Friday, January 30, 2015

Pho #1 Woburn

It's kind of snowing today, so I took that as an excuse to walk down to my local Vietnamese restaurant, Pho #1 in Woburn. They claim it's the same owner as last year, but the staff is all new as is the kitchen staff, so I suspect that the ownership changed last year.

Perfect Storm ($8.95) from the Woburn Combo Specials. Stir fried crispy mix seafood with onion, scallion, red bell pepper and Thai basil leaf in spicy sauce. The seafood was crispy and cooked nicely and much to my surprise, it was spicy! In fact, this was really really good, and even the squid was tender.

Comes with dumpling and spring roll with a few drops of the dipping sauces. The chicken noodle soup was OK, not very exciting and only a few strands of the noodles.

Not sure if it was due to it being Friday or what but they were packed with people waiting for tables at 12:30.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Masa Woburn

Enough Asian cuisine, how about some Southwestern food from Masa in Woburn for lunch.

Lunch Special ($9.95) soup, salad and sandwich. The soup was Chile Pork Stew, but the stew was more like soup and could have done with more chilies. Caesar Salad was different but in a good way. You can never go really wrong with a Cubano Sandwich.

We are getting there with the bread, today I asked for "just one slice of the bread, " and I got that plus the cornbread. Again a very pleasant lunch in a nice environment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Time for some solid food on a bright sunny day after a massive shoveling effort, so I went to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for lunch.

Flounder Filet in Sichuan Sauce Lunch Special ($7.99) ordered extra spicy, and it had a nice amount of heat, and the fish was perfectly cooked. Lots of sliced ginger to add to the heat. This was one of the first dishes I ordered here after they opened, and I was not impressed back then, but that was over two years ago, so I figure I try it again and I was glad that I did.

Soup is included, and it's always good, and there was also a vegetarian spring roll involved that I managed to finish, but there was also leftovers today.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Capital Grille Burlington

Special day today so the lunch was at Capital Grille in Burlington. Again I parked myself in the bar to avoid having to look at the staff in their supremely ill-fitting jackets.

Extra Extra Dry Martini, Tanqueray with a twist. This is really a secret code for "Give my a glass of chilled gin with a twist".

They have a special two-course lunch special ($18) with a few apps and a few mains to choose from. The New England clam chowder was perfectly acceptable.

The Lobster Roll was claw meat as expected but at least it was the big claws and a lot of them. Much better than the 99 Restaurant ripoff. Very little binders and just a few small pieces of celery for texture. The truffle and parmesan fries are really delicious, and I had to finish all of them. For the money, I was very happy with this.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Sunday so it's brunch time at Bonefish Grill in Burlington again. There is a Not Your Average Joe's next door, and I have looked at the menu, and it looks expensive and not too exciting. Is there anything edible hiding in there for lunch or brunch?

This is the Omelet Oscar with asparagus, crab, smoked mozzarella, basil, lemon butter (10.5) with the potatoes au gratin. I think I got the egg white one the first time I ordered this. All the omelets after that have had a nice yellow color. Good amount of crab and nicely cooked asparagus and some jam has mysteriously been added. Bright sunny day as you can see from the shadows. There is a serious amount of snow on the ground .and more will be added starting Monday night into Wednesday. Ouch!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pho #1 Woburn

Some serious snow this morning, so I'm not going anywhere except walking down to my local Vietnamese restaurant, Pho #1 in Woburn.

Dac Biet Beef noodle soup, medium size ($6.95). "Large sized bowl of our popular beef noodle soup, with combining sliced rare eye round, well-done flank, brisket, tendon and tripe" is what the menu says. At best, I would call this a passable rendering of Pho. The broth is OK but lacks the depth of flavor, only a few pieces of tripe and tendon and the brisket was mostly missing as was the well-done flank. What used to be chili oil in the container up top is now just dry chili flakes. Only redeeming quality is that it's cheap and within walking distance.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Toraya Arlington

I love Toraya in Arlington despite it being such a small place and don't go here enough but stopped by for lunch today.

Small? Yes, this is most of it, and they usually fill it up, both for lunch and dinner. There is on street parking and also a lot behind the restaurant.

Miso soup is included, and it's actually pretty good here. No spoon so it's slurp away.

They had Deep Fried Baby Octopus ($6) on the specials board, and I couldn't resist! Look at those little fat suckers!

The Chirashi ($11.95) is a favorite of mine, and it's really reasonably priced here. It's an assortment of fresh fish, egg and vegetables over sushi rice. Not really sure what I have here apart from the standard offerings but there was some octopus in there, really nice and tender. Good amount of food, especially if you consider the rice underneath. I even like the mackerel that I had a serious aversion to growing up.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beijing Chinese Dining Lexington

I ended up at Beijing Chinese Dining in Lexington for lunch today. The heat was on, and they were actually busy today.

The Hot & Sour soup was back to being a bit bland and not very exciting.

A few slices of pressed beef accompanied the spring roll today. "For you to try", said the waitress and I thought I was special until I noticed that everyone got the beef.

魚香雞片 Yu Shiang Chicken ($7.95). The best translation I can find is Sichuan Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce. Apart from chicken it also had bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms and snow peas. It was mildly garlicky, and despite a good amount of chili oil, it also lacked in heat. The chicken was cooked nicely, and the Fried Rice was good as usual. Not sure why I got a spoon since I didn't get a plate to spoon things onto?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snappy Pattys Medford

The menu at Snappy Pattys in Medford is continually changing, and that's a good thing. Unfortunately, the French Burger I had the last time is gone, but a number of items have been added to the lunch menu. Another thing that's gone is the free on street parking, now they have high-tech meters that require you to enter your license plate to pay. Who the heck remembers that? The parking behind the restaurant might still be free, I didn't check.

One of the new items is a Crispy Fish Sandwich ($9). The menu said tartar sauce (yep, on both buns), lemons (nope) and greens served with their delicious fries. The fish was fresh with a very light batter,and cooked very nicely. Another really nice lunch,and the bun was much improved. Gone is dense the hockey puck replaced with a very soft and tasty bun.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PHU KET Wakefield

I haven't been back to PHU KET in Wakefield for quite a while but decided to stop by for lunch today. The place was empty, a couple of tables filled up later and the place was freezing. They didn't turn on the heat until a mother with an infant showed up.

The lunch boxes come with a vegetable soup that was HOT temperature wise but very very bland.

Chicken Basil lunchbox ($8). The chicken was fine, all five pieces of it but the onions and peppers were way overcooked and mushy. The mushrooms were very dark, and there was one! piece of basil in the dish. You figure that something called Chicken Basil should have basil in it. The string beans were fine. I asked for it extra spicy, and they did that well. The salad had a thick sweet peanut sauce on top that wasn't too exciting and made everything glop together. The crispy spring rolls were way too crispy but tasted OK. Not a very good lunch but they did deserve a second visit.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

I wanted something light today and a holiday Monday like today is troublesome for the lunch goer, a lot of places doesn't serve from the lunch menu. Taipei Gourmet is Lexington was of course serving lunch and, as a result, they were packed.

Flounder Fillet with Sour Mustard Lunch Special ($7.99). You also get a crunchy Vegetarian Spring Roll. The fish was cooked perfectly and was a good quality fish, not the tilapia that you normally get. The sour mustard was really tangy, but it went well with the fish. The light part of the lunch today didn't really work since this was so good that I really stuffed myself.

Hot & Sour soup is also included, and it's good here. Wish the kitchen was slower, I barely have time to start on the soup when the mains arrives.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Bonefish Grill in Burlington for brunch again. There is more Masters Snooker to watch so something reasonably quick was in order.

Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict (11.3). This time the eggs were poached perfectly, and they put the spicy Hollandaise sauce on before the shrimp, so the shrimp stayed nice and crisp as advertised. I think this is one of the better brunch offerings.

Friday, January 16, 2015

WooRi Arlington

When I had the Kimchi Stew at WooRi in Arlington, I was told that I should try the Tofu Stew especially if I like spicy dishes. And guess what? I do.

Today's selection on Banchan. Top left was an excellent, and spicy, Bok Choy kimchi. On the bottom was Broccoli, not a favorite veggie of mine, but I could eat a plateful of this. Next was garlic and green onion, and after trying it I thought I had misheard but the garlic was pickled and was just crunchy with a very mild garlic flavor. It was very interesting and up there with the best of them. Spicy onion, crunchy with a bit of heat. Fermented black beans with walnut, another interesting combo.

Lunch Special Soft Tofu Stew with beef ($10) was HOT temperature wise and also had a nice amount of spiciness, and there was soft boiled egg hidden that you break up and mix in with the stew. Not a fan of tofu but I now have two dishes with tofu that I actually enjoy. The other one is MaPo Dofu in various Chinese restaurants.

In the middle of all this, she brought out a few pieces of radish pancake that Grandma has just made and asked if I wanted to try it? Of course I wanted, and this was another winner, soft and crunchy and really tasty.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Felicia's Stoneham

I must admit that sometimes when having lunch at Felicia's in Stoneham you feel like you are an extra in a Godfather movie. A number of older Italian men drinking wine around a round table and having lunch here and they seem to know everybody.

Linguini with Clams ($10.95) comes with six fresh clams in addition to the chopped ones. Pasta cooked nicely, and this is a very nice dish, especially on a crummy day like today.

You get half a loaf of tasty Italian bread with a plate of dipping oil. The bread went well with the pasta to soak up the juices.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mandarin Reading

Sometimes you just want some chicken wings, so I went to Mandarin in Reading for their lunch buffet ($12.50).

Their Sushi offerings used to be fairly decent but today there was only a few pieces of Red Snapper Nigiri and the fish was very chewy!, and I have no idea what the Maki was, I think one had sweet potatoes in it. Salt and Pepper Shrimp with the shell on is fine if the shell is crisp enough to eat, but it wasn't so it was like eating shrimp wrapped in Glad Pack.

Appetizer round. The Shumai was dry and rubbery, the Chives Dumplings had a nice crust but were very bland. The chicken wings were fine, no complaints there but I wish they served them already cut up, so I don't have to rip it apart.

Almost none of the entrees was appealing, the Orange General Gau's Chicken was stringy and overly sweet, and lacked spiciness. Rainbow Pork was uneven with some pieces being really chewy. This was my last visit, not worth the money and the food are really sub par now. $12.50 will get you a really good dish at a quality Chinese restaurant. I can get half a roasted duck for the same amount at China Star in Lowell and what a feast that would be.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mr. Chan's Burlington

I wanted something quick, so I went to Mr. Chans in Burlington so that I could return and watch the Masters Snooker tournament. Top 16 in the world is battling it out and the first day saw a 147, only the third in its 40 years history.

Cross cut Veal Ribs Rice Platter ($8.95) comes with onions and green beans. It's a pain to eat, can't really figure out how to handle the ribs, so I just pick them up with my fingers and go for it. The beans were slightly too soft but overall I liked this dish.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blue Ribbon BBQ Arlington

No parking to be found around my Monday Indian restaurant, Punjab in Arlington, so I went to Blue Ribbon BBQ just up the road instead. I really like that they post their daily specials on Facebook so that you know what's available.

I knew that the Pork Posole Soup ($4.99) was available and if there is something they do really well, it's the soups. The soup was served with a warm tortilla, not sure what brand they but they are really tasty. Kind of crappy picture and I had already tasted the soup, so you get the dirty spoon as well. I should have stirred things up a bit since the soup was chock full of pork and posole in a seriously good broth. I kind of like posole, not something you grew up with in Sweden.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Yep, another brunch at the Bonefish Grill in Burlington that today was fairly busy and seemed short staffed but the service was still fine.

Western Omelet (9.5). Comes with Turkey Chorizo, cheddar, cilantro, onions, ranchero, lime sour cream and the toast is back. The potatoes au gratin was a bit loose today, but no big deal still tasted OK. I have no idea what "ranchero" are and neither does Google, but I'm assuming it's the salsa on top. Still, this was nice omelet for brunch.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Temazcal Lynnfield

I wanted something nice for lunch today, so I headed to Temazcal Tequila Cantina in Lynnfield that are located in the Market Street complex. The Market Street complex are still expanding with more structures going up, but I think this is the end.

A different perspective of the bar. I thought it was a big mirror at the end but it's an actual seating area, and it's nice if you want to get away from the bar area.

The chips are fresh and really good, and the bean spread is still the best of the three salsas.

Asada Skirt Steak Tacos ($14). Marinated grilled skirt steak, salsa roja, pickled serrano chile, avocado served with saffron rice and beans. The pickled chiles were the two slivers on top of the salad. The skirt steak was marinated in something that was way too sweet. Good sized slices of avocado and I must say that the beans have improved a lot and were quite tasty.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Origin Thai Bistro Tewksbury

Stopped by Origin Thai Bistro in Tewksbury for some lunch on this frigid Thursday.

A good day for some soup so I ordered the Tom Yum Noodle Soup ($9.95). The famous sour and spicy noodle soup with chicken and shrimps, squid, ground chicken, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts topped with chopped scallion and crispy wonton. I also got the salad, and the crispy spring roll and both were excellent. The soup only had a hint of sour and spicy, but the chicken was tender as was the noodles. I got one shrimp and two pieces of squid, but there was a lot of tender chicken included.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Masa Woburn

Time for some civilized lunch at Masa in Woburn that is located in the same plaza as Whole Foods, very convenient.

Lunch Combo ($9.95) and today's soup was Spicy Southwestern Chicken and Vegetable Soup, and it was outstandingly good, spicy with nicely cooked vegetables in a really good broth. Caesar salad and Cubano Sandwich. The sandwich was good even if they forgot to press it. I like their slightly different Caesar with cojita cheese and crispy tortilla strips.

I asked them to hold the cornbread figuring I just get the two slices of bread, but instead, I got four slices of bread, so I'm still wasting bread. The spreads are also really delicious, and the chipotle one had a little kick to it.

The nice interior especially with the high tops in the bar area. Quiet at lunch, and it's not even snowing today.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Really cold day, stuck at about 15F, and snow squalls made this a pretty miserable day.

I haven't had the Spicy Taipei Style Beef Sirloin in Noodle Soup ($8.59) for about 2 years, so it was time for a revisit at Taipei Gourmet in Lexington. Ordered it extra spicy and it wasn't really but the broth was good as was the noodles but the beef wasn't too good, lots of icky bits and the beef was stringy. The menu said Taipei style and this type of beef is very commonly served.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Another Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill in Burlington. I'm working my way through the menu, dish by dish.

Today's omelet was the California (9.5) with Applewood bacon, cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes, avocado. I'm pretty sure I got the turkey chorizo from the Western omelet instead of the bacon. Still, it was tasty as was the potatoes. If you expect a perfect french omelet, you are not going to get that but I'm not so this is fine with me. I'm curious as to what happened to the toast? I asked once if there was any alternative bread available and she said no, and since then I haven't seen the toast.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Origin Thai Bistro Tewksbury

Since I was in the area, it was convenient to stop at Origin Thai Bistro in Tewksbury for some lunch on a Saturday while waiting for the snow to start.

You get a small salad to start, and it was fresh with a nice dressing. Some more plants have been added since my last visit.

Masaman Curry ($7.95) with pork was my lunch choice. Potatoes, carrots, onions and toasted peanuts with crispy taro on top was a very pleasant curry, full of flavor with everything cooked nicely. Despite asking for it extra spicy it was just mildly spicy, but overall the flavor was really good. I had to ask how to incorporate the rice into the dish, and she said that some Thai people put the sauce on the rice and others like herself put the rice into the bowl to soak up the sauce and that's the way I went. It worked out well.

Some plants have been added, but it's still a big white room. Nice tables and they seem to really care about the food and the service.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Blue Ribbon BBQ Arlington

I was going to go to Masa in Woburn, but they only served from the brunch menu despite it being a Friday and since they can't scramble eggs nor soft poach them I passed and went to Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington instead.

I knew from their Facebook page that the Kale Soup ($4.99) was on and it's an excellent soup filled with kale and chicken cooked in the smoker and served with cornbread. The cornbread was, of course, a corner piece and it's really good. The bottom half of the cup is filled with their excellent mashed potatoes. This is a nice and light lunch.

Interior is small with a few tables and the window seats. The smoker is back in-house, so everything is cooked here. They have a really nice selection of BBQ sauces.