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Extra for Bleu Cheese dressing -- a Boston thing?

Kennedy's Pub in Marlboro charges 50 cents extra.

Dec 26, 2012
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Shelf life of boxed pasta?

I use up spaghetti within days or weeks of buying it, because my preferred pasta shape is spaghetti (pasta shape preference might be another topic, but I digress...). Anyway, I was wondering about the shelf life of boxed pasta. It just seems like it shouldn't go bad, but there could be a reason to toss it that I don't know about. I also realize that it's a cheap item that can be replaced easily, but I'm curious. I've got a few boxes that I've had for over a year now. How long do you hang onto a half-used box of pasta before you toss it?

Mar 31, 2010
ns538bmk in General Topics

Looking for a Wine Merchant / Liquor Store Northwest Suburbs

Bacons' Spirits in Hudson, ask for Michael, "The Wine Guy" (according to Mapquest, it's 20 minutes south on 495). They also do some terrific semi-annual wine tastings. I agree about Colonial, I stop there strictly for convenience.

Feb 24, 2010
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Best Liquor (and wine) Stores in Greater Boston

I'll put in a plug for Bacon's Spirits in Hudson. They have a good and varied selection of wine and beer (can't vouch for the hard stuff, it's there but I don't drink it). Their annual wine tasting (coming up mid-November) is always mobbed. Michael is their 'wine guy' and is a great resource to match people's preferences with the right wine.

Nov 09, 2009
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Finger Lakes trip in Oct

Good recs and a good game plan, njguy99.

Red Newt on the east side of Seneca has some great wine and a great restaurant. Lakewood on the west side of Seneca is one of our favorites. It's hard to go wrong for the tasting price anywhere.

Beware of visiting on an October weekend however - the tasters we chatted with last week said it's an incredible mob scene during foliage season.

JoJo"s Maynard ma

A group of us went today for lunch. The parking lot has been pretty full around dinnertime so we thought we'd give it a try. Must say we were underwhelmed. The service was fine. More TVs on than in Best Buy, a little loud but not bad, we could converse OK. While nobody had anything exceedingly bad to say about their meals, and everybody finished their food, everything was pretty forgettable, even for sports bar pub food. The burgers looked pre-formed rather than hand-made. The steak pizza was on flatbread, without a char or any kind of browning. One burger was delivered with onion rings instead of the requested fries, the burger reappeared with no rings and no fries (but the fries did come out piping hot in a few minutes). Two of us ordered a glass of house wine. There was no wine listed on the drinks menu and our bad, we did not ask the price - but $10 per glass? In Maynard? And they ran out of iced tea (this was before 1PM). That kind of did it, we all thought it had been worth a try but we won't be going back again.

Sep 04, 2009
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Christopher's, Maynard


I'm never sure where the Boston board ends and the New England board begins... :-)

Christopher's, Maynard

There seem to be renovations going on, the grapevine says the space is going to become some kind of sports bar.

Christopher's, Maynard

Passed by this morning and I saw brown paper covering the inside of the front windows, so I guess it's closed. I did like sitting at the bar but that was about it. The one time we tried it for dinner we were not too impressed.

Herb Lyceum, Groton

Went recently - interesting experience but kind of falls into the 'been there done that' category. I'm not sorry we chose the place but I doubt we'll be going back.

The food was OK, but somehow the menu description set an expectation that the actual food didn't quite live up to (for me anyway). Amuse was a deviled egg with crabmeat. Wild boar meatballs were simply good meaty meatballs. White bean soup with winter vegetables was more like winter vegetable soup with a few white beans. Duck was wrapped in bacon - now I NEVER turn down bacon but I ended up leaving most of it because it was a bit thick and I wanted the room for the duck (the duck was not fatty and cooked properly). Warm apple crisp and a cheese plate to finish - by then a little too full to really appreciate the cheese, which was quite good. All in all not a bad meal - but it didn't have that little extra something that I was hoping for.

There is a large room for about 20 and a small room for 8, nicely decorated in upscale herbal/farmhouse decor. Warm cider was provided when we arrived, and plenty of glassware for our BYOB wine. The hostess/owner was very insistent that we were NOT to sit down before the 7PM dinner but we were supposed to mingle. We would NOT be served any earlier if we sat down. Many times we were reminded that we were there to have a ENJOY the food and the company.

The service was very good. I did point out to the hostess/owner that the dishes were stone-cold (not the food, but the dishes themselves) - this really cooled the food off much too fast. The chef came out to the tables to discuss each dish as it was being served, but his people skills were a bit rough around the edges.

Kind of pricey at $55/per, but we did know that ahead of time as well as what we'd be served, so no complaints there. I did like the opportunity to BYOB. I think going with a larger (6-8) group would work best here. It didn't seem like a couples place to me.

This isn't intended to warn people away, just providing some feedback. I didn't hate the place, I just wasn't wowed enough to go again. If I plan to be in the area I'll go back to Gibbet Hill.

What did your Mom always have on hand, that you NEVER do?

Cadbury's milk chocolate bars
Pickled beets
Canned salmon
Potato Buds
Instant coffee
Instant creamer
Those peppermint candies with the red/white swirl

Dec 16, 2008
ns538bmk in General Topics

Good news for Boston wine lovers

Hmmm... then am I misunderstanding this article? My interpretation was that the ruling would eliminate those two obstacles provided it actually happens (sharing treb's upthread cynicism)...


Dec 02, 2008
ns538bmk in Food Media & News

Herb Lyceum, Groton

2008: Resurrecting an old post... has anybody been here lately? Same question as the OP except we do NOT want to head into Boston. The December menu looks interesting and BYOB does appeal to us.

Sudbury, MA with the mother-in-law

Sudbury has a few OK restaurants but as you've noted - a lot of Chinese/Thai/Japanese, not so much traditional fare.

I think if the Wayside Inn looks expensive to you, the Coach Grill will not be an option, especially for dinner. I love CG but even I only go for brunch. I wouldn't rule out the Wayside Inn right off the bat.

Another option for very basic fare might be the Marlborough Country Club. Not what I would call chowish in the least, but it might fit your narrow parameters. Unfortunately the menu isn't on their website but I recall you get a fruit shrub, maybe a soup or salad, entree and a small dessert for a fairly reasonable price.

I'm a Potluck FAILURE

The night before the department potluck I panfry sweet Italian sausages, peppers and onions. Cut up the sausages into bite size pieces. Refrigerate. The next morning drain off any liquid and toss everything in the crockpot. Plug in on low until potluck time. Buy a small package of mini sub rolls (not everybody wants the bread but some do). Three years running I've been asked to make this as it disappears every time. Not especially a holiday dish but it's super simple.

Nov 07, 2008
ns538bmk in Home Cooking

Finger lakes advice needed

We just got back from Seneca Lake, and stayed at the new Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Quite pricey but it's a beautiful hotel with great service, super views, and it's a perfect location to easily get to Geneva, Elmira, and Corning in less than an hour. We did not eat at the restaurant, but we went to:

Seneca Harbor Station - about 20 steps from the hotel. Food was very average to mediocre, but the proximity after a long drive and the view made it worth it.

Veraisons - Nice atmosphere, service and food were good but not super memorable. I had a lobster dish (that I thought was very reasonably priced and was pretty good) and DH had a filet. We were pleased but it's not exactly to die for.

Danos - kind of on the fence about this one. Service was erratic because there was only one waitress for the whole room - she did a terrific job but the unavoidable delays were noticeable. We had a Viennese bento box and schnitzle that we couldn't finish, some items were very good (schnitzle, sausage, spreads) and others that were meh (undercooked potato salad).

Suzanne - very good, I had duck breast that was cooked perfectly. Bob the co-owner made a point to visit with everybody.

Red Newt - we had lunch there that was probably the best meal of all, mostly because it was an unexpected surprise. Red pepper and white bean soup, pesto ravioli, chicken salad with apple and walnut sandwich. We also each had a 3 glass wine flight. Great views, great service.

Wineries visited (and bought bottles at all):

Fox Run
Red Tail
Anthony Road
Castel Grisch
Red Newt
Lamoreaux Landing

There's lots of wineries left on Seneca to visit, and we never made it to Keuka or Cayuga, so we gotta get back here... :-)

Sep 30, 2008
ns538bmk in Wine

Turning Stone Casino and Surrounding Areas

I can reply to myself since I've now been there. As Jshatan says, full service is provided, arrive at the restaurant with your bottle and it will be taken care of.. But it is pretty weird to see all of those nicely furnished bars and lounges that look like ghost towns.

We tried Peach Blossom, no complaints with the service or the food. The beef in the spicy beef and broccoli was a little tough but overall the dish was tasty, as was the hot and sour soup. Also went to Pino Bianco and again, no complaints, portion sizes were quite large. If there's a next time I'd like to try Wildflowers (and stay in the Lodge, it was beautiful).

ISO: Spicy white bean recipe?

Sorry - I hadn't checked back since I did not get any replies.... let's try one more time!

Sep 30, 2008
ns538bmk in Home Cooking

Small Plates, Harvard Square - Needs to train waitstaff

We went to Small Plates last night for a light pre-concert meal.

Yes, there was only one anchovy on the caesar salad, even though the menu says 'anchovies'. The salad was shredded into very small pieces which were a bit hard to get onto the fork. We also had the beef satay with an excellent chutney and the soba noodles with shrimp. While I realize that we would be getting 'small plates', I just felt that for the price point I would have liked 1-2 more bites per plate. A second piece of the excellent bread took care of things for me.

We also encountered the fruit fly episode mentioned upthread.

For the most part the two of us were the only people in the restaurant during most of our meal. We saw a number of people walk down the alley and seem to be puzzled as to if they should continue on to the back of the building or if this was indeed the entryway. We did this ourselves too. I wonder if they lost some business because of this.

Aug 14, 2008
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Turning Stone Casino and Surrounding Areas

Could you explain how TS manages the BYOB process? Do you have to give advance notice or just show up with your bottle? I know I can just call and ask (and probably will) but it's helpful to hear from somebody who has actually been a guest there.

Massachusetts: Sales tax on wine?

Thanks Winer - sand has been pounded. They finally did agree with us this morning and the tax (already charged to our credit card) will be refunded. But we can't be the first or only people to have this happen, the WGBH wine auction has been going on for years. Maybe this was a fluke but I do wonder....

Jun 06, 2008
ns538bmk in Wine

Massachusetts: Sales tax on wine?

I don't recall ever paying sales tax on wine I've purchased at a liquor store in Massachusetts (and I'm no stranger to buying wine). But we are holding the winning bid on some wine offered in the WGBH auction (our PBS affiliate in Boston), and they are charging us 5% sales tax. I find conflicting information on the Mass Dept of Revenue site. WGBH simply tells us wine is taxable in Massachusetts. Can anybody from Mass shed some light on this?

Jun 05, 2008
ns538bmk in Wine

Quarterdeck in Maynard - Gone?

Partial scoop - restaurant has changed hands, the fish/seafood market is still there. Haven't heard anything about the new restaurant itself yet.


Duck legs - where can I buy them (MetroWest)?

Thanks. Good to know I'm not alone! I rarely find myself inside 128 so I'm hoping to find a place that carries them out my way. But I'll keep Wilson Farms in mind, that's occasionally a neighborhood I might be passing through and it would be worth a stop.

May 13, 2008
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Duck legs - where can I buy them (MetroWest)?

I used to be able to get packaged fresh duck legs and breasts but lately I can't find any. I'm in the Hudson/Maynard area so I realize I'm living in a culinary wasteland, but I used to see them occasionally at Hannaford and Whole Foods. No more. Is there some kind of a problem with carrying fresh duck or am I just out of luck unless I venture inside 128?

May 12, 2008
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

More CH demographics

I am 49 and I've lived my whole life about 30 miles west of Boston. My mother was the cook and very competent, but not particularly adventurous. Plenty good enough so that I was a pretty chubby kid for a long time :-). I wasn't exposed to much else as I was an only child of parents that didn't socialize, only ate at a very limited number of local restaurants, and had no relatives in the US.

My ex was even less inclined to try new or different things. Americanized chinese food was about as far out as he would ever go, generally he was more into hot dogs and beans, peanut butter sandwiches, pork chops smothered in Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, Kraft mac and cheese (but I do love that myself - oops), Burger King, that type of thing.

So until I was about 30 I really had not gotten 'into' food much. Then I met my wonderful husband and wow - what a difference. I remember on our first vacation together, he took me to a Japanese restaurant and ordered sake and sushi. I told him I'd try it (still trying to impress of course) but if I couldn't deal with it would he be able to finish it? Well when he tells this story today he makes it sound like he had to arm-wrestle me to get at any of the food. (And he ordered stuff like urchin and eel - not California rolls!) A few weeks later he surprised me with cream of cauliflower soup that he made from scratch - heavenly. Wasn't long before I was eating things even he wasn't up for, like skate and soft shell crab and quail eggs.

So my turning point was a bit later than a lof of CHers, but I'm so glad it happened because in hindsight I wonder how much deliciousness I could have missed out on!

Apr 21, 2008
ns538bmk in Not About Food

TD Banknorth Garden tonight

Our first time there - we have tickets to the Sports Deck to see the Celtics tonight. We are coming in from Maynard via the T after work so we won't have time to find dinner before the game. I've been searching for reviews but mostly folks are looking for a place to eat outside of the Garden before or after an event. Are the concessions any good? Has anybody eaten at the Sports Deck? Thanks in advance for any tips.

Dec 21, 2007
ns538bmk in Greater Boston Area

Roasted Carrots & Parsnips

I had never cooked parsnips and carrots myself until this week. I didn't do them in the oven but in a foil packet on the grill. I cut everything to about the same size. At indirect medium (which I think is about 350) we did them for about 10-12 minutes, turning a couple of times. Just some dried herbs, butter and a little liquid, and they came out fine. I actually like the idea of olive oil and rosemary, I will try that next time instead of butter. Having the leftovers tonight!

Nov 21, 2007
ns538bmk in Home Cooking

Again today... Boards...down arrow... problem

And again - fixed. Don't get it.

Nov 20, 2007
ns538bmk in Site Talk

Again today... Boards...down arrow... problem

Can't find my post from yesterday so one more time - using the down arrow triangle to the right of Boards is again producing Whoops 404 page not found. Again the word /blog is in the address where it doesn't belong.

Nov 20, 2007
ns538bmk in Site Talk