Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Simply Khmer Lowell

Went back to Simply Khmer in Lowell to try their Loc Lac since I heard good things about it.

Well, it was very different from what I remember from the Elephant Walk when they opened downstairs in Union Square. Steak tips served on a bed of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and onions. The beef was well marinated and nicely charred and very tender and the fresh lime pepper sauce that was served on the side was tasty as well but I felt that the portion was a bit skimpy and I'm not even that big of an eater.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blue Stove Burlington

Needed to visit the mall for some essentials so I decided to stop at the Blue Stove in Nordstroms.

Sat at the bar again, really cool since you can see all the food getting prepped. Got a free taste of the Sichuan Chicken served in a lettuce leaf, nice and crunchy chicken but not spicy at all. It's the second time I got a freebie, such a nice gesture! Apart from that I had exactly what he had again!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tenoch Medford

Figured that I stop by for a couple of Tostadas but they had Pozole Roja as a special and available at lunch so that got me excited! Might be on next week, check their Facebook page.

Out comes a big bowl topped with a good chunk of sliced Avocado, Finely chopped and sliced radishes and a wedge of lime. Chips out of a bag were piled around the bowl. I suggested that they make their own chips. The Pozole was spicy and really tasty.

Took another picture further into the bowl, unfortunately, didn't capture the redness of the broth from the chilies but the soup was loaded with pork and hominy and did I say it was spicy?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pho 88 Lowell/Chelmsford

Wanted some Pho and realized that I haven't been to Pho 88 in Lowell/Chelmsford for ages. They are next door to Priya, the Indian restaurant downstairs. I have been going here since they opened and it was just one room, thankfully they quickly expanded next door so they have plenty of space. Having said that, they were completely filled up today but Fridays is fairly busy everywhere. They now also serve hotpot and the special tacked to the walls were 1/2 dozen fresh oysters for $10.

This is the large Beef Pho (#14 Xe Lua) that comes with everything. No reason to get anything smaller since now you can eat yourself silly and still have a meal left. You can see the rare flank (commonly spelled frank in most restaurants) between the wisps of steam. Well done brisket is in there as well as tendon and tripe. The broth had a lot of star anise taste almost too much for me but overall this was an excellent Pho and no holding back for the white guy! They also (still) have the best looking waitresses around..

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Mughals Burlington

Did lunch takeout again from The Mughals in Burlington. I like the takeout lunch concept since I can enjoy my Garlic Naan without thinking that I'm missing out on the food and I also save a couple of bucks in tips. I'm NOT cheap just frugal ;-).

Aforementioned Garlic Naan below the dessert container filled with Garlic Fish (Excellent! Can't ever have too much Garlic), Crispy Chili Potatoes, this was like Crispy FF with Chilies, new dish and very good. Bhindi Masala (Spicy Okra) also very good. Chana Saag (Spinach and Chickpeas) another new and excellent dish, really nicely spiced. Butter Chicken was creamy and spicy, really well done. A few pieces of Tandoori Chicken also sneaked its way into the container. Boy, this was a really good lunch (and dinner).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scugnizzi Arlington

Armed with a Groupon I went back today for some pizza and found that the sign outside had changed a bit. Now offering Build your own Slice $1.95 ($1.99?) and the sandwich of the day have changed to Guido's sandwich. I asked about the sandwich and the special is now anything under Guido's Favorites on the menu, they just make it into a sandwich instead of a meal. Not bad for $5.95. He said that he just selected a few from there anyway when people asked about the special so why not offer all four.

This is the Salsicce e Broccoli pizza, White with Mozzarella, Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe and some grated cheese and crushed hot peppers on the side. This was tasty but am I the only one that expects slices of sausage when it says "Italian Sausage" in the description? Not complaining since everything was cooked perfectly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Chelmsford

Stopped by Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford today, not because I was in the neighborhood since there is nothing around him but because I hadn't been there for a long time. Gene was his normal happy self and the lunch business looked OK, but I'm worried since he's so far from anything and the menu is so limited.

X'ian chilled Noodles just hit the menu the last time I was here so it was today's choice. Cold chewy noodles served with julienne cucumber and carrots and some minced cilantro and some bean sprouts. You also got a tea cooked egg with it. Chili oil and some vinegar were on the bottom of the bowl and you can mix it all up if you want. There was some serious knife-work being applied to the cucumber and carrots. The julienne was unbelievably precise! This was one delicious dish! Everything comes nicely together, not too spicy and the vinegar gave it a good acidity and the veggies added crunch. The portion size was good.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tenoch Medford

I wasn't going to post since I just had a couple Tostadas but they looked so good I went ahead anyway! And a few things have changed on the menu as well.

Left one is Chorizo, really nice, not too spicy but a nice flavor. The right one is with Adobo (Pork Guajillo). The Adobo filling was only available as a Taco special but have now been added to the fillings section. I was going to ask for this as a special today but obviously didn't need to. Amazing how things work out!

Adobo also has its own Torta as Torta Adobada and the Torta Campechana has moved from the specials to the menu board as well. I still think the Plato Mexicano with Chicken and Mole is the best deal especially with the refried beans. The fish plate is gone from the specials.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pho & Spice Waltham

Finally decided to try the Bánh mì since I wanted something lighter today. On my last visit, I did ask what kind of pork they used and I thought that I got an affirmative on pork belly.

What I got was the normal slightly sweet caramelized pork and slightly pickled carrots and daikon. Underneath was some cucumber spears and some cilantro. The french bread was fresh and crunchy and really good, but the whole sandwich lacked wow and got me wondering what's the big deal with the Bánh mì that everyone loves? This was underwhelming to say the least.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Mughals Burlington

Went to The Mughals in Burlington for lunch today and I decided to try the takeout version. You get two Styrofoam containers and Naan and I asked for Garlic Naan. I really like Naan but rarely eat it at a buffet since I rather fill up on the good stuff.

The container to the left with the fish is supposed to be for the dessert, so I might have cheated a bit here? Anyway, the Malabar Fish Curry in it was excellent. Chicken Schezwan Rice was just OK should have stuck with only the roasted potatoes (above). Kind of silly to take up space with roasted potatoes but I really like them so there! Dhaba Chicken is sitting atop one of today's winners, American Corn Pepper Salt. This was crunchy corn coated with salt and pepper and it was really delicious! I forgot bottom left, another winner, Crispy Hot Garlic Chicken. This was a crispy chicken in a spicy garlicky sauce with onions. It did stay sort of crispy even in the sauce, not sure how that works. Tandoori chicken was as usual excellent. I think people tend to forget that you can add another layer of food in the container that will be covered by the top.
I really like this place (can you tell?) since it's so nice to go to a buffet that has 1. Spicy food and 2. New stuff that I haven't seen or tried before. The Corn and the Garlic Chicken  was new to me and were really really nice. The Chicken Tikka Masala wasn't even present today and neither was the Veg Samosa but they had Gobi 65 instead that looked good (don't like Cauliflower).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Went back to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for lunch today. I have a cold and I figured a spicy soup would do me good.

Spicy Noodles Soup with Pork hit the spot nicely. She did remember me from last week and the soup did come out nicely spiced, and this time I would agree that it was spicy, they even threw in a bunch of sliced Thai Bird Chilies so it got better as time progressed. The noodles were cooked perfectly, chewy with a nice texture without being undercooked.  

It's interesting to see the older Lexington/Arlington crowd come in being a bit bewildered at not finding the old restaurant. They can still get their Beef and Broccoli or Chicken with mixed veggies so hopefully they will still come here.   
They added a waitress since last week so they must be doing something right.

Taipei Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Priya Lowell

Priya in Lowell are just off the big Chelmsford rotary and is located downstairs in a nice bright room with an extensive buffet, advertised as containing 22 items on weekday and 27 on weekends.

Today wasn't too exciting, I must admit, an Onion and Cheese Roll! can be seen next to the Goat Curry. Tandoori Chicken was really good with a peppery rub and the Cabbage Carrot Porial was another really good dish. A bit spicy and with a good texture from the cabbage and carrots. Channa Chicken was OK. The Aloo Baignan (Potatoes and Eggplant) was bland and under seasoned. Second helping was Tandoori Chicken and more of the Cabbage with some Dal Tadka.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simply Khmer Lowell

Gray and rainy here today so a good day for some soup at Simply Khmer in Lowell. Sound like Lowell is far away from home but it takes only about 20 minutes door to door.

Kuy-Tiev Special. Rice noodles, beef, beef meatball, seafood, bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions in house broth. The beef wasn't the most tender that I ever had, but it's not really expected for the price. Fake crab and seafood but there was a couple of shrimps in there as well as a piece of squid. Left the chopsticks on the bowl to indicate the size. This is a really nice lunch for $6.25 including a $1 tip. Next time I'll splurge and try the Loc Lac ($7.50), the only Cambodian dish that I'm familiar with.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Taipei Gourmet in Lexington has taken over the space formerly occupied by Three Gorges, a run of the mill Chinese restaurant that was completely forgettable. The new owner has previously worked Formosa Taipei but quit to open this Taiwanese restaurant.

I don't think the interior has changed, but it's a nice bright place.

The normal three choices of soup are offered, and I choose the Hot and Sour that comes out in a small bowl with a drizzle of chili oil on top. The soup was OK.

I ordered the Lunch Special Flounder Fish Fillet with Szechuan Sauce, and the waitress/owner said that it was spicy and I said that spicy is good and she asked if I wanted it extra spicy, to which I said YES. When it arrived it had, as you can see, a brown sauce and that is not a good sign. It was just mildly spicy at the most. She offered to redo the dish for takeout when she stopped by later to ask if it was spicy enough and I said that it wasn't spicy at all. I declined, they just opened, and everyone is learning, but I thought the gesture was nice. The fish, on the other hand, was cooked perfectly and she later said that she had spoken to the chef.
They have some nice things on the menu, The Taiwanese app section looks really good as does the Taiwanese Noodles and Rice section. Some nice priced soups in there as well as things like Fried Chicken Leg over Rice for $7.59 and Pork Chop over Rice, same price.
The problem with this place is that you can't really get here from anywhere unless going through either Lexington or Arlington. My GPS took me to 128 to 2 to 4 to Mass Ave, and I thought that was complicated but after taking Mass Ave back to 128 I decided that the GPS wasn't that stupid after all.

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

Punjabi Tadka Arlington

Since Punjab in Arlington doesn't serve from the lunch menu on anything resembling a holiday (but they serve lunch Sat and Sun, go figure) but Punjabi Tadka up the street does, the choice of Indian fare was easy.

Back to one piece of Papad and the condiment containers (and the spoons) was also back to being a bit grungy. 

Ordered the Aloo Palak and for something that was described as Potatoes cooked with chopped spinach there was a minuscule amount of potatoes in the dish. Four small pieces was all that I found. The dish itself was bland and slightly sweet, but a good dollop of the Onion Chutney balanced out the dish nicely.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tenoch Medford

Another quick lunch at Tenoch in Medford. Working my way through the menu.

Quesadilla with Carne Asada was OK. Got to try two of the hot sauces as well. The green one with avocado was nice, but the red one was FIERCELY hot, beware, and I like hot.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Luna Rossa Tewksbury

When I bought a Groupon to Luna Rossa in Tewksbury I thought it was a different restaurant so I'm glad I checked the location before heading out there for lunch today.

Very unassuming exterior but a beautiful interior, open kitchen and a nice mural and nice furniture. Big bar to the left. The place was empty when I got there just before noon but filled up with two big parties arriving as well as a number of diners. I was wondering why they had two waitresses at lunch, but they got busy quickly.

An Italian loaf of bread with a nice dipping oil supplemented by some fresh parm arrives quickly.

Chicken Saltimbocca served with Arancini was cooked competently enough and the Arancini was nice and creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Two chicken breasts so you certainly got enough food, prices for lunch are a bit on the high side but can't really complain about the amount and the quality of the food. Service was also very good and efficient. There was also the obligatory Italian looking manager complete with gold chains. For these prices, they should really have linen napkins and that's my only complaint.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Mughals Burlington

The Mughals in Burlington does a number of things right and one of them is posting the buffet menu on their website and today there was a number of new items to try so it was time for the weekly visit.

 Starting at 6 o'clock we have Lamb Kheema, Chicken Chilli (Mmm), Schezwan Fried Veg Rice (was OK, their spelling), Mushroom Salt Pepper (made by the new chef and even if I'm not too excited about cooked mushrooms, these I will eat), Deep Fried Peppers (found in the Mix Pakoda bin) and I love those. As with all peppers, you never know if you are going to get a hot one or a blazing hot one. Baighan Bharta (eggplant) and this was one good dish. Potato Varuval, also made by the new chef, and it was OK.

Second helping, Chicken Biryani, Tandoori Chicken, More green peppers, mushrooms and eggplant. Mughals Chicken.
They also told me that they have hired another chef that does Indochinese so we can look forward to even more new dishes.
The Menu states "All you can eat Buffet, dine in only" and I took that to mean "No takeout of the buffet" but since I saw people doing Buffet takeout I asked about it and what they meant was that only the buffet was all you can eat. Takeout is the same price as dine in, you get one Styrofoam container and a small one for the desserts and it also includes a naan. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Simply Khmer Lowell

I have heard good things about Simply Khmer in Lowell, most recently in a discussion about Korean Chicken Wings and Simply Khmer's Hot Wings was mentioned. 

What have a Korean wing and a Cambodian wing in common? No idea but these was pretty delicious! Crispy, sticky but not very spicy. They were spicy, but I expected more. Dinner menu states 10 pieces and lunch menu doesn't say anything, but I got 8 pieces.

Kuy-Tiev Sach-Jrouk Rice noodle, slices of pork meat, bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions in-house broth was also pretty good, nice broth, tender pork, bean sprouts and a slice of lime on the side. Not a very big bowl but certainly sufficient for lunch and it was a whopping $4.95! A couple slices of the pickled jalapeno that is part of the table condiments livened things up a bit. 

Not sure what I expected but this was a bright, clean room with ample space and nice furniture and, of course, filled with Asian people and me. Service was fine and prompt and the whole lunch was enjoyable. They have got very mixed reviews on the web, especially about the service but today at least everything was very good. They are just off Rte 110 on the edge of Lowell so they are easy to get to, parking can be an issue here.