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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

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IC Scoops is a nice alternative to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream (and it’s closer to Stowe). While you can get ice cream sandwiches by Stowe Ice Cream at the pool and at The Pantry at Stowe Mountain Lodge, we wanted to go to the scoop shop in town.

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I like how they have some out of the box flavors like avocado lime, banana cinnamon, cherry choco almond, lavender honey, mango pineapple, peach ginger, star anise to name a few. Don’t worry they have classic flavors too! The portions are enormous so bring your appetite (or a friend)! I was digging the pistachio, pictured above! Grab a seat on the bench outside or on one of the chairs on the lawn in front!

IC Scoops

112 Main Street, Stowe, VT

http://stoweicecream.com

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Every time we head up to Vermont we stop in Hanover, NH to grab a bite to eat.  We usually stop at Lou’s but this year decided to mix it up a bit. We tried out Umpleby’s Bakery and Cafe.

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Owners Charles and Carolyn Umpleby opened the bakery originally in Vermont in 2000, and then moved to Hanover in 2007.

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In addition to delicious looking sweets, Umpleby’s has a variety of soups, sandwiches and savory pies.

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Because school is out for the year, it’s pretty quiet in Hanover. We are some of the only people in the bakery. You place your order with the gals at the counter and they bring over your food when it is ready.

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The Martha Quest – Chicken Salad made with all white chicken and salad greens. ($7.75)

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The Henry “Hank” Chinaski – Adult grilled cheese of Cheddar, Provolone and Tomato. ($7.00) Such a simple sandwich, but it so hits the spot!

Umpleby’s Bakery and Cafe

3 South Street, Hanover, NH

http://www.umplebys.com

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Friendly Toast 4

We headed over to The Friendly Toast at the crack of dawn (ok, 8am) to try and beat the rush. While we were seated right away, the place filled up by about 8:30am. Our server was awesome, really on top of everything. Our food came out quickly and he made sure that we had everything we needed.

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The restaurant is located in Kendall Square, in good company with Bon Me and State Park. The decor is kitschy and sure to spark some good conversation (think your great aunt Suzie’s place). There’s a serious hipster vibe here (don’t forget your skinny jeans).

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They have a great little bar area and from 5pm – 7pm on Thursday – Sunday (and also Friday and Saturday from 8pm-10pm) you can get $2 PBR’s and $2 Miller High Lifes. Oh and did I mention that you can get breakfast all day? Score!

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The Friendly Toast has pledged a commitment to sustainability – they use local farms whenever possible, they use the freshest ingredients, they use eco friendly cleaning products, they even recycle their used vegetable oil into biofuel.

You know this place is going to be great from the moment you check out their specials:

Kevin Seriously Still Sucks

French toast washed kaiser roll with sausage (real or veg), scrambled eggs, american cheese, and our own zesty maple sour cream.

Grilled License to Krill

A grilled cheese coconut fried shrimp, dipped in strawberry habanero jam, sandwiched between two pieces of house made oat bread, covered in cheddar with a side of Mango Thai chili sauce.

Pig-No-Rants in Bliss Burger

An 8 oz cajun seasoned hereford burger, topped with 5 oz of pulled pork, cheddar, pickled slaw, and a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce.

Go Shawty, Grits Ya Birfday

Fried chicken on a house made biscuit, topped with two over easy eggs, smothered in cheese, sausage & bacon grits and finished with a honey sriracha glaze. Served with home fries.

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Everything on the menu looks amazing…it’s hard to pick just one thing. So we order a few things to share to get a better handle on the food. Of course we had to try the coconut cakes (1 for $7, 2 for $9).  It’s enormous, there would have been no way I could have finished two….I didn’t even finish this one! The coconut cakes come with cashews, shredded coconut flakes, chocolate chips and a generous drizzle of coconut sauce. So delicious! Pancakes come in other flavors like blueberry, chocolate chips or banana. You can get pumpkin pancakes with real whipped cream on top or if you’re feeling adventurous try the king cakes: two mini pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips inside and peanut butter in-between with real whipped cream on top, encircled by a side of bacon.

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The housemade granola ($5) is delicious (did you know you can also take home a loaf of their housemade bread?). It’s made with oats, cashews, pecans and honey. You can have it with yogurt or milk and add on some fruit for an extra $2.

Friendly Toast 7Meg’s American Burrito ($11) are what dreams are made of. If only I knew about these in my college days. Scrambled eggs with home fries, American cheese and bacon inside a flour tortilla. Served with a side of home fries.

Disclaimer: The Friendly Toast invited me as their guest for breakfast. My meal was provided on the house. All opinions are my own.

The Friendly Toast

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

http://thefriendlytoast.com

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Margaritas 3

We were invited to Margaritas on Thursday for a preview event for #NationalTequilaDay on Friday. We were treated to a guacamole demonstration, given a tour of the restaurant and Matt from Sauza gave us a little lesson on tequila! They don’t make the guacamole table side, but as I mentioned, we were given a special demonstration. They do make the guacamole in small batches, so every batch is super fresh! You can add things like bacon, corn salsa,  jalapeños, shrimp and/or pineapple salsa. The bottom right hand photo is of the carnitas enchilada in tomatillo sauce: slow roasted carnitas (pork) that has been cooked for 3 hours, roasted garlic, cilantro and lime. It’s served in a corn tortilla and topped with cheese and finished off with their house made tomatillo sauce. It was served tonight with a side of black and refried beans.

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That delicious looking drink is the Beehive Paloma. I love Jarritos grapefruit soda so this was right up my alley – light and fresh, perfect for summer! Here’s the recipe if you want to make it at home:

2oz of Hornitos Spiced Honey Tequila

1/2 a lime

4oz Jarritos Grapefruit Soda

Fill pint class with ice, pour in tequila, freshly juice half a lime and add in, top with Jarritos and garnish with a lime wheel.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Mexican Grilled Corn. Grilled corn on the cob topped with chipotle aioli and quest fresco.

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Chef Patrick was kind enough to come out and talk to us about each of the dishes we were trying.

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The coconut shrimp salad is fried shrimp, with fajita spices, topped with coconut sauce over lettuce, salsa fresca, roasted (house made) corn salsa, cucumbers and quest fresco. The tequila lime dressing was perfect!

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Bryant, our bartender for the evening, was amazing! Such a great personality and he even taught everyone how to make their own margaritas.

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The Fish Tacos Del Mar are baja style tacos with beer battered fish, onion, cilantro, orange slaw, mild three pepper sauce and avocado on corn tortillas. Rumor has it that they are working on a grilled fish taco…

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Margaritas has authentic Mexican decor. They frequently host school field trips and once a year they have a visiting artist demonstration. Margaritas educates and engages students about Mexican culture through artwork. They offer restaurant tours, food demonstrations and a DVD presentation on Mexican artists, markets, street scenes and mariachis.

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The mask on the left is carved out of wood and the bird on the right is made from paper mache.

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For dessert we had the churros (left), which were amazing and the fried ice cream (right) that satisfies your sweet and salty cravings with vanilla ice cream covered in a crushed pretzel shell and covered with either chocolate sauce or honey (or both!).

Margaritas offers a “Circle of Friends” rewards program where you receive one point for every dollar spent. You get $10 for every 150 points, 25% off welcome reward and a gift on your birthday plus you earn double points at lunch! In addition they have great after work specials at the bar and in the lounge (3-6, Monday – Friday). $5 Margaritas, $2 beef tacos, $1 taquitos, $1.50 baby chimes and $5 appetizers (guacamole, quest, jack crisps, tomato garlic nachos, and Hector’s Quesadilla).

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To celebrate #NationalTequilaDay I made my own margaritas at home with the help of Margaritas. I won the bottle of tequila from Sauza and we all got to bring home Margaritas signature mix. Here’s their recipe to make the perfect margarita:

2oz Tequila

1oz Triple Sec

3oz Margaritas Fresh Squeeze

Filla pint glass to rim with ice. Add tequila, triple sec and squeeze. Cover and shake, shake, shake. Pour into margarita class with salted rim and add a lime for garnish.

Disclaimer: I was invited to be a guest at Margaritas for the evening. I was provided a complimentary meal and I won a bottle of tequila. All opinions are my own.

Margaritas

75 Station Landing, Medford, MA

https://www.margs.com

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I had seen a friend pose in front of this sign on Instagram and thought, “I need to check that place out!” So I looked it up and tried to figure out a way to get myself over to Brooklyn from the city. I decided to get there by way of the New York Water Taxi. Such a great idea – the all day pas is $31 and boats run every 45 minutes. I picked up the boat at Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and took it two stops to Red Hook. They drop you off by Fairway Market and Steve’s is just a few short blocks away. The shop is in an industrial area but has a cute little picnic area out front with tables to enjoy your pie right on the spot!

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Steve’s makes everything in house, using premium ingredients. They hand form the crust and squeeze fresh key limes (they even have a special regional dairy who routinely produces sweetened and condensed milk. You really can taste the difference when the pies are made fresh – the pie was sweet and a bit tart – it was just perfect.I had the single serve 4″ pies, but they also come in 8″ and 10″. I wish I had tried a “swingle”, a key lime tart dipped in chocolate, but it was early in the morning…and I thought I should wait until at least after eating lunch before I started on dessert. They come in a few flavors, there’s the La Victoria, topped with a layer of Chipotle puree then dipped in dark chocolate, the Raspberry Blonde is topped with raspberry puree and then dipped in Belcolade white chocolate, and the Raspberry Classic, our chocolate dipped Swingle topped with raspberry puree.

From the website: “Our location IS your best bet for purchasing a pie (in terms of freshness). We’re out of our “ff season” hours, so we try and stay open on Friday till 6-ish, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 AM until sundown. Check the link for  the setting of the sun  which best determines our closing hour during the summer. We are semi-closed on Monday and Tuesday, semi-open Tuesday thru Thursday although the hours are random. You can call and make an inquiry, or just take a drive-by and see if the roll-up gate is up. I’d say if you arrived after 11:00 AM and before 3~4:00 PM, there’s a good chance you’ll catch us with the door open. Hint; if the roll-up door is completely down, we are closed. Banging, yelling or tapping on the glass will not help. This is typical of many businesses (gate down, closed for business.)”

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie

85 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY

http://stevesauthentic.com

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I had met the guys from Prohibition Pig at the Taste of WGBH event a while back. I was excited to head up to Vermont to try the regular menu.

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The restaurant was packed! Be prepared to wait when you come (grab a delicious drink at the bar) and know that space is tight.

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I love the bar set up with the sliding library ladder and the chalkboard art.

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With so many delicious things on the menu, it’s hard to choose just one thing!

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The table has 4 different kinds of sauces – ask your server for details on each one!

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Pulled pork sandwich ($10.50) with a side of cheddar grits. Cooked North Carolina style with coleslaw and bbq sauce.

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“Just a burger” ($8.50) with a fried egg. All the burgers are 1/4 lb., made of all beef and come from local, grass fed cows. I can’t even describe how delicious the bun is. It literally makes the burger. Once you try it, you’ll know exactly what I mean…

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Lunch is presented on trays with stamped paper – no nonsense.

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Raspberry mousse pie special ($8). it was a little weird for me, I wasn’t in love with it.

Prohibition Pig

23 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT

http://www.prohibitionpig.com

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My sister in law was in town on business so we popped over to Pomodoro in Brookline Village. The restaurant is small, very intimate (it feels like a dinner party at your friend’s house) and the place is packed. The bar is the focal point of the restaurant, taking up a lot of real estate – we sit at a quiet table on the right in the back.

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We start with the arancini, crispy risotto fritters, which were delicious. Light and crispy, we wished there were more of them on the plate – we gobbled them up so quickly!

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The bolognese was tasty – without the cream in the sauce it felt quite light. Service was excellent – looking forward to going back again and trying other things!

Pomodoro

24 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

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I had totally forgotten that we had eaten here before. Just goes to show you what lack of sleep can do to you. We headed to Piecasso for dinner with my parents. While the restaurant has been open since 2000, it has been in this new location since 2006.

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We start out with the garlic knots ($4.75) fresh baked dough wrapped with garlic, basil and spices, mozzarella and parmesan cheese with a side of red sauce. This could have been my meal!

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I was a little disappointed with this salad, the spinach salad ($7), prepared with toasted walnuts, sliced local apple, sun dried cranberries, Vermont Butter and Cheese chèvre and tossed with a maple balsamic vinaigrette. The apples were brown and there weren’t a lot of the toppings mentioned in the description. In my opinion, this shouldn’t have ever made it out of the kitchen.

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Piecasso serves New York style pizza. Owner Eduardo Rovetto learned how to make pizza from his parents – in fact, it’s a whole family business. There are 10 Rovetta family pizzerias on the East Coast.

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The eggplant parmigiana ($14.50) was lightly breaded grilled eggplant over a bed of spaghetti and marinara sauce. The portion was enormous and there were thick slices of eggplant! Nice flavor in the dish, wondering if the chicken parmigiana is as good.

Piecasso

1899 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT

http://www.piecasso.com

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TOC 1

Taste of Cambridge was this past Thursday evening. My new friend Kayte invited me to tag along with her! The doors opened at 5:30pm and the VIP line rivaled the regular admission line. Once we were inside, there was a special VIP area, where we quickly headed for some much needed drinks. Then we walked around and scoped out what was what. The Dirty Water Brass Band provided the entertainment and were pretty awesome.

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Check out this short clip (above), complete with dancing rooster.

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There were tons of delicious things to eat at the event – we tried hard to pace ourselves. Some places that we really enjoyed were Art Bar (top row, far left) with their shrimp and corn tacos, Veggie Galaxy (bottom row, far right) with their vegan coconut lemon passionfruit cake, Formaggio Kitchen (bottom row, middle) serving up Pagliernino cheese, Bisq, Moksa (middle row, far left), Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room, and Tavern in the Square (middle row, far right) with their chorizo beef sliders.

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There were a good number of vendors at the event. Lines were long, but moved quickly and were worth the wait. Tickets were $50 and $75 for VIP. VIP included access to a private lawn area that stayed open 30 minutes later than the general admission area.

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Kayte might be one the coolest chicks I know. We met a few weeks back – she works for Zomato, who just bought UrbanSpoon. The sarcasm and witty banter was at an all time high – added bonus that she is willing to take ridiculous photos for my amusement. #goodsport

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Kate with the Rex Goliath rooster.

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Don’t ask…

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St. Elder, an Elderflower liquor, was mixing up cocktails, just perfect for a warm summer evening. It’s light and sweet, fresh and citrus flavored with a hint of floral. Try mixing it with champagne, so delicious!

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Harpoon was at the event, pouring Harpoon IPA (floral and hoppy) and Harpoon Leviathan IPA (hit me up with that 10% ABV!).

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In addition to delicious chorizo beef sliders and mozzarella risotto fritters, Tavern in the Square hooked us up with s’mores!

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Cafe Barada made “falafil” with a wedge of pickle and turnip, drizzled with tahini.

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Sophia from Patty Chen’s let us pose with the car!

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Because…. isn’t this what you do on a Thursday night?

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Kayte is an amazing blogger – check her out here.

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Kayte with Diana Janec, her blog, Miss Prints, is coming soon!

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IMG_7702We finally got the chance to head over to Main Street and try La Cucina Sul Mare, an Italian restaurant in town. The restaurant is separated into two rooms, the front room being a little noisier than the back room. It was before Memorial Day weekend, so we go it without a wait and the place was full, but not crazy.

IMG_7703Of course I ordered the bolognese ($20). The traditional sauce made with veal, pork, and beef also had sweet Italian sausage in it. I found the sauce to be on the sweet side and missed the cream in the sauce.

IMG_7704We ordered the linguine alle vongole ($24) with white sauce. The dish was presented beautifully, but we wished the sauce had a little more garlic flavor.

IMG_7705The sweet Italian sausage and rapini ($23): sauteed in aglio e olio sauce and served over orecchiette pasta, this dish was tasty.

IMG_7706The chicken parm was lightly breaded and served over a bed of linguine ($22). Overall, the meals were good, but the sauces were on the watery side (see above). The service was decent, par for the course.

IMG_7707For dessert we had a chocolate crunch cake, which was rich but fell a little flat – we were hoping for more crunch :(

La Cucina Sul Mare

237 Main Street, Falmouth, MA

http://www.lacucinasulmare.com/

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