Friday, June 28, 2013

Maki Maki Woburn

Went back to Maki Maki in Woburn for lunch today despite the not so stellar experience the last time but a friend wanted to try it and I was interested to see if anything had changed and I can happily report that a lot has changed and for the better.

Gone is the slip of paper you filled out and they now have a laminated menu and they will take your actual order. Gone is the self-service Nigiri and Maki and you order Nigiri and Maki off the menu and it's prepared to order. No more cold Nigiri out of the fridge.

Sorry for the bad focus, both pictures were bad. Shumai is still a mystery to me here but the Gyoza was fine and the shrimp tempura was fried perfectly and the batter was excellent.

This is Merry Christmas Roll ( tempura shrimp and spicy salmon on top) and Sexy Girl Roll (spicy tuna and spicy crab) both servings are 8 pieces so each piece in the picture is really two rolls side by side.

A better picture of each slice from above.

Here are three of the four choices for Nigiri, Red Snapper, Salmon and Tuna. Shrimp is also available. The tuna was cut very very thinly, but the quality of the fish was fine. The rice, albeit at the right temperature now, was still lacking seasoning.

Rainbow Roll, is a California roll (crab and avocado) with paper thin slices of fish on top. Price is now $13.99 per person and they will charge you $1 for each uneaten Nigiri/Maki.

Maki Maki on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clover Burlington

Clover just opened a branch in Burlington at 100 Mall Road. They have a number of locations in Boston and also operate food trucks, but this was my first visit. In fact, it was free sandwich day today and who can resist that? It's worth every penny you pay!

As expected the place was mobbed but well organized with staff taking orders on their iPhones as soon as you got in. As you can see, free lemonade was also available. There is counter seating and also tables in the back.

I also sprung for an order of Rosemary Fries for $3. The fries were OK but could have been cooked longer, they were limper than I liked. There was also no coordination between the sandwich and the fries order so I got the fries about 10 minutes before the sandwich. They just opened and the place was mobbed so I really don't have a complaint here.

The chickpea fritter sandwich was quite good with deep fried balls of chickpeas, crunchy slaw and carrots with some cucumber salad hiding in a corner and there was also some pickled cucumber in there and I guess some tahini on the bread. A yogurt dressing was squirted on top. What about the dressing for the rest of the sandwich? Never understood this practice.

This is the sandwich opened up. They also had a homemade chili sauce that was quite delicious. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

Saturday so here we go again to PHU KET in Wakefield. Today I got the Tofu Soup with my lunchbox, but it's now 86'ed on the takeout menu. I'm glad I had it and will not judge anything based on its name.

The Lunch Box lineup has changed, notable is that the Grilled Spare Rib is gone, but a few new ones have been added. The Seafood Basil I had today is new and delicious. Shrimp, scallop, squid, mussels, mushrooms, red peppers and onions in a spicy chili basil sauce. Everything was cooked perfectly and since we now understand each other on the spiciness level this was runny nose hot! Now you can also get Steamed Noodles in addition to Brown Rice for an extra $. 50.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

Still trying to work my way through the extensive lunch menu at Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington.

After I got my water and peanuts, an order of Kim Chi (menu spelling) arrived by magic. It was nice and crisp and tangy.

The soup was interesting for once and had a white fungus in a pork broth. The mushroom was called Tomilla, I think and was very interesting both in texture and taste. Both very good.

Main dish today was stir fried Clam with Basil that come in a black bean sauce and the whole thing was delicious! The clams were tender and really plump and cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, there was grit left and also broken shells in the sauce and that kind of ruined a very tasty dish. The sauce was also very thick and made the whole thing a mess to eat since it stuck to your fingers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oye's Reading

If I had known that Oye's in Reading was located in a strip mall I might have skipped it as today's choice for lunch.

The interior was nice enough and they also have an enormous sushi bar that's behind me and it seemed to do brisk business during lunch.

The Hot and Sour soup that comes with the lunch specials wasn't really either. It was jam packed with stuff but unfortunately nothing good like shiitakes that add a nice umami touch.

Szechuan Spicy Chicken really looked like a normal Kung Pao chicken, chicken, peanuts, celery and a few red chili peppers thrown in. It must have been a sale on celery since there was almost more celery than chicken. Despite the nice peppers, the dish lacked spice as well. Not sure how they expect whole chilies to impart any flavor at all. Roast the chilies so they became crispy, break them open to let the seeds out and then we have a dish with flavor.

The chicken wing arrived about 10 minutes later and was a plain deep fried wing, no marinade or coating and with a good sized bruise near the bone. Overall, it was cheap, nice service and decor and a good amount of food and free parking and a convenient location.

Oye's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Chelmsford

Drove up to Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford because there was a rumor of a new dish on the menu. It was true, he now has a #9 item available.

For $9, including tax, you get Gene's hand pulled noodles with a good amount of thinly sliced cumin lamb, topped with cilantro, bean sprouts, and sliced raw onions. There is also some green bell peppers hiding in there. At the bottom, there is a garlic, chile mixture.

After finally making a dent in the dish, there is a lot of food, you can see the tasty chili oil mixture on the bottom. This is basically his hand pulled noodles with cumin lamb added and the spoonful of raw garlic removed. He's also planning to open a restaurant in Downtown Crossing in Boston, but that's really as far away as Chelmsford for me and you would have to pay for parking in Boston.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

Saturday and back here again to try something new.

Tender Beef Platter Lunch Box was marinated beef and snap peas with mushrooms and all the lunchbox trimmings. Everything was cooked well but not the most exciting dish but a good alternative if you don't want something that's spicy. The lunchboxes are really a steal at these prices.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

Back to Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for some more Noodle Soup.

I asked what was in the Taiwanese Noodle Soup and the response was pork and vegetables, OK I'll try that. This is what I got, very weak broth with some bits of pork and spinach and Taiwanese egg noodles. This is probably the weakest dish I have had here, took a lot of salt and chili paste to get this one edible.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mr. Chan's Burlington

Went back to Mr. Chan's in Burlington to try some other stuff from the Chinese menu.

When I asked what the Hong Kong Style Beef on Rice platter was, the response was "It's cooked in Chinese style". It turned out to be nuggets of beef, egg and thinly sliced lettuce and some scallions and rice. A fairly pleasant dish and it was an ample portion. The service here is always prompt and courteous. I'm sure chopstick is available if you ask, but the default is silverware.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Back to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for another lunch.

Lunch specials come with Hot & Sour Soup that is quite good and piping hot.

Flounder Fish Fillet with Black Bean Sauce comes with your ubiquitous brown sauce and black beans. I didn't expect this to be fabulous but it was a nice lunch and I must admit I finished all of it and most of the rice as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

Back here again for another Saturday lunch!

This is the lunch portion of the Indonesian Fried Rice, fried jasmine rice with shrimp (2), onions, green peas, black mushrooms, scallions, curry powder topped with BBQ Chicken. It was really grilled chicken. I ordered it hot and now we are getting there since they know me. This was hot! This was three pepper hot! Delicious! But to get here you have to ask for 5 stars hot. Everything was well cooked and did I say it was hot?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sushi Island Wakefield

I went back to Sushi Island Wakefield since I had an excellent lunch here the last time. Today I was going to try one of their Bento boxes.

Lunch specials come with Miso soup and the soup here is quite good.

The Bento box of choice was the Grilled Scottish Salmon. The salmon was cooked as ordered and the Teriyaki sauce was very light. The menu describes it as "A homemade teriyaki sauce, made with soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake". The Tamago was unbelievably light and seemed to be made with an infinite number of layers. The maki roll was fake crab and avocado. You can get a number of the lunch specials for $6.95-$7.95 and they come with just Soup and Salad.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

Back to Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for some more noodle soup on a perfect day, 70+, clear blue skies and a mild breeze.

Wonton and Chicken Noodle soup was today's lunch choice and I ordered it with Udon Noodles and even if the broth was a bit weak it was delicious! There was a good amount of wontons. There were some pickled veggies and some seaweed as well. The chili oil arrives without any prompting.

The wontons really looked like some small brains, but they were delectable anyway.

They were fairly busy today and a number of tables outside the picture was occupied as well.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

I keep returning to PHU KET for Saturday lunch and why not?

Back to the lunch boxes that come with the Tofu Soup that despite its name is surprisingly nice!

The Salmon Rad-Prik lunch box comes with Scallion. Asparagus, Red peppers and topped with crispy red onions in a spicy sauce. The good news was that this was a huge piece of salmon and I asked for it extra spicy and it almost reached 3 peppers in spiciness! It was spicy enough that I was glad the salad was there to cool me down. Very tender asparagus and scallions. The bad news was that the salmon was dry on the outside, but it turned out that they deep fried it so I would suggest that you ask for this pan fried. This is the most expensive lunch box at $9.95 but well worth the price. I can't believe I ate the whole thing including the spring rolls, but it was delicious.