Friday, March 31, 2017

Edamame Watertown

What's better than Sushi when we are expecting snow overnight, so I used the GoPapaya app to reserve a table at Edamame in Watertown to get a discount.

They are located in a shopping plaza off the road. Yes, that's sleet you see in the picture.

Pleasant and bright inside with a nice sushi bar.

They also do hibachi but no customers today.

It's a small dining area but nice and bright from the big windows.

What can I say? You get a Miso soup with your lunch.

Sashimi Combo (12.95). "12 pcs of assorted raw fish with side of white rice". I was hoping for sushi rice, but it was just plain white rice. The fish was OK, and for once, the shrimp wasn't dry. I had to ask what the white fish was and was told "White Tuna". Trying to explain that it couldn't be white tuna since white tuna isn't white was a losing battle.

Download the GoPapaya app on the Apple store or Google Play store and create an account using the invitation code "PET8456". After your first meal out on GoPapaya, they'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card plus you save up to 50% off your meal!

Address 171 Watertown St, Watertown MA 02472
Phone number (617) 916-0693

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ciao! Pizza & Pasta Chelsea

I have heard about Ciao! Pizza & Pasta in Chelsea for a while and only good things have been said.

They are located in Chelsea and getting here can be tricky, but I was in Somerville today and decided to brave it. They have a small parking lot next to the building with a number of different: "Parking for XXX" but the ladies said I could park anywhere.

It's a small but busy kitchen. The counter ladies was really nice and friendly, service with a smile applies.

HAND-CRAFTED PASTA Made daily on premises. I decided to try the CAMPANELLE (14) "Chorizo bolognese, parmigianno reggiano". How can you go wrong with something called Chorizo bolognese? A hot big bowl of freshly cooked pasta arrived. The dish was absolutely delicious with perfectly cooked pasta and a really tasty bolognese.

Then suddenly some crusty and delicious garlic bread arrived like I didn't have enough food already.

Seating is either at the counter or at the window, about ten seats total. Lots of locals stopped by.

Pizza to go. This is the UOVO (13) "Roasted onions, potatoes, bacon, mozzarella, soft egg". Look at that yolk soaking into the pizza! I haven't tried it yet but the crust is the same as in the garlic bread, and it was delicious there. The cornicione also looks delectable. It has a plastic grid underneath to stop heat loss through the bottom. The pie was excellent and super tasty. The potatoes worked well, still had a bit of crunch without tasting raw, not sure how they pulled that off.

Address 59 Williams Street, Chelsea MA 02150
Phone number (617) 286-9346

Ciao! Pizza and Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Branch Line Watertown

I have been eager to visit Branch Line in Watertown since I heard that they started serving lunch and today was the day.

It's a gorgeous place with an open kitchen in the back. But the parking, oh the parking! There is a free parking garage nearby, but it was lying about available spaces. I was lucky to find a space on my way down.

Nice table setting and you get some of Iggy's excellent crusty bread with a really palatable dipping oil.

They are famous for their chicken, so I went for the Quarter Rotisserie Chicken with Dressed Greens ($13). Me: do I need potatoes with this? Waiter: It's included. Me: I thought it only comes with the salad? W: No, it's included. Of course, it wasn't included. Branch Line offers Green Circle chickens (if you haven’t heard about them, read the NYT article). Seems like a good life to me. The chicken lived up to its hype and was outstanding, moist and tender and well seasoned even if it could have done with a little bit less salt. The dressed greens were nice even if the dressing was on the tart side. I also got a spoon and had to ask the waiter what it was for? For the drippings he said. 

Address 321 Arsenal Street, MA 02472
Phone number 617.420.1900

Branch Line Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Maya Indian Grill Wakefield

Maya Indian Grill in Wakefield opened recently on Tuttle Street, and I couldn't figure out why the street name sounded so familiar until I realized that The Porch is located on the same street.

There is on street parking and also a couple of lots across the street. Maya means literally "illusion" or "magic".

The $10 lunch buffet is located in the bar area. You can also do takeout from the buffet.

It's a nice long bar, and you can see the other dining room in the back (front?).

It's a small buffet with only three meat dishes, all chicken.

The rest of the buffet.

Salad and condiments and cake for dessert.

Fresh naan is delivered to the table. The Vegetable Pakora was very tasty with just a light coating of batter, but it was cold. It was a nice mix of various vegetables. You also get the rolled up silverware that I really don't like. If you are not doing linen napkins, give me some quality paper napkins.

The second trip to the buffet. The Chicken Tikka was tasty and still moist, the vegetable curry was forgettable, the Kadai Paneer was really good as was the Baigan Bharta (peas and eggplant). It even had some heat as did the Vegetable Biriyani. On my second trip to the buffet, I tried the Chicken Korma, and the chicken was moist, and the korma itself was pleasant. The seasoning on the dishes was really good.

The other front dining room. Luckily they have a vestibule to keep the winter cold out. The service was good with frequent refills of my water glass.

Full disclosure: I was invited as a media guest, but all opinions are my own.

Address 33 Turtle Street Wakefield
Phone 781 587 2123

Maya Indian Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 27, 2017

Brewer's Coalition Newton

What's better than a $5 burger when the rain is pouring down? I used the GoPapaya app to reserve a table at Brewer's Coalition in Newton to get a discount.

Different view today since I decided to take a high top. I like this better. Never noticed the taps in the windows before.

This time I ordered the burger medium rare, on the rare side, and it comes out perfectly medium rare. Still unseasoned but I can remedy that. The fries are really excellent. Since you need to order a drink, this is really a $7.50 burger, but still a good deal. It's such a good deal that the Papaya discount didn't apply, and that makes sense. You still get rewarded by Papayas bonus program.

Download the GoPapaya app on the Apple store or Google Play store and create an account using the invitation code "PET8456". After your first meal out on GoPapaya, they'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card plus you save up to 50% off your meal!

If you are curious, no I don't get paid for promoting GoPapaya. I just think it's such a good idea and I'm just happy to support the concept.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Shanghai Village Arlington

On my last visit to Shanghai Village in Arlington, I noticed that this Chinese restaurant had a section on the menu called Asian Cuisine and I was a bit intrigued by that.

I used the GoPapaya to make a reservation and get 20% off my bill. Since it was Sunday, parking is free.

The menu said "Pan Fried Dumplings with Chives ($3.25)" but I don't think my brain processed that right since I didn't expect one dumpling filled with chives. It was tasty, and the skin was crispy and very light.

This was another dish from the Asian section "Mala Fish Filet ($12.95)". Rice was extra ($1.50). Mala means spicy and numbing, but there were only a few Sichuan peppercorns present, so it failed in the numbing department. The chili oil was not very spicy either, so it kind of failed the spicy part as well. The fish itself was cooked really well and rested on a mound of lotus root. It was a pleasant dish but not worth a detour.

Download the GoPapaya app on the Apple store or Google Play store and create an account using the invitation code "PET8456". After your first meal out on GoPapaya, they'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card plus you save up to 50% off your meal! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gin U Dee Stoneham

Gin U Dee in Stoneham is under new ownership, as of January 2017 and have a completely new menu but the old website is still up. They do mainly Thai food and also have some Vietnamese dishes on the menu including Pho. The famed "well-done frank" is rearing its head again. No tendon or tripe in the Pho selection.

The only thing that has changed is that now they have real chairs.

There was nothing exciting on the new menu, so I decided to go with the lunch special. For $9.95 you have choices between 5 appetizers, 3 soups and 9 mains. I picked the Tom Yum Soup, and it was a big serving and piping hot. Unfortunately, it was delivered at the same time as my mains, so I just tasted it, and it was a good version of a Tom Yum Soup. How do you eat a button mushroom with a spoon?

Then it was time to start in on my Drunken Noodle, ordered two peppers hot. It has two peppers on the regular menu but only one on the lunch section. It did come out a bit spicy, maybe one pepper plus. The chicken was only somewhat dry, and the veggies were cooked well. My appetizer was chicken wings, and they were excellent, really crispy on the outside without the inside being dried out. I didn't get a check and the total come to $11, so that means that the meal tax in Stoneham is 10.5%. This is now just your generic Thai takeout place. This too bad, I really liked the old owners and their real Thai food.

Gin U Dee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sugidama Somerville

Sugidama Soba & Izakaya in Somerville are really in Davis Square, and I have been dying to try one dish here since I first heard about it. Izakaya is a type of informal Japanese gastropub.

Parking is iffy here, and if the free parking is gone, they are really close to the big parking lot.

The interior is inviting and bright. There is a sushi bar with counter seating to the right.

I couldn't resist the Shishito (2) "Japanese green pepper" from the Yakitori section. Nicely charred and you play a bit of Russian roulette with these. Most of the time they are pretty mild, but you occasionally run into a real hot one. Only mild peppers today, but they were very good.

Negi Pon (3.5). "Berkshire pork belly with scallion and ponzu sauce". This was another great dish and even the salad was good.

And now for the main attraction, Uni Soba (16). "Cold soba w/ uni". This turned out to be a bit of a production. First, you mix wasabi with the cold broth that is then poured onto the noodles. The Uni is locally sourced (well, from Maine) and was excellent. When the whole dish came together, it was a delight to eat.

But wait, there is more! When you are almost finished, the waitress brings out a cup of hot broth that the soba has been cooked in, and you mix that with your leftover broth into a soup that finishes the meal.

There were some interesting specials on the board, the Ankimo looked interesting.

Address 256 Elm Street Davis Square, MA 02144
Phone number (617) 764-5770

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

China Star Lowell

There is two China Star in Lowell, but only one that serves Dim Sum.

It was basically the same dishes as on a previous visit, apart from no chicken feet this time.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Totto Ramen Somerville

Totto Ramen in Somerville is the second location in Boston, and they opened here in Assembly Row late last year. Their claim to fame is that they use chicken broth in their ramen.

There is metered parking on the street and free parking in the parking garages nearby. Don't miss the Lego store if you go here and it's quite visible.

It's a small place, and there was one guy in the kitchen and one guy managing the floor. The food arrives quickly.

I picked the SPICY PAITAN ($12). "Our Chicken Paitan topped with house made spicy sesame oil, scallions, bean sprouts, nori and *char siu". Two small slices of tasty pork. The broth was very rich and actually spicy. The noodles were very fresh and cooked perfectly. I took the remaining broth to go since I unwittingly bought some plain Sun ramen at Wegmans.

Address 463 Artisan Way, Somerville MA 02145
Phone number (617) 764-2737

Totto Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato