Monday, March 28, 2016

Buff's Pub Newton

Buff's Pub in Newton is really well known for their wings and have won awards right and left for them. This is my second visit, wasn't too impressed with my first visit a number of years back, pre-blog.

They are located on the busy Washington Street and parking can be a really tough to find here. It's not so easy to find the pub itself either unless you know where it is. I was lucky and found a spot nearby that was already paid for.

This is it. It's a pub, what did you expect?

Ten Honey Hot Wings ($9.75) in a to-go container since I knew there were going to be leftovers. They were HOT with just a hint of honey. Well sauced and crispy on the outside but they were all on the dry side, especially the flats. I can not understand how they could be ready in less than five minutes unless they are somehow precooked. They also hit me with a 60 cent takeout charge and that doesn't make me happy. They are cash only so be prepared. I know a lot of people are a fan of their wings but I'll pass.

Buff's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sabatino's Wakefield

I was going to give Phuket in Wakefield one more chance but they didn't have the heat on despite having other customers in there so they are now permanently off my rotation. My next choice was The Porch but they were packed to the rafters. Then I remembered that Sabatino's in Wakefield was on my list, so they were my next stop.

They are quietly sitting on the north end of Main Street and it was hard to see if they were open. No website that I could find. I find that a bit strange these days.

The inside was very nice with good quality furniture and a big bar that seemed quite popular.

I got a nice high-top next to the windows so I could keep an eye on the exciting Main Street.

Some nice fresh Italian bread with real butter in the small packages. The bread gets even better with a generous sprinkling of parmesan on top.

I ordered the Veal Marsala ($11.99) with Linguini from the lunch menu. They also had a daily special. You have about four choices of pasta plus the homemade fusilli for an extra charge. Two big tender pieces of veal were hiding under the fresh mushrooms and diced ham. I'm not really a fan of mushrooms but these was nice and fresh and not overcooked, so I actually enjoyed them. The pasta was cooked nicely and the Butter Marsala wine sauce was very tasty. This was a really nice find tucked away here.

Sabatino's Restaurant and Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sakura Winchester

Despite the rain and the gray sky, I headed over to Sakura in Winchester for some AYCE Sushi and stuff. After all, it's Good Friday, so some fish are in order, right?

Look at that angry sushi chef in the window!

It's small but they usually have two chefs on duty plus the staff in the kitchen.

The Tempura Shrimp wasn't the best today. The batter was really thick and almost chewy.

The Spicy White Fish Maki with Crunch were good with big pieces of fish and not too spicy. The Salmon and Tuna Nigiri was served with the rice at the proper temperature and decent sized pieces of fish. You get good value for the AYCE sushi ($14.95) here and Jay is always happy to see me and even remembers my name and I only go here occasionally.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Burger King Reading

The only thing I eat at McDonald's, if I have to, is their fish sandwich when it's on sale. It seems to be real fish unless some serious engineering haven taken place. Armed with a coupon for buy one, get one free, I headed to Burger King in Reading to see how they stack up.

Quite a large building just off Rte 28 in Reading. Plenty of parking, of course.

The inside was pretty empty but it was bright and clean. Those Hot Dogs looks good, but the reality is a bit different.

The other big seating area.

The coupon I had was for the Extra Long Fish Sandwich ($3.69). The bun was nicely toasted and fresh and there was plenty of fish. The fish was nice and crispy and tasted of actual fish and not in a fishy way either. The pickles added a nice touch of acidity and the very mild tartar sauce added moisture. I must admit that I was surprised at how good this sandwich turned out to be. For a light lunch, one sandwich would actually suffice for me. Add in a small order of fries and I would be happy with this. I hate to say this, but I would order this again, this was way better than the McDonalds offering.

Burger King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dockside Wakefield

Dockside Restaurant in Wakefield proudly announces that they are conveniently located on Main Street. It's true but Main Street is awfully long and goes all the way to Melrose and they are quite a bit outside Wakefield center.

Located in a nondescript building that is easy to miss. Dockside Restaurants now have four locations in Mass.

It's a sports bar and looks like it, seriously a bit dated. Lots of Keno screens on the walls. I got a nice booth next to a window, so I was happy.

Entrees come with a salad that wasn't too bad and the honey mustard dressing was nice and thick. Naturally, you get a minuscule napkin wrapped around the silverware.

I went with the Haddock, $7.99 for a half order. You have a choice between Baked and Broiled except that I was never asked, so I have no idea what I got. Looking at it, it could have been either. The mashed potatoes were fine albeit not too hot. I also got two packets of whipped butter that I had no idea what do with but since you can never have too much butter in mashed potatoes, in they went. The fish was cooked fine and was piping hot and the tartar sauce was also OK. The service was very friendly and not a bad lunch especially considering the price.

Dockside Restaurant at Wakefield Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Gin U Dee Stoneham

Time for some Thai food for lunch today, so I headed back to Gin U Dee in Stoneham.

There is free on-street parking and also a communal lot a bit further up the street.

They haven't got any bigger but it was nice and warm inside. It didn't get any busier than this, unfortunately. This has me a bit worried.

I decided to try the Spicy Crispy Chicken** $9.15(Sm) and asked for it to be two peppers as marked on the menu. The chicken was nice and crisp and still moist. Despite the fearsome looking chili peppers in the dish, it was just about one pepper spicy but despite that, it was a tasty dish. My total came to $9.80 and the girl didn't let me use a CC since the minimum is $10! Not too happy about this, since it's just stupid.

Friday, March 18, 2016

99 Restaurant Wilmington

The 99 Restaurant had another $5 burger special today, so I decided to visit their Wilmington location for lunch.

They all pretty much look the same but all of them have plenty of parking.

Big bar and they were extremely busy, not sure if was due to the special but burgers seemed to fly out of the kitchen.

They give you free popcorn and that's pretty smart, you start to fill up and feel fuller after your meal. The popcorns are actually pretty good.

My choice of the $5 burgers was the Sweet Heat Burger (normally $10.19). "This juicy burger is topped with cheddar cheese, sweet jalapeño relish, crispy jalapeños, lettuce, tomato and a chipotle drizzle." One-half of the burger was pink, so I guess that has to do when ordering it Medium Rare. The burger was actually juicy albeit unseasoned and I really like the crispy jalapenos on top. The fries at the 99 are always really good so not a bad lunch all things considered.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Harrington's Wakefield

Harrington's in Wakefield is my closest Irish Pub and they were having a lunch special today on this sunny and warm St Patrick's Day.

I wasn't really surprised that parking was scarce today but I finally found a spot in the square.

The downstairs was absolutely packed and I was even early for my lunch but they put me in the nice upstairs dining room that I haven't seen before. It wasn't this empty for long.

I bet that you could guess what the lunch special was? CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE of course! "Red corned beef, carrots, red potatoes, turnip, and cabbage, in a savory broth." Normally $13.50 but today only $9 at lunchtime. The corned beef (red, of course, only heathens eat the gray stuff) was tender and tasty and all the veggies were really well cooked with nothing being overcooked. I must admit that I was impressed and even more so when I saw that there was Grey Poupon mustard on the table. What a nice St Patrick's lunch and I'll be back next year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Davio'S Lynnfield

I had to go back to Davio'S in Lynnfield to try the rest of the Boston Dine Out menu.

They are easy to get to in the Market Street Complex in Lynnfield with plenty of parking.

Much to my delight, the house made potato chips was again present in the bread basket. They were sorely missed on my Sunday Lunch visit.

The "Crispy Calamari, Cherry Peppers, Lemon Aioli and Marinara Sauce" is the best thing ever! Perfectly cooked crispy and tender calamari, both legs and body, with two excellent and tasty dipping sauces. The cherry peppers are seriously hot. The marinara sauce was super light and refreshing.

My second course was the "Seared Atlantic Salmon Roasted Potatoes, Baby Greens, Goat's Milk Feta." I asked for the salmon to be medium rare and it come out perfectly cooked. The salad was delicious! Did I just say that? The potatoes was a tad overcooked but apart from that, I was very happy.

The dessert was the weakest point on my last visit so I hoped that the other choice "Strawberry Shortcake Sundae Macerated Strawberries" would be better but it wasn't to be. The whipped cream, macerated strawberries and the ice cream on the bottom were all fine but the shortcake was bone dry and not very pleasant to eat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuscan Kitchen Burlington

I was happy to see that Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington was participating in the Boston Dine Out Week this year, so I headed out there for lunch today. They are offering a three-course meal for $25. I personally would like to see them offer a two-course meal for $20 since I really don't need the dessert at lunchtime. I haven't been here for a while and there is a lot of construction going on in this corner of Burlington.

Yes, this was the kind of day we are having today, cold and rainy. The facade on the other side is very impressive but to take a picture, I would have to be standing in the middle of the Mall Road and I'll pass on that adventure.

Open kitchen with a wood fired pizza oven and grill. The inside is open and spacious and even the bar area is nice. It's really not as dark as it looks in the picture.

A very nice table setting and a dipping oil and some warm and crusty bread arrive promptly. Unfortunately, one side of the bread slices seems to have been exposed to the air for some time since it was really dry and desiccated.

I started with the "wood roasted clams with tuscan market sausage, grilled ciabatta." Ten seconds later the fire alarm went off, and everyone had to leave. When we got back in they refired my antipasto. The clams were really good apart from the one that had grit in it. This was a tasty dish even if the grilled ciabatta never made it to the table and I could have used it to soak up the nice juices in the dish.

This was followed by the "wood grilled sirloin with olive oil poached fingerling potato, braised greens, balsamic brown butter." Cooked as ordered and well seasoned made for a tasty piece of beef. The braised greens were surprisingly good and delicious. The potatoes were cooked nicely but lacked salt.

For the Dolci, I picked the "Chocolate zabaglione with chocolate cake, callebaut dark mousse, semisweet ganache" that sounded good even if it was a mouthful. The ganache was nice but the cake itself was very dry. Not their best offering. Despite the fire alarm adventure, it was a nice lunch and the service was, of course, impeccable.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Holi Bedford

I went to Holi in Bedford shortly after they opened about a year ago and was pleased with their buffet, so it was time for a revisit at lunchtime today.

They are located next to an ice cream stand so the parking lot can be busy during the warmer months.

The buffet still looks good and you get linen napkins and a choice of plain or garlic naan that is served fresh at the table. The buffet is still $11.95 with the same price for the extended weekend buffet,

They are under the same management as the delightful Zaika in Woburn and you get the same amount of takeout containers. The Saag had peppers in it and was very good. The pickings on the buffet was a bit slim for me so I did fill a container with the Chicken Tikka Masala that I normally avoid since the chicken more often than not is very dry. Not here, it was nice and moist with a nice sauce. Princess really like it as well, not only the chicken but the sauce got licked up quickly. The garlic naan was light and fluffy. The chickpeas were tasty and the Tandoori chicken was excellent. The Samosas was fragrant with a very light pastry and the Papads were nice and crisp. Enough for lunch? Yep, and dinner too.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Davio'S Lynnfield

Davio'S in Lynnfield is also doing Boston Dine out right. Not only do they have a different menu for each week they also always have new dishes on the menu. Well, the calamari was on the last time as well but it's soo good that I would miss it if it weren't. This week's menu looks excellent, so I might have to go twice.

I can't wait until they start service on the terrasse again. Despite the extremely nice weather we have had it still too early. 60+ again today and we aren't even in mid-March yet.

The dining room is very nice with the open kitchen in the back and there is even seating at the counter.

Of course you get linen everything and also a nice bread basket with some excellent olive oil for dipping. No sign of the home made chips today.

From the Boston Dine Out menu ($25) I started with the American Kobe Beef Meatball, Caciocavallo. The server warned me that the container might be hot and it was, too bad the same can't be said for the meatball that was just barely lukewarm. Despite that the meatball was very tender and tasty as was the Pomodoro sauce. It was more like a small meatloaf than a meatball.

For my PIATTI DEL GIORNO, I selected the Chicken Milanese with Pinot Noir Sauce, Frisee, Apple-Bacon. The chicken was piping hot and perfectly breaded and cooked. The sauce was delicious and the salad with apple and bacon likewise. There were some crispy potatoes sprinkled on top and that added a nice texture.

I finished off with an Eclair with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream. Where is the whipped cream? The pastry cream was nice as was the dark chocolate but the pastry itself was really dense and not the light and fluffy choux pastry that was expected. I wonder if they lost their pastry chef? She normally did an outstanding job with the desserts.