Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I couldn't wait to get back to Bonefish Grill in Burlington for some Sunday Brunch.

Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict on a toasted English muffin, crispy shrimp, poached eggs, green onions + spicy Hollandaise sauce (11.30). The menu still mentions green onions, but that is the only place where you can find them. This dish has gone from $9.90 in August to $10.70 in late September and is now $11.30. I fear for where this will end. But on the other hand, I got a survey receipt and that will give me a free Bang Bang Shrimp app at my next visit. That is a good 1/2 Lbs of shrimp, so it makes a nice dinner. Everything today was cooked very nicely, and I was a happy camper.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Masa Woburn

Masa in Woburn had a Black Friday deal, buy a gift card and get 25% back. Pretty good deal but they had added a twist this year. Normally you pay $75 for a $100 card, but now you pay $100 and get $125 in cards. Still 25% off and combined with the lunch loyalty card that effectively get you another 25% off so I now get 50% off from an already reasonably priced lunch.

Bread basket and the spreads. The corn bread was so fresh it was still warm from the oven.

Soup, Salad and Sandwich ($9.95). The soup special was southwest vegetable soup, and it was delicious. Ordered a Caesar but got the Mixed Green salad instead so I took this as a chance to try a different salad, and it was actually really nice, and I liked the pickled onions as well. The sandwich was the chicken Caesar wrap, and it was as usual very good. I liked the new wrap.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

The rain was starting to turn into sleet today when I headed out to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for some lunch. I haven't been here in a while, and the foyer was now nicely painted, and new lighting has been added. They also had a very professionally made slide show of the dishes on the menu showing on the TV. Nice way to educate people about the more unusual dishes.

Pork w/ Snow Cabbage in Noodle Soup ($7.59) was way better than I remember it and I was happy the first time I tried it. The broth was really, really tasty with a deep, complex flavor, as was the veggies and the pork. Comparing this to the last noodle soup I had up the street was like comparing apples and oranges. To top it off, there was an unannounced 10% holiday discount applied to my bill.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thai E-Sarn Cuisine Arlington

I was in the area, so I stopped by Thai E-Sarn Cuisine in Arlington for some Thai food for lunch.

I had the salad, as usual, maybe it's time to try the soup again on the next visit.

Fantasy Tilapia ($8.95). Deep fried tilapia comes with carrots, onions, peppers and peas and was marked as one pepper on the menu. They know me here, so it comes out with a decent amount of heat. Despite tilapias bad reputation, I actually don't mind it. At least they are upfront about what they are serving.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

I needed to visit Whole Foods so I combined that with lunch at FuGaKyu in Lynnfield. It's a pretty impressive Whole Foods at the Market Street complex, and they also have beer and wine.

Window table and a fresh salad start the lunch off nicely. They were setting up the ice skating rink just outside on the commons.

FUGAKYU NOODLE. Served with salad & fruit ($12.50). This is a pick your own with choices for Toppings, Noodle and Broth. Today's choice was again Ramen Noodles with a Tonkotsu Broth (pork) and Grilled Beef. But wait, where's the beef?

Here it is! It was served on its own plate, nicely grilled and it was a decent piece of meat, way bigger than I expected.

The fruit was a piece of orange, nicely cut up and it comes with an individually packaged toothpick.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tuscan Kitchen Burlington

Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington has been open for dinner only for a while but started serving lunch recently without any announcement. I have been to the Salem, NH location a number of times so I was happy to see a location here in Burlington.

Open kitchen looks pretty much the same as the other location.

INSALATA DI TONNO ($15). Rare Seared Tuna, Fresh Arugula, Wood Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onion, Sicilian Olives, Roasted Fennel, Balsamic Glaze is what the menu said. I didn't see any roasted fennel, but apart from that it was a really nice salad. The tuna was rare but with a nice sear. You get the crusty bread and dipping oil. The crusty bread used to be nice, light with a flaky crust but has now morphed into something with a crust that is hard to get through. 

The bar area. I'll probably take a table here when I go back. The dining room has high dividers separating the areas, so it's missing the nice open feel of the NH location.

Unless you get a table to the left in front of the open kitchen, you miss out on the light from the windows. They also have a smallish Tuscan Market at the entrance.

Tuscan Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Papagayo Somerville

Papagayo in Somerville is located in the newly opened Assembly Row in Somerville just off 93.

Yes, there is a Lego store here!

They are located on Great River Road, and if you can get a window table you will have a nice view of the river. I didn't, there was a photo shoot going on today. To the right of them, there is a humongous Legal Seafood.

Big bar, TV's everywhere in cute wooden frames, open kitchen, and high ceilings. Interior was nice.

Chips and Salsa arrive promptly, and of course you get linen napkins. The salsa was really nice but the chips I couldn't really figure out. They seemed very fresh but was so hard that they seemed stale, but they tasted fresh.

Tacos ($8.95). Chicken Tinga or Muchaka Meat Served with Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, Cheese, Lettuce, and Pico De Gallo. The Muchaka Meat turned out to be just shredded beef. Beans and rice were good, and the salad was fresh, and the tortillas were really really tasty. The Pico De Gallo was just tomatoes and onions, but it was nicely spiced.

Chicken Tinga Taco was the best one. Tender chicken chunks in a spicy tomato sauce.

Muchaka Meat Taco was OK but not nearly as good as the chicken one.

Papagayo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fife and Drum Restaurant Concord

Time to go to prison again, e.g. another visit to Fife and Drum Restaurant in Concord, located inside the minimum security prison. I got there at just after 11:30 when they open, and the place was packed. Had to share a table with two au pairs, one from Austria, and one from Germany and that was an added bonus.

After I got flagged down by a guard, I found out the no camera rule also apply to any prison building. This one from the barn was OK.
The food? House salad or Caesar both with the dressing on the side and I went for the Caesar. Soup today was Philly Cheese Steak Soup, and that sounded really weird, but the soup was excellent, dark and creamy and really tasty. For mains, I had the Ham and Sausage Egg roll-up with hand cut French Fries. The roll-up was surprisingly good with a good quality ham and decent sausage. The French Fries was really excellent, wish more places served fries this good. The other mains was grilled swordfish with a lemon sauce served over rice pilaf. Both the girls ordered the fish and they said it was really good. Three good sized pieces of fish and it was not overcooked, according to them. I was so stuffed at this point that I skipped both the Mud Pie and the Strawberry shortcake dessert. I got my change this time, so it only comes to $3.21.

It's a working farm, one calf surrounded by a few geese!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sichuan Palace Chelmsford

I haven't been back to Sichuan Palace in Chelmsford since January 2013, and I wasn't too impressed by anything back then but saw that they have Double Cooked Pork Belly on the menu, and I decided to give them another try for lunch today.

The Hot & Sour soup have improved and was actually a little hot, but the sour part was mostly absent.

Double Cooked Pork Belly ($7.95) looked really good. Look at that chili oil pooling there! Not only did it look good but it was really good with a ton of tender belly and it was actually spicy. You also get the white tender part of the leeks and not just the dark green part. Could have done with some more fermented black beans but despite that, I was very happy with this. Oh, there was also a chicken wing app involved, but it did come out so late that I forgot to take a picture. I think they will be back into my lunch rotation again. The UGLY signs above table A4 and A5 are till there. You would think that after 3 years the waitresses would know what the table numbers are, especially since 2 of the 3 that was there today have been there since they opened. Only negative thing was that if the hostess is wearing a down jacket you can expect that it will be a chilly experience and it was. Turn on the heat, will you.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tudo Na Brasa Woburn.

Decided to go back to Tudo Na Brasa (Taste of Brasil) in Woburn for a Sunday Fish Fry. I haven't been back here in ages, but everything looked the same.

A big buffet in the back and the charcoal fired grill is still working. They are now the only surviving Brazilian grill left in the center.

I got here just after 11:00 AM and everything looked good. Unfortunate, despite picking from the bottom of the trays, both the fish and the fries was stone cold. It such a shame since the fish was nicely seasoned and cooked perfectly, as was the fries. If I get an urge for this again, I'm doing takeout and nuking them back to life at home. The good thing was that the total was $3.41. Even the cracklings was soggy.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Strip T's Watertown

Again my lunch plans were upset when Strip T's in Watertown announced that one of their specials was going to be a Pork Belly Bahn-Mi. I really appreciate when restaurants post specials or updates on Facebook even if they misspell things. It's really Banh Mi.

The place is really small, you can see most of the dining room in this picture. I got here early and at 12:20 the place was packed with people waiting for a seat.

Pork Belly Banh Mi ($11) with spicy mayo, vinegar slaw, carrots, daikon, cilantro. Eleven bucks for a Banh Mi? Well, at Strip T's it's actually worth the money. Big slabs of pork belly with excellent trimmings served on a crusty baguette. The only miss was the absence of the cracklings on the belly. Even the pickle was delicious. Despite the snow this morning it turned out to be a really nice day.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zaika Indian Bistro Woburn

I haven't done Lunch Buffet Takeout from Zaika Indian Bistro in Woburn since late spring but decided it was time do it again. This was no fault of them, just too hot over the summer for having lunch in my non-air conditioned office. I had a quick look at Y*** reviews before heading over and it unusual to see so many 5-star rating for a restaurant in the burbs. They certainly do a number of things right. Service here is always super friendly and helpful.

The Naan has improved and was nicely cooked today. Not too excited about a number of dishes that was on the buffet, so my box was kind of empty, but the Samosas was, as usual, very good. Chicken Wings was tender and juicy. The Saag was nice and spicy, and I even resorted to taking some Chicken Tikka Masala. The potatoes in the box were part of a mixed veggie offering, but I picked out just the potatoes because I like them. This is a very nice lunch buffet for $8.95. This is also dinner for tonight and wings and fries for tomorrow night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mr. Chan's Burlington

A lot has happened at Mr. Chan's in Burlington since my first visit in June of 2012. They added a Traditional Chinese menu that you had to ask for. It has now been incorporated in the standard menu. They still have daily specials and also very cheap lunch specials. Nothing here is very exciting, but they are very consistent and have a number of dishes that I like.

One dish that I really like, especially on a blustery day like today, is the Curry Chicken Rice Plate ($8.75) that was $7.95 for the longest time. Typical Chinese mild yellow curry with onions and peppers with a heap of perfectly cooked chicken and a good amount of curry sauce that soaks into the rice. This is comfort food for me.

Mr Chan's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shangri-La Belmont

Despite having had two less than stellar visits as you can see here and here, I decided on a whim to return to Shangri-La in Belmont for another lunch. It was also a beautiful day for a drive. They have an updated website that doesn't really impress and, it also lacks opening hours not to mention that the lunch menu is also absent.

Interior is the same, they do have good quality furniture. It's a small place and the wait for a table on the weekend for Taiwanese dim sum can be substantial.

I had heard good things about their spicy Beef Noodle Soup ($8.50), and at least here was something that lived up to the hype. The beef was delicious and very tender without being mushy, and the broth was not only spicy but also very flavorful. Noodles were OK, nothing special and you got a ton of them. The bowl was filled with noodles and soup. I found out at the end that there was also spinach hiding at the bottom of the bowl. I took the leftovers to go, some frozen Italian meatballs and this is dinner.

Shangri-la on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

Decided to give Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington another try for Sunday lunch. They now also do Dian Xing on Saturdays and Sundays. Not very busy today.

Spicy Pork Noodle Soup ($8.95) looked good. It was spicy, but that was all, the soup itself was very bland and lacked seasoning as did the pork. The noodles were also slightly overcooked and lacked texture.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blue Ribbon BBQ Arlington

Again Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington messed up my lunch plans by having the Pork Belly Sliders on the specials menu.

Three Pork belly Sliders with Cherry Tomato relish ($9.95) and two sides was delicious, but they again get C- for the execution. Just heaping food on three buns makes for an easy serve but makes it really hard to eat. The pork belly was cooked really well and was very tender and tasty.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sakura Winchester

Time for another All You Can eat Sushi lunch at Sakura in Winchester before the winter gets here. Sakura in Japanese means Cherry Tree or Cherry Blossoms.

Half an order of Tempura Shrimp and an order of Tempura Scallops is a nice starter. Look at those shrimps, can you say crispy and crunchy?

My standard order of Nigiri with a white crunchy tuna Maki added. Today I ordered the perfect amount of food for lunch, kind of hard to get it right and there is, technically, a penalty if you don't finish what you order.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Udupi Nashua NH

This used to be Udupi Bhavan and was part of a family owned chain. They are now all individually owned and this one is now called Udupi and might have changed owners again. Still a strictly vegetarian restaurant but the website also mentions Chinese..

It's tucked in into a small plaza (Sun Plaza) just off DW Highway in Nashua. There has been some sort of Indian restaurant here for forever.

They do a daily lunch buffet ($9.95) and while not very extensive what they have is really flavorful and well seasoned. There was a delicious salad to the left and also a soup. Condiments are to the far right.

The green beans had a nice kick to them as did the salad. Everything is really fresh and well seasoned.

A Dosa is also included, this is the Masala Dosa (spicy) and I must admit that it was a bit of a miss. A very meager amount of filling and it lacked crispness and also was missing part of the dosa itself. The amount of potatoes that was there was nicely seasoned. Despite this it was a really nice meal and even if we had a carafe of water on the table, the water glasses were refilled promptly.

Udupi Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Woburn.

I heard that there was a new dish available at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Woburn, so it was time to pay them another visit.

And there it was, the new #10 and if you think the price is odd, it comes to $9.50 after tax.

How was it? Delicious, with a really nice balance between the hot and sour and there must have been about fifteen pork and chives dumplings in the soup. The dumplings were really good with a nice soft wrapper and a good amount of filling. Not a bad addition to the menu.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yard House Lynnfield

Braving swirling snow and traffic I went to the Yard House in Lynnfield for lunch today. No outside seating in this weather ;-). They have gotten rid of the humongous menus, and there is now one sheet drinks menu and a one sheet food menu. Of course, they increased their prices at the same time. 

Sandwich and Soup lunch special ($9.95). Roast Beef dip and Clam Chowder. Not sure how many clams there was in the chowder, and it was also kind of brownish. Sandwich was fine. The bread was fresh, but the horseradish cream could have done with more horseradish. A delightful little lunch looking out at the snow coming down. Despite the weather the whole Market Street complex was really busy.