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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

I had family in town this weekend so we tried to pick out some touristy type things to do in the Back Bay. No trip to Boston should be without a stop at the Boston Public Garden. The flowers are a sight to see (I especially love to see the allium) and bring some bread for feeding the ducks. I’ve been reading my kids Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” and wanted to show them the swan boats. This season they are open April 15 – September 17. They are open 10am – 5pm daily. Tickets are $3.50 for adults, $2 for kids age 2-15 and free for children under 2. The ride lasts about 10-15 minutes and is a nice way spend some time. For more information head over to their website.

What else is there to do in the Back Bay? How about a Duck Tour? A visit to Mario Batali’s Eataly. Take in some different views of the city from the Top of the Hub or the Skywalk.

Where are my favorite places to eat? Try:

Freshii for something light and healthy

VERTS for a fast casual, filling meal

Red Lantern for some upscale asian cuisine

Deuxave make sure to save room for dessert, Shaun Velez has some amazing creations

Porto for some seafood on the patio

The Courtyard in the Boston Public Library for some afternoon tea

Liquid Art House take in some art with your dinner

Shop on Newbury Street, in the Prudential or Copley Place, or roam the boutiques of the South End.

The Prudential offers events like FIT on the Garden and Family Film nights. Make sure to stop at the concierge desk to pick up a FREE PRUferred card that gets you access to discounts at many of the shops in the mall.

Newbury Street will close one more time before the summer is over, on September 10th. No cars will be allowed to drive from Arlington Street all the way up to Massachusetts Avenue. Restaurants have patio tables on the street and there are live performances scattered throughout the closed off area. Click here for an interactive map of Newbury Street.

What do you love about the Back Bay?

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When we are at the Cape, we rarely go out to eat, but when we do, I always like to try new places. We decided to take the family to Falmouth Raw Bar, located right by the Island Queen. The deck looks out over the harbor and they have a DJ or live music playing most nights. When we went for dinner, there was a live duo playing music from the 90’s – the music was a bit loud, so we opted to sit outside on the deck. It’s a great place for a casual bite or to hang out at the bar and watch “the game” on one of 5 large screen televisions.

I’m all about seafood in the summer, and everything fried, so I had the shrimp plate with fries. Prefer raw bars? They have littlenecks, oysters, peel and eat shrimp, poke ahi tuna, and ceviche. Just looking for some apps while watching the game or waiting for your ferry? They’ve got you covered with mussels, steamers, crab cakes, fried pickles, stuffed quahogs and chicken wings. What can you expect for entrees? Grilled chicken sandwiches , lobster rolls, clam bakes, fried clam rolls and more. We ordered the slider trio, a lobster salad, a chicken salad and a tuna salad sandwich. It was just ok, I think I would stick to the fried food or the raw bar.

Service was on par with summers on the Cape. Don’t feel like dining in? They do take out. Parking is right out front, but during peak times, you will have to park in the nearby lot.

Where’s your favorite place on the Cape to get fried seafood?

Falmouth Raw Bar

56 Scranton Ave., Falmouth, MA

www.falmouthrawbar.com

Falmouth Raw Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I’m always looking for fun places to take my family. Last week we went back to Kimball Farm (the first time we just had ice cream). They have four locations, Jaffrey, NH, Carlisle, Lancaster and Westford. The Westford location of Kimball Farm is the only location that has activities like mini golf, a soaring eagle zip line, batting cages, bumper boats and a driving range.

They have two different mini golf courses – there were a lot of people playing but it went fairly quickly. Of course I chose the hottest day last week to stand outside in the hot sun – needless to say we were sweating by the end! Good thing that we were able to cool off with some ice cream!

The kids had fun, we played one round of mini golf, spent some time on the bumper boats and walked around the grounds. They had pony rides, an arcade, spin zone bumper cars and an 86 station driving range. There were a lot of companies at Kimball Farm, hanging out for their summer outings. They have the space to accommodate 4,00 guests. Kimball Farm has a great little seafood and grill shack with popular items like clam plates, shrimp plates, grilled cheese sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, veggie burgers and chicken fingers.

Kimball Farm has over 40 flavors of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet and yogurt. They even have sugar free ice cream. With so many flavors it was hard to choose, I went with the M&M this time, but I do love caramel cashew chip, coffee heath bar crunch, peanut butter butterfinger and peppermint stick. I got the small and instantly regretted it. The small is ENORMOUS. I should have ordered the kiddie size, which is more like a true small ice cream!

Where’s your favorite place to take the family?

Kimball Farm

400 Littleton Road, Westford, MA

www.kimballfarm.com

kimball farm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I recently went to the opening of Whole Foods in Sudbury, and afterwards, a few of my friends and I stopped in to 29 Sudbury for dinner. A cute little spot with a great bar, two floors of dining, and a lovely little outdoor patio for when the weather is nice! We had a spacious round booth upstairs and basically had the whole floor to ourselves (or maybe it just felt that way). Service was excellent and the food was delicious. I’ve been back twice since that night and haven’t been disappointed.

If you know me at all, you know I can’t resist bolognese when it’s on the menu. Not only does 29 Sudbury have bolognese as an entree, they also serve it as an appetizer ($12) served with bread (YUM!!!) So of course I HAD to order it both for an appetizer and a meal. The pasta in the entree was cooked al dente, and the seauce is a mixture of beef, pork, veal and pancetta. The bolognese is finished with some sweet cream, parmesan and fresh herbs. What else have I eaten there? The artichoke fonduta ($12) is also very tasty – the kind of dish that you would literally lick clean if no one was looking. It’s a mixture of marinated artichokes, cipollini onions and garlic with a three cheese alfredo sauce (talk about indulgent). The pizzas can’t be missed. They come in flavors like wild mushroom: served with mushroom alfredo, white truffle essence, and spicy arugula; meatza: served with amatriciana sauce, thinly sliced meatballs, spopresatta and spicy sausage; or a prosciutto: served with diced peach, goat cheese, grilled onions and topped with prosciutto. The sachetti ($10) are these tiny “purses” or pillows served over a chive fondu (see large photo above). They are filled with a blend of three cheese and topped with crispy prosciutto, a vin cotton drizzle and shaved locatelli. The golden beet salad was a pleasant surprise in terms of presentation, it came with wild arugula and shaved endive, topped with fried Vermont goat cheese and cara cara orange segments. The crunchy pistachio vinaigrette was addictive! Also a surprise was the delicious saffron shrimp scampi ($28). The sautéed shrimp was served with marinated artichoke, capers, shaved garlic, roasted tomato, gavi wine and sweet butter. The saffron linguine was so delicious, it’s really the only kind of linguine I want to eat from now on! The portion was generous, certainly enough to make two meals out of it.

So what else is on the menu? A quick run down: fired grilled lolli chops, roasted mussels, beef carpaccio, Tuscan oreccheitte, chicken parmesan, oven roasted half chicken and wild garlic scape tagliatelle to name a few.

Need a place for Sunday brunch? Look no further, they have a well rounded menu so that everyone is sure to find something they want on the menu. French toast, Belgian waffles, spicy sausage omelette, eggs benedict (classic, crab of prosciutto, or chicken and waffles to name a few things. Don’t miss the colossal bloody mary or the champagne drinks (mega-mosa, man mosa, peach fizz, the peacock or the brunchin’ bee).

And feel free to bring the kids along, they have a great kids menu too. The pizza on the kid’s menu is enormous! We took 3/4 of it home!

29 Sudbury

29 Hudson Road, Sudbury, MA

www.29sudbury.com

29 Sudbury Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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My friend Ziggy had to drop off some of his delicious Fox Point Pickles to a vendor near Walden Pond, so we decided to meet up at Trail’s End Cafe in Concord for lunch. I love breakfast any time of day, and I especially love a place that serves breakfast for lunch. Breakfast at Trail’s End Cafe is served until 3pm!! They make a killer bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for $7. What else can you expect to see on the breakfast menu? Eggs any way you like them, a breakfast quesadilla, homemade quiche of the day, smoked salmon sandwich, and some steel cut oatmeal to name a few items. Choose something sweet from their bakery case, it was so hard to just choose one thing (the chocolate chip cookies are SO tasty but the key lime bar was calling my name – next time!!).

Not as big of a breakfast fan as I am? Their lunch menu includes things like a tarragon chicken salad, a Reuben, a crispy falafel pocket or a brie and fig melt. Sandwiches run you anywhere from $9-$12. I can’t wait to try the short rib tacos, served on corn tortillas, with apple and jalapeño slaw, green goddess and goat cheese. YUMMMMM.

Kids can grab a grilled cheese, chicken tenders, a pb&j, or a mini grilled pizza muffin. They all come with your choice of fruit or French fries. The fruit on my dish was a little over ripe, but that is my only criticism. A great place to bring the kids and a meal for them will run anywhere from $6-$8.

Dinner sounds so tasty I can barely contain myself. Things like grilled mahi-mahi, old school bolognese, grass fed steak tips, fish and chips, or a half roasted chicken.

For lunch, we ordered at the counter and they brought the food to the table we chose for ourselves in the back. There is plenty of parking in the lot out back – so you can have a nice leisurely lunch.

Open for breakfast and lunch Monday – Saturday 7am – 3pm and Sunday 8am – 3pm. Dinner is Tuesday – Saturday 5pm – 10pm and Sunday 5pm – 9pm.

They have another location in Lincoln and their sister restaurant, Lincoln Kitchen is also in the same shopping plaza.

Trail’s End Cafe

97 Lowell Road, Concord, MA

www.trailsendcafe.com

Trail's End Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Disclaimer: Addressy.com Address Verification collaborated on this post.

Boston is a great city, especially in the summer! Addressy contacted me to share my #postalcodepride and talk about why Boston is such a fun place. I love checking out cool new shops in Boston, just check out some of my Tuesday water cooler posts! But sometimes you just can’t get get out to that store or you’re just too busy. If you’re like me, most of my shopping is done online, and UPS is at my home nearly every day (ahem, Amazon addiction). Enter Adressy.com address verification, you can get nearly anything delivered to your home in Boston (or beyond!). Where are some of your favorite shops?

Here are my “Top 5 Things” I love about Boston:

  • Faneuil Hall, North End, The Greenway, Boston Public Market

There is so much to love about the Faneuil Hall area. Faneuil Hall Marketplace itself is a bit of a tourist trap, but the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a nice oasis from the crowds. There are tables and chairs set up and lawn chairs on the grass. There are tons of great food trucks in the area that are not to be missed: The Cod Squad (Captain Marden’s), The Bacon Truck, Baja Taco Truck, Cookie Monster and the Bibim Box can all be found at the intersection of Milk and Kilby Street during the weekdays (check out their websites for exact days). On the weekends, there is a Greenway Open Market, where local artisans come and sell their goods. The spread out all down The Greenway on Saturdays and every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, May through October. If you have kids, take a ride on The Greenway Carousel for just $3 a ride. Boston Public Market  is a year round source for locally sourced groceries. Stop in for a juice from Mother Juice or cool off with a Crescent Ridge ice cream cone. Take your lunch and eat at one of the communal tables or pick up some fresh seafood for dinner. Head over to the North End for some of the best cannolis and Italian food. For cannolis, do you stop in at Mike’s or Modern? And don’t forget to stop at an ATM, because they only take cash! Did you know that they just opened up a zipline that runs down The Greenway? “The Z” is a 220 ft zipline that can carry one or two passengers, giving them a unique view of the city (at 30ft above the ground!). Riders can buy tickets for $8 at the corner of Clinton Street and Surface Road (right across from Faneuil Hall Marketplace). Don’t have kids? Head over to the Trillium Beer Garden, located at Atlantic and High Street for a glass or wine or a cold beer. They’re open Wednesday – Friday, 4pm-10pm and Saturday – Sunday, 11am – 10pm.

  • Lawn on D

The Lawn on D is a 2.7 acre outdoor event space located in South Boston. Grab some friend and play some bocce or ping pong. Feel like you need to take your office outside? They’ve got free wifi. Head over to their website for a calendar of events, including free music, ticketed events or even a cornhole tournament.

  • Farmers Markets

This is my favorite part of the summer! Some of my favorites are Copley Square (Tuesday and Friday), Dewey Square (Tuesday and Thursday), Union Square (Saturday), and Brookline (Thursday). Don’t forget your cooler bags!

  • Rooftop pools

Can’t get to the beach? Head over to one of the city’s rooftop pools to cool off. The Colonnade is open to the public during the week for $45 a day. Get amazing views of the Back Bay while sipping cocktails or dining al fresco. Certainly the place to see and be seen. The Revere has an indoor AND  an outdoor pool on the roof (21+). It’s slightly more affordably priced at $20 during the week and $30 on the weekend. Need something outside of the city? The Hotel Indigo in Newton has a great outdoor pool with luxury cabanas, fire pits and food and beverage service.  They offer weekday day passes for $30 per person.

  • Boston Harbor

There are so many things to do on the water! Hop on a Harbor Cruise or perhaps go on a whale watch. Feeling adventurous, try out Codzilla, a speedboat that makes hairpin turns at 40mph! Don’t forget your raincoat because you are sure to get wet! Why sit in traffic, hop on a water taxi for $12 one way! Looking to get out of the city for the day, try one of the Boston Harbor Islands: Lovell’s Island, Peddocks Island, Georges Island or Spectacle Island. Perfect for history buffs or those just looking to enjoy the outdoors!

For more information on Adressy, check out their website: https://www.addressy.com/

Adressy is software program that automatically confirms your address when you put in your house number and zipcode when shopping online.

 

I had to go to the Prudential Center to pick up a prize that I had won, and while I was there, I thought I would do some shopping and pick up some dinner. I hadn’t been there since the opening of Eataly, and was pleasantly surprised at some new things that popped up in the mall. One of them being Num Pang Kitchen, a fast casual concept restaurant located near Vineyard Vines and Pinkberry.

The restaurant has bold graffiti on the walls and hip hop playing over the speakers. They have a cult following in New York, where they have 7 locations, and just opened their first Boston location in the spring.

Num Pang is Cambodian for sandwich, of which they have many on the menu. I wanted to try their rice bowls with grilled vegetables, chili yogurt, and chive lime vinaigrette. The bowl on the left is the chicken “chimi” and the one on the right is the lemon grass braised beef short rib. You can order your bowls with brown rice Jasmine rice or a super grain blend consisting of faro, quinoa and brown rice. Both bowls were delicious, bold flavors and they had a little kick to them. The portions are generous and I had enough for two meals with each bowl.

So what else is on the menu? Pulled pork sandwich, roasted cauliflower sandwich, spicy organic tofu sandwich, spicy Cambodian slaw, coconut tiger shrimp salad, a peppercorn catfish salad, and hot and sour chicken and rice soup to name a few things. They also have some delicious house made beverages: blood orange lemonade, iced black tea, a Cambodian iced coffee and an “Arnold Panger”.

Grab something to go or sit at one of the high top tables just outside the restaurant. They also cater and deliver.

Num Pang

800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

www.numpangkitchen.com

num pang kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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It’s always fun to go out to lunch with other bloggers – and I love meeting up with Fiona from Gourmet Pigs. We decided to head over to Pagu, which we had all been wanting to try. Pagu is owned by Tracy Chang. Tracy co-founded Guchi’s midnight ramen and collaborated with places like Bondir, No.9 Park, Sportello, JM Curley and The Gallows to name a few. I never made it to an event, so I was especially pumped to try the ramen. The space inside is awesome, with all these great little spaces in the dining room that give you the feeling that you’re in your own private space. Service was top notch, our server had some good suggestions and was attentive.

Pictured above is their house made lemon lime soda ($5), the wafflato ($6) that was so savory with its smoked mozzarella, and the piquillo peppers.

So what did we have? Leah went with the  chilled tomato mazemen ($12), served with thai basil flowers and arbequina. She added on lobster for $8. She described it as a refreshing gazpacho (with lobster).

Fiona had the lobster roll, served on a Dovetail Sake kasu brioche, and was served with avocado, asian pear, and black sesame ($21). I love the out of the box take on the lobster roll, and it was so unique to look at.

Me? I went with the Guchi’s midnight ramen ($15) that was served with Rita’s pork, a six minute egg and nori. Really nice flavors in this dish, I really loved the broth.

Other menu offerings include: squid ink oyster bar, braised pork belly bar, tortilla espanola, Sake Kasu brioche burger, a zucchini salad and raw oysters (to name a few).

Parking is on street at meters.

Where do you love to get ramen?

Pagu

300 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

www.gopagu.com

pagu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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A few weekends ago we went to Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick.  It is one of the oldest continuously working farms in the US and has over 60,000 fruit trees. The farm is open from 10am -5pm daily. Admission is $12 per person and kids under 2 are free. So what’s included in your admission? Train rides to and from the orchards, a farm themed play area, moon bounces, plenty of fun farm animals, caterpillar rides and a farm maze. Fruit bags are 1 peck and are $20 per bag. They have Pristine apples available for picking at the moment but check their website to see what they are currently picking.

They have a snack area up near the play area, but have a cool tap room that isn’t to be missed. (You don’t have to pay the admission if you are just going to the Taproom) They are open Thursday – Sunday year round. Stop in for a tasting flight of their craft cider or take a 4 pack to go.

The menu has a lighter fare, with things like charcuterie, soft pretzels, a hummus platter, flat breads and cider donuts. The charcuterie plate was really tasty – I would definitely go back again just for that.

The flatbreads come in flavors like buffalo chicken, BBQ pulled pork and margherita. They also have a gluten free option available. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food here. And bring the family with you, they have games for kids of all ages to help pass the time!

While you’re picking up your four pack or your growler, stay for a tour. They are on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and are complimentary!

Lookout Farm Tap Room

89 Pleasant Street SOUTH, South Natick, MA

www.lookoutfarm.com

www.lookoutfarmcider.com/lookout-taproom

Lookout Farm Taproom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Last weekend, I headed out with some other bloggers for a Sunday supper at Capo in South Boston. The inside felt a lot like Lincoln Tavern, their sister restaurant down the street.

How adorable is the Capo gelato stand outside the restaurant? It launched this summer and has over a dozen different flavors of gelato and sorbets from locally owned and operated Giovanna Gelato. This is starting to feel a little more like Italy and a little less like South Boston.

Capo offers dinner 7 days a week, starting at 5pm and serves brunch on Saturday AND Sunday starting at 11am. Sunday’s they have live music from 5pm – 8pm. The front dining room is geared more towards the every day dining crowd, where as the back room is set up for larger parties and private events.

The bar sfizi and antipasti menu had us wanting one of everything. We went with the marinated olives, the aranicini (that had pulled short rib and fontina cheese!!), fried zucchini flowers, the salami and formaggio board, and of course the pork and beef meatballs. We also chose the white and red sangria to try out: the white is made with brandy, peach and pineapple, while the red is made with brandy, sour cherry and orange. You can order it for $13 a glass or $50 for a pitcher. Did I mention the house wine? Red, white or rose on on tap for $8 a glass, 2.5gl for $18, 5gl for $36 or A JUG for $48. Yup, jugs of wine and Sunday supper with my ladies could mean bad things….

The special peach salad was a refreshing way to start the meal. The candied pistachios stole the show for me in this dish.

The chicken parmigiana ($17) is definitely a fan favorite here. The sauce is what keeps people coming back for more.

The menu offers some great values, with small plates and half orders of pasta. I love to order two half orders of pasta, that way, I get to try a few different flavors. Of course I had to choose the bolognese – it was hearty and cooked al dente. Did I mention that they make all their pasta in house? I got to check out their amazing custom pasta machine in the kitchen. The sauce wasn’t too heavy or creamy. Half portion for $12, full for $21.

For a lighter option, I chose the tagliatelle, served with lobster, corn, baby zucchini and asparagus. $13 for a half portion and $25 for a full portion.

The scampi was light and summery, served with garlic butter and cherry tomatoes. $12 for a half portion and $23 for the full portion.

The corn and bacon pizza had just the right amount of smokiness to it, and came hopped with cherry tomatoes. For $12, it was a good deal.

I myself am not a beet kind of gal, but Leah ordered with beet ravioli and said it was tasty. It is served topped with pecorino, toasted pine nuts and arugula.

By the end of dinner I was STUFFED. But we had to see what the desserts tasted like – so we ordered an affogato, the non traditional tiramisu, and the creme brûlée. I’m not generally a fan of creme brûlée, but those cookies that they served on the side were AMAZING.

Now that we had supper, we went downstairs to check out the Supper Club. It’s a 4,000 square foot bar/performance stage. Reminiscent of your mom’s basement, this place would be awesome for a company party or just a  fun night out. They have a comedy show on Monday nights, live music, and even reggae night. If you reserve one of the couches, you have access to your own mini bar! The Supper Club has its own drink and food menu, and even a private entrance if you rent the whole space out for your next event.

I know what you’re thinking. This place sounds great, but if I’m meeting 5 friends, and we are all driving, parking is just not happening. Well, believe it or not, I got a space right out front. Sundays aren’t bad. Friday and Saturday prime time might be difficult, just leave yourself enough time to circle a few times. There’s a lot just across the street as well.

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Capo to sample their Sunday Supper menu. My meal and drinks were provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Capo

443 W Broadway, South Boston, MA

www.caposouthboston.com

Capo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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