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Are there any tea rooms around?

Thanks Boston_Otter & Crazy Egg will let them decide.

Jun 09, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Are there any tea rooms around?

Meeting friends & we all love tea...good tea...loose leaf brewed.

There used to be a great tea room in the South End wlart in it... Alas it has long since been gone.
Is there any place for good tea great if possible, decent environment so we can catch up?

Jun 07, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

China Pearl Quincy for Dimsum

I think you would like CPQ since I feel they are a slight step above GC tho O haven't been there in awhile since our last visit resulted w/inconsistent dim sum & mediocre service...we were dining w/a former server of theirs too.

I would only go to CPQ on the weekends but not the weekdays (quality & choices are lacking). I feel their food on weekends is more consistent than GC

Was actually there today & it was so busy that they couldn't get their act straight. After waiting for a table, we decided to get take out. The owner took my order & screwed it up even after I told him what I wanted in chinese 3xs & even pulled out the menu & pointed it to him...well it came out wrong & addressed it with him & he was not happy about it but I told him that the mistake was his since I'd repeated it 3xs & pointed it out on the menu too.

They are doing construction on what was their bar area.

May 27, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown Bakeries: Best Pineapple Bun

Those are called 'lai wong' bao or 'guy yang' bao. Both referring to custard buns.
'bor lor' bao - pineapple buns are without filling.
My go to place is Hing Sing...grew up on them even better if you get them hot out of the oven.

May 05, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Where can I find Boston's best and freshest fried haddock plate?

My family & I love Fred's Seafood in Randolph. We've been going for years. Very fresh, you see the owner filleting the whole haddock. Prices are reasonable, $6.99 for haddock & chips plate I believe. 2 sizes on lobster rolls $6.95 or $9.95 comes w/fries or homemade onion rings.
I usually get the whole clam plate around $13.
It's a hole in the wall...nothing fancy but my go to place when I need a seafood fix. Ps, he w.ill take special orders too, I've ordered whole cod from him before for a special dinner...w/at least 3 days notice

May 02, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

LivingSocialGourmet - Barrio Pop-up

Met this guy a few times...let's say I'm not a fan of the man nor his products.

Apr 19, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

fresh garbanzo....what to do with it?

Thanks, some how missed that post

Apr 12, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

fresh garbanzo....what to do with it?

Shopping at Kam Man in Quincy.
They have fresh chick peas still in pod...$2.99/lb
What to do with it?

Apr 12, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Purple Taro at HMart?

While I don't know of any all purple taro, I've seen 2 kinds of taro. The more readily found common one has the purple veining and I believe the one from Jamaica? has the yellow veining. I have tried both and prefer the taste and texture to the purple vein taro which does cook up too be light purple.
I was at HMart on Friday and they had the common taro at $0.99/lb.

Apr 11, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Need fresh yeast

I have found them at my local Trucchi's and Sudbury Farms.
Haven't seen them in Shaw's or Stop & Stop.

Mar 27, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area


Have you been to Pho So 1 Randolph lately? We were there last week and was very disappointed.

The beef pho was lacking in flavor and the crispy rice claypot was neither crispy not did the stirfried beef and veggies look like it had any flavor. They looked like it was boiled, some kind of sauce was added on the rice and the "boiled" beef and veggies was tossed on. We have this dish many times and this was an atrocity. Took time to get the waitress to let her know the issue. We explained to her that the dish was very bland and the beef and veggies are definitely not cooked like how it used to be. I'd explained how the dish used to look like and she said that they would redo it.

Redo was still looking the same and the waitress said she don't understand what we wanted that that's the best they can do. Asked if they had a new cook and she said yes. At that point we asked for the bill. The manager gave us a dirty look. When Tammy the manager that worked there previously over a year ago the food was stellar and she made sure that staff knew what they were doing.

I don't think now the food is as good as it used to be. This new manager is not as caring as previous one. We used to be regulars and after this visit we will be taking them out of our rotation.

Mar 19, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area


Thanks Luther, I would have never guessed it was rice wouldn't have been so bad if the pork skin was seasoned with some salt when they were cooking it. We ended up dipping into the nuoc cham 1) to wash off the powder and 2) to give it some flavor.

Mar 16, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area


We went in mid October and believe they opened late Sept/early Oct.

New owners (was told he was a marine and former cop from TX) but same waitstaff and others have said same cooks but I think not since the food has drastically improved. The new owner is very nice and when we went he didn't have his credit card machine up and running yet and apologized and thanked us for understanding.

The food was good: pho was with tasty broth and not greasy, cha gio was good and not greasy, gio cuon was okay the pork used in it was dry beyond saving, the pork plate was quite good w/a great tasting pork chop albeit small, meatcake, and shredded pork skin (bland and they dusted with powdered meat? that resulted in a sandy feel in the mouth.

Haven't had a chance to go back to try other items. If you do, let us know.

Mar 16, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Asian Hibachi & Sushi Buffet

Was driving on Quincy Ave and noticed a new sign for Asian Hibachi & Sushi Buffet. This was the old location for Gabby's Restaurant & Lounge.

Can't find anything on the web. Only that they have their CV license from Braintree.

Anyone know anything?

Mar 10, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Boston Public Market Proposal

At least this is now a more realistic date for opening day. Last meeting we went to they said Sept of this year. I was thinking there is no way anyone can get a brand new public market open in less than a year.

Mar 07, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Best Affordable Place To Get A Wedding Cake?

Konditor Meister cakes are pretty consistent and we'd used them a lot for celebrations. I'd help planned a few weddings and quinceneras. Konditor Meister was the choice but you should come to a cake tasting to see if they are the right cake for you.

Tips: depending on when you are serving the cake, you probably will not need 200 servings. In all the weddings that I have been too, cake was served after dinner...many leaves right after dinner and by the time the cake is served about 1/4-1/3 of the guests has left.

Also, you can purchase a smaller wedding cake and order a sheet cake to be cut and served...this can save you some money here and still meet your budget. Most places cuts the cake back of the house so your guests won't know the difference anyhow.

Best wishes and good luck in your search.

Mar 06, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

February 2012 Openings and Closings

Got in my email that Sabra in Newton will be closing their restaurant at the end of the month after 35 years and it will reopened as an Irish pub.

Feb 20, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Gluten-free in Malden?

Why don't you call up a few restaurants that you might be interested in ahead of time and see if there is a chef or manager that understands about celiac and the need for gluten free.

There is alot of gluten hidden everywhere that people not experience in food allergies won't know about.

Explain that you would like to bring a guest on whatever day and that you would like a few choices that will be gluten free. See if they will type up a special menu for your cousin so she can order safely from that menu. When you go in, remind the server that you need to have your cousin's dish gluten free and I'd would even ask to speak with the chef or kitchen manager if they don't offer.

Many restaurants may seem safe but you don't know if the seasonings they use will contain gluten...Soy sauce is a big culprit. I have traditional soy sauce in my kitchen and then also a gluten free one. There can even been gluten in yogurt and chocolate.

Feb 17, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

TD Bank could replace Firefly’s Barbecue in Quincy

We weren't a fan either and it was about a year or so ago. Went in for a late lunch-early dinner. Wasn't greeted as we just stood in the door but finally someone acknowledged us and sat us down.

There were only 3 other tables sat and a few people at the bar. Service was slow as were the food.

Ordered the arancinis and garlic bread for apps. Arancinis were great but the garlic bread (suggested by the server was not appealing).

Entree was the seafood risotto and a white pizza with chicken and portobello mushrooms. Both were decent but for the price they charge for the portion was not justified.

The food took forever to come out since the chef was too busy socializing at the bar. While the food was decent, the lack of service was enough to turn us off and we've haven't gone back. We felt like we were intruding and definitely didn't feel welcome.

Feb 17, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Shops carrying frog legs close to somerville? (Or online order options priced below $10/lb?)

Found some frozen ones at Kam Man Quincy yesterday. 12oz bag of frozen plump legs for $5.99
Would assume the new location in South Bay will have it also.

Feb 15, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Latino grocers in the Boston area?

2nd Tropical Foods aka el Platanero has things that I'd haven't found else where.

Rico rice & La Flor brand Adobo con Sazon...both of these are better than Goya's.
Also management (the Garry family) is really nice too. You can order spices by the case w/10% discount

Located 2101 Washington ST (corner of Melena Cass Blvd)

Feb 13, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Orange Soda on tap?

Restaurant Depot sells both flavors by the case. Last time, picked one of each for around $20/case. Really missed soda w/sugar & quite enjoyed them but I'd preferred the orange soda more than coke

Feb 11, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

White Cornmeal in Boston?(Not $8 lb.)

I actually have a bag of Indian Head white cornmeal & picked it up a couple of weeks ago at Stop & Shop in Braintree so you might give them a call. They had both side by side.

Feb 04, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

February 2012 Openings and Closings

I went tonight and the new banh mi shop in Randolph (next door to Fred's Seafood). They had just opened on Monday.

I've always judge banh mi places by their pork sandwich. Sadly, I'd choose badly. Their version is BBQ minced pork that is more like minced lap cheong. They get their bread from Chau bakery in Dorchester (personally not a fan). The veggies are fresh and plentiful and they use english cukes instead of the standard. The pate is very peppery.

I believe all the sandwiches were priced at $3.50 as were most of their drinks.

I do like that they have vegetarian options too. On the board they have a lemongrass tofu listed but when I asked if it was available now I was told that they have other veggie "meat" options too and you just need to ask.

If I wanted grilled pork banh mi, I will go to N&H subs at the other end of town. Might go back and give the lemongrass tofu a try.

Feb 01, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Lotus Flower or Feng Shui for lunch buffet in MetroWest?

I've gone to the Feng Shui in Natick a couple of times for the weekend dim sum lunch buffet. Most recent was 2 months ago.
The manager told me that the weekday buffet is more Americanized food but the weekend caters to the huge asian clientele that goes there for the buffet.

While most of the dishes are good, the sushi is very popular. The dim sum is subpar to me.

Last time there was told that they just hired a new dim sum chef.

Still need to visit Lotus Flower to compare.

Jan 16, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Asian Markets Brockton Area?

Sorry, but the closest big asian market will be Kam Man. I have to trek there too since I live in the same area. Randolph has a strong vietnamese community but the markets are very small as well as the selections. Wonder if you can make friends with the local chinese restaurants owners to help you out since most will have alot on hand?

On a side note: Market Basket will be opening at the Westgate Mall in Brockton this spring. Maybe you can ask them to carry big containers of tofu.

Jan 09, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

ISO brown rice/water proportions for Zojirushi micom 5.5 cup rice maker to make fried rice

I think you are using too much water. I don't have a Zojirushi but a Japanese rice cooker that I got as a gift and everything is in Japanese. I like to cook my rice using the traditional finger method. After washing your rice, "measure" the depth of the rice with your index finger. Then with that finger resting gently on top of the rice and add the depth of the rice measurement amount of water. This is the way I'd learned to cook rice since I was old enough to cook. Another thing I was taught was each brand, heck each crop of rice will absorb water differently so I like to stick with a brand I'm used to.

Long grain brown rice is much better for fried rice and short grain brown rice is better for sushi. Trader Joe's has a great jasmine brown rice that we like-almost best of both worlds and makes great fried rice.

Jan 04, 2012
Chocomom in Home Cooking

Seafood Companies in Seaport District that sell shellfish direct (retail)?

Wow, thanks typhoonfish, great info, def. keeping this handy for the summertime parties.

Jan 04, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

Quincy Peeps: Italy's Little Kitchen?

It literally a hoke in the wall. When walking by, if you blink you will missed it.
The food is good & very resonably priced. The owner is a wonderful lady & is like a hidden gem in Quincy. We had a long talk w/her a few yrs ago & everything is homemade. She was thinking of retiring in a few yrs & offfered me a chance to take it over when she did.

I'm glad that she is still around. May need to pay her a visit soon.

Jan 04, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area

China Pearl Quincy for Dimsum

th, yes they do but to me the quality isn't as good as it used to be. We stopped going towards the end of the summer when we got some very bad shrimp based dim sum that made us ill and haven't been back since. Other family members have gone recently and told us that it has definitely gone down hill.

Back in their prime we used to go just about every sunday with the extended family but no more.

Jan 02, 2012
Chocomom in Greater Boston Area