Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DooWee & Rice Somerville

I haven't been here for a while, but the place still looks the same and so did the pretty cashier. Today I was going to be brave and order the.

Heart-y Fries! The menu said, "Crispy chicken hearts over french fries smothered in great white sauce, garlic chili sauce, and veggies". Veggies? There were no veggies unless you count the lime or the scallions. The chicken hearts were somewhat crispy but most of them was way too chewy for me me. When I got to try them a while back they were way better and really tender. The fries were really good and cooked perfectly. Having tried this, I'll pass in the future in favor of his other excellent dishes. Friend him on Facebook, he posts the daily specials there. Wish I had done that earlier, he had confit duck bao earlier this summer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Twin Seafood West Concord

Roadtrip! Well, not really but a leisurely drive on the back roads to West Concord almost qualifies.

Twin Seafood is a fish market that also serves food with both indoor and outdoor seating.

Fried Fish Sandwich with Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato and Fries. There were a number of options for the sides, but I heard good thing about the fries, so that was my choice. Unfortunately, they did not live up to the hype, just your everyday fries and a bit uneven cooking as well. They were not salted when removed from the fryer and it's almost impossible to get the salt to stick afterward so a bit of a disappointment here. The fish, on the other hand, was excellent, moist and cooked to perfection with a very thin coating. Superfresh. Cole slaw was forgettable and the tartar sauce was just OK, both delivered in plastic containers. Not sure what the grilled bun was but it was also very good.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

After a couple of weeks missing my Saturday lunch spot I'm finally back and today I had the place to myself and that makes me nervous for them.

Grilled Pork Chop lunch box. Delicious and a lot of food. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and impeccable clean. The salad was fresh and the spring rolls crunchy with a nice dipping sauce. How good of a deal is this for $7.95 including soup?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Wanted something spicy on this rainy overcast day so off to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington I go.

Spicy Noodles Soup with Pork ordered extra spicy and it now comes out looking like this! This, I must admit, was SPICY. There is a heap of thick perfectly cooked noodles hiding in that fierce broth. It was so good I finished the whole thing except the broth.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Golden Garden Belmont

Golden Garden in Belmont is serving excellent authentic Northern Chinese food in addition to the standard American/Chinese dishes. Unfortunately, their lunch menu doesn't have anything exciting to offer but I needed to stock up on their homemade frozen dumpling so I paid them a visit for lunch today.

Interior is drab with hardly any decorations to liven the place up, dim lighting, unstable chair and inadequate AC and very few customers at lunchtime. The menu itself looks terrible, handmade and bound in cheap plastic covers but contains a lot of really good food. I had pork intestine with spicy sauce here once and it was delicious!

Decided to go with a couple appetizers and started with Dan Dan Noodles. They were listed under cold apps but was hot as they should be. They were lacking the red chili oil but had plenty of spice regardless, but the ground beef or pork was missing.

Steamed Bacon with fresh garlic was really good and didn't lack in garlic and the pork belly was tender. Really tasty dish.

Pork with Chinese Cabbage ($14.95 for 50) and Pork, Leek and Shrimp ($16.95) comes frozen and nicely labeled. In Chinese of course. Thin wrappers and delicious fillings make them a really good deal and you will always have something to eat at home.

 Golden Garden on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

A rare Sunday lunch post but again I find myself at Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington. No lunch menu on the weekends so I ordered from the regular menu.

C18 is Sauteed Spicy Chicken (with bone) on the takeout menu but I think the name was different on the regular menu. A big heap of crispy deep fried chicken with tender and juicy chicken but the spicy part was lacking. This was more like salt and pepper chicken but nevertheless it was an enjoyable dish. The chicken was bone in so watch out for bone splinters. White rice was included, much to my surprise. I know what's for dinner ;-).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sakura Winchester

Went back to Sakura in Winchester for some more all you can eat sushi and it's really a steal at $13.95.

The Shrimp Tempura had a bit heavier batter this time and it wasn't as light and fluffy as the last time. Shrimp was still good.

The Sushi was very good and this time I tried a hand roll of spicy tuna. It wasn't overpowering spicy. Everybody knows what goes into the "spicy" selection, right?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bamboo Bedford

Armed with another Groupon I went to Bamboo in Bedford for some Chinese food for lunch. Looking at the menu I noticed that the three Bamboo locations and the three Mandarin locations are part of the same chain.

Being a single diner, I again get relegated to the bar. It filled up pretty quickly.

Since we are splurging today I started with wings that were nicely presented with mustard and duck sauce and a little serving utensil. The wings were excellent, plump, juicy and perfectly cooked and tasting of chicken.

Salt and Pepper Calamari was a big heap of perfectly cooked calamari that was actually spicy! There was dried red chilies and fresh Jalapeno slices in there with some sliced lettuce and green onions. It was so good I finished the whole plate and that rarely happens.
I did have a look at the lunch buffet and there wasn't anything exciting there but if the wings are as good as the ones I got, I could go there just for the wings. The included sushi was the normal assortment of maki rolls, didn't see any nigiri at all.

Bamboo on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pizzico Ristorante Nashua

I met up with a friend for lunch today and he suggested Pizzico Ristorante in Nashua and that sounded good. This was a favorite of mine when I used to work in Nashua.

I chose the Caesar Salad ($1 extra) and the salad was fine, the croutons on the other hand was rock hard little nuggets.

The Clams with Linguine in a white sauce was the main dish. The pasta needed salt and the clams were a bit dry and there was very little sauce and it was bland. My friends dish of Sausage with Rigatoni was according to him, excellent, so maybe they had a bad day with my dish. The service was fine despite one waiter covering all the tables.

Pizzico Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Chelmsford

Nice day for a drive so I decided to visit the middle of nowhere and there you find Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford.

This is a busy place especially on the weekend. This is the parking lot today a couple of minutes after noon.

I think I snagged the last available table. The kitchen is packed with trainees for the Boston venture and Gene's wife was also training a cashier. Despite all that, orders were quickly delivered as was takeouts.

Xi'an Chilled Noodle (weekends only) and two cumin lamb skewers made for a delicious lunch. I will not make any comments about the lady opposite me at the next table with a nice cleavage leaning forward to slurp her noodles. As I said, a very nice lunch.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

And now for something different! Well, not really, I'm back at Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for lunch again. It's a nice place, nice drive and parking is never a problem.

The lunch soup was interesting again and had a white fungus in a pork broth.

But the big surprise was the "Braised Pork Chop with Spinach" from the lunch menu. This was not what I expected! A big heap of nicely (red?) braised very tender and tasty pork ribs. There were a few leaves of spinach underneath. The ribs were excellent and adding some of their delicious chili oil only made things better. The chili oil isn't that spicy but very tasty with a hint of Sichuan peppercorns. It was good to see them being pretty busy at lunchtime. The tables either side of me was having the good stuff as opposed to the table with chicken and broccoli.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ZuZu's Cafe Wakefield

I have seen this place on Main Street in Wakefield while visiting PHU KET and other nice places here in town. I knew they had outdoor seating and looking at ZuZu's website the menu looked good and it had good write ups on the web as well so I gave it a try for lunch today.

They have a fair amount of tables on the patio and there is also a smallish dining room inside. You order at the counter and they will bring the food out when ready and they were pretty quick about it.

I decided to try the "SANDWICH OF THE DAY" and today it was CUBAN MELT. Sliced Pork Tenderloin, Ham, Melted Swiss, Pickles & Mustard on Grilled Tuscan White Bread $7.95. They get an A+ for taste and a B- for construction. The pork was meltingly tender and nicely seasoned and there was a lot of it. The pork tenderloin was thickly sliced and with the large chunks of pickles in there made it hard to eat. I could have done with a bit less mustard but despite that it was excellent. Normally sandwiches come with two sides or a salad but not the sandwich of the day. They list the daily specials on their website. This was a nice spot and a nice lunch and I can't wait to try more stuff from the menu. They also serve breakfast all day. Parking can be tricky on Main Street but try the parallel road that has parking on both sides.

ZuZu's Cafe and Catering on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bamboo House Wakefield

Bamboo House in Wakefield is tucked away in a small shopping Plaza in Wakefield, but it was recommended to me so I thought I would give it a try for lunch today.

Interior is OK, there is a small bar and 3 TV's was on. Cutlery in a rolled up napkin is the default.

The lunch menu has all the standard American-Chinese dishes and also comes with a choice of soups. The Hot and Sour Soup was surprisingly good with a very nice flavor and there were some fresh mushrooms in there as well.

General Gau's Chicken and a couple Crab Rangoons. You also had a choice of spring roll or egg roll. The Crab Rangoons was more Rangoon than crab. The General Gau's chicken was nice with a very thin coating and tender and moist chicken inside. I asked for extra spicy, but there was no heat at all. Even the check had +Chili added, but it didn't work. Prices were very reasonable, lunch prices topped out at $7 and the service and wait staff was pleasant.

Bamboo House on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 8, 2013

Asian Gourmet Concord

It was a nice day for a drive so I decided to revisit Asian Gourmet in Concord. We now have some decent Taiwanese restaurants in Arlington so I haven't been here for a while.

Started with the soup dumplings and they were mostly delicious with a tasty filling of meat and soup. The top of the dumpling (where it's twisted together) was really dry and I don't remember that from the last time. The vinegar/ginger dipping sauce was very vinegary.

For my main dish, I went with the Chef's Special, Lamb in Spicy Sauce. Lamb, green & red bell pepper & onions in special spicy ma la sauce is what the menu said. It had plenty of la (heat) but was lacking the ma (numbing) part. The chef must have grabbed the wrong bin of meat because this was beef and not lamb. I'm not too happy about that and since I was filled up with the dumplings and only had a few bites of this and I didn't realize until I started in on the leftovers later on.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

PHU KET Wakefield

Saturday lunch at the usual place and it's another wicked hot and humid day but their AC works fine.

Som-Tum (Papaya Salad). Chopped papaya and carrots mixed with chili, garlic, tomatoes and ground peanuts topped with grilled chicken. There was finely chopped Thai birds eye chilies in there making things interesting. It was a good day for a salad and this one was perfectly fine with a nice dressing.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sakura Winchester

I recently found out that Sakura in Winchester does an all you can eat Sushi for lunch and dinner. At lunch time, it's 13.95 and dinner is 20.95. Both are available 6 days a week (Closed Mondays). It's very similar to what Maki Maki in Woburn does, there is Sushi, Rolls, Hand Rolls and hot offerings from the kitchen.

It's a very small place with a sushi counter in the back. There are more tables back there as well. I had been here previously and it was OK.

Started with squid tempura and it was a bit disappointing, could have come out of any supermarket's frozen section.

Salmon, Red Snapper and Tuna Nigiri was excellent with fresh fish, really decent sized pieces of fish and nice rice. I also got one piece of grilled eel that comes with a sweet sauce and was very tasty. The roll of spicy salmon with crisp? was minced pieces of salmon, not too spicy with something crispy added, could have been panko.

Despite the squid above I ordered tempura shrimp, and some more tuna and the shrimp was excellent, really crisp and light coating and here you could really taste the shrimp. This place really blows Maki Maki out of the water. Friendly service, plenty of parking and really really good quality ingredients. I wish I had a bigger appetite ;-).

Sakura Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

I was going to a new place for lunch today, but they had the audacity to close for vacation this week so I went to Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington instead. The Meat House is almost next door so this worked out well.

On the standard menu, this is the BBQ Baby Beef Ribs Rice plate. When I first saw this I had to ask if they meant pork ribs but they confirmed that it was beef and looking at the size of the bones even the Baby part seems right. What was not right was the BBQ part, they were more steamed/boiled than BBQ'ed. There were (mostly) tender and the rice plate had the standard Taiwanese Rice Plate additions. You can see the almost black marinated egg next to the sweet chopped mustard and, ick! broccoli. I would have preferred something like bok choy instead. There was also braised ground pork on top of the rice and the cooking juices was soaking into the rice. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joe Fish North Reading

Joe Fish in North Reading are located in a former Picadilly's in the same plaza as Walmart. It has got mixed reviews, but I decided to visit for lunch today. I promptly got seated in the bar area without being asked. I could have asked for another table but then I wouldn't have anything to complain about.

Decided to go with just Fish and Chips for $8.99. A good amount of well cooked fresh fish and coated fries with a slightly soupy slaw. Apart from being a bit wet the slaw was fine with some crunchy red cabbage. The tartar sauce in the little plastic cup was OK, I could have done with a refill but the waitress didn't come back until it was time for the check. This place is LOUD. Really really loud. Rte28 is a pain the seat, gazillion traffic lights and plenty of potholes.