Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Felicia's Stoneham

I tried to order this at Felicia's in Stoneham when I was here last Thursday not realizing that it wasn't Tuesday.

This is the Tuesday special, Lobster Roll on a toasted roll with French Fries ($10). Turns out you can also have Potato Salad or Slaw instead of fries. Probably should have gone with either of those two since even if the french fries was cooked well enough, they were quite boring. They were nice and crispy but should have been salted when coming out of the fryer since the surface afterward didn't hold any salt. The lobster roll itself was a bargain with just some lettuce underneath a really good amount of lobster unlike the robbery at the 99 Restaurant. I'll be back next Tuesday.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Decided to the Bonefish Grill in Burlington for some more Sunday brunch. This time was was early enough to get my window table and it was hot in the sun. I'm not complaining since it's almost over.

This was brunch and the Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict on a toasted English muffin, crispy shrimp, poached eggs, green onions + spicy Hollandaise sauce (10.70) sounded good again. This was $9.90 a month ago so prices are sneaking up. This time I got soft poached eggs and everything was fine. The potato gratin could have cooked a bit longer but was tasty. Again a very pleasant lunch.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Besito Burlington

Besito in the Burlington mall is a nice place for a Saturday Splurge. Not very expensive for lunch and good value and the service is always top notch.

Complimentary chips and salsa are quick to arrive. The salsa was very good today with a nice garlicky overtone. Wonder if that had anything to do with the roasted garlic clove that can be seen swimming in there?

Tacos Dorados Pescado. Crispy street fish tacos ($12.95). Market fish tacos, organic romaine lettuce, onion, pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, queso fresco. The fish was fresh and crispy but there was a lot of lettuce and salsa. This was very good but a real mess to eat. I have never figured out how to eat tacos without food going everywhere. If you know I buy you lunch to show me.

Interior is nice, lots of booths and nice color scheme.

Friday, September 26, 2014

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

Beautiful day so I took the short ride up to FuGaKyu in Lynnfield.

All lunches come with soup and salad, neither is very exciting, but they are fresh, No cheap chop sticks here.

I was looking forward to try the CURRY KATSU DON ($12). The only option is chicken unfortunately but it was big piece of crispy chicken, and it was very tender. The curry itself was really good and even had a bit of spice to it. For a Japanese curry it was very very tasty. This is another very pleasant restaurant especially if you ask for a window table.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Felicia's Stoneham

Felicia's of the North End in Stoneham is a delightful old school Italian eatery and it was time to visit again on a fairly dreadful day.

You get some nice bread and a very tasty dipping oil. Plenty of bread and that was good for my main dish,

LINGUINI WITH CLAMS ($10.95) is a bowl full of clams including 6 fresh ones. Is there garlic here? You bet but it's not overpowering at all. In fact the broth is delicious and there is plenty of bread to soak it up. Everything was cooked perfectly. Really nice dish.

I think they were short staffed today and it got really busy at lunch with most of the tables taken and they were doing a brisk business at the bar as well. Good for them, it's a nice place.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington reopened this week under new management/ownership. The interior is unchanged, not sure why they papered up the windows while they waited to reopen. The new owner worked briefly at Taipei Gourmet in Lexington and did remember me so that was nice. The waitress was part of the old crew so the chili oil promptly arrived. The menu is totally different and so is the lunch menu, all the good stuff on the old lunch menu is gone and it now looks like any generic Chinese restaurant. The good news is that the soup of the day is now H&S or Wonton soup. Gone is the terrible pork bone soup.

I couldn't find anything even remotely interesting on the lunch menu so I ordered the Beef Noodle Soup ($8.95) off the regular menu. When the waitress delivered the soup she said, "It's slightly different". There is no more choice of noodles, but these thick noodles were fine. The beef is different, gone is the shaved beef replaced with a very tender slices of beef. They were so tender that they almost lacked texture. The broth was very very rich and really good. It now comes with bok choy that was nice and crisp instead of spinach. It was a good amount of beef. They still don't have a dumpling on the menu called Sichuan Dumpling and when I brought this up, I don't think she got it. Pork Belly with Garlic is gone from the app section. Twice Cooked Pork (belly) is also missing from the lunch menu and will be sorely missed. As far as lunches go there is really no reason for me to go here. I had some really outstanding lunches here during the year and half that they were open but no more. 

Szechuan's Dumpling on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Noodles & Company Burlington

Wanted something quick and easy for lunch today so I went to Noodles & Company in Burlington.

This is a place where you can use fast and food in the same sentence. Everything is cooked to order and comes out piping hot. This is the small Pad Thai ($4.69) and apart from the raw carrot sticks it wasn't bad, in some places the Pad Thai is unbearable sweet but here it was pretty tasty.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cilantro Woburn

Cilantro Thai & Vietnamese in Woburn took over the space that was formerly occupied by Green Basil and they have been open for about two months. The menu contains your typical Thai and Vietnamese dishes with curries and stir fries and most comes in either lunch size or dinner size.

Interior is nice and bright.

They have some lunch specials, you might have to ask for the menu, that includes soup, app and a mains. I was having pho so out comes all the condiments including a slice of jalapeno and that's something that rarely happens. The chili garlic condiment was really good.

Dac Biet Soup. Beef noodle soup combined with sliced rare eye round, brisket, beef flank, tendon and tripe. I got the large ($7.75) by default, the smaller size is $6.50. I thought the broth was a bit weak but there was plenty of meat including very tender tendon. Not very busy at lunchtime, a few tables going and some takeouts.

Cilantro Thai & Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tryst Arlington

Having had a nice experience at Tryst in Arlington during restaurant week, I decided to try the brunch again.

Hash & Eggs ($13). The flavor of the week was corned beef served with two perfectly poached eggs, This was an honest hash, mostly meat with some potatoes mixed in and also really well seasoned. Again a very pleasant meal in a nice environment.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sakura Winchester

Time for some all you can eat Sushi and other stuff at Sakura in Winchester on a coldish day.

All you can eat sushi ($14.95) is not a bad deal. The fish is fresh, not too much rice and good sized slices. In the background, you can see the tempura shrimp and the deep fried dumplings. The tempura scallops have already been eaten. I like the (real) tempura scallops here.

Second helping. A Maki roll of white tuna, spicy and crisp, was nice. I did eat way to much today. I asked Jay why there is never any wasabi on the nigiri and he said it is because it's too strong for the kids and a for a lot of customers. The solution, ask for it when ordering and the chef will be happy to make the nigiri the right way. It was much better this way.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Snappy Pattys Medford

Seems to be ample parking around Snappy Pattys in Medford during lunchtime. Much easier to get here this time and there was no train arriving messing up the traffic.

It's a funky room but nice and inviting with the kitchen visible in the back.

I thought that the Hanger Steak Flatbread was the best thing since sliced bread but that was before I tried the Crispy Chicken Flatbread ($8) - Colby, Arugula, Sweet Chili & Pickled Shallot. This is the same chicken that's on the dinner menu that everyone raves about and I can understand why after tasting this. Dark marinated meat fried to a crisp was delicious, very juicy and tender. You van see a bit of the orange Colby cheese in the top left corner. This was one delicious sandwich, I only wish the flatbread itself was a little bit more tender. I almost worked up a sweat trying to cut it. What a nice addition to our dining scene.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Woburn

I'm so glad that we now have Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Woburn. No more trips to the middle of nowhere for some Xian cuisine.

The new awning is up and it now looks like a proper restaurant and not like a former Liberty Bell.

#4 Biang Biang Mian (Hand pulled noodles) ($6) with chili oil and garlic and cayenne pepper and a Lamb Skewer ($1.50). The lamb skewer was excellent, tender and moist with lots of cumin. It was also substantially bigger than the lamb skewers at WOW BBQ. They are deep fried but I don't think that detracts. The hand pulled noodles was as usual delicious but I must admit I removed about half of the garlic. Don't look for the start of the noodle, it's basically an MC Escher construct.

Some new dishes have been added, all cold and appetizer sized according to Gene.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MuLan Waltham

Time for some Noodle Soup at Mulan in Waltham. Parking on the street is still free, this is kind of bizarre, I have never seen a town removing parking meters and not replacing them with something else.

Look how colorful the pickled cabbage was today. Plenty of peanuts to snack on and the H&S soup is always really good here. The soup could have been warmer today.

I ordered the Pork Chop Noodle Soup ($8.95) and the first thing that appears is a plate of pork chops. Tender, moist and tasty.

Then the soup arrives. Dark broth with noodles and pork and greenery. The marinated egg is always tasty. All this food will easily feed two people or feed me lunch and dinner. Busy as usual today but no wait.

Monday, September 15, 2014

99 Restaurant Woburn

I haven't been back to the 99 Restaurant in Woburn since the lobster roll fiasco but since today is National Cheese Burger Day and all the burgers are $5 I decided to give it another go. Didn't have to high hopes for this.

BBQ BLT Crunch Burger ($9.79). "This juicy burger is seasoned and topped with Vermont Cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, a drizzle of our famous bold BBQ sauce and crowned with crispy onion petals". I ordered it medium rare and to my surprise it arrived cooked right and it even had grill marks, well done. The bacon was crisp and the slices was of decent quality and thickness. I tried the Baconator? from Wendy's when it was introduced and that one had the thinnest slices I have ever encountered. Fries here has always been good despite having the skin on. Free popcorn. Service is always nice and prompt. Overall this was a nice surprise and a decent lunch.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thai E-Sarn Cuisine Arlington

Back to Thai E-Sarn Cuisine in Arlington for some Saturday Thai lunch.

Spicy Squid ($8.95) is marked as two peppers and I asked for it spicy and it had a little bite but no more than one pepper. Still a very nice dish even if I'm not too keen on the baby corn.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I had a $5 coupon that was expiring, but there is no hardship in going to Bonefish Grill in Burlington.

Time to try the third variation of the Soup and Taco lunch Special (8.9) so here it is with the Herb Grilled Chicken and again the New England Clam Chowder. I think I like this one better than the fish taco. Chicken was tender and nicely grilled. The chowder was as usual excellent, I really like this version and the clams are always tender.

Different perspective today. I was late so my usual table was taken, you can see it in the far corner next to the window. I ended up in a nice booth next to the kitchen entrance.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

Time to check out some more of the lunch offerings at FuGaKyu in Lynnfield. I already know that the sushi offerings are very good from a previous visit.

Their Bento Box ($12) offerings are interesting, you select the protein, the appetizer and the starch. My selection was Pork Katsu, Gyoza and Udon Noodles. The Gyoza was crispy on the outside with a moist filling. Good sized very tender pork cutlet, perfectly crispy and the noodles were sauteed with some veggies. The salad was fresh and in the middle there were some crunchy marinated veggies. Really nice lunch in a very nice restaurant.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beijing Chinese Dining Lexington

Time for a return visit at the recently opened Beijing Chinese Dining in Lexington. On street paid parking seems very reasonable, you get an hour for a quarter.

The H & S soup is brimming with stuff but was again very bland and also just lukewarm.

Kung Pao Spicy Chicken ($7.95) with spring roll ordered extra spicy (and the bill confirmed that). Was it extra spicy? Nope. Was it spicy? Nope. I even started to eat the dry chilies and they were not spicy at all so no surprise that there was no heat present. They did bring out some chili oil when I complained and that helped. The fried rice was nice and done right. The spring roll was crisp and so was the contents. It was a good amount of chicken in the dish so that was good. The interior of the restaurant is really nice.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blue Ribbon BBQ Arlington

I was going to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for lunch but they were closed for renovations (today only). Not the smartest thing to do when their competition up the street is also closed. So I ended up at Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington instead.

The Spicy Chicken Salad Rollup ($8.49) with two sides isn't really that spicy. It's a curried chicken with cabbage and lettuce. This has always been a favorite of mine. The sides today was mashed potatoes and refried beans (daily side special). The refried bean was excellent and so was the mashed potatoes. The only thing I don't like is that they leave the skin on the potatoes. I know it's good for you but I don't like it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I really like Bonefish Grill in Burlington especially for lunch. Good ambiance and reasonable prices.

One of the lunch choices are "Cup of Soup or House or Caesar Salad +Two BFG Soft Tacos herb grilled chicken, tilapia or filet mignon" for $8.9. I went for the New England Clam Chowder and it's really good, tender clams in a thicker broth. I also tried the fish tacos that had mango and a green salsa and they were also very nice.

I also had completed the survey so I got a free order of the Bang Bang Shrimp app and I took that to go. If they want to give me ten dollars worth of app when buying lunch, I'm not complaining and I get dinner.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Phuket Wakefield

Phuket in Wakefield has been under new management for a while so I decided to pay a visit at lunchtime to see if anything has changed. New (terrible) website and I think the name is now Phuket Thai Restaurant. Apart from that nothing has changed, same menu, same prices and the same chef in the kitchen.

Soup was the new vegetable soup, quite pleasant but quite a bit too salty today,

SEAFOOD BASIL ($9). Shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, mushrooms, red peppers and onions in a spicy chili basil sauce. I asked for it extra spicy and it was barely one+ peppers. Everything was cooked nicely and exactly the same as on a previous visit and they confirmed that the previous chef stayed on in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it was still the sweet peanut dressing on the salad. They did quite a bit of business at lunchtime today and even had two customers at the outside seating.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Snappy Pattys Medford

Time to try the patties at Snappy Pattys in Medford. Between roadwork and school starting the trip on the back roads to Medford was a nightmare.

You can have three for $6.50 or pick and choose for $2.50 each and that's what I did. Top left is the BourbanQ - Colby, Bourban BBQ, Pickled Red Onion and next is the Jalapeño - Nacho Cheese, Pico De Gallo with the Texan - Bacon & Horseradish Cheese, Bacon "Secret Sauce" at the bottom. I might have gotten the first and third one mixed up but nevertheless they were all tasty with a beefy tasting patty on House Baked Olive Oil Brioche that was nice and crispy.

They were really busy at lunch and the pretty waitress had to hustle but that didn't seem to face her.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thai E-Sarn Cuisine Arlington

What better on a hot and muggy day than some hot Thai food? Thai E-Sarn Cuisine in Arlington can do that especially if you order from the special Thai menu.

Oh no, not another picture of the salad! Yep, salad is fresh and decent, the dressing isn't very exciting but it's OK.

Grilled Pork or Grilled Beef Nam Tok (น้ ำตกหมู, เนื้อ) ($9.95). "A spicy salad made with your choice of grilled meat cut into thin strips rather than minced with similar dressing as Larb". This time I went for the beef but again there was no hint that it had been grilled. I asked for it Thai authentic and the waitress told me that she told her mom in the kitchen to make it as they do at home and it was delicious. Really good mix of flavors with a good amount of heat. Nothing deadly, just very pleasant. Normally this is served with rice or sticky rice but having rice with a salad seems strange to me and it was enough food for lunch anyway,

Monday, September 1, 2014

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

I really wanted some good H&S soup today so I headed for Taipei Gourmet in Lexington who was full of people having a family meal.

The soup was really delicious today, look at that rich dark color. It was also both hot and sour plus piping hot. I then had the Beef with Hot Long Peppers ($7.99) from the lunch menu and I completely forgot to take pictures of it. Guess it had to happen sooner or later. The beef was good, big pieces and not mushy but the peppers wasn't very hot. Overall a very decent lunch.