Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sweet Tooth Satisfied!

There is nothing I like more than a satisfied sweet tooth. Thanks to my venture out to Davis Square today, I got just that.
This Month's happy hour featured three more delicious flavours, notably the snickers-tini, a root beer float cupcake and their Lotus Blossom (buttercream cupcake doused in pear sake with a litchi frosting)... all limited edition, all sweet, moist and delicious. I am also proud to say that I introduced three newbies to the event, as well the When Pigs Fly bakery located a few doors down.
Now we all just have a couple of days to kill before our Godiva Rewards kick in...and a few other Mondays before the next Happy Hour...but for now...I am satisfied!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sweet Tooth!

Tomorrow is Monday, however it happens to be the last Monday of August so before you get too depressed, let's just take a moment to realise what this truly means....Happy Hour at Kickass Cupcakes!!!!
As per usual, the last Monday of every month, from 5-7 pm Kickass Cupcakes sample off their liquor inspired cupcakes. It is a real treat and if you can make it down to Davis Square (Red line two stops after Harvard Square) it is well worth the trip.
While you are down there you might as well enjoy some of the other great foodie spots this town has to offer, why not stop by Whens Pigs Fly, conveniently located a few doors down from Kickass Cupcakes, you could hit up their Dairy Bar for some delicious milk and cheese or you could have your cupcakes first and then head to one of their fun restaurants in the area.
Make it a Monday evening to remember! I know I will...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Weekender!

Boston is a great city...especially in the summer when there are festivals galore! This weekend is no exception and the nice thing about this weekend's festivals is that they are located in different areas of Boston, so you can get around!
In the North End, we have St. Anthony's Feast, from the 27th-29th.  This festival resembles the Fisherman's Feast in spirit, but it will be much larger, with floats, parades, music and great italian american food vendors. Conveniently, it is located right by the Haymarket, so if you go on either Friday or Saturday, why not stop by here on your way home and pick up some cheap produce so that you can make some of the dishes Mary Ann Espostio will teach you to cook during her cooking demo!? The grand procession will be happening on Sunday at noon, but there are many other things to entice you throughout the festival. Visit http://www.saintanthonysfeast.com/index.html for all the information you will need.
There is also an interesting sounding Mexican festival going on in Somerville. This has always been a favorite area of mine, food wise. With their Kickass Cupcakes store, their When Pigs Fly bakery and Gargoyle's, it is a place to be any day!  This Saturday however, from 5-8, they will be hosting a block party to rival all block parties called Fandango. Expect live music and great food from La Cantina Mexicana...and I am sure you will stumble upon a good margarita or three...feel free to browse what else is up in Somerville at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs042/1100632372640/archive/1103528472478.html
Another interesting little tid bite and something different...in Newton, on Sunday from 12-4, the Biltmore Bar and Grille will be hosting a Vintage Car Show! And where there is a set up of 10-15 classic cars, there has to be something to nibble on, so you can expect some tasty hot dog sliders and other handy little things. http://thebiltmoregrill.com/

So there are a couple of things you can plug into your weekend...that is if you have time in amongst all the packing for those of you who are moving out on the 1st...that would be me...But I am fairly positive I will be able to fit in a little excursion to at least one of these places! I hope you can do the same!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A new neighbor!

I would like to extend a warm welcome to a newcomer in the South End neighborhood. I suppose though, that this 'newcomer' is in actual fact, an old-timer resurfacing... Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen has taken up shop in the same place its owners occupied some years ago.
Located on the corner of Columbus Ave and Northampton street, this bar will be living up to its old standards but with a fresh breath of life: a new menu, innovative cocktails and a tuned up interior.
I was not fortunate enough to have been acquainted with the previous corner bar, so I will have nothing to compare the new and 'improved' one with...I guess this means I will simply have to try it out and create my very own case precedent!
The menu is cunningly organised with a late night 'burger' menu which definately has me intrigued. Any place that specialises in burgers is a friend of mine!  They have other tempting sounding options as well like their buttermilk fried chicken salad and a daily antipasti platter and although the prices are not listed...I would bet there is a comfortable range of prices meaning everyone can be happy.
Darryl's opened this past Monday and so there is nothing stopping you from going out to the corner for a gathering of friends, a chance at a new meet market or nice little evening meal.
I hope to get out there sometime this weekend...but you never know! The callings to a frugal foodista are always many and from all over!
If you beat me to it, let me know what you thought!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Last minute sample alert!

I write with excellent news! I have just found out that this Saturday and Sunday, there is yet another fabulous food event...as if there haven't been enough already!
At two oclock on Saturday in Somerville, there will be massive amounts of ice cream to be sampled out for those yielding a ticket to the event. On Sunday, this very same thing will occur in the South End during the SoWa Sundays farmers' market. Big ice cream names will be at this ice cream showdown, among which, my personnal  favorite, Picco Restaurant :) but also my other favorites, JP Licks, Christina's and Stonyfield and some brands I have yet to experience...Toscanini's, Batch, Coop's Microcreamery and Chilly Cow Custard.
All this taken into account, there will be something for every kind of ice cream lover and you want to hear the cherry on top? All the proceeds go to one of the following organisations: Share our Strength, Lovin' Spoonful, Somerville Local First and Community Servings.
This is just like the Scooper Bowl, only this time, I will be in the country!
Buy your tickets (8 dollars) online at: http://icecreamshowdown.eventbrite.com/
Hope to see you Sunday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I know I have mentioned it quite a few times already, but I just want to make sure that everyone knows about the up coming Boston Green Fest.
It begins tomorrow and goes through until Saturday the 21st and is located at the City Hall Plaza in government center. There is going to be so much going on, from job forums, to live concerts, raffles with a cause to EcoBazaars...it is definately something you will want to check out.
Visit the following site for more details concerning the scedule of events and just remember, bring your own reusable water bottle, fountains will be provided and we want to make sure we do what we can to support team Green!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A bit of a tweek...

I hope I have not offended anyone with the adjustement of my blog template. I thought it might be a good idea to make the background a bit lighter so as to be easier on the eye.
I will also be looking to add larger images, also in the hopes of making it more aesthetically pleasing.
Don't worry, it won't be like facebook; the wonderful site that changes everything once you have just gotten used to it!
However I am very interested in what you think!
Leave a comment or a suggestion, or send me an email and I will be happy to do something about it!

Oh and for those of you who were wondering...the various events this past weekend were an absolute hit! I went to the Fisherman's Feast in the North End and enjoyed a cooking show, some interesting grating plates and some delicious italian treats. I also attended India Day by the Charles River. This one was my favorite, I just love Indian culture...so beautiful and colorful. And their food! Well, there are no words that can truly explain the complex flavor combinations involved in Indian cooking.  Suffice it to say that whether you get something as simple as their Naan bread, or something as complex as their Chicken Tikka Massala, your taste muds will be left in splendid stupour.  It's quite like tasting something delicious for the first time, with each and every bite.
Hats off to the city of Boston for organising such great summer events! I am really looking forward to the Boston Green Fest coming up on the 19th!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's all happening this weekend!

Ladies and gentlemen! We have a great weekend of festivals and summer events ahead of us, many of them - wait no- all of the following involve food in some way.
Get ready to make space in your weekend agenda for these fab goings-on!

Fisherman's Feast: now through Sunday (no cost)- This is a great festival celebrating 'Madonna del Soccorso' (Our Lady of help) as well as the immigration of fishermen from the South coast of Italy. It will be held in the North End area which means you can expect excellent italian food, music and bazaar type booths. I went to this festival last year and came out full of pasta, calamari and biscotti! http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/fishermans-feast-in-bostons-north-end.html

India Day: Sunday 15th of August, 3:30-8 p.m (no cost) - India Day is pretty self-evident, it will be a festival celebrating India's independence day as well as the Indian-American population in the Greater Boston Area. The Hatch-Shell by the Charles River is always a great place to host a celebration, as you may know, this is the location of my favorite Earth Fest...but more to the point, there will be live entertainment and Indian food to boot! I am excited to see how this one compares to Toronto's East-Asian festival! http://www.iagb.org/

BGood BBQ: Sunday 15th of August, 1-6 p.m. (12$ online, 15$ at the door) - BGood will be hosting a fundraiser BBQ on Sunday at 500 Harrison, right behind the SoWa market. This will be the 7th annual BBQ they hold and every year it is a raving success. Your entry fee gives you access to burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, milkshakes, beer and all the great live art and music going on at the venue. It is a great way to get your burger fill while supporting Sidewalk Sam and Artstreet, a non-profit organisation promoting the presence of art in daily life. Give your tummy and your soul some nourishment at this festival! http://www.bgood.com/BBQ-for-Sidewalk-Sam.php

Restaurant Week: Runs August 15th-20th and August 22nd-27th - All over Boston and just outside of it. I am sure you have all heard of Restaurant week, where the fancier restaurants devise scrumptious multiple course menus for a uniform price. This summer, check out the following website for the list of this year's participating restaurants: http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/. You will find they offer a two course lunch for 15.10, a three course lunch for 20.10 or a three course dinner for 33.10. I do warn you though, this can be a crazy good deal, or a bit of a rip off. My advice, check out the menu before you make a reservation so you can lock into the best deals offered...aka go for the most expensive restaurant!

So, I think we all have our work cut out for us this weekend, it may be a stretch to make it to all the events, but they are all there for our enjoyment and it would be a pity to go to none at all!

Monday, August 9, 2010

An intellectual niche on Newbury

Everyone knows Newbury for its chic boutiques and upper end restaurant which, let's admit, are far from being classified as frugal. I, the frugal foodista, have not had much to do with many of the restaurants on that street, despite the compelling sounding menus and loud reviews.

You can therefore imagine my surprise when I came upon Trident Booksellers and Café wedged into a little area near the Mass Ave end of Newbury. This little café is the perfect example of a seedling of an idea, turned into one of the areas hotspots for regulars. Where better to go to enjoy your newspaper, book or coffee than an inviting bookstore with a fabulous menu and affordable prices? The Trident has been around for 25 years and was indeed one of the first places one could go to enjoy the comfort of time and intellect...and a bite to eat.

Tonight was my first time trying this place and indeed it is the first place I have tried on Newbury, something tells me I won't find another experience like it...at least not in a nearby radius. The first thing I thought when I opened up my menu was how I could have spent four years in Boston without trying this place out. I must admit, I felt a little embarassed!

But you know what they say...better late than never!

I remedied the situation by trying a bit of everything we ordered, and I feel that this post will make up for the lack of support I have shown in the past years.

I ordered the Trident signature salad with cranberries, gorgonzola, almonds, mandarin oranges and grilled chicken on top of a bed of mixed greens, we also ordered the homemade butternut squash ravioli (winning plate), the momos (Tibetan steamed dumplings) and one of their many appealing sandwiches. I was impressed with everything; the size, price, quality...the service, it was all there. Not to mention that we were seated in the back, in a booth surrounded by shelves of books. It really created a timeless feel in the midst of one of Boston's most boisterous streets.

Trident serves breakfast all day as well as lunch and dinner with a wide range of items and a price range from bk sides at 1.50, to the main courses of about 15 dollars.

The desserts were also calling my name, but the trip to JP Licks before hand seemed to hold them at bay.

Not to fear, I will definately be back to escape into my new found, old-time niche.

To drool over the menu, or simply to read more about the team, click the following: http://www.tridentbookscafe.com/Home_Page.php

Saturday, August 7, 2010

All around Towne

You have no doubt heard a lot about the offspring of culinary directors Lydia Shire and Jasper White now pulsing with life in Hynes Convention Center. Towne stove and spirits has indeed been mentioned by myself in a previous post as a hot new place to try out before the summer's end. As I like to think of myself as a person of relatively good moral character, I try to take my own advice as much as I can.

So, last night, off I went for a night out on the Towne...and I can happily say that the place lives up to most of its impressive write ups. The restaurant is quite large and able to accomodate a wide variety of crowds. The first bar that greets you as you enter has the typical sports bar feel to it, loud (perhaps a little too loud), lots of people and generally an upbeat vibe. This is where we started out...and after our first drink order, our voices already becoming hoarse, we decided to check out the other space offerings. Our waitress was exceptionally friendly and welcomed us to venture around the restaurant until we found a spot we preferred.

The next stop was just behind the first bar, where a room with another bar beside a dining area opened up. This was much quieter already, more consistent with the business casual dinner experience. Already we felt better not having to belt out our commentaries. In this part of the restaurant, we were also greeted with a glimpse of their angel food cake dessert which floats by topped with a cloud of maple cotton candy...oo-er. They also offer a simple bar menu with affordable prices and a neat little lobster tasting menu in the form of a fan...very nifty.

Compelled by our sense of adventure, we decided not to rest here long and continued up the beckoning staircase to the top floor dining area, or dining room two. This was much classier, with a nice shiny bar, dining area and windows all around. There was yet another dining area off to the side which faces Boylston street and reminisces a grand dining area with red accents.

Satisfied at last, we were cordially seated at a circular table in this dining area. Our waiter was attentive almost to the point of becoming overbearring, but I believe he was just genuinly interested in sharing his knowledge. He brought out some very delicious homemade bread with three condiments: salted butter, cod caviar and babaganoush, took out drink order and told us briefly about the scientific edge of the restaurant (seeing as our water glasses were beakers, we had to ask!)

We ended up just having time to order one of their wood grilled flatbreads with mushroom tapenade, scallions and homemade cheese. It was actually grilled to near perfection and the ingredients married well together.

The place is huge, the service seems to be rather good and the food and drink are creative...it has all the ingredients to succeed in a very competitive area. For those more frugal foodies, the bar and lobster tasting menus make for a great way to experience Towne without breaking the bank.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tid Bite!

I just gathered some very interesting news that I am sure will excite many Bostonians!

I have mentioned farmers' markets enough in the past for you to know how serious I am about their importance in our summer itineraries. I have said many times that farmers' markets are great ways to try out new foods, get fresher ingredients and even make for a good day trip.

Well, in case you were wondering what to plan for your up coming Sunday, fear not, I have just the thing!
SoWa Sundays, an ecclectic farmer's market which appears every Sunday on Harrison Ave from May 15th onwards will be hosting Boston's first ever food truck festival. Sound intriguing? You haven't heard the start!

This Sunday, the 4th of August, prepare to travel the likes of the world in one relatively small location, full of different food trucks. Among these, expect to see Boston Frosty, Roxy's grilled cheese, Herrara's mexican grill, the sausage guy, cupcakory and taza chococycle.

The list goes on, and so will the fun and the food! The event runs from 10 am to 4pm, it is no cost, so you can come to cruise around for most of the day just enjoying the sights and smells...I challenge you to do this without getting a little something for your stomach!

If you don't believe me, see for yourself: http://sowasundays.com/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Rush

Without much effort on our part, we find ourselves in the last month of 'real summer' here in North America...after this month, fall creeps in, the winds picks up the increasingly evident stray leaves and green turns to orange and red...and then brown...BUT! Before we get too consumed by melancholy, let us truly enjoy this month and all it has to offer here in Boston!

I feel that I may have neglected my frugal foodista duties recently...all of this globe trotting! But here I am and first thing is first...Godiva Rewards!
As usual, every start of the month provides a new opportunity to get down to your nearest Godiva boutique to try out your free chocolate of the month. https://www.godiva.com/member/rewardlogin.aspx

This month also sees two newcomers in the Back Bay area. Right by Hynes Convention Center on Boylston, we have a two floor coalition restaurant with three bars for maximal space and opportuniy. I say coalition because behind Towne Stove and Spirits are the city's most forward and rising restauranteurs including the backers of Sonsie, Summer Shack and Scampo. Check out their menu on their website: http://www.towneboston.com/

Another newcomer is also in Back Bay and funnily enough, right in front of Towne. It is called Back Bay Social Club and may not invite frugality, but then again there is no harm in a splurge once in a while! This place is decked out in red plush booths and straight backed chairs. The welcoming thing about this social club is that it requires no membership. If you think about it that way, it is probably the most frugal way of being part of a social club! In case you want to make a reservation and see their (slightly unfinished) website visit: http://www.backbaysocialclub.com/

The menu is chock full of the usual bar restaurant types, aka Steak Frites, House Made Garlic Sausage and apparently, a Monday special of Chicken and waffles...that one tickles my fancy!

On the 19th-21st there will be a Green Fest, at Boston City Hall Plaza and...it is sponsored by JP Licks(among others)! This event will have it all, events promoting environmental awareness, green exhibits and well...ice cream! Check out the details: http://http//www.bostongreenfest.org/
Lastly, (although I am sure there are more such events going on throughout August), the farmers' markets continue serging onwards through October, so make the most of them while you can! (be sure you hit them all: http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/)