Saturday, December 30, 2017

Tsukiji Bistro Melrose

Tsukiji Bistro in Melrose opened very recently in what used to be the upstairs at Stearns & Hill's Bistro.

Not a very imposing front. There is free on-street parking and also parking lots all over the place. I have found convenient parking in front of the church just down the street.

The old "bistro" interior is still here with an added sushi bar.

The dining room with some really comfy seating at the windows. I promptly snagged one of those.

Nice place setting with linen napkins.

I was going to start with the Tatsuta-age chicken, but then spied the Steamed Hirata Buns "lobster - $14 | duck - $12 | pork belly - $10" and I picked the pork belly of course. The buns were light and fluffy, and the pork belly was tender and tasty. Not a bad start at all.

Chirashi or Poké Bowl? My very pleasant waitress recommended the poké so poké it was. Poké Bowl (sushi rice) ($12). "Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, with poke sauce, sweet pickled onion, and kimchi salad". The kimchi salad didn't make it, but I got avocado instead. The poké was excellent with fresh fish and a really tasty poké sauce. The black bits on top is fried shallot bits. There was also wasabi and pickled ginger hiding behind the green stuff. The sushi rice was excellent and at both the right temperature and seasoning. There was also tobiko hiding in there and adding texture. I'll go back for this anytime, but I think I'll try the Chirashi next time. Both of these are only available on the lunch menu. I thought it was cool to have Asian food in an old-fashioned bistro environment. The sushi chef is from Hawaii, so no wonder that the poké was so good.

Address 2nd Floor, 505 Main Street, Melrose, MA 02176
Phone number (781) 665-6254

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Palmers Andover

Palmers Restaurant & Tavern is located in Andover and I had them bookmarked, but I have no clue what for. It might have been for their Thursday special of Prime Rib that someone had recommended but that's only for dinner.

They are close to the center and have a private parking lot behind the restaurant. I didn't see that until I had walked up to the restaurant.

Part of the restaurant section.

Lunch was served in the Tavern. It was nice and bright with high tops.

Nothing on the lunch menu really stood out, so I went with the FISH AND CHIPS (14) with house remoulade and french fries. The fish was cooked perfectly, moist and flaky with a really light batter that could have done with some seasoning. The coated French Fries was delightful. The house remoulade was excellent. This was so good that I finished everything, except the ketchup. There was a good amount of fish. Not a bad lunch at all.

Address 18 Elm St, Andover, MA 01810
Phone number (978) 470-1606

Palmers Restaurant & Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Za Arlington

Za in Arlington only do salads and pizza, and that's it. "At Za we are committed to working with local farmers and using only the highest quality ingredients".

They are on Mass Ave, and parking can be sparse, but at least it's free.

The inside was nice with the blackboards specials on the wall. The specials are also listed on their website, and they seemed to be up to date.

It was a choice between the Mac & Cheese and the Old School Potato, but my waiter recommended the latter, so I have to come back for the Mac & Cheese. Old School Potato (12.50). "Potato, Potato Cream, NH Smokehouse Bacon, Sweet Onion, Gruyere, Scallion and Thyme". I didn't think the thyme made it on, but looking at my leftovers, it's there, but a bit unevenly distributed. This was a very tasty pizza, but how could it not be with bacon and gruyere? The crust was very nice with a proper black bottom, and the toppings went all the way to the edge. I really dislike it when the pizza only has toppings in the middle. The potatoes were nice and fluffy but lacked salt. I'm looking forward to trying the Mac & Cheese pizza. Service was pleasant.

Address 138 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474
Phone number (781) 316-2334

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

FuLoon Beverly

I was in the mood for some authentic Sichuan cuisine for lunch today, so I headed out to FuLoon in Beverly since they are one of the best Sichuan restaurants around. I have been here previously and enjoyed a number of dishes.

FuLoon is located on Cabot street with metered parking, but they have a private lot behind the restaurant.

The front desk is gorgeous.

The inside is very attractive with good quality furniture. You get linen napkins, but silverware is the default eating utensils.

I started with the Bang Bang Chicken ($6.95). "Shredded Steamed Chicken with Scallion Spicy Sauce". This dish got its name from when they used the older chicken, and the chef was hammering it to tenderize the chicken and also shredding it. This is a very tasty dish with a little bit of heat.

Next was the Hot Diced Chicken Szechuan Style ($13.95). This is a very common dish in Sichuan restaurants under different names. The dark meat chicken was fried nicely and was tender and juicy. However, it lacked heat. It was marked as three peppers on the menu, but come out barely one pepper hot. The chili peppers were hot, but the seeds lacked heat. I also ordered a small white rice ($1) and asked if I could get the egg fried rice that they serve with the lunch menu. No problem.
Should you tip when the owner takes your order, deliver the food and fills up your water glass? In this case, only the owner was working. I did tip normally.

Address 214 Cabot Street Beverly, MA 01915
Phone number (978) 969-2222

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Del Frisco's Grille Burlington

My first choice for lunch today was closed, with no notice anywhere, except on the door. Del Frisco's Grille in Burlington was my second choice. The mall across the street was packed, but the traffic was very light getting here.

Not sure what the slogan really means.

It's Christmas Eve so an Extra Extra dry Tanqueray Martini is in order.

They do serve brunch in addition to lunch. I thought that the CRABCAKE BENEDICT (16.50) sounded good. "Jumbo Lump Crabmeat, Poached Eggs, Asparagus, Toasted Focaccia, Cajun Lobster Sauce". The toasted focaccia was very dry on this side, almost like it was an end piece that had been sitting since yesterday. Poached eggs it wasn't, this is just soft boiled eggs, but they were boiled nicely. It wasn't a crab cake either, just a very small amount of crab on top of the bread. As you can see, it wasn't much of the sauce either. The asparagus was cooked nicely.

I was still hungry, so I ordered the AHI TACOS (15.50) that I really like. "Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Spicy Citrus Mayo". These are excellent and a treat to eat.

Address 90 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA 01803
Phone number (781) 365-2005

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pho #1 Woburn

Pho #1 in Woburn is my goto restaurant for lunch when I don't want to drive.

Perfect Storm ($8.95) from the Woburn Combo Specials. "Stir fried crispy mix seafood with onion, scallion, red bell pepper and Thai basil leaf in spicy sauce". The seafood was crispy and cooked nicely and much to my surprise, it was spicy! There was bay scallops, shrimp, squid and fish and it's a really nice and tasty dish.

The combo specials come with dumpling and spring roll with a few drops of the dipping sauces. The chicken noodle soup was OK, light on the noodles but heavy on the chicken. 

Address 908 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801
Phone number (781) 932-4780

Friday, December 22, 2017

Go Chi Malden

I went for a beard trim at New England Hair Academy that set me back a whopping $2! I then proceeded to Go Chi in Malden. They still have NO web presence at all. They actually have an order online site where the menu can be seen.

At least they have finally got the name up, and the outside is getting paneled. I never have trouble finding nearby parking.

They now have a hostess desk at the entrance, and also a screen to keep the frigid air away from the diners.

The lunch menu has expanded, this is the Spicy Chicken Bones with Cumin ($7.95). Much to my surprise, I got exactly what the menu said, chicken bones doused in cumin with very little actual chicken, and what was there, was dry. Not a fan, but you never know unless you try.

The Hot Pepper with Pork Belly ($7.95) made up for the other dish. This was excellent with tender belly and spicy long peppers. To make it more exciting, there were sliced bird eye chilies in there. This was a really good dish. A number of dishes have been removed, but there is plenty of interesting Dongbei dishes left to try.

Address 390 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
Phone number (781) 605-2558

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Toraya Arlington

I haven't been back to Toraya in Arlington for quite a while, and since I found myself in Arlington at lunchtime today, I decided to stop by.

On street parking is a bit sparse, but there is parking behind the building.

Small? Yup! This could be anywhere in Tokyo.

You get green tea and an acceptable Miso soup. I also got a table for one.

I went with my usual, the lunch Chirashi ($12.95). "Assortment of fresh fish, egg and vegetables placed on top of sushi rice". The more places I try the Chirashi at, this remains a favorite. The rice is properly seasoned, the fish is always super fresh, and it had both octopus as well as surf clam. There was also some squid in there. A very pleasant lunch.

Address 890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
Phone number (781) 641-7477

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Charm Thai Bistro Wakefield

Charm Thai Bistro in Wakefield recently took over what used to be a Chinese takeout place.

They are located on Main Street so parking can be iffy, but they are next to the communal parking lot.

They are mainly takeout, but there is seating for about 10 inside. The heating was on.

I decided to go with my standby at Thai restaurants, the Drunken Noodle lunch size. "Wide rice noodle with egg, assorted vegetable in tasty spicy basil sauce". Meat Lover version with Chicken Beef and Pork ($9.95). It was marked as two peppers on the menu, and it was pleasantly spicy and well seasoned. Everything was cooked nicely, and I even ate the broccoli, and I don't eat broccoli. It was also a very generous portion. I'll be back to try more dishes.

Address 412 Main St, Wakefield, MA 01880
Phone number (781) 224-1178

Charm Thai Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, December 15, 2017

East Sakura Salem

I have heard good things about East Sakura in Salem and their AYCE Chinese buffet and Sushi. The only one with decent food that I have found is Mandarin in Reading.

They are in a small strip mall, so there is plenty of parking. I think this is as far from Salem you can get without ending up in another town.

The dining room was pleasant enough.

The buffet isn't overly big and that's a good thing since the food is moving and are replenished quickly. There is also a teppanyaki table to my right that's not used during the lunch buffet.

The Sushi was mostly Maki with a lot of fake crab and vegetarian and very few with solid pieces of fish. The salad was spicy and really delightful.

There were a few pieces of Nigiri that I snapped up. The two maki rolls to the right were both fake crab. The fish was fresh, and the spicy salad was delightful.

On the next trip, I was standing there not sure where to start when the tray with Baby Clams was replaced, so that was a good place to start. They were cooked in a pleasant broth that was tasty, and the clams were cooked perfectly. On the same table, there were sides of salmon, whole fish, fried fish to just name a few things.

I found cold shrimp well hidden under ice and thanks to another customer who was loading up on cold mussels, I noticed them. I had to try the French Fries, and they were excellent. The green beans were tasty and crunchy. Black Pepper Chicken was also very good, with moist and tasty chicken. Next is the Japanese Chicken that also was very tender but seemed to be just chicken, so I had to ask what made it Japanese? It's marinated in something imported from Japan. The Honey Chicken was also good. My selection was from trays that had recently been refilled. I must say that I was impressed by how quickly the trays were refilled.

The Chicken Wing up top was crunchy and moist. The Baked Shrimp? was dry and bland. The Teppanyaki Chicken was excellent, dark meat with a nice char. The Fried Shrimp was crisp but way way overcooked. The fake Crab Casserole was OK, but I would pass on it the next time. All of this for $8.99 makes it even more impressive. You can also do takeout, and you get a discount if you are over 65. All the chicken dishes that I tried all had very flavorful and moist chicken. As you can see, I skipped probably more than 50% of the available dishes.

Address 400 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970
Phone number (978) 740-0306

East Sakura Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fiorella's Concord

Fiorella's in Concord opened in the space that Bondir vacated earlier this year. This is their second full-service restaurant.

They are located smack in the middle of downtown with metered on-street parking only but there is free and shaded parking before the rotary if you come in on Rte 62 and then it's just a short walk to the center. Just found out that there is free parking after the rotary as well.

Nothing has changed inside. It's a very pleasant restaurant.

The back dining room was set up for a couple of large parties.

The open kitchen.

As in Newton, you get the delicious pizza sticks with the excellent sauce.

The pizzas have dropped off the lunch menu, they ran out of space, but are still available. This is the Carne Trio (9). "Pepperoni, imported prosciutto & DePasquale’s sweet Italian sausage over our pizza sauce & mozzarella cheese". The waitress asked if I wanted the 10" or the 15" pizza? I had no clue that a 15" was available, but went with the 10". This is a seriously good pizza with a paper-thin crust that is also flavorful as are the toppings. They got very busy at lunch today.

Address 24 Walden Street Concord, MA 01742
Phone 978.341.9999

Fiorella's Cucina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato