Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boston Beer Garden | Southie

boston beer garden review

This weekend I ventured out to Southie with our awesome new roommate, Sherry. We had heard good things about Boston Beer Garden, so we decided to check it out.

Boston Beer Garden

boston beer garden review

I ordered the BBG Burger and added some avocado to it. The burger ingredients were fresh and tasty, but the patty was a bit overdone (I had asked for medium). 

boston beer garden review

Sherry ordered the clam chowder and a side of mac & cheese. Both looked amazing.

The food was good, but we had some problems with the service. Our waitress had no idea what the current drafts were, and kept going to ask the bartender for help. 

More frustrating than that was that we were overcharged. My order of the BBG was $12.99, plus the $1.50 avocado and an Angry Orchard. My bill came out to $25. So unless that Angry Orchard was $10.50, the bill was overcharged. 

I'd recommend checking out BBG if you're hungry and in the area, but don't count on stellar service and be sure to double check your bill! 

Boston Beer Garden on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cookie Monstah: Ice Cream Sandwich Dreams

cookie monstah boston blog review
M and M on top, Butterscotch and Potato chip on bottom, chocolate and Oreo ice cream in the middle

Boston is really embracing the food truck trend, to the benefit of all its inhabitants. Take the Cookie Monstah truck for example, where you pick 2 cookies, baked from scratch, and sandwich a heaping serving of ice cream between them. It's heaven on Earth!

Cookie Monstah

cookie monstah boston blog review

cookie monstah boston blog review

I went with the M&M cookie on top, and a Butterscotch Potato Chip cookie on the bottom (the potato chips were ruffles). My mom used to always put potato chips in her ice cream, so I knew it would make for a delish ice cream sandwich. 

For my ice cream, I decided on the oreo frozen yogurt. They claimed to be running low on that selection, so they asked me what I wanted on the other half. I went with the classic chocolate. Little did I know, they give out such generous servings! I probably would have been fine with just the oreo froyo alone, but I'm not complaining!

The whole thing came out to $5, and well worth the price. The woman working the window was super friendly and energetic, and seemed more than happy to help her customers figure out their order. 

All in all, it was a scrumptious dessert that I think everyone should try! That is, if you can catch the truck. :)

Do you have a favorite Boston Food Truck? Leave it in the comments below!

Cookie Monstah on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sowa Sundays in Boston's South End: Food Trucks & Vintage Clothing Galore!

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

This past weekend Nick and I sauntered down to Boston's South End to experience Sowa Sundays, an amazing community event that reminded me of San Francisco's Off the Grid weekly food truck bonanza. 

Boston Food Truck Food Blog
Boston side-street on the way to the South End

Is it weird that I'm still obsessed with Boston's brownstones? Because I am.
Boston Food Truck Food Blog

Our food truck adventure first led us to a secret community garden. It was a beautiful sunny day and the flowers were in full bloom.

Boston Food Trucks

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

Upon arriving at Sowa Sunday, we were greeted by a gang of brightly colored beckoning food trucks, offering everything from crepes and "frozen hoagies" to Mei Mei and Fugu's asian bites.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

It was a packed house, filled with happy eaters, families, friends and couples. It's a dog-friendly neighborhood and event, so there were tons of adorable furry critters roaming around as well, no doubt enjoying any dropped morsels along the way.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog
Char Siu BBQ Pork Bun
After browsing the trucks and menus, we finally decided on Fugu's pork bun with char siu BBQ. As you can see, the bun itself went above and beyond it's duty; it was pillowy, soft and perfect. The pork was great as well but could have benefited from a bit more char siu flavor. 

Boston Food Truck Food Blog
Plantain Tacos with Cashew Cream
This was my favorite of our Sowa bites. What you see here is a scrumptious plantain taco, with cashew cream and greens. It was heavenly. Good job Taco Party!

We also waited in line for Latin Spoon's plantain cone, but there was only one lady working the orders and the line took way too long. We saw many people in line give up and eventually we got bored as well and took off. It's a shame because the plantain cone sounded so amazing!

Boston Food Truck Food Blog
Red Velvet Cake Pop
Nick bought me this gorgeous red velvet cake pop to satisfy my sweet tooth. It was as good as it looks.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

We stopped by Grillo's Pickles to see what all the fuss was about. Apparently they crafted this wagon themselves, which I thought was awesome.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

We got one spicy pickle and one regular. They were crisp and fresh and dill-icious.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

Hanging out in the Boston Commons after our Sunday excursion.

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

It's worth mentioning that around the corner from the food trucks was the most adorable vintage market. 

I was lucky enough to find The Fashion Truck, which is a trailer you can walk into and browse clothes, jewelry, etc. It was here I found my newest favorite ring - "oui" (French for "yes," of course)!

Boston Food Truck Food Blog

What's the best farmer's market you've been to? Do you have a favorite food truck? 

I had a blast and will definitely be heading back to Sowa Sundays soon!


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Duck & Bunny: A Snuggery | Providence, Rhode Island

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

Boston is still trying to decide if it wants to be spring or summer. Today may be in the 50s, but on Saturday New England was glorious at a steady 75-80 degrees (and no rain, contrary to weather predictions)!

It was the perfect weather for our day trip to the adorable Providence, Rhode Island.
duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

We spent our day shopping in the air conditioned mall and wandering the brick-lined streets of downtown Providence. When we were sufficiently all shopped-out, we ventured to the east side to grab lunch at the cutest place EVER: The Duck & Bunny: A Snuggery.

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

I know, I know. Even the name is ridiculously cute. Just wait until you walk in. It gets cuter.

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

The front room reminds me of an old Parisian cafe mixed with Old English accents. The walls were lined with ivory upholstery and feather pillows, with lace curtains keeping out the late afternoon rays. A large chandelier lights the room from the windows to the bar. 

The neighboring room contrasts the front room with its black painted walls. There's also a back patio, but we couldn't visit because there was a bridal shower there at the time. 

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

I ordered the Eggs Bun-A-Ducks (sounds like eggs bennedict when you say it fast). The meal was simple and healthy, with two poached eggs and a side of hollandaise on Olga's rosemary focaccia. Olga's is known for it's bread in Providence. I also had a choice of black forest ham, florentine, smoked salmon, and bacon & avocado. Naturally, I chose the bacon and avocado option, and it didn't disappoint. The whole meal came with a side salad of mixed greens though it wasn't mentioned on the menu - nice surprise!

All in all I was very pleased with my bun-a-ducks. The eggs were fluffy and perfectly runny, the avocado was plentiful, and Olga's bread lived up to the hype.

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

I washed it all down with an iced Wild Bluberry tea that I was obsessed with. The bright pink color against the blueberries was gorgeous, and the drink didn't hold an excess of caffeine. 

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island
Monica & Rachel Crepe

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island
Truffled Potatoes 

duck and bunny 2014 food blog providence rhode island

The Duck & Bunny is also known for its cupcakes, of which they have a variety of creative flavors each day. We went with mocha espresso and straberries -n- cream, but they sadly got squished in our final run through the mall before catching our train back to Boston. They still tasted great though!

Our trip to Providence was the perfect summer day. Warm and sunny with a breeze, plenty of shopping (and NO state sales tax!), great food, and adorable atmosphere. 

Where's your favorite place to go for a summer day trip?? Drop a line in the comments below!


Friday, May 16, 2014

SF's Cozymeal: Cooking Classes & Served Meals in the Homes of Local Chefs

Cozymeal: An Interview 

This is the best foodie idea I've heard in a long time, and that's saying something. Every day there are new ideas on how to revolutionize the world of good eating. Some are on point, and some may miss the mark a bit (remind me why they even tried to market blue ketchup?)  

An Italian Cozymeals cooking class
Cozymeal is unquestionably an amazing innovation that I hope will catch on all over the globe. I was lucky enough to sit down with Samad Nasserian, the creator of the cozy company, and pick his brain on everything food. 

Here's the Scoop

Based out of San Francisco, Cozymeal connects you with local chefs to enjoy served meals or take cooking classes in their home kitchens. Not only do you get to learn directly from the chefs in your community, you are actually invited into their homes. You get to see firsthand what kind of utensils and ingredients they use to make your favorite dishes. 


Q:     Hey Samad! First off, let's hear a little about you. When did you know you were a foodie?
Samad, founder of Cozymeal
A:     Growing up, my mother and sister would always watch cooking shows. I found myself watching them as well - I enjoyed experimenting with different ingredients and meals.

Coconut chicken with pine couscous
I also never enjoyed shopping, except when it was in a grocery store. I found that very relaxing. Also, I'm a picky eater so it's important for me to have control over the ingredients I'm choosing and how my meals are made. I truly enjoy eating good food.

Q:     Do you enjoy cooking? What is your favorite meal?
A:     Yes, I enjoy cooking very much. I've been cooking for myself for over 15 years. Even when I lived at home with my parents I would cook for everyone. Though I'm not a chef myself I've taken many cooking classes to educate myself on the best ways to cook.

Another Cozymeal Persian Dish (eggplant)

My favorite meal to cook is Fessenjoon, which is an authentic Persian dish (my parents are Persian). It basically consists of a pomegranate paste and walnuts, and requires 6-8 hours of slow cooking. It is delicious.

Q:     What was the inspiration for Cozymeal?
A:     For me, the best meals are the ones not in restaurants. Home-cooked meals are made from scratch, just for you. At home, there are no lines to wait in, and you don't have to shout to hear each other over the noise and music you encounter while dining out. Also, dinner parties are always so much fun.

Desiree's Peranakan meal served on a boat

I wanted to take all the great things about eating at home and couple them with the unmistakable quality of a local chef's meal. You can even ask the chef questions and learn how to make the meal yourself.

Q:     How did Cozymeal get off the ground?
A:     We actually didn't spend any money on marketing. Instead we utilized social media and posted on some foodie forums, and the idea really just took off from there.

Q:     What have responses been like from the classes so far?
A Mediterranean Cozymeals cooking class
A:     Since our launch in December 2013, we've already had several hundred served meals and cooking classes. The responses have been phenomenal, with over 100 5-star ratings.

Q:     What are the best stories you've heard from Cozymeal attendees?
A:     There's one meal that was held in an interesting location. A local Berkeley chef, Desiree, lives in a houseboat in the bay, so her served meal actually took place on the boat! I thought that was really interesting. 

We also have the incredible Douglas on as a local chef. Douglas used to work with the owners of the infamous French Laundry for several years. He now works for himself offering meals and cooking classes out of his own home. So whether you're looking for a Michelin star-level meal or a casual houseboat experience, we really do have it all.

Once I attended a class myself, and noticed another attendee looked strangely familiar. By the end of the night we discovered he was a member of the Stanford campus traffic cops, and I recognized him from my schooling at Stanford!
       One thing the chefs tell me is truly rewarding about the classes is when attendees will contact them later with photos showing how they took the meal they learned in the class and made it for their own families at home. This is what it's really all about. 

Q:     What do you think are the benefits of Cozymeals?
A:     My favorite part is that you can find unique meals that you may not find anywhere else in the city. I do classes at my house where I'll make a Swiss Raclette, which is basically a fusion of Korean BBQ and fondue, with cured meats and potatoes. It's an authentic Swiss/German dish often eaten around Christmas and New Years. It's fantastic because you can't find this dish in any restaurant in San Francisco, it's just too obscure. But you can get access to special meals like this.

Traditional German Currywurst

My Take

And there you have it. One important thing to mention is that it's incredibly affordable! Meals start at just $12. Seriously.

If you're in the San Francisco area I highly recommend checking out Cozymeals. I can't wait to go back and try it for myself! 

Click here to view all current cooking classes.

Click here for all current meals.

It brings back a sense of community to the dinner table, and allows you to pick the chef's brain to really uncover how they make the meal and improve your own cooking skills. Not to mention getting to meet others who are cool enough to share your interest in a cooking class at a local chef's house! They have to be awesome people, just from that fact alone.

Let me know your thoughts! Do you think this is an awesome idea or do you have ideas of your own? Share your ideas/questions/comments in the comment section below!

Organic Spanish Tapas


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chow Down is Back

Hey Everyone!

I've been on a blogging hiatus for a while as I explore Boston. Now Chow Down is back and with bigger & better stories, so stay tuned!

boston food blog chow down usa
Nick & I at Sunset Tap for Cinco de Mayo
Upcoming blogs include:

  • An interview with Cozymeal, the awesome company that allows you to take cooking classes in the homes of local chefs
  • Island Creek Oyster Bar
  • St Patty's Day ridiculousness

Can't wait to start chowing down again! See you all soon!
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