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Poll: your top 3 chow eats this week (away from home)...

My top 3, in order from merely great to truly sublime were:

3. toasted lobster roll from the Clambake in Ipswich: at $12.99 (sans french fries) this was an incredible bargain: perfectly buttered/toasted roll overflowing with a no-frills lobster salad; heavy on the meat, light on the mayo; added a bit of hot sauce for extra punch

2. Valrhona bittersweet chocolate ice cream cone at Christina's: incredible flavor and texture; best ice cream experience all summer

1. tofu banh mi from Mei Sum bakery (thanks to Chowhound recs for this one): this was my first banh mi ever, so I've no point of comparison, but it was kind of magical the way the thing just worked so well as a whole, with many distinct flavors and textures all perfectly balanced: fresh, hot, sweet, crispy, herby, and only $2.75! I've found a new lunchtime fave...

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  1. 1. Banh xeo, and banh hoi with beef at Xinh Xinh (Chinatown). Oh, and a delicious avocado shake with tapioca pearls.

    2. Tuna nicoise at No 9 Park - tender slices of seared spice-crusted tuna with a quail egg and fingerling potatoes.

    3. Today's lunch - a roast beef from Mike's Roast Beef with mayo, lettuce, and extra sauce.

    No 9 Park
    9 Park Street, Boston, MA 02108

    Xinh Xinh
    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

    Mike's Roast Beef
    127 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

    1. Ok. I will chime in. I hope that this counts...

      #1 On Sunday, the Roman and I whiled (sp?) away the day driving through the farmlands of MA seeking out the freshest produce at many farmstands. Corn. Tomatoes. Cukes. Peppers. Onions. Dick's Farmstand. Gary's. Who are these people? Verrill Farm proved to be the one with the greatest variety of veggies and such. With the wind whipping though our hair, we drove eating the ripest cherries and spitting the pits out of the windows of the car. Yep. Cherries. Fresh as can be. My #1.
      #2) Who would think that after all that driving we would end up at Antico Forno. If you know us, this is where you will find us. This is my number two Chow of the week. I swear that this restaurant stole my kitchen. If it were open morning, noon, and night, he would be there. I thought that I was at least a decent cook... We split the octopus appetizer with a red sauce. Nothing to write home about but then again, maybe I should take notes. Next was the fried eggplant. That's when the Roman when on with his famous soliloqy about how his mom makes this. What a great indication to really know he likes something. Fried eggplant and melted mozz. Hm. I can do that! I think anyway. The Roman had the pasta with scallops and scrimps with arugala, lightly dressed in a white sauce. I had their oven roasted chicken. For sixteen dollars, I can't go wrong. Whatever I don't finish, I take it home and add to the salad that I will make from the Sunday Mission Vegetable Stand.
      #3 Alas, I am in the restaurant business and I have yet to complete the list of chow. Many many many people to serve for RW. Maybe it'll make your list. It's only Wednesday. We are off to Plum Island for a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Beantown. PIG's report is yet to come.

      1. 1. Double thick bacon steak at ECG brunch. I've had brunch there dozens of times and never tried this before. I'm adding it to my "usual" order now. Fabulous! Smokey, porky, salty and addictive.

        2. Cold lobster roll at Neptune.

        3. Sweet & spicy pork at Om today. Holy cow! I wanted to lick the plate... Sinfully good pork belly is served with black rice, baby bok choy, and frizzled scallions. Probably the best thing I've ever eaten here.

        1. 1) Pork chop dinner at Mrs. Jones, Dorchester. Tender meat, delicious gravy, great side of black-eyed peas...

          2) Potato pancakes from Joan and Ed's Deli, Natick. Much better than the ones I had at Rein's the week before...

          3) Spicy curry noodles with chicken and veggies at Eastern Pier on the Waterfront. About 2 pounds of food, and I ate every bit of it....

          4 Replies
          1. re: hiddenboston

            Hey --I think I asked this before...any standouts/recs for Eastern Pier? I've yet to make it over there but I swear I'm gonna get there soon. Just want to be ready when I finally do....

            1. re: twentyoystahs

              This is from my entry on July 20...definitely head over to Eastern Pier while the weather is still warm, as half the fun is eating on the water!

              A few items I like there include the wonton soup, hot and sour soup, kun pao chicken (a favorite of my GF's), sizzling beef in black bean sauce (tasty spices, but not overly hot), and a curry noodle with pork and shrimp (similar to Singapore noodle).

              1. re: hiddenboston

                Awesome, thanks. I think we've talked about that Kung Pao chicken before; I LOVE good kung pao chicken so that's definitely on my list when I finally make it there. And yeah, I know we need to eat out on that back deck, we will go soon!

                1. re: twentyoystahs


                  everything was delsicious and a great value. my new favorite suburaban italian joint.

          2. So far this week...

            1. Grotto for the RW menu. Sublime scallops. DH flipped for the spaghetti and meatballs.
            2. Blue Room for RW. Was expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised. The grilled trout was excellent as was the roasted tomato starter. We cheated though, and also ordered the duck risotto starter and the gnocchi starter. The gnocchi was a stand-out in a very lemon/tarragon (or was it thyme?) cream sauce. Heavenly.
            3. Lunch yesterday -- a grilled chicken sandwich from Sparky's Wings in downtown Haverhill. That place has the best darn grilled chicken sandwiches around and my colleagues love the wings.

            1. My budget as always is in a different universe than most people's here, so these may not seem impressive, but chowishly satisfying...

              Lions head meatball and Shanghai Soup, both of which I'm completely addicted to, from Shangai Gate

              Delicious med rare as I ordered it juicy burger and fries with salt and vinegar at Grille Zone

              Spring rolls at Brookline farmers market from the Hmong farmers - these are sooooo good.

              1. Cheeseburger at Grille Zone, house special lamb noodle soup at Little Q, surprisingly delicious lunchtime pizza by the slice at the Central Square Star Market.

                1. 1. Christopher Norman basil-apricot chocolate at WFM, Woburn.

                  2. Color Maki (tuna, salmon, kani and avocado wrapped in shaved cucumber) at Kyotoya in Stoneham.

                  3. Staff Lunches this week - today was soupe au pistou and panzanella; yesterday was niman's ham and fontina val d'aosta panini, rice with grilled onions and a salad of tomato, feta, avocado, artisanal tomato vinegar and olive oil.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: almansa

                    Double double animal style with fries well done from In-n-Out. Just flew back in from California.

                  2. Away from home, eh? Ok, I'll play.

                    1) The small pizzetta with sun gold cherry tomatoes and sujuk sausage, made by Oleana's, sold at Siena Farms in the Copley Sq farmer's market.

                    2) A perfectly ripe, slightly tangy green zebra tomato, eaten with sea salt, from Atlas Farms, Copley Sq.

                    3) A beautiful, exquisite brioche from Tatte Fine Cookies and Cakes, also at the Copley market.

                    [No eating out this week, given all the amazing options at the market.]

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: litchick

                      I was *looking* for one of those pizzettas yesterday at the farmer's market in Dewey Square. Siena Farms was there, and they had the pizzettas last week, but not this week. I'll definitely keep checking for them...Ana Sortun's dukkah spiced cookies, also sold through Siena Farms at the markets, are amazing as well.

                    2. 1. Lemon-glazed, seared diver scallops over cumin-carrot rissoto and porcini basil sauce at dBar in Dorchester. OMG OMG Good!
                      2. Classic mushroom, onion & sausage pizza at the Waterfront Cafe in the North End
                      3. Double thick pork chop and mashed sweet potatos at CF Donovans, Savin Hill

                      1. Pretty ordinary week:

                        3. O'Sullivan's blackjack burger half/half
                        2. Qing Dao chicken with szechuan peppers - really great! Who says they don't do spicy? Filled with the complex peppercorns and a nice medium burn.
                        1. Heirloom tomatoes and corn from my CSA.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          Is that the exact name of the dish at Qingdao? My favorite dishes there are spicy.

                          1. re: maillard

                            It's not, I'm sorry.

                            It may have been the "* Zhongqing Fried Hot Chicken " but that's based on the menupages.com menu.

                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                              I was wondering if that was it. If what you had was little pieces of fried bone-in chicken covered in szechuan peppercorns and chilies, that is the Zongqing Fried Hot Chicken. I am totally addicted to that dish. I have a hard time not ordering that and the spicy green beans every single time I go there.

                              1. re: maillard

                                That sounds like it, only I think most if not all of the chicken was boneless! I am not sure if I ordered some boneless variety or just missed them in picking (I only got a quarter of the way through).

                        2. Eggplant parm with a side of meatballs at Anchovies.

                          Fried cauliflower and fried white anchovies with torn mozzarella, greens, bottarga, and curry salt at Neptune.

                          Mahi mahi taco at The Dish. Not my preferred style (open-faced on one giant flour tortilla), but the fish was very tasty, a bit of chili fire in the aioli, and was loaded with some very good diced tomatoes and avocado.

                          The real stars this past week have been at home: local corn, tomatoes, and blueberries.

                          1. More than three

                            Parmesan Crusted Haddock - CF Donovan's in Dorchester
                            The Neptune Burger - Neptune Seafood in Boston
                            Special #6 (chicken, pork and duck) - Lucky Chinese BBQ in Dorchester
                            Paradise Shrimp - Jumbo Seafood in Boston
                            Cuban Sandwich - Potbellies in South Boston

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Guinness02122

                              1 Milano's East Boston - Eggplant Parm Sub, Pizza (job site lunch)
                              2 WFM Salad Bar, Swampscott - OK, it was an $11 salad but I was craving them greens
                              3 2 Way Plate @ Farnham's, Essex - Real Essex steamers, sweet and crispy as can be, dreamy, fried squid just right.

                            2. Green eggs no ham at Soundbites in Somerville. Barely steamed baby spinach, good hollandaise.

                              Terrific burger at Soundbites.

                              Meatballs and fusilli at Basta Pasta in Cambridge. Yummy, garlickly meatballs, chewy al dente homemade pasta.

                              1. Nat Queen Cool sandwich at Hi-Rise in Huron Village - great harissa, wonderful pulled pork, excellent bread all grilled together.

                                Pork Laarb at Dok Bua in Coolidge Corner - this dish is just too fantastic not too order. Also really liked the Miang Kum here, possibly more than the ones at Khao Sarn. Dok Bua uses kale leaves for the wrappers, which I happen to adore raw.

                                Mussels at Taranta in the North End - possibly the tastiest thing I've had all week.

                                1. New week and new top 3:
                                  1. Pefectly sweet, crunchy fried clams with a kiss of salt, served with fries and onion rings at Amhreins in South Boston
                                  2. Samosas stuffed with minced lamb; murg chicken marsala and nabaraton korma
                                  (9 vegetables) at Shanti Taste of India on Dot Ave and;
                                  3. Mushroom stuffed gnocci served in a marsala sauce with Chicken at AntioForno in the North End.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Pegmeister

                                    Lobster at Roy Moore's in Rockport.

                                    Lobster rolls at Twin Points Lobster Shack, Cape Elizabeth ME

                                    My first-of-the-summer sun-ripened tomato just off the vine from Hutchins Farm, Concord

                                    1. re: Pegmeister

                                      There's a place in Teele Square that's called Magnificent Muffins? :-D That's right up there with Great Thai Chef, the Olde Magoun Saloon, and Kebab Factory in the "silly name" category! (And oddly enough, all four are in Somerville.)

                                      1. re: hiddenboston

                                        There is! Though it would more accurately be called Mediocre Muffins. Their muffins are big, greasy, and made from boughten mix (you can see the tubs of it in the fridge). The egg sandwiches, on the other hand, are pure bliss.

                                        Somerville is great for silly restaurant names...

                                    2. 1. chilled zucchini soup as part of RW menu at Upstairs on the Sq
                                      2. pork with cilantro and minced potatoes with peppers from Qingdao Garden on an unseasonably chilly evening
                                      3. adzuki pastry with red bean paste from Japonaise stand in Porter Sq exchange

                                      1. 3. A Horny Toad and chips & salsa from Rudy's in Teele Sq. Their food doesn't look all that good and I've never tried it, but I love how greasy and salty their chips are and the salsa is tasty and wicked garlicky.
                                        2. Vegetable pakora, goat curry, and aloo chole from India Quality. Had to get medium spiciness due to wimpy dining companions, so it wasn't quite as awesome as hot, but still super tasty. I just wish there were a little more meat in the goat curry. I don't mind that there's bones in it, just seems like mostly bone sometimes.
                                        1. Bacon and egg on spinach bagel and giant iced coffee from Magnificent Muffins (also in Teele Sq.). This place definitely falls in the "never had a bad meal" category, if egg sandwich and iced coffee can count as a meal. It's always totally solid. Sometimes a little less awesome, sometimes better than a $3 sandwich has any right to be. But never ever disappointing.

                                        1. toro sashimi and sukuki flowers at Sake in Portsmouth
                                          sliced jellyfish at Haru in No. Andover
                                          a large Sal's pizza, half sausage, well done while drinking Stellas and watching the Sox at Salvatore's in Lawrence.