More Than Just a Cheap Date, Rolly’s Tavern May Have the North Shore’s Best Dining Deal

Posted: October 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: American, Casual/Pub Food, Lynn, Rolly's Tavern on the Square | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

When was the last time you had dinner for two, including prime rib and a bottle of wine, with the tab coming to just $30? Certainly not in this decade.

But let’s back up a bit. We lunch with Corey Jackson, charming champion of the Lynn arts scene and Managing Director of Arts After Hours, on a semi-regular basis, and a few weeks ago he suggested Rolly’s Tavern in Wyoma Square.

The restaurant, helmed by Chef Rolly Hayes and his wife, Wendy Meninno Hayes, opened in 2005 and recently underwent a major renovation. In fact, the project continues as they enlarge through the rear of the space. The place is casual and welcoming with a large bar graced with plenty of TVs for sports enthusiasts.

At lunch, Corey opted for the famous grilled ham and cheese sandwich, which Boston Globe Magazine listed as one of Boston’s 45 Best Sandwiches. This childhood fave, served on white or wheat with a side of fries, was savory and satisfying.

I chose the Rolly’s burger, a half-pound of Black Angus grilled to order, served with a side of fries ($9). Talk about a seriously good burger—juicy on the inside with a nice char outside and plenty of toppings.

I would have gone back for the burger alone, but what caught my attention were the weekly specials. Monday features a two-for-one special on the burgers, and Tuesday and Wednesday host the aforementioned dinner deal: two entrees and a bottle of wine for $30. The specials list includes a variety of entrées, some of which are higher end and add $4 or $5 to the overall price. Rolly’s posts the menus for that evening on their Facebook page.

We returned on Tuesday night, when the menu included a prime rib au jus, and we opted for the queen cut at $16 (the king cut is $19). Although the butternut squash ravioli in a whiskey cream sauce was tempting, we opted to try the chicken pot pie at $14.

Both entrees were hearty comfort food, perfect for a chilly evening. The prime rib was tender and flavorful, and the vegetable sides were a step above standard pub fare. The mashed red bliss potatoes had great texture, rich but not overly creamy, and the steamed green beans and carrots had a nice crunch to them.

The all-white-meat pot pie offered an appetizing roasted chicken flavor, was topped with a lovely flaky puff pastry, and was accompanied by a fresh garden salad.

The wine included in the deal is Salmon Creek, which is available in chardonnay, white zin, pinot grigio, merlot, or cabernet. Also available for a $3 add are the wines from Lynn’s own Urban Wine Project.

Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive date night or just want to relax after work while someone else does the cooking, we think you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better deal than Rolly’s midweek specials.

Rolly’s Tavern on the Square
338 Broadway, Lynn
781-599-2160
www.rollystavern.com

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Lynn, Lynn, the City of…Donuts

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bakery, Donut City, Lynn, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Even unintentionally, Corey Jackson inspires me to eat in Lynn. This morning I was planning to take Route 1A through Lynn when Corey posted a picture of the awful  Lynnway traffic on Facebook. Having no desire to experience it for myself, I decided to take Route 107, conveniently passing directly by Donut City, which sits at the intersection of Western Ave. and Chestnut Street.

A small, independent, family-owned shop that’s been open about a year and a half, Donut City makes donuts fresh each morning. I had been meaning to check them out, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Everything looked so good, I ended up leaving with a variety of treats to share with my colleagues. Both the raised and cake donuts (.75 each) were terrific. My all-time favorite, the chocolate frosted old-fashioned cake donut was excellent. The crunchy fried outside encased moist cake and was topped with chocolate icing that didn’t overwhelm. The raised doughnuts were heavenly—even the glazed was feather light, and the raised cinnamon was a revelation. That’s the one I’ll go back for.

Donut City offers muffins in two sizes, (.79 for small and $1.65 for large) and produces a variety of unusual flavors along with the old standbys. Who could resist a Boston Cream Pie muffin? I certainly couldn’t, and I threw in a pineapple coconut one for good measure. My colleagues were quite happy with the decision. The muffins were moist, lightly sweet, and had a nice springy crumb—the Boston Cream Pie drew raves.

I was interested to discover that aside from a myriad of sweet treats, croissants and breakfast sandwiches, the shop also offers fresh, hot, savory meat pies. The chicken and beef pastelitos (.80 each) looked so good, I opted to try the chicken then and there. A crisp pastry filled with chopped meat, onions, and sweet peppers, it was delicious. A couple of those and a coffee and you’ve got yourself a bargain lunch.

Speaking of coffee, I was excited to see that Donut City carries locally roasted fair trade coffee from Beverly’s Atomic Café.

The quality and freshness of this unassuming corner bakery blows chain store donuts out of the water, so don’t wait until the next traffic jam to stop by.

Donut City
515 Chestnut Street, Lynn
(781) 477-0766

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Lunch in Lynn: Mexican Mulitas at Lupita Restaurant

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Lupita Restaurant, Lynn, Mexican | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ever since we started the Dish, we’ve had the idea to do a “Lunch in Lynn” series to explore the plethora of ethnic eateries there, so when Corey Jackson of Downtown Lynn wanted company for lunch, I was all for it.

Our destination was Lupita Restaurant, the new location opened by the owners of Tacos Lupita, also on Monroe Street. The interior is bright and open, and the décor leaves no question that you are in a Mexican restaurant.

After perusing the extensive menu, we ordered at the counter and then found a table. We had just started to chat and sip our Mexican sodas, (I tried the Boing! Mango, which was awesome) when the server brought our food.

Billed as appetizers on their menu, both the pupusa ($2) and the mulita ($4) are hearty enough to have been my entire lunch. The pupusa revueltas, the smaller of the two, was a thick corn tortilla stuffed with queso and a mix of ground pork and beans served with a tangy cabbage slaw and salsa. While tasty, I preferred the mulita al pastor (shown at left), a sandwich of two grilled corn tortillas filled with roast pork (al pastor means “shepherd style,” from a rotisserie) cheese, beans, and lettuce. It had a unique savory rich mix of tastes that I really enjoyed and will definitely return for.

We also tried a carne asada burrito ($6), which was packed full of meat, beans, and rice. The flavor of the grilled beef was quite good, but I was stuffed after the mulita, and most of the burrito came home with me for the next day’s lunch.

My dining companion went all out and ordered a specialty plate, which featured breaded and fried steak (similar to the mudiga steak found in Gloucester) served with rice and beans and a salad with nice chunks of fresh avocado. As artery threatening as it sounds, it was delicious, the meat tender and flavorful.

Lupita is a great place for lunch, especially if you’re on a budget. The food is tasty and served quickly, and the portions are a bargain at these prices. Corey tells me they are waiting on a liquor license that could make them a great cheap eats destination for dinner as well as lunch.

While Lynn perennially suffers from a bad reputation, much is changing in the downtown area, and interesting things are starting to happen both in the arts and the food scene. The  available variety of ethnic cuisine alone is worth venture over the border.

Lupita Restaurant
22 Monroe Street, Lynn
(781) 599-3004

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