Category Archives: Beantown

The Hawthorne

It is hardly a secret that Eastern Standard (Kitchen & Drinks) in Kenmore Square is my happy place. The restaurant is absolutely perfect for any and every and all occasions, and I absolutely love it there.

Garrett, silver fox.

In fall of 2010, when I learned that Garrett Harker and Jackson Cannon, the brilliance behind ESKD, were opening a seafood haven on the same block as ESKD, I thought things in Kenmore Square could never possibly get better. Alas, I should know that anyone behind something as magical as a Blueberry Thrill will always have more delights up their sleeve. Island Creek Oyster Bar (ICOB) was not the only space in the east of the square, and I learned last summer that the vacant space that had been a bar/ lounge months prior, was to be the next execution of the glorious Commonwealth Avenue vision.

The Hawthorne is the lounge to Eastern Standard’s restaurant, if you will, and it is far more than that. “Bar 500A” (as the Twitter handle speakeasily asserts) offers craft cocktails, fine wines, and small bites that match perfectly with the venues sleek and simultaneously homey atmosphere. Opening night was packed with swanky Bostonians who had similarly been waiting with bated breath for the doors to open.

menu snapshot

The Aviation, one of my favorite cocktails that ES prepares exquisitely, can be made “ancient or modern” and both ways are DIVINE. The coming weeks will allow the bar to settle itself and really shine as the premier hang out (and GREAT party venue) on Commonwealth Avenue. I look forward to many evenings of decadence at one of my new favorite spots!

the main bar room

Advertisements

5 Napkin Burger

I’m not a huge fan of burgers. But I know a damn good one when I eat one.

My friend was interning in New York over the summer and her office would send her out to pick up burgers for lunch. Finally, Katie tried it and understood why it was worth the car they sent for her, and she took me to the hell’s kitchen location of 5 Napkin Burger for dinner.

I decided to try this burger of 5 napkins, assuming that surely the namesake of the restaurant would be at least remotely satisfying. It was so much more than that. It oozed. It dripped. I felt the sensation of the taste of this burger throughout my entire body and as I chewed each bite was more rich and delectable than the first. This is the best burger I’ve ever had.

I don’t even like half the ingredients, but together they do something WILD. There’s one in the Prudential Center, and Katie and I frequent it more than the average post-freshman-fifteen college student should. Some things, like anything with a rosemary aioli, are just worth it.

Bay State, the nation’s longest-running and award-winning college soap opera.

I was a senior in high school. I had been watching General Hospital at 3pm every weekday since I was in the womb. I was a major Drama Club nerd, and loved acting. I was looking at Boston University for the first time and touring the College of Communication.

On the wall outside of Studio East on the third floor of the COM Building, I was on a student-guided tour and the film major had just pointed to a poster, explaining that this was the stage where Bay State, the nation’s longest-running, award-winning college soap opera, was filmed every Tuesday.

That was the moment.

I had to come to BU. I had to be on Bay State. Period.

Fortunately, the admissions process worked out nicely for me and by the time I arrived on campus freshman year I knew which club email list I wanted to join.

In auditions, I remember choosing to read for the role of Olivia Montgomery because she seemed the most like Blair Waldorf, my beloved character from the CW’s Gossip Girl.

I got a callback. I was ecstatic. I read again for Olivia. This role needed to be mine. A week later, I got a call from an unknown number, and was offered the role because they “really loved the bitchy Blair Waldorf quality” I brought to the role. Win. Destiny.

I haven’t looked back since. 5 seasons and many episodes of elevator fires, marijuanna scandals, sex, drugs, and murder, and Bay State has been one of the best experiences of my college career. It was a great way for me to satiate the part of my appetite that wanted to act, but try something completely different from musicals and plays. The production is entirely student-run and is a true testament to what students with an affinity for daytime TV can do when they get together on Tuesday evenings. The entire cast and crew is brilliant, creative, hilarious, and Bay State will be something I miss more than anything when my time at BU ends.

Stream episodes 24/7 at butv10.com!

Mr. & Miss. COM

Last October, my dear friend and fellow COM (College of Communication, the communication school within Boston University) student, Chris Wilcox approached me with a “quick biddie problem.” Adopting the long-adored COM concept of biddidom (being a typical, cliche, CHICK, chatting via Blackberry, rocking Uggs, and so on), Chris proposed that I be the Miss to his Mister COM and compete in BU Programming Council’s annual Mr. & Miss. BU Competition. Two students from each of the 9 schools and colleges at BU compete to wear the official Mr. and Miss BU crown, and they get tickets to some hockey game that seems to matter a lot to everyone, excluding sports-pass waiving me.

Favorite Decade Day: 60's Mad Men!

I was absolutely honored to become Miss. COM, and after a week of themed picture-taking and Facebook blasting preparation, at 7pm on Saturday, Chris and I donned our scarlet and white sashes to begin our rapid descent to rest among the other well-meaning COM hopefuls who were robbed of the chance to tweet about a University pageant victory.

Past COMtestants (Mr. and Miss BU contestants from COM) always seemed so naturally to fit the role of Mr. and Miss BU that most students make the assumption that victory is only follower-count deep. This is not the case. Let me say, Mr. and Miss CFA can rock the CFAsbah, and our questions were biased and unfair. #obvz.

Learning the opening dance sequence was the greatest challenge we faced, but fortunately my high school Drama Club Presidency (*rubs dirt off shoulders*) was spent learning many a box step, and I can work jazz hands better than Sharpay Evans.

Sharpay and Ryan, of High School Musical, dance and bop to the top

The Newlywed Game meant each contestant had to know enough about the other to guess whether they preferred Starbucks or Dunks (EASY. CHRIS IS SO DUNKS. I AM SO STARBS.) Chris and I have known each other since freshman year, so we assumed we had this in the bag. Alas, despite having found one another in a group ice breaker at the third Admissions Ambassador meeting in January of 09, Chris and I could not properly identify one another’s preferred newspaper publication. Sorry, panel of question-concocters, there’s about  A BERJILLION to choose from. #RIGGED.

Then the contest moved on to “Name that Hashtag” which put far more pressure on us than I could ever have imagined, and Chris and I froze and bombed COMICALLY and miserably when given random pictures to assign witty hashtags to. #twaddictproblems

Lastly, it was time for “TALENTS.” This was the big make or break of the show, and naturally Chris and I rewrote the lyrics to the Spice Girls classic “Wannabe” at 1pm that day, because in COM we major in #procrastination. If I do say so myself, our performance was not the absolute worst, and nothing we could have done could have lived up to the mastery of some of the other schools. I mean, CFA CLEARLY has an advantage here. Then again, one would think we’d have a leg up in the hashtag round, so #nevermind.

When it came time for deliberation, counting @DeanElmore as a follower on Twitter did NOT help the votes, and we regretfully relinquished our hopes to Mr. and Miss. CFA who did genuinely perform astoundingly overall.

Despite a treacherous defeat, Chris and I had an absolute BLAST participating and making fools of ourselves in front of the entire student body. All’s not lost, I got to put that I was Miss COM on my Linked In page, and I kept my sash. To be buried in. From that time I peaked senior year of college.

A big thanks to everyone that came out to support us!!

LAMB: collegiate edition

I love lamb. Inspired by Lambfest ’11, when cooking for my roommates this week, I decided lamb was indubitably going to be on the menu. I come from a family of great cooks, so I have always loved good food and cooking. Home-cooked meals have always been a relative normality in my apartments, and  why not, when cooking can often be just as easy as trekking down the block to Raising Cane’s? (Which by the way, when done properly, can be pretty darn delicious in its own right, my first impressions about that place were way off.)

For the lamb, I couldn’t open the tin of the rub that I picked up at Lambfest, so I just concocted my own with some of my favorite herbs and spices. I cook with a lot of rosemary so I added some (read: a lot) of rosemary. (ALWAYS. ALWAYS ROSEMARY. ROSEMARY CHICKEN. ROSEMARY POTATOES. ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CAKE. ROSEMARY’S THE BEST BEST BEST!) Though I detest the licorice taste of fennel, fennel seed is my ABSOLUTE favorite, and I love it in sausage and on some meats. With the richness and heartiness of the lamb, fennel seed is perfection. I finished the chops off with some garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, (the usual), and popped them into the broiler until they were done!

I have always loved radiatore pasta, and whoever claims that all pasta tastes the same: never eat pasta again. You are not worthy. Radiatore pasta tastes better than all others; wagon wheels come in a close second. The supermarket on BU’s campus does not carry enough radiatore variety, and I had to settle on some weirdo veggie brand of radiatore pasta that apparently gives you like 19 full servings of vegetables? It just tasted like pasta. Doused in pesto and parmesan, obviously. My roommates last year all loved parmesan cheese almost as much as I do, and it was a running joke that we were “parmesan people” because we would go through 5 containers of the store-bought cheese every 2 weeks. (I actually don’t think that’s such an exaggeration.)

Spinach is one of my favorite veggies, and it’s so easy to prepare! I hate how you buy a whole package thinking it’s this monstrous amount of green and then when it’s sautéed there’s enough for maybe 1.5 portions. Spinach is all water so it shrivels quick and magically disappears in the pan, but I love sautéed spinach in a pan with some olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and a tiny squirt of lemon for some zest.

The meal was the perfect satisfaction for my extended lamb cravings, and the indulgence was a simple, practical meal on a Sunday night. #DELISH

LAMBFEST

I am not a “foodie.” I really like eating good food. Lamb is one of my favorite foods. If lamb, tuna tar tare, or truffle oil are anywhere on a menu, I indubitably will be ordering those menu items. When I heard about the American Lamb Pro-Am LAMB FEST in Boston for the reasonable rate of $25, I knew I couldn’t miss it. My friend Mister Wang is a foodie, and on Sunday we ventured to Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge to stuff our faces with LAMB.

American Lamb, BostonChefs.com, and Boston restaurants (Russell House Tavern, Pigalle, Bambara, & KO Prime) teamed up with bloggers (Doves and Figs, Just Add Cheese, Cave Cibum, & Two Recipes) to provide four lamb dishes to taste (once, twice, thrice…) and vote on. There were also delicious drinks to accompany the dishes, and Kevin and I sat and discussed texture, taste, presentation, while unleashing our inner Padma.

 

Russell House Tavern’s Chef Michael P. Scelfo & Doves and Figs‘ Robin Cohen served up an Autumn American Lamb Roast Stuffed with Lamb Apple Sausage and a sweet jam that was perfectly sweet and savory, and ended up winning the competition.

 

 

 

 

My vote went to Pigalle’s Chef Marc Orfaly and the bloggers of Just Add Cheese. Their Moroccan Style Lamb Chapati was #beyond. I don’t even like Moroccan food and it was just the right amount of curry that didn’t overwhelm the dish, and TWO TEXTURES OF LAMB!? I helped myself to three portions. Sorry I’m not sorry. It was absolutely splendid and cucumbers will subsequently never be the same for me.

 

 

Runner up for me was Bambara and Cave Cibums Pumpkin Rice-Stuffed Lamb Roast. It won visually and tastefully in my book (but nothing was like that darn Moroccan dish). The colors were the purdiest, and the dish itself was equal parts seasonally appropriate and delicious.

 

Phoning it in in last place for me was KO Prime‘s Roast Lamb tacos that weren’t anything particularly special when compared with the other dishes. I only had one helping of the tacos, while the other dishes got at least a second try for my vote.

 

 

 

 

 

American Lamb also provided a rub that I intend to douse lamb in this week, and my phone and computer are now bedecked with their delightful I Heart Lamb stickers. While I personally think the Moroccan Lamb was the greatest lamb dish ever to be prepared, the jam and Lamb Roast deserved to win just as much, as all the dishes were genuinely incredible, and I’ll usually enjoy lamb prepared in any possible form. Congrats to the scrumptious winners, and I’m off to finish digesting this unfortunate, but well worth it, food coma. #stuffed

Bolove for Boloco

A loyal @BostonTweet follower, I first heard about Boloco, Boston’s only venue for truly “inspired burritos,” when @BostonTweet was going through a frequent Boloco-binge season. Constantly impressed by the social media presence of the brand, I couldn’t help but learn more and try the burritos for myself.

Boloco (Boston Local Company) is the perfect burrito spot for the unconventional burrito lover. Not one for spicy, I love the idea that boloco started as a wrap spot, and offers options outside of the traditional Mexican burrito. There is a time and place for a classic Mexican rice and bean thing, and Chipotle certainly has its own spot in my heart, but Boloco is just SO INSPIRED! I love that I can get a simple wrap, or go all out with an extravagant mango steak summertime original sized food coma-inducing burrito.

This video was one of the first to bring the company to my attention, since Boloco was using the social space in a way that other companies hadn’t figured out quite yet back in ’09. Boloco was never afraid to experiment, and still dips it’s feet into new spaces before lots of other brands.

 

Boloco cards, for example, are WONDROUSLY beneficial, and freebie burritos via my own card have saved me from starvation on more than one occasion when bank statements reflected those of a recessionist college student.

 

I’ve had the good fortune to meet the generous genius behind @BolocoHarvard (now @BolocoATLwharf), and many of the brilliant burrito brains associated with Boloco, Boloco marketing, and Boloco social media. Boloco was the first place I’d encountered with a foursquare special (MAYOR MONDAYS!),  and after semesters of trekking to the nearest Boloco (the Berklee location– that’s burrito-loving dedication for a resident of upper Commonwealth Ave.), and aggressive tweeting and foursquare checking in upon arrival, my obsession was rewarded! I am now a proud Boloco Campus Maven, and get to work on campus to spread and share the bolove with BU.

With this month’s recent return of the Late November burrito, my trips to Boloco are absurdly frequent. The Late November: Featuring house-roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, green beans and tangy cranberry relish served on a warm flour tortilla. #mouthwatering #itsevenbetterthanitreads

Boloco at Hub on Wheels Citywide Ride

When I’m away from Boston in the summer, one of my first stops in September is to the nearest Boloco, and no other burrito venue in Boston seems to compare, in taste and overall.

Boloco is all about giving back and it seems that every month there are new events and specials at Bolocos that support all sorts of causes or charities. Not to mention the surprise benefits for card-holding fans, like rewarding blizzard depression with a burrito special, or boolocoHalloween-time treats. Smoothies, burritos, and the best salsa EVER? Why wouldn’t the whole city be completely loco for Boloco?