Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fantastic BBQ in... Framingham?

So, it's happened. I moved to Metrowest. I've since been exploring the culinary landscape that is Framingham and Natick... yeah, it's not quite Boston, but there still are some great gems around here. I tried Tennessee's BBQ and am HOOKED.

The original location is in Framingham, and several locations have sprung up around Massachusetts. This BBQ joint has garnered a Best of Boston win and my respect after I tried it.

I had the BBQ sampler -- it came with the pulled pork, Memphis ribs and a Dixie chicken, along with cornbread and two sides. I opted for the collard greens and the BBQ beans. The ribs were absolutely heavenly -- the sauce was sweet and tangy and the meat fell right off the bone. These were the true highlight of the meal. The pulled pork was probably the best I've ever had, with a perfect meat/sauce ratio. I'm not a huge fan of chicken as it is, but the Dixie chicken was moist and flavorful.

The sides were also excellent. The cornbread was sweet and moist, I didn't even need to spread butter on it. The collard greens were a little spicy and cooked with bacon, so that was pretty much awesome. The green beans were also cooked with bacon. I don't know why I was surprised, this is a Southern place. The candied yams were the only bleh part of the meal. They were canned yams that were dumped out into syrup and tasted too much like marshmallows. I do put marshmallows in my own candied sweet potatoes, but I never let it be a dominating flavor.

The place was reasonably priced, as well. Lunch for two including drinks was about $30, and given the quality of the food, well worth it. I also appreciate any place that will serve a large variety of real soda in an old fashioned bottle.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The easiest sauce for any occasion

I hate dry food. I have a hard time eating white meat on chicken as it's notoriously dry, and I hate any steak above medium. So in order for me to eat chicken, I need to have a great sauce to top it with. This easy sauce, inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe, will jazz up any pork chop or chicken breast in a matter of minutes. I even use the huckleberry preserves for a scallop glaze.

Worcestershire sauce
Preserves (cherry, huckleberry, blueberry, any kind depending on what fruit you like)
Black pepper
Basil (dried)

Spoon half a jar of preserves into a small pot or pan and put on medium heat. Once it starts to melt and sizzle, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Use a whisk to smooth it out, then add the pepper and basil. Add sriracha to taste -- I usually add about a pea sized amount. If using blueberry preserves, I substitute basil with thyme. Allow to come to just about a boil, all while whisking every few seconds, then turn off and allow to cool. Spoon over any kind of protein for a tangy sauce with just a little bit of kick.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pre theater Teatro dinner

I've been the worst blogger ever. I'm sorry I've been so neglectful, but I've been unbelievably busy between work, buying a house, etc. Excuses, I know. But I digress.

I've been to Teatro before and always had a relatively good time. It's not particularly expensive, though it ain't cheap, but it's a good place before a show. While the tour of RENT was in Boston (one of my favorite shows), we decided to go to Teatro before going to see Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp.

Sadly, the meal was not all I hoped it would be. Our appetizers were nothing special -- I found the calamari to be overly chewy, though well-seasoned. As for the entrees, my scallops were by far the best dish, though the spinach ravioli was also good. My friend's chicken milanese was dry and came with no sauce, and was pretty disappointing.

The service was slow and the server seemed harried. It took a long time to get our orders in, and even longer to get our drinks. However, as it was right before I show, I understand things get busy and it's hard to manage.

The kicker was when I noticed a lemonade cocktail on the drink list. It was described as a lavender lemonade mixed with stoli and lemon lime soda. I asked for just the lemonade, and was informed by the server that they don't serve virgin cocktails. Excuse me? You don't serve virgin cocktails, at all? So if I ordered a virgin Bloody Mary, I'd be refused? I find the whole policy pretty appalling, personally, as someone who doesn't really drink. I had a soda instead, but from my experience in a restaurant, if we have the goods, we can sell it. I don't understand why I wasn't allowed to have a virgin lemonade, unless it was premixed and I didn't know about it, but why would I be refused ANY virgin cocktail?

Dessert wasn't much better. The mint chocolate ice cream was far too overly minty to eat more than a bite of, though my sorbet was solid.

The whole situation with the virgin cocktails left a really bad taste in my mouth, so I didn't have a great night anyway. I did enjoy my scallops on a bed of potatoes, bacon, corn, and some other summer veggies, though I thought it was a bit heavy on the salt. I will not be rushing back to Teatro, though I will admit that my previous experiences had all been better with friendlier service. If anyone who works at Teatro or understands their policy about the virgin cocktails, please let me know, as I'd love to better understand it. If I weren't rushing to a show after, I probably would have hung around to speak to the manager about it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Shack...

Summer Shack is one of my favorite restaurants. "Food is love" is a fabulous motto, and I plan to live that way my whole life. But it's expensive and I rarely get to eat there, so when I went on my birthday, I went a little nuts.

The server wasn't the greatest. My friend asked for the Cobb salad, but instead of crab, some other kind of protein. She said they wouldn't let him do it, unless he wanted extra bacon. Now, I find it hard to believe that the chef wouldn't let him put steak tips or chicken of some sort on there. With the kind of chef Jasper White is, I highly doubt he'd be okay with that.

One of my favorite things about Summer Shack is that they bring you not just bread, but cornbread before every meal. While the cornbread can be pretty dry, a hefty dollop of the sweet creamy butter takes care of that.

I started with a pound of steamers. The steamers were pretty good, steamed with celery, and the little feet came off rather easily. I wasn't blown away by them, mostly because steamers are so standard.

But I also started with the fried chicken. Man, oh man. Summer Shack has some of the best fried chicken I've ever had. It's crispy, juicy, salty, amazing all around.

Nothing could have prepared me for my pan-roasted lobster, however. The chopped lobster was soaking in butter, chives and lobster roe. Provided with a lobster bib and a cracker, I went to town and completely destroyed the lobster as savagely as I possibly could. When I was done, I rolled my corn on the cob in the lobster was pure unadulterated joy. I will never order my lobster a different way whenever I go to Summer Shack -- but next time, I will get the two pounder. I wasn't nearly full.

Dessert was NY style cheesecake with an oreo crust and bruleed peaches. I think I would have liked it better with a regular graham crust, or without the peaches -- the oreo and the peaches didn't really go together. But all in all, it was another delicious meal thanks to Summer Shack.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chicken chili casserole

This past weekend, my roommates and I threw a Mexican themed "Adios Analog" party, in honor of TV switching from analog to digital. As part of the theme, I made a chicken chili casserole that people raved over. A few have asked me for the recipe, so here it is:

-2 lbs ground chicken
-1-2 large can crushed tomatoes
-can of diced tomatoes
-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
-Half of a red onion, diced
-Green peppers/yellow peppers/orange peppers/red peppers, diced (I used half of each one)
-Chili powder
-Roasted corn, frozen (Trader Joe's has a great one)
-Black beans, canned (optional)
-Jalapenos, canned or fresh, chopped (optional)
-Minced garlic, two cloves
-Tortillas (flour or corn -- try wheat for a healthy alternative)
-Shredded cheese, Mexican four-cheese or fancy blend (mozzarella/cheddar blend)

Start by heating up some oil at the bottom of a large pot on medium high. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic, and sweat out for a minute or two, until they begin to soften (if using fresh jalapenos, you would add at this time). Add a hefty pinch of black pepper.

Add the chicken and let brown. Mix frequently to keep the chicken smooth and prevent chunkage. After most pink has disappeared, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Depending on the size of the can, you may want to add another, but a 32 ounce can should be fine. Add the can of diced tomatoes too. (If you choose to add beans, this is when you should do it, or if you'd like to add some heat, throw in some chopped jalapenos from a jar)

Add half a palmful of cumin, and half a palmful of chili powder. Add a quarter of a palm full of adobo. Stir in, then add the corn (defrosted, though it's fine if it's still a little bit frozen) and cilantro. Stir and let cook for about 15 mins.

Turn the heat down to low, and allow to simmer for another half an hour or so. Taste test every now and then and add adobo or salt/pepper as needed.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a large baking pan. Once chili is cooked to your liking, ladle a layer of chili into the pan. Add a layer of cheese over the chili, then a layer of tortillas, then a layer of chili, and repeat. Do this until the pan is full, and make sure the top layer is a thick layer of cheese. Dust the top with black pepper.

Put the casserole in the oven for about 20 mins, or until the cheese fully melts. Take it out and let sit for another 10-15 mins, then dig in! Serve with sour cream and guac for a fully happy experience.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The economy takes its toll on Aujourd'hui and Great Bay

Earlier this week, Aujourd'hui announced its closing. This was a little sad for me, as Aujourd'hui is one of the few truly classy joints left in this city. As the restaurant for the Four Seasons, it catered to the rich and privileged, and not so much for me and my people, but it was still the kind of place where you could show up in a ballgown.

But the truly sad news came just a few minutes ago: Great Bay is closing its doors on Saturday. According to the Herald article, the statement was made today by Michael Schlow and Christopher Myers. This is really heartbreaking for me -- this is the place that spawned my love of real food and wine, and taught me everything I know about food. I made great friends there, and learned a lot about the industry and the difference between good service and excellent service.

While the current economic climate makes it hard to keep a restaurant like Great Bay open, at least it went out on top, as the best seafood restaurant in this city. What's shocking is how sudden it is -- Aujourd'hui is closing at the end of June, whereas Great Bay is closing on May 30. I can't imagine making the phone calls to cancel future reservations. So many good memories in that place.

I wonder if this is the beginning of other well-established restaurants beginning to fall from the economy...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sel de la Terre -- Mandarin Oriental

As a surprise, my boyfriend took me to dinner at the new Sel de la Terre on Boylston Street, in the Mandarin Oriental hotel (how sweet, I know).

I've been to Sel de la Terre before, but only the one on the Waterfront, and this one had a much cooler set up -- hostess greets you on the ground floor, sends you up to the second floor to get seated. The space wasn't anything special, but it was certainly nice. We were seated by the open kitchen, but weren't bothered by noise or heat.

To start, we had the rosemary pommes frites. If you've never had the french fries at Sel de la Terre, you need to go get them right now. They're cut extra thin and dusted with rosemary and salt. They are definitely in my top 3 favorite French fries in the city.

For the main course, I had pan-seared salmon with a fava bean and pancetta succotash, along with lavender honey cornbread. The salmon was perfectly cooked -- I do not like salmon cooked all the way through, and the center was perfectly cool and raw. The skin was crunchy and flavorful, and the fish basically fell apart as soon as I dug my fork in. The succotash didn't really seem to be a succotash. It was a couple of chunks of onion, with a bit of pancetta, in what I guess was a fava bean sauce. I expected REAL Southern succotash, with actual corn and fava beans, not this limp sauce with a few pitiful onions. It tasted good, but wasn't succotash.

The real highlight was the lavender honey cornbread. Oh. my. It was heaven in a cupcake shape. I don't think it necessarily fell under the category of real cornbread, as it was very dense -- it seemed more like a heavy pound cake, and wasn't as bouncy as I like my cornbread. I think the honey may have had something to do with that. But the flavors, combined with the fish, were excellent. I wish the succotash had been better, and it would've felt like a classy Southern set with a perfectly cooked piece of fish.

My boyfriend's red snapper was also delicious. The generous portion of pan seared fish was atop a bed of red peppers, chick peas, pickled onions and olives. The Mediterranean flavors really complemented each other.

The service was generally good. Our server was excellent. As I was draining my glass of the last few drops of ginger ale, she put down another glass, as if she could read my mind and knew I wanted another one. I suppose had I been drinking an alcoholic drink, this wouldn't have happened, but still, that requires a certain level of attention and care on her part. She was also very personable and knowledgeable about the menu.

The only hiccup in service came towards the end of the meal. I had taken a piece of my fish with some of the set and put it on a side plate for my boyfriend to try. He waited until he finished his meal to start in on the side plate. So picture this: two empty entree plates, but he's clearly eating from the side plate. Then the bus boy came by, and he started to clear the empty plates! The server came by and saw him and gave him a dirty look, but because he had already begun to do so, she had no choice but to help.

This may be my biggest pet peeve in nice restaurants. It is EXTREMELY awkward to either be the one who's still eating or the people who are finished if there are no other plates or anything left on the table but the person who is eating. Worse than that, the only plate left on the table was the small side plate! So my boyfriend is eating off of this tiny plate while all silverware, everything, is being picked up around him and the table is empty, save for this tiny plate.

All in all, it was a good night. For the most part, the service was good, minus that one hiccup. The prices were reasonable, entrees are in the high 20s and the quality of the fish was excellent. The pommes frites are infallible, and the location is great. We walked around the Mandarin Oriental after, and it was quite pretty. While I wouldn't say Sel de la Terre is the best restaurant in the neighborhood(being right next to L'Espalier will cancel pretty much anyone out), I would say it's one of the better values compared to the prices and quality at places such as the Palm or Turner Fisheries.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cilantro! Yeah!

Cilantro is definitely one of the foods I love way more than I should. Cooked, fresh, whatever, you can put it on anything I eat. When I go to the grocery store, I always stop in the produce aisle to sniff the cilantro. There's something about the smell of freshly rubbed cilantro that makes my heart leap. Does anyone know of a cilantro perfume out there?

Anyone who's had my award-winning salsa (seriously, it won a salsa contest) knows that I load my salsa with chopped cilantro, along with other goodies. I'll put the recipe up here someday. I love cooking it with lime juice and onions and adding it to fish tacos. Or in noodle soups, letting it simmer in the broth before diving in. I love adding handfuls of it to guacamole. My favorite is perhaps my mom's use of cilantro -- she stir fries it with beef, so there's an amazing garlicky beefy cilantro gravy in it. Yeah, it's amazing.

I'm a little irked I didn't think of it myself, but there is in fact a blog about how amazing cilantro is, at I could almost smell the tangy sweetness of the cilantro looking at the pictures.

What are some of your favorite uses of cilantro?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Red Sox Nation has to eat too...

As any good Bostonian, I love the Sox. I spent my college years living right outside of Fenway Park and loving the smell of the Sausage Guy emanating from Lansdowne St.

But before you head to Fenway Park to catch a game, it makes sense to stock up on food and drink in your belly, rather than shelling out $20 to get a snack and a drink at the park. Here's a rundown of some Fenway Park restaurants and bars:

Cask 'n Flagon. Man, I can't stand this place. Overpriced, crappy food, always filled with too many people. Great place to hang out if you're a "ya dude."

Game On. The yuppie's answer to the Cask 'n Flagon. While the big screen TVs are pretty close to unbeatable, the food and drink are most certainly beatable. Adding blue light to a bar does not make it any nicer, and you'll meet plenty of "ya dude" guys here, but with chips on their shoulders.

Eastern Standard. I've said it before -- I LOVE this place. When I worked next door, I closed out every night with a cocktail and a burger at ES. (I gained 15 pounds over those years.) The employees are absolutely fantastic and the drink list is the best in the city. I've spent many a penny here, and each one of them completely worth it. However, it gets VERY crowded before a game and after a game.

Lower Depths. This place is really great. Great beer (they sell 40s, which, by the way, I take credit for. When it first opened, I was sitting at the bar, and drunkenly told the bar manager that if he really wanted to get the college kids in here, he should sell 40s. Lo and behold, they now stock Colt 45), and $1 Fenway Franks with all sorts of awesome toppings. It's not the best hot dog I've ever had, but for $1, you can't really go wrong. I personally am a sucker for bacon and baked beans on my dog, or bacon and cheese, or baked beans and cheese, or guacamole. The sweet potato fries are also awesome -- thick, steak cut fries with a maple sour cream. Definitely a fantastic pre-game location. If you get here early enough, you'll beat the crowd.

Great Bay. I hate to talk too much about it, as I have often said that I worked here and this place actually launched my love and knowledge of food so I'm quite a bit biased, but I can't mention Fenway without mentioning the only really nice restaurant in the area. Delicious drinks (nothing like a Fenway Streaker before a game), friendly people, amazing service, and what I firmly believe is the best damn seafood in the city. And not everything is pricey -- the Sand dollar bites menu includes $1, $5, and $10 snacks, and the Island menu includes sashimis, tartares, and the best fish tacos you have ever had for under $20. Of course, the dinner menu does come with a somewhat hefty price, but you also have to keep in mind the quality of the seafood and what you're getting. It's also not suffocatingly packed in the bar area at night, an extra plus.

Cornwall's. This was my college hangout to start with, but it's also great for before and after a Sox game. Excellent beers on tap, pool tables, a juke box and darts... how can you go wrong? It also has decent food, such as the burger or any of the sandwiches. All for a reasonable price. I think you can actually see Cornwall's from the picture I uploaded. It's not a nice bar, but it's a nice place to hang out.

And my personal favorite... drum roll please...
Audubon. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Boston to begin with, and will get its own review up here one of these days. For now, I'll touch upon the highlights: Good beer selection (they carry the giant bottles of Saison Dupont -- who doesn't want beer served in a wine bottle size?!), awesome food, low prices, and it doesn't get very crowded before or after a game. Do yourself a favor and get the white bean puree. I have dreams about it. I'll write a full review in the next coming weeks.

There really are SO many more that I could've listed on here, but I'd like to hear what you have to say. What are some of your favorite and most hated pre-Sox game hangouts?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chowdah! Chowdeur... however you say it.

One of my favorite Simpsons moments ever, involving one of my favorite foods ever.

I really love New England clam chowder. Don't give me this Manhattan crap. It's gotta be rich, creamy, and flavorful. Last night, while waiting for my boyfriend's plane to arrive, I decided to treat myself to a cup of clam chowder at Legal Seafood in the airport.

Now, understand that I don't love Legal. I think it's overrated, and the chowder just isn't that great there, but it's still nothing to sneeze at. I don't love it, but I enjoy it. Unfortunately, memory must have served me incorrectly. I had what was possibly the worst clam chowder of my life.

The clams had no flavor. This usually means the clams were boiled off into the broth to sap the flavor into the broth. A big no-no, but usually bearable, except that in this case, the broth had no flavor either. Where the hell did the clam flavor go? It might as well have been chicken chowder. On top of that, the broth was gritty and you could taste the flour or corn starch that they used to thicken it -- another big no-no in chowder. People mistakenly believe that the thicker a chowder is, the better it is. But when you add things like flour and corn starch to a chowder while it's boiling, all it does is make it chalky and deaden the flavor of the clams.

I'm not saying I like a very thin chowder, but that's why restaurants need to use heavy cream and simmer it for the right amount of time. I'll be the first to admit that I am slightly biased, as I used to work there, but I truly believe that Great Bay in Kenmore has the best clam chowder in the city. I've seen the painstaking detail put into each bowl of chowder. To prove to you that the clams in the chowder are NOT the same clams used to make the broth, the clams are arranged with potatoes and bacon and all sorts of good stuff at the bottom of the bowl. Upon serving, the yellowed cream broth (read: full of flavor) is poured on top of the display. Go give it a try and tell me if I'm wrong.

What are some of your favorite places for clam chowder in Boston?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grilled corn!

I love spring. It's really fantastic. My favorite part of spring is the beginning of grilling outside. BBQing is one of my favorite ways to cook, as it is for many others. I occasionally make excuses to barbecue. My favorite spring grilling involves grilling vegetables. I love using just plain Italian dressing to marinate some zucchini or squash, then grilling them in a vegetable basket. My favorite, however, is grilled corn. See below for recipe.

-4 ears of corn
-Feta cheese
-Black pepper
-2 limes, juiced

First, remove the husks from the corn. Then boil for about 15-20 minutes.

Run corn through cold water, then slather with the butter and a pinch of salt. Put onto the grill, and let sit for a minute until you can see grill marks start to form. Start slathering with the lime juice while on the grill, using a brush to apply evenly. In a separate bowl or plate, add crumbled feta cheese with lots of black pepper. Once you have grill marks entirely around the corn and corn is nice and hot, remove.

Roll the hot corn through the feta cheese and black pepper, making sure to allow the butter and lime juice on the corn to pick up small chunks of cheese and pepper. I will often pick up the cheese and pepper mix and rub it directly onto the corn so that the cheese/pepper gets into the spaces between the kernels.

Serve, and add more feta and pepper on top of corn as garnish. I also like to add some lime zest over the garnish.

This is a really easy and delicious way to eat corn. For extra zest, add some paprika or chili powder. Enjoy!

Do you have any grilled vegetables ideas?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Boston foodie girl heads to NYC

NYC is close enough to Boston that I think it warrants an entry, especially with the amount of food I consumed while in the city.

First stop was Kampuchea in the Lower East Side for dinner. I love Cambodian food(if you've never had it, think of it as a Vietnamese/Thai hybrid), so I was pretty excited. However, the menu was a bit ridiculous. The noodle soups were around $14-18, which I find exorbitant. I can get better noodle soup in Chinatown for half that price. My friend's ox-tail stew came with two pieces of ox-tail, barely any broth, and cost $18.

On the other hand, my sandwiches were excellent. I got a sampler of the ox-tail sandwich, the tiger shrimp and coconut sandwich, and the veal meatball sandwich. The ox-tail was rich and flavorful (and came with more meat than came in the stew), the shrimp was complemented perfectly by the shredded coconut, and the veal meatball had hints of hoisin and ginger throughout the moist meat. Each sandwich came with chili mayo, pickled carrots and cilantro. The only drawback was the chef's refusal to make my sandwiches sans mayo (I'm not a huge fan, most places slather it on and I only like a little bit). While I understand that the mayo is part of the experience, if I'm paying $17 for three sandwiches, I should absolutely have it done the way I like it.

For dessert, we headed to sugar Sweet sunshine for cupcakes. My friends raved about it, and I got the black and white cupcake (dark chocolate cake with vanilla frosting), spicy pumpkin cupcake, and the sassy red velvet (red velvet with vanilla frosting). They were delicious, and I took special note of the red velvet. I knew we were heading to another bakery the next day and I wanted to compare the red velvet cakes. The black and white was phenomenal, and the pumpkin was also delicious, but I wasn't too impressed with the red velvet. My friend had a red velvet with chocolate frosting and enjoyed it a lot more, but mine was not great. One dish I wanted to try was the pumpkin trifle, which had pumpkin cake, eggnog pudding and whipped cream. Perhaps the best part of the whole experience was the price -- each cupcake was only $1.50.

The next day, we headed to Harefield in Brooklyn for some of its famous brunch. Each dish is $12 and came with coffee/tea, and a mimosa/Bloody Mary. I fell in love with the Harefield eggs, which was basically Eggs Benedict with salmon instead of Canadian bacon. The hollandaise sauce was light and creamy without being overpowering, and the dish came with just the right amount of sauce. More often than not, I find most brunch places pour entirely too much on the dish and my eggs end up swimming. The Bloody Mary was wonderfully spicy and peppery, with a nice lasting kick. For $12, it was a great deal and a great meal.

In the afternoon, we tried out the bakery my friend works at, Amy's Bread. I tried the red velvet cake and the black and white cupcake. While I'd say sugar Sweet sunshine had better black and white, the red velvet cake was by far, the best I'd ever had. The cake was light, fluffy, yet rich in flavor and incredibly moist. What really made the cake was the whipped buttercream frosting. It had the flavor of a heavy buttercream frosting, but the light airiness of whipped cream. I could have eaten an entire cake in that one sitting.

Later that night, we had dinner at Balthazar. I had heard great things about it, and I was not disappointed. While I felt their cocktail list could have been a little bigger, the food was excellent and had very generous portions (without being ridiculous, like the Cheesecake Factory or something). My homemade fettucine with wild mushrooms and spinach filled me up halfway through the dish, and my friend's spinach and ricotta ravioli was delicate yet filling. My boyfriend's trout was a surprisingly large portion, which I did not expect with fish. It came with two large filets of trout grilled with a balsamic dressing. And with none of our entrees coming above $25, it was well worth the money.

Balthazar was incredibly similar to one of my favorite Boston restaurants, Eastern Standard. It had similar decor (red leather with gold accents and buttons), the menus were extremely similar (compare online menus and you will see what I mean). However, while I adore Eastern and everything it has to offer, I have to give it to Balthazar for being the better restaurant. Eastern has a significantly better drink list, but Balthazar's food is better.

You can't go to NYC without getting some real NYC pizza. We decided on Bleecker Street Pizza, an extremely busy pizza place known for catering to the drunk and the famous. It certainly lived up to its reputation. I could not believe how crispy the thin crust was! Most thin crust pizza sags when you pick it up by the crust, but not this deliciousness. We polished off an entire pizza between the four of us and could have gone back for more. They also serve beer here, only adding to the allure of the place. It was easily some of the best pizza I've ever had in my life.

Were there any spots in NYC that we missed? Let me know!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wings galore!

Chicken wings are awesome. How can anybody not love them? They're gooey, flavorful, crispy... they're really the only reason I look forward to the Super Bowl every year. I have a friend who is completely obsessed with wings and inspired me to write this entry. Let's discuss some of the local places to get wings.

1.) Wings over... -- The "Wings Over" chain has a lot of popular followers. Having had Wings over Somerville and Wings over Brookline, I've gotten sick pretty consistently from them and am not a fan. I like their variety, but the execution is just not that good and not worth the price.

2.) Wing-It -- Wing it is my all-time favorite. I started eating these when I was 8, and I've never found better wings in Boston. The honey barbecue is absolutely killer -- perfectly sweet and salty with a nice crispy skin. In fact, every year, instead of going out to a fancy restaurant on Valentine's Day, my boyfriend and I order Wing-It and picnic on the floor. It really is the best way to spend the holiday. I also recommend the pterodactyl and the Parmesan garlic.

3.) Buff's Pub -- I never knew about Buff's until I saw them on Phantom Gourmet. This small pub in Newton Corner is a bit off the beaten path, but well-worth the trip. While the entrees weren't really anything special, their wings were fantastic. Amazing buffalo wings -- not too spicy, not too mild, just enough tang to match perfectly with the blue cheese. A great spot to have a beer and some wings.

4.) Hooters -- How can you talk about wings without talking about Hooters? Now, it had seemed all was lost in Hooters-land when the majority of the chains in New England closed down. But hope was renewed when the one in Saugus opened up pretty recently. Their wings are cheap and delicious, and hey, you get to look at boobs.

Do you have any favorite wing places or feedback on the above?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bacon feature of the week -- Bacon alternatives?

We all know nothing can really touch bacon. Bacon is crispy, delicious, and the smell of it cooking is one of the most heavenly scents on earth. There is no real way to replace it. But sometimes, for health reasons, religious reasons or what, some people can't have it. So what are some alternatives? Here are a few, as well as what I have to say about them.

1.) Canadian bacon -- What a pitiful excuse for bacon. It's nothing but small ham. However, my Canadian boyfriend swears by it. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. I lump Irish bacon into this category as well.

2.) Turkey bacon -- Surprisingly not that bad. It's certainly nothing compared to the original, but if you're in a bind, turkey bacon is a decent choice.

3.) Bacon salt -- While it's great at adding bacon flavor to dishes, I wouldn't consider it an alternative. It's certainly a tasty addition to dishes that need some zest, but it's not like you could have it as a side for breakfast. At least, I'm not willing.

4.) Tofu bacon -- I have never had it. However, I am going to go with probably disgusting.

5.) Proscuitto -- This is my personal favorite. This is the alternative that actually really tastes like bacon. Now, I'm not talking about proscuitto straight from the package. It requires a bit of work. I heat up sliced proscuitto in olive oil in a frying pan until it's brittle, and it really tastes just like extra crispy thin bacon! The only difference is you don't have the greasy fatty parts. While those tend to be my favorite parts, this is a great alternative. I like to crumble it up and sprinkle on salads or pasta for a perfect bite of crispy saltiness.

What are some of your favorite bacon alternatives? Or perhaps you prefer sausage (teehee) to bacon?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Passover!

I love Jewish food. While I can't get down with not eating bacon, there are some really delicious Jewish foods that I love -- yes, even gefilte fish. Even when shopping, I prefer to buy kosher chicken because I find it much fresher and better tasting than regular ol' Purdue.

There are some great places around Boston to get Jewish food. First and foremost, Zaftig's in Brookline is stellar. Their brunch is unbeatable, though I've never been there without having an hour long wait to get a table. Well-worth it -- absolutely phenomenal brunch food.

Then, there's the awesome JP Licks. I was unaware ice cream could even be not kosher, but apparently there is a lot of room in the ice cream-making process that can contaminate the ice cream. Here is a great article on it. JP Licks has locations all over Boston, offering kosher ice cream. I'm not sure what it is about the koshering of ice cream, but I do believe it to make it creamier and smoother. In my neighborhood, there's a JP Licks right next to a Coldstone Creamery, and I choose JP Licks 100% of the time.

Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton Centre is another great destination Jewish food. They offer french toast made with challah bread, as well as sandwiches made with challah bread, as well matzo ball soups. Their potato latkes are my favorite. I always tell myself that I will try something new when I go there, but I always order the latkes and slather them with applesauce.

I hope all of my Jewish friends had wonderful Passover Seders. These are just a few of the options I can think of -- does anyone else have any other ideas?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Top Chef Masters

I kind of fell off of the Top Chef bandwagon, but will eagerly hop on to watch Top Chef Masters. Set up like the traditional Top Chef, it will feature 24 celebrity chefs from around the country -- including my former boss, Michael Schlow of Radius, Great Bay and Via Matta, who will be representing Boston. Best of luck to Chef Schlow!

For a full list of contestants, check out the list here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Foods I just don't understand

It's pretty clear that I love food. However, there are a few foods (very few) that I just don't like or don't understand. I've decided to compile those foods in a list and to hear what you readers think about the same foods.

1.) Ginger -- I'm the worst Asian ever. I don't like ginger. The problem is that it reminds me of the days I had stomach flus as a kid and my mom would boil ginger in Coca-cola to settle my stomach and thus ruin any chance I ever had of enjoying ginger. For the record, I do like ginger flavoring things -- one of my favorite things that my mom makes is a steamed bass with ginger and scallions.

2.) Horseradish -- Blech. I can't explain it, but this stuff makes me gag. I can deal with a little bit like in cocktail sauce, but eating it straight? No thanks.

3.) Grape nuts -- Who doesn't love to start the day off with a day of bland kitty litter and milk?

4.) Those really hot dried chili peppers you can find in Thai food -- Why don't I just eat some lit matches instead?

5.) Cocoa puffs -- The commercials really make them look tastier than they are. I expected a mountain of chocolate flavor in every bite. Instead, they look like rabbit turds and taste like a sort-of-chocolatey-Kix. I will take Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Krispies ANY day.

6.) Radishes -- It's not even the taste that confounds me, it's the way that you're breathing fire for hours after. If you burp after eating radishes, all those in your vicinity might pass out.

7.) Kimchi -- Same goes for kimchi. Who wants to eat something that you'll smell like for days?

8.) Iceberg lettuce -- I come from a household that didn't really believe in salad. It's nothing but filler. We preferred to eat real vegetables, not this limp lettuce crap. No flavor, no nutrients. Other lettuces, that's a different story. Give me romaine any day and I'll make a good hearty salad (as an app only -- salad is NOT an entree), but iceberg has no place on my kitchen table.

9.) Whole fennel seeds -- I really enjoy the flavor of fennel in a good sausage (tee hee) or in a spice rub, but whole fennel seeds are just too much. I feel like I'm chewing dead bug carcasses.

10.) White chocolate -- Putting the name chocolate on this is a travesty. There is NO real chocolate in white chocolate, and all it really tastes like is a flavorless sugary piece of butter. Now, white chocolate flavored things... that's different. The white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, for example. But by itself? Can anyone actually sit down and eat a bar of it? I would probably yak.

What are some foods you just don't understand?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ariadne in Newton, a mixed bag

I had seen the menu for Ariadne Restaurant and Bar, a Greek restaurant in Newtonville, on the Restaurant Week listings and thought the menu was intriguing. So we tried it out last night, with mixed results.

Upon arrival, the parking lot was pretty empty at 7 pm. A little odd for a Saturday night, but we all know the economy is in the stinker. Oddly, they are still on the paper and pen route of taking reservations and organizing tables. It's the first time in a long time that I've been to a nice restaurant that wasn't using OpenTable or something comparable. The lack of a hostess stand also made it hard for us to figure out where to go when we walked in. We stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before the hostess, standing at the opposite end of the bar, came to us. She sat us and lit our candle in the beautiful dining room. While it seemed a little too brightly lit, they dimmed the lights at 8 pm, as if they had forgotten to do it earlier.

I started with the tuna tartare and maine crab appetizer with a cucumber-mango salsa and wonton chips. All things I love. Normally, I love tuna tartare, but I found the texture of the fish a bit gummy. It also was not well cut into chunks -- a few of the pieces looked like a monkey with a screwdriver hacked away at a fish. The crab was fine and the chips were fine, but I also felt that the presentation did not make for easy eating. The small plate was crowded with a couple of useless greens and an overload of wonton chips. The tower was about the diameter of a shot glass and the height of a rocks glass, so the moment I dug in, it toppled over into my wonton chips and fell apart. It would've been much easier to eat and more efficient had it been short and stout rather than tall and thin (that's what she said).

The golden trout with the jasmine rice and edamame was significantly better. The jasmine rice was cooked perfectly, steamed with slivers of garlic, chunks of carrots and edamame beans. The trout was sliced a bit thin, but perfectly seasoned and crispy. One complaint I had was that the house garnish was cilantro covering the plate. I LOVE cilantro. I'm generally a huge fan of it in my food, but in this case, it had been dropped on top haphazardly rather than incorporated into the dish. Unless I ate chunks of the cilantro with the food, the flavors didn't impart at all. Also, my boyfriend's seafood paella also came with the same garnish. I think both dishes could have used the cilantro cooked into the dish or at least chopped in to release the flavors, rather than thrown on as an afterthought. The paella also had no taste of saffron in it -- the tomato sauce overpowered what saffron there was (if there was any) and while delicious, was more of a jambalaya than a paella.

Overall, the service was pleasant. The "ew" moment of the night came when a food runner (thankfully not OUR food runner) was placing food at the table next to us. The man had ordered a flatbread with hummus, and I watched in horror as the food runner put his thumb IN the flatbread, then put the dish down and wiped his thumb on his pants. EW. I know some dishes can be hard to serve without touching. In the case of putting your thumb IN a dish while at the table, the food runner probably should have owned up to it and said, "My apologies, sir, let me get you a new piece of flatbread." After this, my desire for dessert quickly disappeared and we had tea instead. I will say that the tea service was excellent.

The prices on the "neighborhood menu" seemed quite fair, but as for the other menu, not so much. My tuna tartare came off of the main menu and was a whopping $14 for a very small portion. It was not much bigger than the portion I had at Sibling Rivalry during Restaurant Week, and that was Restaurant Week. Given the quality of the fish and the size of the portion, I would not want to pay more than $10 for that. The neighborhood menu prices had apps from $8-10 and entrees in the high teens and seemed to be the much better bargain (both the trout and the paella were $18 on the neighborhood menu).

I won't say I had an awful time at Ariadne, but it also wasn't great overall. While the chef seems to understand classic flavor combinations, the execution needs some work. While I think there is definite promise in this place, as it has great atmosphere, I don't think I will hurry to return anytime soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, aka Pie-day

Fridays are really awesome. Remember the TGIF lineup on ABC? They knew what was up. Fridays really rock. My favorite part of Fridays is taking a walk down to my favorite local bakery in Newton Center, Pie. Heck, that's my favorite part of ANY day.

Pie Bakery and Cafe lives up to its name. It has savory pies, sweet pies, and while it includes regular baked goods like cookies and scones, I tend to stick to the pies. You can actually get a full meal here for a reasonable price.

I like to start with the goat cheese and chive potato pancake. I'm a sucker for anything carbo-loaded, and anything in pancake form, so this delightful crispy pancake doesn't disappoint. The goat cheese is not overpowering and melts in well with the smashed potatoes in the center.

My favorite entree? Hard to say. I love the spinach and feta pie -- it is probably the best I've ever had. The shepherd's pie with sweet potatoes instead of mashed potatoes are a home run too, as is the savory moist chicken pot pie. Pie also offers salads for those who want to save calories (but really, if you're looking to save calories, both Pie and this blog probably aren't for you). Pie also offers a daily soup. I've had the sumptuous beef stew on a cold winter day, and it took the chill right out of my bones.

And onto the grand finale: the sweet pies. Never in my life have I had pies this good. Everything wins -- the harvest pie (mixture of apples, pears and cranberries), the pear and ginger pie, the apple pie. The key lime and lemon meringue are the perfect level of tart and gooey. The ultimate, however, has got to be the cookies 'n cream pie. It starts with a layer of chocolate creme, then some sort of cookies creme, then a layer of chocolate chip cookie chunks, then whipped cream, then chocolate chip cookie chunks sprinkled on top. It's probably about 4000 calories per slice, but it is pure heaven.

On top of it all, the staff are friendly and pleasant. In fact, the executive pastry chef trained with an old acquaintance of mine, Joanne Chang of Flour, who I believe to be the best (and nicest) baker in Boston. The people working the counter are never grouchy (although, can you really be grouchy when you're surrounded by pies all day?) and always accomodating.

What I love about Pie is that it doesn't do what a lot of bakeries do, and pump out pastries that are super sweet, assuming that this is enough to be a good pastry. It's not. The pastry needs to be rich and have depth and all sorts of interesting flavors. Pie's rich and buttery pastries always deliver without being cloyingly sweet, and I highly recommend ordering one of their pies to bring to your next gathering. Or, just grab a fork and eat the whole pie by yourself while watching reruns of 227, like I do. Oh, Jackee.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bacon as a condiment?

When I saw this, I KNEW I had to blog about it.

Squeez Bacon

It reminds me of that line in the Barenaked Ladies song "If I had a Million Dollars" where they discuss why there's prewrapped sausage but not pre-packaged bacon.

Happy April Fool's everybody! Although, if this weren't a joke, I'd be confused over whether I should be hungry or horrified...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I love sushi. Raw salmon is probably one of my favorite foods, whether it be prepared in a tartare or in a piece of sashimi. There is even a cartoon with sushi fighting crime.

Sushi Pack!

There are a number of good places to get sushi in Boston, thankfully. The obvious favorite is Fugakyu, in Brookline. While expensive, Fugakyu's creativity is unrivaled. The fish is always fresh and the atmosphere is always fitting, but plan on bringing a full wallet. It is definitely not cheap.

I also love Maluken in Kenmore Square. While it used to be the site of much pre-legal age drinking in the city, the new ownership has changed it into much less of a sketchy place. The karaoke is always fun, and the sushi always fresh. They have my favorite spicy salmon rolls in the city. And at around $5 a roll, the prices are great. The service is cheerful and the sake bombs are plentiful. Plan on seeing a lot of college age kids belting out bad Journey covers, but if you avoid Friday and Saturday after 9, you'll be fine.

My favorite non-city sushi place would be Fuji Steak House in Needham. The prices are unbeatable, while the sushi is always fresh. While they aren't great in terms of creativity -- everything is pretty standard -- the lunch specials are unbelievably cheap. I'm talking $9.95 for two sets of fancy rolls, including soup and salad. My favorite combo is the America maki (shrimp tempura, avocado and roe) and the Alaskan maki (salmon, avocado and cucumber).

I personally avoid the Sushi Express places. The one on Beacon St. has amateur sushi chefs who often cut the fish badly. I've had mealy fish there with a weird texture. The price certainly reflects the quality. The one on Newbury St. isn't too bad, but I find it's hit or miss. When it comes to things like sushi though, I would rather pay the cash for good quality fish. I've had food poisoning too many times to have a different philosophy.

There are some great sushi places in Somerville as well, such as in Porter or in Davis. What are some of your favorite sushi places?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bacon hors d'oeuvres: Bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed dates

It's clear that I love bacon. But bacon is more than a standalone food. I love combining it with different flavors and textures, and the recipe below is one of my favorite bacon combos.

To start, I almost never cook bacon on the stove top, unless I'm making bacon bits and I've chopped the bacon into little pieces. Then, I can kind of cook it more like I would a stirfry and I have the lovely bacon grease still in the pan to cook with a bit more. I hate dealing with splattering grease. I am a big fan of making bacon in the oven -- I feel the flavor/texture is unrivaled, and it's much easier. I preheat the oven to 375 and put the bacon on a cookie sheet. Be careful not to stretch the bacon when pulling it from the package, or it will curl when baking. Let it sit for 15 minutes in the oven, and take it out when you're ready. I like my bacon crisp all the way through.

This is one of my favorite bacon hors d'oeuvres: bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed dates.

Bacon strips
Whole pitted dried dates
Extra sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the bacon strips into thirds so that each piece wraps around the date only once or twice (anymore than that and it won't crisp). Slice slivers of the cheddar cheese and stuff into the dates. You can really use any kind of cheese here, I recommend goat cheese or feta as well, but I like the chewiness of the cheddar. Make sure you kind of seal the cheese by molding the end of the dates with your fingers. Wrap in a piece of bacon, toothpick it, and bake a sheet of them for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.

Serve up! Your guests will love them, I promise. The sweetness of the dates plus the salty savoriness of the bacon plus the chewiness of the cheese... absolutely perfect. For the dairy-challenged, it's still delicious if you skip the cheese step. A dusting from a pepper grinder over the tray before serving is also a good touch, depending on the kind of bacon you're using. If using peppered bacon, obviously it's unnecessary, but with a hickory or a maple bacon, the pepper adds a nice bite to them. While better to serve hot, they is still delicious cold. This is a great appetizer for a party or a barbecue.

Friday, March 27, 2009


As you know, bacon is the most perfect food in the world. Don't even try to disagree. For those worried about being kosher, turkey bacon is a decent alternative. I wouldn't prefer it, but if you can't eat the real stuff, it does okay.

I could go on and on about how much I love bacon, but I won't. I know a lot of vegetarians (and I respect that) who miss the taste of bacon. Well, behold: BACON SALT.

I am a fan of the "natural" one. It's low in sodium and has no gluten, but is packed with flavor. Bacon salt is the vegetarian alternative to making your food have that nice bacon edge. There is NO meat in the product, although there is dairy, so beware, those with allergies.

I'm not going to pretend it tastes like you put a crisp piece of bacon on whatever you're shakin' this stuff on. However, it does provide that nice smoky flavor that bacon has to whatever you're adding it to. I personally enjoy it on eggs and baked potatoes. I also recommend adding it to meatloaves/meatballs/hand-formed burger patties.

I plan on doing a weekly feature on bacon, featuring bacon recipes. But for you vegetarians out there, I will also be including bacon salt in that feature, as I have created a ton of recipes for that as well. I could really talk about bacon for hours, so I leave you with the link to the company who makes bacon salt (in all kinds of flavors), and I encourage you to buy. I love mine! (And no, they are not paying me in any way or even know who I am!)

Bacon Salt!

Restaurant Week Boston -- Lumiere

Last night, some friends and I headed to Lumiere in West Newton. I had attended their Restaurant Week before, last year, and was pleasantly surprised by this gem of a French restaurant in the 'burbs. This was before I realized that Lumiere was headed by renowned chef Michael Leviton.

The food last night was no exception. The desserts were actually the same as they were last year (and the mango sorbet in coconut broth with peppered cashews was no less delicious), and the menu was not quite as creative as Sibling Rivalry's. However, the portions were significantly bigger and I left feeling stuffed.

I started with the brandade fritters -- absolutely phenomenal. I have to say, I'm biased to all things seafood, especially deep fried seafood, and I love brandade. The creamy cod filling was not too salty, as brandade can go, but accompanied nicely by a garlic aioli and seasoned tomatoes and kalamata olives.

As for my entree, I opted for some good home cookin' with the meatloaf. I find it very hard to resist meatloaf when given the option to order it. The rich grass-fed beef had a lot of flavor, although it was a bit too salty, in my opinion, when paired with the rich mushroom gravy. The sweet carrots and mashed potatoes were good, although nothing special.

The real winner was my boyfriend's Gulf of Maine pollock. The chorizo/mussel broth was flavorful, although one of our friends commented that the chorizo tasted like chopped up Slim Jims (not necessarily a diss). The mussels were tender and delicious. The pollock's paprika crust provided just enough pop to make it interesting but not overly spicy.

The only thing lacking at Lumiere was the service. Our server often forgot our drinks, and didn't come by our table to take our orders until 7:15, after we had arrived at 6:50. It was obvious that she was busy and felt bad, and she brought a free plate of cookies at the end to make amends. Bring me cookies, and the past becomes the past -- she was immediately forgiven. It was a more satisfying meal than Sibling Rivalry's, but the stumbles in the service and the lack of creativity/fewer options gives SR the edge.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Restaurant Week Boston -- Sibling Rivalry

I have mixed feelings about Restaurant Week. I know it's a great deal -- a three-course meal for $33.09 at a fancy restaurant is nothing to sneeze at. But for the most part, I find that many restaurants dole out food that they would never put on the regular menu. As a result, I do my best to find a restaurant that is serving the caliber of food they'd serve on any Saturday night in the summer. provides menus so you can see ahead of time what you will get.

Last night, I headed to Sibling Rivalry with some friends, and really had a wonderful time. As it is, the South End has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants, and I think Sibling Rivalry is one of the best concepts in the area. In case you aren't familiar with it, Sibling Rivalry is owned by two chefs who happen to be brothers. Each creates a separate menu per night, and the guest is allowed to choose from either menu.

Both menus looked fabulous. I started with Chef David's tuna tartare on a bed of sushi rice and my boyfriend had Chef Bob's Vietnamese crispy squid. The tuna tartare was well-seasoned, although the portion was not more than a few bites. It came with a stripe of wasabi mayo and spicy mayo, neither of which was particularly needed, and then a dab of sriracha and a dab of soy glaze. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't too different from any other tuna tartare I'd had.

The Vietnamese crispy squid was the real star of the appetizers. The fresh squid was neither rubbery nor chewy -- the texture was perfect. The seasoning was similar to Chinese salt and white pepper squid, so it took me back to my childhood days. The ginger-lime-chili dipping sauce (although it was more of a juice than a sauce) complemented the squid perfectly. The portion was bigger than the tuna tartare and felt more filling.

For the entree, I tried the special: Alaskan black cod with a miso glaze, pea tendrils and wilted spinach. The black cod was cooked perfectly -- not an easy feat with the mass production of Restaurant Week. The flaky flesh was a bit more buttery than regular cod, and had a texture closer to halibut than to cod. Pea tendrils are quite possibly one of my favorite vegetables -- all of the flavor of peas, but none of the mushy texture.

My boyfriend's scallops were also good. While the scallops weren't quite cooked perfectly (I felt they could have used another minute of searing), the cilantro sauce added the perfect zest and zing that made up for it. Dessert was nothing special -- I enjoyed my bread pudding and he enjoyed his mousse.

The service was wonderful -- the courteous waiter kept an eye out for stray crumbs and answered all of our asinine questions. We were 45 mins late for our reservation due to an emergency, but the gracious hostess never faltered in her smile and sat us immediately upon arrival.

I will say that I left Sibling Rivalry still a little bit hungry. While none of the portions were extremely small, I definitely was not full at the end of it and considered stopping somewhere for ice cream. All in all, a good time.


Wow, my first blog post. I'm not going to lie, this is pretty exciting for me. As both a journalist and a foodie, the idea of combining what I'm paid to do plus what I love to do makes me really happy. The idea for this blog came about when I was waxing poetic on the delicate intricacies of bacon (yet again) with my friend, and she told me, "Why don't you just start a food blog?!"

And here we are. Just so you understand, I'm not just some chick who likes to eat. While yes, that is true, I also worked in the restaurant industry for seven years, working everywhere from front-of-house to the kitchen as a prep cook. I worked in a variety of restaurants, from Chinese to nouveau American to seafood to French, from takeout places to luxury dining. Most importantly, I worked with some of the best people in the industry in Boston, and what I learned about food, I learned from them. (So for those former coworkers of mine reading this, thank you.) I left the food industry to pursue my career as a journalist, and this is my way of combining my two passions.

I do love to eat in restaurants, from cheap to high end, but I also love to cook. The goal of this blog isn't just to review restaurants and either encourage or discourage people from eating at certain places, but also to further people's knowledge of food by sharing my love of it. I plan on sharing some of the best recipes I've come up with over the past few years. And there will be a running feature on bacon, quite possibly the most perfect food ever created.

Thank you for taking the time to visit -- if you share even a fraction of the amount of love I have for food, I think you'll really enjoy my blog.

In the wise words of Jasper White of Summer Shack fame, "FOOD IS LOVE."