Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Geoffrey's Cafe Back Bay!

Having eaten at Geoffrey's maybe a dozen times since living down the street I thought it high time I write a review! No stranger to Back Bay, Geoffrey's actually originally opened here in 1991 before opening a second location in the South End, closing the Back Bay location, and then moving to Roslindale. Though I never had eaten at these other locations in the past, the current location at Columbus and Berkeley can't be beat!

The menu is very large and quite eclectic, serving everything from chicken and dumplings to a 7 Vegetable Cous Cous. Everything is beyond reasonable, with hearty sandwiches with black bean salsa or potato salad for an average of 7.95, and 10.95 for a wonderful beef bourguignon over mashed potatoes.

Typically, whether for lunch or dinner, I stick with the sandwiches since I can't get enough of either their bacon cheddar burger or fried chicken sandwich! The burger is thick and juicy with ample bacon and cheddar, green leaf & tomato,
pickles, red onion & 1000 island piled high on a bulkie roll. The chicken is tender and not at all greasy served with tomato, cheddar, bacon and a chipotle ranch dressing. Other delicious options are the "G" BLT - no skimping on the bacon there! - and the chicken salad, made interesting with the addition of fresh tarragon.

The drink menu is equally as large, ranging from inexpensive standbys like Narragansett Lager to great cocktails like the Salty Dog, my personal favorite, which is gin and kalamata olive brine with Gorgonzola stuffed kalamata olives. There's a slew of champagne cocktails, old standbys, fun beers like a 32 oz. Mississippi Mud, and some 2 dozen or so wines by both the bottle and glass.

I've only been once for their disco brunch (complete with classic disco music), but both their savory and sweet options were nicely done. The eggs benedict with Norwegian smoked salmon was great, and the Scandinavian waffles with powdered sugar, whipped butter & homemade syrup were pretty standard. I'd certainly return to try more of their breakfast items.

Overall I feel as though you can't go wrong with Geoffrey's - location, price, and variety are all just right and fit nicely within the spacious interior with high tables, a bar area, a regular dining area, and even a private dining area! A+!

Geoffrey's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Best beer I've had so far on the trip! It's from Alsace.

A fraisier for breakfast? Pourquoi pas?!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Q Restaurant

I woke up with a taste for something Asian, but instead of doing Dim Sum we opted to try Chinatown's Q restaurant, which offers Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. It was pretty empty for a Sunday at lunch time, so we were seated right away at a booth.

The atmosphere is modern and somewhat dimly lit with red walls and a number of nice-looking saltwater aquariums. Seating-wise there's a bar/lounge area with high tables, the sushi bar, as well as booths and tables.

The menu is fairly extensive and after appetizers and drinks is divided into Chinese dishes, Japanese/sushi items, and lastly Mongolian hot pot selections. Spicy tuna, spicy yellowtail, and spicy salmon rolls are $4 every day, so we started out splitting a roll for an appetizer. We went with the spicy tuna, which included of course tuna, cucumber, tempura chips, and spicy mayo. The toasted sesame seeds on the outside were a nice touch - delicious!

Chris went with a sweet and sour Chinese standard, General Gau's chicken. Typically the chicken is fried, but the chef was kind enough to stir fry it for him (so he could pretend he was eating more healthily). The ginger, garlic, sesame oil, scallions, hot chili peppers, etc. all came together nicely, but it was a little on the sweeter side than other versions of the dish we've had. Likewise it could have been a little spicier, but overall it was very tasty.

On such a cool, rainy afternoon I couldn't help but want a nice big bowl of soup, so I went with the Mongolian hot pot option. Hot pot cooking goes by a number of names, including shabu shabu, but the general idea is that you are presented with a huge bowl of broth that is kept hot by the electric burner built into the table. Thinly sliced raw meat, fish and vegetables are then placed in the pot where they cook and absorb the broth's flavors. Lastly you fish them out and can dip them in a number of sauces.

I chose the standard beef broth, which seemed to have ginger, scallions, and other goodies floating in it as well. Other broths included kimchee, tom yum, and black bone chicken. For my meat I went with the pork, but there was no shortage of options - short ribs, beef and lamb, angus sirloin, salmon, flounder, shrimp, and much more! Lastly I chose to have Japanese udon noodles, but cellophane, wide bean thread, and "S.T" (wide, flat) noodles were also options. Also included was a vegetable selection - bok choy, cabbage, tomato, mushroom, tofu, and a couple of other things were there.

The amount of broth I was brought could have fed a small family, but I naturally had no problem with that! It was very fun plunging my various things into the broth, which then made it tastier and tastier as time went by. To dip my meat and veggies I had garlic, scallions, cilantro, soy, a chili sauce, a vinegar sauce, and what I think was shacha sauce. Everything was great and I finished up feeling full and satisfied.

For dessert there are a number of ice creams like azuki bean, ginger, and green tea as well as a number of cakes, but we were too full and opted out. Overall it was a really nice lunch and I would certainly return for another meal!

The Q Restaurant on Urbanspoon