Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Snappy Pattys Medford

Parking behind Snappy Pattys in Medford is still free if you can find a space and I got lucky today and did. The menu continues to change and, as a result, the delicious flatbreads are now gone.

The Crispy Fish Sandwich (9.5) is still on the menu. Crispy Fish Sandwich with Tartare Sauce, Lemon & Greens and today everything was present. Fish was good, and the bun is still light and delicious as are the fries.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

MuLan Waltham

A sunny Sunday so I drove down to Mulan in Waltham for some lunch and a chance to try a MuLan Special dish.

This used to be called House Special Fish but are now just called Mu Lan Special Fish ($14.95), and it was an enormous bowl of perfectly cooked fish in a spicy sauce that was both fragrant and really really spicy. They don't hold back on the spiciness here, so this is not for the faint of heart, but it was seriously tasty.

I also ordered the Vegetable Fried Rice ($7.95). I think they put the junior chef on this since the veggies weren't as finely diced as the last time. They were seriously busy at lunch today, and there were only two non-Asian customers, and the other one was there with his girlfriend and her family. They are also now open 7 days a week.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Besito Burlington

Note to self: "Don't go to Besito in Burlington on a Saturday". I had to park almost down at Sears and then walk, in the snow and sleet, all the way back. If I had thought about it, I should have parked even further down, and then entered the mall at Sears and walked inside to Besito.

Mole Poblano Enchiladas ($12.95) was three shredded chicken Enchiladas baked in a homemade mole poblano with queso fresco and onions served with table rice and beans. The mole poblano was really really good, rich in flavor with a hint of chocolate and the chicken was also moist and flavorful. Add the fresh chips and tasty salsa, and it almost made the walk in the sleet and snow bearable. The menu keeps on changing, and I think, improving. This is really such a nice place with a reasonably priced lunch menu.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sakura Winchester

Time for some all you can eat sushi at Sakura in Winchester. Not really spring yet, but there is hope.

My normal selection Tuna and Salmon Nigiri with some flying fish roe. The Maki used to be called white tuna, but it's now renamed to Spicy White Fish with crunch. This is more correct since there isn't anything called white tuna.

The Shrimp Tempura was soggy, maybe the fryer was too cold, and the Tempura Squid was straight out of a frozen supermarket section. Terrible but a different terrible from the first time I tried it. The Tempura Scallops came out later and was actually quite good.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Masa Woburn

Time for my free lunch at Masa in Woburn, pay for four and the fifth is free. I actually paid for five since I forgot to get the stamp once, will not happen again.

The soup of the day was spicy creamed corn, and it was really good. A Cubano and Caesar salad completed the lunch, not bad for $9.95. Bread basket and spreads are included.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Zoe's Somerville

Zoe's Chinese Restaurant in Somerville was closed for a while last year after the facade fell down but are now open again. I had a couple of places to check out in the area so I decided to visit for lunch today. I remember this place from when it was Chef Lee's and I miss his tea smoked duck.

I had heard good things about their Ma Po Tofu ($8.25) and decided to try it and ordered it extra spicy, it was extra spicy and I give them credit for that. Not sure if there were any actual Sichuan peppercorns involved, couldn't smell any nor did I see any but apart from that it was delicious. You also get a spring roll and it was nice and light with mostly soft cabbage inside. You also have a choice of soups with the lunch specials and the H&S soup was also very tasty. I might be back to try some of their noodles soups.

Gone is the dark interior from Chef Lee's days and now it's a light and airy place that seemed to do a brisk lunch business and a fair amount of takeout. As a bonus, you get a 5% discount for paying cash.

Zoe's Gourmet Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fishbones Chelmsford

I was going to have my regular tuna sandwich at Fishbones in Chelmsford, but then I spotted the daily lunch special.

HAKE & AND STRIPPED BASS CASSEROLE ($11.99). (I believe they meant striped bass ;-)). Hake and striped bass with braised onions topped with bread crumbs and baked in a casserole served with rice and asparagus. What you see in the background is the actual kitchen. Rice was nice, asparagus cooked perfectly and the casserole was tasty as well with a good amount of nicely cooked fish. Yup, you get linen napkins. They now give you a bottle of water, nice.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yard House Lynnfield

The Yard House in Lynnfield is one busy place, at least during a Sunday lunch, the place was packed.

This is the Lunch special ($9.95). You get Half a sandwich, grilled pastrami, and a Caesar salad. Sandwich was good with pickled jalapenos and horseradish spread. Not too impressed with the Caesar dressing. Nice little lunch plate.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cafe Escadrille Burlington

After I saw that Cafe Escadrille in Burlington was serving sushi for lunch Wed to Sat, I couldn't wait to try it. It was really a surreal experience ordering sushi here in this New England bastion.

Chirashi Sushi ($13.85 on the menu, $13.95 on the bill). This contained Chef’s selection of sashimi on a bed of seasoned rice. This was a big bowl, the usual culprits including some rare seared tuna, octopus (chewy) and some sliced white fish next to the tuna and I have no idea what it was. A number of pickled veggies plus some finely minced pickled veggies on top of the rice as well. The rice was nice and at the right temperature and overall I was surprised how nice this was, and I'm really surprised to say this, but I might be back for this dish again.

This brought out a smile, they give you chopstick helpers!

Friday, March 20, 2015

WooRi Arlington

Back to WooRi in Arlington to try some more delicious food.

The banchan today had some new stuff, forgot was the first one was called, but the second they called radish root and that didn't make sense, I suspect it was radish stems, but it was really good as was the rest. They do come up with some really interesting banchan here.

Last Lunch Stew ($10) that I hadn't tried, Soybean with Beef is what the menu said, and I had no idea what I would get. Turns out it was a Korean miso stew but it was really tasty, not like the insipid Japanese miso soup you get. Full of flavor and there was diced zucchini underneath. Not the most exciting stew but still very nice.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BonChon Lowell

BonChon in Lowell was kind of on my route for today in a bit of a roundabout way.

Lunch Special Bonchon Chicken ($7.95) and this is the combo deal, 4 wings and two drums, half soy and garlic and half spicy with the deliciously coated fries. You have a number of choices for the sides, but after trying the fries, I have a hard time giving them up. The chicken is still good, nice and crisp on the outside, and moist inside and the spicy half was actually spicy. The soy and garlic could do with more garlic. Last time I was here my credit card got severely overcharged, and I never keep my copy of the slip, but today I did so I'm assuming that the charge will be correct.

The inside at lunch time and again almost empty, one other table occupied, and it looked to be very slow on the takeout section as well. Too bad, I think it's a really good value at lunchtime, but it's kind of really out of the way.

Bonchon on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beijing Chinese Dining Lexington

I was going to try Beijing Chinese Dining in Lexington's version of the Da Lu Mian noodle soup since I really liked it when I had it at Taipei Gourmet but much to my surprise, it wasn't available anymore even if it's still listed on the lunch menu.

So instead I opted for the Seafood Noodle Soup ($8.95). The Squid, Scallops and Shrimp was cooked nicely, and the soup was ok as was the noodles after I broke up the big lump of noodles.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cafe Escadrille Burlington

It's St Patrick's Day and one of the few places that honor that day with Irish food is Cafe Escadrille in Burlington, so that's where I went for lunch today. The day started out gray and rainy, but the sun actually popped out after lunch.

I decided to go with the Irish Boiled Dinner ($16.95) with smoked pork shoulder since I have a Corned Beef Brisket cooking Sous Vide at home for dinner. 10 hours at 180 will make a perfect one. This was nice with all the veggies cooked nicely and not overcooked, and the pork shoulder was OK. Of course, all the veggies needed seasoning. I also got soda bread in addition to the normal roll. The roll has also improved and was nice and flaky. There were martinis being slurped down all around me! Things are happening here, and they now do a Sushi lunch and dinner Wed to Sat and are also offering sushi classes.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Time for another brunch at Bonefish Grill in Burlington since it's Sunday and I haven't been back since last month.

Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict with a toasted English muffin, crispy shrimp, poached eggs, green onions + spicy Hollandaise sauce (11.3) was my choice again. Well, if it's good it's good, what can I say? Look what finally showed up, the elusive advertised green onions finally made an appearance.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

FuGaKyu Lynnfield

It was time for some more good lunch fare at FuGaKyu in Lynnfield.

The FUGAKYU Noodle option has quite a few choices.

I went with Katsu Pork, they were happy to substitute pork instead of the chicken, Udon Noodles as always and the Curry Broth. I wasn't sure how the curry broth would work but I have been dying to try it, and I figured that if the Pork Katsu Curry works, why not this? This turned out to be delicious, really really nice broth, flavorful and rich. Pork Katsu was also perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.

Really dreary day, overcast and raining but the Market Street Complex was still packed. You go figure. The skating rink is gone so maybe there is hope for spring.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Capital Grille Burlington

The other restaurant that got a second visit during the Boston Dine Out week was Capital Grille in Burlington. They were absolutely filled to capacity today.

What's more steakhouse than a Wedge with Bleu Cheese and Apple Wood Smoked Bacon? Very mild dressing and of course bacon makes everything better.

Dry Aged Sirloin with Roasted Pepper, Fresh Mozzarella and Arugula Salad. This was again a perfectly cooked steak. It was actually cooked a bit better, less gray around the outside, but it still had a nice char.

To finish the meal off, a Classic Crème Brûlée. topped with an enormous strawberry.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Artistry On The Green Lexington

One of the few restaurants from Boston Dine Out week that deserved a second visit was Artistry On The Green in Lexington, actually it was the Duck Rillettes that got me back.

Place settings are very elegant and the bread today was some rosemary focaccia.

So I ordered the Long Island Duck Rillette again. Frisée Salad, Pickled Shallots, Croutons, Mustard Vinaigrette. The portion size was cut in half compared to last week's visit, but this suited me better. This time the vinaigrette was on the plate, but the pickled shallots were absent. The bread was good, just a nicely toasted slice.

Olive Oil Poached Tuna Salade Niçoise. Green Beans, New Potatoes, Chopped Egg, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives. The haricot verts were excellent, just wish they had chopped off the stems. The potatoes were too crunchy for me, and the chopped egg was grated eggs and a bit too mushy. The rest of the salad was fine and when I found watercress underneath the salad it made the dish even better.

To finish off the meal, a Lemon Raspberry Mousse with Ginger Sponge Cake, Cocoa Nib Tuile. Nothing bad can be said about this, excellent and very enjoyable dish.

Got a view from the other corner this time, very elegant room and they were fully booked today, but the service was still excellent.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Szechuan's Dumpling Arlington

On a whim, I decided to visit Szechuan's Dumpling in Arlington for lunch today. I haven't been back since late last year when I basically gave up on them due to poor lunch options and really bland food. Only a few customers at lunch today and the place were freezingly cold. Hmm, I wonder if this could be related?

The H&S soup that comes with lunch looked very pale but was actually OK. The soup lacked a depth of flavor but was piping hot. The ingredients were mostly tofu skin.

Lunch Flounder Fish Fillet ($7.25) ordered extra spicy. You might be careful about what you ask for since this was seriously spicy even for me. You can actually see the sliced Thai bird eye chilies in the dish. A nice big portion of good quality fish cooked nicely in a very nice sauce that I believe had actual Sichuan peppercorns in it. Another restaurant that's trying to get you to eat the Chinese way, e.g. you don't get a plate to eat off. I guess you could scope the rice onto the serving platter if you want but going food to rice bowl to mouth is OK. Did I say that this was seriously spicy?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Aquitaine Chestnut Hill

This was my second attempt at the Boston Dine Out lunch at Aquitaine in Chestnut Hill and this time it actually worked out apart from the advertised $20 three course menu turned out to be a two-course menu.

Spicy Mussel Soup "Mouclade" with Tomatoes, Spanish Chorizo and Scallion. Very pleasant dish and the mussels were very tender, but I would not call it spicy, not even mildly spicy.

Slow Roasted Berkshire Pork with Caramelized Yams, Sweet & Sour Choucroute & Roasted Garlic Pan Drippings. Another excellent dish, I especially liked the S&S Choucroute that was very interesting. Not too excited about the yams. The bread was also excellent, but the butter was the whipped variety, so that was a letdown. This is a nice place with a real bistro look and feels to it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Joe Fish North Reading

Time for my yearly visit to a Wal-Mart and the nearest one is in North Reading, so I decided to have lunch at Joe Fish in North Reading. Feels like heatwave with the temps in the 40's.

Baked Haddock Casserole ($9.99). Fresh haddock baked in a casserole with lobster cream sauce, jack cheese and seasoned crumbs, served with rice pilaf said the menu, but I asked for fries instead. No problem! Said the waitress. The fries were really nice as was the casserole. The casserole was well seasoned (after adding some salt), and really tasty with a ton of really nicely cooked haddock.

Not very busy in the bar but the dining room filled up nicely. For the first time, I was actually asked where I would like to sit so kudos to the hostess for that.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

MuLan Waltham

I was going to Davio'S in Lynnfield for their second week Boston Dine Out lunch offerings and the appetizers looked good as did the desserts, but the mains only so-so and thinking about it I realized that I can get half a duck for dinner, one main dish and a fried rice for lunch at Mulan in Waltham for just about the same amount of money so off to MuLan I went. They had huge Chinese New Year's Specials menus on the walls but alas only in Chinese so I have no idea what I'm missing. How much more work would it be to include an English translation? They are also expanding into the now vacant space next door.

Vegetable Egg Fried Rice ($7.95) is a humongous platter of finely cut veggies and nicely seasoned rice. This could serve as a main dish alone.

They brag about this dish on their homepage so I had to try the Smoked Pork with Leeks ($11.95) and I was impressed. This was really nicely smoked tender pork with leeks and lotus root.

When the take home container is packed this full, I always suspect that I didn't get all of my leftovers.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bernard's Chestnut Hill

I used to be a regular at Bernard's in Chestnut Hill when they were located in the mall, and I was living in the area and have hardly been back since, but today I was going to Aquitaine for their Boston Dine Out lunch offering, but despite what the website said, they did not offer it on a Saturday. Not happy about that but decided to stop at Bernard's new location in the same area. Strangely enough, I can't find any web presence of Bernard's at all, only a few sites showing outdated menus. 

Interior is nice and way bigger than their old location. Big bar area with a number of flat screen TVs.

The Hot and Sour Soup was really good, but unfortunately, I only had about two minutes to taste it before my food arrived. All tables also get duck sauce and hot mustard. The hot mustard container looked really sloppy, but you get linen napkins.

Beef with Sichuan Ma La Sauce ($11.25) and a couple of crab rangoons. I ordered it extra ma la but either that didn't work or the dish is really mild to start with. The spicy dishes were marked with a red star, and at the bottom of the menu it said * Mildly Spicy. Despite that it was a pleasant dish, the mushrooms were of good quality and not overcooked, and the beef was tender without being mushy. Not a fan of crab rangoons but they were OK, nice and crispy apart from where they sat in the sauce. Service was iffy, didn't get chopsticks until I flagged down my server and water refills wasn't offered until I got the bill.

  Bernard's on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 6, 2015

Besito Burlington

Besito in Burlington is also part of the Boston Dine Out lineup, and they are doing a three-course lunch for $15, and I'm not sure if that was the reason for them being absolutely packed today.

I started with the Sopa de Tortilla. This was tortilla soup, avocado, pulled chicken, queso Chihuahua, chopped cilantro, toasted pasilla, chile, crema, onion. This arrived at the table with the soup in its own container and then poured over the rest of the ingredients. This was excellent and very tasty, and the chicken was plentiful and really really good.

Street tacos served with three tortillas. This is the Camarones. Crispy Shrimp, Pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, queso fresco, organic romaine. You also get beans and rice for the table.

Dessert was Tres Leches. Vanilla sponge cake marinated in citrus trees leches, whipped cream and fresh berries. This was the least favorite dish, overwhipped cream and rock hard strawberries.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Enough of this fancy dining, at least until tomorrow, so I went to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for some basic lunch fare.

Chicken with Hot Pepper ($7.99) lunch combo ordered extra spicy. Despite all the chili peppers on the plate, it did lack the heat. Lots of nicely cooked chicken and some roasted red peppers. The nicely charred hot peppers added a good smokiness to the dish. The H&S Soup was nice as usual.