Meals at home; Il Casale [Belmont MA]; Szechuan's Dumpling [Arlington, MA]; Joe’s Pizza [Harvard Sq]

Pardon the data dump. Mom and dad’s visit continues and ends tomorrow morning. I made big pots of food: slow-cooker chili (somehow, my chili tastes better when cooked on the stovetop, maybe because I saute carrots/peppers/onions with all the spices before adding Rotel tomatoes/beans; not pictured) and Guinness beef stew (pictured below).


On Sunday evening, we took mom out for an early dinner to celebrate a milestone birthday at Il Casale Belmont, an old favorite of ours that we haven’t gone to in a long time. Started with the calamari (could’ve been hotter and a bit more crisp and I was hoping for more of the fried lemon pieces) and the polpette, mostly for Spring Onion to add to his shells and sauce. We were all in a pasta mood, so ravioli for B (loved it), clams and linguine for me (ditto), and mom and dad split a special, fusilli with braised beef (they were happy). Decadent chocolate cake with a side of gelato. Weirdly, the place was empty, even as we were leaving at ~7 pm (our server guessed it was because of families being away for February school vacation and just returning home) so it didn’t feel as festive as usual. We’ve always preferred the food in Belmont but if anyone has any recent good experience at the Lexington spot, please let me know.

Alien-giant fork.






Monday was a day of helping mom and dad with various chores (taxes, prescription schtuff, bank issues). Mom and dad love Szechuan’s Dumpling so that was lunch. Hot and sour soup to start (always good and still is). Beef and broccoli for dad, General Gao’s chicken for mom, mapo tofu for me (no pork, just cubes of very soft tofu in a tingly sauce - I liked it a lot!). The white rice was a treat. Everything was tasty, had some welcome kick, and carefully prepared.





PS Spring Onion and I went to the Brattle’s annual Bugs Bunny film festival last week after we got back from DC. I peeled off into Joe’s Pizza afterwards for a slice. Nice guys in there but I was really underwhelmed. Crust was too crunchy, mozz not melty enough. Maybe I chose poorly, but they better up their game if they’re going to survive in that high-rent spot.


That’s all folks!


been meaning to stop @ joe’s. do they have slices?

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thanks — i’ll stop by the next time i’m in the square.


I went for the 1st time Monday night. They serve late, like NYC. I got 3 different slices & enjoyed the Caprese slice the most.

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