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Jul 14, 2011 01:29 PM

Strip T's increasing funkiness

And I mean funkiness in a good way. Over the past several months there, I have seen an increasing amount of southern food and Asian influence in their menu (something they had a bit of in the past.) A couple of nights ago, they had a fried pig-tail appetizer with watermelon and peanuts, a few weeks ago deep-fried brussels sprouts. The salmon entree included grilled bok choy, finely shredded crispy carrot strings, and a generous amount of what I think was a cilantro pesto. And their takeout menu (not yet online) had a stew featuring tripe. All-in-all, a bit more adventurous than is normal for the area. Anyone know whether the management has changed?

Strip-T's Restaurant
93 School St, Watertown, MA 02472

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      1. re: VintageMolly

        I also went with four friends recently. I really want this place to hit it out of the park with the new chef, but my experience was a bit more mixed.

        We did some heavy grazing.

        The selection of funky sodas is great.

        Wines and beers are well selected and priced.

        We split the poutine to start. Delicious dish, but having never had poutine I can't vouch for it's authenticiy. It was a bit light on the cheese curds, and the curds were not squeaky chewy. But the dish as a whole was great. A bit more curds would have made this a 9.5. As it was 8.5.

        The burrito, no other way to say it was just bland. No oomph to it at all. Totally forgettable. The pulled pork needs some more flavor.

        One of us wanted a Cobb salad which we ordered. I think this is a hangover from the old menu it was fine, but nothing noteworthy.

        Had the Buffalo sweetbreads with pickled celery. The sweetbreads were excellent, exactly what you'd expect. The pickled celery was minced so finely and sprinkled so delicately on top that it essentially didn't exist as a flavor component. If you want to riff on buffalo wings but sub the very cool idea of sweetbreads instead then take it to it's logical conclusion. Perhaps big slabs of pickled celery would have done the trick. The sweetbreads themselves were cooked to perfection and quite delicious. The only quibble here is that they were just a bit overwhelmed by the buffalo sauce. Really just a quibble cause the sweetbreads were cooked perfectly.

        We also had the Scorpion Bowl of mussels and fries. Also another execution that did not quite hold together. I love the fact that it was served in a huge Tiki-style scorpion bowl.

        The fries were drowned in hot sauce and all sort of mushy-soggy. Some effort to keep them separate and crispy would have been a HUGE improvement. The sauce was essentially identical to the Buffalo sauce on the sweetbreads. If the server had told us that we would not have ordered both buffalo-ey dishes.

        One of us also had a burger which was competently done according to my friend, but I forgot to take a bite (drat) so can't really comment. He liked it well enough.

        I would go again in a heartbeat.

        Prices are great.

        And the general flavors etc. are far more interesting then they were.

        Feel like they are still getting their legs during the transition, but I also get the feel that this is really his first shot as a chef calling the shots, and he is still working to get his legs under him.

        I hope he gets his mojo working cause the potential is there.

      2. Nice report! Totally going to get overlooked in Watertown I fear - I will try to do my part.

        1. I was there for lunch recently and the specials included poutine, vegetarian banh mi, and soft shell crab something or other. Definitely not your grandpa's Strip-T's, although they still had the old menu with the usual steak tips, Caesar salad, etc. I had the poutine and banh mi (which is why I can remember them) and both were excellent. Prices were around $8-12 for the lunch specials. I don't think I'll be going back soon, unfortunately, because the place is so small it's really difficult to navigate with my two little ones -- even though both the staff and the customers are so nice that they went out of their way for us, with several people getting out of their seats so we could get out of the restaurant and someone hopping out of line to hold the door!

          Strip-T's Restaurant
          93 School St, Watertown, MA 02472

          1. Went back for dinner last night. The charred baby octopus with smoked tomato wasbi sauce was one of the best things I have eaten in a while. Also had a tasty "scorpion" moule-frites dish, which was spicy and served in a scorpion bowl (a la The Hong Kong in Harvard Square). Definitely will be a regular here, I hope it lasts.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ruprecht

              this thread has me anxious to try it there. Plse describe interior - what kind of seating; wicked crammed w/ tables? loud?reservations possible? thnx much.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Tiny. Handful of tables on left, carryout area on right.

                Bathroom is downstairs around side of kitchen through a door and then up some stairs to a throne of sorts.

                Portions for lunch are small.

                1. re: lergnom

                  I'd say it has the look/ambience of an old-fashioned "coffee shop," although the food, old or new, was definitely better. The service is very friendly; several of the wait and take-out people remember my name, and it's not as tho I go there every day. It isn't usually crowded at dinner time; at lunch, if you wait til after 1, it's not much of a wait for a seat.

            2. I know I was the only one who tried to go tonight because I saw three cars pull in to park in front and then drive off when they saw the lights off.

              The sign on the door says that they are closed for dinner on Saturdays until September.

              1 Reply