On The Menu

Weekend Update (Mela, CBS Sports Scene and Seiyo Reviews)


Category : , , , ,

Been a long week so there weren't many updates other than some links. We stayed in for most of this weekend because we've been lazy and tired and not really in the mood to go out.

On Wednesday, my buddy Vivek took me out to Mela for a late birthday dinner. I've never been there before, but had the idea that it was just an overpriced Indian place that was not any better than some of the cheaper counterparts in Cambridge along Mass Ave. I remember seeing reviews when Mela opened up a couple of years ago that it was overrated and overpriced. That day I looked at yelp to see what the latest reviews were, and they were encouraging...in fact, I actually got excited to go eat there after reading these reviews. (Add in that Vivek just ate there a week ago and really enjoyed it, and I had a feeling I'd get a good meal.) The prices aren't cheap for Indian food, ranging from $15-$25 and there is a vegetarian tasting for two for $45 and also some special hot stone meat cooking meal available. That kinda reminded me of Bo 7 Mon, but I wasn't really in the mood to give it a try. I went with the old standby, chicken tikka masala. This is how I judge most Indian restaurants: if the chicken tikka masala is good, then the whole restaurant is good, if it's bad, I won't be back. I realize that this dish is so common and probably easy to reproduce and is not a great way to judge a restaurant, but so be it. We started with the vegatable samosa, which was damn good. I love samosas so this was a good start. There were two dipping sauces available, one spicy and one sweet. Both were really good, but the samosa itself was so tasty it didn't need anything added to it. Our entrees came, Vivek got a vegetarian tikka masala, and both our orders came with a large bowl of rice. I ordered some naan as well. The portions were huge! Seriously huge! The serving bowls were cool too, large elliptical shaped white bowls that held our tikka masala. I always eat more rice and naan then I do the tikka masala, probably because of my Vietnamese heritage where we consume more rice than the actual entree. (This is actually a true statement...I remember when we would go eat out with my Chinese in-laws or we would go eat at a Chinese restaurant, that we would always have to order extra rice because the meals would only provide you one tiny bowl per person. The idea being that you fill up on the chicken, beef, or fish dish instead of the rice. Well, the poor Vietnamese didn't have the luxury to have the main course be so plentiful...or be able to afford those proteins to create those dishes, so they would stock up on rice and the rice was the main course.) In any case, Vivek inhaled his entire meal and I had half of mine leftover. Perfect to take home and give to Abby, which she ate the next day for lunch and said it was really, really good. Overall, a good experience at Mela. I give Mela a solid 3 out of 5. Now that I know the chicken tikka masala is really good, I'll go back and try something else next time...maybe the hot stone meat dinner. They have a lunch buffet too, just not sure if it's on weekends or during the week...I'll definitely have to hit that up.

Mela on Urbanspoon

Saturday we had a mission to get to Wrentham Premium Outlets before the crowds and traffic did. We got there and did some shopping, looking for x-mas presents and some new work clothes. After we got all of that out of our system (a few hours later) we were starving and wanted to check out the Patriot Place complex at Gillette Stadium. It was a short drive from Wrentham and we knew a Red Robin was there. Patriot Place is pretty nice. I hope it stays nice and clean and new for a while, and does not get run down. More shops and restaurants are opening soon and the free parking is definitely a plus. Some co-workers of mine live out near the Foxboro area and they have told me how they make plans and reservations to go out there during the weekends and how crazy and crowded it gets. Well that's pretty cool for the suburbanites to have a nice little place to go to on the weekend that is trendy and hip. Because we had burgers for dinner on Friday (Abby did a good job with these) we chose not to go to Red Robin and give the CBS Sports Scene a try. Our thoughts on this place were the following: its a big chain sports bar/restaurant that will be loud and have tons of TVs flashing in our face and the food will just be like Chilies or Applebees...nothing special. We walk in and we see a line of people waiting...not a good sign. Then again, we saw tons of tables in the bar area open...maybe we can just grab a seat there. We go up to the hostess and after she asks us how we are doing, I say, "I need to speak to your manager right now!" She nearly shits a brick!!!! So funny!!! I laugh it off and say we just need a table for two. It's about a 30 minute wait to eat downstairs in the restaurant area, but we can be seated immediately in the first floor bar area, where there is only a limited menu. This is fine by us and we are seated. Yes this place is loud, and there are tons of TVs showing college football games (which is a plus for me) and there are also other monitors showing highlights from various sporting events and also David Letterman. I thought since we were right near Gillette, that we would be overwhelmed with Patriot crap...but we weren't...that was an unexpected surprise. Our waitress was nice and she came over and took our drink orders while we looked over the menu. I saw some nachos go out along with some burgers and fries. The fries looked damn good, so I had to get something that came with fries. Again, if we didn't have burgers the night before, I would have gotten the Kobe Sliders. Decently priced around $10. In fact, everything was decently priced in the bar area: $7-$14. Not too bad. Abby got the Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Quesadilla and I got the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. My sandwich is described as: Fresh Mozzarella, Ripe Tomato, Boston Lettuce,
Red Onion, Pesto, Black Olive Spread, Ciabatta Bread/ I normally don't get chicken sandwiches unless if they are fried because I'm always worried the chicken would be dry. Sure enough, my sandwich comes out and it's sliced in half and it looks very dry. I take a bite and...and...and it's not dry at all! In fact, this was a damn good sandwich. It was very light and the pesto and mozzarella added a lot to this chicken sandwich. The fries were also very, very good. (I love shoe string fries and these fries remind me of some of my favorites at Shyltzy's in the U-district in Seattle. http://www.shultzys.com/ If you are ever in Seattle, this is a great place!) Anyway, Abby seemed very happy with her quesadilla, and my meal was very good. CBS Sports Scene...you might be the best of the sports bar/restaurant chains! The only hiccup was when one of the runners came over with a burger and a quesadilla and asked us if these were ours. Obviously the couple who is currently eating a quesadilla and a chicken sandwich would have ordered another quesadilla and a burger. It was for the table behind us...and this could have been seen as a simple mistake, but come on!!!! Get your shit right!!! Anyway, I give CBS Sports Scene a very, very surprising 3 out of 5. (It would have been a 3 and 1/2, but that mistake by the runner cost them. That and the fact that the waitresses wore way too much clothes...this is a sports bar/restaurant...let's see some skin ladies!) This is a review of just the bar, since we didn't eat at the restaurant area. Which, come to think about it, not sure I ever need to...if the seating is faster, I don't see why I need to experience a larger menu...the bar area had everything I needed.

Finally, on Saturday night, after my Sooners whooped up A&M, I was mad hungry and in the mood for some sushi. We went to Seiyo on Washington Street. This is a very good, well priced sushi place in South End. Located across from Toro/Mike's Diner on Washington street, I've never seen Seiyo ever crowded or ultra busy. I don't understand that either, since every time we've gone it's been a good meal. I think there was an issue with Seiyo getting a liquor license, but they have one now. We ordered a bottle of white, a napa valley Sauvignon blanc for $35. Seeing as it's $10 a glass, we knew we'd get more than 3 glasses out of a bottle. Abby ordered the edamame and the Spider Maki Roll, which if you knew her is very adventurous. (She normally just gets california rolls or philadelphia rolls.) I went with the Crispy Salmon Skin roll and the Red Dragon Maki Roll (which is a spice tuna roll wrapped in tuna sashimi). We scarfed it all down in a matter of minutes. It was all very good. Vivek joined us shortly and helped us finish the bottle. He and Abby ordered another roll each and that came out quickly. The service was impeccable. Any time our water glasses or wine glasses were empty, they would replenish the glasses quickly. Always with a smile, which in this day and age is very rare. Overall, I give Seiyo a "very good and you should go there now" 3 out of 5. Seiyo also delivers, so maybe that's why it's always not crowded...who knows...I just hope they are doing well enough to keep the prices reasonable.

Seiyo on Urbanspoon

Tonight I'm making a huge dinner: standing rib roast with jus and baked potato. I'll have recipe and pics later.