Strip T’s

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This past year I have been slowly hearing more and more great things about Strip T’s in Watertown. It all started in 1986 as a sirloin strip sandwich concept, which is where the somewhat provocative name came from. With its friendly staff, affordable prices and quality food, Strip T’s quickly become a favorite neighborhood sandwich shop. Years later the owner’s son Tim Maslow joined the business and expanded the restaurant’s offerings to include dinner as well as lunch. Both menus have a wide range of meal styles ranging from a Fried Cauliflower to a Lamb Shoulder Sandwich for lunch, and a classic Fish & Chips to a Glazed Veal Breast for dinner. The sides and condiments also really intrigue me: carrot jam, barley, hay yogurt, kimchi squash, fried japanese sweet potato wedges, their famous Moxie sauce, and the list goes on.
IMG_4319On this particular Saturday afternoon my husband and I arrived around 12:30 and as there were no available tables, we sat at the counter with a view of the dining area and bar. There were definitely a few sandwiches that sparked my interest but the one at the top of my list was the Fried Cauliflower with Provolone and Broccoli Rabe. The sandwich came open-faced, provolone melted onto the bread topped with cauliflower florets, chopped broccoli rabe and sliced peppers. In my first attempt to tackle this monster I lifted a 1/2 and took a bite, but that clearly resulted in vegetables falling everywhere. I eventually asked for a steak knife and cut each 1/2 into 3 small pieces, which made it much easier to handle. This may be a veggie sandwich but it’s hearty, flavorful and filling. The Fried Cauliflower is definitely one of the best sandwiches I’ve had, and will join my top 3 among the Roast Beef 1000 at Cutty’s, and the Tuna, Avocado, Cheddar Panini at Temptations.
IMG_4328Matt and I also ordered a side of the Fried Japanese Sweet Potato Wedges. I typically don’t care for steak fries / wedges, but these were not fries. The outside had a slight crisp but the inside was all soft and creamy sweet potato. Most were plump and thick but there were a few extra thin fried potato skin pieces that were just as tasty. Some sort of house aioli was served on the side.
IMG_4323On top of Matt’s roast beef sandwich he also ordered the Wicked Small Caesar, which is a lie in size but truth in it’s $3 price. This is different than a traditional Caesar salad with creamy anchovy dressing, but I tried a bite and liked the lighter approach.
IMG_4321Strip T’s also serves wine and beer, a variety of sodas, sparkling juices, and coffee / tea / espresso. I opted for a cappuccino as I had yet to consume my 1 cup of caffeine for the day.
IMG_4330I highly recommend Strip T’s for lunch, and I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing about their dinner once I experience it. We left full and more than satisfied. I was really impressed with my sandwich and everything else I ate that afternoon. Matt’s Roast Beef Sandwich with Cucumber, Horseradish and Moxie sauce was no joke. Next up I think I’ll try the NYC’s Pho Real Sandwich with grilled chicken, thai basil, bean sprouts, and avocado.

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Beacon Street Tavern

On this particular evening, OpenTable determined our dining fate; we were looking for something near by that had seating within an hour. Sure we could probably gone up the street to Devlin’s or Smokin’ Joes, but I want my points baby so OpenTable led us to Beacon Street Tavern in Brookline.

Bread: After ordering the chips & guac our server asked if we wanted bread as well, and we really only got it for the sake of the blog. Two rustic rolls were served with a small tin of butter. The bread wasn’t bad, but would have been really great if it was served warm.

Menu: This was an interesting menu with sections like Snacks, Shared, Platters, and Sides. Matt & I were given two different meus at first; our Snacks sections differed, which was disappointing because we had our eyes on the Smokey Duck Confit Grilled Cheese, but it turns out that was on the incorrect menu. I was tempted by the Salmon and Scallop additions but we opted for the selections below.

Food/Presentation:
Chips & Guacamole
It’s rare that we don’t give in to guac, and this was probably the one time we should have said no to the temptation. The chips were great, I love a salty chip! But the guacamole was way too smooth and almost tasted like a paste. It had little flavor and no chunks or texture. Not the best.

Hummus & Cheese Platter – grilled halloumi cheese, vermont cheddar, grilled figs with gorgonzola and balsamic reduction, quinoa salad, mixed olives, grilled pita bread with edamame and spiced hummus
I was pleasantly surprised by this Shared Platter! I’ve never heard of or tried halloumi cheese and will now be looking for it in the grocery store. The figs were warm, stuffed with cheese and topped with a sweet drizzle of balsamic reduction (my 2nd favorite item on the plate). The hummus was good but my favorite was the quinoa salad; it was tossed with corn and cranberries and had a hint of sweetness.

Veggie Burger – black beans, guacamole, arugula, on ciabatta & fries
The burger was topped with guac and served with fries (we substituted for the sweet potato version). Unless it’s dry or falls apart, it’s hard to really screw up a veggie burger. This was pretty decent but the fries stole the show. It’s difficult to get a good crispy sweet potato fry and each one of these were just that.. not one limpy fry in sight!

Bathroom: 2 stalls, 2 sinks, 2 mirrors. I didn’t expect much decor for a bar/tavern, but it was clean, had a pretty tiled mirror, and cheerful purple walls that held black & white photos.

Service: The fastest service in the history of dining. We sat around 6:50pm and maybe ordered everything within 10 minutes, asking that the chips & guac come out as an appetizer. The bread & app were brought out one after the other, and as soon as we finished the guacamole the Hummus & Cheese and Veggie Burger were immediately delivered. We were done eating by 7:28pm. Perhaps they were rushing us b/c there were people waiting for tables? Either way I wasn’t disturbed by it, just surprised by how fast everything happened!

Overall: Beacon Street Tavern has a great outdoor patio, a lounge/bar area, and booths, tables and high tops for indoor dining. The menu is different with a few salads and soups, sandwiches, and entrees, but mostly appetizer type offerings made for sharing. I don’t think you need to rush there for dinner but it’s a nice spot for some decently priced good food and drink. I really enjoyed their cocktail menu because they told you what drink is served in what glass, which makes it easier to determine what’s a martini, what’s on the rocks etc. They had an extensive beer selection as well. Overall a good meal!

Kool Mo Tea

Kool Mo Tea


The Perfect Bite
: That Hummus Platter was pretty good. I liked everything on it but really loved the quinoa salad! Who knew a bar/tavern could whip that up.

www.beacon1032.com

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