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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

A lot of memories from my childhood are around food. On the weekends I would look forward to going to Eagerman’s Bakery on Route 9 in Natick.  My dad would get his danish and he would get me a half pound of their delicious butter cookies (I only liked the ones with Jimmy’s – because yes, they tasted different). I would devour them in the car, barely leaving any for when we got home. Eagerman’s was an old school bakery, and when I walked into Crown Bakery in Worcester, I felt that same old, familiar feeling. While I know that no butter cookie will compare to the memory I have of the ones from Eagerman’s, I decided to pick out a few new treats to try. The heart dessert in the top right corner was filled with cut art and the lemon bar on the bottom right was tart as could be. I tried their signature crown cake, a nice gentleman recommended them while he was waiting, and it was delicious.

Here’s a photo of what it looks like inside – an almond cake with a cherry on the bottom and it’s topped with powdered sugar. Classic flavors, and not too sweet, I could have had a dozen of these!

Service was helpful and friendly – and the prices were so good!

Have you been to Crown Bakery? What is your go – to sweet?

Crown Bakery

133 Gold Star Boulevard, Worcester, MA

Crown Bakery on Facebook

Crown Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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My friend Kim is a big fan of Worcester, so when we decided to head out in that direction, she was my go-to woman for bakery recommendations. She suggested The Queen’s Cups bakery on Water Street – a from scratch cup-cakery. Drive slow down Water Street, the bakery comes up on you quickly. On second thought, find some on street parking at the meters and walk a few feet to the shop.

The cute shop has a small seating area so you can enjoy your goodies right away – and there are so many to choose from! Cakes, brownies, cupcakes, macarons, and these cute little cookie dough cones! Cupcakes will run you $3.35 each or 4 for $13.

Make sure to head over to their Facebook page to get a current list of flavors. Here is just a sampling: Pudgy Cake, Old Fashioned Wedding Cake, Coffee and Donuts, Cookie Dough,Vanilla Dirt Cup, Blueberry Pancakes with Bacon, Snickers, Lemon Lovers, Tropical Paradise, Cannoli, Cookie Crumb, Cotton Candy Milkshake, Matilda and Cookie, Red Velvet, Reese Pieces, Lemon Raspberry, Strawberry Brownie Batter.

I’d have to say that the blueberry pancakes were my favorite to look at (bottom right) and the cannoli was my favorite to eat!

The Queen’s Cups

56 Water Street, Worcester, MA

www.thequeenscups.com

the queen's cups Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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We recently headed out to Worcester to check out a few shops and grab some breakfast at the Birch Tree Bread Co. See my previous post here. In the winter, the Canal District Farmers’ Market heads indoors to a room off of the Crompton Collective. Birch Tree Bread Co. is located right upstairs, so it was packed. We waited in a long line to order our breakfast sandwiches and then I went on the hunt for a seat. Seats are a on a first come basis, with many people sharing tables and grabbing any free corner they can find. I managed to score a corner of a large table in the back and we all waited for them to bring out our breakfast.

I had been before and tried their breads and desserts, but this time I went with something savory – the egg sandwich. The $6.50 sandwich is worth the price: North Country ham and Cabot extra sharp cheddar topped with a fried farm fresh egg on a bacon fat brioche bread. Birch Tree Bread Co’s menu includes other delicious breakfast items such as a rotating selection of toasts (Brittany’s toast is champagne and orange cream cheese with strawberry coulis on toasted challah!!), bread puddings (sweet and savory), quiches, and a nice selection of gourmet sandwiches. Make sure to add a specialty drink to your order, like a gin rickey or a bourbon hot apple cinnamon cider!

Birch Tree Bread Co.

138 Green Street, Worcester, MA

www.birchtreebreadco.com

 

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It seems as though the Seaport area is changing daily – roads you took one day could be shut down another. New buildings are going up with luxury apartments and new restaurants are popping up right and left.

The most recent addition to this hot spot neighborhood is 75 on Courthouse Square. The restaurant offers partial water views (if you look closely) and conveniently has parking located right underneath – perfect for those cold days you don’t want to venture outside (because you know it’s a wind tunnel down there). 75 on Courthouse Square is Tom Kershaw’s largest of the “75” restaurants, you may also be familiar with 75 Chestnut and 75 Liberty Wharf. The restaurant has two bars, perfect for catching that after work drink and the two dining rooms are perfect for a casual dinner of things like steamed mussels, Nantucket seafood stew and crab cakes.

I was invited to the media preview lunch which included a delicious buffet of garden greens, roasted vegetable antipasto, pumpkin ravioli, marinated sirloin tops and the Nantucket seafood stew. Passed hors d’Oeuvres included baby lamb chops with Dijon mustard and herbed breadcrumbs (so tasty!!) and the “75 crab cakes” that were loaded with crab meat. The sirloin tips were certainly a winner in my book – perfectly cooked and served over a bed of peppers and onions.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and brunch on both days of the weekend. Don’t forget to try one of their classic cocktails while you’re there!

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend a media preview lunch at 75 on Courthouse Square. My meal was provided complimentary but as usual, all opinions are my own.

75 on Courthouse Square

60 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA

www.75oncourthousesquare.com

75 on courthouse square Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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J&M Diner, a popular breakfast spot that burned down in a fire last year in March, re-opened in November last year in a new location, right behind Legal Sea Foods in Framingham. We tried, and failed, to go a few times, only to be met with a long wait. We continued to try, at different times, to get in, because surely a place with that long of a wait time had great food.

We finally lucked out on day, going for more brunch than breakfast, on a weekday, and only had to wait about 30 minutes. The diner that is open daily from 6am – 2pm, is only closed on Christmas. Their menu includes classic favorites – eggs, omelets, pancakes and hash. I went with something a little different – the “wicked sinful French Toast” ($9) which is a cinnamon danish, cut in half, battered and dipped French Toast style.  It’s grilled and served in cinnamon and butter and topped with their homemade icing (see top right photo). Not as super sweet as I had expected, although I certainly couldn’t finish it in one sitting.

Try their sweet potato hash with grass fed beef, onions, bacon, craisins and sweet potatoes or their loaded home fries with bacon, onions, scallions, melted cheese and your choice of ranch, bbq or sour cream on top (or all three).

The diner is family friendly, all kids under 12 can get a meal for $7: French Toast, pancake, omelet, eggs or cereal. Let me just tell you that one pancake from the kids menu is as big as a dinner plate!!

Have you been to J&M Diner before? What’s your favorite breakfast spot?

J&M Diner

50 Worcester Street, Framingham (Route 9 East)

www.jmdiner.com

J&M Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I hadn’t been to Coppa in a long, long time – so when Leah invited me out to Coppa for lunch with a Gilt City voucher, I gladly accepted. Sometimes you can really hit it right with these vouchers, but you have to look at what the menu has to offer before you should decide if it’s a good deal or not. In my opinion, this was a great deal – we had a fantastic lunch.

Ordering a sandwich at lunch? This was a fancy Italian grinder, I assure you. Made with thinly sliced salami, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, and picked cherry peppers. Makes me rethink all the other Italian subs I eat, that’s for sure. What were some of the other choices for antipasti on the menu? An Insalata di Casa and an Insalata di Caesar.

There were 5 choices for stuzzichini (Italian small bar snacks): Mortadella Pimento Formaggio, Olive Marinate, Funghi in Salamoia, Arancini and Boquerones (anchovies). We went with the arancini, fried risotto with pea and fontal cheese in a spicy tomato sauce. These were perfect in every way….

In the Forno a Legna e Piatti (wood over roasted and plates) category there were:polpette, yucca, pomodoro verde and bistecca to choose from. We went with the bistecca, which is a hanger steak that was served with cauliflower, giadiniera and finished with a charred scallion salsa verde. The meat was delicious – a great crunch to the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.

For pizzas, the choices were: margherita, nostrano, parma, salsiccia and fiore di zucchine. The fiore di zucchine sounded the most interesting – it was a white, thin crust pizza with squash blossoms, charred corn, chili oil and marjoram. Very light and fresh.

My favorite course, the pasta course, offered a choice of cavatelli con pollo, spaghetti carbonara con riccio di mare, rigatoni con sumo or a gamely con mais. Of course my pick was the carbonara that was topped with pancetta, sea urchin, pepper and parmesan. So rich and decadent.

The restaurant is cozy and there is on street parking available – but make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to find a spot if you are driving. The best way to go is via public transportation.

Coppa

253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA

www.coppaboston.com

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Royce’ Chocolate opened it’s first Boston store in 2016 on Newbury Street. Royce’ is a Japanese chocolate company that makes tasty and unique treats, including Nama (“fresh”) chocolates, maccha chocolates and potato chip chocolates.

These Potechi crunch chocolates are sweet and salty, made with crumbled potato chips and covered in milk chocolate. They also come in a maccha flavor. Just a nice spin on the familiar chocolate covered potato chip. What other maccha flavored chocolates do they have? Maccha almonds (whole almonds coated in rich chocolate with the bitterness of maccha), Duo Praline Maccha (two layers made of maccha sauce and maccha cream in a chocolate shell), and a nama chocolate maccha (white chocolate with an herbal aroma and the bittersweet finish of green tea leaves) to name a few.

Nama chocolates come in flavors like orange and mango, chestnut, banana, white, champagne and maccha. The chocolate bars will run you around $9 and the other chocolate treats are $15-$17. The store looks a bit sparse, but certainly has some interesting choices. Have you tried Royce’ chocolates yet? What is your favorite thing that they make? And where else do you like to get chocolate that is a little out of the ordinary?

Royce’ Chcocolate

251 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

https://order.royceconfectusa.com

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This freezing cold weather has me counting down the days until spring. It reminded me of this visit to Menton for their industry lunch with Leah, when (clearly) the weather was much nicer. Industry lunches took place on the last Monday of every month, and they offered $3 High Life’s and Fernet, as well as a la carte specials and the express lunch menu.

Lunch is a great way to try out new restaurants if you don’t want to pay dinner prices. We started off our afternoon out with a Miller High Life shandy. It was a perfectly relaxing afternoon and we were lucky to grab a seat by the window – because what’s better than lunch with a (people watching) view?

Leah went with the grilled gem caesar with brioche croutons ($6).

She followed that with the cacio e pepe con uovo, served with parmigiana and pea greens ($10). $19 for lunch at Menton? I think I’d call that a great deal!

I went with the express lunch – linguini and clams is such a classic dish. The portions at first sight seem to be on the smaller side, but you realize that there is just the right amount – it’ doesn’t have to be Cheesecake Factory sized portions if the food is high quality.

The steak was absolute perfection – it had a nice sear to it and was perfectly salted.

We didn’t have room for dessert after our meal, but Menton brought out a nice selection of mini macarons. It was the perfect little bit of sweetness after our delicious meal.

Lunch is served Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2:00pm.

Menton

354 Congress Street, Boston, MA

www.mentonboston.com

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Not sure if you’ve heard, but The CambridgeSide Galleria just got a makeover. To celebrate their grand re-opening they had local restaurants serving up light bites and local mixologists preparing some of their tastiest drinks.

What restaurants were participating? Puritan and Co (top left – a delicious polenta dish), Dante, Cafe du Pays (umm those mushroom chips were AMAZING – see middle photo), Bukowski Tavern, Catalyst Restaurant and Bambara.

Where can you get some of those tasty drinks? Dante (top right – “I’m So Chai” made with Courvoisier cognac, chai tea, orange and clove), Bambara, Mamaleh’s (middle left), The Smoke Shop, Cafe Art Science (top middle) and Trina’s Starlite Lounge (middle right).

If you’re out and about in the CambridgeSide Galleria making those holiday returns and exchanges, make sure to check out and support these local restaurants and bars. Stop back here and let me know which places were your favorites.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the grand re-opening celebration and my ticket was complimentary. As always, all opinions are my own.

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If you’re a Falmouth native – you’re either a team Paul’s Pizza or a team Steve’s pizza. It’s Cape Cod’s own New Haven style rivalry. I happen to like Paul’s but Steve’s might be just a little more convenient for me to pick up…

Paul’s Pizza has been in business for over 50 years, still owned and run by the Noonan family, making it one of Falmouth’s oldest restaurants. They make thin crust pizza – and I love mine with meatballs and cooked a little on the well done side.

Paul’s Pizza offers over 30 types of toppings and a variety of other items in case pizza isn’t your thing (but isn’t pizza everyone’s thing?!). They have chicken dishes, pasta and tons of seafood options. Their chicken and seafood plates come with your choice of two sides: French fries, baked potato, coleslaw, vegetables or rice.

So which are you, team Paul or team Steve?

Paul’s Pizza

14 Benham Road, Falmouth, MA

www.paulspizzacapecod.com

Paul's Pizza & Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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