Archive for the ‘1’ Category

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You got $5?

April 22, 2010


Victoria Seafood isn’t located in Chinatown, it has two menus, and a lunch will only cost you $5. That’s right, $5. The surprising thing about this $5 meal deal is that it really isn’t bad, in fact, it can actually be crave worthy.

I admit, my first few trips were filled with bouts of negativity. I didn’t care for the egg fried rice, I didn’t like the egg drop soup, the crab rangoon was bland, etc. Over time and forced visits with friends, and I’ve actually come to love the place.

Offering 2 menus, the traditional Chinese food items you would expect to find in any of the Chinatown spots, or the cheap $5 lunch menu. Chock full of Americanized classics like Beef With Broccoli, Sesame Chicken, and Kung Pao Shrimp, there are 25 different main dishes to choose from, 3 different sides (I’m partial to the scallion lo mein), 2 soups (the hot and sour is my jam!) and 10 appetizers (who doesn’t love a good scallion pancake?), you will leave full and not even really missing that $6 or so you left behind.

The service is quick and generally done with a smile, and the place is relatively clean. Loaded will fish tanks full of crabs, lobsters, eel, and various fish; it kinda makes you want some! The twin lobster special is now $17, but it still provides folks a way of getting a lobster dinner for under $20.

If you are near Victoria during lunch hours, stop in, give it a try, there are by far worse ways to spend $5.

Victoria Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Cemita Heaven

March 28, 2010

I love tacos. I LOVE THEM. I can’t say this enough. For about a year I sold t-shirts that just had a picture of a taco on them. Who would have thought though going to a restaurant specializing in tacos, I would be wooed by their delicious non-taco items, in particular, the cemita. I’d never had a cemita before stepping foot into Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, but now I cannot get them off the brain.

A cemita is a Mexican sandwich that originated in the Puebla area. Layer upon layer of deliciousness is packed between a light sesame seed topped egg cemita bun. Black beans, chipotle adobo, cilantro, Oaxaca cheese, and avocado supply a wonderful compliment to the main filling of your choice. I am partial to the pork milanesa, breaded and fried pork, but there are 4 other options to choose from, including vegetarian options.

Seriously, sinking your teeth into this wonderful sandwich might change your life. I can’t think of any food that just stays in my mind as much as this. Assembled in such a manner that you get a little bit of each element in every bite, the flavor is a lot more complex than I would have expected, and I loved it. I think I could eat one of these things every day.

I also cannot leave out that Dorado might actually have the best tortilla chips in the Boston area. They have a lot of crunch, yet light, and lightly salted. They do have a spicy version available as well.

Now, in terms of deals, the price is under $6. Not too shabby. They also have a special every Wednesday where they have a fish taco for $2, or a taco plate for $5 including 2 tacos, rice, beans, and a charred jalapeno!

Take the trip to Dorado Tacos & Cemitas for a really great deal on some unbelievably great food.

Dorado Tacos & Cemitas on Urbanspoon

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All-You-Can-Eat Treat!

March 16, 2010


All-you-can-eat Sushi can seem like overkill, especially for a food that is not meant to be gorged upon but enjoyed for the way it increases the quality of your life.  And some of the sushi buffets I’ve been to in the past have offered some pretty low quality fish at extremely high prices.  Manna Sushi in Arlington, however, is offering a very welcome change by providing a decently priced, high quality all-you-can-eat sushi meal.

For the low price of $29.95 per person on Tuesday and Wednesday, you can do the all-you-can-eat dinner.  There are rules though, such as you can only order 5 things at a time, and you cannot leave any leftovers (if you do, you are charged a $5 fee).  While $30 per person might seem expensive, on my first plate alone I ate what would have been $35 worth of sushi.  Not only do they offer a great deal, but I have to say, it was better than most of the sushi I have become accustomed to at some of my favorite local haunts.  Each piece was made to order, and the freshness was noticeable.  The friendly staff offering up suggestions and keeping our glasses full were much appreciated.

Basically, if you want some of the best sushi around served by a friendly staff in a relaxing little restaurant, and want to eat a lot of it but not break the bank, Manna is the place to go. I can’t wait to go back in and try all the special rolls I couldn’t get to last time!

Manna Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Dosa Deals!

February 19, 2010


Having a craving for some Indian food recently, I found myself lured to the Dosa Factory, an Indian street food style restaurant located in the back of the Shalimar Indian Market. It was a pretty great overall experience, and the casual atmosphere combined with pretty fantastic food at a reasonable price will have me going back for more!

When choosing my dinner at The Dosa Factory, I felt pretty inclined to choose a dosa. Expecting a small, basically burrito sized crepe filled with potato, I chose the Masala Dosa, which was stuffed with potato and curry leaf spiced onions. When my order came up, much to my surprise, the dosa was about the size of my entire arm! Packed with flavor and served with a side of coconut chutney (which was bland and unnecessary) and a lentil sauce with a variety of hot peppers to dip in, this dosa hit the spot in a big way.

The paneer pakoras were a bit on the salty side, but were otherwise a great side to the meal. The surprise hit of the dinner though was the Kathi roll, which was a handheld burrito-esque roll up filled with paneer (and a meat if you like), mint chutney, salad and pickle. At a reasonable price, this fantastic little guy provided a lot of flavor in a small package.

So while the Dosa factory wasn’t the best Indian food I’ve ever had, it was a solid place. The shop out front has a pretty awesome selection for all your Indian shopping needs, and to have a tasty out of the way restaurant in the back really makes the trip worth it!
Dosa Factory on Urbanspoon
This is weird because the Dosa Factory is in fact NOT in the South End but is in Central Square, Cambridge.

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Oggi Is (still) Outragelous(ly delicious)

February 5, 2010

When I lived in JP, my roommate at the time would bring home the best pizza once a week. We just counted on once a week there being a pizza from Oggi right there on the kitchen table for, as he so politely put it, could rip into an Oggi pie. Sadly, the Oggi eventually closed up shop in JP and I went around thinking back to the days of delicious pizzas and low rent.

Move on to present day and Oggi has claimed Harvard Square as their new home (though they’ve been there for a while now) and allowed me to get this awesome pizza all over again! The best part is, it hasn’t changed a bit. The simple, outstanding thin crust with tomato, mozzarella, basil and garlic, sesame seeds and oil on the crust, its just the best pizza you can get. And every Monday they offer a 16” of this classic pizza for only $5! While their signature pies are great, they also have a rotating special every day, everything from bbq beef with a bright blue Bleu Cheese sauce to a mushrooms roasted in thyme, caramelized onion and yellow raisin balsamic black bean meatball pie.

So while I got my favorite pizza place back, it came with some upgrades. Now, Oggi has pressed sandwiches and burgers, as well as gourmet salads. For the burgers, you can get a Steve’s Special and get a burger with a different special topping each day and an order of fries for $5.99. It’s the same price to make it a veggie burger and a healthy side if you want too.

But the burgers are thick, flame seared patties on a soft toasted bun. The special toppings each day add variety, and the mushroom pickle and caramelized onions mixed into mayo on top of my lettuce, tomato and melted swiss was absolutely worth more than the $6. A friendly staff and a clean dining area made it all the better, but it was a bit odd at times to be eating in a walkway basically.

So if you are in Harvard Square and looking for a delicious, inexpensive, and fun dining experience, give Oggi a try! With their daily slice and burger specials, inexpensive Monday night pizza deal, Wednesday $5 burrito deal, and constantly rotating menu consisting of fresh and locally grown ingredients, it is definitely worth it to stop in and give it a try if you haven’t already.

Oggi Gourmet on Urbanspoon

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Harvard Sq. Pizza Deals

January 20, 2010


I feel like everyone knows Crazy Dough’s, but who knows, maybe some folks don’t?  It’s that pizza place in The Garage, or the one on Boylston near Berklee with the ever-changing variety of pizzas.  It’s got some great slices deals and the ever awesome $4 pitchers of PBR, but don’t expect to show up and get tanked without ordering food.

While at times the pizza can be hit or miss due to the selection or the staff, over the many years I’ve been hitting this spot I’ve had so many more good experiences to the few less than stellar ones.  Its hard to top the tasty $5 for two slices of cheese and a soda, but often times I spend the extra $2.50 for the gourmet slices.  Their BBQ Chicken pizza, while often something I’m not a fan of at other spots, always wins me over.  The buffalo chicken is also one of the better ones around.

So while not a perfect pizza spot, when you want something quick and cheap and are in Harvard Square, check it out, share a pitcher of beer (or get a Longtrail Double Bag), and enjoy the people watching in the Garage.

Crazy Dough's on Urbanspoon

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Zaps? ZAPS!

January 7, 2010

While “Try Something New” is the catchphrase that new Allston restaurant Zaps uses to get people to try their Zap sandwiches, it should be something more like “welcome back, old friend.” A Zap is an open faced toasty sandwich that comes from Poland apparently, and while I had never had one before my visit to this new shop, it felt like I had been eating these tasty treats my whole life.

Reminiscent of a French bread pizza, the Zap (short for zapiekanka) is a really great new lunch option, but I can see it being a great late night snack as well.  These crunchy, yet somehow soft, “sandwiches” are well over a foot long, and came in a variety of toppings.  For around $7, you can get a Zap of your choice, a bag of chips, and a beverage.  The friendly staff also pointed out that not only do they have a variety of sauces to top these savory sandwiches, but to give the garlic sauce a try.  It was little tips like this that really showcased what a cool little spot this is, and that garlic sauce was a wonderful addition to my already delicious zap.

The zaps themselves, boy do they do these things right (I would assume. Even if they are doing them wrong, they are doing them DELICIOUS!).  A little bit of crunch encases a soft, warm bread, topped with melted cheese and your choice of toppings.  While all the zaps come with a cheese/mushroom combo, you can top them with just about anything or try one of the signature zaps.  The Country has bacon and onion (and was super delicious), The Farmer has corn, ham and chives, and The Greek has feta, olives, and onions, just to name a few.  If you aren’t happy with these options (and you’d be crazy not to be), you can always customize and do something crazy like jalapenos, pineapples, and pesto (not recommended).

While Zaps is still new, it seems like they have ironed out most of the quirks.  The zaps take about 5 minutes to make, are a real decent price, and they even deliver via mixmenu.com (if you are into that kind of thing).  I hope this trend catches on, as these things are about as addictive as you can imagine, and are a much welcomed addition to the Allston area.

Zaps on Urbanspoon