I normally don’t like to air out my personal issues on here but we had a fairly stressful weekend with mom and dad up for a visit this past weekend. Dad’s been going through some serious health issues, so we thought it might be a good distraction to come to our place for the Super Bowl. It was, but not without some hiccups along the way. I’ve been absent a lot from GBA so since @passing_thru is gonzo, I’m trying to maintain some kind of presence here, as HO brings me a lot of joy. But my participation will/may be sporadic.
They came up Saturday from RI and we decided that the guys would visit B’s barbershop and then we’d saunter across the street to PJ Ryan’s for a cozy pub lunch. That was not to be - there was a (lopsided) rugby match of Scotland v. Italy which we did not account for. We got back in the car, struggled a bit to think of a similar alternative (favorite places like Druid would not be amenable for obvious reasons), then I remembered about reading about Stones Common House in Stoneham in a recent Globe article. Not too far from where we were in Teele Sq. Cute and cheerful space and owner/manager; and then we realized there was one server working the whole room, along with said-owner. I think they just started lunch service and did not anticipate the crush of lunchtime+Globe hype (or else one of their waitstaff bailed on them). We waited for a looong time. Which is even longer when you have a hungry 4-year spring onion and a hungry old man with health issues in tow. I could feel the anxious red line rising up my face (you know, like in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons or was it Fred Flintstone?). Fortunately for me and B, drinks (good drafts, I had a decent malbec) came quickly. 3 of us got the good veggie burger, dad got the burger, which was definitely a treat for him. B foolishly (or smartly, depending on your POV) ordered the Cincinnati poutine, which were the really good fried potato planks (not quite steak fries, but big beefy potato fries) topped with chili. All-in-all, a good meal, but not quite worth the wait. We may try an early dinner as we found the lunch menu too limited to sandwiches/salads.
The following is probably better suited for the WFD thread, but I’m posting here: On Sunday, I made the NYT roasted salmon with brussels + citrus soy sauce (a house favorite) and a mushroom+wheatberry+kale soup for lunch. Our generous neighbors 2 doors down always have a Super Bowl party. I couldn’t convince dad to come (his new normal is cranky mofo, which I can’t blame him one bit for but it’s tough for mom to handle) and mom felt like she couldn’t leave dad alone at our house so B, spring onion, and I represented. An awesome spread…short rib chili, grown-up mac and cheese, wings were reportedly highlights. I made Smitten Kitchen ethereally smooth hummus accompanied by carrots, celery, peppers, cast-iron griddle naan (not homemade…from Whole Foods, though I did the griddling). The kind neighbors forced me to fix a plate for my parents and mom and dad appreciatively chowed down on that.
So many of us have been there with the beloved parents facing health issues which change their approach to life. Much sympathy (and empathy).
Sounds like you found a tasty lunch in a pinch - I bet lots of us carry a sort of spreadsheet of good options by neighborhood in our heads - so that was a good save.
Your Sunday lunch sounds fabulous and that ethereally smooth hummus never disappoints.
And apparently, I’ve become monosyllabic in my descriptions. (Did I really use “good” 4 times in my original post? Maybe it’s a Trump effect?)
I always enjoy your posts and hope you’ll keep them up! I used to live near PJ Ryans before I moved to East Somerville from East Arlington…we used to like them a lot long ago but weren’t so impressed on a recent visit. And, those televised and sometimes pay-to-even-enter soccer matches can change plans unexpectedly. Sending best wishes for your dad and mom and family. These situations are tough.
Wow- Stoneham, huh? I only go there when I need to renew my onions’ sports gear at Play it Again. I can totally relate on the “red line rising” factor. I think mine might actually be visible to onlookers.
I feel like there have to be some other, nearer sure-bet options for what you needed but am struggling to come up with them. Maybe Old Magouns? Winter Hill Brewing? Menotomy Grill & Tavern?
Magoun’s - An old favorite of ours years ago but since Harvey left the kitchen, we felt it wasn’t the same. Also, it’s usually crazy during Super Bowl weekend.
Winter Hill Brewing - Too hipster. We loved the music but even we needed to get moved out from under the speaker. Doubt my parents could handle the hipness (though they usually go with the flow).
Menotomy Grill - Why can’t they do decent pub grub? Nice big comfy space but it’s been a big fail every time we’ve been. Have there been improvements in the kitchen?
Thanks for your suggestions. These are all in our little corner of universe. I’m looking for places like Druid, the new James Pub in Needham (a bit too far and unknown to us) but with guaranteed seating. A fireplace (even a gas one), cozy atmosphere, and good pub food makes my Korean mama happy. They would be cool with the Burren but again, I was afraid of rugby / American football crowds this past weekend.
Maybe Rosebud? This isn’t the kind of food I usually seek out, as we usually end up eating American comfort food occasionally without seeking it out.
3 posts were split to a new topic: Boathouse Bistro [Hingham, MA]
Man what a head you have on your shoulders. I usually carry nothing in mine, let alone a spreadsheet.
Someone (not from here) once asked me, what’s the difference between North Shore and South Shore - my friend couldn’t understand it. They are like 2 different universes. Even my hubby who has lived in Camberville/Arlington for ~20 years always remarks when we make a day trip down to some picturesque town on the South Shore, “man, we never come here / we gotta come down here more often.”
@CocoDan Please continue representing! We need fair balance on this board.
Will do. Just need to start making it to some different places that are not on our regular rotation. Somewhat stuck in a rut but really like the places we do get to. We also belong to a private club that has a very good chef that’s hard to ignore. We’ll be reporting again.