Saturday, September 23, 2017

Santarpio's Pizza Peabody

I have only done takeout from Santarpio's Pizza in Peabody once, and when leaving, a lady in a Jeep drove right into my fender as she was leaving Wendy's. I have no recollection of that pizza.

From the south, you can get here without entering Rte 1. Look what I caught on the billboard.

There is a big square bar in the middle.

Around the bar, there are these oddly shaped dining rooms all over.

Fast food it isn't and they weren't even busy. This is the pizza with Italian Cheese, Ground Beef and Onions ($13.00). The pizza crust was nice and thin at the bottom. The cheese was very mild and the ground beef was unseasoned. The tomato sauce could also have done with some more seasoning.

Address 71 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone number (978) 535-1811

Santarpio's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pokéworks Somerville

On Tuesday Pokéworks in Somerville will launch their two limited-time fruit bowls and I was invited today for a preview and tasting.

They are centrally located in Davis Square, and there is free parking to be had if you know where to look.

The inside is nice and bright with communal tables. You start at this end of the counter and work your way down to the cash register. I have been here before and really like their food.

I like the window seats, and I was able to snag a seat today.

The first of the limited time bows was the Pineapple Bora. "Bora, pineapple, cilantro, fresh ginger, red chili, lotus chips, over salad". I had never had Bora before, but it's part of the mullet family. I really liked the fish with the pineapple. The red chili was green bird's eye chili, those are HOT. I like spicy so this was OK with me. The lotus chips were crispy and the whole thing was very tasty. It rests on a mound of rice, same as their other bowls.

Does this look good or what? Watermelon Shiso. "Atlantic salmon, watermelon, crab salad, masago, green onion, sweet onion, edamame, cucumber, sesame seeds, fresh shiso, ponzu fresh sauce". What looks like Tobiko is really Masago. Masago is the roe of the Capelin, an Atlantic and Arctic fish that is sustainable. I really like salmon, so this was my favorite, and I was really surprised how well the watermelon went with salmon. Both the crab salad and the masago added another layer of flavors. Both bowls were really good and will be a nice addition to the existing poké offerings. I still haven't tried their Poké Burrito, but I'm working on it.

The new fruit bowls will NOT be served like this, this was only for me today. On Tuesday and onwards, it's the usual bowls.

Address 261 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
Phone number (617) 996-1198

Disclosure: The food was by courtesy of Pokéworks, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thai Chilli Maynard

I read a lot of reviews that raved about the food at Thai Chilli in Maynard, so I had really high hopes for my lunch today.

Downtown Maynard is basically three streets forming a triangle around a parking lot, and they still have metered on-street parking. The central parking lot closest to the main street is metered, but the one next to it is free.

The inside is small but nice and bright. My chair was fine, but a neighboring table swapped out theirs.

They do a lunch box that comes with a House Ginger Soup. There is supposed to be chicken in the soup and there were all of two nuggets. The soup was overly sweet and the noodles were overcooked.

For my Lunch Box, I picked the Thai Chilli with Pork ($9.75) and also Thai Rolls. "Our signature dish with asparagus, peppers, zucchinis, broccolis and carrots in homemade special sauce". Hold the broccoli. There was a sizable salad with a nice peanut dressing. Not a lot of dressing and of course, it was all on top. The Thai Chilli was marked as one star on the menu, and I asked for it extra spicy, and we settled on two stars. What did I get? A sweet sauce that completely lacked heat. The description said "homemade special sauce", but I didn't expect anything that was just sweet. Some of the blame is on me for ordering something that I was not familiar with. The waitress brought out some ground peppers, and that helped. The vegetables were raw, and the pork was really dry. The promised asparagus was one thin stalk cut in four pieces. The Thai rolls were excellent, light and filled with chicken, carrots, cabbage and some sort of noodle.

A closer look at the homemade special sauce. I took the Thai rolls to go and didn't get any dipping sauce. I could have asked but was curious to see what would happen.

Address 40 Main St, Maynard, MA 01754
Phone number (978) 897-2984

Thai Chilli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

15 Walnut Hamilton

This month The Serenitee Group loaded their Reward cards with a free appetizer at 15 Walnut in Hamilton to celebrate their re-opening after having been closed for a couple of weeks to refresh the interior.

An awning has been added and the sign split in two and a there is a new entrance. Yes, this the kind of day we are having, the remains of Irma is hitting us. Plenty of parking.

Nice hightops in the bar. The bar goes all the way around. All the interior has been repainted

The front dining area with the open kitchen in the back.

From the Starters section, I picked KOREAN CHILI WINGS ($10). "Sesame chili sauce, ginger aioli, scallions". Not as crispy as a Korean chicken wing, but cooked extremely well, and even the drumette was tender and moist. So often this part is overcooked and dry, but not here. They could have been spicier but was perfectly acceptable as far as the heat goes. I got the scallion aioli, and when I asked my nice waitress what it was, she promptly brought out the ginger aioli, that was excellent. The scallion aioli was too mild for the wings. I also got a moist towel and lemon so I could wipe my fingers after I finished. A very nice touch.

I was going to have a burger, but then I spied the BRISKET SANDWICH ($13). "Smoked brisket, swiss, molasses BBQ, slaw, rye bread". I had no problem getting it on a brioche instead of the rye bread. The hand cut fries alone are worth the trip. I asked for some fattier brisket and got that so I was very happy. The brisket was tender and very tasty and the BBQ sauce was dark, tasty and rich. The slaw was crunchy and added more texture to the sandwich. This was a really excellent and enjoyable sandwich. Service was very good, and it was service with a smile. My leftovers were nicely packed in containers made from recyclable paper.

Address 15 Walnut Road, Hamilton, MA 01982
Phone number (978) 468-2434

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

MuLan Waltham

I haven't blogged about MuLan in Waltham for quite some time since I mostly have the same favorite dished at lunch, but I found a dish that I have overlooked and had to try it.

Yes, this was the kind of day we had today. There is still free on-street parking in Waltham.

They weren't that busy at lunch today. The interior is very nice, and you get linen tablecloths.

The dish I had missed was the Diced Chicken with Hot Sauce (8.95). But where is the H&S soup? Turns out that there is no more complimentary soup at lunch. You still get peanuts and pickled cabbage. This was an excellent dish, and it was seriously spicy and very tasty. Not as spicy as the Chicken in Chili sauce, that doesn't have any chili sauce at all. Much to my surprise, the jalapenos weren't overly hot but was nice and crispy. You still get a very substantial portion.

A closeup of all the good stuff.

Address 835 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451
Phone number (781) 642-8888

Monday, September 18, 2017

Moonstones Chelmsford

The Indian restaurant I picked for today was not open when I arrived. When trying to decide what to do, two employees showed up and then left. Luckily Moonstones in Chelmsford was nearby, so I guess it's Indian tomorrow.

They are located next to a chain hotel, kind of in the middle of nowhere. If I stayed in the hotel, I would be really happy to find this restaurant next door. Plenty of parking.

They have a nice little outdoor seating area.

A raw bar with seating is located before the dining room. Well, one of the dining rooms, there seemed to be dining rooms everywhere.

This is the main dining room with a big bar and nice high tops next to the windows. Guess what I picked?

From the nice lunch menu, I picked Chicken Parm Sandwich (13.5). "breaded chicken, tomato sauce, mozzarella, sea salt fries". There was a number of different fries on the menu, but everyone got the same as I got. The fries were really good, crispy and fried perfectly. It was a big amount of fries, and I made sure that I finished them. I can always reheat the sandwich, but reheating fries are hard. The chicken was nicely breaded and crispy, apart from where the tomato sauce coved it. The chicken was tender, and the tomato sauce was very tasty. There were two big pieces of chicken, so I'll get at least one more dinner out of this. Service was very pleasant, and the hostess/manager stopped by and asked how the food was. They got pretty busy at lunch today.

Address 185 Chelmsford St (Rt 110), MA 01824
Phone number (978) 256-7777

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Earl's Kitchen + Bar Somerville

Earl's Kitchen + Bar in Somerville opened in the Assembly Row complex a while back and with the lunch menu looking just OK, I have held off my visit but decided to go on this gorgeous Sunday since they have a brunch menu.

The parking garage next door only had reserved spots, but that's during Mon-Fri, so I was OK.

This is the bar area with tables next to the open windows.

This is a big place with an open kitchen and the staff dressed in black. There was a good amount of little black dresses going around.

From the brunch menu, I selected Steak + Eggs (16). "Two fried eggs, avocado, bacon jam, on warm griddled baguette, crispy potatoes". The sunny side up eggs was undercooked and snotty. I guess this is better than overcooked. I didn't expect to get a lot of the hanger steak and I didn't. It barely made it as medium. It was also unseasoned. The crispy potatoes weren't, and they also lacked salt, but they were tasty and cooked perfectly. Duckfat? It was one thin slice of avocado divided between the two slices of bread. I expect to get something with a crisp crust when promised a baguette, but this was just two slices of bread. The bacon jam was very good. While my waitress was pleasant enough, I only got my water glass refilled when my plate was removed.

698 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145
Phone number (617) 666-1790

Earl's Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chili Basil Sudbury

My first choice for lunch didn't serve lunch anymore, so I decided to revisit a place in Wayland where I previously had an excellent lunch. On the way there I remembered a nice lunch at Chili Basil in Sudbury and decided to go there instead. This turned out to be a good thing since I completely missed the first place, that complex isn't really visible when going west on Rte 20.

This place isn't easy to find either, it's tucked away down in small plaza.

The inside is nice enough.

A  small dining area with more seating higher up.

They have a special lunch combo for $9.95 and decided to try that again. It's a combo meal, and it comes with two 2 spring rolls and 2 butterflies. Not sure what the minuscule filling in the butterflies was but they were nice and crunchy. The filling in the spring rolls was tasty, and this time the rolls were cooked properly. I'll probably skip the special if I go back. The curries are normally $8.95 and the portions are very generous.

I know they can do spicy, so I ordered my Masaman Curry with pork three stars spicy, and it comes out respectable spicy. The veggies were cooked, but still had a bit of crunch. The potatoes could have cooked a little bit longer. The pork was tender, and it was big serving with lots of sauce, again a really good lunch here.

Address 385 Boston Post Rd, Sudbury, MA 01776
Phone number (978) 443-0988

Friday, September 15, 2017

Brodie's Pub Peabody

I have heard so much about the food at Brodie's Pub in Peabody, so it was time to check them out. Now that the schools have started you can go north on Rte 128 without getting stuck in a traffic jam on the weekends.

They are located next to The NexMex Thing. Metered parking is only 25¢ per hour. There is free parking up the street. I must admit that this looks like "Am I really going in here?".

You are greeted by this oddly shaped bar area.

And here is the oddly shaped dining room. It was a bit darker than how it looks in the picture. It was neat and clean. They got quite busy at lunch today.

This is the famous Brodie's Burger (9.99). "10oz fresh ground sirloin grilled to your liking! lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion". With Cheese (+1) and homemade onion rings (+1), hold the fries (no credit). The burger was almost cooked as ordered, and it was a loosely packed beefy patty that had a nice char. The onion rings were excellent, crispy and cooked well. and look at that amount of rings for a dollar! The bun was super fresh and soft. I have never got mayo on the side, but I really like it since I do like mayo. You do have about five choices for sides, and I should probably have gone for the slaw. The just announced that they will move into a new location across the street.

It's nice to see that they are involved in the community.

Address 10 1/2 Lowell St, Peabody, MA 01960
Phone number (978) 977-9988

Brodie's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

District Kitchen Malden

The District Kitchen in Malden opened in April in what for a short while housed a very mediocre Mexican restaurant. I was in Malden today for my seriously cheap haircut at New England Hair Academy, so I decided to stop by for lunch today. It turns out that they are a sister restaurant of All Seasons Table that is close by but with a different menu.

Nice looking exterior and a pleasant patio seating. Parking? There is no parking, but they validate at a couple of nearby parking garages.

The inside is sleek and modern and bright with excellent furniture. Of course they have an open kitchen.

The menu is really interesting with lots of Pan Asian offerings. I started with the Taiwanese Pork Belly Bun (5). "Shoyu braised pork belly complimented by sweet and spicy sour mustard, cilantro, roasted peanuts on a steamed bun". The pork belly was very tender and super tasty as was the mustard greens. The waiter called them pickled, and they might have been, regardless they were excellent. The bun was light and fluffy. A steal for $5.

Next was the Banh Mi (8). "Traditional Vietnamese sub consisting of grilled pork or chicken, mayo, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, pickled carrots & daikon, dash of house savory sauce". Grilled pork, of course! The bread was correct and fresh, the very generous serving of pork was excellent, think about Vietnamese caramelized pork, and very tender. As you can see, it was pork with just a little of the veggies, and the jalapenos didn't make it. I must admit that I really enjoyed my lunch today. They also have lunch specials that are not on the website, and I'll be back to try them next. I found that the very upscale interior was not reflected in the prices, and that must be a first. My waiter was excellent, it really was service with a smile.
Update: after having my leftover sandwich, the jalapenos did make it.

Address 2 Florence Street, Malden, MA 02148
Phone number (781) 480-3113

District Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato