DGrubs's Recent Reviews
National Margarita day is coming up on the 22nd. Most people are going to post about where you can go get drinks to celebrate the day (oh, you can go into Margaritas Feb 19-22 to get Presidential margaritas for only $5). Here’s what I’m going to post about: kids eating free, all you can eat Taco Tuesdays, and late night specials.
Each Margaritas location has its own special promotion nights, here is a quick summary (head to the website for full location details):
Starting March 7th, in Revere, kids will eat free on the weekends. Get two free kids meals with the purchase of an entree. (kids = under 10)
In Weymouth, kids eat free every day!!
So what’s on the kids menu? burgers, grilled chicken, chicken or beef burrito, chicken fingers, or fajitas (to name a few). Kids also get to pick one side: corn • diced pineapple • diced cucumber •
orange wedges • fries • beans • Mexican rice • diced avocado.
Other special promotions include late night specials: Enjoy $6 Appetizers including Guacamole, Queso, Chicken Baby Chimis, Jalapeño Baby Chimis, Jack Crisp, Hector’s Quesadilla and Tomato & Garlic Nachos from 9pm to close.
Everyone loves all you can eat Taco Tuesday: For just $9.99 – you get three Beef or Chicken tacos (hard shell or soft shell) and they are served with beans and Mexican rice. Then, we’ll keep the tacos coming until you’ve had your fill.
What are my favorite things at Margaritas? Well the Mexican street corn is delicious, served with chipotle aioli and quest fresco. For my entree, I do love the enchiladas (you can get chicken or beef) that come with Mexican rice and beans. Let’s talk desserts: Sopapillas: Mexican fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar. Served warm with honey for dipping; the churros: cinnamon sugar coated pastries served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce or honey, the fried ice cream: vanilla ice cream with a crushed pretzel shell, covered in chocolate sauce, honey or both.
So why are you still reading? Get out to Margaritas and get your tacos and margaritas on! Where are the locations: Framingham, Lexington, Medford, Methuen, Northborough, Revere, Waltham and Weymouth.
This past weekend I braved the snowmageddon weather to head over to Wilson Farm to check out their Chocolate Fest. That’s right, will travel for chocolate. There were a bunch of brands sampling on Saturday, including some goodies from Wilson Farm’s own kitchen (oh but that chocolate mousse!). Don’t worry mom, I glanced at the vegetables while I was there too, just for balance
So Harbor Sweets, one of my favorites, was there sampling their sweet sloops (photo left). Sweet Sloops are almond butter crunch toffee covered in white chocolate, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with pecans. I decided to take home a different kind of chocolate this time, you know, diversify. I went with the Barque Sarah, named after a three masted sailing ship to commemorate Salem’s maritime history. Milk chocolate with whole roasted almonds…so good!
Another company that I hadn’t heard of before, Barú, was sampling their marshmallows. They come in flavors like dark chocolate sea salt caramel marshmallows, dark chocolate raspberry marshmallows and milk chocolate covered marshmallows. In addition to making marshmallows, they have adorable little mini chocolate hippos filled with things like hazelnut truffle, milk chocolate honey almond or dark chocolate sea salt caramel.
Pure Sugar Candy was there sampling their delicious treats that come in the most adorable shapes – think footballs and little rubber duck lollipops. Stacey has a number of flavors to choose from: coconut, cake batter, pink grapefruit, apple and cinnamon to name a few.
And Boston Bon Bon was sampling their French macarons. There are so many flavors to choose from:
Lemon Custard, Earl Grey, Green Tea Latte, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Thai Iced Tea, Black Sesame Tiramisu, Taro Fudge, Coconut Caramel Flan, Chocolate Nutella, Salted Caramel, Lavender Honey, Creme Brulee, Rose, Orange Blossom, Coconut Peach Cobbler, Lychee Yogurt, Lemon Coconut, Blueberry(df), Black Raspbery Rose(df), Lavender Peach, Strawberry Peppercorn, Hisbiscus Tea, Apricot(df), Golden Peach(df), Mango Lassi(df), Vanilla Creme,White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate.
Personally the lemon was my favorite of the bunch.
Didn’t have a chance to make it out to Wilson Farm for Chocolate Fest? No worries, they carry great brands year round. Did you know that they have an award winning bakery? They make cookies, bread, muffins, pies etc. all in house. I’m told the apple cider donuts are not to be missed. I picked up some of their home made chili and a Shepherd pie (there was a snowstorm going on outside after all) which were delicious. I need to go back soon to wander through the aisles.
Leah and I visited Dumpling Palace a while back, so when Dumpling Kingdom, their sister restaurant, opened in Allston, we were excited to check them out (with our gal pal Kim too). Owner Zengqi Lui and Executive Chef Peter Wang also run Dumpling Cafe in Chinatown. Parking is a little better at Dumpling Kingdom, with a lot out back and street parking. The restaurant was pretty spacious (it is the largest of the three restaurants and holds about 85 people) and we had the place to ourselves – a weekday early lunch! They have a few large fish tanks in the back with live lobsters and fish along with an ENORMOUS crab! Service was on point, our waiter gave us some good suggestions and checked in with us throughout the meal.
I love the rice cake noodles here. I order them where ever I go and these are quite tasty – the pork and vegetable combination gives this dish great flavors. All the dumplings we had were delicious, each in their own way. The pan fried dumplings were flavorful and cooked perfectly. The skins on the wontons were just the right thickness (I hate dumplings that are too bready) and the filing was good. The soup dumplings, Xiao Long Bao, were a star, they were just the perfect salty (pork) goodness that warms you up on a chilly day.
It feels like I haven’t had Sunday brunch with friends in forever! I was glad to head out to il Casale in Belmont for a day out with some great ladies that I haven’t seen in some time. Our meal started off with these delicious chocolate biscotti, dipped in chocolate. How could chocolate dipped in chocolate ever be bad?
Just to balance things out, we also had the macedonia di frutta, a seasonal fruit salad $12. (with prosciutto di Parma, an additional $7)
These delicious fig pastries were a hit at the table – they were gone in the blink of an eye! Brunch is served every Sunday from 11:30am – 2:30pm and they have some great live music!
No brunch would be complete without a little day drinking. Their Bloody Mary is impressive, made with vodka, il Casale’s fra diavolo mix, castelvetrano olives, celery salt $12. I had the grapefruit flower, which was elder flower liqueur, white grapefruit, and prosecco $12. Sweet but not too sweet, a really nice smooth citrus flavor. The roses fizz was my second choice, made with lemony vodka, cranberry, prosecco, and orange peel $12.
Uova in “purgatorio”, fried eggs in “purgatory”, spicy tomato sugo $12. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. Can we also just note how delicious that bread looks!
Of course I ordered the tagliatelle alla Bolognese, classic meat ragù from Emilia Romagna $26. This is one of my top bolognese picks – so delicious. I get it every time. I fell in love with this just before my wedding and we actually held our rehearsal dinner at Dante, il Casale’s sister restaurant in Cambridge.
Benedetto (all Benedicts served on grilled Pugliese bread with hollandaise and home fries) this one is the fiorentina with sautéed spinach $14. Just a bright, clean, healthy dish.
The toast….alla Francese, is brioche French toast, cinnamon-vanilla batter, butter gelato, and crispy pancetta $16. So many wonderful things going on in this dish, totally different level of French toast. First, butter gelato?!?! Yes, cold and it had little bits of butter in it, would be perfect to put right on the French toast and let it melt. Can we talk about pancetta that is in little circle discs? Umm…pretty sure that makes pancetta taste better. Now, if I can only figure out how to get someone to make me pancetta this way at home…
S.L.T. which is Nova Scotia smoked salmon, lettuce & tomato bruschetta, mascarpone, and served with a side of rosemary fries $16. The fries are PERFECTION. Crispy, thin, just the right amount of salt. How beautiful does that smoked salmon look?
The tortino al granchio are house made crab cakes, with a panzanella salad, and lemon-caper aioli $16. The crab cakes were so light and perfectly crisp. The salad was delicious, it almost stole the show! Wait, did I just say that?!?
And last but not least the pollo alla marengo, sauteed chicken breast, crispy pancetta, fried egg, and a mushroom cream sauce $18. Serious comfort food here, and again, those crispy pancetta rounds!!
Our meal ended with a shot of Limonio – a bright, not too sweet lemon flavored drink.
Waltham is on fire with new restaurants. One of the newest additions is Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located right off of I-95 on Totten Pond Road. I was excited to get a sneak preview of the space with the designer herself, Taniya Nayak. Nayak is a Boston native, and you may know her from one of her many appearances on HGTV and Food Network. She started her own firm in 2005 and has designed spaces like Back Bay Harry’s, Petit Robert Central, 88 Wharf, Bostonia Public House, and Lola’s Cantina to name a few.
The light fixtures here are amazing, they really set the mood for the room. Nayak points out the subtle nod to the historic watch factories in Waltham with the mirrors. The space is sophisticated yet approachable. In addition to the main dining room and bar area, there is a beautiful private room with full multimedia capabilities.
How romantic is this cozy nook for two?
The bar area is a perfect place for after work drinks. They have an amazing happy hour food menu at the bar. You can get a prime burger and fries for $9 (that’s USDA prime meat!!) or a steak sandwich and fries for only $9. See the menu below. The happy hour menu is available Sunday – Friday from 4pm – 6:30pm at the bar.