Thai Moon

If you are lucky enough to live around Arlington, I highly recommend dining at Thai Moon. It is one of the better Thai restaurants I’ve encountered who stand out from the vast sea of competitors in its area. Although other similar restaurants in the vicinity are very good, there are a two reasons why Thai Moon is better.

Shrimp Bags - $5.95

Steamed Mussels - $5.95

Chicken Satay - $5.95

Beef Satay - $6.50

Thai Pancake $5.95

Firstly, Thai Moon has quick, inviting and friendly service. You’ll notice that your water glass is always filled, waiters and waitresses ask how your meal is without being overbearing, and the night I dined here, there were only two waitresses running the whole restaurant all night smoothly and gracefully, all with a smile on their faces.

Secondly, the food is absolutely scrumptious and affordable. There has been a poor pattern of tasting an absurd amount of sugar and MSG in Asian cuisine for a long time, but no, not here. All the dishes were seasoned nicely without being overwhelmed with sweet and salty sensations. The portions were sized nicely as well. For $5.95 – $6.50 each, we ordered five appetizers: Shrimp Bags, Steamed Mussels, Chicken Satay, Beef Satay, and Thai Pancakes. The pancakes and shrimp bags were both cooked to crispy perfection. Made with rice flour and stuffed with scallions, the pancakes were unlike Korean pancakes or Chinese scallion pancakes because inside the crunchy exterior is a soft and savory consistency. Great combination of textures. The shrimp and mussels were plump, juicy and tender. For $5.95, a hot pot of steamed mussels? Score!

Crispy Duck - $15.95

Chili Fish - $14.95

Pad C-U with Vegetables - $9.50

Lemongrass Chicken - $10.95

Pad Thai with Seafood - $10.95

Pineapple Fried Rice - $9.50

Before you assume anything negative about me, the dinner was for 8 people. Now that’s out the way, onto my favorite part- the entrees! I’ve been a long time fan of Brown Sugar Cafe’s Country Style Pad Thai, but now I can add another one onto my noodle list. The pad thai here is so good! The spicy pad thai is even better! It’s delightfully chewy, with just the right amount of the sour tamarind sauce and peanut flavor. I’m also happy that they added a good amount of seafood, squid, shrimp and mussels, which is only about $1 more than the price without seafood. What a steal! The Lemongrass Chicken was also a great dish; tender, bursting with lovely lemongrass flavor with a nice hint of sweetness. All of the other dishes were delicious as well, but the most memorable ones were the pad thai and lemongrass chicken. The duck entree was nice with the yummy slices of gamy meat laying on a bed of fried yellow noodles. Good, but I didn’t experience much of a wow factor when I took my first bite, so I’ll be trying another duck dish the next time. The Pad C-U was seasoned with the perfect amount of sauce and would be a dish I would order again as well. The fish entree was slightly overdone, but the smooth, sweet and sour-like chili sauce made up for its dryness.

Fried Ice Cream with Raspberry Wine Sauce - $5.95

Sweet Sticky Rice with Thai Custard - $5.95

Fried Banana - $3.95

And ending the dinner were desserts that could happily satisfy any sweet tooth. We ordered 2 fried ice creams, 2 fried bananas and 1 sweet sticky rice with custard. Da-da-damn! I personally loved the sweet sticky rice and custard, however, other diners said that rice for dessert was a bit strange to them. Very understandable. The fried ice cream dish was refreshing because it was served with an interesting sauce instead of red bean or honey like usual. Raspberries and wine… tangy, sweet, a bit sour and a really nice contrast to the vanilla ice cream. The fried bananas were simple and tasty too. Wrapped and fried in phyllo dough, topped with light, sugary syrup and sesame seeds, I could pop these little things in my mouth like chips. Danger!

This was my future brother-in-law’s birthday dinner, and the food definitely made him a happy camper. Great restaurant call, Quan! We all hope you had a very happy birthday and a wonderful time as we celebrate you being another year younger!

Be ready for a massive amount of take-out orders from me, Thai Moon. May God speed.
Total Meal: $135.00
Servings: 8 people

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Midwest Grill

Vegetarians… this is not the place for you. This is for people feeling especially carnivorous; for those who crave juicy and flavorful kielbasa, tender pork loin, and short ribs covered in caramelized spices and savory fat. Although there is a buffet with rice, plantains, salads and other foods, Midwest Grill is known for its bountiful Brazilian BBQ. Bacon wrapped chicken? Why, hello there. Chicken hearts? Yeah sure, put a few of those on my plate. Succulent lamb meat? For the love of god, let’s get a stack of that going!

For $12,95, you have access to the buffet and all the BBQ meat your mouth desires (dinner is $21.95). With locations in Inman Square of Cambridge and Saugus, it’s the perfect weekend lunch spot where you can roll out of bed with your sweats on (I probably get out of bed much later than you do), make yourself a small plate of Brazilian side dishes and put a mound of charred meat on top. This is a casual establishment with no frills- just good food minus the annoying wait time. The waiters and waitresses will not be smiling every second or asking you how your meal was, but they come around often, refill drinks, and ask if you would like anything else. Also, their drink menu is very impressive. For $4.25 – $4.50, get draught and bottled beers. Red and white wines, cocktails from $6-$9 and a good list of whiskeys are happily there to contribute to your warm buzz as well. Heck, I know where I’m going Fridays and Saturdays!

This place even has free wings if you purchase a beverage and sit at the bar. Suh-weet.

I really have no complaints. Given the price and frequent service, I could care less whether my waitress was smiling or not. Just keep the skewer of meats coming and Midwest Grill and I will always be on great terms.

Forever dreaming of your fineeee short ribs, Midwest Grill
Total Meal: $12.95 (lunch buffet cost)
Servings: 1 person 

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