Sunday, March 6, 2016

And the hits just keep on coming...

I really appreciate all the kind words many of you have shared with me through various work, on your behalf, will never be done.  But for now, please enjoy these quick hits for some current, and upcoming spots, on Connoisseurs Corner...available for download a little while after broadcast here.  

Suburban Chinese

When I was growing up, Sunday nights were designated for a trip into Boston’s Chinatown to eat at the long-gone “House of Roy”.  Back then, there was no such thing as great suburban Chinese food.  If you wanted high-quality Asian cuisine, Chinatown was where it was at.  No more.

Lately, there has been some media attention on suburban Asian cuisine options.  There are a lot of reasons why you can now get excellent Chinese food in the suburbs, but regardless the reasons, we all win!  Better food in the suburbs means better food, period. And I have a few I really like.

SuChang’s in Peabody.  This is a beautiful spot in Peabody, on Lowell Street.  It doesn’t look like an Asian restaurant from the outside, or the inside.  The décor is bright and airy, and the food is contemporary Asian, with some traditional dishes.  If you live on the North Shore, you have to go to Su Changs.

Dumpling Daughter in Weston.  More take-out than sit-down, this is owned and operated by Nadia Liu Spellman, daughter of the great Sally Ling.  This is a delightful little shop, with fantastic rice bowls, noodle dishes, and dumplings.  Try the baby bok choy with sautéed garlic, or chicken dumplings in Sichuan sauce.  Dumpling Daughter gives you a reason to travel into deep downtown Weston.

SichuanGourmet with multiple locations in Framingham, Brookline, Billerica and Sharon.  This my local go-to Chinese place in Framingham.  Always packed, the food is fresh and very flavorful, and I mean very.  With choices like “chicken with hot green pepper” to dry-cooked chicken with chili sauce, or Gan-gou chicken, beef or tofu, with potato, bean sprouts, asparagus and Szechuan peppercorns, be prepared to have your tongue tickled, but both flavor and spice.

Alice’s Mandarin Taste on Pond Street in Sharon.  A small place, but with a big and flavorful menu.  Try the beef chow foon, or any number of creative and flavorful chicken dishes.


As you know, I’m always interested in trying new spots, but finding the time is sometimes difficult.  However, from March 6-11 and 13-18, all the listeners/readers should be thinking about setting aside a night or two to enjoy Dine out Boston.

Dine Out Boston formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston® is brought to you by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express twice a year, providing locals and visitors an opportunity to sample area restaurants at special prices. Participating restaurants design  prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. the Chef then prepares a menu to delight.

Diners can choose from old favorites to the latest culinary hot spots, from nationally known chain restaurants to local chef owned bistros, from Asian or Argentinean fare to French, Italian, tapas and sushi, from the award-winning restaurants of Boston and Cambridge to the gourmet gems in the suburbs north, west and south of the city.
Check it out and make your plans.


One of the best parts of being from New England are farm shops, especially at the apple orchards.  Having gone to school in Amherst, a local favorite was Atkins Farm in South Amherst.  I am happy to say, 30 years later, Atkins has expanded and no longer focuses solely on apples.  They have a market, with local produce, meats and seafood.  There’s a cheese counter/case, bakery, deli, butcher and prepared foods area.  Of course, there are apples and pies, but a trip to Atkins is much more than apples.  Check out their website for all the details on offerings at Atkins or visit it on West Street in Amherst.

I am always on the lookout for unique gift-giving ideas in the food realm, for colleagues in my regular work.  My mother put me on to Wicked Good Cupcakes, featured on Shark Tank.  With an actual brick and mortar location in Faneuil Hall, but with a thriving mail order business, these are not your normal cupcakes.  They are cupcakes constructed inside a glass mason jar, so all the flavors meld together.  If you love a good cupcake, how could you not love a cupcake you eat with a spoon, making sure to get a little bit of everything with each bite.  I gave these to a few associates this past December and they were big hits.  Check them out at here.  


I am privileged to be a panelist on WBZ/Jordan Rich's "Connoisseur's Corner"; it is an honor, and I am thrilled to help out local food purveyors and restaurants, and point people to food events.  It is especially thrilling to know we've reached people, and the great purveyors we feature are getting traction.  Over the years, I have really enjoyed meeting these business people, and have landed wonderful friendships.  However, I must say, I was very excited to see this picture posted by Jordan today, outside of Zayde's Market in Canton.  You can hear the spot at the Connoisseur's Corner link here...I am humbled.

Remember, Zayde's is Critical Palate approved!