Sunday, January 31, 2016

Temple Bar Cambridge

Temple Bar in Cambridge is located on Mass Ave so parking can be tricky but it helps that the parking is free on Sundays.

Nice looking outside and they also serve outdoors, in season.

Nice Bisto feeling with the big mirrors and lighting.

There was plenty of seating available in the bar, but I got lucky and snagged a window seat.

The nice little bread basket is included and the muffin was excellent, really light and fluffy.

"The Cure" $11. Fries with Sausage Gravy, Cheese and Bacon. I could have done with some more gravy but everything was excellent with really good fries and crispy bacon.

Plenty of beer to choose from with several local ones available.

Temple Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Besito Chestnut Hill

Besito in Chestnut Hill is their second location and is located inside the original Mall in Chestnut Hill.

They have outdoor seating, weather permitting. Plenty of parking.

The inside is significantly smaller than their Burlington location but decorated very nicely.

The bar area was actually looking darker than what the picture shows. The hostess was going to squirrel me away in there but I asked for a window table instead and that was not a problem.

The chips were nice but the salsa was bland.

I went for the Budin de Mariscos ($15.95). It's a tortilla pie stuffed with shrimp, jumbo lump crab, spiced tomato salsa, queso Chihuahua, poblano cream sauce and Pico de gallo. I had this at the Burlington location and it was really delicious. Unfortunately, it was not the same here, the outer edges of the tortilla were desiccated and dry and so was the crab inside. The cheese on the back edge was actually burnt. The shrimp was rock hard and overcooked and the poblano cream sauce was also bland. Not only was there Pico de gallo on top but there was also a mound underneath trying to make the serving look bigger. I think I'll stick to the Burlington location in the future, this was pretty dismal.

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Bancroft Burlington

The Bancroft in Burlington is located in the bustling new 3rd Avenue development in Burlington.

Plenty of parking and really easy access.

There is a number of dining areas inside so it feels quite intimate.

I got a booth in the bar next to the windows and they got quite busy at lunch on an overcast Friday. I could see the bartender and an amazing numbers of drinks were poured.

I wasn't going to have a drink but it was something in the environment that made me.

It was an old-fashioned Martini glass but I guess it fit in with the B/W movie playing in the bar.

I ordered the Bancroft Burger ($15) that is only available at lunch. Cave Aged Cheddar, Brioche Bun and Fries. The crunchy onion strings on top were really delicious and added a nice crunch. The brioche bun was nicely toasted and very light. You got a small container of pickles that was overly sweet. The fries were of the previously frozen variety and not that impressive but was cooked very nicely. The house made ketchup was soo good that I had to ask what was in it and the waiter went out to the kitchen and brought back the recipe from the chef. Now that was impressive.

I ordered the burger medium rare and it failed miserably to deliver that. I would say it was medium well but it was seasoned really well with a nice char and it had a seriously nice beefy taste. My waiter offered to have it redone but I declined, it wasn't well done.

As a result of the overdone burger, they offer me a free dessert and I went with the Chocolate Affogato, Dark Chocolate with roasted peanuts. It comes with a double shot of espresso that was poured over the ice cream, absolutely delicious.

After dinner Cognac anyone?

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

All Seasons Table Malden

What cuisine could a restaurant called All Seasons Table in Malden be serving? A bit to my surprise it turned out the be Chinese. They label themselves as Modern Asian Cuisine and that translates to American/Chinese with Sushi.

They are located on the busy Pleasant Street in Malden and parking can be tricky but they do validate from the nearby parking garage.

Inside is sleek and modern with a really big bar and you can see the Sushi Chefs at the far end.

The dining area. The tables in the middle are pretty close together. The restaurant is actually twice the size, with the area on the other side of the wall being closed off during lunch.

They do serve from the lunch menu seven days a week. Two choices of soup and this is the Hot & Sour soup. The soup might look light but it was surprisingly good and really hot and sour. This was an excellent start to my lunch. Knife and fork were the default but I'm sure I would have gotten chopsticks if asked. Maybe this is what they mean by modern?

For my mains, I picked the Crispy Cod Fish ($10.95) w/ Black Bean or Basil Garlic Sauce. I went for the Basil Garlic Sauce since it was marked as spicy. You have a selection of apps and my selection was, naturally, the chicken wing and it was an actual wing. The chicken wing was nice and crisp on the outside and really tender and juicy. The reddish thing up top was for the wing I found out after asking my waiter. I tasted it and I have no idea what it tasted off, so I skipped that. One piece of the fish was actually crisp, the rest of them was just soggy but the sauce was tasty with bot basil and garlic being present. Overall I was very happy with my lunch. Service was friendly but the temp in the restaurant could have been cranked up a notch.

All Seasons Table Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rod Dee Cambridge

Rod Dee in Cambridge now has four locations, not counting the off-shot in Stoneham, Gin U Dee. They are located on Mass Ave just outside Porter Square.

This is my first visit here and they looked really small from the outside. This place is cash only but I had done my homework and was aware of that. If you are not, they have an ATM inside the restaurant.

The inside was surprisingly large and well lit. The place was immaculately clean and the heat was on, two plusses right off the bat. You order at the counter and then pick up water or free tea to the right were the utensils reside. The food is brought out to you when it's ready. When you are done, you bus your own table. Obviously, no tipping required so you save a couple of bucks, another plus.

I decided to try the Indonesian Fried Rice ($9.80) with crispy chicken & fried egg. Not sure what makes the rice Indonesian but it was nice and tasty with plenty of chicken in the rice as well as the really Crispy Chicken on top. Be aware that what looks like pieces of innocent green peppers in the rice isn't. There was white chicken in the rice and it was not dry despite being thinly sliced. The dark meat crispy chicken was really nice and crispy and the egg was cooked perfectly. I ordered it medium spicy and could have done with more heat but it was my first time here and you never know about the heat levels until you try it. It was a big portion, so I'll have dinner as well. Plastic utensils only and the knife was seriously wobbly. I had trouble cutting the onion slices.

Rod Dee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Capital Grille Burlington

For this special day, I headed to the Capital Grille in Burlington since there isn't much choice for an upscale lunch around here.

It's a handsome building in the Wayside Commons with plenty of parking.

Extra extra Dry Tanqueray Martini and some of the delicious house-made chips.

I think their Plates deal ($18) is an excellent deal. Choice of three starters and about five mains. The New England Clam Chowder was creamy and delicious and filled with good stuff.

Decide to go with a different mains and picked the Dry Aged Sirloin Hash with Soft Fried Egg and Crispy Leeks. The sirloin was cooked a nice medium and the whole thing was very tasty but could have done with some more potatoes and fewer peppers. It always amazes me how busy they are at lunch even on a Tuesday.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Zaika Woburn

Zaika in Woburn is such a delightful place with outstanding service and a really nice lunch buffet.

They are located in the center of the town so parking can be iffy, but I never seem to have a problem at lunchtime.

You have a choice of plain or garlic naan and of course, I got the garlic naan. Really light and with a nice crunch and perfectly cooked.

The first trip to buffet yielded Mixed Veggies, Peas and something, Fish Pakora, Tandoori Chicken and Saag Paneer. The Tandoori Chicken and Saag Paneer was especially delicious.

It's a small buffet that is kept immaculately clean and everything is fresh and hot. There is also condiments and salads over to the left. For $8.95 it's an excellent deal.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Exchange Street Bistro Malden

Exchange Street Bistro in Malden is tucked away on a one way street in Malden center. On-street free parking and they also validate at the nearby parking garage.

They are actually located up high from the street.

Nice and bright in the dining area and you are looking down onto Exchange Street.

Big bar with both bar and booth seating. There was only one two top available in a dark corner, so I choose to sit at the bar.

It's Sunday, so Brunch is in order especially after the heavy storm last night that passed us by. We only got about two inches of the fluffy stuff. I think that the Crabcake Eggs Benedict ($14) is one of the best variations of this classic dish. Served with some really tasty spinach (having grown up with the frozen stuff, I would never believe that I would ever say that) and really well cooked and seasoned home fries. The poached eggs were slightly over but still had a runny yolk. Everything was cooked and seasoned very nicely and the whole meal was really enjoyable.

Exchange Street Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

Definitely a day for some noodle soup so I headed out to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington while waiting for the big storm to hit us. This will probably not happen.

Look at that sky and it's cold outside as well.

One of my favorite soups here is the Spicy Pork Noodle Soup ($7.59). Nicely cooked noodles in a rich and spicy broth and it were spicy without me ordering it extra spicy but they know me here. The pork was lightly browned and that added a new dimension to the soup. This is new and I forgot to ask Ewa if they have a new chef. For some reason, the baby bok choy was spicier than the soup itself, not sure how they managed that.

The lunch crowd on a Saturday, it was filled with families doing the weekend Taiwanese Dian Xin. It's nice to see them so busy. They also have plenty of off-street parking.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sun Kong Malden

Who would have thought that there were two restaurants in Malden serving Dim Sum during the week? I visited Yong Yong last week for their ala carte dim sum so this week I headed over to Sun Kong that is just a couple of blocks away. Their website doesn't seem to have any content.

They are located on the busy Eastern Ave and they have a small parking lot but there is also street parking available. They get pretty insanely busy on weekends so be prepared to wait.

This is the second dining room and you can see the ladies with the steam carts going around and there were at least four of them circulating.

They were going to sit me at the first table here, next to the doors but very graciously gave me another table when requested. They were really busy on a Friday for lunch but there wasn't any wait for a table.

You get your own scorecard that is stamped when you select among the offerings. Price? You have no idea until afterward when it comes time to pay. They do have a dim sum menu with prices but only in Chinese, so that wasn't much help. I started with some Shumai ($3.35) that had peas on top. What happened to the steamed shrimp that's usually on top? Apart from that, they were good. Everything off the carts was hot and seemed fresh to me.

Pea Shoots and Shrimp dumpling ($3.85 was the next step up in price) was tasty but a bit strange in texture.

My must have, Baby Back Ribs with black beans ($3.35). I think that the ribs were better at the other place, there seemed to be a lot more bones here. Still very tasty and tender.

No chili oil by default but I was quickly brought this when I asked and it was seriously hot but very tasty.

Beef balls ($3.85) got spritzed with something when served, I assumed it was the same dipping sauce that I got a Yong Yong. Very nice tasting and loosely packed tender meatballs.

Shrimp and Pork Dumpling ($3.35) was also really good.

All the fried stuff had its own cart, not sure how crisp stuff are staying being in a steam cart. Thinking about it, the steam seems to escape at the bottom, so only the dry heat is used to heat stuff up. Clever. I noticed that they had Fried Shrimp Chive Dumplings in there but only three to a serving as opposed to four at Yong Yong. I must admit that so far I like the ala carte ordering at Yong Yong better, not only was it much cheaper but the portions were more generous and all the fried stuff are cooked and delivered when ordered. I must say that all the ladies doing the carts was very helpful and nice.

Seriously sad looking fish tanks next to the door. At least the fish in the bottom tank was moving about.

Sun Kong Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato