mikeinboston's Profile

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Outdoor brunch this weekend?

Henrietta's Table at the Charles Hotel serves breakfast and lunch on Saturday with seating in the courtyard.

Jun 04, 2014
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Chicken salad

Both Stop & Shop and Shaws/Star were also making an in-store chicken salad with leftover rotisserie chickens that was superior to the usual offerings (I find Willow Tree Farm too sweet and with that "wood chipper" texture) . It seems to have disappeared in both locations near me in Boston. Shaws/Star sometimes carries a Cape Cod Chicken Salad that has dried cranberries in it.

Apr 27, 2014
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Boston's Best Toast?

I received a Breville Mini Smart Oven for a holiday gift and I can tell you its a great toaster and a helluva toaster oven, so much so that as I am single, I haven't once turned on my regular oven since arrived.


Mar 29, 2014
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Prime Rib in Fairfield County CT

Just a suggestion, I used to work at a steakhouse and occasionally we'd have a guest call ahead to be sure we had R/MR Prime Rib for him. We would note his reservation and let the kitchen know to hold an order back. If the entree is the goal of the visit, let the restaurant know and see if they can accommodate your request. They want you to have a good time.

Feb 23, 2014
mikeinboston in Southern New England

What is your favorite frozen chicken pot pie?

If you are in New England, check out Willow Tree Farm's frozen pot pies. Exceptional for a supermarket product.

Feb 20, 2014
mikeinboston in General Topics

Target/Super Target Yays and Nays 2014

The Archer Farms frozen pizzas are actually quite good in a pinch. Often on sale, worth buying a few when they are.

Jan 25, 2014
mikeinboston in Chains


I had a bacon cheese burger at the Harvard Square store - it may have been the combo of the bacon and cheese slice plus some grill seasoning, but that burger was SALTY, and I rarely am freaked out by salt.

The hand cut fries were fine (I actually didnt mind the commercial crinkle cuts at the other stores), but the seating is a fiasco - the food was ice cold by the time we finally got a table.

Jan 25, 2014
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Cheapest Supermarket in Back Bay / Columbus

Also investigate PeaPod from Stop & Shop - you can order online and have it delivered to your door. Prices are somewhat higher than in the store, but there are good deals to introduce the service and it can be a lifesaver as long as you plan a day or two ahead for what you need from them.

Jan 19, 2014
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Gluten-free dining in theater district?

Davios has a GF menu as well. Not too far from theater district.

Dec 16, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Local food market pet peeves, or worse!

I am consistently amazed that they dont have a person to bag items when you use the self serve lane at Stop & Shop (or at least the Greater Boston stores). They seem to assign just one person to those lanes who is usually chatting with coworkers and generally ignoring people struggle to unload the cart, place the items on the belt in a way the machine can register them, pay and then bag. They only seem to spring into action when the automated cashier gets confused - but other than that, 100% useless.

If the customer is saving them half the labor cost, the least they could do is position one or two people to lend a hand across the lanes - and bonus, the lines will move faster thereby encouraging more folks to use self checkout and eventually saving even more in labor.

Nov 16, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Who makes your favorite cheese fries?

No chili, but Kelly's Roast Beef makes theirs with cheese sauce and bacon bits. Available as small or large portion. Best eaten there, does not travel well.

Oct 27, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Starbucks + La Boulange [moved from San Francisco board]

It was my understanding that Starbucks partnered with a number of regional commercial bakeries to produce items based on Starbucks' recipes. I dont think there was a sole supplier, but a consortium of them under contract.

I am curious if they will hold over the Cranberry Bliss Bars. Tooth-achingly sweet, but they've become a bit of a holiday tradition at our house.

Oct 22, 2013
mikeinboston in Chains

Saugus, Mass

+1 on Victor's. Owner is super-sweet. On my second visit she remembered me and snuck a brownie into my bag.

Oct 11, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

When did you last go to the Hilltop in Saugus?

A little over 10 years ago, I ate there on a Saturday night and the following morning, went to the hospital with chest pains from a blocked artery. While I dont blame the lobster pie directly for the MI, I could never bring myself to go back.

As others have noted, in it's heyday, it was the bomb.

Oct 10, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Olive Garden's "Buy one - take one" promotion

It's the old joke, two elderly women sitting around the pool at a resort. The first one says: "The food here is terrible." and the second lady replies: "I know, and such small portions!"

Oct 08, 2013
mikeinboston in Chains

See's chocolates at Jordan's Furniture in Reading

Don't know about other See's Candies, but this makes sense as both See's and Jordan's are owned by Warren Buffet/Berkshire Hathaway.

Oct 03, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Ken's Kickin' Chicken now open in Lynn

Thanks bluesjack. I only raised the website issue as I live in Boston and wanted to know more before I drove out to Lynn or Salem. I'm always on the look out for a good pot pie, but prefer no veggies, so I was unsure if they have items like that.

I agree with the other comments: superior food always trumps a splashy website. Simple is better. Give me the address, the hours and a PDF of the menu and I'm happy.

When I have a trip to their vicinity planned, I'll give them a call to find out the specifics.

Sep 23, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Ken's Kickin' Chicken now open in Lynn

That is the craziest business website I have seen in a while. Always on the look out for a good pie, but there's about 15 active links on the site that contain zero information. No menu, no prices, just screen shots of an iPad screen over and over.

Thought I'd click through to contact them and found this: "Thank you for shopping at Brand Name Electronics. To help us maintain a high quality of service, please provide us with feedback by filling in the information below."

Please tell me the pies are better than the website? :)


Sep 21, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

One lunch late September in Edgartown?

As someone who managed restaurants, if it's ok for you to make a suggestion, if he is planning to get engaged, have him call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know.

While am not familiar with Atlantic, I know at the locations I worked at we would always go out of our way to make sure that we saved the room's best seats and paid extra attention to the table, having a comp split of champagne at the ready anticipating a "yes".

One word to the wise, although romantic, a diamond ring snuck into a glass of champagne almost resulted in a unfortunate "you just swallowed your engagement ring" for a young lady who apparently wasn't paying attention to her glass as she drank.

Sep 08, 2013
mikeinboston in Southern New England

Five Guy's coming to Alameda

it's so funny you mentioned the foil. there's a store near my office and i've picked up takeout twice and each time, by the time i'm back to my desk, the whole thing is a wet, soggy steamed mess.

also, for burger prep, they drop that thin patty on the grill and then for some reason, about a minute into the cooking, they press down with extreme force to make sure that every last drop of moisture is removed from the beef. i asked if i could have my burger just cooked without all the pressing, but the answer was no.

Aug 06, 2013
mikeinboston in Chains

Looking for 1 day butcher(?) classes for bachelor party

It appears you have the rest of the night planned out, but if dinner isn't set in stone, perhaps reach out to one of the steak houses in town to see about booking an early turn of a private dining room? Work with the function manager to have the store's butcher come and do a mini-camp in the private DR, then you all stay for an early dinner before you go on to your next stop? Not routine, but a good function manager should be able to pull it off.

If you dont want to stay for dinner, maybe see if the restaurant will do the class and appetizers in the afternoon. The advantage of a restaurant is drinks! (Always good when knives are involved)

I might also suggest you visit Work N" Gear or a restaurant supply company and get everyone a white chef's coat to wear for the butchering, keep their clothes clean and if you have enough lead time you can have them embroidered with the groom's name and the date of the party so everyone can keep them.

Jul 24, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area


My first visits there were less than friendly, but now as I've gotten into the groove with picking up my take-out, they couldn't be nicer.

"Light sauce, well done" Just always append that to your order at Regina's and you'll be golden.

Jul 18, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Panera's new cherry limeade

I have found that overwhelmingly the drinks at Panera are plain terrible. And I agree with the other posters that the ratio of product to price for their sandwiches is lacking (plus if you watch closely, the sandwiches are pre-made and come out of a reach in refrigerator under their kitchen work station)

What I have found that is passable to order are the items on their "Secret Menu". Particularly the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad or the Power Turkey Salad - low calories, high protein and none of their usual fat/calorie laden dressing.


Jul 09, 2013
mikeinboston in Chains

Summer rooftop dining WITH RESERVATIONS?

The Taj does Sunday Brunch on the roof with reservations. Pricey and I haven't been, but it looks quite nice.


Jun 20, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Anywhere interesting to have dinner on the outer cape this weekend?

we stopped into Ten Tables in Provincetown last weekend, had a drink at the bar. nice new cocktail program. had a few "bites", enjoyed the spiced olives the most.


Apr 13, 2013
mikeinboston in Southern New England

Wegmans Fenway

I am always amazed that I find plenty of parking in their lot regardless of when I go there. The inside of the store is depressing and Star/Shaw prices are the worst in the area, but if you shop on sale it can also be a life saver.

That being said, it will be closed within 6 months of Wegmans opening.

Mar 28, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Shake Shack in Chestnut Hill

If I remember correctly (and its been a while since I have been to the Kenmore UBurger), they were cutting the fries in house right above a big sink of cold water in full view of the customer. And you're right, my memory is that their fries rock.

Mar 22, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area


After reading this thread tonight, we thought we'd give them a call and arrange a delivery in the South End.

Oddly, they took the whole order and just as the call was wrapping up, the woman on the phone tossed in "we're looking at about 90 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes for delivery times right now".

We opted to cancel, perhaps we won't try them at prime time on a Friday in the future.

Wouldn't you think when someone was ordering delivery, you might lead with that exceptionally long delivery window?

It probably would result in a faster turn over for calls as customer could make an informed decision before making the restaurant input a whole order just to have to cancel it out.

Feb 22, 2013
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

The New Belle Isle

did you happen to notice if they were still "cash only" or if they were now accepting other forms of payment?

thanks for the great report!

Dec 19, 2012
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area

Parker House versus Top of the Hub

how about the Cafe at the Taj? we enjoyed ourselves recently.


Dec 18, 2012
mikeinboston in Greater Boston Area