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Special occasion waterfront dining...

Hi All,

A friend of mine asked me if I knew of a waterfront restaurant, preferably on the south shore, to celebrate a special occasion with his wife.

The usual special occasion criteria apply.... nice atmosphere, great food and drinks and again, on the waterfront.

Bonus points for other nearby attractions (shops, bars etc) to spend some time hanging out pre/post dinner.

I'm a north shore guy... 62 Wharf came to mind as an example, though the views of Salem Harbor aren't exactly romantic.

Any thoughts? Some travelling is also an option for the right place.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Gusman

Aug 06, 2013
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Weber Grills -- Has Quality Declined?

Hi All,

After much cosideration, I think I'm ready to plunk down the money on a Weber gas grill. Having never owned one before, I'm torn about what features I want (or need) in my next grill.

I have pretty much narrowed the choices down to the Summit E470 or the E620, which cost the same. I really like the extra real estate of the 6-series vs. the four, but I'm concerned about the lack of a searing burner on the 620 (I am used to the infrared searing burner on my current Nexgrill). I would seldom (if ever) use the side burner or rotisserie, but the little smoker box/burner on the 470 is kind of intriguing.

I cannot realistically justify going another $500 for the 670 model.

So, my questions are, will the 620 get hot enough to properly sear steaks or is it really necessary to have the "sear station" set up? Has anyone tried the smoking burner/box setup on the x70 series?

Thanks in advance.....

Gusman

May 24, 2012
gusman2424 in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Great eats near Dana Farber?

If you head up Longwood to Huntington Ave, there's the Squealing Pig and The Mission. Both casual sit down places with good food. Bonus points to the pig for a very nice beer list with several interesting choices on tap.

Might be a little less crazy than the Fenway choices...and a short 10 minute walk.

Cheers...

Gusman

Apr 20, 2012
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Fat Cactus Mexicali Cantina, Lynnfield MA

Well, the short lived Lucille's Fine Chicken (formerly Naked Fish) in Lynnfield is apparently morphing into it's newest concept... The Fat Cactus Mexicali Cantini. Remodeling currently under way.... signage in place.

I wonder if it's yet another Crugnali (sp?) creation or some other effort? It would be nice if it were a *good* Mexican restaurant and not another bad tex-mex On-The-Border/Acapulcos/Chi-Chis wannabee. I have little faith!

Cheers...

Gusman

Oct 27, 2009
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor dining on the North Shore?

I agree that Red Rock has a great patio on the water with great views of Boston. My on trip there was fine. I sat at the bar and had a beer or two and some very good, if not a tad expensive, fried clams.

Another suggestion, though I haven't been there in a while, is Striper's Grill in Salisbury. They have a great deck overlooking the Merrimack River and the food was great and fairly reasonable.

Jun 23, 2007
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Pizzeria Regina revisited

Thanks for the post! One of these days I *must* get to the original! It's been 20 years since I've managed to get there!

Being on the north shore (Peabody) I must put a plug in for one of the satellite Regina locations. My family has made it a point to visit the Polcari's/Regina in Saugus on a very regular basis, most recently yesterday for lunch. We ordered a large pie with meatballs, sausage and mushrooms... excellent! Just loaded with toppings and that great charred crust.

While it may not compare with the original North End location, it is by far the best pizza in the area.

Cheers...

Gusman

May 20, 2007
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Hats off to Chili's Bar and Grill

My biggest complaint with Chile's (and a ton of other chain restaurants) is the inability to get a burger cooked less than medium. To me, a burger done more than MR is just not worth ordering.

I give kudos to Chile's for still offering buffalo wings instead of just tenders.

May 18, 2007
gusman2424 in Chains

Visiting Boston, help

Wow, I just looked at the Grill 23 menu and it looks great! I'm intrigued by the 25 dollar meatloaf, anyone ever try it? I love meatloaf, but I'm trying to imagine just what would make it worth $25 (besides the setting, of course).

Cheers!

May 18, 2007
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Any decent chains in New England?

While I think Bertucci's is decent for a chain, I do think their prices are getting just plain ridiculous. I recently stopped in for take out pizza.... I ordered a large "Sporkie" pizza (sausage, ricotta and mozzerella) and added carmelized onions and the price was over $20.00! And the "large" pizza isn't really that large and the toppoings fairly skimpy.

Apr 20, 2007
gusman2424 in All New England Archive

It's Jarring! Good stuff in jars

Three of my faves of the top of my head....

Blue Hill Bay Herring in wine marinade (sold at Costco)... I may just have to try their white fish salad as well!

Justin Wilson's wicked cajun pickles. I got a small gift set with a jar of these and a couple sauces.... upon tasting the pickles, I immediately ordered a case of them online!

Finally, I'm ashamed to admit that Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without a jar or two of "Aunt Nellie's" boiled onions.... Hey, I grew up on them... so don't shoot me!!!

Cheers....

Gusman

Jan 11, 2007
gusman2424 in General Topics

Is there anything better than Boars Head cold cuts?

Bahahaha!

I had to laugh when I saw this post about Wunderbar "German" bologna. It is my absolute favorite bologna... by far! It also happens to be the cheapest stuff ever marketed (it is routinely 99 cents a pound here in the Boston area). I believe it's made by a company called Russer, which also markets other cold cuts as well.

I can only imagine what it's made from!

I do tend to buy higher end hotdogs (Hebrew National in particular) but are they really worth the extra cost?? Probably not.

Cheers....

Gusman

Jan 09, 2007
gusman2424 in General Topics

Kalik Gold - Anyone know where to get it here in the USA?

Howdy Schoenick,

Well, "Root... Mon" is nothing like root beer... and not necessarily in a bad way!

I was introduced to it on Coki Beach in St. Thomas. I walked up to the local beach bar to get a couple cold beers and noticed a weird contraption behind the bar. It looked like some kind of home made still made with 5 gallon plastic water jugs, plastic tubing, and some plastic spigots.. all connected with duct tape. Inside the plastic jugs were... well... branches of some tree of unknown origin.

Well, curiosity got the better of me and I asked the bartender what the heck it was... he replied in a thick caribbean accent.... "That's ROOT...... Mon...."

He then proceded to give me a free shot of the stuff.... It was absolutely delicious.... earthy... smooth... and with a kick of alcohol. They refused to tell me what was in that concoction, but I had to have another shot or two!

I later found out (from a friend of mine born in the Dominican Republic) that "Root" is quite popular, though no formal recipe is indicated.... wine... rum... etc is added to a vessel containing the "roots" and allowed to "age". It is then passsed on to another person, who imbibes and is bestowed with good fortune... who then refills and passes it along to another....

I currently have a bottle with the "roots"... i just need to know what to fill it with before I pass it along!

Cheers....

Gusman

Dec 22, 2006
gusman2424 in Beer

Kalik Gold - Anyone know where to get it here in the USA?

I've never tried Kalik beer... but will definitely do so on my cruise to Nassau next August.

Another Caribbean brew I enjoyed were the $1.00 Caribe beers I had on the beach in St. Maarten.

And don't even get me started on the Guavaberry liquor of St. Maarten or the "Root... MON" I enjoyed for the first time on Coki Beach in St. Thomas.

Man... I can't wait to get back to the Caribbean!

Cheers

Gusman

Dec 19, 2006
gusman2424 in Beer

Home for the holidays

Hey Alexfood,

Welcome back to Boston (or the North Shore).
Can't help you with Boston recommendations, but
if you were a fan of O'Fado, there's a new
Portuguese restaurant in the city of Peabody.

It's the Trackside, on Warren St. Like O'Fado,
a hole in the wall.. but the food is quite good,
the service very laid back and friendly, and the
prices reasonable.

I've tried.. the pork and clams, house steak
(with a mustard cream sauce and a fried egg
on top), the seafood stew (like cioppino),
broiled seafood, and the braised octopus
(the most tender and delicious version I've
ever tasted!).

Portuguese beer is 2.75 a bottle and the
Vinho Verde wine by the glass... about 3.50.
Excellent value....

Give it a try!

Gusman

Dec 12, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Good italian in East Boston?

The three places I've heard the most
recommendations for are:

Rino's Place (Saratoga St.)...
Zafferano's (Orient Heights)...
Santarpios (right near the tunnel)...

I've also heard some good things about
Jevelli's in Day Square.

Not necessarily Italian, but my brother
(who lives in Eastie) likes the Kelly
Square pub for cheap eats as well.

Cheers...

Gusman

Dec 06, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Lunch Help for Lynn or Swampscott?

Hi Chuck,

Not sure if I can help much....

When I lived in Lynn (on the Swampscott Line)many moons ago, I used to love the Paradise Cafe in railroad square, Swampscott. Great neighborhood pub with excellent steak tips and burgers. I believe it has been reborn as the Cafe Paradiso, a red sauce Italian place. I have no idea whether the previous owners are still involved or if it's any good now, but it might be worth a look.

Another possible choice is the Golden Lake Diner on Bennett St. in Lynn. It's an asian retaurant that serves several different cuisines (thai, cambodian, vietnamese etc). I stopped in for a snack while getting new tires on my truck and enjoyed the spicy wings with peanut sauce. The patrons were mostly asian, which can't be a bad thing!

There is also Thai Thani, almost across the street from Red Rock that gets pretty good reviews, though I've never been there and I'm not sure if they're open for lunch.

Marblehead definitely offers more choices as well.... perhaps Hurricane's or Flynnie's on the Avenue.

Good Luck!

Gusman

Nov 14, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

what to get at SU CHANG'S?

Since they are just down the street from us, we go fairly often. Lots of americanized stuff (which I don't mind) and a few less common items.

As mentioned before, the Chow Foon is pretty good (we like beef pepper and onion) and the Sinh To pork chop (I think they are listed as King To on the menu... and they are not pork "chops" in the traditional sense, but thin crispy fried semi-boneless "chops").. both tasty, but not particularly spicy.

They do a pretty good version of Salt and Pepper dishes.. pork chops, scallops and calimari (never tried the latter). One decent spicy dish is the Suan La Chau (sp?) appetizer.. especially if you order is with a side of hot oil (goes for the salt and pepper dishes too).

My favorite two americanized dishes are the boneless ribs and the pork egg foo yong (not on the menu).. for some reason, I just love those two "chinese" dishes!

Cheers.....

Gusman

Nov 11, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Cioppino on the North Shore?

Howdy,

Not exactly ciopinno, but we recently had a delicious Portuguese version at the Trackside Restaurant in Peabody.

Six of us went and we had a variety of entrees and all were quite excellent. I had the pork and clams (my first time... I thought it was great), the aforementioned seafood stew, a broiled seafood plate, two ribeye steaks (with a great mustard sauce and topped with a fried egg) and steak tips. the seafood was extremely fresh and the prices reasonable (portuguese beer was $2.50 a bottle!).

It's really a neighborhood place... looks like a hole in the wall from the outside, but nice inside (not fancy).

We hung out after our meal and had a drink at the bar and the owner came over and offered us a sample of the next day's special.... braised octopus... it was *fantastic*... tender and flavorful.

The Trackside is on Warren st..... not too far from the 128/Lowell st. exit.

Cheers...

Gusman

Oct 31, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Looking for casual (non-chain) dining for friends and infant...North Reading area

Howdy,

Congrats on the new baby! My wife and I long for the days when we could tote our little one into restaurants in his car seat... he's now 3 years old and we mostly eat in!!

Anyhow, we really like Ristorante Molise in Wakefield center. Pretty large place with an extensive menu run by two sisters. *Very* nice people. It gets ridiculously crowded during prime time (Friday and Saturday nights) but otherwise would be a good choice.

For decent pub food, Dailey's pub in Middleton is pretty good. Don't expect gourmet, but a comfortable place to hang out.

Much more casual places for decent food, though cafeteria style, are Brother's Deli in Wakefield (pretty good, though not as good as the Salem MA location) and Capri Pizza (they do have more than just pizza!) in Reading. Both very kid friendly and food that is better than the chain restaurants.

Hope this helps!

Gusman

PS. At the risk of being berated :^) ... *I* would not mind hitting Kitty's in North Reading.... I grew up in Wilmington and the only place my (working class... ie POOR) family would go out to eat was at Kitty's.... that was 30+ years ago... and the place hasn't changed a bit.... grouchy waitresses... mediocre food... but it does have a place in my heart!

Oct 31, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Best Italian Rum Cake - North Shore or beyond!

Hi All,

My wife's birthday is quickly approaching and I want to make sure I get her favorite birthday cake, Italian rum cake!

I've tried several incarnations over the past years with pretty decent results, but I'm looking for the best. I live in Peabody, but would be willing to travel a reasonable distance to get something special. Places I've tried include Spinellis in Lynnfield, a couple different places in Revere (whose names escape me) and La Cascia's (sp?) in Burlington.

Any suggestions????

Thanks in Advance and Cheers!!

Gusman

Oct 06, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Favorite Canned Herring?

I recently bought a jar of "Blue Hill Bay" herring in wine sauce at Costco. I think it's quite good. Good tang in the brine, smokey/fishy flavor of the herring, and a good texture (not mushy as some can be).

Not terribly expensive either... I think around $4.00 for 26 ounces...

Cheers....

Gusman

Sep 28, 2006
gusman2424 in General Topics

Lynn takeout

There's an interesting asian place on Bennett Street in Lynn that may have potential. It's an old diner that's housed a couple different asian restaurants (some very well reviewed) and is currently called Golden Lake Restaurant.

I recently stopped in for lunch for a quick bite while my truck was being serviced nearby. The menu is quite extensive with chinese, thai, korean (I think), and VietNamese choices. I wasn't particularly hungary so I chose the spicy chicken wings with a chili/peanut sauce. They were really tasty and very reasonably priced for a good size portion.

The clientele was definitely mostly asian and I saw some very interesting looking dishes being served all around me.

I will definitely check it out again when I'm in the area again.

Cheers....

Gusman

Sep 13, 2006
gusman2424 in Greater Boston Area

Chang An in Concord, MA

Wow! Talk about a blast from the past.

I haven't been to Chang An in Concord for at least 7 or 8 years (I used to work in Maynard and live in West Acton) but I did frequent the place quite often. Above average suburban chinese, the lamb curry with onions, shao Mai (sp?) and a couple of their soups (hot/sour and one other) were particularly good.

But the best part though were the outstanding Mai Tai's served by a super nice bartender (whose name I cannot recall) who could be best described as an excellent chinese Elvis impersonator! Killer sideburns! Worth the trip itself... not that he could possibly still be there.

So, I give it a(n 8 year old) thumbs up!!

Off topic, but in the same realm.... another old haunt from that same period was also a favorite.... a mexican place nearby (Rte 117?? 126?? Sudbury??) called Sierra's. Outstanding bartender named George who made the best margaritas (besides my own, of course!) Very fresh, tex/mex with a more authentic side as well.

How's that for an outdated useless reply!

Cheers...

Gusman

Aug 06, 2006
gusman2424 in All New England Archive

Killer breakfast near Canaan NH?

Hi All,

Thanks for the reqs so far!

I called the Riverside and found that they only serve a Sunday brunch... no other breakfast. The woman I spoke to recommended Mickey's Roadside Cafe in Enfield (right on route 4.. we will pass it on the way to Goose Pond). Any experience?? I called the Fort but got an amswering machine. I will try them again.

Thanks again!

Cheers!

Gusman

Jul 13, 2006
gusman2424 in All New England Archive

Killer breakfast near Canaan NH?

Hi All,

I have another request for a pre-bass tounament breakfast restaurant for this upcoming Saturday morning. This time we'll be headed to Goose Pond in Canaan NH. We'll be traveling from the Manchester area up rte 93 to rte 89 getting off at Rte 4 just southeast of Lebanon.

I'm guessing our best bets will be in Lebanon, but would prefer not to have to drive past our exit and backtrack back to route 4.

Any suggestions??? Looking for hearty, clog-your-arteries kind of fare that will sustain us for our 8 hour tournament!

Thanks!

Gusman
]

Jul 12, 2006
gusman2424 in All New England Archive