Showing posts from July, 2012

Expensive Chocolates - Ritrovo Selections: Xocatl Chocolate


Merengue: Caribbean in Roxbury

After alesbian book club meetinginCharlestown,Iwas walking toward the train, famished and wondering if it was worth it to try to eat in Charlestown as I like to try to have foodie adventures in the neighborhoods where life takes me. The Charlestown restaurant scene is pretty stupid in my opinion though (let me know if you have any recommendations of affordable and at least slightly interesting places there).

One of the women from the book club needed help finding her car, so I used my iPhone's GPS to help her. From there we decided to go out to dinner together. I told her about my food blog, and since she was a black and, if I recall correctly, Puerto Rican (or Dominican Republican or Cuban, perhaps... one of the islands), she decided she wanted to take me (if I was up for it) to a Caribbean restaurant in Roxbury. Since Roxbury is a neighborhood I wouldn't normally get around to eating in, I was happy to go wherever she wanted. She acted like this might be a weird cultural expe…

Best Cafe for Working in Central Square: Mariposa Bakery

It can get a little hot in the summer, but my iced americano helped. The guy who helped me was really nice.

The pastries all looked amazing. Had it been 20 or 30 degrees cooler, I would've loved to have true the creamy celery with Gouda soup (veggie), though the chilled carrot and coconut (vegan) might've been good too.

They take breakfast orders till 12, and they have a nice collection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches (plus a few salads) that all feature sauces, aiolis and and/or sales that are homemade. Breakfast sandwiches come on bagels or toast, and the lunch sandwiches come on your choice of Italian white, oatmeal wheat, seeded wheat, pretzel roll or potato roll (all also homemade). Also a breakfast pizza and some homemade granola, and the full range of coffee an tea drinks.

They have a bunch of nice tables (outside too in the summer) where you can park your laptop and write a book or whatever it is you do. The food, on the other hand, is hit or miss. Thus, this guide:

Best Brunch in NSB: Spanish River Grill

Hungover from my sister's wedding, a group of eight of us headed out to Sunday morning brunch at the Spanish River Grill. We arrived a little before 11 and it took just shy of an hour between ordering and receiving our food, so be warned. Brunch should never be a hurried affair, but we should've ordered appetizers.

For $5 or $6 you can get a Mimosa or Mary pitcher. If you're anything like ouralcoholishfriend who ordered his hairs of the dog, you're probably better off orderingthe pitcher since you'll get four servings for thepriceof three,andyou'regoing toorder two singles anyway, so just share that pitcher with a more reasonable couple of friends who only want alittle cocktail for the brunchy cuteness of it.

My only complaint is that I wanted to eat 100% more of this scrumptious dish.

Foodie Problem #1: When the most interesting foodie dish is something that you know you don't actually want to order (too expensive, too unhealthful to start your day with, a…

Hong Kong Restaurant: Cambridge: Harvard Square - The Comedy Studio

My friend Andrew and I were going to the comedy show above Hong Kong Restaurant. I wanted some drinks and he wanted some fries, so we enjoyed the hospitality of HKR before the show*. The beer selection was limited, but they had $2 bottles of one of the major brands' silly super low-cal and consequently low ABV beers, so we downed a handful of those each.

I'm pretty sure they get the same frozen bags of curly fries that Jack-in-the-Box gets, which is to say, these were super!

*Which turned out to be a somewhat comedic magic show. I recommend avoiding Tuesday nights at The Comedy Studio.

Blue Nile: Boston: Jamaica Plain

I went with a vegetarian friend to Blue Nile and got the "JP Veggie Combo (choose 4 dishes) for two ($20).

Mrs. Fields: Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglass International Airport

I had such pleasant memories of the packaged cookies from this lady, so I've had a curiosity to eat one from a shop, assuming that they're cooked that day or at least more recently than a packaged one. I got a semisweet chocolate with nuts (the sign didn't specify which kind, but they turned out to be walnuts).

It was soft and yummy, but my neighbor bakery's cookies have raised my standards. Alas, some pleasures from childhood are simply gone, cutoff from our adult selves.

Salsarita's Fresh Cantina: Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglass International Airport

Routed once again through the Charlotte airport, I followed my rule for eating close to whichever gate I wind up flying out of each time. Thus I chose Salsaritas Fresh Cantina (over a Starbucks, a Burger King, and some froyo/smoothie place).

You have to be prepared to face the apathetic robot ladies slopping your food out to you. When mine asked, "What kinda salsa you want hot medium or mild?" I asked for the fresh salsa and the not bad looking hot.

When she asked, "Anything else?" she made it sound like wanting any topping beyond the chicken, lettuce and black beans would be quite the unwelcome nuisance, so I limited myself to requesting only jalapeños, cilantro, black bean and corn salsa, and cheese, though I would've also liked diced tomatoes, diced onions, and some guacamole, which might or might not have cost extra. It seemed like the cashier didn't really care about charging for extras).

What I should have said was, "Yes, could I please have ever…

Peach Farm: Boston: Chinatown

In response to some criticism, I have updated this review*.

Chinatowns are intriguing but sometimes daunting areas of potential foodie adventures for me. I want to go to every restaurant in them (and every restaurant in the world, while I'm at it), but obviously this is impossible. Not only do I not have endless money and calories to spend, I also have a social nervousness to contend with in the case of some restaurants.

Much the same way that when going to a particularly upscale restaurant I would be more comfortable going with someone who is accustomed to that world, who knows the social scripts and feels entirely welcome and at home therein, when going into Chinatown experiences, I feel much more comfortable when accompanied by someone of Chinese descent.

When I was a teenager in Houston, Texas, my best friend was a Vietnamese-American guy who introduced me to Houston's Little Saigon, exposing me to pho, bubble tea drinks, etc. He was my entree into that world. Would anyone…