March 22nd, 2009

The Pongal, Billerica

I was at another training in Billerica, so I took this as an opportunity to hit the other good restaurant in the area, the Pongal.


The lunch buffet was $11 and offered an array of standard Indian dishes as well as a few you don’t normally see. Standouts included the butter chicken and the chickpea saag. The tandoori chicken was also tender and tasty. Sadly, many of the dishes were a little too spicy for me (I’m a spice wuss). My 2 dining companions also enjoyed lunch.


Overall, it was good, but I’ll probably go back to Sichuan Gourmet next time.



Spring Brunch

I love Spring. The best part of living in New England is the seasons and after a snowy, slushy winter, I am ready to celebrate crocuses peeping up from the ground and asparagus leading the parade of spring vegetables. Plus, who doesn’t like brunch foods?


On the menu was:

Roasted salmon and asparagus    

Baked eggs in ham

Mini spinach and mushroom frittatas

Potato and sausage casserole

Orange and olive salad




Croissant bread pudding with chocolate

Blueberry boy bait

Coffee toffee crunch bars


I think the most interesting dish was the orange and olive salad. It was from a Mark Bittman article in the NYT a few weeks ago. I would never think to pair oranges and olives, but the combination of the sweet acid of the orange, the briny olive and the crunch and licorice hints from the fennel seeds created quite a flavor profile. I really enjoyed it.

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Tango, Arlington

R and I attempted to go to Summer Shack on Thursday for “cheap date night,” but apparently, we missed it by a week. It was a winter promotion and it has ended. So, we decided to go to Tango instead.


R did the restaurant week menu and I decided to get the mixed grill for one. It included: short ribs, sausage, chicken, blood sausage, kidneys and sweetbreads and fried potatoes. I really enjoyed the short ribs and the sweetbreads, but the rest was overcooked. The kidneys were strong and minerally tasting and not in a good way. The fried potatoes were great, like really thick chips.


R’s meal started with a beef empanada. He loved it. It was sweet and savory with raisins and olives. His filet with Roquefort blue cheese was good; cooked correctly, but his sides (mashed potatoes and butternut squash) were underseasoned. Dessert was flan; it was okay, the texture was not quite smooth enough, but I liked the dulce de leche on the side.


Service was slow and inattentive; our meal took over 2 hours. The restaurant was packed due to restaurant week. It just reminded me why I like to avoid restaurant week. Let’s hope L’espalier on Friday is better.