Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I almost never have brunch and here we go for three weeks in a row. Went back to Bonefish Grill in Burlington for today's brunch.

Decided to try an omelet so this is the Oscar with asparagus, crab, smoked mozzarella, basil, lemon butter (9.5) with the potatoes au gratin. My other choice was steamed asparagus so this made more sense. It was cooked fine, even if it looked mightily pale, some nice lump crab included and overall a very pleasant meal. Asparagus was cooked nicely. The bread was a bit too healthy for me, less grain please.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Davio'S Lynnfield

So I'm breaking both of my rules for restaurant week and I'm doing it at Davio'S in Lynnfield. Too expensive ($25) and three courses. They do have a fabulous pastry chef so I don't really mind. Besides that, it's Friday.

Just wanted a picture that shows what a really nice day we are having and with low humidity as well.

Bread and home made potato chips. The chips are wicked good.

First course was Spicy Grilled Calamari, Chickpea Salad and Bruschetta. This was delicious, just a little bit spicy with perfectly grilled calamari. I don't think grilled bread with olive oil really qualifies as Bruschetta. Where is the topping?

The main course was Roasted Chicken Statler: Sweet Pea, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Lemon Thyme Reduction. Perfectly cooked chicken. Statler just means that the leg was left on the breast. The risotto was cooked nicely but failed as a risotto, where is the creaminess? This was just rice with mushrooms and peas. The sauce was also very tasty.

Dessert was Vanilla Bean Citrus Panna Cotta: Fresh Berries. This was oh so god! Jiggly panna cotta and super fresh berries. Making a perfect panna cotta is not easy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beijing Chinese Dining Lexington

Beijing Chinese Dining in Lexington recently opened in the space vacated by the Indian restaurant Khushboo.

I found the name a bit strange, would have thought that calling the restaurant Beijing would imply Chinese dining so I think the name really is a bit of a tautology.

I must say that the interior impressed me with good furniture and muted colors, it looked very elegant. They also have tables outside on the patio.

The lunch menu didn't say anything about soup but to my surprise a bowl of Hot & Sour Soup arrived. The soup was lukewarm and neither really hot or sour.

Twice Cooked Pork ($7.95) made with pork belly so that made me happy. A bit of a transgression from the standard dish since they had included green and red peppers and also onions. Despite having a nice red hue pool of chili oil, it wasn't really spicy, in fact, it was kind of sweet, and that made it a bit strange. Some of the pork was on the dry side, but most was good. You also have a choice of Spring Roll or Chive Dumpling and I went with the Chive Dumpling. A fairly substantial dumpling filled with chives and egg with one shrimp hiding at the bottom. It was OK. I usually order white rice since I detest the pork fried rice but here I saw that the fried rice was the white fried rice, normally called house fried rice, so I'll try that the next time. Everyone was very friendly, service was really good, and the waitstaff was nicely dressed. Parking is metered parking unless you know where to find free parking.

Beijing on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

What's better on a 90+ degree day than some hot noodle soup and Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica can provide that.

This was how it looked at 11:35 AM today! This is just insane. The empty table is mine. I try to get here early and they were almost fully seated when I got here.

I haven't had the Pork Spare Ribs Noodle Soup since early spring but it is a favorite of mine so here we go again. Chewy noodles, tender pork ribs and a spicy broth with still crunchy Bok Choy is a perfect combination and really delicious. Noodles are always perfectly cooked as is the bok choy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chopps Burlington

I went to Chopps in Burlington today for lunch and broke one of my restaurant weeks rules. Two-course lunch for $20 but the menu did look really good.

The first course was Pork Belly with hoisin BBQ, Napa cabbage, horseradish. This was excellent, very tender pork belly with some crunchy slaw and a very light dressing.

For the second course, I went with Brandt Farms Flat Iron with roasted fingerlings, Chopp sauce with the steak ordered rare. I had to ask what the Chopp sauce was and it's just a homemade steak sauce. The potatoes were nice and piping hot but with minimal traces of having been roasted. The steak was lukewarm and at best, medium. Tasted great despite that. Service was great but they weren't exactly busy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pennypacker's Somerville

I saw something new on Pennypacker's in Somerville menu and decided it was worth a drive over there today for lunch.

They had Chicken Banh Mi ($9) on the menu. Marinated and grilled chicken, chicken liver pate, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot, Sriracha aioli, cilantro. The filling was excellent, lots of thinly sliced tasty chicken, maybe a tad too much cilantro, but that's personal. But the bread! A soft bun for a Banh Mi? No way, this was so wrong, fusion cuisine is all right but not this way. Not a winner. Much to my surprise, parking during the week is really easy with lots of spaces available.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tryst Arlington

I used to go to Tryst in Arlington for a very nice lunch when they first opened but they stopped doing lunch after a while, not sure if the ownership changed or what but the lunch was gone. Now the do brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Started with a Shrimp Taco: avocado, red onion & Aji crema. Perfectly cooked crispy shrimp on a tortilla. This was delicious and the waitress said that this was the most popular item. Got bread as well, but I forgot what they were.

I followed that with a Western Omelet that had country ham, peppers, onions, cheddar cheese & crispy potatoes. When they said crispy potatoes, they where not kidding! Perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and they had been SEASONED! I rarely order an omelet in a restaurant since what you usual get is cardboard with a minuscule filling. This one on the other hand was cooked almost perfectly with a heap of fillings, you can see part of it falling out. The country ham was country ham, again delicious. Salad was good with a really nice mustardy dressing. Not sure what the ketchup was doing on the plate, surely Americans don't eat ketchup with an omelet?

Sorry for being out of focus picture, only happens when I only take one picture. Bar area with a lot of high tops. The restaurant is nicely divided to keep the noise down.
This was part of restaurant week or, as it's now called, Dine Out Boston. This is one of the few times I tried a new restaurant that I definitely will go back to. This might be the only one I will visit this year since my criteria are $15 max and they must offer a two-course lunch. Don't want to spend $20 for a dessert that I don't need or want.

Tryst on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 22, 2014

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

FuGaKyu in Lynnfield opened here recently, they have another location in Brookline.

This is a fairly big place and they also have outdoor seating. Sushi outdoors? Not sure about that.

The place is open and airy and very elegant. You can have a semi-private small room for yourself.

Lunch comes with miso soup and salad. Not a fan of miso soup but this one was one of the better ones. Salad was fresh, there is some cucumber hiding in there as well. The dressing was better than the normal orange dressing that's so common. Look at that cute chopstick holder.

Lunch Sushi and Sashimi Combo ($18). I should have ordered this without the shellfish, even if the shrimp was better than the normally very dry shrimp that you so often get. Everything was beautifully cut and the rice was perfectly seasoned, perfect temperature and perfectly formed. Still no wasabi on the nigiri. The white fish was striped bass. The fish was very very fresh.

After the meal, a beautifully cut orange.

The Sushi Bar is all the way in the back with plenty of seating. Prices are on the high side, as can be expected, but I thought my lunch was good value for the money. Service was very friendly and prompt.

Fugakyu Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Just wanted a lunch special today at Taipei Gourmet in Lexington and I haven't had one since forever and didn't even know that now you get a spring roll with your entree.

The Hot & Sour soup has always been very good here. It contained some sliced porcini mushrooms and that added some umami to the soup.

Chicken with Hot Pepper ($7.99) lunch special ordered extra hot so they didn't spare on the roasted dry hot peppers. Adding more unopened peppers doesn't make it spicier. Now if they had opened a few peppers so that the seeds could get out, that would have made it spicy. A good amount of crispy chicken, a few charred red peppers made this a nice lunch. The hot peppers were actually cooked so that they were crispy and edible not the normal chewy soft peppers that you so often get. The vegetarian Spring roll was a nice surprise with a filling that actually had some texture and a crisp outside. So often, the springroll is soggy with a soggy mess for filling.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thai E-Sarn Cuisine Arlington

I was going to Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for lunch today, they announced on Facebook that they are now under new management. I wish that they also mentioned that they will be closed for the next two weeks. Instead, I went across the street to Thai E-Sarn Cuisine to get some lunch.

Duck Fried Rice ($9.95). There were three small dry slices included with some nuggets hiding in the rice. Apart from the miserly amount of duck this was overall very boring. Not their best offering.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Snappy Pattys Medford

Snappy Pattys opened recently in West Medford just around the corner from Bistro 5. Their slogan is "FUN SOPHISTICATED FOOD - RAISING THE AMERICAN STANDARD" and they seem to be in love with caps. On street parking but there is also a big parking lot behind them.

It's a funky little place and the music is on loud. They were smart enough to put in a lot of two tops that can be made into four tops instead of four tops that can't be made into two tops.

I skipped the sliders and instead went for the Griddled Flatbreads. This is the Hanger Steak - Brie, Arugula and Red Onion ($9) ordered rare. This was seriously tasty! You also get a real napkin.

The exciting view of High Street in West Medford. Ice cream anybody?

Snappy Patty's on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blue Ribbon BBQ Arlington

Decided to skip my normal Monday lunch at Punjab in Arlington, they claim it's the same chef but the food has changed, instead I headed to Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington. They had advertised the Chicken Posolé Soup as the soup of the day and it sounded good.

That soup wasn't on the menu when I got there so instead I had the Kale Soup with a corner piece of cornbread. The soups here are really really good and this was no exception. It comes with a big dollop of their garlic mashed potatoes in the bottom so with the cornbread this is enough for me as a lunch. Their cornbread is also really good and, of course, the corner pieces are the best.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I had a $5 discount coupon for brunch that Bonefish Grill in Burlington sent me so it was time to check out the Sunday Brunch. The place was completely empty when I got there at noon and brunch starts at 10:00 so they must have been bored out of their minds.

Decided to splurge a bit and ordered a cup of the New England Clam Chowder ($3.30) as a starter. Pricing on the menu is written as 3.3, research has show that people are willing to spend more money if the dollar sign is omitted. The chowder was a tad salty but apart from the it was a generous cup of decent chowder.

This was brunch and the Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict with toasted English muffin, crispy shrimp, poached eggs, green onions + spicy Hollandaise sauce (9.9) sounded like a nice twist on the normal Eggs Benedict. For sides, you can have either steamed Asparagus or Potatoes au Gratin and I went with the potatoes. The eggs were hard-boiled so the plate was sent back with a request for poached eggs and I got a new plate. Now the shrimp was cold, probably the same ones that were on the original plate. The second batch of eggs was fine and I was pretty happy with this dish, very tasty. The Potatoes Au Gratin was VERY cheesy but cooked well. Normally there is no cheese in a Potatoes Au Gratin but I can live with this. The green onions as you can see was absent. Not sure why you get a steak knife with this meal, maybe for the hard-boiled eggs?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yard House Lynnfield

Perfect day for an outdoor lunch on this gorgeous Saturday at the Yard House in Lynnfield located in the Market Street complex in Lynnfield. I wasn't the only one thinking this was a nice day for a trip, Rte 128 was a parking lot going north today, but there is back roads as well.

GRILLED KOREAN BEEF SHORT RIB with spicy green papaya salad, lemon sriracha aïoli and red chili threads ($12.50). Same thing happened again when I ordered from the Street Taco section, the sides was again stone cold. I got the replacement and the rice were only lukewarm, but the beans were piping hot. I must admit that the tacos were excellent, really tasty as was the beans. Not impressed by the rice, it was nice the previous time when it was hot.

The outdoor seating is really pleasant. Saw sign of a Mexican place opening next door no idea who it is.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Eri's Wings & Seafood Woburn

I wanted something quick and cheap so I headed to Eri's Wings & Seafood in Woburn.

The Fish and Chips Special ($6.99) is two nicely sized pieces of fresh fish and a heap of fries. The homemade tartar sauce is nice and this is a pretty good deal.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simply Khmer Lowell

It's been quite a while since I last visited Simply Khmer in Lowell so I decided it was time for a road trip on this beautiful day. The online menu still shows a lunch menu, but that's not available anymore.

Started with an order of Hot Wings ($7.50). Chicken wings, chillies, scallions, jalapeno, sweet and hot sauces are what the menu said, didn't really see anything else apart from the sauce. These are nicely spiced with a very sticky sauce, not as spicy as the Wings Angkor Style, those are blazingly hot. You also have a choice of just Crispy Chicken wings if you prefer them not spicy. These are some of the best wings around, period. Crispy and perfectly cooked, just delicious.

Kuy-Tiev Special Regular size ($5.95) is a big bowl of Rice noodles, beef, meatballs, seafood, bean sprouts, cilantro, scallion, in house broth. The broth is really nice and flavorful and the noodles were not overcooked but nice and firm. A couple of fresh shrimps, fake crab, some slices of fish cake and meatballs. The meat could have been more tender but overall it's a very tasty lunch.

Put a slice or two of these babies in your bowl and it gets really interesting towards the end.

Really busy place and they are open 7 days a week from 8 AM - 9 PM. Service is usually very quick a courteously.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MuLan Waltham

Rainy, cold miserable day so some good food is needed and what's better than MuLan in Waltham?

Salt and Pepper Pork Chop lunch combo plate ($8.95) is always good and you never know what you are going to get as sides, apart from the chicken wing. The chicken wing is really good with crispy skin and really moist meat. The salad today was just cabbage, not very exciting, but I do like the edamame beans that you have to shell yourself. The pork is always excellent, tender and moist and very tasty. Not sure how they manage to never overcook the pork. The disk is marked as spicy, but it's not unless you eat the diced up jalapenos that're hiding on the plate. Gone is the bound menus now it's just a laminated takeout menu. The hot & sour soup was also, as usual, very good.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mr. Chan's Burlington

Digital Credit Union (DCU) used to be next to Mr. Chan's in Burlington but they moved further up the turnpike recently into a very nice building. Seems low fees, outstanding service pays off, who would have guessed?

Szechuan Pickled Noodle Soup with Pork ($8.85) is a big bowl with almost Udon like thick and chewy noodles. The broth was seriously tasty as was all the veggies and the pork was plentiful and very tender without being mushy. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

WOW Barbecue Malden

Wow Barbecue has operated two food trucks for about a year and opened a BM restaurant in Malden about three month ago. They specialize in Chinese BBQ, or Chuanr (串儿) that originated in the Xin Jiang and Inner Mongolia regions in northern China hundreds of years ago. The food trucks do mainly skewers but are expanding the menu.

They are located in the center area of Malden and there is only on street parking. When I had lunch here today on a Sunday there was plenty of parking available. They are only open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

The inside is nice in a funky way, two big TV's, one had a slideshow of the available dishes going.

Bar area with more seating.

Sorry this is out of focus but this is how you order, everything on the left side is skewers, top right is appetizers. In the middle, there is WOW Spicy Pot Series where you can choose from Chili Crab or small or large grilled fish plus three sides. The grilled fish comes on the bone.

Skewers! Chicken Wing, Lamb with cumin, Chicken Heart and Chicken. Normally one order of lamb is 3 skewers as is the chicken but I got a special so I could try more stuff. The Chicken Wings was really delicious, the are marinated for 12 hours before they are grilled and come out with a nice crisp skin. Lamb with cumin was also good, make sure to order them medium or medium rare so they don't get overcooked. Chicken hearts can be chewy, but these was nice and tender. I must say that the chicken wings and the very tender and juicy chicken skewer was my favorites here.

You need to eat your veggies, right? Chives and Cabbage. Not too excited about the chives but that's just me, the cabbage, on the other hand, was super delicious! One of the best skewers today.

One big Scallop served with noodles and garlic chili oil. Really nicely cooked and also really fresh.
The next dish was a grilled oyster with the same garlic chili oil that was outstanding, a big fresh oyster just heated up, perfectly shucked and served in the shell but in my excitement I forgot to take a picture of it.

Eggplant, I'm not too excited about eggplant, nothing wrong with this dish but probably my least favorite one. Service was really pleasant with no language problems and the staff was happy to explain and answer my questions. 

Wow BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Full disclosure, this meal was on WOW Barbecue, but all the opinions are mine.