Monday, February 28, 2011

A new Chip on the block.

Having experienced a few late nights in Boston, I can definately relate to the unparalleled feeling of dispair when you find yourself hungry at 1:45 in the morning, with very little options....
Although certain restaurants are open until 2 am, many do not offer their full menus and it is difficult for me to not feel like I have been punched in the gut when I hear the words:
'I am sorry, our kitchen is closed...'
Luckily, a fresh new option has just been added to our midst! Introducing Saus, the perfect spot anytime of day, but definately at 2 oclock in the morning.  This place has been 'opening soon' for a while now and I am happy to say that as of today, it is in business near Faneuil Hall. 
This place is unique as it will be a 'frite' shop.  You will go here to your fix your fry craving...which we all know is more often than not at 2 olock in the morning....or anytime you look at this picture...
Whenever it hits, get yourself down to Saus, pick your size and the best part...pick from a whole list of fancy dipping sauces like bacon parmesan or truffle ketchup. They also boast a deep fried egg...a great addition to any basket of fries.
Being a true Canadian, I am looking forward to trying their Poutine...I am a tough judge!
I can see a warm welcome arriving this weekend:)
Oh and did I mention they will serve belgian waffles as well?
Check them out at:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two fab foodie events coming up!

So here are a couple tid 'bites' of information that might sweeten your weekend...
On Sunday, at the Great Scott in Allston, Chili takedown is hosting a Boston Cookie takedown! In all honesty this seems more like my cup of tea!
Starting at 2 oclock on the 27th, get yourself and your ticket (10 dollars) down to this bar and you will be greeted by an onslaught of cookie creations, from traditional classics, aka the choclate chip cookie, to crazy innovations like a bacon cookie (oo-er) or savory blue cheese cookies..the sky is the limit!
More info and tickets are available at

In case you can't make this cookie event, fear not because this Monday happens to be the last Monday of February and you know what that means!! Well, maybe you don't, but allow me to let you in, it is the wonderful date for Kickass Cupcake's happy hour! From 5-7, they will be serving mini renditions of three different alcohol infused cupcakes.
More info and cause for subsequent drooling can be found at

I sincerely hope you make it to at least one of these fab events and promotions...I myself, will not be able to...sinful, I know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mid-week trip to The Gallows

 It is always good to have a reliable place to head for a drink and some knosh in the middle of the week.  Especially when you seem to be experiencing the world's longest and most painful five day stint, an evening out, good food and conversation can be just the thing that'll help you get through the rest of it.
In the South End, The Gallows is one such spot.  It has been open since this past summer and I am fairly certain that it has filled its serving area solidly every night since. Somehow, it has not been affected by the recent closings of neighboring restaurants that have plagued the area.
I would think it has something to do with the slightly gothic/rustic style that is a nice change from the usual swanky, black and white, which is the current trend in South End restaurants (Union Bar and Grille, Pops, Aquitaine...etc)
A quick look at some of their dishes could also prove further evidence as to their success and popularity.

Here we have their scotch egg, and although it may not look like much, it  is a simple but very tasty soft boiled egg wrapped in house made pork sausage and then deep fried.  A classic Scottish tradition and very well executed.
You can just about see the edge of their Waldorf salad in this picture.  It's nice to know that a restaurant priding itself on its scotch egg can also deliver a tasty salad.
We ordered their farmer's board to share.  This has changed since the restaurant initially opened.  It used to be a plate with all sorts of interesting things, different cheese, pickled vegetables and breads.  Now it comes much simpler, which is perhaps nice, but I preferred the other version, with things piled nice and high.  This way the board seems a little sparse...

Upon my recommendation, my friend ordered their burger, which, I must say remains their best item in terms of quality, quantity and affordability.  At nine dollars, this burger is quite delicious, juicy and topped with cheese and home made pickles.  The bun, which can sometimes make or break a burger does not over power the meat and as a whole, this burger is perfectly proportioned so that nothing slips and slides about while you are enjoying it.
The service at the Gallows has become more fine tuned since the first time I went in a few months ago, a sure sign that it will continue to prosper on its way to becoming one of the South End's unique dining destinations.  It's too bad the pricing of the menu items seems to have gone up since my initial visit, but there are still plenty of frugal options that make this restaurant a good choice, any night of the week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

'Wholy' competition in the South End

I would like to extend a warm welcome to 'The Wholy Grain', the South End's newest bakery café, which just opened this week.  There has been quite a lot of hype around the opening of this little café, most notably because it seems to have sprouted up as if by magic from the depths of a residential brownstone.
It is in a great location, right on the sunny corner of Shawmut and Hanson, with some promising outdoor seating space, which gets us South Enders especially excited:)
The interior is just as cute and befitting of the South End's vibe, with its soft yellow-ish walls and irregularly shaped doors, it gives off a european feel. 

The menu has an old-time quality to it as it is written out by hand in white chalk on a black board. And all of their pastries are nicely displayed on welcoming platters. 

Although everything seemed delicious, the cinnamon chip scones, morning glory muffins, sticky buns (will they give Flour a run for their money?) and their double espresso chocolate cookies looked most grab worthy.

Refreshingly, everything is baked on site and you can tell by the look of their blueberry chocolate chip muffins which boast plump and juicy looking blueberries and big, slightly oozing chocolate chips. They also have some nice savory ideas, like their focaccia farmers bread of the day.

Although the Wholy Grain fared quite well with regards to their coffee services and ready made foods, they have much room for improvement when it comes to their sandwhiches.  They have not quite mastered the proper balance required so that all ingredients can play either their leading or supportive role and they definately need to figure out how to put them together so that they don't fall apart the minute you look at them.
All in all though, this spot shows promise and hopefully it will provide us with yet another great independent café!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A night out in Kenmore

Stepping out of your neighborhood really pays, especially when you step into the neighborhood of Kenmore, which is quickly becoming a hot spot in terms of dining destinations.
At the mercy of a good friend and foodie, I took to the streets of Comm. ave, home of The Lower Depths, a bar renowned for its customizable franks and extensive beer list.
From the minute I walked in, I knew I was in a special little nook; the place was bustling with activity and the staff were genuily happy to greet us despite their ceaseless to and fro-ing.
As daunting as the beer list was (it boasts 130 plus) my eye was quickly drawn to their hard ciders and fruity flavoured beers..I know, I know! I just haven't quite acquired the taste for ales or lagers...or hops! My first round was a pear cider, crisp and refreshing, while my friend opted for his favorite dark chocolate beer. His was decadent and I liked it, but could not have done justice to the whole glass.

We decided to go the appetizer route. Once we had gotten the attention of our bar tender, which proved a little tricky, we ordered their nachos and their Tatter Tots Supreme which came as an order of crispy tots covered in balsamic vinegrette, blue cheese and caramelized onions.  Unfortunately, this dish would have done better if it had really been smothered in the toppings, instead it was a little dry..

As a tribute to my friend's soft spot, we ordered their Jerk Chicken wings.  This is not something I usually order, but I actually quite enjoyed them! I would have preferred a bit more spice to them, but in general, they were well made and the smoky-ness was nicely balanced by the mango salsa offered as an accompaniement.

Although we did not go for their hot dogs, I managed to snag a picture of some across the table and in all honesty...I think we should have added one to our platters.  However, we did seem to be filling ourselves up quite happily with our wings and tots.
Here we have the chili dog on the left and the mac and cheese with grilled onions in the center and on the right...yumm
As with all my meals, I like to end on a sweet note. Luckily, The Lower Depths has a dessert pretzel which comes served hot with a healthy drizzle of cream cheese (or sour cream) frosting. It was probably my favorite part of the meal and melted like cloud in my mouth.
Now, although I said this was the end of our meal. We ended up venturing even further and found ourselves in Fenway at Tasty Burger.  This is a joint I had on my list since it opened last year.  A blast from the past, this place is your classic diner serving up juicy burgers. 
The pool table is free and, once the very intimidating players vacated the premises, I got a few pretty good shots in. It was certianly enough to work up another partial appetite to justify ordering their bacon cheeseburger right before they closed at 2 oclock in the morning...

It may sound crazy...but boy was it worth it! I am going to have to revisit both places, Kenmore will seem much more accessible come spring time!
(The Lower Depths does not have a website)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taking New York by the seat of your pants

There is something about New York City that makes you feel invincible.  This past weekend, my friends and I took an impromptu trip over to the Big Apple and I think we can all agree that the for those two days, the world was our oyster. 
We didn't go with a plan, but just allowed the city's 24hr energy and constant pulse to take us where it would.  Here are some of the highlights!
On Saturday morning, Emily and I found one of our favorite Belgium (opened in New York) cafés, Le Pain Quotidien.
This place has beautiful coffee, served in large bowls, which make you feel like you are drinking out of an everlasting pool of comfort.  Unfortunately, the open bowls make for quickly cooling beverages, but that was not something I was about to complain about.

The true highlight however are their spreads.  Le Pain Quotidien is known for its incredibly indulgent spreads ranging from sweet jams to decadent chocolate and hazelnut spreads.  Our favorite is the Blondie, which is a maple nut spread, so smooth it practically becomes one with the bread.  Combining the Noisella (like Nutella) spread with their apricot or raspberry preserves was an instant hit as well!

After our good morning awakening, we ventured out to fifth avenue, stopping here and there where ever our hearts decided.  We were utlimately on our way to Eataly, an incredible Italian Marketplace I had read about a few months ago. I was very curious as to whether this place would be as good as it sounded, lucky for us, it was better.  Essentially, it is an Italian market, with produce, fish, cheese, pasta and all other kinds of stalls displaying Italian artisinal treats.

As if that didn't spell out Italy enough, the whole place is set up around a Rotunda of sorts where you can set yourself up with Vino and paired antipasto dishes.  We went straight for the wine, and, as we had observed others doing, casually strolled around the rest of the market with it in hand.  I got a great proseco and Emily enjoyed a hearty red.

It's incredible how much easier it is to spend money when you are in such a good mood!
My favorite, naturally, was the chocolate display where I got a valentine shaped dark chocolate covered nougat and pistachio treat.

This all went down quite nicely with a sample (or five) of their market special apricot and dried fruit panetone. 

The Italian theme seemed to have inspired us, after our stint in Italy, we went uptown to Lexington where our friend's father had a photography exhibit.  Feeling quite artistically accomplished and peckish, we found ourselves in a cute little Italian restaurant, Lex Restaurant.
What was hilarious about this place was that apart from our table, everyone around us seemed to be...well full of life experience, to put it nicely.
Our waiter however was very attentive and seeme dto appreciate the young blood. We ordered various pastas, salads and paired the entire meal off with a great Côte du Rhône bottle of red. 

Still chock full of momentum, we headed to Lincoln center and watched the New York City ballet perform a mixed bill. I am not sure if it was our activity filled day, the effects of the wine or the performance, but we were all finding it difficult to stay awake by the end of the program.
After such a day of excursion and spontaneity, Sunday had to be simple.  Up we got and Zabars seemed an ideal place to grab a nice breakfast and snacks for the trip back.

They really do have the greatest coffee and their coffee shop set up right beside the grocery store is a fine idea.
It was so nice to just sit and chat New York style that we lost track of time and ended up missing the bus we had intended to make. Lucky for us, there was another one departing a meer thirty minutes later.  New York just seems to be the city of opportunity, when one thing slips up, another option presents itself.
I think the trick is to keep the trips short and sweet, then you leave wanting more, instead of wishing for less.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A little Valentine's preaching -and bailout

Tomorrow is Valentine's day; the day of love, romance and all things that come in sharable portions.  I think it's great to dedicate a day in the year to that special someone, be it your partner, your friend, or a family member. I also think that people tend to sometimes get too focused on the material aspect of this holiday and end up misisng the point of it.
Although it is great to shower that special person with gifts, surprises and treats, it is often times just as good (and sometimes better), to do something that allows them to actually experience your feelings for them. 
So don't try to make the gift the center of your valentine's day, instead, allow it to compliment the true feeling or message you are trying to get across.
I know, I know, you are probably wondering why in the world I have suddenly gone all sappy...but really, when you think about it, this can be the perfect bail out if this holiday has kind of sprung up on you out of nowhere.
Hear me out: sometimes ideas are easier to come by than the limited edition of Godiva Valentine's day truffles amidst a crowd of crazed lovers and most often, they are much less generic.
And you are probably in a twitter because you are having a creative block, well, lucky for you, I have a solution. Here is a little website that you might find helpful...last minute delivery of pretty schmancy Valentine's it won't be the most frugal thing you do all year, but hey, last minute convenience costs!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love inspired truffles

The most romantic day of the year draws ever and red seem to pop out from around every corner and restaurants are all brimming with Valentine's day specials.
Although this is all very exciting, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind you all of the simple pleasures in life.  For instance, this Sunday, during our first day of spring (or what I would love to think was our first day of spring, but which was probably just an absolute tease), I stopped by my local Godiva boutique and picked up the three Valentine truffles they have at the moment. 
Allow me to introduce them to you, from left to right we have the Dark Chocolate Soufflé, the Milk Chocolate Mousse, and the Wwhite Chocolate with Passion Fruit filling.
When you bite into these little guys you will find they are filled with more than just chocolatey (or fruity) goodness, they are filled with something a little more abstract...and you know, I think it might just be love:)
Check out what other love-filled chocolates Godiva is harboring:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Burrito Bonanza in Copley Square!

There are not many better ways to introduce yourself to the Copley Square community than with a day's worth of free burritos.  This is just what the Copley Boloco did and judging from the success of the event, (2651 free burritos were made!) they are going to be wildly popular!

A couple of friends and I were part of the masses and we stood in line (a long, but fast moving line) for our free burrito.
This new location has a fabulous new set up with online kiosks where you order you burrito and can select everything you want to go in, or be left out. It's really efficient and the visual aids are fantastic!  If you look carefully at this picture, you can just make out the online kiosk in the background..very nifty!

My friend Claire went ahead and added every single add-on available...unfortunately, they were out of guacamole and fajita vegetables by the time we got there. (not that you can really tell by this mess of a burrito!)

She really enjoyed it though and that's what matters!

My burrito ended up looking like a baby beside hers, but it was a beautiful rendition of the classic mexican: with their organic tofo, feta cheese, olives, regular and roated corn salsa, cheddar cheese, boloco rice and lettuce...delish!  My other friend ordered one of their salads, it didn't last very long!
I also got one of their chocolate chip cookies, although they are not as great as those made by Paradise Bakery Cafe, they manage go down a treat and hold their own amid the burriots!
I am just glad I was able to welcome our new burrito shop in all its glory on the day of its opening! Keep in mind that their 14th birthday is coming up later this month! You will want to join in on the celebrations!