Monday, October 5, 2015

Hot Pot and more at the Purple Bamboo in Billerica

I've been driving by Purple Bamboo, a new restaurant in Billerica on my commute for a few weeks now. The restaurant recently opened up in August in an awkward location on 3A near McDonalds/Stelios.

I finally got a chance to visit for a birthday celebration with 6 other girls on a Fall Sunday evening. The restaurant has a main dining area with a bar as well as a separate dining room featuring tables with built in burners for hot pot.  Hot Pot or "Shabu Shabu"  or "Sukiyai" isn't a new concept but the popularity is growing.  Boston's Chinatown alone features many eateries with the nabemono style of eating with restaurants like all you can eat Hot Pot Buffet, Shabu Zen and The Q.  The "cook your own" meal features a variety of meats, seafood and veggies that you can choose to cook and simmer on your own tabletop served alongside with other noodles and condiments.

Purple Bamboo Hot Pot Buffet and other entrees

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Foundry in Davis Square

The Foundry French Picnic Plate $21.00
It was a Sunday afternoon and the Pat's weren't playing so when Jill texted us to join in on some day-drinking at a bar in Davis Square, I was quick to agree.  I think I was super happy when I was able to score an on-street parking right in the smack of Davis Square.  Sure, there was some parallel parking involved and a tiny bit of anxiety but I was literally a stone throw's away from the bar.

We were seated in  high top booth in the corner of the front windows where we could people watch. We watch a band come marching down in their polka dot gear playing a variety of instruments.  ( I looked it up later and it was the "School of Honk" where they parade the streets of Davis Square every Sunday between 3-5 PM, playing "loud lively music for fun and inspiration."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Express lunch at Romano's Kitchen counter

I've actually never eaten at Romano's Macaroni Grill before but I received a great email deal for lunch.  The special was 2 lunches for $10.00 from their Romano's kitchen counter menu.  It's a different approach to a seated lunch.  You arrive, look at the menu, order and pay then sit.  When the food is ready, it's brought out to your table.  There is still a server that gets water and sets the table.

Macaroni Grill Lunch Bolognese $7.00

The menu consists of 2 salads, a variety of sandwiches served on fresh ciabatta bread, calzones and a handful of pasta entrees.  Since the price is so cheap, they charge a buck for their delicious "Rosemary Peasant Bread" (which is HUGE) and you can also get cookies, chips, side salads and tiramisu at an additional small cost.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Korean Dinner at Seoul Kitchen in Westford

We wanted to celebrate Dary's milestone 21st birthday over some nice cocktails and dinner so we headed over to The Sunset Tiki Bar in Westford.  Stupid us, we never made reservations and the wait would be over an hour and a half during prime dinner time.  Since we were starving, we opted not to wait and check out other places nearby.

After a few google searches for "sushi", we found Seoul Kitchen a few miles away serving, "creative sushi, traditional Korean and craft cocktails."  The restaurant was pretty busy when we arrived. Diners enjoyed the warm summer weather on the patio while imbibing pints of imported beers.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bachelorette party at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch & Spa in Scottsdale

Hyatt Gainey Adults Pool
I love any reason to get away so I was super stoked to be going to Lisa's bachelorette party weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Everyone thought we were nuts, "I'ts going to be soooo hot!", "You guys are crazy!" "What are you going to do in 100 degree weather?!!" Despite all the doubt, we continued on with the plan and settled on Scottsdale in mid July weather. Plus, all the hotels in Scottsdale were running specials, we got the third night free at the Hyatt.

Salad # 17: Pineapple habanero crab cake

Crab cake avocado corn salad

I love crab cakes but ordering them at restaurants can get really expensive. I'm pretty sure I paid $16.00 for ONE SINGLE piece of crab cake at Del Frisco's Grille before. Yup, I was SUPER PISSED.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rainy days calls for pho at Cilantro in Woburn

When it rains, nothing cheers me up more than a nice hot bowl of Pho, a traditional favorite Vietnamese noodle soup. I'm spoiled by the many options in the Lowell area with so many local mom and pop shops but it's quite a different story near my work in Burlington, MA. I've been quite loyal to Pho 1 Woburn but sometimes the parking and wait just doesn't cut it.

Lg. Pho with rare steak and meatballs at Cilantro

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Girl's Night out at Strega Prime in Woburn

I received an email invite for dinner and was sold at "RESTAURANT WEEK. Yup, count me in for dinner with 7 other girls at Strega Prime in Woburn. I'm no newbie to the restaurant but it's always fun to get out with the girls, take some tequilla shots, let our hair down and converse about things we probably shouldn't discuss at the dinner table.

For the Boston restaurant week special, Strega Prime was offering a 3 course dinner menu for $38.00. Starters included chilled corn soup, caprese salad and smoke tuna tartare.  For dinner entrees, patrons could choose between the 6 oz filet, grilled salmon, cornish hen or pappardelle.  The two dessert options were chocolate cream pie and creme brulee.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Amore Mondays at Carrabba's Italian Grill in Tynbsboro

The Mo and I have never dined at a Carrabba's restaurant before.  We were in the area after stocking up on some goods at Costco down the street and wanted to grab dinner before heading home.  He found a credit card offer for $10.00 off $25.00 or more so we headed to Carrabbas's Italian Grill in Tynbsboro.

The restaurant was pretty busy for a Monday night.  Our server greeted us and gave us our menus and to our surprise, there was an "Amore Monday" special with prix fixe selections that include a full size appetizer, soup or salad, entree or dessert (in lieu of the app) starting at only $12.99. What a steal! Not only do we get 3 courses, we also have the coupon! (Not to mention the free bread basket!)

At first I thought the appetizers would be on the smaller side, but once the calamari and caprese were brought to our table, I realized I was wrong.  The calamari was OK but the caprese salad was amazing.  I love the contrasting course black pepper and salt with the sweet balsamic glaze.

Carrabba's calamari 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Salad # 16: Loaded Wedge salad with bacon and more

This is going to be short because I'm a bit embarrassed this is considered a salad. It's high in fat, calories and it has no nutritional value. Even the "green" stuff called iceberg lettuce doesn't really have much to it. Despite all of that, I still LOVE it and it's one of my favorite staples at a steakhouse.

My version includes iceberg lettuce, lots of bacon, balsamic glaze, olives, red onion, Danish blue cheese and of course extra blue cheese dressing.  Sometimes I like to be fancy and throw on some sliced scallions for garnish.

Mami- Eggroll's loaded wedge salad