Sunday, June 29, 2014

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

I will not let an 80+ degree day deter me from having a noodle soup since it's been forever and I'm heading out to Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for a favorite of mine.

This is called Beef Stew Noodles Soup on the menu. Clearly it's not a stew but thinly sliced beef, spinach and a few other bits and pieces in a dark rich broth. I asked for it extra spicy and they now get that, look at all the sliced birds eye chilies that has been added. With the stir fries and noodle soups, you have a choice of six different noodles and I really like the Japanese Udon noodles so that what can be seen here. I of course, took a whole slew of pictures with the noodles completely hidden and had to do them over after the brain kicked in.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Del Frisco's Grille Burlington

Del Frisco's Grille in Burlington opened this week in the new small shopping center next to Barnes & Noble. It's the most casual version of the Del Frisco's Steakhouse.

Open kitchen and. of course, red leather everywhere and good looking waitresses come standard. Lunch prices start at $12+.

Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich $13 Shaved Lettuce, B&B Pickles, Sloppy Sauce, Frites and you get your own ketchup bottle. The fries were really excellent, perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned.

A better picture of the fried chicken with sauce. This was a good sized piece of chicken, very nicely cooked with a crispy outside. Not bad at all and worth the money and I kept on eating the fries even after I was full. They also have a Lamb burger on the menu, I feel a return visit in my future.

The nice big bar next to the windows and they also have outdoor seating both downstairs and upstairs. Neither had any parasols to keep the sun away.

Del Frisco's Grille on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slowbones Burlington

Slowbones in Burlington has been open since November, but I had no idea until driving by earlier this week so I couldn't wait to stop by for lunch today.

I thought it was funny saying "FIRE" outside a BBQ Joint. They are located in the Burlington Marketplace not in the Burlington Mall as the map on their website shows. Some outdoor seating with a very welcome shadow, hot hot today.

Plenty of seating inside this spacious area.

I went with the sampler platter, 1/4 chicken (I asked for dark and got that), 2 ribs and sliced brisket. The chicken was delicious, dark on the outside and tender and moist on the inside. Brisket was very tender with good flavor, but I didn't see any smoke ring.

Another picture of the St Louis style ribs, super tender and moist and they were so moist that I wonder if some steaming has been involved. The rub was a bit on the sweet side.

All plates come with 2 sides and I choose Mashed Potatoes and Smokey BBQ Beans. I also got gravy and it was a white gravy, not bad. The mashed potatoes, described as "Buttery Homestyle Recipe" was watery and bland to the point that it could have been potatoes out of a box. The beans were OK, cooked nicely but a bit too liquidy for me. The staff was very nice and it was service with a smile.
Tuscan Kitchen, of Salem NH fame, is building a restaurant across the road and that will be a nice addition despite my last visit being somewhat less than stellar.

Update: The map location on their website is now correct.

SlowBones on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Besito Burlington

Besito Mexican opened recently in the Burlington Mall next to Legal Seafood and it was my destination for lunch today. This is part of a chain and they have another location in Chestnut Hill as well.

Looked nice from the outside and they have an entrance both from the outside and from the mall.

The inside was nice and bright with lots of booths.

Good silverware and linen napkins. A big basket of warm chips and a very nice salsa appeared very quickly. I like the spoon in the salsa so that you don't have to double dip.

Lunch prices run from $8-$15 with the majority in the $12 range. All dishes are served with house rice and black beans. Both was really nice and the beans were cooked perfectly. I decided to try the Mixtos, crispy street tacos with Shrimp, Chicken and Steak. The tacos were super fresh and really good sized. Shrimp was cooked perfectly, steak was really tasty as was the shredded chicken.

With the bill, I got a little figurine that, according to the waitress, when placed under your pillow will keep all the bad dreams away. I also got a fresh Churro to take home. Overall a very pleasant lunch with impeccable service. Dinner entrees are also served with rice and beans and run in the $17+ range.

Besito on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Red Raven Acton

The Red Raven Gastropub in Acton opened earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by The Rusty Scupper. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but it was a gorgeous day and with blue skies, top down and with Sunday Morning Blues cranked on the stereo it was a very pleasant drive on the backroads.

The lunch menu can be found here, but most of the items was missing maybe because they also serve brunch on Sundays. I had my eyes on the Corned Beef Tongue Reuben and the Fish and Chips, but both was absent from the menu. I ended up with "'Ganset Mussels frites". Narragansett Lager steamed Cape Cod Mussels, Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, Fennel, Saffron Aioli and Frites.
The mussels were small, very small and about 1/3 wasn't opened and had to be discarded. Fries was fine, but a rather small portion but I fail to see the point of squirting aioli on the shells. The broth at the bottom was delicious, but there was no bread supplied to soak up the goodness. They also tried to charge me an extra dollar. "Oh, that was last weeks menu and the prices have gone up". Don't think so, advertised price stands but they happily took the extra dollar off. Service was fine despite most of the staff looking very young.

Nice but small outdoor seating area.

It's a gastropub so of course they have a humongous bar.

Red Raven on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 21, 2014

PHU KET Wakefield

Decided to stop by today for some lunch at PHU KET Wakefield. It was hard to find parking, something was going on at the commons.

This is Crazy Noodles with squid from the mix and match noodles section. The squid is hard to see in this mess, but it's there but unfortunately way overcooked and very rubbery. I ordered it spicy and certainly got that, this was seriously HOT. No waitress today, the new guy was working.

This is how it looked at noon today and almost the same when I left but two older ladies arrived and tried to tell the waiter about the craft fair? on the commons and he didn't understand a word, seriously.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sakura Winchester

Time to pig out on all you can eat Sushi and other stuff so it's off to Sakura in Winchester.

Sakura is located in a house, the location was previously a Chinese restaurant and look at what a gorgeous day we are having with very low humidity.

Apart from my normal tempura shrimp and scallops I also ordered the spicy Korean tofu (cold) and it was interesting. Well, there is nothing interesting about tofu but the sauce was nice and spicy.

Nothing new here apart from the salmon and avocado maki. Not a very good choice, I already had a ton of salmon and an avocado nigiri. They were almost full when I left, good to see them doing well, even at lunch time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eri's Wings & Seafood Woburn

Eri's Wings & Seafood in Woburn now have a nice little outdoor seating area and since I haven't been here in a while I decided to stop by for lunch today.

Time to give the broasted chicken another try and I got the #1 Combo, leg and tight. It comes with a side and bottle of soda. Gone are the nice coated fries but there was a big heap of the standard boring fries and they were nicely cooked but just fries. The chicken was moist and tender but still WAY too salty. If they are not changing their ways, I am, so no more chicken here. Too bad since it's a good deal and now that you can sit outside I would have gone here more frequently.

This is the outside seating area, too bad I didn't realize that the tables for two are made for height challenged customers so I quickly moved to a normal table that also had an umbrella.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spicepepper Garden Acton

Today's plan was to get to the prison in Concord without using any highways and that was doable. Unfortunately, the lunch offering wasn't too exciting so I continued to Spicepepper Garden in Acton instead. They had a sushi chef on duty but when a nearby table tried to order sushi it turned out that they had no sushi rice!

I know, another picture of an H&S soup but the soup is tasty and they are saving on plates by sticking the spring roll next to the soup.

I ordered the Dry-Braised Chicken in Hot Peppers from the lunch menu and was a bit surprised when this arrived. Normally dry braised or fried usually has a coating on the chicken but not here. It was marked as two peppers on the menu and is was deliciously hot!

Decided to go a bit further west (north?) towards Littleton and visit Bonsai West. Look at those gorgeous maples outside the entrance.

With my impeccable planning ahead scheme, they were naturally closed today so I only got a picture through the front door. This is a nice place to visit, they have some really impressive big trees here. I'm not buying, I have the thumb of death when it comes to growing things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr. Chan's Bistro Burlington

Tuesday's seems hard to decide on where to go so I ended up at Mr. Chan's Bistro in Burlington for lunch today. Nothing really exciting here, but I can always find something decent for lunch.

None of the pictures come out really well, but this is the Pork Chop Peking style Rice plate. The pork chops themselves was fine and still moist and juicy, but I didn't really care for the red gloppy sweet sauce. OK lunch, wish I had gone with one of the Noodle soups instead.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hong Cuc Lowell

I stopped by Hong Cuc's new location in Lowell (11 Grand St) for lunch today. The place was immaculate and well lit inside. Very easy to find, exit 5B at the end of the Lowell Connector, take the first overpass and you are there. Not much parking is available. No seating at all, everything is to go. The girl behind the counter spoke flawless English but they also have a big menu board and you can order by the numbers.

This is the famous Combo Banh Mi. Pate, Mayo, Ham, Pork Roll (not sure what that is), Char-siu pork (roasted pork), Head Cheese (I know what this is, don't ask), Cucumber, Onion, Pickled Carrot and Daikon and Cilantro. The girl immediately asked if I wanted Jalapenos and as you can see, I said yes to that. Finally a place that serves a proper Banh Mi without having to trek into Dorchester for one. Fresh veggies, crunchy veggies, delicious meats, heat and this one had everything. Bread could have been fresher, but I went on a Sunday so I can't really complain about that.

Nice menu board with all the ingredients listed so there are no surprises. Next time it's the BBQ Beef ones turn even if it's a dollar more ($4.50).

Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

So I really like the Crispy Duck plate at Taipei Gourmet in Lexington but who wouldn't for $7.58?

So you get some odd pieces of duck but it tastes really good and it come with all the rice plate trimmings.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Garden House Lawrence

I have heard good things about Garden House in Lawrence and decided to try it for lunch today. No website but a menu can be found here.

I went with the L5 Kalbi Combo. The menu said Barbeque marinated short ribs. What come out was a bone with a smidgen of barbecued meat on it, the rest was a steamed heap of meat of unknown origin covered in something unknown. The salad was OK, not sure what the dressing was. The little app section in the middle had a very dry gyoza, a Japanese shumai and a tempura battered shrimp that had the same coating as the tempura to the right. Interesting enough, most of the tempura was squid arms but unfortunately they were all really chewy as was the tempura coating. Not sure how you make chewy and dry tempura coating but they certainly managed it here. I got three banchan, fishcakes, kimchi and another kimchi like root vegetable neither of them was in any way remarkable. Surprisingly considering the quality of my food, the place was filled with Korean people, I probably ordered the wrong dish.

It's a fairly small place but clean and bright inside.

Garden House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fife and Drum Restaurant Concord

The Fife and Drum Restaurant is located in the minimum security prison in Concord. You drive up and park in the small lot and then walk in and give the guard your drivers license and sign in. The restaurant is located just off the lobby and it's small and only open Tues-Fri between 11:30 and 12:30. One main course that changes daily or a weekly sandwich, soup and salad, soft drinks, dessert and coffee is included in the price.

There are no signs for the restaurant anywhere. And yes, it looks like a prison. Actually, the rest of the facility looks much nicer and they also have a dairy farm on the premises. No cameras or electronic devices are allowed inside. The restaurant is run by the inmates who do everything from waiting on the guests to cooking. The main courses this week has been, Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo on Tuesday, Steak Bomb with Fries on Wednesday and today it was Grilled Boneless Pork Chop with Potatoes Au Gratin, Honey Glazed Carrots and Sauteed Onions with Gravy. The salad is a choice between Garden or Caesar and I had the Caesar and it was fine and come with the dressing on the side. The soup was Lemon Chicken, piping hot and not bad. The grilled pork chop was overcooked, but my plastic knife managed to cut it. It was a big heap of carrots and the potatoes au gratin was good and you certainly get enough food. You get a metal fork and spoon but a plastic knife. The weekly sandwiches were a Cuban (served on a bulkie roll) and French dip, both served with fries. Oh, there were also two desserts but I forgot what they were since I was stuffed at that point. How much was it? $3 plus tax so that makes it a whopping $3.21 for everything. My waiter was very pleasant and I did enjoy my meal. The restaurant itself is behind the van in the picture. The glass is one way, so the restaurant inside was nice a bright.

Fife and Drum at NE Correctional Center Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Twin Seafood Concord

Beautiful day in the low 70's and no humidity so I decided to revisit Twin Seafood in Concord for some outdoor lunch.

I was going to have the Grilled Tuna sandwich but they were out of tuna so I went with the Salmon instead and ordered Onion Rings in place of the forgettable fries that comes standard. The rings were crispy.. Very crispy. Next time I might go with the salad. The salmon, on the other hand come out perfectly medium rare as ordered. Still not sure what the very soft bun is but it's very tasty. Outdoor seating on this very nice day made it a really nice lunch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spicepepper Garden Acton

Again the lunch at my first choice didn't look too exciting so off to plan B and that was Spicepepper Garden in Acton.

Got my standard booth so that I could keep an eye on the waitress station and the sushi bar.

Lunch comes with soup and their H&S soup was as good as I remember it. The spring roll is so so, not sure what's so springy about a roll filled with cabbage?

Twice cooked pork made with very thinly sliced pork belly that have been crisped up slightly and was delicious. Served with somewhat spicy long green peppers and tender leeks. No fermented black beans but despite that this was an excellent lunch.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thai E-sarn Cuisine Arlington

Sunday lunch again at Thai E-sarn Cuisine in Arlington and time to try some more new stuff. They now have the special menu translated and a lot of stuff on it looked interesting.

Appetizer day again, here's the Thai Curry Puffs. The menu said, ground chicken, onions and potatoes mixed in curry powder and then wrapped. Deep fried until golden brown. I only found potatoes inside and a hint of curry powder. The wrapping was golden brown but very very dense. This was not a hit with me.

This on the other hand, Thai Calamari, was really delicious. It was a really light batter, big pieces of calamari perfectly cooked and CRISPY!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chopps Burlington

Chopps in Burlington is in the Burlington Marriott and took over the space formerly occupied by Summer Winter. They bill themselves as a chophouse and the prices reflect that.

Gone are the copper-topped tables replaced by sleek modern furniture. Gone are also the staff dressed in jeans and aprons now replaced by staff dressed in black.

The menu said, "GEORGE’S BANK FISH SANDWICH TARTAR, SLAW, LEMON" and I guess the lemon fell off on the way to the table. There was a choice of fries and Chopps Tots so I asked if the tots were in any way special? Made in-house was the reply and it turns out that the fries are of the frozen variety so the choice of tots was pretty easy. They were pretty good, crispy and seasoned on the outside, but the inside could have done with some seasoning. One smallish piece of fish on a toasted brioche bun was cooked nicely with a crisp batter on the outside. Fish was unseasoned and so was the batter. The tartar sauce was undistinguished.

What used to be a pub is now an extended bar with a large seating area.

Chopps American Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon