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

1270 Westford Street, Lowell, just over the Chelmsford line, north of the Drum Hill Rd/Rte. 3 intersection. Drum Hill Rd. in Chelmsford become Westford St. in Lowell.
www.pho88online.net/

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

I originally brought up Szechuan Chef in this thread a few months ago. Recently we had a rather bizarre experience there. My dinner-mate ordered his meal first; when I ordered mine, the waiter (who was also the host) told me that the entree I'd ordered (which I don't remember now) didn't go well with the rest of our meal & suggested that I order lo mein instead. I've had their lo mein many times, & it's fine, & I'm a wimp, so I acquiesced. He left & I was left shaking my head. I can understand a waiter suggesting something special, or even something more adventurous. But lo mein? I know it's my own fault for not standing my ground & getting what I wanted, but really, lo mein?!? And what I've read above gives me another reason to not go back--I dislike restaurants that have menus available only to those in the know. Inappropriate & off-putting customer service all around.

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

I'd add Szechuan Chef in N. Chelmsford to the better-than-Bamboo category. Not in the same class as Sichuan Gourmet but they're always friendly & efficient, & the scallion pancakes are really good (OK, sometimes I revert back to the Chinese food of my youth).

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

Sorry, I don't think Bamboo is excellent, & definitely not romantic. When they opened several years ago they tried for service that was better than the average Asian place. Didn't last long. Now it's rushed & impersonal & the food is pretty much run of the mill.

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

80 Thoreau in Concord is wonderful & definitely a date night place.
http://www.80thoreau.com/
Search CH & you'll find plenty of raves.

Dinner for 20 in Livingston NJ or nearby

Thanks so much, Scarlet Knight. I'll look into those.

Anyone else have a recommendation?

Sep 27, 2011
graciesquare in New Jersey

Dinner for 20 in Livingston NJ or nearby

Looking for recommendations for a restaurant that can comfortably handle 15-20 people (no kids) for dinner on a Friday night in Livingston or very nearby. Comfortable for us as well as for the restaurant--we're looking for good food, good service, & the ability to talk to each other, even on a busy Friday night, without having to shout. Most types of food & prices less than very expensive are fine. A private room would be a plus but not necessary.

Sep 27, 2011
graciesquare in New Jersey

Birthday dinner in/near Williamstown, MA?

We went to Mezze (not Mezzo) a couple of weeks ago & were really disappointed. We loved meals we'd had at their previous location a few years ago; the staff was attentive & friendly, the menu was creative, the food delish & the room comfortable & welcoming. This time the staff was standoffish, the menu rather one-dimensional (that dimension being pork), the fish we had (either haddock or halibut, I can't remember) simply boring, & the new, much more formal room left us cold, both literally & figuratively. Beautiful grounds, though.

How about the Mill on the Floss, especially for your parents & grandmother? It's on rte. 7 in New Ashford, 8 miles south of the center of Williamstown. Haven't been there for a couple of years but when we went it was astonishing: we had a wonderful meal with great service--even though the power was out the entire evening! It's a lovely setting too. http://www.millonthefloss.com/

Where to eat in/near Sterling?

My apologies for being so late in thanking everyone for their recs. We didn't make it to any of them but will be back in the area sometime. Thanks to all.

Where to eat in/near Sterling?

We'll be in Sterling for a week, starting Saturday, & will have to eat out most nights. Any recommendations, not too high priced but decent? I haven't been able to find much help on this board!

Desperately seeking dried Polish mushrooms

A very belated thank-you for the leads on where to find Polish mushrooms. We didn't find them before Thanksgiving. A few places we contacted told us, "They're on the boat." But my mom has found them since.

Feb 11, 2009
graciesquare in Manhattan

Desperately seeking dried Polish mushrooms

I'm probably breaking some rule by posting this request on a number of boards but as the title says, I'm desperate! My mother has been making barley & mushroom soup for Thanksgiving dinner for probably more than 50 years & this is the first year she can't find dried Polish mushrooms, which she insists must be on a string. Anyone know where we can find them, preferably in Manhattan or northern NJ? But if we have to go further, we will!

Nov 11, 2008
graciesquare in Manhattan

Infusions Bistro, Chelmsford, MA

I just posted this on the Boston board in reply to someone asking a while back about Moonstones in Chelmsford. This board is where it belongs, I think:

Went to Moonstones tonight. My husband had a fine meal, I had a bad one. He enjoyed his lobster & mushroom tapas a lot & liked most of his chicken, shrimp & gnocci entree (can't remember what they call it). The chicken was tender & the shrimp were cooked just right. He didn't care for the gnocci--they were heavy & oily.

I ordered three tapas. The meat in the lamb "lollipops" didn't have a lot of lamb flavor & eating off the stick was difficult because it wasn't that tender, & the sauce was forgettable. The spring rolls had a crispy wrapper but the vegetables inside were mushy & essentially unrecognizable. The worst was something the menu called moussaka but bore no resemblance to any other moussaka I've ever had. It was all one gloppy tomato-y mess with a small rectangle of crustless bread poking up at each corner. I asked the waiter why I couldn't seem to find any eggplant in it. His reply: they use eggplant puree. Eggplant puree??!! What's the point of that?

It's obvious that the restaurant wants to know how its customers like the food but our waiter's way of asking was a bit too pushy for us.

One very positive note: the waiter noticed I'd eaten little of the so-called moussaka & took it off our bill.

My husband says he'd go back, but obviously that won't be with me.

Moonstones in Chelmsford

Went to Moonstones tonight. My husband had a fine meal, I had a bad one. He enjoyed his lobster & mushroom tapas a lot & liked most of his chicken, shrimp & gnocci entree (can't remember what they call it). The chicken was tender & the shrimp were cooked just right. He didn't care for the gnocci--they were heavy & oily. I ordered three tapas. The meat in the lamb "lollipops" didn't have a lot of lamb flavor & eating off the stick was difficult because it wasn't that tender, & the sauce was forgettable. The spring rolls had a crispy wrapper but the vegetables inside were mushy & essentially unrecognizable. The worst was something the menu called moussaka but bore no resemblance to any other moussaka I've ever had. It was all one gloppy tomato-y mess with a small rectangle of crustless bread poking up at each corner. I asked the waiter why I couldn't seem to find any eggplant in it. His reply: they use eggplant puree. Eggplant puree??!! What's the point of that?

It's obvious that the restaurant wants to know how its customers like the food but our waiter's way of asking was a bit too pushy for us.

One very positive note: the waiter noticed I'd eaten little of the so-called moussaka & took it off our bill.

My husband says he'd go back, but obviously that won't be with me.

Lobster roll in the Berkshires?

A belated thanks to all who replied. On our visitors' last full day here we decided to take the trip to Williamstown to go to the Clark & have lunch at the 1896 House. We were disappointed to find the 1896 closed (assuming it's the place that's now called the '6 pub, or something like that). Our visitors have left but we're still here & are thinking to trying Salmon Run. I love fried scallops!

Lobster roll in the Berkshires?

Thanks to you all! I'll look into Pearl's. Can anyone think of anywhere else?

And to expand my original question: is there a good fishmonger in the Berkshires? We've been getting consistently good fish at Guido's--so I don't mind paying their prices (too much).

Lobster roll in the Berkshires?

Is there anywhere in the Berkshires to find a great lobster roll? Visitors from the west coast, thinking we're not THAT far from the other coast, want to try the regional specialty. We're not lobster fans ourselves & don't have a clue. We're in Lenox so central & southern Berkshire is preferable.

Haven Bakery and Cafe, Lenox, MA

Surprised to see no one has replied to this. Haven Bakery is now open. We checked it out at about noon today & they were only serving breakfast. Nice menu but my husband wanted something more lunch-ish. So we ate at Baroods & had crepes. They seem to be trying to be very French. The crepes were fine, but my side salad was served without dressing. Is that authentically a la Francaise?

Monsoon in Acton

We had such a bad experience at Monsoon in Acton the other night I feel the need to vent here. It had been our favorite Indian restaurant in the area, though we hadn't been in several months. It felt different from the moment we walked in--the welcome just wasn't as warm. We were seated at a tiny two-top though there were plenty of larger tables available. The waiter was close to surly in answering a couple of our questions. (No, you can't substitute garlic naan for the plain that comes with the chef's specials.)

After ordering, we waited a surprisingly long time for our soup, which was advertised as vegetable with lentils, but was only a slightly lentil-flavored & -colored broth. We had two spoonfuls of soup when the appetizers & entrees arrived together. The cheese pakora was OK. When we sent back the shrimp asking that it be cooked a bit more, the waiter returned saying that the cook felt it was cooked correctly. We asked that it be cooked more anyway; it came back fine. Chicken had the opposite problem--it was dry & stringy. Our son liked his palak paneer, though. The rice was dry too & had a golf-ball sized clump in the middle.

A very disappointing experience, & we won't be going back.

Anywhere nice in/near Haymarket?

A belated thanks to everyone for replying to my question. Now all I have to do is decide which one of these recs to follow up on.

Chowhounds are the best!

Anywhere nice in/near Haymarket?

I'm looking to buy a gift certificate at a nice restaurant for friends who have recently moved to Haymarket. They've lived in N. VA for years, but Haymarket is new to them. I know nothing about the area. They're partial to French & Italian. Any suggestions?

Place for a b'day dinner in northern NJ

Thanks so much for the quick replies. I've already contacted Highlawn & they are handicap accessible. This may be where we end up.

Place for a b'day dinner in northern NJ

We're looking for a restaurant to have a birthday dinner for an elderly relative in the Paterson/Clifton/Rutherford/Wayne/Parsippany/Morristown/Montclair/the Oranges area. Good food & service are essential but so are handicap accessibilty & convenient parking. There may be as many as 100 invitees. Any suggestions?

Brazilian or Portuguese in Lowell?

Thanks for the recommendation, Lexpatti. Next time we'll try Friends.

Brazilian or Portuguese in Lowell?

Reporting back (very late), we went to Cavaleiro's with a group of 12. I'll never understand why but as happens all too often at too many restaurants, they simply couldn't cope with such a large group--& we had a reservation so they we were coming. The entrees were delivered over a period of at least 10 minutes, with no explanation or apology. I had a fish filet. It wasn't memorable enough for me to remember what kind of fish or how it was served. But I do remember the "home-style potato chips" that came with it: they were limp & greasy. We won't be going back.

Brazilian or Portuguese in Lowell?

I've heard about a new Brazilian restaurant in Lowell but don't know the name. Any help? Is it good?

Also, any opinions on Cavaleiro's?

Thanks.

Best Asian in Greater Lowell?

Southeast Asian Restaurant has a website:
http://www.foodventure.com/

It offers Lao, Viet, Cambodian, Thai, probably other SE Asian food as well. I've found the food to be really good but the service can be slow at times &, especially if you're there with a large group, you may not get what you think you ordered.

Viet-Thai is around the corner on Merrimack St, in the same building as George's Fabrics. It's smaller with no ambience to speak of, but the food is good & the prices very low.

I prefer Pho 88 to Pho Dalat.

Chez Nous in Lee, MA

Anyone been there this season? I've read mixed reviews & would appreciate some up-to-date appraisals.

Thanks.

Best of Local Food --> Westford, MA and environs

Westford boasts two fine farmstands that feature local (or almost local) produce: Stony Brook Acres at the intersection of Depot St. & Plain Rd, & Hill's Orchard, a little harder to find but worth it, at 4 Hunt Rd, near the intersection with Chamberlain Rd.

There's a farmers market in downtown Lowell every Friday at the JFK plaza. I've never been so can't vouch for quality.

I don't know which restaurants in the area offer locally grown food. I've heard good things about a fairly new place, Belle's Bistro, on Littleton Road (rte. 110) in Westford at Power Road. For my money, the best area restaurant is Number 5 Strawberry Hill in Acton (on the corner of rte. 2A).

And no report about Westford would be complete without mentioning Kimball Farm, which used to be a simple ice cream stand on Littleton Road (at the Littleton end) but has grown into a small amusement park. When the fruit is in season, they offer fresh peach ice cream & wonderful raspberry sundaes. You can call ahead to find out what they've got (978-486-3891).

Hope you have a great time in Westford!