Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Godavari Woburn

I heard that Godavari in Woburn opened in Cummings Park in the same area as Ambassador Indian Restaurant and I was curious as to what would happen to them. Well, when I got there for lunch today it turns out that they have taken over Ambassadors old location so that answers that.

They offer a lunch buffet ($11.99) that is bigger than what I remember from Ambassador, but I haven't frequented them for years, and the interior is the same. I got seated below a tv where the sound at times approached 100% distortion. This will not happen again. Apps and vegetarian dishes to the left and protein in the middle.

They have shards of papads, is this a new trend?, but both the Spinach Pakora and the Mysore Bonda was excellent. I really liked the crisp Bonda with its fluffy interior. The Sambar soup was also really tasty even if the veggies was cut a bit too big. Not too happy with having to use a styrofoam cup.

Chicken Biryani was good, but the Tomato Dal (in the cup) was excellent even if it was a bit on the salty side, Beans Poriyal (cold) was tasty but very mushy, Chicken 555 had a good amount of heat but was on the drier side, Ajwani Chicken Kabab was nice and tender but was marginally undercooked close to the bone, Chicken Khurma was nice and flavorful and cooked on the bone. Overall it was nice but I'll give them some time to settle in before I go back. Surprisingly you only get a spoon and fork and have to ask for a knife. The naan was served fresh at the table and was also excellent, really light and fluffy. Someone mentioned that you would get a dosa at the table, but that never happened. Turns out that this was for the weekend buffet.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

I didn't want a too big lunch today, since I have a big dinner coming up, and an early lunch would be good, so I headed to Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica and when I got there at 11:35, a good number of tables was already occupied. Get here early, or be prepared to wait.

I realized that I had never tried anything from the "normal" lunch menu, so here's the Kung Bao Chicken ($7.95) with Crab Rangoons. It looks like a very brown dish, and that was just about how it tasted. It's marked as one pepper on the menu, and it was vaguely spicy and way too sweet, but the chicken was cooked nicely. People have been raving about this dish on social media, but also mentioning ordering this extra spicy and that might be a good idea, to tone down the sweetness a bit. I never eat Crab Rangoons, and these just proved that this is a good thing. H&S soup is alway good here, but the food arrives soo quickly that I don't have time to eat much of it. The pickled veggies were the best thing today.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Time for some Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill in Burlington on this rainy and cold Sunday.

This is how my Bang Bang Shrimp Eggs Benedict with a toasted English muffin, crispy shrimp, poached eggs, green onions + spicy Hollandaise sauce (11.3) looked when it arrived. Normally it looks like this. I have no idea what I got instead of the Hollandaise sauce. Apart from that, it was fine, nicely poached eggs and the potatoes were cooked correctly this time and the price hasn't increased. It was cold outside and so was the inside of the restaurant as well.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cha Yen Watertown

Time for some more delicious Thai cooking from Cha Yen Thai Cookery in Watertown and again metered street parking was available close to them. They will be closed over the 4th of July weekend and will then update the menu, no big changes, but some new additions.

I decided to try the Ka-Pow ($8.50) with pork. "Chili, garlic, Thai basil, sweet peppers, green beans. Available in ground chicken or ground pork." It was marked as spicy on the menu and at first, I thought it was mild, but the heat sneaked up on you, and the whole thing was delicious, with everything, including the veggies, cooked perfectly. The pork was nice and tender. Another excellent lunch at this small eatery.

Friday, June 26, 2015

You You Nashua

I used to frequent You You Japanese Bistro in Nashua when I worked up here, and it was nice to see that they are still in business, and since I was in the area, I decided to stop by for lunch today. They are really well hidden next to a big shopping plaza.

The interior is sleek and modern, but despite all the windows, it's a bit dark inside. They were not that busy either today.

I was going to have my old standby dish, but when I saw that they had Ramen on the menu, I took my other choice as a takeout for dinner instead. The menu said Ramen Noodles with Roasted Pork ($7.50). "Ramen noodles in stock and topped with slices of roasted pork". A classic ramen it was not but I got exactly what the menu said. The noodles weren't classical noodles either but some generic ramen noodle, they lacked the alkaline undertone that good ramen noodles have. The broth was fine but lacked depth and the pork were tender and cooked nicely. It was a smallish bowl, and I left the spoon in as a reference. Despite my grumblings, it was a nice lunch. Oh, there was also a forgettable miso soup included.

Here's my old standby, Curry Chicken/Pork ($9). "Chicken (white meat) or pork with vegetables in a creamy spicy yellow curry and served with steamed rice". I ordered it, as usual, with pork and it's a nicely cooked breaded pork cutlet with a tasty Japanese curry sauce with vegetables. It tastes way better than what the photo shows.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

After a visit to the dentist this morning, I had a quarter of my face gone, so I figured that a noodle soup at Taipei Gourmet in Lexington was in order.

Spicy Noodle Soup with Pork ($7.59) ordered extra spicy. I might have to be careful of what I ask for since this come out seriously spicy. Look at that color of the soup itself, it was really nice and rich, and the noodles were cooked perfectly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Thong Chai Andover

I was in the area today and decided to check out One Thong Chai Thai Cuisine in Andover at lunch time today. They are just off Main Street in downtown Andover, and I easily found parking on Main Street within walking distance.

I settled on Seafood Madness ($9.95) from the lunch menu. Everything was cooked well, even the veggies, not just heated up, but actually cooked correctly. The seafood was also cooked properly, and the sauce was delicious, and the spiciness was spot on for one star. This was a nicely executed dish.

It's a small place, but the inside was nice. Unfortunately, you get the glass-topped tables and paper napkins. Service was really nice.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ritu Ki Rasoi Burlington

Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington is an Indian vegetarian restaurant that has been in business for a long time. They are hidden behind an auto parts store with no visibility from the street at all. I visited shortly after they opened, and the dining room was dark and dingy with folding chairs and picnic tables, no buffet and the menu was unreadable to me, so I left, but social media sites love this place. They also have stayed in business, while the competition across the street hasn't.

They now at least have a sign outside the restaurant.

They do a lunch buffet, and also a Wednesday night buffet that features food from different regions that are changing weekly.

There is a good amount of dishes including salad and fresh fruit. Everything was nice and hot.

I started with Sambar Soup that was really tasty, as was the Mix Veg Bonda. They had shards of Papads on the buffet, and you also get freshly made Roti bread. They will bring you a freshly made Dosa that was really good with a bit of heat. The bread and dosas are unlimited. Water is self-serve, and the only thing available are small plastic cups.

From the top, we have some kind of Biriyani (ok), Cabbage Thoran (very good), Aloo Matar (good) and Veg do Pyaza (ok) with Masoor Daal on the side. The daal was piping hot, and I thought it was just OK, but after it had cooled down a bit, it turned out to be very good. The potatoes in the Aloo Matar was cooked perfectly. How do they do that?

The dining room is now bright will nice booths and OK tables. There are more tables in the next room. Overall I was very happy with the visit, and I'm glad I finally went back. The buffer is $9.95, and I'm not sure if you leave a tip here or not since everything is self-serve, and you have to pay at the register.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

I could barely get into the parking lot at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica yesterday, and there was no hope for a table at all, so I decided to visit them today instead for a belated Sunday lunch.

From the Chefs Specials Menu, Dry-Braised Mushrooms with Pork belly in Spicy Sauce ($13.95). I must admit that this wasn't the best-looking dish I have ever seen. I was hoping for pork belly with mushrooms, but I got exactly what the menu said, tons of mushrooms with some pork belly thrown in. Despite having a lot of inedible tough stems in there, the edible parts was delicious, a little bit spicy, and there were also some Sichuan peppercorns added.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

110 Grill Chelmsford

After meandering all over the place, it being Fathers Day with restaurants either being full or not interested in serving me lunch (Chopps in Burlington), I ended up at 110 Grill in Chelmsford. They got written up in today's Boston Globe North, and I noticed that one side dish was Tater Tot Poutine, so I decided to stop there for lunch today. They were not very busy at lunchtime.

I settled for the 110 Classic Cheeseburger ($12) with the aforementioned Tater Tot Poutine. "GRILLED 8OZ CERTIFIED ANGUS BURGER SERVED WITH YOUR CHOICE OF CHEESE, LETTUCE, TOMATO, RED ONION, PICKLE AND BISTRO SAUCE" is what the menu said. The burger was ordered medium rare and come out perfectly cooked, and the bun was nice and light. The burger lacked seasoning, but I'm used to that now. The bistro sauce was nice, forgot to ask what it was. Putting gravy on previously frozen tater tots doesn't make a poutine, Sorry, big fail here and the tater tots also dissolved into the gravy.

This is the smallish dining room.

The bar area was nice and way bigger than the dining room. It was also empty.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Besito Burlington

I was going to go to Market Street in Lynnfield for some Mexican food, but when I saw that Rte 128 was at a standstill in Woburn, I quickly changed my mind and went to Besito in Burlington instead. I actually got a pretty decent parking spot today.

I settled on Budin de Mariscos ($13.95). This turned out to be a tortilla pie stuffed with shrimp, jumbo lump crab, spiced tomato salsa, queso Chihuahua, poblano cream sauce and Pico de gallo. Boy, was this delicious or what? A generous amount of crab, and shrimp and there was also slices of poblano mixed in. I wonder what you get when you order this for dinner, at $21.95? I will certainly be back for this delicious dish.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sakura Winchester

Back to Sakura in Winchester for some more, all you can eat sushi and stuff. They were really busy at lunch today, and this really a decent deal.

It's $14.95 for all you can eat sushi. Here's my normal selection of Nigiri and the white fish with crisp Maki. The fish was excellent and really fresh, and the rice was at the right temperature.

You can also order from the kitchen, and I had shrimp and scallops tempura.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sapporo Ramen Cambridge

Back to the delightful Sapporo Ramen in Cambridge, to try some more ramen. It's interesting to see that while Sapporo Rames is packed to the point where patrons are sharing tables, the surrounding places was almost empty at lunch time.

I went for the Curry Ramen ($9.80). I must admit I was a bit disappointed that there was no protein included at all, but they charge the same price as the dishes that has pork added. Apart from that, it was a really tasty dish even of the egg was hard boiled. I finished all of it, and I was stuffed. Did I mention that it's cash only?
They are repaving Mass Ave in Cambridge, so I will not be back this way for a while.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Red Pepper Framingham

I wasn't too impressed with the Dan Dan Noodles from Red Pepper in Framingham, and the Chicken with Pickled Pepper that I had the last time lacked Sichuan Peppercorn, it seems you don't get them unless you are Chinese.

Time for another favorite of mine, Twice Cooked Bacon w. Spicy Sauce ($6.75). Good amount of pork belly, but only a few spicy peppers and the spicy sauce was completely absent. It was a decent dish, but some of the belly was a bit dry and yes, it's a fatty dish and not for the faint of heart. Not the best rendition of this dish that I have had. The soup was very good, but the food arrived about a minute after I got the soup, so most of it went uneaten.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Toraya Arlington

Toraya in Arlington was very quiet at lunch today, but I usually go on Fridays and maybe that's it.

Today's choice was a Bento Box with Pork Katsu ($10.95). The Miso Soup here is OK, as much as a miso soup can be. I really like the salad dressing here, and the molded rice is tasty. The apps section had some cold cooked salmon, fish cake, marinated shitake mushrooms, egg pancake, gyoza, edamame and some Tatsuta-age (deep fried chicken). All of it was delicious and well prepared. The pork katsu was cooked perfectly, and come with some hot mustard, tonkatsu sauce and a slice of lemon, and this is exactly how this dish traditionally should be served.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

I'm continuing to have my Sunday lunches at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica, and are working my way through the Chef's New Specials menu. It was also a gorgeous day for a ride.

No apps today, I just blindly ordered the Gan Gu Beef ($16.95) from the specials menu. This turned out to be very similar to the Chengdu Street B.B.Q., except this one had beef and tofu in it. It was marked as three peppers on the menu, but come out as about two, very spicy but not deadly. The beef you see is just about all the beef I got, and I thought that this was a bit skimpy, and not too happy about that. Otherwise, it was a delightful dish, and I enjoyed it. The squares you see is actually potatoes, and there is some magic going on here that I'm not privy to. The potatoes are still crispy without being undercooked and had a really nice texture, but look how thin they are, they should just crumble or taste of undercooked potatoes, but they were delicious.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Capital Grille Burlington

I had a hankering for Lobster today, so I went to The Capital Grille in Burlington for lunch. Their Plates ($18) deal is actually pretty good. You have a choice of an app and a main with about three choices of each.

I started with a cup of milk, well really an NE Clam Chowder that was heavy on the potatoes and light on clams, but the clams were very tender.

The Lobster Roll with truffle fries. A generous amount of lobster with a few speckles of celery throw in. The roll is all lobster over a few leaves of salad, and the fries are cooked perfectly. A really delicious lunch with, of course, impeccable service from the bartender. I'm not really a fan of the place, but eating at the bar is always pleasant, and this is a decent deal.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Woburn

There was a rumor that Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Woburn had a new dish, so I headed over to investigate and naturally, I got a parking spot just outside the entrance. Much to my delight, Gene himself was working, normally he's in Boston during the week. He's such a nice guy, and it's a delight to chat with him.

And there is was, the new #16 Hot and Sour Handpull(ed) Noodle Soup ($8.40) served with pork. The broth is similar to the one served with #10 Hot Sour Dumpling Soup, but the broth was less sour. The hand pulled noodles were thinner than what I remember but still delicious. There is a really good amount of noodles, but less so of the pork. There were a lot of bean sprouts and carrots underneath the pork to lift it up. Leftovers for dinner.

It comes to $9 with tax. Gene also mentioned that they saw a lot of new customers after being mentioned in the Sunday Boston Globe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Red Pepper Framingham

Finally a warm day, so I headed back to Red Pepper in Framingham to try something from their lunch menu. I skipped Rte 9, and instead took Rte 30 since that's a much nicer drive.

This is Chicken with Pickled Peppers ($6.75) from the lunch menu. A generous portion of very tender chicken with some pickled peppers and a lot of chili peppers, but the taste was excellent. A bit of heat, a bit of tartness from the peppers made for a very good dish and for the price, it was a real bargain.

Aaargh, not another picture of a Hot & Sour Soup! Yes, but unlike most H&S soups that I encounter, this one is worthy of a picture. A really excellent version that was not only piping hot but also both hot and sour with a real depth of flavor. Fairly busy at lunch today with the minority being me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sapporo Ramen Cambridge

Sapporo Ramen in Cambridge is located in the Porter Exchange in Porter Square with about 5 other small eateries. I first read about this dish in a post from The Passionate Foodie, who was tipped off by Boston's Hidden Restaurants. This place, as with the rest of the restaurants, lacks ambiance and you might have to share a table if they are busy, but the food is inexpensive, and the service is quick. This is a Japanese noodle house which specializes in ramen, and a sign on the wall states that "Our broth is made from chicken and fresh vegetables boiled over high heat for more than 10 hours and served with premium wave noodles."

So what was the dish? Well, here it is, Tan Tan Men ($9.80). This dish is a Japanese version of Dan Dan Noodles, aka Dan Dan Mian, a specialty of Sichuan cuisine, and it's a dish I try in every Sichuan place I go to. Dan Dan noodles are also known as "peddler's noodles" and the term "dan dan" refers to a "carrying pole." Peddlers used to carry the pole with baskets for the noodles and sauce. Here the dish is basically just soup, noodles, ground pork and scallions, without any other veggies or seaweed. There is also sesame seeds, and the broth takes on a nutty and slightly sour taste that comes from the sesame. I must admit that I really liked the broth with its rich flavors and complexity. As you can see, the "premium wave noodles" was absent, but the noodles were cooked perfectly al dente and had a good chew to them. I thought they were stingy with the spicy ground pork until I realized that most of the pork was on the bottom of the bowl. This was a very interesting dish, and I'll be back to try more of their ramen offerings.

As I said, a very small place.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Yard House Lynnfield

A beautiful Sunday and the traffic was flowing fine on Rte 128 when I headed for the Yard House in Lynnfield for some al fresco lunch. I even had a backup plan if the traffic was bad.

More from the street taco section, here is the GRILLED KOREAN BEEF SHORT RIB ($12.45) with spicy green papaya, sriracha aïoli, chili threads with rice and beans. Everything was nice and hot today, and the tacos were delicious, and now I'm not sure if these are my favorite, or the pork belly ones. The waitress, (who I have never seen before) asked me the same question.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cha Yen Watertown

I couldn't wait to get back to Cha Yen Thai Cookery in Watertown and try some more of their Thai offerings.

I started with Tom Yum Soup ($4). Choice of chicken, shrimp, or tofu in a spicy broth with mushrooms and cilantro. I ordered it with shrimp (2), and it was delicious, hot and sour as it should be. Look at the cute water glass I got.

I followed up with Pla Pad Kun Chai ($10). Cod fish fillet, chili, ginger, lemongrass and shallots. Not sure what the green veggies were but everything was very tasty with just a little bit of heat and the fish was cooked nicely. Further research indicates that the greenery is Chinese celery and green onions.

Friday, June 5, 2015

WooRi Arlington

A perfect day for a drive to WooRi Korean Fusion Grill in Arlington for some excellent Korean food for lunch.

Todays Banchan was, as usual, excellent. I really liked the spicy one to the right.

Lunch Special Soft Tofu Stew with beef ($10) was HOT temperature wise and also had a nice amount of spiciness, and after you break up the hidden egg, it becomes really rich. I really don't like tofu, but I make an exception for this dish and Mapo Tofu. Another excellent lunch.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bonefish Grill Burlington

Decided to swing over to Bonefish Grill in Burlington to try something new for lunch.

This is the BFG Fish Sandwich Blackened, Parmesan-dusted + fully dressed on a lightly toasted brioche bun (11.3). Fully dressed seems to mean a slice of tomato and some shredded lettuce. It was a decent size of tilapia, but unfortunately, it was a bit dry and throwing some spices on the fish and then lightly grill it doesn't qualify as blackened. The fries are always good here as is the service.

Apart from a couple of parties, it was relatively quiet today.