bex77: (Default)
I've been sick with a wretched cough for nearly 2 weeks.  I have eaten so much soup and want to remember them for the next time the germs catch up with me.  These are from restaurants that deliver via Doordash, GrubHub or Foodler, or available by sweet-talking Hubby into picking up for me.  

Greek Corner - Avegolemono chicken lemon rice soup
India Palace - spicy chicken soup
Au Bon Pain - chicken noodle soup
Pandan Leaf - Thai chicken coconut milk soup
Asian House - Thai rice chowder
Mary Chung's - suan la chow show - spicy pork wontons soup with bean sprouts
Panera - French onion soup
Flour - beef chili (do not buy this again) 
Genki Ya - Miso soup 
Dumpling House - chicken corn soup 

Just Crust in Harvard Square has soups but I didn't make it there this time. 

Other soothing concoctions: 
The Neighborhood - The Cream of Wheat is soupy and comforting
Mary Chung's Yu Shiang Eggplant with shredded chicken has a spicy sauce that feels great on a sore throat and opens the sinuses

Here's to better health in the days ahead! 

-B



bex77: (Default)
 Neil and I had a fantastic time with gambling, dinner and the Barry Manilow concert at Foxwoods on Saturday!  

Read more... )

What a special adventure!  

bex77: (Default)
Following through on my resolution to post and comment more often, here's my first Dreamwidth-only post.  Whee!

Hubby and I had tasty Spanish tapas at the Dali Restaurant in Somerville!  

I keep forgetting to go there. I think it's been over two years.  Every time I go, I wonder why I am not there more often.  It is unique and delicious! And on my way home from work.  I have only been for "occasions" in the past, but hope to go more often.  

We had that secluded 2-top tile table tucked into the window well in the corner of the beautiful dining room.  I adore their eclectic decor!  It was empty when we went in at opening time (5:30 pm) but was almost full when we left a couple of hours later. 

We shared small elegantly displayed plates of seafood, spices, cheese, meats and fruity sauces:  
1) Ceviche - salmon, scallops and shrimp (served on a scallop shell nestled in a bed of fresh seaweed!) 
2) Garlic soup 
3) Fried Cheese with honey and sweet onions
4) Beef turnovers with olives, raisins and egg
5) Lamb chops in peach sauce 
6) Duck in berry sauce
7) Lamb meatballs
8) Beef tenderloin with dried fruit and creamy brandy sauce
9) Dessert - we shared churros with chocolate and dulce de leche sauces 

My favorites - #2, #5, #6 and #8!  The cheese was a little strong for my tastes, the beef turnovers unremarkable and I've had better ceviche (but it was a wonderful start to dinner on a warm day).  

The most amazing part was the non-alcoholic sangria!  This was the most festive, delicious drink option I've seen in a long time - a deep purple, fruity mix of flavors that was the perfect cold libation on the first warm day of spring!  They also have a creative cocktail list and wines and beers.  

If we're connect on Facebook, you can see 9 photos posted over there. 

The hostesses and servers are so pleasant!  Their pacing is perfect.  

If you want vegetarian options, almost half the tapas menu is creative veggie choices!  I need to explore more of those next time.  

They also have three versions of paella that are tempting but I never get past the tapas part of the menu.  

The parking meters around there run until 8 pm but have that new app thing, so you don't need quarters.  

It is on the pricey side, but well worth it for the creative cooking, beautiful interior and pleasant service.  

-B



bex77: (Default)
Hubby and I made the best use of a rainy afternoon with a trip to Watertown to see the Flat Earth Theatre production of  "Silent Sky" by Lauren Gunderson.  I always enjoy seeing other theaters and folks I know from Theatre@First in a different setting.  The play was performed on a simple yet elegant set in a black box theater with 80 seats in 5 rows ramped across the back.  This matinee was sold out, so they started right on the hour.  

I adore plays that teach me about important overlooked women in history, entertain and make me think about life.  Theatre@First produced a great example - "The Margaret Ghost" - and "Silent Sky" provided that in a "Hidden Figures" with astronomy way.  Go look up Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon and Williamina Fleming who worked at the Harvard Observatory in the early 20th Century charting the stars.  They were portrayed by talented actresses who made it easy to know and like the characters.  I went to see the always fabulous actor Juliet Bowler, and she rocked this role as a feisty Scot. 

There are a few tickets left for the added matinee at 2 pm Sunday, March 26.  Go!  

We walked across the courtyard to La Casa de Pedro, a Venezuelan/Spanish restaurant, for an early dinner.  It has a huge menu of drinks, tapas, appetizers, entrees and desserts!  We started with two small plates - the shrimp ceviche and the pork Vargas, then moved on the shrimp enchiladas and pork loin.  The sides were special - plantains, jicama fries - along with the more usual sour cream, salsa and guacamole.  We finished with the coconut flan!  Such a treat!  




bex77: (Default)
Some quick notes for the record so I'll remember what we did to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We started early and ran late, spreading the festivities out over more than a week!  

Sunday, October 23
We had a wonderful day in RI!  We had a delicious German lunch at Redlefsen's in Bristol, then headed off to the South Shore Beach in Little Compton.  It is so beautiful there!  We stopped at a farm stand going down, then at a farm coming back and another farm stand.  I found a yummy chocolate chip cookie, a honey crisp apple, caramel apple sauce and a wonderful butternut squash apple bisque at the farm.  I got a cucumber, a tomato, fresh corn and a pumpkin at the farm stand!   We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in the world - The Boat House in Tiverton.  I feasted on the raw bar sampler of oysters, clams and shrimp, then the baked stuffed lobster.  We shared the cranberry creme brûlée for dessert.  Yum! 

Wednesday, October 26 (the day)
I was off work.  We had breakfast delivered from The Neighborhood via Foodler.  We had the installation team in from NetBlazr, making real our year-long campaign to get away from Comcast.

We headed out about 6 pm to VOTE EARLY!  We went to the Police Station on 6th Street.  It was fast and easy, and such a relief to have it done.  We took the requisite selfies and posted them to Facebook.  

We had a special dinner at Helmand, the Afghani restaurant.  The service was it's usual lackluster thing but the food is so special I overlook it.  We had the pumpkin, which is, as a friend put it, "the best thing I ever put in my mouth."  I had the aushak soup and the quabalee lamb and rice dinner, had the ferreeeney for dessert.  

Thursday, October 27
 
I was off work again.  We went to MGH for the last of my five-year check-ups with the radiation oncologist.  He said I look fine and don't need to see him again.  YAY!  I visited the Healing Garden one last time, and had my arm measured for the lymphedema study.  

We went off to Lake WInnipesaukee!  We headed to Shipley's in Alton Bay, but they were already closed for the season.  Argh!  We drove on the Patrick's Pub in Gilford. I had the onion hooks and the shepherd's pie and pumpkin cheesecake.  It's a pleasant place but the food is not that great.  I don't need to go back there.  

We went over to Weir's Beach to Kellerhaus, the candy and gifts store.  I got some cashew turtles, butter crunch and two bracelets!  Bling!  

We went to the Belknap Point Inn to check in and crash.  Despite the rain, I could still see the lake from the balcony!  I got to nap for a couple of hours, then we made our way in the rain and cold (40s) to Laconia for dinner at Tavern 27.  We shared tapas.  The Scotch eggs with the mustard mayo sauce was the stand out.  I had a great hibiscus iced tea.  We made it back to the hotel and turned in early.

Friday, October 28
At Lake Winnipesaukee 
We slept late and made our way back to Laconia in the pouring rain for the $6 buffet at Pizza Hut!  I was surprised how many choices there were - a salad bar, a pizza bar and desserts!  I especially enjoyed the dutch apple pizza dessert!  

I drove around "downtown" Laconia, trying to get the lay of the land up there, but it was too cold and wet to get out and explore.  So we went back to the hotel for another nap. 

We had dinner at the Lyons Den, just down the road from the hotel. We had a prime waterfront table with a view of the lake and the brand new marine patrol station.  I had the crab cakes to start, then the baked stuffed shrimp with peas and rice.  We shared the pumpkin mousse cake for dessert.  

We made our way to Meredith to the Lake Winnipesuakee Playhouse, an amazing refurbished barn turned into everything a theater should be!  We saw a staged reading of "War of the Worlds" with great foley work and wonderful actors.  

We checked out the spiffy new Cumberland Farms convenience store near Weirs Beach.  It is huge and had lots of different candy and munchies.  We went back to the room to nosh.  

Saturday, October 29
It was time to pack up and go off to our favorite breakfast place, Kitchen Cravings, near the airport in Gilford.  I had kielbasa!  We went on to Walmart to stock up on basics at low prices with no taxes.  We picked up coffee for Hubby at Dunkin then an iced chai for me at the Starbucks in Tilton, then hopped on I-93 and whizzed home in no time!  

I was amazed that we managed to have such a lovely retreat in the cold, wet weather, but the food and the play and the lake still made for a great time away! 

Monday, October 31
We had one last blast of anniversary treats with a trip to Malden to our favorite Asian restaurant, All Season Table.  I had the hot & sour soup, crispy honey ribs and a scallion seafood pancake!  So so good!  

So that's the story on our 20th anniversary!  Here's to many more! 


bex77: (Default)
We went to Lake Winnipesaukee!  Overnight! After 17 months of seeing my mom through her final days, jousting with calendars, and weeks looking for a lakefront room, the stars finally aligned to get us out of town to NH!  List of wonderful businesses we frequented:

Restaurants

Kitchen Cravings - breakfast and lunch place
Tavern 27 - tapas and piano bar
Kellerhaus - ice cream buffet, candy and gifts
Walter’s Basin - lakefront American restaurant

Lodging

Belknap Point Motel

Boat tour
U.S. Mail boat Sophie C 

Wednesday
Our trip started a little rocky.  We got on the road at 9:30 am and 5 miles out of town it started to rain.  It got so bad I thought about pulling over!  It was totally not forecast.  It hasn’t rained all summer and we’re in a drought emergency and the one day I can be away, it’s raining?  Hard not to take it personally, but I soldiered on and re-thought our plans and it slowed down to a drizzle by the time we got into NH.   
 
We made it to Kitchen Cravings for a late breakfast at 11:30 am.  We often have to wait but they seated us right away.  It was my best breakfast of the year!  The people are nice and the food is wonderful and it’s got this great decor with historic photos and maps of the region!  I had the "Trainer" breakfast with a side of kielbasa and a unicycle - their french-toasted cinnamon roll delight! 

We finished at 12:30 pm and there was a showing of “Star Trek Beyond” at the cinema across the street at 12:35 pm so we dashed over there and made it in to see it for a second time, only about 3 minutes late.  It was even better the second time, as I didn’t have to puzzle over the story and could hear more dialogue and appreciate the special effects.
 
We went over to the Belknap Point Motel. It was a low key place - perfectly fine for our purposes - with a spectacular view of the lake and mountains!  I’ve attached a photo.  There are a lot more on my Facebook page if you'd like to wander over there. 

I went directly to the balcony, put my feet up and sat staring at the lake for over an hour.  It restores my soul.  While I was out there, the weather cleared up!  There is always something to see… boats, runners, noticing different islands and mountains and trees.  And a chipmunk!  
 
Hubby brought in the luggage!  He was being so good. 
 
We went in to Laconia and back out into the countryside to an old farmhouse to Tavern 27, a tapas place with a piano bar.  Neil’s mom played piano in restaurants in Indianapolis for 40 years, so he had a grand time talking with the pianist and remembering her heyday.  We shared the most amazing array of small plates - sweet potato chips with white bean dip (free starter), Scotch eggs with a creamy dijon sauce, French onion soup, lobster bisque, spicy grilled shrimp, duck confit egg rolls, and beef bourgeon on toast!  
 
There was a Dairy Queen on the way back.  We don’t have them around here so we drove through for a little dessert. 
 
The motel beds were quite delightful so I collapsed and slept hard.  
 
Thursday 
I woke up early and went back out to watch the lake scene.  It is so peaceful!  We hemmed and hawed about whether to stay another night.  Neil decided we should go home after dinner, so we packed up and headed out for another delicious breakfast at Kitchen Cravings.  I tried their hash with an egg and a side of kielbasa.  The hash was more like pulled pork but still tasty.

We drove over to Weirs Beach.  We got tickets to the 2 pm sailing of the U.S. Mail boat Sophie C then wandered around the arcade, found 4 t-shirts for $20 for Neil! It was beastly hot, so we bought water and sat in the car with the a/c on for a bit.  
 
We had a lovely two-hour ride around the lake.  The captain is a great storyteller and historian.  We sat on the lower deck out of the sun.  There was a great breeze when we were moving.  We stopped at five islands - Bear, Birch, Sandy, Cow and Jolly!  There are summer camps at a couple of them, and the kids come down to get an ice cream or buy stamps.  As we leave, they climb up on the pier posts and dive into the water!  
 
We went to Kellerhaus, the big ice cream buffet/candy/gift store up the hill.  They have a/c and lovely bathrooms.  We grabbed a few snacks then headed up the road to Squam Lake.  I had not been there.  It's gorgeous!  We found a beautiful restaurant right on the water overlooking the marina - Walter’s Basin.  We had a window table and watched the boats going and coming while we ate a great American meal.  They bring out warm bread and butter, then I had French Onion soup and a juicy piece of swordfish with jasmine rice, green beans and carrots.  I heeded the siren call of the chocolate truffle mousse cake.  
 
I was surprised that places weren’t more crowded.  With all the hotels booked, I thought we might run into lines and crowds.  Don’t know where the people were but we had no trouble getting in places, there were only 10 people on the boat that seats 40… yay!  
 
From there it was a quick hop onto I-93 south, and home in less than 2 hours with a quick pit stop at the NH border at their fancy new rest stop.  We were only gone 36 hours but it felt like a real vacation!  We had a great mix of visiting old favorites and seeing new places.  I hope to get away again soon!
 

bex77: (Default)
 Monday I celebrated being alive!  It's been four years since I finished radiation treatment for breast cancer, so being alive seems especially wonderful!  We went to NH and Maine!

I took a day off from work to have some fun before the crush of work to start the semester.  It was a perfect day outside - clear, 70s, breezy, so I poked around the internet to find a restaurant for brunch and something fun to do in Oqunquit.  Trip Advisor and Yelp were great for me! 

11:30 am We headed north.  

12:30 pm Brunch - We found the little airstrip in North Hampton, NH and ate at their Airfield Cafe.  It was a new find through Yelp (brunch near Seabook NH) and perfect in that "kitchy diner" way.  They have a huge breakfast and lunch menu.  I had Irish Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash instead of Canadian bacon.  And a raspberry lime ricky.  

1:30 pm We drove up to Ogunquit, Maine, found parking in the public lot and the cleanest public bathroom I've ever seen, then raced to make a boat tour.  

3 pm We got on the FinestKind Lobstering Trip for $18 each.  Captain Tom did a virtuoso job keeping the boat steady in the waves and showed us how to pull up lobster traps, measure lobsters and toss back the smaller ones and pregnant females.  The rocky coastline along there is spectacular!  

4 pm Early dinner at Barnacle Billy's Etc.  So so good.  We ate outside on their patio with the stunning view of Perkins Cove.  I had the lobster stew, bacon-wrapped scallops, and lobster sauté with a baked potato.

5:30 pm we headed South.  There was almost no traffic!  

7 pm We stopped at Brandano's, the local ice cream place, for a butter pecan soft ice cream... yum.  

This is the kind of day that will keep me warm all the way through to February! 

-B


bex77: (Default)
N and I had a delicious early dinner at Outback Steakhouse today!  They opened on Monday in the Assembly Row development along the river in Somerville behind the Assembly Square Mall.  Hooray!  

We used to go to Outback once a month with the Theatre@First denizens, then suddenly one Sunday night about five years ago?  Poof!  They were gone!  We tried the one in Burlington a few times, but their management was horrendous - long waits to be seated with a half empty restaurant, slow service, wrong food delivered... not worth it even if we adored their steaks.  

There were announcements last August that Outback was coming to Assembly Row and we waited eagerly.  My sister discovered they were open when she did a random search of the restaurants there for a post-movie supper.  Hooray! 

So we popped in about 4 pm Wednesday and were seated along the back wall.  There is a huge bar with high tables then booths and several tables along the back.  The menu is mostly the same with my favorites still there and some intriguing new options such as more cuts of steak, three tacos, more fish options and lobster tails!

They have a good assortment of non-alcoholic drinks.  I had the cherry limeade and N. tried their skinny 'Rita with rocks and sugar. 


We tried the coconut shrimp - a generous platter of 8 shrimp with a tangy sauce.  I had the Victoria's 10 oz filet with a baked potato and a house side salad.  N. tried the sirloin with a baked potato and the caesar side salad. 


They still have their incredible chocolate thunder and carrot cake and cheesecake desserts.  They also have small parfaits including a chocolate oreo mixture that tempted me mightily.  We indulged in a new dessert - the salted caramel cookie skillet with white chocolate bits, almond toffee and pretzels baked in, served warm with vanilla ice cream. It was on the small side, which I see as a plus.  Just right for two mostly full people to share and soooo delicious!    

The staff are all shiny and excited and eager to please.  The general manager stopped by to chat us up.  They have the "everyone serves you" model, which is not my favorite, with different waiters bringing things, but they made it work.

It's on the pricy side, but not for the quality of food and service.  The only trick will be not going over there once a week... 

As I stood outside their door facing Assembly Square, I marveled at the changes in that waterfront area.  I remember running into the dear departed long-time Somerville Alderman picking up a pizza several years ago at Pizzeria Regina in Wellington Circle, where a gas station and decrepit flower stand were turned into a huge development with streets and restaurants and condos.  He told us something similar was going to happen near Assembly Square.  We scoffed, having waited years for the IKEA
 that never came.  He said no no... this is coming, and soon.  It is amazing to see his prophecy fulfilled!  Outback is the first business that has tempted us, and what a great addition it is!   

-B




bex77: (Default)
We tried out the new location for what is reputed to be the best taco joint in the area.  The owners of the Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum in Allston have opened a new spot on the corner of our block!

They open 11 am for brunch and plan to stay open until 1 am.  

Lone Star Taco Bar
635 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141 
     (corner of Lambert Street) a block East of the RR tracks if you're coming from Inman 
     #69 bus from Lechmere or Harvard runs along Cambridge Street
     Street parking with meters 

Check out the menu and the news spreading.  
http://boston.eater.com/2015/7/6/8900073/lone-star-taco-bar-opens-cambridge#4779434

N, a theater pal and I rolled in after work about 5:30 pm on a Tuesday night and got one of the last seats at a table in the front corner window well.  The news is definitely out that the place is open.  They announced they were doing this in June 2014, and everyone has been waiting impatiently for them to open.

They opened on Sunday, so I am just reporting and reserving judgement, hoping certain "new place artifacts" will smooth out.  

First off... this is a bar.  Maybe you like bars.  I mostly don't.  It reminds me of Highland Kitchen or Magoun Saloon.  Good food - too crowded and loud before I can finish eating.  

There was a handsome young man in a baseball cap outside on the street carding everyone who wanted to enter, including gray-haired old me! That's silly.  I hope it stops soon.  They turned away people with children.  Come on... card people at the table who order drinks and allow kids at dinner time?  I hope they're waiting for training for their waitstaff and can change this soon. 

Pet peeve - three pages of alcoholic drinks focused on cocktails, tequila and mezcal.  and no listing of their non-alcoholic offerings.  They don't have iced tea.  They were able to give me a limonada - the sparkling lemonade.  So it ended well but... come on folks.  Someone in just about every party should not be having alcohol!  Offer some festive choices!  They were serving margaritas in scotch glasses?  

Second peeve - we didn't have a waiter.  A very nice guy asked us about drinks.  Another lady brought us food, and the bartender.  A third lady asked us about dessert.  And we had the dreaded "now we're ready to go (and open a table for someone standing at the bar) and we can't find anyone to bring the check, or take it to be processed."  

The food falls into the "bar snacks" category.  We tried nine items: 

Salsa and chips
Guacamole and chips
Chili con queso and chips
Tuna ceviche and chips
Street corn 

Dallas Spicy Beef fried taco
Avocado and tofu soft taco
Sonoran dog - hot dog wrapped in bacon with refried beans, cheese, salsa, crema and spicy mustard

Flan with pepitas 

Everything is tasty, reasonably priced, small plate size.  I liked the street corn and the hot dog best. 
The place got loud by 6 pm - combination of peppy music and crowd noise.  
Their a/c was not keeping up last night.  

I think it's a great addition to the neighborhood, will likely be quite popular.  I'll go with anyone wanting to try it out!  But it doesn't seem like it's going to be a favorite of mine. 

Here are my photos.  (Sorry I can't figure out how to upload them here) Enjoy!
https://www.facebook.com/bex77/posts/10206298012941755

-B







 

Tasty Momo

Jul. 4th, 2015 07:18 pm
bex77: (Default)
We got take-out from the new Nepali restaurant, Tasty Momo, in Magoun Square.  TASTY!  

N. and I shared 

  • Pork momos
  • Vegetable momos
  • Chili pork momos 
  • Chicken Chilly
  • Chicken Fried Rice 

The prices are very reasonable!  


Check out the menu
https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xat1/t31.0-8/11111129_10100475975992452_2552382975421434573_o.jpg 




bex77: (Default)
Here's the answer to the question, "What did we do for our 18th anniversary?"   We made it a weekend-long celebration with two delicious dinners!  

Saturday, October 25th 
Maine


We drove to Maine!  We spent our honeymoon in Maine, so it always feels right to make it back there.  It only takes an hour to sneak over the border into Kittery.  

We tried a new restaurant to us - the amazing Warren's Lobster House!  Why did I not know about this place?!  Many thanks to the vivacious Vickie for the recommendation!  It's a casual spot along the Portsmouth Harbor, easy to find on Rte 1, with a big sign, huge parking lot, waterfront dining, a huge seafood menu and a 60-item salad bar!  And they make the most delicious pumpkin bread ever!  

We got there at 5 pm and were seated right away.  It got crowded with people waiting by 6 pm, but never got too crazy at the salad bar. 

I had the salad bar.  It comes with all the dinners!  I adored it because it was not just lettuce and garnishes.  I had potato salad and raisin/carrot salad and pasta salad and beets and candied apple slices and edamame and hummus and pita and yum!  And crackers and spread cheese.  And pumpkin bread.  There was soup, too, but I didn't grab that.  I wish we had salad bars around us!  

I had a lobster sampler called "The Triple Play" with boiled claws, stuffed tail and fried popcorn lobster.  The popcorn was a waste… no taste of lobster just little crunchy bits.  The other two parts were a delight!  And the baked potato was perfect.  

N. tried the salmon and shrimp bernaise over rice pilaf.  HIs eyes rolled back in his head upon tasting the sauce.  

We grabbed more pumpkin bread from the salad bar or dessert.  So moist and flavorful!

The service was just right - friendly, efficient and helpful to newcomers.  The prices are very reasonable!  

The sign on the hostess desk says "NO CELL PHONES" which I found a little rude even if it might be a good policy.  No one was paying any attention to that, so I casually took photos of my food as always.  

We bought pumpkin bread to take home - one for the office and one for Vickie.  It's only $3.40 per loaf!   

Sunday, October 26th
Malden


We drove to Malden to eat at our favorite Asian fusion restaurant - All Seasons Table.  We took a couple of theater pals to introduce them to the wonders of this stunning place hidden in a random suburban seedy downtown storefront.  We got the perfect table in the back area, surrounded by orchids and zen decor.  We shared so many dishes!  I had their hot & sour, seafood scallion pancake, and the Mongolian lamb.  N. had the sirloin tips special.  I got to taste a basil tomato seafood Udon dish that seemed like Asian paella!  And several very tasty maki rolls.  N and I shared the fried bananas with coconut ice cream for dessert.  Every single dish makes me think, "Aha!  That's the way it is supposed to taste!"  



bex77: (Default)
 My birthday was a REALLY GOOD DAY ™. 

The weather was perfect - another clear, dry, cool 70's delight! 

The best thing I did was to take off from work!  I still woke up early but enjoyed connecting with all the folks who spread good wishes around my Facebook wall and texted and emailed and called!  

N. went out to get breakfast from Dunkin' Donuts and we watched the light and fun Robin Hood episode of "Doctor Who."  

I had a short bout of "what am I doing with my life?!" that my birthdays always seem to bring about, but tamped it down with some help from my pals and some theater work! 

I meant to take a nap, but the greetings kept rolling in and I kept answering until it was time to head out for supper.  It was so wonderful to be with my sister E. and her family!  She treated N. and I to a spectacular Spanish tapas dinner at Dali in Somerville.  We had their back dining room to ourselves, surrounded by the copper celling and pots and pans!  We ordered a plethora of small plates and shared.  I started with a fun non-alcoholic drink: the Oscaritos, which is a refreshing mix of lime juice and mint and fizzy water.  I adore places that have festive drinks for those of us who can't do liquor!  

We shared so many dishes I'm not sure I can recall them all!  So many amazing tastes!  The highlights were the
- gazpacho, so cold, fresh and spicy,
- the ceviche with it's protein-rich mix of cold seafood and citrus, 
- deep-fried cheese with honey and sweet onions
- baked goat cheese with tomato and basil 
- beef short ribs in Rioja wine sauce
- duck in berry sauce,
- scallops in saffron cream
- pheasant with bacon and mushrooms
- lamb meatballs with tomato mint sauce
- prunes wrapped in bacon filled with goat cheer and almonds
- grilled baby lamb chops with peach sauce - this was my niece's choice and definitely the best of the evening with the most tender lamb I've ever eaten, marinated in delicious spices and covered in a perfect fruity sauce! 

There were several other dishes I wanted to try - their menu is astonishing! 

For dessert I had their cool and smooth flan, covered in candied clementines!  The waiters gathered around to sing happy birthday with tambourines and present me with their metal frog candelabra!  My brother-in-law took a fun photo of me giggling at all that!  

I took a few photos - pop over to Facebook if you want to see them.  

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and being part of a wonderful day! 


bex77: (Default)
 
It's my birthday and I'll write if I want to! I am taking the day off from work!  

I am so lucky to have special people in my life to celebrate my birthday!  

It's a beautiful day!  The Facebook messages and texts and emails are rolling in!
 

I started celebrating early!  

Sunday RI Adventure

The weather was perfect - clear with a few high clouds now and then, breezy, 70… it looked like the opening of "The Simpsons!"  The sun made everything look so crisp and beautiful!  It was especially appreciated after the muggy 90's and fierce thunderstorms of Saturday.

N and I made a day of it, heading out on a RI adventure!  I have never seen the roads so empty!  It was glorious to sail down I-93 and Rte 24.  

Lunch at Quito's

We started the day in Bristol with a parking spot right out front of Quito's, a fun seafood restaurant with a covered deck right on the harbor!  We shared a flight of chowders!  We got a great table right at the front looking out over the big boats and beautiful water.  It was great to compare the Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island versions of this classic.  I liked the tomatoey Manhattan more than I thought I might, did not really care for the clear broth briny RI and adore their New England.  N. had the grilled chili lime shrimp which I found tough, dry and hard to get off the skewers.  The stuffed quahog was not great either… the stuffing was packed down and dry even after a liberal dosing of lemon juice.  Our second course was better with crunchy clam fritters and coconut mango shrimp.  N's fish and chips had two huge squares of perfect fish.  

South Beach wading

We motored on along the little roads of Tiverton and Little Compton, past the cow pastures and wineries and beautiful bays to the fantastic secret South Beach.  N. played "I'm All About the Bass" for me until we crossed into the area were there is no cell signal or wifi, so we went off the grid!  They've stopped charging for parking!  We pulled most of the way down and got a beachfront parking spot. I took a bunch of photos and a video!  There were a lot of people in the water, so I decided to be brave.  I rolled up my pant legs, shucked my socks and clogs and waded in!  It was lovely! N. tried it too!  It was a little hairy getting back to the car through the stones and getting our feet cleaned off and back into our shoes, but we managed together.  After a quick look at the peaceful Tuniper Pond across the road, we headed back North. 

Farmstand colors

We pulled in at Walker's Farm Stand.  I hadn't been there before.  It's a quintessential family farm with a mix of their homegrown veggies and stuff from elsewhere, ith some cheeses and milk and goodies for the tourists.  I got a couple ears of corn, then popped in to Wilma's Bakery for walnut pumpkin bread and a fresh lemonade!  The displays in the farm stand were so pretty, I dashed back to the car for my phone and snapped a few photos, then walked down to the fields to look out over the bay and take some more! 

Grinnell's Beach Beauty

They've locked the gate and the bathrooms.  Bleh!  But the views of the little island and the big house and the boats and the water are still spectacular.  


General Store Treats

We went on to Fall River to find the Sky Beverage General Store.  It's a beautiful rehab of an old factory building with a convenience store, frozen yogurt shop, candy store and cigar shop!  We got a few Jelly Belly Beans with odd flavors like "Movie Popcorn" and made use of their strong wifi signal to upload photos.  

Dinner Delights

Then it was time to go back to Tiverton for an incredible dinner overlooking Mount Hope Bay at The Boat House.  We had the corner table overlooking the bay!  Sarah was our waitress.  Not the best we've had but a bubbly geeky enthusiastic server with a passion for a clean table.  We started with their warm sourdough rolls and whipped butter in the cute little paper bag.  N. had their Hall of Fame spicy corn chowder with chorizo, while I tried their clam chowder.  Both are delicious!  We shared the field greens with goat cheese and pecans in a champagne vinaigrette and then splurged on the raw bar sampler with 4 cocktail shrimp, 4 Point Judith Oysters and 4 Little Neck clams.  I gloried in the baked stuffed lobster with bay scallop and shrimp stuffing... so divine!  He had their sirloin steak with fried parmesan gnocchi and the fries. The impossibly young looking manager with the braces stopped by to wish me a happy birthday.  He got a little verkelmpt when we told him this is our "go-to place" for special days.  We watched the sunset over the bay as they brought me a little dessert with a candle - the dark chocolate budino (mousse) with hazelnuts and whipped cream, which was free!  They didn't have hot chocolate so I had an ice cold glass of skim milk.  Such a special place!  

There was heavier traffic going back, but it moved along and managed to "make a pocket" away from most cars most of the way.  We made it home in record time - just 66 minutes!  Whee!
 

I uploaded way too many photos to Facebook.  Please check them out over there.  The sunshine made everything look spectacular! 

This is the life!!!!




bex77: (Default)
 Neil and I had a lovely afternoon on Monday adventuring to the north.  The weather was perfect - another of the series of beautiful days we've had this summer!  My work is about to get super-busy so I wanted to get out and about before that hits.  And Mondays are a great day to avoid the crush in the tourist/beach towns. 

We set out up Rte 1 and stopped to gas up the Tucson at the cheap Hess Station, then popped in at our favorite convenience store - a random Cumberland Farms in Ipswich that has clean bathrooms and stocks interesting new products.  N. picked up 3 of 4 new flavors of Lays potato chips: 
  • Wasabi Ginger,
  • Mango Salsa and
  • Bacon Mac & Cheese.  
  • He eschewed the Cappuccino flavor, not caring for that flavor in real life and rather horrified at the entire idea!  
I picked up the Muddy Buddy Chex Mix.  We shared a "Wild cherry Italian ice" which was actually mild flavored but still tasty. 

We went to Michael's Harborside Restaurant on the harbor in Newburyport.  It's easy to find - just a quick right and left off Rte. 1, with a huge parking lot, right next to the marina.  It's a gorgeous setting - an outdoor bar, a covered deck, an open deck and an interior restaurant with big windows.  We opted to sit inside and were placed right at the front with views of the boats.  Our server, J.R., was helpful, if a bit busy and inattentive, but we weren't in a hurry.  I had the most delicious creamy clam chowder!  It was full of fresh clams and potatoes.  Yum.  They served hot sourdough rolls and whipped butter - a real treat!  N. tried their soup du jour - a very ordinary vegetable soup with thin broth and lots of summer veggies.  I saved him from having to eat a big chunk of zucchini!  From there, things went downhill.  He ordered the tuna with ponzu sauce and found it inedible in that "smells" way.  Bleh.  He mentioned to the server, who took it away and brought him a menu to try something else.  His second choice was wonderful - the swordfish with garlic citrus butter.  I had the lobster pie, which was an odd recipe with mascarpone cheese that overrode the lobster flavor.  I tried to pull out the nice chunks and rid them of the gloppy sauce, but it was mostly bad.  Both our dishes came with grilled asparagus, which was fresh and perfectly cooked.  They also came with rice pilaf which was an odd mixture of overcooked and undercooked grains and inedible.  And the prices were 1/3rd higher than similar places.  So despite the lovely setting and perfect chowder, I can't see going back.  

We took a post-prandial stroll along the harbor.  They've created a lovely walk with sculpture and benches and plantings!  

I had an hankering for ice cream, so we drove back down Rte 1 to the traffic circle and stopped at Haley's Ice Cream. a fun retro shop with a 50's interior and picnic tables outside.  I got a sugar cone stuffed with raspberry truffle ice cream!  It was a spectacular combo of raspberry ice cream with little chocolates mixed in.  N. tried the ginger ice cream which had crunchy bits of real ginger.  We sat outside in the afternoon sunshine and made a big mess with ice cream dripping down our hands.  Thank goodness for the lovely bathroom inside to wash up! 

We rolled on to the beach at Plum Island. I drove around the cute little enclave of houses and drove down to the light house on the far end.  I thought we'd park after 5 pm - only $2.50 at one place - but N. wasn't feeling well, so I left him parked in the residents only section and walked on the beach myself for a few minutes.  I had fun sitting on a rock, taking photos and a short video.  Pop over to Google+ or Facebook to peruse those!  Here's one to entice you! 

Plum Island

We took off for home and it was only an hour!  Traffic was the lightest I've seen.  

Such a lovely excursion... stored up a bunch of memories to carry me through the busy fall!  

Hope you are enjoying the end of your summer!  







Lake W Day

Jul. 21st, 2014 10:34 pm
bex77: (Default)
 Neil and I drove up to Lake Winnipesaukee today!  

 We got on the road about 8:30 am.  It was a perfect weather-wise!  There was very little traffic on 93.  I ate red seedless grapes as we rolled along. 

Breakfast
We decided to take the scenic route along Rte 11 from Alton Bay, got a little lost making it there from 93.  We made it to Laconia in less than 2.5 hours and walked right in at Kitchen Cravings in Gilford at 11:30 am.  We had a 2-top in the middle of the dining room.  Neil had the beef burrito - huge!  I ordered The Trainer - 1 egg over easy, 1 slice of French toast, one slice of bacon and one sausage.  I had a side of kielbasa and I also shared a unicycle - the cinnamon bun flattened, dipped in french toast batter and fried.  Washed down with fresh OJ and a hot chocolate, it was divine!  If you're ever anywhere near Laconia, be sure to stop in - everything is amazingly delicious and inexpensive!  Take a jacket - this is the coldest spot around.  I don't usually notice a/c, but it was about 60 degrees in there! 

Weirs Beach
We rolled over the Weirs Beach Boardwalk.  I got my right hand henna'd.  A young black woman painstakingly drew a free-hand design of circles and vines and dots.  Neil got into the spirit and had the "Firefly" Serenity Chinese characters painted on his hand!  We checked out the "2 for $10" t-shirt shop but didn't find anything,

A Cruise 
We got on the 2-hour U.S. Mail boat Sophie C boat cruise.  It was a delightful guided tour of the lake with stops at several islands.  It was like visiting a bunch of little towns and having the locals come out to meet you - people gather at the dock to get their mail and buy ice cream off the boat!  We forgot to re-feed the meter before we got on the boat, but we didn't get a ticket!  

Kellerhaus
We drove to Kellerhaus, the amazing ice cream, candy and gifts shop.  We were very moderate, only buying a few chocolates and hard candy.  I resisted the display of Grumpy Cat paraphernalia at the front door.  

Early supper
We made our way to Meredith for an early supper at the Town Docks Restaurant.  We sat on their second floor deck in the shade near the door with an amazing view of Lake Winnipesaukee!   I ate some of Neil's lobster corn chowder.  I had clam chowder.  We shared the corn fritters with remoulade sauce.  He had the steak tips kebab.  He gave me half his corn on the cob and his watermelon slice.  I had the hot buttered lobster roll with onion rings.  I ate the sweet fresh lobster claw meat dipped in butter, but not the roll.  This was the first place there was wifi all day, so I checked in on Facebook and uploaded a bunch of photos.  You can see them on Facebook or Google+ if we're friended. 

Heading home
We set off for home down I-93 about 6 pm and made it in about 2.5 hrs, with a brief stop at the Hookset visitors center.  

So we're home safe and sound and amazingly refreshed after 12 hours away!  

For my records, this was our 4th trip to the lake.
1) 2010 Aug 6-7 at the condos in Gilford, cruise on the Doris E 
2) 2011 Aug 27-28 at the Fireside (left early due to Hurricane Irene), cruise on the Mt W
2012  skipped (I went to Brooklyn)
3) 2013 July 28-29 at the Margate. circumnavigation 
4) 2014 July 21 Day trip, cruise on the Sophie C 


bex77: (Default)
Neil and I had a very special meal this afternoon in Watertown.  A friend of N's was doing a photo shoot at a restaurant to update their website, and needed folks to populate the place on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  So we volunteered to eat and allow our images, mostly our hands, to be photographed.  

Kareem's Restaurant is a beautiful, zen place at 99 Common Street, a side street off Mt. Auburn very close to Watertown Square with a cheery yellow facade, big windows, classy dining room and open kitchen.  

Kareem's Restaurant, Watertown

Dining Room
The chef, Ahmad Yasin, welcomes everyone. He is an affable fellow.  With the open kitchen, we got to watch the entire process as he chops, blends and cooks the freshest ingredients.  Nothing like dinner and a show!  

Chef Ahmad

Open Kitchen

Check out the menu
http://yasinculinary.com

We started with the house made Sharaab al Rawda -Pomegranate "drink of the garden" a tart, refreshing fruit beverage.  It's the kind of drink that makes you feel healthier as you sip it. 

Pomegranate Drink

We shared two appetizers with N's friend - classic hummus and royal beet hummus.  Both were incredibly smooth and flavorful.  They were served with fresh pita bread.  

Classic and Royal Beet Hummos with Pita Bread
We also got to try the 
Smoked Salmon Kibbeh
The chef's specialty, with wheat, smoked salmon, spices, herbs, and extra virgin olive oil.

Salmon Kibbeh

The entrees come with the Lemon-mint Drizzled Fatoosh Salad- The word Fatoosh derives from the Arabic root word "to crumble," or small crunchy pieces of pita bread. It is a wonderful, healthy and refreshing salad with a light lemon-based dressing, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, fennel and hint of fresh mint.
Fatoosh

N had the Kibbeh entree - an amazing square of ground lamb kneaded with bulgur wheat. The filling consists of ground lamb cooked with onions, spices and pine nuts. Served with homemade yogurt and grilled asparagus.

Kibbeh

I had the best stuffed grape leaves I've ever tasted!  A mixture of lamb, rice and spices rolled into the grape leaves cooked in fresh lemon juice. Served with homemade yogurt.

Stuffed grape leaves

They have several vegetarian options - the special tonight involved stuffed artichokes that got rave reviews from the table next to us. 

As a thank you for helping out with the photo shoot, the chef gave us dessert - 
Kanafa
A classic Arab dessert in which "jubnah hulwah," sweet white cheese is baked between two layers of shredded filo pastry, pistachios and orange flavored syrup. Baked to golden color and served warm.  It was very light and the flavors danced on my tongue in an amazing cheesy, nutty, crunchy, fruity treat.  

Kanafa dessert

The place is open on Saturdays and Sundays 11 am - 8 pm by reservation only, and they only take cash or checks.  There was easy parking on the wide street.  He also caters, so if you want something very special for your next party or occasion, check him out!  My mouth has not been this happy in a long time!  

bex77: (Tiger)
http://www.belleisleseafood.com

What a wonderful meal by the water!  If you're looking for fresh seafood, in a casual setting, with great prices and a spectacular view  - get to Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop.  It's felt like a mini-vacation.

How did I end up in Winthrop?
The amazing [livejournal.com profile] eclecticavatar talked about her dinner there in glowing terms, which sent me to their website, where upon I saw the magic words... LOBSTER PIE.

How to get there

By T - it's about 1/2 mile from the Orient Heights Blue Line stop - turn left out of the stop, half a block then left on Saratoga Street and it's on the right just over the bridge.

Driving
A. Above the airport - Pretend you're going to Logan, but keep going up Rte 1A N and make one right hand turn on 145 and go until you cross into Winthrop - the first thing on the right is it!  With a big parking lot.  Easy!

B. Below Revere Beach - Or pretend you're going to Revere Beach, turn right instead of left on Ocean Ave and wind your way along the water into Winthrop, take a right on Main Street and go until you see it on the left.  Easy!

(Take the airport route in and come back the other way to avoid the $3.50 tunnel toll, if you're into saving bucks.)

(I'd pick a non-rush hour time to avoid spending all your time sitting in the tunnel or along Rte. 1A.)

The deal
It's cash only.  There's an ATM in the entry with a $2 fee.
If you're plan to eat inside, order at the counter and they give you the cutest beeper you've ever seen - it's a lobster!  When it goes off, go back to the counter and get your food.  There are bar stools, booths, tables and picnic tables.
If you want to eat outside, see the hostess and a waitress will take care of you out there in sun.
The menu is only one page, but almost everything comes baked, broiled, stuffed, blackened, fried or teriyaki so there are dozens of options.  Depending on which cooking method you choose, the dinner side options are locked in.   Or you can order a la carte.

Note: This place is NOT vegetarian friendly unless you are fond of french fries, onion rings, cole slaw or dinner rolls.

What we ate
Clam chowder pint $6.25 (big enough for 2)
Stuffed clams 3 large shells $7.75  (shared)
Blackened swordfish with rice pilaf, roll, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon $13.99
Lobster Pie (1/2 lb of meat) with rice pilaf, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon $20.99
Large sodas with free refills (serve yourself)

Other pluses
THE VIEW!  Fabulous view of Boston across the harbor, jets taking off from Logan, and a pretty marina beside it.
The staff is very helpful, friendly and patient with people who didn't figure out it's cash only until they're ordering.
It's also a market, so you can take home fresh seafood and do your own cooking if you like.

 Enjoy!
bex77: (Default)
http://www.belleisleseafood.com

What a wonderful meal by the water!  If you're looking for fresh seafood, in a casual setting, with great prices and a spectacular view  - get to Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop.  It's felt like a mini-vacation.  

How did I end up in Winthrop
The amazing eclecticavatar talked about her dinner there in glowing terms, which sent me to their website, where upon I saw the magic words... LOBSTER PIE.  

How to get there 

By T - it's about 1/2 mile from the Orient Heights Blue Line stop - turn left out of the stop, half a block then left on Saratoga Street and it's on the right just over the bridge. 

Driving
A. Above the airport - Pretend you're going to Logan, but keep going up Rte 1A N and make one right hand turn on 145 and go until you cross into Winthrop - the first thing on the right is it!  With a big parking lot.  Easy!  

B. Below Revere Beach - Or pretend you're going to Revere Beach, turn right instead of left on Ocean Ave and wind your way along the water into Winthrop, take a right on Main Street and go until you see it on the left.  Easy!  

(Take the airport route in and come back the other way to avoid the $3.50 tunnel toll, if you're into saving bucks.)

(I'd pick a non-rush hour time to avoid spending all your time sitting in the tunnel or along Rte. 1A.)

The deal 
It's cash only.  There's an ATM in the entry with a $2 fee. 
If you're plan to eat inside, order at the counter and they give you the cutest beeper you've ever seen - it's a lobster!  When it goes off, go back to the counter and get your food.  There are bar stools, booths, tables and picnic tables. 
If you want to eat outside, see the hostess and a waitress will take care of you out there in sun. 
The menu is only one page, but almost everything comes baked, broiled, stuffed, blackened, fried or teriyaki so there are dozens of options.  Depending on which cooking method you choose, the dinner side options are locked in.   Or you can order a la carte.  

Note: This place is NOT vegetarian friendly unless you are fond of french fries, onion rings, cole slaw or dinner rolls. 

What we ate 
Clam chowder pint $6.25 (big enough for 2) 
Stuffed clams 3 large shells $7.75  (shared) 
Blackened swordfish with rice pilaf, roll, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon $13.99
Lobster Pie (1/2 lb of meat) with rice pilaf, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon $20.99
Large sodas with free refills (serve yourself) 

Other pluses
THE VIEW!  Fabulous view of Boston across the harbor, jets taking off from Logan, and a pretty marina beside it. 
The staff is very helpful, friendly and patient with people who didn't figure out it's cash only until they're ordering. 
It's also a market, so you can take home fresh seafood and do your own cooking if you like.  

 Enjoy!  






bex77: (Default)
This local bar has an incredible chef who chooses a theme for Wednesday nights for a month.  December is a celebration of BACON!  
Check out this menu: http://magounssaloon.com/?page_id=34

All the dishes sounded unique... made it very hard to choose!  N. and I had a grand time sharing four dishes tonight.  See my notes and photos under the cut 

<lj-cut>

1) Bacon Satay -  four skewers of bacon with thai peanut sauce
        This dish didn't work for me.  The bacon was thick.. I liked it thin and crispy.  And the sauce didn't quite work with it. 

2) Shrimp wrapped in jalapeño bacon with sweet chili sauce
        This dish seemed the most "normal" with four perfectly cooked large shrimp wrapped in crisp bacon with a slight spice.  I squeezed a little lime over it and it was yummy. 

3) Bacon Poutine - waffle fries with bacon, cheese curds, bacon onion gravy and a fried egg on top
        This was a cross between nachos and an egg mcmuffin.  There were too many fries or not enough topping, and it was a little bland.  

4) Chicken fried bacon with bacon cheese grits and bacon cheese biscuit.  
        WOW!  This was more like canadian bacon, coated and fried, with a yummy bacon onion gravy.  The cheesy bacon grits were stellar.  The biscuits were tiny - just a little bite.  This is the dish that will send me back to order again!  









</lj-cut>
bex77: (Default)
Another lovely day in Philadelphia!  

I remembered to turn my alarm clock back, so I woke up when it said 7:30 am and it was 7:30 am!  I made it downstairs for breakfast at 8:30 am, scrubbed and dressed and packed!  The innkeeper offered us a special - pumpkin pancakes with glazed apples and walnuts, covered in apple butter syrup.  I usually want eggs, but I could not resist!  They were divine!  I chatted with sisters from Scranton - a nurse who runs a home health care business and a dietitian.  They told me about their Italian weekend in Philly - Italian food at Davio's and a trip to the Italian markets.  

I sat in the parlor and read the news and facebook and so forth on my phone, chatting with various guests on their way in or out.  I met my pal and walked with her to brunch.  We went back to the Marathon on the Square place three blocks away, and were seated after a brief wait.  I had a bacon and swiss omelette for lunch.  I was not feeling very adventurous, so we went back to the B&B and sat in the parlor chatting and looking at an amazing book of photos of Philadelphia Then and Now published in 2002. 

My ride appeared at 1:40 pm so we said our good-bye and took off North.  It moved along much faster today.  We made it to the Montvale service area in Northern NJ in 2.5 hrs rather than 3.5!  We sailed on across the Tappan Zee at sunset... gorgeous!  We stopped at Rein's Deli in Vernon, CT tat 6:30 pm to pick up Rueben sandwiches, herring in cream sauce, Dr. Brown's diet Black Cherry soda, sour cream coffee cake... yum.  We made it home in 7 hours, including 2 stops.   Wow.   My driver and his wife told me that I am a very good passenger!  

Great food, great weather, great company, great sights.  Wow!  



 
 

Profile

bex77: (Default)
bex77

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
111213 14151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 21st, 2017 06:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios