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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

My food adventures…and some other random stuff

IMG_0754Were you at Pax East this past weekend? I wasn’t, but I attended the IC launch party at Guilt nightclub.

IMG_0755No idea what Pax East is? It started in 2004, it’s consumer show, where people come, listen to music, beta test games, play next gen and classic video games, and check out unreleased hardware. Have a favorite developer? He or she might be speaking on a panel at the event.

IMG_0757Check out these fun drinks, pictured is the Atlanis Gambit: Rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and lime.

IMG_0758Mei Mei provided the snacks for the evening! I had the kung pao braised beef nachos that were quite delicious!  Good thing we got there early, people were lining up to try Mei Mei’s food!

IMG_0763Here are the sweet and spicy candied peanuts. Yum!

Pax East

http://east.paxsite.com/

Mei Mei Street Kitchen

http://meimeiboston.com/

 

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IMAG0099Every month until they publish their cookbook in April 2015, Chef Richard Chudy, and Chef Samuel Monsour will host pop up burger nights all around town. Chudy is the creator of Boston Burger Blog and co-owner of the Skinny Beet, a personal chef and catering service. Monsour is the former Executive Chef at JM Curley and you may have heard about his “The Future of Junk Food” series of pop up dinners. The Super Burger Bros. event on Thursday night was at Boston Chops in the South End.

IMAG0089The event started at 10pm and went ’til 1am. When I made reservations, they had over 100 people already booked. We arrived a few minutes before 10 and the place was packed.

IMAG0086Mark and his fiance joined us for dinner. I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it, dinner at 10pm is late for this girl – it was a school night after all.

IMG_20140417_221800The two burgers we didn’t try were: Oktoburger by Chris Coombs/Ryan Marcoux: House sauerkraut, monkey first mustard, smoked beef tongue pastrami ($10) and the Boston Chops Signature Late Night burger: Government cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, caramelized onions, pickles, and secret BC sauce ($6). While they all sounded delicious, we were all basically on the same page.

IMAG0091The pop up started with a hot dog amuse bouche!

IMAG0093Even after grabbing drinks at the Gallows ahead of time, I decided to have a “pick me up boozy milkshake” with coffee ice cream, Jameson, Van Gogh vodka and chocolate liqueur ($8).

IMAG0096Pops Double Stack by Samuel Monsour: shaved vidalia’s, yellow mustard, NY state dog sauce, and homemade American cheese ($10) with a side of fries ($2). This burger had classic nostalgic flavors. A bit messy to eat, but oh so good.

IMAG0094Canadian Steakhouse by Richard Chudy: Montreal spiced onion ring “poutine” Canadian Club and maple gravy, fresh curds ($9). My personal favorite. Fresh curds, say no more. The burger was delicious, sweet and salty, and well seasoned. The bun stayed in tact until the last bite – which is pretty important for a good burger.

 

IMAG0098And instead of fries, I decided to grab the duck fat fingerlings with lardons from the regular Boston Chops menu($10). Love everything about this side dish.

The service was what your would expect for a busy Thursday evening. The music was loud, but I loved the old school jams they picked out to be the soundtrack for the night. Can’t wait to see what these guys think of next!

Boston Chops

1375 Washington Street, Boston, MA

https://bostonchops.com/

 
Boston Chops on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4392I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Bacon Truck. We hit the Bacon Truck up on the Greenway (thank goodness the line wasn’t that long, I could hardly contain my excitement!) I love the wrap on their truck!

They have a sign on their truck that says that any of their menu items can be ordered without bacon. I tweeted at them asking if this actually happened in real life, people ordering food from the bacon truck sans bacon. They said it’s happened once or twice…

IMG_4395No contest, I ordered the hangover sandwich: bacon, bacon hash, havarti cheese and a fried egg. Admittedly, not the most lady like thing to eat at the office, but man was it delicious. If you follow my blog, you know I’m a sucker for anything with a fried egg, and add double bacon-y goodness and I am in heaven.

IMG_4400My spirits expert Mark joined me for lunch and had the side of bacon hash and the habanero pickles (they had a good kick to them that met Mark’s high spice standards). Overall a great meal – we’ll be back soon!

The Bacon Truck

http://www.bostonbacontruck.com/

www.facebook.com/BaconTruckBOS/

@BaconTruckBOS

2014 Schedule:
Sunday – SOWA Open Market May through October
Monday – Lunch @ Cleveland Circle
Tuesday – Dinner @ Belvedere St. by The Pru
Wednesday – Lunch @ Rings Fountain by the Aquarium
Wednesday – Dinner @ Seaport Blvd. by Courthouse Station
Thursday – Lunch @ Belvedere St. by The Pru
Thursday – Dinner + Late Night @ Opera Place at NEU
Friday – Lunch @ City Hall Plaza

Lunch 11 – 2:30, Dinner 3 – 8:30

Check out their menu:

www.bostonbacontruck.com 2014-4-8 21 12 45

Bacon Truck on Urbanspoon

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IMG_0810It was a rainy on Sunday, a perfect day for a little pampering. I headed over to The Street in Chestnut Hill to get my fitskin facial.  While I was waiting for Anastasiya, I had the chance to chat with Pete Dziedzic, who co-owns Skoah with his husband  Jay Judas.

IMG_0804I love Pete’s story, he took an untraditional route into the skincare business. Pete spent 7 years as a corporate lawyer. In 2009, he and Jay went on vacation to Vancouver and they booked themselves spa appointments at the Skoah flagship store. They thought that Skoah would be a great fit for Boston, and they approached the co-founders. A little less than a year later, their South End store opened. In May of 2013, they opened their second location on Newbury Street and the Chestnut Hill location opened  in January of this year.

IMG_0805After chatting for a few minutes, it feels like we are old friends…chatting about Top Chef Kristen Kish, Barbara Lynch, and of course Gwyneth Paltrow….I almost forget I’m here for a facial!

IMG_0806The storefront is simple and sophisticated, it feels like “cabin chic”. No detail has been missed, from the pendant lights to the custom fireplace to the carefully placed pops of color.

IMG_0807Everything here is pristine, from the waiting area to the treatment rooms.

IMG_0808Skoah salons give you what they call a personal workout for your skin, promising that “this workout is relaxing!” Now this is the kind of workout a girl could get used to! Want to know more about Skoah products? They use their own blend of 11 different plant extracts in almost every Skoah product. They use high-quality, highly-refined lipids and oils such as olive oil, shea butter and coconut oils.

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Here’s what you get with the fitskin facial: Get cleaned, toned, exfoliated, treated and hydrated for completely skoah-cised skin in under an hour. 45 mins for $85. Very relaxing, 45 minutes goes all too quickly – in addition to the facial, there is a really great arm and back massage to get your super relaxed. After I’ve changed back into street clothes, Anastasiya meets me at the front desk with her suggestions for products based on the facial. I walk out glowing, and as the days progress after the facial, my skin is just looking better and better. Stop in and book your appointment for a facial at any of the three Boston locations.

*Disclaimer: Skoah provided me with a complimentary fitskin facial but all opinions are my own.

Website: http://www.skoah.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skoahboston

Skoah Chestnut Hill

The Street Chestnut Hill, 55 Boylston Street, Newton, MA
617.383.5185 · chestnuthill@skoah.com

Skoah South End

641A Tremont St, Boston, MA
857.350.4930 · southend@skoah.com

Skoah Newbury Street

35 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
857.350.4896 · newbury@skoah.com

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IMG_0751I happened to need a gift for a party we were going to, and headed over to Cocoanuts in the North End to pick up some sweets (blog post coming soon).

IMG_0752I had the chance to chat with Tara Shea (co-owner) while I was in there, and she mentioned that Shira Melen, of Northlight Baking Co., was going to be in the following day sampling her macarons. How could I pass that up?

cocoanutsShira was on my radar even before she was featured in the Globe at the beginning of the month. I’m always on the hunt for delicious macarons. Shira was sampling three flavors, dirty chai (my favorite), ginger and kalamansi (a hybrid citrus flavor).
cocoanuts2Shira’s macarons are really special – there is that delicate crunch when you first bite into the almond meringue shell and the ganache is so decadent. Macarons are about 2″ in diameter and will run you $2.50 for one, $6 for a two piece gift box, and $14 for a five piece gift box.

cocoanuts4Shira makes these tiny macarons by special request, mainly for party favors (how cute are they?!)

cocoanuts3Shira’s spring line box features:

  • Kalamansi (a hybrid citrus fruit) which is a bit tart
  • Lavender, infused with lavender buds
  • Orange Blossom with milk chocolate ganache and orange blossom water
  • Passionfruit
  • London Fog, blue flower earl grey tea (MEM tea)and vanilla bean

I was excited that Shira makes out of the ordinary flavors (no plain vanilla here!), but wondered if the flavors that she chose would be too bold. I was pleasantly surprised with all the flavors (I bought a package for a friend who was then kind enough to let me taste test). I think that the London Fog was my favorite – the ganache was so creamy. The passion fruit was tart, but not as tart as the Kalamansi. The orange, which can be a bold flavor, was actually quite subtle – pair it with the chocolate ganache and it was a match made in heaven. The lavender, which can also be a strong, bold flavor, was also subtle and quite tasty. Stop in and pick up some macarons, they make great gifts, or buy them for yourself – you deserve it!

Have you been to Cocoanuts? What’s your favorite thing there?

Northlight Baking Co.

http://www.northlightbaking.com/

Cocoanuts Boston

28 Parmenter Street, Boston, MA (in the North End)

http://cocoanutsboston.com/

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IMAG0042Fajitas and ‘Ritas was established in 1989. It sits on West Street, just around the corner from the Opera House.

IMG_0686We stopped in for lunch on Saturday afternoon. It has a different vibe in the afternoon – there are more families that come in, as opposed to a Friday or Saturday night when the place really comes alive.

IMG_0690The restaurant is casual, with white paper covering the tables and a roll of paper towels at every table.

IMG_0695I love the decor here, different artists have come in and painted murals on the walls in bright colors. Fajitas and ‘Ritas has an outdoor,  backyard, neighborhood-y, casual place to meet your friends out kind of feel.

IMG_0700There are plenty of seats at the bar if you just want to stop in for a drink, but you would be missing out on the good food!

IMAG0032Fajitas and ‘Ritas serves up Texas cuisine – they serve fajitas, smoked bbq, quesadillas, nachos, and tequila wings (there’s tequila in the marinade and the sauce!).

IMAG0036The portions are generous! For $7.71, I got a chicken and cheese quesadilla. The chicken had a little bit of a kick to it, really nicely seasoned.

IMG_0684How do you go to a place called Fajitas and ‘Ritas and not get a margarita right? They have over 25 types of tequila, a house margarita, 8 specialty margaritas and you can even make your own margarita. The bartender makes a stiff drink! Above is the frozen raspberry margarita – yum!

IMG_0705And how could you not try the fajitas? Here is the steak fajitas – for $9.35 you get a sizzling plate of perfection. I wish that you could smell these! They come with flour tortillas and a trio of condiments (guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream all made fresh in house). The service was good – our waitress was chatty and personable. Our food came out quickly and our water glass was always full.

IMG_0697For your viewing pleasure, take a look at some of the artwork on the walls!

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IMG_0687Check out my Favecast video here: http://www.favecast.com/49EfHkQ56o

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*Disclaimer: I was given a discount on the meal, but all opinions are my own.

Fajitas and ‘Ritas

25 West Street, Boston, MA

http://www.fajitasandritas.com

Fajitas & 'Ritas on Urbanspoon

 

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IMG_0623Bon Me is run by husband and wife team Patrick Lynch and Ali Fong. They decided to enter the City of Boston’s food truck contest on a whim, and won. Three years later, they have 4 food trucks and a brick and mortar restaurant under their belt.

IMG_0643Tru and Zac manage the Orange truck that hangs out in Dewey Square (South Station) every day 11:30am-2:30pm. Stop by and say hello!

IMG_0640Their premise is simple, pick a dish (sandwich, rice bowl or noodle salad), choose your filling (check out the extras) and grab a drink!

IMG_0651A lot of people, me included, write about the food. I wanted to write this series to help you get to know the people who serve you your lunch a little better. It’s always nice to put a name to face! I met up with the orange truck last Thursday, and asked them to share 3 fun things about themselves.

Meet Megan!

  • Megan is a fellow terrier (go BU)!) that studied journalism – we both agreed that we are more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it.
  • She is currently in culinary school
  • She’s a Yankees fan (don’t hold it against her!)

JuanMeet Juan!

  • Juan went to Berkelee
  • He’s a Dodger fan (hey where are all the Red Sox fans on this truck?!!)
  • He actually works on 3 food trucks (but Bon Me is his favorite)

If Juan wasn’t working on the Bon Me truck, he’d either be a server or a full time musician.

 

IMG_0659Meet Brian!

  • Brian is a Red Sox fan (thank goodness, there has to be at least one on the truck to represent!)
  • He’s originally from Oklahoma
  • At a whopping 5’4″, he is the tallest person in his immediate family

If he wasn’t working on the Bon Me truck, he’d probably be doing medical research. Bonus: Brian’s wife was Ali’s roommate in college!

 

IMG_0660Of course I had to get some lunch while I was at the truck, all that photo taking and interviewing made me hungry!!

IMG_0662I brought back a rice bowl (seasonal greens, bean sprouts, shredded carrot and daikon, and cilantro) with the miso braised pulled pork.

bonmeThere is something really great (and delicious) going on here, well seasoned meat, great textures and flavors, and an amazing smell that made my whole office jealous. Stay tune for more featured makers!

Find the Bon Me truck here: http://www.bonmetruck.com, follow them on Twitter: @bonme

They also have a noodle stop at One Kendall, Friday nights, 5pm-10pm and Saturday all day 11am-10pm

Bon Me on Urbanspoon

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The President was in Harvard Square on the one night that I have a massage appointment. They told me in advance that I wouldn’t be able to drive in – the Charles Hotel garage would be closed to the public. No problem, I hop in a cab and rush over after work…only to find that not only can cars not even get close, but you can’t cross the street because they are waiting for the President to leave. So here it is, bone chilling cold outside, the wind whipping at my face and I’m standing there, freezing, just feet away from a relaxing, much needed massage! Twenty minutes later, we are allowed to cross. I get my massage (thanks Katie for waiting!!) and I meet a friend afterwards for dinner at nearby Alden and Harlow.

IMG_3718You may know Chef Michael Scelfo from his time at Russell House Tavern just around the corner. Alden and Harlow is Scelfo’s first solo venture.

IMG_3717Located in the old Casablanca space, Alden and Harlow feels completely different.

IMG_3700The menu has many small plates meant to share.

IMG_3701Our waiter is fantastic, he helps us make some great choices. He arrives at our table with some complimentary pickled beans that are quite tasty.

IMG_3703We start with the Grilled Cauliflower Caponata ($8).

IMG_3705Washington State Mushrooms* 60˚Egg, Pine Nut Crumble ($13). I especially liked this dish, the mushrooms were cooked perfectly and I love the saltiness from the egg.

IMG_3706Pickled Verrill Farm Corn Pancakes with buttermilk yogurt, Maple, and Shishito ($12) An unexpected combination of flavors and texture, but I love it.  I enjoyed the popcorn and the crunch that it brought to the dish.

IMG_3707Secret Burger* (limited availability) Our 8oz House Creekstone Grind, Your Faith, House Made Roll ($14). The bun was delicious and the pickles really added a little something something to this burger.

IMG_3709A closer look at the inside of the burger.

IMG_3713For dessert, the smoked chocolate bread pudding with Jacobsen Salt Ice Cream ($9). It was more bread than pudding consistency wise – very smoky and quite salty.

IMG_3716I love the decor – here, the light wall behind our table.

IMG_3715We were at a high top booth across from the bar. Good vibe here, an interesting mix of people. The service was quite good – will certainly be back again to try some of the other menu options.

Alden and Harlow

40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

http://aldenharlow.com/

Alden & Harlow on Urbanspoon

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IMG_3763Cakeology opened it’s storefront downtown in September of last year. Cakeology  has been on my radar for some time now, check out my post from a while back, before the store opened and Victoria was just delivering cupcakes.

IMG_3761The shop is cute, there are a few tables to sit and eat your decadent desserts at – and a large panda to take selfies with!

IMG_3760Here are the classic flavors available in store every day:

  • Boston Cream Pie : Light and fluffy vanilla cake with a fresh vanilla bean pastry cream filling and dreamy dark chocolate ganache topping
  • Carrot Cake : Traditional delicious spice cake with chopped walnuts and grated fresh carrot with a thick and tangy orange zest cream cheese frosting
  • Vanilla Vanilla : Cakeology’s award-winning vanilla cake with a perfect swirl of Tahitian vanilla bean frosting topped with white chocolate shavings
  • Double Chocolate : Velvety dark cocoa cake with a delicious milk chocolate frosting swirl, decorated with malted chocolate crunch balls
  • Red Velvet : Our best seller! Scrumptious classic velvet cake made with buttermilk and a dash of cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon zest
  • German Chocolate : In a word – YUM. We added this to our everyday menu after a stampede of  requests. Fluffy chocolate cake with a pile of coconut, caramel and pecan frosting

IMG_3765Peanut Butter Chocolate : Chocolate cake baked with chunks of peanut butter cups, topped with creamy peanut butter chocolate frosting and sprinkled with more chopped cups

IMG_3775The cake was incredibly fresh! I don’t know if I loved the frosting on this one, but I still ate it!

IMG_3768The oreo cupcake that was on special. The oreo cookies were super fresh and crunchy – which is amazing, ’cause no one likes soggy oreos on their cupcakes :)

IMG_3774And the inside of the cupcake with a little surprise inside!

IMG_3769Vanilla Vanilla : Cakeology’s award-winning vanilla cake with a perfect swirl of Tahitian vanilla bean frosting topped with white chocolate shavings. I love the presentation of this cupcake – it was as delicious as it looked.

IMG_3772Carrot Cake : Traditional delicious spice cake with chopped walnuts and grated fresh carrot with a thick and tangy orange zest cream cheese frosting.  Again, super fresh cake and I really enjoyed the flavor of the cream cheese frosting.

Cakeology

290 Washington Street, Boston, MA

http://cakeology.com/

Cakeology on Urbanspoon

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IMG_3820Central Wharf Co. is the newest addition to the Glynn Hospitality Group – you may know some of their other restaurants: Granary Tavern (right next door), The Black Rose, Dillon’s, Brownstone, Hurricane O’Reilly’s, Coogan’s, Clerys, and Sterling’s.

IMG_3822Address sound familiar? Central Wharf took over the space that was formerly Jose McIntyre’s.They just took the old sign down in the beginning of March!

IMG_3823I met a couple of my old interns out for drinks after work.

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We were pleasantly surprised at the live music on a weeknight.

Check out Joe Carson – wickedly talented.

IMG_3821After a quick toast with my champagne cocktail, toasting to being reunited with friends, we decide we need something to hold us over.

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We have the trio of dips ($10) hummus, olive tapenade, herbed cheese, served with grilled pita chips and veggies. The food was good, our bartender was great – we enjoyed her company, a good night over all.

See my Favecast video here: http://www.favecast.com/7cFhJPX5OS

Central Wharf Co.

160 Milk Street, Boston, MA

http://www.centralwharfco.com/

Central Wharf Co. on Urbanspoon

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