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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMAG2332Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event to taste a new kind of dessert, frozen yogurt pearls. They are made with organic frozen nonfat yogurt and wrapped in fruit casings – inspired by the way nature packages fruit, like a grape. The event was held at Cafe ArtScience in Cambridge. Mixologist Todd Maul was on site mixing up a signature cocktail, The Pearl Jam. Here’s the recipe:

1oz Hayman’s Gin

1oz Hayman’s Navy Gin

2oz Guava/Cranberry Juice

3/4oz Lime Juice

1/2oz Gran Classico

Method: Spin the guava puree at 10000 rpm in a centrifuge for 15 min to separate the liquid from the solids. Mix and serve.

IMG_20150224_181713The creator of the pearls, Dr. Dave Edwards was on hand chatting about the dessert and WikiPearl science.

IMAG2340The frozen yogurt pearls come in 4 delicious flavors: strawberry outside with vanilla inside, peach outside with vanilla inside, strawberry outside with chocolate inside and coconut outside with chocolate inside.

IMAG2322I think that the peach was my favorite of the bunch, it had the boldest flavor. The chocolate coconut was a close second.

IMAG2331The frozen yogurt pearls are available exclusively at Whole Foods in the northeast. They are perfectly portion controlled and come in packages of two. Even cooler,  the packages are made from 100% renewable sugarcane.

IMG_20150224_213803About the size of a golf ball, these pearls taste best to me when you let them sit out for a minute once you take them out of the freezer. Because they are wrapped in these fruit “skins” they don’t melt nearly as fast as regular frozen yogurt treats.

IMAG2337Want to try the Frozen Yogurt Pearls for yourself? Click the link below for a coupon!

Whole Foods $2 Off SF FYP Coupon FINAL VERSION

For more information, follow them on Twitter @wikipearl and #exquisitelydelicious

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

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Exterior - Hi Res Outside

Come in, they’re open….and as an added bonus, The Breakfast Club has a parking lot!!

Earlier this week I attended an event that was rescheduled from earlier in the month (who’s tired of all this snow!!). The theme for this event was Valentine’s Day! I was in good company, Bianca from Confessions of a Chocoholic, Leah from Leah’s Life: Pearls and Oysters, Melanie from A Beautiful Bite, Molly from Pop.Bop. Shop, Erik from Thrillist, Devin from Only in Boston, Rachel from Foodista on Pointe, Dan from The Food in My Beard. The Breakfast Club is now serving breakfast for dinner (by reservation only) on the first Monday of every month.

IMG_20150223_183413The first course was “Chocolate Dipped Strawberries”, strawberries with vanilla yogurt and chocolate shavings. There was fruit in there…makes it healthy right? ;) I loved every bite of it!

IMAG2304For the second course we moved onto “The Color of Love”, red velvet pancakes with cream cheese icing. Now how cute are these pancakes? I could have eaten a dozen of these – they were  THAT good, really light and fluffy. I loved the icing, it was just the right amount of sweetness – not overly so and it didn’t fight with the pancakes.

IMAG2307For the third course we moved to something savory – “Opposites Attract” 2 poached eggs on a grilled Stone and Skillet English muffin, 1 topped with smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce and the other topped with shaved sirloin and their spicy home made Hollandaise sauce. At this point I was feeling pretty full and while I wanted to finish the whole dish, I couldn’t. The steak was probably my favorite, I love that spicy Hollandaise sauce…it would be delicious on a variety of dishes, not just this one.

IMAG2317For the final course, we had the “Mini ‘Box of Chocolates’ Milkshake”, chocolate, cherry, caramel, peanuts, and marshmallow swirl all in one shake. Holy food coma! This was a home run! The shake tasted heavy on the peanuts but that wasn’t a problem for this girl. A really nice way to end the meal.

The Breakfast Club’s regular hours are Monday-Friday 6am-2pm, Saturday and Sunday 7am-3pm. I have  heard that the lines on the weekend can be out the door! It’s hard to find a good diner. Owner George Athanasopoulos is the ultimate host. He started his career working at The Diner in Watertown Square, one of my other favorite go to spots. It was his uncle’s diner and it  is now owned by his cousin. George bought The Breakfast Club in 2002 and has filled this 70 seat diner with some great 80’s memorabilia. I’m already ready to go back: on my list to try – the milkshakes in flavors like Banana Nutella or Reese’s or one of the specials like the S’mores French Toast, Gingerbread Waffles, or the Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes. Are you drooling yet?

Check out the next couple of events below. Here’s how to get tickets: http://bit.ly/1AUtV1Y

Monday, March 2, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day

The Breakfast Club borrows from traditional Irish and St. Patrick’s Day fare, but with a quirky spin, offering up breakfast bites like a colorful Lucky Charms Parfait, decadent Bailey’s French Toast, and a riff on the classic Corned Beef & Cabbage incorporating it into the diner’s scratch-made Corned Beef Hash. Wash it all down with an “Irish Coffee” Milkshake - sláinte!

 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter

Skip the Easter Egg Hunt this year because The Breakfast Club is hoarding them all! Start your meal off with some throwback Deviled Eggs and then ponder the age-old question: Chicken or the Egg? while chowing down on an egg-white omelette filled with grilled chicken. For your Easter sweet tooth, Carrot Cake Pancakes and a Marshmallow Peep Milkshake should do the trick.

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring

The trees and flowers are in finally in bloom and it’s time to rejoice because winter is over. Join The Breakfast Club for homage to springtime featuring a colorful Spring Hash, tropical banana/coconut/pineapple Hummingbird Pancakes, a Fresh Herb Omelette and a garden-inspired Vanilla-Lavender Milkshake. Better pack it all in now before swimsuit season arrives!

Disclaimer: I was invited to this event as a guest of The Breakfast Club. My meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own.

The Breakfast Club

270 Western Ave, Allston, MA

www.thebreakfastclubboston.com

Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

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IMG_9757Last weekend, about a dozen bloggers trekked out in the snow to attend a lamb event at Tremont 647. One bite of those morning buns and it was like….what snow? My favorite thing at brunch at Tremont 647 are the home made pop tarts…check out their pajama brunch on the weekends, it’s not to be missed.

IMG_9763Master butcher Doug Piper flew in from Australia to demonstrate butchering techniques. The ease in which he cut the lamb was impressive – it was like a hot knife through butter. Owner of Tremont 647, Andy Husbands, talked about knives – how everyone thinks you need expensive knives – Shun being a popular choice, but really, all you need is a super sharp knife.

IMG_9766Sharp knife indeed, Doug wore a protective glove on one hand while he showed the different cuts of meat. Generally speaking, I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of lamb. But Australian lamb is 100% free range and pasture raised – who knew that these vegetarian lambs could taste so delicious! The meat is lean, tender and has tons of nutrients.

IMG_9778The amuse was Aussie Lamb Pastrami: Rye toast, mustard and Brussels Sprouts krout. A really delicious dish – a spin on comfort food.

IMG_9780We had a choice of entree: I picked Andy’s Huevos Rancheros: Braised Aussie lamb de Birria style, fried eggs, beans, rice, three salsas and tortilla. I couldn’t get enough of this dish – so many bold flavors, it was delicious.

IMG_9782One of the other choices was the croissant breakfast sammy: House made maple Aussie lamb sausage, American cheese, fried egg, roasted garlic herb pistou and hash browns.

Here’s a great recipe from Chef Andy Husbands for Lamb t-bones with mint pistou:

Ingredients:

  • 8 – 1″ thick Australian lamb t-bones

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary leaves, chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Mint pistou:

  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Method:

Place the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parsley, garlic and rosemary in a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. The marinade should be a little salty and peppery.

Rub the lamb with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to grill.

Turn your grill to high and cook chops to desired doneness.

For the mint pistou:

Place all ingerdients in a food processor or blender. Turn the motor on and slowly drizzle oil until you have a smooth, pourable paste. Transfer for a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve:

Top chops with mint pistou and serve.

 

For more information on Australian lamb: www.australian-lamb.com and check out the hashtag #springaussielamb

Disclaimer: I was invited to be a guest at the Aussie Lamb demo. They provided me with a complimentary meal, all opinions are my own.

Tremont 647

647 Tremont Street, South End

http://tremont647.com/

Tremont 647 on Urbanspoon

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IMG_9726A few weeks ago I was invited to head over to Fogo de Chao to check out Bar Fogo. Better known for their all you can eat service, my brother and I like to go there to get our meat on! Check out my previous review here.

IMG_9729The interior is spacious and perfect for large parties. They have a great open wine room near the back.

Fogo 1The salad buffet is impressive with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables.

IMG_9735Happy hour in the bar features smaller, lighter plates – quite the opposite of what is going on in the main dining room.

IMG_9734My drink guy, Mark, came along to sample the signature drinks. Pictured above is the Fogo Caipirinha: Silver Cachaça, fresh limes and cane sugar. A little on the sweet side, Mark enjoyed the citrus drink but wished that they offered some spicy options on their bar menu.

IMG_9736One of our favorite dishes was the warm hearts of palm and spinach dip – a spin on the classic, we loved the creamy texture and the bold flavor. The steamed spinach and hearts of palm  was served with crispy toast on the side.

IMG_9741The Picanha sirloin sliders came served on four cheese bread sliders and were topped with chimichurri aioli.

IMG_9743Not on the bar menu, but brought over as a special treat, the shrimp skewers were delicious.

IMG_9747The grilled beef tenderloin skewers were served with chimichurri salsa – this dish gives you a glimpse of what to expect in the main dining room.

IMG_9751The crispy parmesan polenta fries were served topped with grated parmesan and served with malagueta aioli. These were crispy and light – best served super hot!

IMG_9752Finally, the charcuterie board: assorted cheese, prosciutto, salami, figs and crostini. A really nice board with a fine selection of meats and cheeses.

The bar area was warm and cozy and the service was right on point, a great option if you are looking for some light bites and Brazilian inspired cocktails.

Happy hour is served in the bar Monday through Friday from 4:30pm-6:30pm.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in a media event at Fogo de Chao, they provided me with a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.

Fogo de Chao

200 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA

http://www.fogodechao.com/

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon

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image (21)On New Year’s Eve, we were looking for a place that would seat 11 of us – and make everyone happy – kids of different ages, adults with different palates etc. So we decided on Gianni’s, which can be hit or miss sometimes. The restaurant is located across the street from the Radisson hotel – so that’s a bonus – convenience. The restaurant is large, so it is able to accommodate large parties. We start off with the Insalata Caprese con mozzarella di buffala ($10.45), ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese with oregano & extra virgin olive oil from the hills of Italy. The tomatoes were a bit under ripe, but the dish was good over all.

IMAG2136For my main meal I had the rigatoni ai quattro formaggio ($20.35) Parmesan, Pecorino, Provolone and mozzarella cheese…a cheese lovers dreams with a touch of fresh tomato sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, the sauce was light and yet still flavorful…which may have something to do with the mountain of shredded cheese on top (delish!!).

image (16)We also ordered the calamari fritti ($12.65), crisp fried calamari served with fresh spicy tomato sauce. The batter was light, which we really liked.

image (17)Cannoli ($8.25) Homemade Italian pastry filled with a candied fruits & fresh ricotta. Ok, so $8 for a cannoli this size was a little bit obscene. It was literally two bites worth. Good, but not $8 good.

image (15)Tiramisu ($8.25) Homemade, with lady fingers, fresh whipped cream and Italian mascarpone cream cheese. This dessert was good, but I think the chocolate sauce was a bit too much for this dessert, I would have preferred it plain.

The service was good, I think all in all we had about 3 servers/food runners working our table. As the night went on, they became a bit scare, but overall a good meal that accommodated everyone’s tastes.

Gianni’s

Palm Beach 51, Noord, Aruba

http://www.giannisgroup.com/#!giannis/ctyl

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imag1986Mexicado is located at the Hyatt resort, just a few doors down from where we are staying at the Radisson. This Mexican restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating and an extensive tequila list.

imag1985Mexicado is located one level below the lobby next to the Hyatt’s other restaurant, Ruinas del Mar.

imag1987The decor is simple and understated. The bar highlights some of the tequilas that the restaurant has to offer and there’s a great long high top table for large parties.

imag1993We ordered the guacamole, made table side. It was good, but I would have liked the flavors to have been a little bolder.

imag1998The chicken tortilla soup ($9) with shredded chicken, corn tortilla, avocado, onion, tomatoes, chipotle, chili, oregano, cilantro ($9) was delicious – not spicy at all.

imag1989The empanadas de carnitas ($12), corn pastries filled, marinated beef, salsa roja, sour cream ($12) were delicious, I wish that the portions were a bit bigger for this appetizer.

imag1994Mushroom quesadillas ($13), button mushroom, Mexican cheeses, onions, peppers ($13) were delicious. Simple ingredients and great flavors.

imag1995Tacos carnitas ($9), slow braised pork, cilantro, onion, guacamole, flour tortilla were tasty.

Overall the meal was good – a little on the pricey side ($6 for a side of rice?!?!), but good. Service was good at the beginning but trailed off at the end. Great place for families and groups.

Mexicado

Located inside the Hyatt Hotel

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It has been some time since I had seen my friend Ziggy, so we decided to hop in the car and drive down to RI to see him and his wife at the Farmers Market he sells at on the weekends. The Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market can be found at the Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket on Saturdays from 9am-1pm. While we were visiting we walked around to buy some other delicious goodies:

IMG_9388The Humble Pie Company in Providence is run by Daniel Sheehan, and has been open since 2013. We sampled the mini apple pies, which were delicious – the crust was flaky and light, the filling was top notch, and I loved the oat crunch on top.

IMG_9385We also tried the linzer torte – a really nice blend of spices and I loved the jam!

IMG_9394North Bakery just won top honors for their chocolate chip cookies ($1.75) which have a nice sprinkling of sea salt over top.

North Bakery on Urbanspoon

IMG_9398My friend Ziggy is the man behind Fox Point Pickles. He makes them in two flavors, garlic dill and spicy dill. The spicy dill pickles pack a punch, but it’s a delayed on, you don’t get it right when you bite into the pickle. The spicy dill would be great in a bloody mary!

IMG_5218The Rocket food truck was outside serving up gourmet street food.

IMG_5222I was really digging the mom’s baked mac and cheese ($4) made with Vermont sharp cheddar cheese, butter and Rhody fresh whole milk. The perfect amount of cheese sauce with a smooth, buttery flavor.

Rocket Fine Street Food on Urbanspoon

IMG_5219Pat’s Pastured has a food truck where we had Pat’s Burger ($13) a 100% grass fed beef burger served with cheddar cheese, carmelized onions, Arcadian Fields greens, and garlic aioli (add the egg for $1 – trust us!). Just as we got up to the front of the line, they ran out of buns, so we grabbed our burger on two hotdog rolls. Still super delicious!

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Good Ones 8Last Tuesday a group of #Goodones gathered together at a private home in Fort Point for one of a kind, intimate cooking experience.

Good Ones 9Andy Levitt, founder of The Purple Carrot, was one of the guests at the event. Andy and his wife Tammy started the company in 2014, with the intent of helping people find an easier way to make healthy meals at home. If you know me at all, you know I’m not a very healthy eater – carbs, desserts, hit me up! Veggies? What are those? But The Purple Carrot makes things so simple that even I can get on board with healthy eating! So here’s how it works: Every week there are 4 dinner options, you pick your two favorite and they do the rest. You get two great meals and a snack delivered to your door for just $59. Check out their recipe archive, I’m dying to try the cookie dough hummus, the bowties with mushrooms, and the veggie dumpling stew.

Good Ones 4The evening started out with a lovely cucumber salad. Gordon’s Fine Wine and Liquor was the beverage sponsor of the night, generously providing 90+ Cellars high end wines to guests.

Good Ones 1The talented Charlotte Kim, CMO of CheerNetworks, cooked up a wonderful traditional Korean dish with a twist. Jap Chae, or Chap Chae, is generally made on special occasions with beef and sweet potato glass noodles stir fried with sesame oil with carrots, onions, spinach and mushrooms. Charlotte’s version was vegetarian and instead of the sweet potato noodles, she opted for some rice noodles. It was super delicious, you didn’t even miss the meat!

Good Ones 2Christina Wang was a featured guest at the event. She is the Vice President of Strategy and Finance for the Marcus Samuelsson Group in New York City. She was piping out the chocolate avocado dessert. The avocado added a nice creamy texture to the dessert and that little sprinkle of sea salt on top really brought the dessert up a notch!

Good Ones 3Mr. Stacy’s Pita Chips, Mark Andrus, was in the house whipping up a great twist on the cinnamon sugar chip! The chips were dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with almonds and topped but warm butter caramel. 3 words: to.die.for.

Good Ones 5Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of The Good Ones (left) with fellow Good One Christine Prouty (right).

Good Ones 7(L-R) Jennifer Brooke, Co-founder of The Good Ones; Jacki Morisi, Private Events and PR Manager at Trade; Featured Guest Juan Pedrosa of Stone & Skillet; and Carolyn Kim, Co-Founder of The Good Ones.

You may know Juan from his stint as the chef at The Glenville Stops and Trade before that. He is a accomplishments landed him on this year’s Zagat’s 30 under 30 list. Pedrosa currently oversees operations at Stone & Skillet, an artisanal English muffin company. I was at Volante Farms this weekend for their Local Food Fest and was able to sample some of their muffins, trust me – go out to Volante Farms or Whole Foods and pick some up for yourself!

And Jacki is killing it at Trade – her hard work also landed her a spot on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list!

Love what you see? Want to attend an event? Fill out the personality snapshot for an invite to future events: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

At this event, the Good Ones were collecting donations for Horizons for Homeless Children, a local non profit that impacts the lives of over 2,000 homeless children in Massachusetts each week. If you are interested in making a donation, please see their gift list here.

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Rectangle 1 + reserve-logo-gold-1So it’s Monday and Valentine’s day is less than a week away. Did you forget to make a reservation? Try using Reserve, a digital concierge app created by the co-founder of Uber (Garrett Camp).

I have had great experiences using Reserve, check out my posts from Liquid Art House and Row 34.

iOS_App_Press_Screens_iP6_6

So what makes Reserve different than other online reservation companies? What I love most is that they handle the entire dining experience, from making your reservation to making sure that the bill is paid at the end of your meal. How does it work? You pick your restaurant and your time frame – Reserve gets back to you with an available time.

iOS_App_Press_Screens_iP6_9

You show up to the restaurant and have a great meal. Forgot your wallet at home? No problem! The reserve app has your credit card and preferred tip amount already stored, so you don’t even have to bring your wallet in the first place! How great is that! Besides, you have more important things to worry about on Valentine’s day anyway…

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Here are a list of restaurants they currently have in their roster: Alden & Harlow, Belly Wine Bar, Bergamot, Blue Dragon, Bogie’s Place, Bondir, Casa B, Craigie on Main, East by Northeast, Eastern Standard, Grill 23, Harvest, Hungry Mother, Island Creek Oyster Bar, La Brasa, L’Espalier, Liquid Art House, Nebo, Ole, Oleana, o ya, Puritan & Company, Row 34, Sam’s, Shojo, Steel & Rye, Study, Taberna de Haro, Tavern Road, The Blue Room, The Hawthorne, The Merchant, Trade, Troquet, Tupelo, Via Matta, and West Bridge.

What is so great about Reserve is that they are also live in New York, LA and San Francisco!

Download the app bit.ly/reserveappstore and use my special rate code (rate code: dgrubs) to get $25 off your first dining experience!

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imag2039The Screaming Eagle is one part South Beach and one part night club. This French fusion restaurant is draped with gauzy white curtains and even offers a whole section where you can eat your dinner on a canopy bed. While that sounds lovely, we opt for the traditional table.

imag2040We start with the special appetizer for the night, the truffle pasta with prosciutto and a 60 degree egg ($22.50). A really nice dish, flavorful and the egg was a really nice addition.

imag2043We ordered the USDA Skirt steak, grilled and provençal marinated served with crispy polenta, ratatouille and truffle sauce ($34.50). A really nice dish, the meat was tender and flavorful and it was a great, light dish.

imag2042I had the Thai caramelized shrimp with mixed vegetables and spicy noodles ($35.50). A nice surprise to a mainly French inspired menu. I loved the flavors of this dish.

imag2047For dessert, the trilogy of chocolate mousse: layers of dark, white and milk chocolate mousse served with chocolate ice cream ($9.50). Great presentation – and the mousse was a really nice way to finish off the meal. We left full without being stuffed.

imag2048And as an added treat, with the coffee came a cute little dish of mini macaroons, cookies and madeleines.

Overall, the service was good. It started out strong at the beginning but trailed off at the end as our server got a few larger sized parties. We were finished with our dessert by the time the cup of coffee arrived.

Screaming Eagle

Eagle Beach
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 228
t: +297 587 8021

http://www.screaming-eagle.net/

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