Monday, November 30, 2015

Soul of India Sudbury

I noticed Soul of India in Sudbury after driving home from Lavender and thought it looked really neat and then when I found out that they do a lunch buffet I decided to visit them today for my weekly Indian food fix.

I must admit that they looked better coming from the other direction.

Condiment section with salad bar. They have three (3) different soups available.

Decent size buffet and everything was nice and hot.

Fresh naan is brought to the table and it was light and very tasty. My soup choice was Chicken Soup and that's kind of boring, right? Not this chicken soup, it was a nicely curried and delicious soup. This is starting out really well.

First sample from the buffet. They had papads and I can of course not resist them. The Tandoori Chicken leg was so big it could have been a leftover turkey leg, but it was tender and juicy and very good. BTW, this was the smallest one I could find. Next was the Lamb Bhunna and this was one serious flavorful dish with very tender lamb that was nice and moist. The Bengen Bharta (eggplant) was also a seriously tasty dish and the Mixed Dal was very good. Hiding behind the enormous chicken leg is the "Jalapeno Cheese Stuff" that had homemade cheese and potato in the stuffing and a very light batter on the outside. This was very good and the jalapenos varied from mild to hot. Nothing else on the buffet was really hot, but the food was VERY flavorful and this is really unusual for a buffet and nothing that I expected to find in Sudbury. I would say that this is a destination spot if you want a really good and tasty meal. It was a steal at $9.99.

The inside is relatively small but very tasteful and light and with high-quality furniture.

More seating in the nice bar area. The service was very good and friendly. What a pleasant find this was!

Soul of India Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sichuan Gourmet Framingham

Framingham isn't really that far from me and finishing listening to Sunday Morning Blues (100.7) while cruising down to Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham isn't a bad way to start your Sunday.

This is how the place looked just before noon today.

Chengdu Spicy Dumplings (8) ($6.25) was nice sitting in a pool of bright red chili oil, but the dumpling itself was a bit too al dente. The filling was all right even if it was a bit sparse.

From the specials menu, I picked Gangou Dry Cooked Series with chicken ($12.95). You have a choice of four different proteins and since I had no idea what would come out I picked the cheapest one. It was very similar to Billerica's Gan Gu Beef. This turned out to be an excellent dish, not only was it spicy, but the textures was interesting. I know the Chinese really like textures and I can see why this dish would be popular. It had crunch from the bean sprouts and the lotus root, soft from the perfectly cooked potatoes and the chicken and then the asparagus adding yet another note. There was also Sichuan peppercorns involved and a pool of chili oil in the bottom. A very enjoyable dish, another keeper. Maybe I'll try it with frogs legs the next time.

There are some serious looking dudes on the back wall keeping an eye on the dining room.

This is how it looked 45 minutes later and not a beef and broccoli in sight.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Painted Burro Somerville

The Painted Burro in Somerville doesn't do lunch but they do brunch on Sat & Sun, so I paid them a visit today and got free parking just behind the restaurant. In Somerville! I had to ask the host of it was truly free parking and got that confirmed. This overcast and cold Saturday are looking better already.

Free parking behind them and also across the street. Very nice looking front of the restaurant. I always thought that this place looked cool, now let's go inside.

The dining room was pleasant and bright with "rustic" furniture.

Super fresh chips and a mild but delightful salsa arrives quickly. You do get linen napkins, nice. They were going to seat me at the "let's hide this guy" table, but I spied a window table and asked for that instead.

Decided to splurge a bit and went with the CRABCAKE BENEDICT (16). "2 poached eggs, maine crab, refried beans, home-style english muffins, smoked-chile hollandaise, home fries". The muffins were black on the bottom and greasy on the top and rock hard in the middle so not actually edible. The crab cake was excellent, mostly crab and very tasty. The refried beans were good, but I could have done with a lot more of it, this was just a very thin layer. The home fries were almost the best part of the meal, nicely cooked and really well seasoned, apart from salt, that is. The poached eggs was a disaster, overcooked and rubbery. I would have complained, but I didn't see my waitress again until I was done.

This doesn't really qualify as a poached egg, not even on a bad day.

They got busy even in the bar area. There was a counter with seating behind me at the window and that wouldn't be a bad spot either. Not a bad brunch in a very nice place but not really a success either.

The Painted Burro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, November 27, 2015

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

I was going to go to Masa in Woburn on this Black Friday and check out the place after they morphed into a Taqueria and Tequila bar, but they were serving brunch today, from their old menu, and I haven't had much luck there getting either a properly poached egg or "creamy" scrambled eggs so I went to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington instead.

Lunch special Flounder Fish with Szechuan Sauce ($7.99) ordered extra spicy. I haven't been here for a while, but it seems that bringing out the food on a serving dish with rice on the side have gone the way of the dodo. This, of course, means that the serving in now smaller. On the plus side was that the dish was pleasantly spicy and the fish was, as usual, perfectly cooked. The included spring roll was light and fresh.

I now ask them to hold my order for five minutes so that I have time to enjoy their excellent Hot & Sour soup. Look at that color! It tastes as good as it looks and you can even find slivers of shitake mushrooms in the soup.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lavender Sudbury

I had some hankering for Classic American, so I headed out to Lavender in Sudbury on this beautiful day. I wasn's sure about the traffic since this was the day before Thanksgiving but going there it wasn't a problem but going home I had to get off Rte 128 and take Rte 2 and then the backroads to get home.

They are located in a plaza just off Rte 20 with plenty of parking and they even have outdoor seating. Of course, the view is of the parking lot.

Very sleek and modern dining room with plenty of light and a really cool mural of the Great Wall of China.

There is also a sports bar separated from the dining room. There is another bar in the dining room area.

I never really got this. OK, it's crunchy and sickly sweet but why? You get linen tablecloth but paper napkins and of course, knife and fork.

Their lunch offering is an excellent deal, not only do you get the aforementioned snack, you also have a choice of soups, differents apps and a salad. The Hot & Sour Soup seemed a bit bland to start with but then the heat kicked in! It turned out to be OK. The salad was mostly lettuce with some shards of cabbage and carrot added, but it had a dressing so at least it was a proper salad.

Here is what they call General Tso Chicken ($9.25) ordered extra spicy that the waitress confirmed when she delivering the dish and it was also marked as +spicy twice on the receipt. Of course it wasn't spicy, this is Sudbury. The chicken was made with the proper dark meat without too much batter, but some of them had been in the fryer a bit too long and were quite hard. I could have done with a tad more sauce. It was a VERY generous portion without any trace of the despicable broccoli. My appetizer of a chicken wing was a proper wing, nicely cooked, crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Overall a very pleasant drive here and a lovely lunch in a very cool place. Service was excellent with an appropriately attired staff.

Lavender Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Redbones Somerville

Redbones Barbeque is located in Davis Square in Somerville and I have been going here since they opened in 1987. Back then this was THE place for BBQ mainly because there wasn't anyone else who did real BBQ, e.g. low and slow. They are still in business and that should tell you something about the quality of their food. Of course, they also have a good beer selection and are open and serve food really late.

There is on-street parking and also a community lot behind them.

The sign at the door is really cool and they still do valet bike parking, after all, this is Somerville.

The Lunch Special ($10.99). "1/4 st louis rack & 2 sides". For my sides, I picked Collared Greens and Baked Beans, you have to go with the classics, right? The ribs had a nice bark and smoke ring and were really tender and had a nice flavor. The Collared Greens was well cooked and had a bit of tang to them. The beans were strange, very sweet but with a nice kick to them so I went ick! this is too sweet but wait it tastes really good. In the end, I finished off all the beans.

Nothing fancy about the interior. I, of course, took the wrong door and ended up in the bar but remembered my way around.

The place to be is up at the counter so that you can look into the kitchen and see all the dishes being prepped.

Yes, cooking with real wood fire, this was mostly used for reheating since all the BBQ is pre-cooked. I saw them cook burgers on the grill and they actually seasoned the burgers. What a concept!

This is the way to the Underbones.

I don't remember the Underbones looking like this way back then, but I don't think I was ever down here sober.

Redbones Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, November 23, 2015

Diva Indian Bistro Somerville

Diva Indian Bistro in Somerville has been here for quite some time now and I have always enjoyed their lunch buffet and paid them a visit today on a sunny but cold Monday.

They are located just around the corner from Redbones.

Not an extremely large buffet but the price is right at $9.95.

I have fond memories of their goat curry, but it wasn't present today.

Condiment section with Papads and dessert. How come that if I take two pictures, they are both in focus but if I only take one, it's out of focus?

It was such a cold day that I had to start with the Mulligatawny Soup and it was splendid as was the papad. Of course, I adore papads.

I think you also have a choice of garlic naan, but I wasn't offered a choice, but the naan was one of the best I have had in a long time, thin and flaky and super light.

The Tandoori Chicken was in the same class as the naan, tender and tasty with a really nice smoky flavor from the tandoori. This is one of the better renderings of this classic that I have had in a long time. I'm never sure if the onions that the chicken rest on is for decoration or not but the onions looked seasoned and ready to eat so I did. Very tasty. The Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and Cauliflower) sans the cauliflower was also good. How do they cook the potatoes perfectly every time? The Saag Paneer was a bit bland, but the Chana Masala was delicious with tender chickpeas.

Interior is nice with both booths and tables, This is how they started, then they expanded next door but that didn't work out since Amsterdam Falafel Shop is now located in that space.

Diva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Deluxe Depot Diner Framingham

I saw Deluxe Depot Diner in Framingham on Chronicle and it looked so cool that I had to pay them a visit today.

They are located in a real train station in downtown Framingham.

It's a diner, so I had to order the Hash and Eggs ($10.95). "Our famous homemade corned beef hash, two eggs any style, toast and home fries or mixed green salad". As you can see, the green salad didn't make it. The toast was very lightly toasted, but it had real butter on it so that was good. The eggs were cooked perfectly over easy and the hash was excellent and delicious. I'll forgive them for the carrots that they sneaked in. The home fries were fluffy with a lightly crisped outside. Overall a very nice lunch in a really cool place.

You can see traces of the old station everywhere.

Nice dining room and they were busy today with people waiting, but there were open seats at the bar, so I got seated quickly. A gentleman at the bar had a waffle with whipped cream and blueberries with an order of hash on the side for lunch.

Deluxe Depot Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato