to try some more dishes from the fairly extensive lunch menu.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rang Indian Bistro Stoneham

Armed with a $5 gets you $10 of food Groupon Now I visited Rang Indian Bistro again for lunch. Municipal parking across the street makes parking a breeze.

Nothing too exciting on the lunch menu so I opted for a Lamb and Potato Dosa. It comes with coconut chutney and Sambhar (Spicy Soup). The dosa was nice and crisp and the lamb was tender so I was happy. The soup was OK. They seem to have a Groupon available most days both for Lunch and Dinner.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fishbones Chelmsford

Fishbones in Chelmsford did expand into next door a while ago and the new area has bar seating and table service. The old area is unchanged and the fish market is still there. You can also sit at the counter and look into the kitchen and see the chefs slave away.

They also have outdoor seating and this was a perfect day for it. One of these rare NE perfect days, nice temp, low humidity, just perfect for an outdoor lunch.

I must admit that I almost have the same dish here but why not since it's so good. Sesame yellow fin tuna steak sandwich cooked rare! Grilled sushi grade #1 yellow fin tuna steak, marinated in sesame oil, coated in sesame seeds and grilled to temperature. Served on a potato roll with pickled ginger, wasabi, seaweed salad, lettuce, tomato, pickle, homemade coleslaw and French fries. The quality of the tuna is excellent, the coated fries are cooked perfectly. Not sure why they serve pickled ginger with a sandwich but I love it. Service is very good. This is a really nice place with excellent food and very reasonable prices for what you get, especially at lunch.

Fishbones on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 20, 2012

MuLan Waltham

Friday so off to MuLan in Waltham for some excellent Taiwanese food.

Diced Chicken with Green Mustard is what the menu said. I think the green mustard was the very fine diced pickled veggie mixed in with the chicken. This turned out to be a very tasty dish even if it wasn't spicy. Look at all those green beans, so it was healthy as well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Tuscan Kitchen Salem NH

The Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH, is just off exit 2 on 93. It's in a beautiful building and the interior is gorgeous as well. 

Open kitchen, Pizzas is being fired just to the right up there and this place was packed 15 minutes after this photo was taken. Prices are on the high side but seemed justified. I really don't mind paying for quality.

Bread and oil for dipping. THE BREAD! Outstanding and baked fresh in the basement daily. Everything is made in-house, according to my waitress. She also seemed genuinely happy to be working here. They serve the full menu at lunch, but they also have lunch specials, a few Salads, Pizzas and Sandwiches all in the $8 to $14 range. The plates of pasta on the menu are available in small sizes as well. I'm tempted to go back and order a small pasta, that and the bread would make an excellent lunch.

TUSCAN STEAK SALAD. Rosemary and Garlic Grilled Hangar Steak, Wood Roasted Vegetables, Fresh Spinach, Roasted Garlic, Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette. This was excellent, steak cooked as ordered. The Wood Roasted Vegetables turned out to be just the mushroom(s) that's in the picture.
Three older ladies at a nearby table shared a meatball pizza. Combined age must have been in the 250+. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

MuLan Waltham

Back to MuLan in Waltham for some porky goodness!

Crispy fried Salt and Pepper Pork chop combo plate. Listed as spicy but fail to live up to the listing unless you pick up the diced jalapenos. Chicken Wing, Cucumber Salad and Edamame Beans makes for an excellent lunch.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scugnizzi Arlington

This used to be Buona Vita Restaurant in Arlington, but they recently changed the name to Scugnizzi and the menu to downscale a bit. Where does the funny name come from? It's an Italian term meaning 'street kids', it's used to describe Neapolitan kids. The new menu is fairly extensive and goes from Salads to Neapolitan Pizzas.

It looks like any small family run restaurant that you would find in Italy. Small bar with an enormous espresso machine, nice interior including the wife on the phone speaking Italian.  

What's more Italian than Bolognese, here served with Fettuccine and sprinkled with some Parmesan. Didn't look to be a big portion but it was deceiving, couldn't finish. It was served with a couple of slices of warm bread. The pasta was REALLY al dente, but the sauce was delicious! A bit tart from the tomatoes, meaty from pork and beef and there was some fresh basil mixed in just before serving. Water was nice and cold and you get a bottle left on the table and that's a touch that I really like. 

Scugnizzi on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kathmandu Spice Arlington

Kathmandu Spice is a smallish restaurant in Arlington that is serving Nepalese and Indian cuisine and also have a small lunch buffet.

Beautiful and bright dining area and what you see in the background are, in fact, the whole buffet.

"Famous Nepalese black lentil soup" and a mixed veggie Pakora will do as appetizers. The soup was flavorful and nice as was the Pakoras.

Chicken Curry, Carrot Rice, Curried Chickpeas and Tandoori Chicken was all good with Tandoori Chicken and the Chickpeas qualifying for seconds. Raw onion goes excellent with the Tandoori Chicken. Yes, that's why the Tandoori Chicken are always plated on a bed of onions.

You also have a choice of plain Naan or as seen here, Garlic Naan. Cooked to order and not too garlicky. There was also a cauliflower dish that I passed on. Not sure who declared cauliflower edible.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

La Posada Arlington Heights

Went back to La Posada today to give them another chance after a rather dismal lunch here a while ago. 

The chips were fresh this time and the salsa was OK.

Went all out Mexican today with a Caesar Wrap! Well, the Mexican part was covered by the Chipotle Chicken in the wrap. Wrap? Wish it was, what I got was two rolls with filling so while trying to eat one end the other end kept dropping salad and chicken on the plate. The salad was fresh and the dressing was OK. The fries were outstanding, cooked perfectly and really tasty. Only one other table was occupied when I left.
Love that they swipe your CC at the table.

La Posada Restaurante on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Masa Woburn

Having had a very nice Fiesta Brunch at Masa in Woburn a couple of weeks back, I decided to try them again today. The Fiesta Brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays, are really a tremendous deal! $7.95 for a two-course meal with coffee or tea included and a nice bread basket that comes with three different spreads.

Fresh fruit was nice, missing the strawberries, but they might be out of season now.

Despite asking for the scrambled eggs easy, they are back to their old ways and they were a long way off from  being the advertised "creamy". Potatoes and the Caramelized Onions was cooked perfectly. The multigrain toast could have done with some butter.

They do have a nice outdoor seating area.

Friday, July 6, 2012

MuLan Waltham

It's Friday so it's Fish day, right? Off to Mulan we go for some spicy fish.

Pickled Cabbage with Carrots and Peanuts to chase around, H&S Soup, Fish Fillet with Spicy Bean Sauce and Rice, all in one picture. Look at the size of that lunch portion of fish!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feng Shui Chelmsford

Feng Shui in Chelmsford now has four locations in Mass. This location 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.

If you get here early for lunch you stand a good chance to have a first go at the Nigiri selection. Salmon, Tuna and another whitefish and a couple of pieces if Maki. The Maki was Avocado and Pickle!. On top is a warm salmon roll.

When that was consumed they had refilled the Nigiri selection so again I loaded up! Didn't feel bad at all when I cleaned out the plate. If I count right I got 20 pieces of Nigiri and that alone is worth the price of lunch.

At this point, I'm almost done but back for a couple of Chicken Wings, Spicy Shrimp, Black Pepper Chicken, Green Beans and some Shumai. Chicken wings were crispy but dry, The Black Pepper Chicken is really good as is the Green Beans. The Shumai was (again) a bit too pink for me to eat. They also have all the standard stuff on the buffet and also some good sized shrimp with coconut, but that is too cloying sweet for me. They are really good at refilling stuff and keeping it warm.
I saw a sign that they now serve the buffet with Dim-Sum on weekends.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spicepepper Garden Acton

Went back to Spicepepper Garden in Action to try some more Sichuan appetizers.

Cold Noodle in Sichuan Sauce was pleasant enough, served with sliced cucumber and a dollop of garlic on the side that you could mix in. Unfortunately not a very memorable dish at all.

Next was Bamboo Shoots with Spicy Red Oil. What's wrong with this picture? Right, no Spicy Red Oil. When I pointed this out to the waitress she brought out a small dish of chili oil and then it was mix it yourself time.

Looks a bit better but I wasn't too happy with this dish, something odd about the bamboo shoots, may they didn't soak long enough, I don't know. Didn't finish it. The check had it listed as Bamboo Shoots with Sesame Oil, but that's a different dish. Shame, last visit was such a hit.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Priya Lowell (Chelmsford)

Despite being down in a basement Priya, (Just off the Drum Hill Rotary) is a nice brightly lighted Indian restaurant and they even have a little fountain with running water in the middle.

Spotless interior, spacious seating and very efficient service makes for an excellent lunch spot.

They have a lunch buffet with about 22 items on it. The Vegetarian Samosa in front was excellent. Vegetarian Biryani (to the left) actually had a nice kick to it from the spices. Dal Makhani was nice and thick. Butter Chicken was also really nice flavored and it too had a little bit of heat. Next was Potatoes and something, not sure what but it was tasty! The Tandoori Chicken was moist and had a nice char from the Tandoori oven. Seeing dishes that actually are a bit spicy isn't that common on a lunch buffet but I'm happy and they are still in business. There has been a few failing restaurants in this location.