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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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From the time owner Karim El Gamal was a young boy, he knew he wanted to own a pizzeria. Years later, after college, going on tour with his reggae punk metal band, business school and living in 7 countries – he settled down in Hudson, MA and opened Rail Trail Flatbread company with partner Michael Kasseris in 2012. Karim and Michael are investing in the future of Hudson, not only do they own Rail Trail, but the pair, along with another partner, recently opened New City Microcreamery across the street. In addition to the two businesses, Karim also has calls Hudson home. Karim was generous enough to take the time and sit down with us at dinner and talk to us about Rail Trail, New City and everything in between. He’s charismatic, you immediately feel like you could be old friends. He was the ultimate host, we ate until we were stuffed, we laughed all night long and were taken in with his stories about life, business and travel.

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Don’t say the “P” word around here, they don’t make pizzas, they make flatbreads, and delicious ones at that. The menu changes 4 times a year, with popular items remaining on the menu and other items popping on and off with the change of seasons. Most of the flatbreads can be made gluten free with the exception of the stuffed mushroom and the Hawaiian. So many of the menu options are made from scratch, for example, they make their own dough, they make their own BBQ sauce for the Hawaiian pizza, they bake their own bread – it’s impressive.

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My dad used to work down the street at a pharmacy that no longer exists, right on the corner where Hudson Appliance stands. Back in the day, the neighborhood was very different, so it’s nice to see some great new businesses bolstering up the area.

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So let’s talk beer for a minute before we get to the food. Bar manager Rui Silva has created an outstanding craft beer selection, some I had never heard of. Some other beers on tap right now are: Stone IRS, Stillwater Folklore, Two Roads Moumit Hefe, Northcoast Puck, Foundatio Wanderlust, Downeast Cider, Foolproof Augtoberfest. There are 20 beers on tap so check them all out!


You can create your own flatbread, but they have a bunch of delicious options already dreamed up for you like BLT (roasted garlic base, bacon, corn, provolone cheese, avo lime sour cream, fresh arugula, grape tomatoes), Lobster Mac and Cheese (creamy sherry lobster cheese sauce with shell pasta, lobster, funk, chive, lemon wedges), Prime on Wreck (horseradish buttermilk base, shaved steak, caraway seeds, caramelized onions, horseradish crema, cheese blend, fresh arugula) and Hawaiian (BBQ base, pulled pork, pineapple, caramelized onions, cheese blend). The dough has a nice char to the top of it, and they are always checking the bottom of the flatbreads as they cook so they don’t burn on the bottom. Our Hawaiian flatbread cooked up in about 2 minutes and was delicious – sweet and salty, a perfect combination.

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So we were dying to try the crispy ribs (confit and fried tossed in a bbq dry rub, fresh thyme, roasted red pepper, house ranch aioli), but they were all out 🙁 Karim suggested the hot tots ($9) instead, which were delicious. Home made tater tots infused with housemate bleu cheese dressing, tossed in their signature buffalo sauce and served with a side of the bleu cheese dressing. First of all, these tater tots are not like the ones you got at school. They are the size of meatballs and they are light as air. They have a hint of heat to them, but they aren’t make your lips numb hot.

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For our next appetizer, we tried the avo con pineapple ($11), grilled avocado, grilled pineapple salsa, sweet corn crema, plantain chips and scallions. I loved the sweetness of the dish against the salty plantains. We couldn’t finish the whole app, so we took it home. I was thinking in the back of my mind that the plantains were never going to make it home – probably get soggy and I’d just have to call it a wash, but I was pleasantly surprised that the plantain chips remained crunchy the next day!

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There are so many things that sound delicious on the menu. Karim says, “order the first thing that caught your eye” and you won’t be sorry. So I order the bison burger ($16.50) cast iron seared rare to med rare, fancy sauce, fried onions, house pickles, smoked gouda, served on a sesame onion roll. The meat is so lean that they only cook it rare to medium rare, otherwise it would dry out. I love that they are introducing the community to “wild game” in an approachable style. You can’t even tell that it’s bison and I mean it in a good way, the meat isn’t gamey and it has the same mouth feel as a burger. The fried onions are an excellent choice for a topping and the gouda adds a nice saltiness. Let’s talk about the bun, house made and delicious, and it stood up to the burger, right down to the last bite, which is my criteria for a good burger (how often does the roll at other places get soggy and you’re stuck basically eating the burger without a bun??).

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I generally don’t get the vegetarian dish on the menu – usually it’s just pasta with vegetables or something equally unappetizing. The Muse ($15.50) caught my eye, and the way that Karim was talking about it, I just had to try it out. The muse is eggplant fried up in falafel batter, served on top of a couscous farro salad, with red pepper pesto, greek yogurt tahini, and xoriatiki salad. Let me tell you, as a meat eater, you don’t even miss the meat in this dish. The eggplant fried in falafel batter is just genius! There are so many wonderful flavors in this dish, each bold in their own right, but they blend to well together. I could eat this dish for days.

rail trail 11The service was excellent and the people that work at Rail Trail seem genuinely happy to be there – signs of a great company culture. Karim and his partner have done a great job in investing in their staff. I’m looking forward to heading back there soon and trying out some of the other items on the menu (and those ribs!)

Disclaimer: I was invited to Rail Trail Flatbread Company as Karim’s guest. My meal was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own.

Rail Trail Flatbread Company

33 Main Street, Hudson, MA

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