Sunday, April 30, 2017

Country Chef Wilmington

Eggs Benedict day and since Country Chef in Wilmington was on my way today, that's where I stopped for lunch.

This is one fo the best breakfast/lunch places around. Plenty of parking and the food is good and reasonable priced, but I noticed that the prices have gone up a little bit.

What kind of Eggs Benedict? I settled for the Irish Eggs Benedict ($8.95) made with hash, and they come with home fries. The hash was tasty and the poached eggs was cooked perfectly. The toasted English Muffin was nicely toasted and tender. The home fries was cooked well and even seasoned. Another very tasty meal in this delightful place.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Peppercorn House Woburn

Peppercorn House in Woburn opened about six months ago in the space formerly occupied by Taipei Tokyo that I visited once. They have all the classics on the menu but also a fair amount of more interesting dishes in the Chinese section. No surprises in the Japanese section.

The parking can be scarce on the street here, but the big communal parking lot is nearby.

The inside is like what I remember, but everything was in good condition. Nice and bright with the big windows.

There is a small Sushi bar in a separate room.

The Chinese lunch specials include the usual soups and apps, and I went with the H&S soup. It was a big bowl of piping hot soup, but it was just hot, the sour part was missing. It was also very glutinous, and you could almost eat it with a fork. When I go to a Chinese restaurant and see a fork and knife my hopes sinks since they clearly aren't catering to Chinese people.

The menu said Malaysian Lamb (7.95) with wing (2). First, it was wing (1) and not (2). The chicken wing was crisp on the outside and the wingette was still moist. The drumette wasn't. I don't think this was lamb at all just your normal over tenderized beef that is so common in Chinese restaurants. It was still moist. I have no idea what would make this Malaysian, it was just your average beef stir fry with no special seasoning. I asked for it extra spicy but that didn't work at all, it was just barely spicy. They serve the lunch specials seven days a week.

I went back today to try the Japanese lunch section.

I went with the slightly pricier Bento Box B (12.95) and picked Black Pepper Chicken as my main dish. "Fried gyoza, sushi 2pcs, sashimi 3pcs". What's missing? Right, no rice! Well, there was enough to eat without the rice. It was a nice dressing on the salad and as usual, it was just on top of the lettuce. The gyoza was nice and crispy and had a tasty filling. The Black Pepper Chicken was fine and tender but could have done with some more pepper, a lot more. There was some crunchy asparagus in there and plenty of sauce. Next time I will ask for extra spicy. It was marked as spicy on the takeout menu, but on the laminated menu everything was written in red, so you have no idea what's spicy and what's not. The sushi (nigiri) was good with the rice at the proper temperature and seasoning. The shrimp was dry. The sashimi was three generously cut slices of very fresh fish. The service is very friendly, but they haven't exactly been busy when I visited.

Address 318 Main Street, Woburn MA 01801
Phone number (781) 933-6699

Peppercorn House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cantina La Mexicana Somerville

Time for some more free lunches so I headed back to Cantina La Mexicana in Somerville. Between the 30% discount from GoPapaya and their rewards program, most lunches will be free, even after the tip is included. Update: The rewards program has changed, so this is no longer true. 

It's now a quite big space with the bar and dining areas.

Time for a Quesadilla with Chorizo and Potato filling (7.95). "10 in flour tortilla grilled with cheese, tomato, onion, cilantro & choice of filling". The tomato, onions and cilantro didn't make it. I also ordered a side of refried bean (3.00). The quesadilla was good and even better after adding some of the house-made hot sauce.

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! They now also have a discount program for takeouts.

Address 247 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143
Phone number (617) 776-5232

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe Woburn

It's a gray and rainy day so some soup is in order and what's better than a #10 at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Woburn.

And here is the #10, Hot & Sour Dumpling soup. This is absolutely delicious and plenty of tasty dumplings. I always forget to count them, but there must be at least a dozen of the tasty morsels in there.

It was pleasant and warm in there, and the photo's on the wall keep on expanding.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Maya Indian Grill Wakefield

I had a very satisfying lunch buffet at Maya Indian Grill in Wakefield on my first visit.

I have been participation in their FB Friday Quiz and managed to win a voucher that I could use for the buffet.

Slightly out of focus, sorry about that. The Egg Curry was very good even if the eggs was slightly overcooked. The Chicken Biriyani was very good and noticeably spicy. The Malai Kebab was marinated chicken cooked in the tandoori oven, and it was very well seasoned. The Pakora was very tasty but cold. Beans Poriyal was good with the beans not being overcooked, and the dish had some crunch that turned out to be lightly fried dals. The Chana Masala was also nicely seasoned. On my second visit, I even tried the Chicken Tikka Masala, and the sauce was very good, but the chicken was dry. I'm very happy with this lunch buffet since they are not holding back on the spices.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Koto Salem

On this beautiful Sunday, I headed up to historical Salem for some half-priced Sushi at Koto Grill & Sushi. They have this deal on Sundays and Mondays from 1:00 to 7:00. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage purchase required.

On street metered parking but it's free on Sundays. There is also a big parking garage just around the corner.

The first thing you see is an enormous sushi bar. There is also table seating next to the front windows.

The half price Sushi is from a separate menu but it was a good selection. What they call Sushi, I call Nigiri.

I love tuna, so I started with the Tuna Tataki (6). "Thinly sliced tuna drizzled with lemon soy sauce". If this is what I got for $12 I might be a little disappointed. The lightly seared tuna was nicely seasoned with a tasty sauce. A good deal for $6.

Two Salmon Nigiri (3 each) was some nicely cut salmon with an appropriate amount of rice underneath. The rice was a bit too cold and could have done with some more seasoning, but the salmon was excellent. The enormous maki that you see is the Ninja Maki (8). "Tempura crab stick, Salmon, Tuna, Asparagus and Cucumber. Topped with Black Tobiko". This was an excellent Maki, a good amount of fish even if the tempura crab stick was going soft but the tobiko on the outside was a nice touch. The asparagus was absent.

There is a big room in the back where they have live music and karaoke.

Address 90 Washington Street Salem, MA 01970
Phone number (978) 594-8681

Koto Grill & Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Bangkok Melrose

The Bangkok in Melrose opened recently and are serving Thai and Vietnamese dishes.

It's a small place with free on street parking.

Did I mention that it was a small place? They got really busy later.

I started with The Bangkok Baby Back Ribs ($7). "Bean paste marinated pork ribs, scallion". The ribs were boiled and very tender, and the paste was tasty, but the ribs were very bland and unseasoned.

Next was the Duck Noodle Soup ($12). "Roasted duck noodle with rice noodle bean sprouts Thai herb soup". The broth was weak, but there were ample amounts of tender and tasty duck leg and thigh. They have a "super menu" but that's only for Thai people I was told when suggesting that they should have it in English and not just in Thai. The prices seems a bit high to me, $11 for a curry that doesn't come with rice? A small bowl of Pho Dac Biet is $9.

Address 57 W Wyoming Avenue, Melrose MA 02176
Phone number (781) 662-0888

The Bangkok Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cantina La Mexicana Somerville

I used to go to Taqueria La Mexicana in Somerville when it was just a very small place. They have since expanded next door and changed the name to Cantina La Mexicana. Today I used the GoPapaya app to reserve a table to get a hefty 30% discount.

The bar/dining are was nice with both high tops and normal tables. There is also another dining room further down.

I really like Chile Rellenos (12.95). "2 poblano peppers stuffed with cheese & choice of filling, served with rice and refried beans". I picked potato chorizo for my filling. Putting cheese on a stuffed poblano doesn't make it into a Chile Rellenos since that has a batter and are either deep or pan fried. Having said that, this was a very tasty dish with an excellent filling and a somewhat spicy poblano. There was a good amount of the filling. You have a choice of mild or spicy sauce, and I went with the spicy that wasn't. The refried beans were OK.

The original space is still there and this is what I remember. Very nice owners. No free chips and salsa were offered.

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 247 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143
Phone number (617) 776-5232

Cantina la Mexicana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stonewood Tavern Peabody

Stonewood Tavern in Peabody is located a bit out of the way in Peabody but are quite accessible from Rte 95.

This is a big place, and they have a nice patio up front. Big parking lot. Is it Stone Wood Tavern or Stonewood Tavern? On their website, they use Stonewood Tavern.

Nice and bright inside with a big bar and an enclosed dining area to the right.

I got a nice high top next to the windows.

Here is the reason for the visit. On Wednesday's they have AYCE Fish and Chips for a tenner. I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. On top of a big heap of nicely cooked fries, there was a pile of lightly battered haddock that was cooked perfectly. The fish was moist and flaky. The fries were properly salted when removed from the fryer. The tartar sauce was tasty, and I forgot to ask, but it was probably made in-house. Best fish and chips I have had in a long time. You also get linen napkins and good cutlery.
Update: This offer is no longer available.

Wednesday is also kids eat free day, and I had to ask if there was a limit to the number of kids after seeing this table. It turns out there is a two kid limit per adult. Still a very good deal. Service was pleasant, and they got pretty busy at lunch.
Update: This is only available when ordering an entree.

Address 139 Lynnfield St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone number (978) 531-5311

Stonewood Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Maki Peabody

Armed with a Living Social voucher, I headed out to Maki Sushi Bar & Grill in Peabody.

They are located on Main street with metered parking, but it's only a quarter/hour. Free parking is available before NexMex down the street.

The inside was very nice with good furniture and a lot of counter seating. There was a lot of Special Maki rolls on the menu, but that's not really surprising, given the name of the restaurant.

The less said about the Miso soup, the better. The salad, on the other hand, was very pleasant with house made dressing, that was way better than the normal orange stuff, and all of the salad was dressed.

I went with the Chirashi (26.95). "18 pieces of sashimi over a bed of sushi rice". It was the standard offering apart from the orange slices up front that turned out to be a very lightly smoked salmon that was excellent. The rice was too cold and too sweet but the fish was fresh. Considering that I can get almost the same amount of fish at Toraya in Arlington at lunch for $11.95, I think this was a bit overpriced.

A not too exciting view of Main Street. There was a lot of smoke shops on this street.

Address 43 Main St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone number (978) 854-5426

Maki Sushi Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 14, 2017

Charcoal Guido's Waltham

When I was at Charcoal Guido's in Waltham the last time I noticed something on the lunch menu that I have never heard of, so today I used the GoPapaya app to reserve a table to get a hefty 25% discount.

I really dislike parking on Moody Street since there are no marked spaces, and you can easily be boxed in. They only do lunch Thurs-Sat.

The tables are pretty close together, but I guess that when you only have so much space, you need to pack em in.

And the strange dish was the CHEF’S PIADINA (12). "Parma proscuitto, arugula, parmigiano and EVOO". It turns out to be cooked pizza dough wrapped around a filling. It was tasty, and the dough here is very savory. The included salad was fresh with a tasty dressing.

Closeup of the Piadina. With the GoPapaya discount and rewards, I actually made money today even when leaving a $2 tip.

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 482 Moody Street, Waltham, MA 02453
Phone number (781) 373-2733

Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Sapporo Newton

It's a beautiful day again when I head out to New Sapporo in Newton, and I have used the GoPapaya app to reserve a table to get a nice 20% discount.

A pretty sign on a very busy street with a number of really excellent restaurants.

They are located downstairs, but it was pleasant and bright inside.

I figure that I start with an appetizer since otherwise, with the discount and GoPapayas rewards, my lunch would be free, including the tip. Shumai ($6). "Shrimp dumpling served steamed or fried". I went with the traditional steamed, and it was really tender and tasty.

Salmon Gopdol ($11.95). "Prepared in sizzling stone pot of rice with assorted vegetable. Come with miso soup and a side of spicy chilli sauce". I have never heard this referred to as Gopdol, but I have had the stone pot version before. Yes, the pot is hot. I also never had it with raw fish so this was interesting. Normally you add the chili sauce and mix everything up, but that would cook the fish, so I picked at the crispy rice and veggies around the outside while eating the fish. The pot was soo hot that the underside of the salmon started to cook, despite being on top of the rice and veggies. This was excellent and when the fish was gone, I mixed up the rest and finished the dish off. A very pleasant lunch.

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 81 Union Street, Newton MA 02459
Phone number (617) 964-8044

Sapporo Japanese & Korean Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato