Tag Archives: Boston

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

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.

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?

Childish Gambino, lame [people] never heard of it.

Follow me on Twitter and you know my affections for Childish Gambino run deep.

Last March I downloaded “EP.” Five songs that were explicit and radically offensive, and I have never listened to an artist in my life the way that I listened to Childish Gambino’s EP. I am not a huge huge fan of rap (duh) and I am not a huge huge fan of unknown rappers, but holy hashtag there was something about this dude.

Turns out, Childish Gambino is the Wu-Tang Clan name that was generated online when Donald Glover typed in his name. Donald Glover is an NYU grad whose face is familiar from his work with Derrick Comedy, writing for 30 Rock, Comedy Central stand-up, and playing Troy on Community.

Donald has been rapping for years, and once I listened to EP I unearthed mixtape after mixtape of tracks that were hilarious and brilliant. Childish Gambino’s music is lyrically intense. The jokes are comical but the wordplay is sheer genius and his cultural references are so spot on for me personally that I completely connected with his music, even though a lot of the subject matter is completely foreign to me.

When he played at The Paradise in May, I completely embarrassed myself as that girl standing in the audience shreiking along with every word with everyone around me wondering why and how I learned all these lyrics. As I mentioned, I have truly never listened to an artist or any music as repeatedly as I did Childish Gambino in those first days. Over and over and over. I’m still not sick of any of it.

I aggressively tweeted at Donald Glover (an avid tweep– no wonder I love his work!) after the show, and the nature of the venue is such that if psychotic fans (read: me) stand outside long enough you’re bound to at least watch the artist walk to the bus parked by the curb out front.

Being obsessed with his music I integrated my need to meet him into every lyric I could think of, and the night ended with me on the tourbus helping execute a postshow show at 1am, after a 2 hour set at the Paradise, performed in the foyer of a Cambridge mansion to a crowd of fortunate college students. #dreaming

With the release of his first “official” album CAMP on November 15th, Donald returned to Boston as Childish Gambino to play the House of Blues and when the entire band remembered me and our fun late night performance, I was in heaven and knew that Gambino is truly a mastermind.

Listen. or don’t if you’re easily agitated.

Visiting Chef Series: the fireplace

For the Visiting Chef Series, Boston University Dining Services invited the fireplace restaurant of Boston to take over the BU Dining Halls for the evening and prepare special meals for students.

BU Dining Services always puts on amazing events for meal-planned students, (lobster night being my personal favorite) and @BUDiningService is always engaging and interacting with students, asking questions, providing responses, and sharing the dining experience of BU with the entire student body.

Visiting Chef night is always one of my favorite nights, as it gives BU students a chance to try different foods and cuisines from Boston. Though the image doesn’t do the meal justice, the menu and meals served were de-lish, and a perfect way to spend a Thursday night! What are everyone’s favorite BU Dining Hall events?

The Brattle Book Shop (read: Heaven)

Last Spring I had a studyless day during study period of finals season and decided to mosey my way downtown to delight in the sunshine of Boston and potential adventures of a free afternoon in the city with a fresh paycheck in my bank account. Options seemed limitless. I was venturing without a plan, with no agenda, and was expecting to resort to picking up leggings at the Downtown Crossing H&M to validate my trek to Park Street, when the heavens parted and I found Mecca.

I turned on to West Street, and discovered the parking lot I’d passed many times with random murals of bookshelves actually served a purpose during business hours. $1, $3, and $5 signs were taped to shelves of antique and shabby chic books upon books, with copyright dates from 1835 to 1987. It smelled like mildew and water damage and I hadn’t smelled pages so sweet in forever.

The Brattle Book Shop was apparently founded in 1825 and is the most phenomenal escapist spot ever. There are shelves galore inside the shop, but the outside bargain racks are the most fun.

shelves on shelves on shelves

My inner hoarder was instantly released in the outside shelving lot, and during my first time at the shop, I scavenged the shelves like it was the last time books were to be available for purchase. Nevermind that I was tripping over old men’s golden retrievers and hipsters’ headphones while I collected “The Handbook of Every-day French” circa 1925, and 3 volumes of deep brown leather-bound German history books, I had 8 books in my stack and hadn’t even totaled $15 yet! I saw visions of birthday gifts for everyone I knew and bookshelves in my home lined with egregious quantities of gold-striped, deep maroon spines.

“Selections from Emerson’s Prose Works” 1926, private library donation. “Sterling’s Gold” 1965 (not 2010), gift from Don. “Dinner at Antoine’s” 1948, Harvard Square stand. “Woman and Love” 1943, Harvard Square stand.              “Shakspeare’s Complete Works” 1855, Brattle Book Shop.

In the Eastern-most corner of the lot, I spotted a thick, apple-red spine on the $5 shelf. It was painted with glimmering gold embellishment that glistened in the ray of sunlight creeping into the space, and I reached up as I said aloud, “MINE,” and thought mutely, “HASHTAG MINE.”

I made my final purchase decisions, and the clerk advised that I “throw the books in the freezer overnight, just to get rid of any of those critters that might be in there.”

After thawing my purchase, I can happily say to “Shakspeare’s Complete Works,” thank you very much for being the perfect addition to my bookshelf, to my antique book collection, and to my goldleaf-gilded-loving life.

Have I read any of the books I’ve gathered? Well, I haven’t gotten around to blogging in about 6 years, so no, but it’s certainly on my to-do list with the best of intentions.

I also must note that while I can never stop the verbal hashtaggery and love Padrick my iPad and digital media eternally, there can and will be no replacement for the delight in holding a book. (Especially holding ones published in the 19th century.) #KatherinaMinolaisthegreatestcharacterofalltime

that BA monologue from the final scene of Taming of the Shrew