Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sichuan Gourmet Billerica

I wanted something spicy on this beautiful Saturday, so I headed out to Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica.

This is the Fish Filets & Napa Cabbage w. Spicy Chili Sauce ($14.95) and I have now had this dish in all its variants. Yes, that's a pile of garlic on top of a heap of chili! Look at the amount of fish that you get, no need to go fishing soon. Excellent cooked fish, moist and flaky and it's fiercely hot dish but you can still taste the fish. I also really like the napa cabbage that's underneath the fish and that counts as veggies.

Saturday lunch crowd, the only empty table was the one I just vacated.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Kings Burlington

Kings in Burlington is part of the new development on Third Avenue that is anchored by an enormous Wegmans.

This is a huge complex with a nice patio for al fresco dining, weather permitting. I thought that Kings in Lynnfield was big but it's dwarfed by this location.

The main bowling area with a big bar and lots of nice high top seating and of course, the entertainment are delivered by the bowlers.

I started with a small order of CRISPY & SPICY CALAMARI ($11) with Spicy Fried Peppers, served with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. The good part was that you get both legs and rings and the dipping sauce was really good. The bad part was that they could have spent less time in the fryer. When I mentioned that to a manager, he offered to get me something else instead but I declined, I had enough food coming.

Next was the KINGS’ FAMOUS BAKED WINGS (Small $7.5). I ordered them with the Caribbean Jerk. The wings were cooked well with a really nice and tasty rub and with a hint of heat. The accompanying dipping sauce was really excellent and I could have eaten a bunch more of these.

Last was the CARIBBEAN JERK SHRIMP TACOS ($18) served with Pineapple-Mango Salsa, Shredded Kale, Creamy Avocado Sauce & Pico De Gallo, served with Southwestern Brown Rice. The big shrimps were cooked perfectly with a nice jerk rub and the whole taco was seriously tasty with a hint of heat. The brown rice was tasty with scallions and black beans.

The tacos were served with your own bottle of Tabasco! How cute was this!

The bar area next to the outside patio.

They have a private function room on the other side of the bar that includes four bowling lanes.

Another room with four pool tables. Did I mention that this is a big place?

They even have their own movie theater with plush seating. Check out their website for daily specials and events.

Disclosure: This was paid for by Kings but all opinions are my own.

Kings Burlington Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sonic Drive-in Wilmington

I have never been to Sonic Drive-in in Wilmington because 1. Drive-ins are for movies and 2. I never eat in my car, ever, but when I saw that today their hot dogs was a dollar and decided to give them a try. 

Good location and visibility but they are located next to a McDonalds, not sure how smart that is.

The interior wasn't very exciting and they also kept the front door locked and I saw a couple of customers just leave.

My hot dogs were delivered in a paper bag and the dogs had these sleeves on them.

I ordered the Chili Cheese Coney (top). "It's a grilled beef hot dog made with 100% pure beef and topped with warm chili and melty cheddar cheese served in a soft, warm bakery bun". If the dog had even seen a grill it must have been a long time ago since no traces remained. Otherwise, it was as described except that most of the cheese remained in the sleeve after I extracted it. The chili at least gave the dog some taste. The hot dog at the bottom is the All-American Dog. "It's a beef hot dog made with 100% pure beef that's grilled to perfection and topped with ketchup, yellow mustard, relish and chopped onions and served in a soft, warm bakery bun". Well, I tried them and it was just what I expected.

Sonic Drive-In Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Porch Wakefield

When The Porch in Wakefield announced this morning that today was Wing Wednesday, my lunch plans was all set.

The smoker was going full tilt on the outside. This is a good way to attract customers especially since they are next to the train station.

Here they are! "Hickory smoked, whole wings with your choice of lip smackin' honey BBQ sauce or tangy Alabama white sauce. $1.75 each (includes tax)!". I ordered one of each and the wings itself had a really nice smokey flavor and was cooked nicely. The honey bbq sauce was excellent and to my surprise, spicy. However, the winner was the Alabama white sauce. I have only heard about this and it was nice to get to try it. Very tasty and I really liked it and when they do this again, try it. Another winner was their Mac & Cheese. Creamy, cheesy and well seasoned with perfectly cooked pasta. No wonder this is becoming a signature dish. You can now also buy the fried chicken by the piece and the same for the pulled pork. A seriously good lunch would be the Mac & Cheese and a piece of dark fried chicken and that would be very reasonable priced as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Christopher's Restaurant Reading

On this cold, currently below 40, and rainy day I felt like having some breakfast for lunch, so I headed out to Christopher's Restaurant in Reading.

They are located close to Main Street with very sparse parking but there is free on-street parking available.

The inside was warm and bright with ample seating.

I went with the Hungryman Special ($9 something). "Three eggs, two strips of bacon and two pieces of sausage. Served with homefries and toast." The toast was nicely done and they had Scali bread, so I was happy. Eggs over easy were done right and it was three separate eggs. The bacon was crispy but soft enough to cut. The sausages were tasty. The homefries were partly overcooked and soft and could have done with some more time on the griddle. Aren't they supposed to be somewhat crispy on the outside? Of course, they were unseasoned but that seems to be expected these days. I have to stop doing this breakfast thing, it's way too expensive for what you get.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fusion Taste Stoneham

Since I had to go to Stoneham anyway, I decided to pay Fusion Taste another visit for lunch. I had a decent lunch there a while back.

I didn't realize but there is a big public parking area across the street but I managed to snag a spot just outside the entrance.

Mango Duck with Chinese Eggplant ($8.95) is one of the pricier dishes on the lunch menu. The H&S soup wasn't as tasty as the last time. The chicken wing was excellent, still tender and juicy. The duck was also very good, tender and very tasty but the eggplant was slightly overcooked but this dish was very enjoyable, especially since I got a very decent amount of duck and you can never have too much duck.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Taipei Gourmet Lexington

I haven't been to Taipei Gourmet in Lexington for a while so on this beautiful Saturday I decided to pay them a visit.

Look at that sky but it's too early to be serving outside even if they could have done with the extra seating today.

Jumbo Shrimp with Hot Pepper ($12.55). It was marked as spicy on the menu but it was completely without any traces of heat. Adding whole chilis to a dish doesn't add any heat unless they are broken up so that the seeds can come out. The shrimp and peppers were nice but even opening up the chilis to add the seeds didn't produce any heat either.

Seriously busy today at lunch time with lots of large groups enjoying the Taiwanese version of Dim Sum. When I left, there was a line out the door. What happened to the nice linen tablecloths?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Reading

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Reading opened recently in the plaza were Home Depot and Jordans reside. It's an East Coast chain restaurant that is rapidly expanding in Mass with two locations now and two more opening soon.

The exterior looks much the same as when their predecessor, Macaroni Grill, was here. Not surprised that they didn't make it, terrible food.

Anthony's is way smaller inside but they had a nice big bar and sturdy furniture.

I had to try their lunch special Side Chick ($6.99). "Coal Oven Roasted Chicken Wings (5 pieces). Served with Caramelized Onions & Focaccia Bread". The wings were really good with a bit of a crust on the outside and really tender and moist on the inside. They could have used a bit of seasoning. The Focaccia was nice and fresh. The Caramelized Onions wasn't, it was more like sauteed onions but piling the onions on the bread made a nice bite with the wings.

You have a couple of lunch choices for pizza. One was a Traditional Pizza (cheese pizza) with an add your own toppings (79 cents each) or any Specialty Pizza ($10.49) and I picked the Paul & Young Ron. "Meatballs, Sausage, Hot or Sweet Peppers & Ricotta Cheese." I opted for the hot peppers and I must admit what arrived was a seriously loaded (11") pie. When the manager stopped by and asked how the pizza was, I mentioned that the hot peppers weren't very hot. He looked at my pizza and said: "I'm not surprised, these are the sweet peppers, let me get you some hot ones." He did and I think I should be happy that I got the sweet peppers, the hot ones were fiercely hot even for me. They were edible in very small slices and in that way they were a nice addition to the pizza. I must admit that this was seriously good pizza, especially for the price. It says all over the place "Pizza Well Done" and I had to ask, as opposed to what? My server nicely explained that since the pizza is cooked in such a hot oven, it will come out a bit black but it's just well done as opposed to charred and burnt.

They a nice section on the other side of the bar with some nice window seating. Next time I'll try to get seated here. My server was very good and he was from Portugal, so that may explain it. Two managers were greeting and seating the customers and there was a ton of staff around.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Masa Woburn

Masa in Woburn has revamped itself into Masa Taqueria & Tequila Bar (formerly called Masa Southwest Bar & Grill) and they also have an updated website and a completely new menu.

New signage, the same location conveniently located next to Whole Foods. Plenty of free parking.

It looks the same inside apart from the new wall decorations and posters.

The nice linen napkins are gone and replaced by, horror! paper napkin wrapped silverware. Gone also is the delicious bread and the spreads, the only thing left is the cornbread and the maple butter spread that, of course, was the one that I didn't really care for.

The lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu, so all the reasonable priced lunch items are gone. I picked the Taco Plate with four tacos ($12) and ordered two with charred shrimp, mango and jicama slaw and two with the crispy fish and remoulade. It also comes with yellow jasmine rice and black beans. The shrimp taco had one (1) overcooked shrimp on it but the crispy fish ones were seriously crispy to the point you could have driven nails in with it but despite that it was not overcooked. Apart from that it was really nice and the pickled onions added a nice tartness and the remoulade was also nice and spicy. The rice and beans were OK. I'm not too thrilled by having the food served on a quarter sheet pan. They only serve lunch Thursday and Friday but are doing brunch on the weekends.
Update: Restaurant is sold and will be closed on Mothers Day, May 8th.

Masa Southwest Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chipotle Woburn

Since there is more snooker to be watched, I was going to do takeout from Chipotle in Woburn to see if it was faster than my AYCE Soup and Salad adventure yesterday. I also figured that they are probably the cleanest and most well-managed restaurant in the universe at the moment.

They are located quite a bit outside Woburn center but are in the same area as Target and a few other big box stores and there is also a ton of businesses around, so the location is quite well selected.

I got there shortly after 11:30 and there was already a line.

They were nice and sent me a coupon for anything free in an attempt to get customers to come back. I do like the Burrito Bowl more than just a burrito since I like to have control of what I bite into. White Rice, Black Beans, Cheese and Carnitas with some lettuce on top and top it off with the Green Salsa. I also got the guacamole since it was free. Paying $2.50 for a small amount of guac isn't really worth it. I haven't been to a Chipotle for a while and have forgotten how good their food are. The carnitas was excellent and super tender and tasty. A really delicious lunch and it was also super quick despite the line.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Uno Chicago Grill Woburn

I have heard good things about the all you can eat soup and salad offerings at, of all places, Uno Chicago Grill, so on this seriously rainy Tuesday I headed out to their location in Woburn. I also wanted something reasonably quick since there is Snooker to be watched.

They are located in the not too exciting Woburn Mall and as far from the entrance that I picked as they could be.

Apart from the normal dining room they also had this nice seating area that I was the only one using.

There are four kinds of soup available that change on a daily basis.

I don't really like broccoli but the Broccoli and Cheddar soup looked pretty good. I mean it had cheese in it so how bad could it be? It was actually pretty tasty.

I addition to the soups on display you can also get French Onion Soup that is prepared to order in the kitchen. The cheese was nicely melted and the soup was nice and hot and it was also pretty tasty. Not the most complex onion soup that I have had but my expectations were pretty low.

For my salad, I went with the Caesar that also come with a breadstick. The greens were fresh and but the dressing was very mild. The croutons were very light and nicely seasoned. The breadstick was also very very light with some nice cheese on top. It turned out that it wasn't really a quick lunch after all, the soups took a while to eat and then I had to chase the salad around.

I still wasn't full, so I decided to try the Clam Chowder that is also prepared to order. It was pretty creamy and tasty and I must admit that I have had far worse chowders in my days. Overall, I must say that for $6.95 this was a pretty good deal. Would I go back? Maybee.

Uno Chicago Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato