Month: May 2012

Restaurant Review: Town.

Go to Town! No, seriously. Go to Town. It’s one of the most “with it” restaurants I’ve frequented of late. It’s got it’s act together for sure. Of note is their service. Attentive yet not overly so. The servers are knowledgeable and serve without hovering. I love that.

The food was quite impressive. Don’t be put off by my poor photography skills. I had their trout ala nonna. Pan seared trout with lentils, bacon, pearl onions, tomatoes, enochi mushrooms with a guanciale (bacon) vinaigrette for $24.

My pal had the half-chicken under a brick. Black garlic jus, mascarpone mash potatoes, butternut squash, Brussel sprouts and chestnuts for $25. I was graciously allowed a sample and found it to be quite delicious. I might order the chicken next time.

You’ll need a reservation. They have 5:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. slots available. When I made the reservation, I was told that we would need to leave before 7:15 (annoying). But we managed to eat, drink and talk plenty before finally leaving at 7:30 pm. There was nary a peep from server. I would definitely recommend Town. I hope to go back soon to sample the chicken and maybe the ricotta stuffed meatballs. It’s supposed to be their signature dish.

Town is located at 296 Elgin in between Browns Cleaners and Money Mart.

Town on UrbanspoonIf

Frankly Fenway

Is there anything more associated with baseball than hot dogs? Cracker Jacks have their place but there’s nothing like having a hot dog at the ballpark while watching your favourite team play. Have you ever been to Fenway and tried the Fenway Franks? BEST. HOTDOG. EVER. IMHO. Perfect flavouring, boiled then grilled and served on a New England style bun. Nothing like it.

Here’s a short video from Boston.com on the making of Fenway Franks. If you live in the New England region, you can also get them at your local grocery store. Since I’m 7.5 hours out of Boston, (Ottawa, Canada) I’ll have to wait for my yearly visits to Fenway.

I like my doggs with ketchup and relish.
Here’s where I was sitting. Great view!
Dustin Pedroia is my favourite player.
A cool pic from Fenway

Street meat

During my time in Boston, I had full well intended to sample the many food trucks that line the streets. But it’s raining. ALL THE TIME. I did manage to try the BBQ Smith truck. It was parked near the library just outside the Copley T station as I was running for one thing to the next. Within minutes I had my hands on a Slawwhich. Smoked chicken with BBQ sauce, slaw and garlic pickles on a soft roll. The piled high smoked chicken was flavourful, the sauce was tangy and the pickles and coleslaw added a nice crisp touch. This sandwich was very reasonable priced at $6.

 
 

Dining at Felipe’s

For all the years I’ve been going to Boston, I’ve heard about this place in Harvard Square called Felipe’s Taquaria. Frankly, Chipotle suited my needs for mexican fare just fine. But it’s not exactly authentic. So one night before a Red Sox game, I sought out Felipe’s. It’s on Mount Auburn street near JFK. I had the soft steak tacos. They were fine I guess. I liked that you get to pile on extra condiments like tomatoes and radishes. Service was fast enough. But I don’t get the hype. Maybe I’m missing something? I might be back to try the burrito’s. I hear those are good. The again, Chipotle’s burrito’s are pretty sick.

Steak tacos with fixings

I tried the best lobster roll in New England

I’m not an lobster roll aficionado. But Neptune Oyster‘s lobster roll has been touted as the best in New England. So why not try it? It came on a toasted brioche with whole pieces of tail and claw drenched in buttery goodness accompanied by a mound of fries. It was wicked tasty. Next time I’ll try the more traditional cold version mixed with mayo. And I should have sampled the Oysters for Pete’s sake. It’s called Neptune Oyster. Not sure what I was thinking.

Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem Street, North End, Boston, MA
Maine Lobster Roll served hot with butter

Neptune Oyster on Urbanspoon

Clover Food Labs

I must confess that I’m a bit obsessed with Boston’s Clover Food Labs. The Harvard Square one in particular. Being treated like family is such a cliche but I’m unable to find a better way to describe what I feel when I’m there. They make me feel welcomed and at home.

Clover is an interesting business model. Part start-up, part high tech firm, part experimental cuisine. They use local, fresh ingredients don’t even own a freezer. And it wasn’t until my third trip there that I noticed the the menu was vegetarian (I’m a little slow but in my defence, they do make the place  approachable even for a burger chomping, Julia Child worshiping guy like me). Clover uses their customers as a testing lab (It’s not as painful as it sounds). If we don’t like a sandwich, it’s gone. If we do, it stays the course. White boards serve as menus, which makes for quick edits if items change or run out. I’m impressed by their use of Twitter to announce their daily offerings. I’m mostly in Ottawa when they tweet about whoopee pies coming out fresh from the oven. Don’t think I haven’t fantasized about making the drive down just to get me some hot whoopee pies. Although by the time I got to HSQ they wouldn’t be hot. But I bet if I asked, the nice folks at Clover would bake me a whole new batch of pies on my arrival. That’s how fantastic they are there.

Clover’s low-key vibe made it a perfect place to start my mornings. I even ventured there for lunch once or twice. Check out the pics below to see what I had to eat.

Popover, pickled zucchini, tomato and cheese. Oatmeal with fruit compote and fresh squeezed OJ.
Chickpea plate: Tomato cucumber salad, humous, pickled cabbage salad, and chick pea fritters. There’s a pita bread but I guess he was to shy to make a photo appearance. Cold home made iced tea to wash it all down with.
The ultimate breakfast sandwich. A soft-boiled egg, tomato and cheese in a whole weight pita. Blurriness not included.

Bad Chowdah

It was raining. It was cold. I needed chowder. I just happened to be at the most opportune place to fill my craving: Quincy Market. For those of you who have never been to Boston, Quincy Market is near Faneuil Hall and houses an endless food court filled with pizza, seafood, BBQ, sweets and tons more. I went to Boston Chowdah, a pretty reliable source for authentic New England chowder. Except on this occasion, someone must have dropped a box of cornstarch into the cauldron cause this chowder was barely edible. Thick, floury and kinda gross. I scooped up the seafood chunks and dumped out the rest. On a more positive note, the oyster crackers were pretty delicious.

Boston Chowda Co on Urbanspoon

I made it to Boston

I made it safe and sound. It had been a while since I’d driven to Boston and driving here is probably not something that I will repeat anytime soon. It was a long and dull commute. But enough about how I got here. Lets get to the important stuff. Food!

When I think of Boston. I think of a few things. Red Sox, Harvard and Upper Crust Pizza. UC is a boston based pizzeria with the badest sickest pizza there is. Everyone thinks they know who has the best pizza and let me tell you, if they don’t say Upper Crust, they’re wrong. Fresh ingredients, sweet sauce, thin crust all made to order makes for one tasty pizza. The people at UC work hard and help give the place a great vibe. Whenever I get to Boston, I run to Upper Crust.

Little slice of pepperoni pizza heaven at Upper Crust Harvard Square

The Upper Crust Pizzeria on Urbanspoon