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Is there anywhere North of Boston to see lots of flowering trees and catch lunch nearby?

To add, Tower Hill has a restaurant with a view from the top of the hill.

May 13, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Best wine shop close to Route 128?

Suggest looking up Upper Falls Discount Liquor on Needham Street in Newton. It's maybe a mile and a half from 128. Despite the name it's a proudly run place with a good selection.

May 08, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

May 2015 Openings and Closings

Not an opening but information: in the 5-7 Brookline Tab it says there's an application for a Chinese BBQ restaurant in the Village at 320 Washington, which is now Zen320 sushi. They have applied for a liquor license as The Barbecue Lamb Brothers d/b/a Wow Barbecue. I prefer the former name.

May 07, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing?

Yeah, it is. They'll probably rethink things as they watch the traffic.

May 01, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Italian Bakery

Bricco sells to restaurants because I see them packing bags with restaurant names on them. And people come by to pick up large orders.

Apr 26, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Something Chowish near Marlborough?

FYI, the menu changes often. They always have some form of duck and a few other things. And there are always specials. We were there last weekend and they had a salmon banh mi (with pork belly) that was, I was told frequently, delicious. I had a cheeseburger pizza special, which was very good. If they ever have the Steak Bomb pizza/flat bread, order it. Really well thought out and better than any actual steak bomb by far.

They have some really interesting beers.

Apr 15, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Mandatory 20% at Select?

Since one of my kids works in restaurants on the West Coast, I've heard a lot about how awful customers can be and how a few bad tables, particularly large ones, that don't tip - properly or at all - throws off the income of every server (and runners, hosts, etc.). Tips are unfortunately not consistently related to service quality. I'm not saying cheapness is the entire issue; it appears many times people have spent to their budget for that night so they omit a big chunk of the tip. If asked, I know that people feel their lack of contribution is made up by other tables.

I would prefer a system of a cover/mandatory tip amount like in Europe, but we tend to lack the belief that serving is a real job which earns an actual income and can be done in a professional manner. I tend to believe a coperto, etc. goes with treating serving as a profession.

Apr 06, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Something Chowish near Marlborough?

Rail Trail is very good.

Apr 05, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Not going to argue these are the "best", whatever that is, but as a non-ice cream eater generally I really like Athan's gelato and Abbott's chocolate almond frozen custard.

Apr 05, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Frozen Four at the Garden

You mean the ND no-names; they had to get rid of the Native American references a few years ago and I don't think they've picked a replacement.

Mar 30, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Frozen Four at the Garden

It's go BU in this one

Mar 30, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pizza

Emphasize that Panelli's is really good. They care deeply about pizza. They are 20" pies. I've only had the mushroom mix and the bbq chicken - with their own bbq sauce - and both were excellent.

Mar 28, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Go To Thai?

To mention a few different places, because I'm lazy and my gym is nearby, for simple pleasures like various noodles I go to MJ Ready in the Arcade in Coolidge Corner. For sit down, I tend toward Brown Sugar, notably the Thai specialties listed somewhere in the back of the vast menu. Looking forward to trying Pon in the Village.

Mar 27, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Ma Po Tofu

There's also, believe it or not, a pre-made version sold at Super 88. It's vegan and if you add some spices it's better than a lot of restaurants make. Brand is Soy Kitchen.

Mar 22, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Ma Po Tofu

Try it everywhere. A version with more oil is at Fuloon. I don't mean greasy; it's really good. Sichuan Garden in Brookline makes a decent version, sort of what I think of as middle of the road. Sichuan Gourmet can be lighter, a bit more delicate and tangy with sichuan peppercorns. Unless it's a brown sauce version - the generic brown sauce of bad Chinese-American food - it's good and varies enough from place to place for you to discover.

Mar 22, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Saltwater Taffy in the Offseason

Tucks is the best.

Feb 23, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Costco or BJ's membership?

We've had both and there are both stores within a mile of each other. We prefer Costco by far. They have a different orientation; they see themselves as "curating" -their word - a limited selection of goods for members. When I would compare goods, I'd generally find Costco had better quality stuff, particularly but not limited to food.

Feb 07, 2015
lergnom in Chains

What to do with huge bag of frozen tiny shrimp?

Make risotto, add the shrimp at the end.

Feb 07, 2015
lergnom in Home Cooking
1

Business lunch in Brighton?

There's IHOP if you want different flavors of pseudo syrup!!

Feb 05, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

A Question for the Dragon-Mouths !

The sichuan peppercorns in Xian sometimes drench the dish. My experience and my kid's is you eat how ever many you want because there can be way more than plenty. I think of them as peppercorns like you might get with steak au poivre; you may eat some but it's pepper so it's more for flavoring. When the sichuan peppercorns are fresher, they can be tender.

BTW, I use the jar of them for snacking. A few are enough.

Jan 29, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

A Question for the Dragon-Mouths !

I think a lot of it depends on the dish. In some dishes, chilis are more of a flavoring garnish but in others they are an essential ingredient. Say you order a dish that's called chicken with chilis - a version is sometimes found called mountain chicken (difference is the latter has some coating on the chicken). The dish is essentially a pile of diced chicken and chilis. If you don't eat the chilis, it isn't much in the way of food. You can eat a little or a lot. I've had that dish with the chilis served hard and not hydrated and I've had it with the chilis soft and flavorful. The difference to me is they took the time in the better version to hydrate the chilis and cut some of them up. The first, to me, is like when you order chow foon or pan fried noodles and they don't even bother to separate the noodles but dumped a block in.

Jan 29, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

A Question for the Dragon-Mouths !

I think most places know the customers aren't going to eat the chilis so they don't care if they're tender.

Jan 28, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

A Question for the Dragon-Mouths !

The issue isn't the heat but the gastric distress the next day. I used to be able to eat all the peppers but now I limit myself to a few.

When my kid lived in Xian, she said you got used to people complaining about their stomach problems from eating too many hot peppers. Tastes great but you pay the next day!

Where to buy Scotch in Boston?

While walking through Wegmans liquor store in Chestnut Hill, I stopped by the scotch selection. About 20 different single malt brands with different ages for most plus various blends.

Jan 23, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Where to buy Scotch in Boston?

Upper Falls Liquor on Needham Street in Newton.
Martinetti's on Soldier's Field Road in Brighton. May be the biggest selection around.
Costco has a small selection, mostly of larger bottles (like a big Dewars).

I tend to buy scotch in NH.

Jan 19, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Bans Tips, Will Pay Servers A Livable Wage

A restaurant in Boston's Chinatown prohibited tips but found that non-Chinese customers ignored the signs. So they changed them to Chinese language only. Same reason: they paid their staff more.

Jan 10, 2015
lergnom in Food Media & News

Chinese Tea in the 'burbs?

Along with others, I've been an Upton buyer for years. I also buy from Cardullo's; they have a large variety and places like that need to be supported. Last bought a large-ish container of lapsang souchong, which I split it with one of my kids.

Jan 08, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

How do you pronounce your foreign food phrases?

I won't say "gowda" instead of "gooda" or "Firenze" instead of "Florence - though the latter bothers me - because I try (unsuccessfully) to not be a jerk.

I've learned that American Italian is expected and that proper Italian may be corrected. Eh, wha' you gonna do?

I admit to sometimes putting on a heavy fake Canadian accent just to annoy my Canadian friends.

Jan 03, 2015
lergnom in Food Media & News

Babka in Boston?

Just to note: Green's babka is kosher pareve, meaning no dairy. That includes the chocolate. Lots of chocolate, no butter.

Jan 02, 2015
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Scientifically invalid techniques/principles?

Yes, more you chop/slice, the more aromatic oil is released.

Jan 01, 2015
lergnom in General Topics