Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sei Bar Wakefield

I went to Sei Bar in Wakefield years ago and had a pretty miserable lunch there, so I never went back. I recently saw a picture of a dish on Instagram and promptly decided that I had to visit them again.

They are easy to miss. I don't remember if there ever was a bigger sign outside. Free on-street parking.

The bar area with really comfy chairs.

The dining room. It can be loud in here. The TV on the wall displayed all the new dishes.

They started serving Hunan Cuisine, and a menu can be found HERE. The even more exciting news is that they are about to open their fourth location on 390 Main Street in Woburn. Don't know when.
I started with 长沙刮凉粉 SPICY CHINESE JELLY NOODLE ($5.50). This was a really delightful dish, very tasty and spicy. It was a real challenge to eat the slippery noodles with the pointy chopsticks. 

Next was the 毛氏红烧肉 CHAIRMAN MAO'S RED-BRAISED PORK BELLY ($15.95) with white rice ($2). Call me cheap, but $2 for a small bowl of rice? The pork belly was excellent and a real treat. Very tender and succulent. The Hunan menu has lots of interesting stuff to try, and I'll be back soon.

Address 109 Water Street, MA 01880
Phone number (781) 246-0489

Sei Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mexico Lindo Melrose

I have heard good things about Mexico Lindo in Melrose, and since I was in the area today, I stopped by for lunch.

They are located in downtown Melrose with free on street parking.

It's a Mexican restaurant, OK? They must have been here for a while since the cushions in my booth had seen better days.

They have a big bar area with more seating.

Warm chips and salsa arrive promptly. I really like these thin and crispy chips. The salsa was smooth but was really tasty, not too hot and not too tomatoey. Of course you get the rolled up napkin with the silverware inside. Why do they do this?

From the limited lunch menu, I picked the Chile Verde ($9.95). "Pork loin braised in a green sauce of special fresh Mexican “tomatillos” and spices. Served with tortillas". I wasn't sure if I would get rice and beans, but to my delight, I did. The rice was good, and so was the refried beans that had some texture left. The little salad was a nice upgrade from the lettuce and tomato you usually get. The Chile Verde was really good, tender pork and a really delicious sauce. The tortillas were light and really palatable. Flavorwise, this was one of the better Mexican places that I have tried. I'll be back for the Chile Colorado. Service was a bit spotty, the waitress tended to disappear.

I really liked the big windows, they let in a lot of light. Northbound parking on Main Street is 30 minutes but on the other side, it's 2 hours. Go figure!

Address 449 Main Street, Melrose, MA 02176
Phone number (781) 662-4056

Mexico Lindo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I went back a month later to try the Chile Colorado.

Chile Colorado ($9.95. "Beef simmered until very tender in a red tomato sauce onions, mild peppers and spices. Served with tortillas". This was just beef with a very mild reddish sauce. The beef was really tender, but the Chili Verde was soo much better.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Maggie's Farm Middleton

This month The Serenitee Group loaded their Reward cards with a $10 credit, good for 48 hours. I decided to visit Maggie's Farm in Middleton that's not too far from home.

It was a very pleasant drive, once I got off Rte 128. They have a shared parking lot that quickly filled up.

The inside is rustic with a number of dining areas. There are concert memorabilia on the walls.

They have a big bar where I managed to snag a high top next to the window.

They have two options for Maggie’s Burger, 1/2lbs for $13, or 1lbs for $16, and I went for the big one. "House Ground Angus Beef, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickled Jalapeño, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese and Maggie’s Sauce on a Toasted Potato Roll". I was a bit surprised when I got two patties, I was expecting one 1lbs burger. The menu should have said, extra patty $3. Both patties were cooked as ordered and were really juicy. The bacon was crispy, jalapeños were hot and the sauce was really good. The burger was served with really nice hand cut fries. The service was nice and friendly even when they got really busy.

There was a really nice mural on the back wall in the bar area. This was a really cool place.

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Address 119 South Main St, Middleton, MA 01949
Phone number (978) 539-8583

Maggie's Farm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, June 26, 2017

621 Tavern & Grille Malden

I'm not sure why I bookmarked 621 Tavern & Grille in Malden, but it was finally time for a visit.

They are located so far north of Malden that they are almost in Saugus. Plenty of parking. Not sure what to expect, looking at the exterior.

Big bar, lots of TV's and booth seating along the walls.

From today's specials, I picked the "8oz Prime Rib open face served on Garlic Bread with F/F"  ($10.95). They didn't hold back on the garlic on the garlic bread. The coated fries were greasy but the prime rib was on the rare side and not bad. There were some very interesting pickles hiding in there, but I forgot to ask what they were. Very interesting taste. Service was prompt and friendly. Today's Blue Plate Special ($5.95) was Chicken Cordon Bleu with mash and gravy.

Address 621 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148
Phone number (781) 397-1990

621 Tavern & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Alive & Kicking Lobsters Cambridge

Alive & Kicking Lobsters in Cambridge is famous for NOT serving a lobster roll.

Blink and you miss them. They have two parking spaces off the street, and since this is Cambridge, parking is sparse unless you go on a Sunday. Seating is at the picnic tables or in the enclosed seating area. You order inside, and they will bring you the food when it's ready.

They are known for their Lobster Salad Sandwich ($17.95). Lobster, salt & pepper and very little mayo, served on toasted Scali bread. Good amount of lobster meat, both tail and claw meat. I really liked this, super fresh lobster and the toasted Scali bread is way tastier than a hot dog bun.

The small inside. They serve lobsters, steamers and soups. The guy to the right is extracting lobster meat as you watch, so it doesn't get fresher than this. They now take credit cards.
Want some soul food? The Coast Cafe is just around the corner and serves an excellent fried chicken.

Address 269 Putnam Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone number (617) 876-0451

Alive and Kicking Lobsters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, June 23, 2017

Village Restaurant Essex

Having had Fried Clams for the first time at ICOB where the waiter claimed that the clams were "meaty" when I mentioned that they were a bit chewy. I decided to visit Village Restaurant in Essex since they are supposed to have the best Fried Clams around.

They are located on Main Street with private parking. They have been in business since 1956.

"My" dining room was nice and bright, and impeccably clean.

You get a basket of bread and cornbread.

I had to start with a cup of Clam Chowder ($3.99). "Award winning New England recipe". The chowder was very tasty with tender clams and potatoes that were not overcooked. The chowder was thin, but that the traditional way to serve it in Essex, no thickeners allowed.

I couldn't resist ordering a cup of the Sicilian Style Fish Chowder ($3.99) after reading the description. "Fresh fish and garden vegetables in a spicy tomato base". It was really good and chockfull of fish. There was a little bit of heat involved but not too much. Very tasty.

Fried Clams ($13.99) from the Appetizer section. This was the real deal, fried belly clams, that was cooked perfectly in a light batter. I should have gone here on a Tuesday when an entree of Fried Clams are $13.99, all day. Maybe later in the summer, it's a nice drive up here.

They have a big bar that got busy later on.

They have multiple dining rooms and also an enclosed veranda that looked very inviting. This place is way bigger than what it looks from the outside.

Address 55 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929
Phone number (978) 768-6400

Village Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sauce Andover

After I saw a video from Sauce in Andover, I knew that I had to visit them and stopped by for lunch today.

It's a small place located on a one-way street with free on street parking. This is in central Andover, so I'm not sure how easy parking is, but I snagged a space just outside.

There is some seating inside, but no AC, so it was hot in there. They serve beer.

They have some seating outside on their patio that was very nice today.

The do burgers, wings and ribs and that's it. Five Wings ($5.75) with Pirate Style Sauce (Serious Jamaican Jerk). The wings were cooked nicely, and the sauce had some heat and was very pleasant. I got a couple free french fries. Not the biggest wings that I have encountered.

Five Crispy Ribs ($9.99) with South Carolina Mustard Sauce. The ribs were meaty, tender and nicely crisped. The sauce was mustardy, to say the least, and this was the actual color. No pretense about BBQ and I really like that. Their burgers are all under $7 and looked really good with a big patty. Hungry? Add another patty for $2.50. The hand cut FF, one size fits all, for $2.99 was a big box of fries. I have to go back and try the Reuben burger and the FF.

Address 19 Essex Street, Andover, MA 01810
Phone number (978) 475-4769

Sauce Wings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, June 19, 2017

Royal India Bistro Lexington

I have been to Royal India Bistro in Lexington a number of times but for some reason, it keeps falling out off my lunch rotation.

They are located next to the Village Green on a side street. There is still free parking to be had nearby.

It a small place but very nice and comfortable inside.

You get complimentary papads with chutneys at lunch. The onion chutney is hot! The cute salt and pepper shakers have been replaced with regular salt and pepper shakers.

Lunch specials start at $6.95 and top out at $8.50 for the seafood dishes. I picked Lamb Vindaloo (Hot) ($7.95) for my lunch. "Very tender pieces of lamb marinated in fresh tomatoes and lemon, and then cooked with potatoes, ginger, hot spices and fresh green herbs". The basmati rice was fluffy and fragrant. The Vindaloo was hot and very nicely seasoned but lacked the vinegary tang of a good vindaloo. Tha lamb was tender. I have to start getting back here more often, it's a charming place with good service and very reasonably priced lunch dishes.

Address 7 Meriam St, Lexington, MA 02420
Phone number (781) 861-7350

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chili's Wilmington

Chili's sent me a coupon for half-priced ribs and steaks over Father Day weekend, and since I was going this way, I stopped at their Wilmington location. They only got a few more customers, so it was pretty desolate in there.

The rib-eye that I had my mind set on was naturally not included in the discount. I settled for a full rack of the Texas Rubbed Bay Back Ribs ($18.99) with fries. Normally the ribs come with broccoli, and when I told the waiter to hold it, he said I could substitute any side, so I picked the street corn. I then got upcharged a buck for that. The corn was very good, so I really didn't mind. The fries was overcooked and dry. The ribs were surprisingly good with a very tasty rub. They were moist and tender with a somewhat crisp exterior. I wonder if they were deep fried? They say "Texas Dry Rub Ribs Tender, slow smoked over pecan wood", butI really doubt that they have seen the inside of a smoker.

Update: Chili's just contacted me on Monday and will mail a gift certificate to me after I complained about the missing ribeye.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Acitrón Arlington

When I found out that Acitrón Cocina Mexicana in Arlington is serving lunch Fri-Sat and brunch on Sundays, it went on my togo list.

This is where Punjab started before they moved into a bigger space up the street. Punjab has now been closed for about two years, but I spoke to their neighbor, and he had just seen the owner who said that they will reopen "soon".

The inside looks very familiar, and the furniture looks like it's left from Punjab. It was nice and bright inside and impeccable clean. There is some seating at the bar in the back.

Warm chips, slightly stale, arrives with a very tasty salsa.

From the salad section, I picked AGUACATE RELLENO DE ENSALADA DE CAMARON (8.25). "Ripened avocado filled with aioli cilantro shrimp, tomatoes, red pepper, red onions and celery". I must admit that I didn't expect a salad of this size! A split avocado on a bed of greens overflowing with shrimp. This alone would have been enough for lunch. The shrimp mixture was very tasty and I really enjoyed the salad.

Next was the dish that I can never refuse, CHILES RELLENOS (11.95). "Fire-roasted Poblano pepper stuffed with diced vegetables, black beans and cheese topped with salsa roja and cotija cheese". Notice that the title indicates plural. Again the Chiles Rellenos failed to appear. What I got was a stuffed poblano filled with BROWN beans with cheese on top. The diced vegetables were also absent. The side dish of beans was very bland. The rice was very good, and the stuffed poblano was cooked nicely so that it still had some texture. The Salsa Roja was excellent and had more than just a hint of heat. The nicely cooked poblano and the excellent salsa saved the dish. The service was very good and friendly. I'll be back for more lunches, despite Arlington newly installed parking meters. To bad they didn't take a hint from Waltham, who removed all their parking meters. Guess where I'm more likely to go for lunch?

Address 473 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474
Phone number (781) 777-2839

Acitron Cocina Mexicana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato