Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

I haven't had the Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos at Bonefish Grill in Burlington since my first visit here a year ago, so it was time to try them again.

Not sure why the building is slightly tilted, I have to work on this!

This is the aforementioned Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos and they included three warm tortillas, Bang Bang Shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream (hold the sour cream!) for 11.10 and they come with a choice of three sides, and I went for the fries. The Bang Bang Shrimp was described as "crispy shrimp, tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce" and the sauce is actually spicy! The shrimp could have been crispier, but it's hard to do with the sauce on top of them. This was a nice little lunch on a sunny but still coldish day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Great Chow Malden

I think I have tried most of the lunch specials that appeals to me at The Great Chow in Malden, but there was one more.

Not sure why they need 3 posters in the window with their name on them. It's not like you can miss the big sign on the wall.

This is the Lunch Special Stir Fried Chicken w. Cayenne Peppers ($7.75). There was no cayenne pepper in the dish at all, what there was, was a lot of peppers including some mildly spicy green peppers, so this was a bit of a disappointment. Not a bad dish but not a very exciting one.

And then there is this guy in the window announcing a couple of specials, who is he? Marco Polo? Apart from the Cheng-Du Spicy Chicken there isn't really anything exciting on the lunch menu, and the noodle soup didn't really impress either, so I think my next visit will be on a weekend to try a few of their appetizers that looks interesting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Masa Woburn

It's a sunny day but still not warm outside, but I'm heading to Masa for some indoor lunch.

It's a nice location next to Whole Foods with plenty of parking.

The soup sounded promising, so I went for the Soup, Salad and Sandwich ($9.95) combo. The soup was Country Style Veggie and Pork Green Chili Stew, and it was really good. The Caesar and Chicken roll-up was filled with tender chicken, and the salad was really nice and fresh with some pickled onions mixed in there. A pleasant lunch in a very pleasant restaurant.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

Still working my way through the Chef's New Specials at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica on this coldish and overcast Sunday.

It's a very small place hidden in a strip mall in Billerica.

Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Spicy Wonder Sauce ($6.50). This is a big plate, and it's marked with one pepper, and that's about right but very tasty, and the crunchy bamboo shoots have a nice texture. 

House Special Steamed Bacon (Weekend Only) $11.95 was delicious and underneath the bacon was a mound of finely chopped black beans and bean sprouts. The bacon was tender and very flavorful, a really pleasant dish.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wagamama Lynnfield

At my last visit to Wagamama in Lynnfield, I saw another new dish on the menu that looked interesting so off I went on a sunny but cold day for a Saturday lunch. What happened to spring?

Pork Ramen ($14). Noodles in a miso, ginger and chicken soup topped with barbecued pork, a tea-stained egg, pea shoots and wakame, served with a Korean barbecue sauce and garnished with menma and scallions. Apart from the barbecue sauce, everything was there. Much to my surprise, it turned out that the BBQ pork was actually pork belly and a pretty nice one too. The noodles were cooked well and overall it was a nice dish, maybe the broth had a tad too much miso for me. 

I managed to get a window table today, in the sun, but unless you get a booth, it really looks like a cafeteria. It did fill up a bit after 12:30ish. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lisa's Family Pizzeria Woburn

Lisa's Family Pizzeria in Woburn is close to home on Rte 38, and they were convenient today since I had to be home for a water heater replacement. Got 13 years out of the GE with 9 years warranty, so I can't really complain, but it's inconvenient and expensive when they break.

I have ordered the 8 Wings to go with Honey Mustard Sauce ($6.50) before, and they are really delicious. The wings are cooked perfectly, and they are some of the best wings around. I was really impressed both with how flavorful they were and how well they were cooked, the first time I ordered them. I'm also impressed that they use recyclable containers.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Holi Bedford

Holi Indian Restaurant in Bedford opened last week in the space formerly occupied by Dalya's. Dalya's closed after being open for 20 years, and the owners thought it was time to retire. Holi is owned by the same people that operate the delightful Zaika Indian Bistro in Woburn center, and if the food is as good here as it is at Zaika, Bedford is in for a real treat.

Holi is located at Bedford Farms next to an ice cream stand. I don't think they will get much business from the buffet customers. 

The lunch buffet ($12) is on the expensive side, BUT the buffet is really big. The steam trays have windows in the lid but, of course, everyone is still lifting the lid to see the food.

The room is well lit, and you get both linen tablecloths and linen napkins. The bar from Dalya's is still there.

But what about the food? Everything was really fresh and delicious. The lamb daal, bottom left, was just about the best daal I have had, thick and rich and very flavorful, and the same can be said for the Saag Mushrooms above it. The mushrooms were fresh and not overcooked. The big samosa was tasty as well. The Chipotle Chicken was dry, and I pointed that out to the manager, and the next batch that arrived was cooked perfectly. No big deal, they just opened last week. The Fish Pakora wasn't too dry, and the Tandoori Chicken was moist and really appetizing. Fresh naan, either plain or garlic, is served at the table. There were also papads available on the buffet. For my second visit, I got the improved Chipotle Chicken, Saag and the Daal. The buffet was so big that I probably skipped about half of the dishes available. Service was very good, my water glass refilled promptly and the manager was walking around making sure everything was OK. They were also quite busy at lunchtime today.

Holi Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Great Chow Malden

Time to try something else for lunch from The Great Chow in Malden on a sunny and decently warm day.

The waitress asked what I was in a mood for and when I said noodles, she recommended the spicy Sichuan Style Beef Tendon Noodle ($8.50). I'm not sure if I would have ordered this since I read it as being just beef tendon but went with it anyway and it turned out to be beef with gelatinous parts attached, and this was delicious with very tender and flavorful beef. The broth itself was a bit weak, and the noodles were soft and overcooked, but the beef was the hero, and I really liked this dish.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Snappy Pattys Medford

Again I got lucky and snagged a free parking space behind Snappy Pattys in Medford. They are working on constructing a patio out back for their expansion.

This is the Steak Wrap (11.5). It comes with Wagyu Skirt Steak, Herb Mayo, Cucumber & Greens and it was really delicious as was the fries. The herbed mayo added a nice touch of freshness.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chettinad Grill Burlington

Since my usual Monday hunt for Indian, Punjab in Arlington, take any excuse to not to serve the lunch specials I decided to return to Chettinad Grill in Burlington since I was really impressed by the food on my visit last week. It's also very close to home, so I can get back quickly and continue watching the World Snooker Championship from BBC. They show about 8 hours a day live, not counting the streaming content.

My first visit to the buffet ($10.99) yielded a chance to try the Biryani and it was really good with lots of flavors. Tandoori chicken was again moist and tender. Idli-65 from the app section was a spicy piece of dough with a nice bite to it. Chettinad Potato Curry was also good and spicy. Next was Sorakky Kootu, a very tasty lentil dish. The Saag Paneer was just OK but still nice. In the container up top, I put the Chettinad Mochai Parayu Masala, a bean dish that was really tasty. Again, I was impressed by the flavoring of the food, and I was very happy with the spice levels. On this cold and miserable Monday, they were again really busy.

A Dosa is also included, and I inquired if there was an option on the filling, but your only choice is the mild potato filling.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

I have decided to eat my way through the new chef's specials at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica, so that's where I headed on a sunny but not too warm Sunday.

I started with an order of Sichuan Wonton with Spicy Chili Sauce ($5.95). The wontons were nice, but the sauce was just mildly spicy. Today I got the pickled veggies that were absent last Sunday.

From the New Specials Menu, I ordered the Smoky Pork Belly w. Spicy Black Beans ($13.95) and white rice. I must admit that you get a serious amount of rice for 99 cents! The pork belly was smoky and delicious, but it was on the milder side despite being marked as two peppers on the menu. They were almost full at lunch today.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Temazcal Lynnfield

Time for another visit to Temazcal Tequila Cantina in Lynnfield for some more Saturday lunch. They have started serving on the patio again, and all the doors were open so it wasn't much warmer inside than outside and there was no heatwave outside today.

Lettuce Wrap Ahi Tuna Tacos ($15). MANGO SALSA, BLACK BEAN, BIBB LETTUCE, TORTILLA STRIPS, CHIPOTLE AIOLI said the menu and it was all there. The tuna was lightly seared, and the chipotle aioli packed a nice punch. The beans are excellent as are the bean spread that comes with the fresh warm chips.

I had a different view of the bar today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Vine Brook Tavern Lexington

Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington is currently doing Blunch Fri-Sun, but that will change on April 29th when they will start serving lunch Mon-Fri (with a new menu) and Brunch Sat-Sun. I haven't been back since my visits shortly after they opened. This was announced on Boston Bloggers, and a bunch of bloggers was invited to try the menu. The new menu wasn't available yet, so we all ordered from the old menu.

They do have a semi-secret dinner pizza takeout menu, and the chef sent out a grilled flatbread with prosciutto, pea tendrils, cheese, caramelized onions and sunny side up eggs to start us off. The flatbread itself was very light and really good and, of course, no complaints about the toppings either.

I ordered the Cast Iron Eggs ($12) with loaded breakfast potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, two eggs over easy, sausage gravy. There was also some spinach hiding in there. This was a hefty portion, and everything was cooked nicely and was very tasty. The eggs were actually sunny side up, and that's how I like them, so I was happy with this.

The chef also brought out some of the Crispy Challah French toast ($11). Maple pecan butter, blueberries, maple syrup, maple bacon.
They also offer tastings/classes about once a month on different subjects, and they sell out quickly. It's worth mentioning that one in our party was vegan and the kitchen had no problem putting a dish together for her maybe because one of the sous-chefs are vegetarian himself.

The food was complimentary of the Wine Brook Tavern, but all the opinions are my own.

Vine Brook Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chettinad Grill Burlington

Chettinad Grill in Burlington opened recently in the space that used to be Bombay Club. Bombay Club lasted just a year after taking over the much missed The Mughals space.

Interior hasn't changed, and they do a daily Lunch Buffet ($10.99). All the items to the right are vegetarian and include soup and naan and papads. A goat dish, the omnipresent Chicken Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken and a Biryani was available. The chef was very happy to talk about his food and said that the Biryani doesn't use basmati rice but a special imported short grain rice just to be authentic to Chettinad cuisine. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India.

In the container top left is Eggplant Kotu that was excellent, and spicy! On the plate, we have Chayote Poriyal, Potatoes and Peas, Tandoori Chicken and Masala Seeyam. Never had the Chayote Poriyal but it was very nice as was the Potatoes and Peas and both dishes were seriously spicy! I also learned that chayote is a vegetable, and it was nice. Really spicy food on a lunch buffet, not often you see that. I wasn't too excited about the crispy Masala Seeyam, but that's just me. Lemon rice was also nice and tasty. The Tandoori Chicken was freshly cooked and really moist.

A freshly made Dosa with a mild potato filling was also included.

Big condiment section and everything looked fresh. I was impressed by the food and the amount of heat, I was less impressed by the price, but I might be the only one since the place filled up at lunch today. There was a note on the receipt about signing up for the mailing list, but the (incorrect) URL led to a page for the cash register, and there is no obvious sign-up section on the website.

Chettinad Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Great Chow Malden

A really nice day so a small road trip for another lunch special from The Great Chow in Malden was in order.

Ma Po Tofu with minced pork ($7.75) from the lunch menu was a decent sized bowl and when I asked for it extra MaLa the waitress said "so you like spicy" and it was spicy but I think the Ma was missing. I couldn't taste or smell any Sichuan peppercorn. Despite that, it was a pleasant dish as was the H&S soup.

Surprise! A free ice cream desert! Just because it's spring was the reply when I asked what the occasion was. Not sure how smart this location is, they are about a block away from FuLoon and next door to a Japanese/Chinese restaurant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pho Dalat Lowell

I was going to Simply Khmer for some soup and wings but their hours have changed, and they are now closed on Mondays and open at 4:00 PM on Tuesdays. I thought they were open 24/7 but guess not. Driving back to the highway I noticed Pho Dalat, and I remember visiting them a long time ago, so I stopped for a lunch visit. Turns out that they now have three locations, the newest is just off the big Chelmsford Rotary where a plethora of restaurants has died.

This is a Vietnamese restaurant, so some Pho is in order. This is a medium #18 Beef Noodle Soup ($7.95) with tendon, well-done flank, brisket and tripe. The fresh basil was a bit limp, but the beansprout was fine, and you actually got the advertised chili peppers on the side. The broth was really good, dark and really rich and all the meats were tender. The tripe was overcooked and lacked crunch, and only one piece of tendon but that piece was beautifully cooked. This was a really decent Pho.

Interior is nice and open with waitresses in uniform. From what I could see, there was a lot of Pho being consumed.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

Finally, a day that I can have the top down, and it took until almost mid-April before this happened. Took the despised Rte 3A to Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica for some Sunday lunch.

Decided to go for appetizers only just because. Steamed Bacon with Fresh Garlic Sauce ($7.75). This was a big plate of perfectly sliced pork belly in a garlicky and spicy sauce. Much to my surprise, this was a hot appetizer, but it was still delicious. You can see the chili oil in the bottom of the bowl.

This is an old favorite, Dan Dan Noodles ($5.95). I have had this as a takeout from here, and it was only so-so, but now I understand why everyone raves about this dish. Was it spicy? O yeah seriously but in a good way. You can see where the chili oil was added and then after the whole thing is mixed up it becomes a delicious heap of spicy and tasty noodles. This is also a meal in itself as was the pork belly dish.

Cheng Du Spicy Dumpling ($6.95) was new to me but really delicious with porky dumplings in very tender skins in a spicy sauce. They also had a bunch of new Chefs Specials that looked really good.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wagamama Lynnfield

I haven't been back to Wagamama in Lynnfield since late 2013, and I wasn't too impressed with that visit, but I noticed a few new dishes on the menu, so I decided to give them another chance.

This is the Grilled Duck Ramen ($14.25!). Noodles in a vegetable soup topped with tender boneless duck leg and pea shoots. Garnished with coriander, chilies, spring onions and a citrus ponzu sauce. Coriander in abundance, less so of pea shoots and the citrus ponzu sauce but the duck was very tender and delicious, and the noodles were cooked well. Despite it being a vegetable broth, it was really nice and tasty. Is it a traditional ramen? Not even close but I didn't have high expectations, so I was pretty happy with this dish. What can you expect from a chain that was started in the UK to serve the British ramen?

Big room with a few window tables and booths in the back and you can see the open kitchen.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Capital Grille Burlington

Late winter and spring are when the lobster is at its best, so I decided to visit The Capital Grille in Burlington for lunch today.

The Plates lunch combo ($18) comes with app and mains and I decided to forego the New England Clam Chowder for Asparagus Soup. The soup was delicious with a couple of morels floating on the top.

This is the Lobster Roll with Truffle fries. What can I say, its lobster and delicious fries, both were excellent.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Masa Woburn

We are almost a third into April, and it's 36 degrees outside, what the heck, I'm not happy about this, but despite this, I drove in the drizzle to Masa in Woburn for some lunch.

Soup and sandwich were out today because I didn't like the soup of the day, so instead I opted for the Caesar Chicken Salad Wrap ($7.95) with chili dusted fries. It contained tons of moist chicken in their version of a Caesar Salad. The wrap was really well made today with a nicely grilled tortilla and presented nicely, but this varies. This was another really nice lunch here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Great Chow Malden

Time to try another lunch special from The Great Chow in Malden and I had high hopes for this dish that you don't see too often on a lunch specials menu.

This was Salt & Pepper Squid ($7.75) with white rice. I really didn't care for their veggie fried rice at a previous visit. The batter on the squid was airy and light until it cooled down but the squid was very very dry, and the pepper part was absent unless you count a few dried chilies sprinkled in. The lightly fried onions and the spicy peppers were nice. The daily soup was H&S, and it was OK. There is still a number of dishes on the lunch specials that I will be back to try. I was the only customer at lunch today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Felicia's Stoneham

I was going to have the baked haddock for lunch at Felicia's of the North End in Stoneham, but then the waitress told me of the specials, all of them. They must have at least five daily specials.

Baked Haddock ($12.95) with the pesto-infused breadcrumbs and mixed beans. Didn't taste much of the pesto but the crumbs and the fish were fine as was the beans. Again there was a gathering of gentlemen at the round table.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Taipei Gourmet in Lexington was packed on an Easter Sunday with lots of people enjoying the Taiwanese version of Dim Sum, Dian Xin.

I went with Clams in Black Bean Sauce ($13.99) from the Daily Specials Menu. I was going to try the Lionheads Meatballs, but they were sold out. Clams were cooked nicely, and this was a nice light lunch. I'm looking forward to Leg of Lamb cooked Sous Vide for dinner tonight.