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New Restaurant in West Concord

Saltbox facebook page says 84 Commonwealth so that would be the Orvis space.
https://www.facebook.com/SaltboxFarm

about 1 hour ago
snippet in Greater Boston Area

searching for great ginger ale

Your question inspired me to open a bottle of ginger ale I bought a little while ago and never got around to trying. "Q Ginger - Superior Ginger Ale." Lists organic agave, ginger extract, extracts of lemon juice, coriander, cardamom, cayenne, orange peel, rose oil. Slightly frosted wine style bottle with white and red label. Good stuff, trouble is I don't recall where I bought it. Possibly Whole Foods.

Jul 14, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Noodles & Co opens in Burlington

While there may be better quick options around, I don't think that automatically makes Noodles & Co bad. One thing I like about it is there are lots of veg options. But even before I turned mostly veg I thought Subway was awful, and would have preferred this place over that or most mainstream fast food. Different strokes.

Jul 07, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Green Forest Tea Room: Lowell Chinese Bakery Well Worth the Drive!

yes, we like the dim sum place - at least for dim sum, never tried anything else there. There's a thread on it here - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896948

Jul 02, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Noodles & Co opens in Burlington

I had 2 lunches there. Tried Indonesian peanut saute with tofu, thought it was pretty decent. Pad Thai with shrimp was ok, not the best or worst Pad Thai I've had. Shrimp were kind of lame so I'd probably skip those next time. A friend had the Tomato Basil soup and the Pesto Cavatappi and thought it was fine. Overall I think it's fine if it's the sort of thing you're in the mood for (which I guess is, not knowing what you're in the mood for) and have a soft spot for any kind of noodles.) Hard to guess if any individual dish is going to be to your taste, given the variety of cuisines covered by their theme.

That traffic pattern though, yikes. Only good thing I can say about that is it sent me on an unplanned trip to HMart.

Jul 01, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Green Forest Tea Room: Lowell Chinese Bakery Well Worth the Drive!

There are 2 different China Star restaurants in Lowell. The Dimsum place is the one on Middlesex. This looks like it is near the China Star on Broadway - have they started doing dim sum also? (I was curious and looked this up, since the China Star dim sum I've been to isn't in any kind of historic building,)

Jul 01, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Why does the Acton/Concord area have NO GOOD RESTAURANTS?

don't think so. The bit in the local paper was "The owner has worked in the restaurant industry in Boston and recently moved to Boxborough."

stopped for lunch today. My husband had the blackened cajun chicken burrito and liked it. I had the mushroom quesadilla and that was good too.

Jun 21, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Why does the Acton/Concord area have NO GOOD RESTAURANTS?

Not fine dining, but Oscar's Burritos and Mexican Grill in Boxborough is now open in the "Hayward Farms" building by the ice rink (where the garden center and ice cream place is.)

No website or menu online (both this and the ice cream place could probably benefit from a little more advertising and visibility than the sign by Rt 111 and traffic to the rink.)

Nachos, Spicy Fries, Tortilla Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Taco Salad, Chopped Salad, Potato Taco (baked potato stuffed with veg chili, cheese, etc.)

Assorted Burritos or Chimichangas (grilled chicken, spicy chicken, grilled steak, spicy chipolte BBQ steak, roasted pork carnitas, chile verde, al pastor, grilled veggies) Also a few "signature" burritos.

Cheese or Truffled Portobello Quesadillas
Regular and Fish Tacos
Mexican Fiesta plate
Enchiladas (shredded chicken or beef, chorizo, or veggie)

I had the fish tacos. I thought they were pretty tasty, though I wished they used something other than tilapia. I will definitely go back soon to try other stuff. (While I have no objective reason to say this, I'm guessing they will make a better burrito than Bueno.)

Jun 19, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Why does the Acton/Concord area have NO GOOD RESTAURANTS?

We finally tried Red Raven again about a week ago. (Our last time was soon after they opened, and was a poor enough experience that we had little interest in returning.) I still don't see us going here often, but it seems much improved and I expect we will occasionally.

Our first visit the service had been comically messed up. I put this down to them being new, though still not really excusable given the prices and what they seemed to be going for. Service was much better this time, and from watching other tables I got the sense things were running pretty smoothly in general and staff was better trained.

The menu didn't seem well thought out in the beginning and we both found it hard to find anything we wanted to order back then, also the prices were generally much too high for what it was. I'd heard about menu changes a couple times which is why we finally tried it again. While not an inexpensive place, prices are more reasonable now. The menu is still a bit more limited than I would prefer, but at least makes somewhat more sense.

Food had actually been pretty good the first time we were there, and it was still pretty good. Nothing astonishing, but a decent option in the restaurant wasteland.
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On other fronts, after a first unimpressive visit we've been back to Sprigs a few times, we like the menu and have been very happy with the food. We've had problems with slow or non-existent service on several visits, but this always seems to be just us, and always for some odd if not humorous reason. It's a good place for a nice evening out.

I just saw that comment about Belle's taking a turn for the worse. Wish I had seen that a month ago. We went after not having been there in quite awhile, and everything just seemed off. I was hoping we'd just hit a bad night, but am wondering about that now.

Jun 19, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor lunch, Father's Day, Metro West

Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton has an outside patio.

Restaurant on the lake may have been what's now Bolton Street Tavern, on Rt 85? (formerly Picadilly pub) Or maybe Allora?

Jun 05, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

The Melting Pot

Perhaps not technically "boiled" - it's been awhile and I don't recall exactly what the liquid was up to - but that's pretty much how it tastes to me which was really my point. I think I've tried 2 of the broths there and neither really imported any flavor.

Mar 22, 2014
snippet in Chains

TrJ Cheese Aficionados

I agree about the quality. I'm not remotely a cheese snob, but I've tried enough lame cheeses from Trader Joe's that my rule anymore is to just skip experimenting with their cheeses. About the only cheese I buy there is the shredded pepper jack, since I can't find it anyplace else.

Mar 22, 2014
snippet in Chains

The Melting Pot

IMO it's an overpriced novelty. Especially the "big night out". And the entree course involves boiling your own meat/veggies - I don't want them boiled, yuck, and when I go out I don't want to cook my own dinner. In theory it sounds sort of like a fun thing to do with a group but it doesn't really work that well. Too many tangled forks in the pot and takes forever.

I love a nice cheese or chocolate fondue, and if you limit yourself to that and a salad it's maybe not too bad, but then I ask myself if I really want (ok - should) have a dinner consisting mostly of cheese.

Mar 22, 2014
snippet in Chains

Chicken cheesesteak?

I grew up in Philly-cheese-steak land. There's something particular about a real Philly cheese steak that makes it what it is. I couldn't tell you what all it is, but part of it is the roll. Lots of places that do cheese steaks also have chicken steaks and some may be good but they're just not Philly.

You might try Willy's Philly's in Maynard. I haven't been there in a long time, but when I went there I was expecting someone had stuck the Philly name on a place but didn't "get it" - was pleasantly surprised that they were doing a pretty good job of it. When I mentioned where I was from the guy apologized for the rolls not being perfect replicas, which to me was a sign he understood.

Feb 13, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

thoughts on the pampered chef

It's the Tupperware party all over again. I have a couple things I bought when a friend was sponsoring a party as a fundraiser, and a couple my MIL gave me (that I'm sure she bought only because she got sucked into attending someones party, and figured she may as well get her Christmas shopping done...)

Quality and warranty are pretty good, and I actually like and use all the PC things I have. But still on the expensive side for what you get, and I remember thinking shipping also seemed pricey (seemed to me if you ordered something at a party they should either have it, or ship it to you or at least the party host for free if they don't.) So it's fine, but unless there was something specific I really wanted I wouldn't seek the stuff out over going to a good kitchen store.

Feb 12, 2014
snippet in Cookware

Ditching the mircowave?

We installed a strong shelf above a counter for our microwave. They make brackets for this purpose. So we have the microwave and the counter space. Works well if you have the right spot.

Feb 11, 2014
snippet in Cookware

What size crock pot?

Sometimes putting a smaller amount in a large crock doesn't work as well, but it may depend on the unit. Even though I make things to freeze, I found myself making more than I really wanted with my big one (6 or 8qt?) so I bought a 4qt. My big one cooks too quickly anyway, even on low, so that was another excuse. If you have room I think it's nice to have, I also have one of those little ones that gets used almost exclusively for cooking hot cereals that take awhile, like cut oatmeal (on a timer, so it's ready when we wake up.)

Feb 11, 2014
snippet in Cookware

How do you dry plastic bags after you wash them?

I stick them to the fridge with a magnet, magnet inside the bag and fluff it out a bit. (I tend to do it with the veggie storage bags.) Takes no additional space when not in use.

Feb 11, 2014
snippet in Cookware
2

Where to find Ancho Chiles in Boston or Metrowest?

I usually get them at Penzey's. (I like to make my own chili powder, I use Alton Brown's recipe and can get all the peppers and stuff there.)

I recently saw them at the Market Basket in Hudson, the newish one next to Lowe's near 495. I've never been a Market Basket fan, but the produce section there is pretty good, with a lot of more-than-usual stuff.

Feb 06, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Bondir Concord Just Okay

We went to Bondir Concord about a month ago. All 4 of us thought the food was generally quite good, and we're all reasonably fussy sorts, each in a different way. The check wasn't bad, less pricey than I expected.

Where it lost major points for us was beverages. Consensus was they took the "roll their own and be unique" thing too far here. Like they made their own coffee liquor, and didn't have anything like regular Kahlua, and didn't tell you this - my husband nearly gagged on his drink and pronounced it the worst he'd ever had. He was going to order something else, but found whatever was in that was their homemade version too and gave up. One person wanted a simple glass of cranberry juice, and they didn't have it. So he tried to get orange, and all they had was blood orange juice. He said it was really sour and asked for sugar - this didn't help much, since the sugar was sugar cubes (yes, homemade!) that were really difficult to dissolve in a drink. And they served complimentary sparkling water, which might have been a nice touch, except they had it in open pitchers so it was kind of half flat and yucky. I did have a glass of wine, which as mentioned was fine and a reasonable pour, at least they didn't screw up a simple glass of wine.

Feb 06, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Sake in Boston

Cambridge Wine & Spirits in Fresh Pond (next to Whole Foods) has a huge selection of Sake.

Craft Beer cellar as mentioned has a small but good selection, at least the one in Belmont did. The one near me (Westford) doesn't carry it, they are smaller and say they don't have the space. No idea which is the exception/rule, so you might call and check before going.

Jan 08, 2014
snippet in Greater Boston Area

hmm...first turkey, I guess a roasting pan would be helpful

I have several pans I could use to roast a turkey, but I'm a fan of disposable. There's always lots of stuff to clean up after a turkey dinner, so just getting rid of the pan is a treat. (Plus, we roast turkey in the grill - removing pan for about the last 30 min - and I'd rather not crud up my good pans in the grill.)

The disposable pans with attached rack/handles cost a little more but work well without other support.

Jan 08, 2014
snippet in Cookware

Restaurant Discounts in MA and Alcohol Purchases

thing about restaurant.com, the certificates are bought for less than face value, so there is a discount involved (even if you didn't buy it.)

Oct 28, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Bertuccis Sporkie sausage

My husband loves the Sporkie (sausage & ricotta) pizza at Bertuccis - in particular the sausage they use. I've not found an Italian sausage that has the same taste. Anyone run across a sausage available in the Boston area that is similar or know what they use? Or for that matter, a recipe or idea what the magic ingredients might be?

Oct 07, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Food at Premium Theatre in Framingham?

So we went tonight, but didn't eat there. You enter through the Cinema Grille entrance. There is no sign for the Premium Cinema, so it's not quite clear where to go.

As far as I can tell it's the same menu whether you eat in the sit-down restaurant, or order at the counter to be delivered to your seat before the main feature starts. And the menu bears only a passing resemblance to that one online. Very few people eating in the restaurant, more people eating in the theater - definitely no push of any sort to order food, you almost have to make an effort to do so. Free soda & free popcorn - bags sitting prefilled on trays as you entered the theater.

(The whole thing is a slightly nicer experience all around than the regular theater, though I wasn't that impressed with the seats. You have a bit more space than your regular stadium cinema seat, it's nice to have the little table and not share armrests. But I didn't find the seats all that comfortable, at least partly because they didn't recline at all. Not nearly in the same league as the Superluxe, but of course not nearly the same price either.)

Aug 23, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Food at Premium Theatre in Framingham?

I realize this is an ancient thread, but figured I'd try using it instead of starting another...

I've been to Superluxe but not AMC Framingham Premium, and I'm having some trouble figuring out how it works there. The website for Framingham seems to have no useful info, other than to say there are "In Theater Dining Options." I'm thinking of trying it this weekend but will have an elderly relative along, so would prefer to figure it out in advance rather than winging it.

I take it they have a restaurant outside the theater and when you buy tickets you can make reservations from 2 hours to 45min before the show? Or, you can eat in the theater - I get the impression that in theater they only serve food (a different menu) before the show, not during? How about drinks? How long before the movie starts can you get in? And where can I find the menus? The only one I can find is the generic one at http://dinein.amctheatres.com/Menu - but I can't even tell if this for is outside or inside the theater. Of course it says it says availability depends on the location, and the location tells me nothing.

And of course, how is the food lately? I have no expectations of anything great. My assumption is aside from convenience, if I'm not going to actually eat IN the theater we'd normally be better off eating elsewhere. But I'm more inclined to try eating in the theater if it is decent enough, mostly as a novelty for my guest.

Aug 21, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat near Concord

yes, Belles Bistro is good. Best to make reservations especially at your typical popular dining times, it's not that big and you can expect them to be packed then.

Aug 07, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat near Concord

I heard Serafina reopened?

Aug 06, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat near Concord

Maynard isn't too far and has 2 good Thai restaurants. We usually prefer Thai Chili, but Siam Village is also good and I think either is much better than Benjarong in Acton. There's also a little Mexican place El Huipil, I haven't been in awhile but I think it's still getting good reviews.

Burlington also isn't far from Concord, as long as it's not rush hour. And it seems to have sprouted a lot of new restaurants over recent years from ethnic to higher end. I won't try to list as I haven't made it to most of them, but many have come up on other threads. I think Blue Stove in Nordstrom (small plates) is definitely worth checking out.

Waltham may be about the same distance as Burlington, depending where you are in Concord and traffic. It's another good area to check out for restaurants, lots there.

Aug 04, 2013
snippet in Greater Boston Area

Cooking with barbeque sauce

doesn't quite count as cooking, but BBQ sauce on a Quorn burger is quite tasty.

Jul 19, 2013
snippet in Vegetarian & Vegan