Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and for this preg-o food blogger, I have to celebrate it sober! I popped into Kane’s Donuts in the Financial District on Tuesday to preview their special margarita donut.
Tomorrow is the only day that you can get this specialty donut, so hurry in, they’ll sell out quickly. The shop is located at 2 International Place, at 90 Oliver Street. It’s take out only here, there’s a small counter but standing room only.
It’s not a secret that I love Kane’s Donuts, I visited them multiple times when they did a pop up at The Street in Chestnut Hill.
The smell when you walk in the front door is intoxicating. All of the donuts are made fresh, with locally milled flour, local farm-fresh eggs, organic honey from a local beekeeper, fresh fruit, real bacon, high-quality chocolate, and fresh spices. The margarita donut was good, topped with a candy lime wedge – what I liked about it was that the glaze wasn’t too sweet and artificial tasting, like many margarita flavored things can be – the flavor was subtle and the actual donut was just plain perfection. We tried the lavender donut, which I normally steer clear of, because, again, the flavor is usually too strong for me, but Kane’s donut had a mild, subtle flavor. It felt like a very adult donut. Behind those two donuts is the lemon coconut, a new flavor that is appearing and not shown is the rose donut which will debut next week, topped with candied rose petals.
So stop in tomorrow and pick up a margarita donut, or a dozen…don’t worry, I won’t tell!
90 Oliver Street, Boston, MA
I had been anxiously waiting for the chance to check out Townsman, Matt Jennings’ newest restaurant located on Kingston Street. Matt grew up locally and opened a restaurant, Farmstead, in Rhode Island. They did an awesome Biggie brunch, check out my older post here.
We started off with the dumplings, $11, that were plated on a dish made by Boston potter, Jeremy Ogusky. I love Jeremy’s work, I have the white pasta bowls at home…
I used to hate Brussels Sprouts when I was a kid…although I can’t actually remember my mom every trying to make me eat them…They are so in these days and I love to see what chefs do to make this dish their own. These crispy sprouts are served with malt vinegar aioli, pork fat crouton and harissa spice ($9). Love the flavor and the texture of these sprouts!
I never pass up a fried chicken sandwich when I see one on a menu. Townsman serves theirs with a garlic scape aioli and greens with a side of some delicious dill pickles and house made chips. The chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – perfect!
How cute is this mini ice cream cone?
120 Kingston Street, Boston, MA
I never really liked school – but dumpling school is something I can definitely wrap my head around. A few weeks ago I was invited to Dumpling Palace for a hands on dumpling making tutorial. The intimate event had us forming dumplings with the chef and eating what we made! Top left is Leah Palone, Marketing Director of Boston Magazine; top right and bottom left Fiona from Gourmet Pigs.
Something tells me I will need a little more practice before mine look even remotely acceptable, but it was a fun evening! Bik Ng from the Mayor’s office was on hand to help translate for us along with Chris Haynes from CBH Communications.
Leah and I had been to the restaurant once before and had an outstanding meal, this one was equally as delicious.
No we didn’t make these, but we did sample a variety of dumplings – everything from pork to vegetarian.
And as if I wasn’t stuffed to the gills with dumplings, after we completed our class, we were treated to a delicious feast of lo main, fried rice, even more dumplings and scallion pancakes. Let’s talk about scallion pancakes, they are usually greasy and heavy, these ones are made fresh, never frozen, and made to order. They were crispy and light and I am now comparing all other scallion pancakes to these!!
Some more exciting news, the owners behind Dumpling Palace are opening a second restaurant in the next few months in Allston, keep your eyes out for Dumpling Kingdom!
Disclaimer: I was invited to be a guest at Dumpling Palace. My meal was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own.
179 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA
The honey jalapeño carrots ($2.95) had a nice little kick to them.
I love, love, love cauliflower and I also love golden raisins. Sounds like an odd pairing but it was a little sweet and a little tangy…really good all the way around.
The Korean daikon root ($2.50) was simple and straightforward.
The challah bread that the sandwiches are made on is simply delicious, and light as air. The first sandwich we tried was the pickled pork shank ($12.50) with chopped bbq style pork served with an apple pickle cabbage “slaw”, kardizi pepper and bbq sauce. It hits all the taste buds on your tongue, a little sweet, a little savory, a little tartness…yum!
Next we tried a vegetarian sandwich, the Urnebes cheese ($12.50) that comes with a spicy feta and paprika spread, tomato, cucumber pickle, lettuce and toasted walnuts. Sounds at first like an odd combination but it totally worked, and that spread was out of this world.
We finished our meal off with a “snow white salad” ($6.99) that came with Balkan cucumber, walnuts, garlic and yogurt. This salad was a really nice change of pace for me. Not something I would have ordered on my own necessarily, but I ate plenty of it since it was at the table :).
You can’t leave the table without something sweet so we had the sheet cake which was so light and so delicious. Take a look at the generous amount of frosting too!
243 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA
Located in Watertown, Branch Line is a hot new restaurant in Watertown, known for their rotisserie chicken. They recently opened for Saturday lunch, which is served from 12pm – 3pm.
We went during the week for lunch and while we were there right when they opened, don’t let the empty seats in the photos fool you, by noon time there wasn’t a free seat! I love the decor inside, the lighting fixtures, the tall ceilings and the wine taps.
Branch Line offers Green Circle chickens (if you haven’t heard about them, read the NYT article here). I’m pretty sure that these chickens eat better than I do – four star restaurant veggie scraps – and they roam free. If you can’t make it in, you can get take out, half birds are $19 and whole birds are $36. It seems like a high price when you hear the number, but once you taste the chicken, you’ll think it’s totally worth it.
Snap peas ($11) mushrooms ($8) half chicken ($19). You MUST have the snap pea salad, not only is it pretty to look at, but there is just something really special about the flavors here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It comes with a marcona almond vinaigrette, mint and ricotta cheese. YUM! The grilled mushrooms are served in CHICKEN DRIPPINGS….let the salivating begin. So super tasty. The chicken itself is served in “house sauce” and is so tender and flavorful.
321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA
In December, Pepe’s pizza opened in the Chestnut Hill Mall. The opening was greatly anticipated and the lines for both dine in and take out were long! We got there early (on day 2 of being open) and were close to the front of the line – luckily we were able to get a seat (and don’t worry, we ordered pizzas to go too)!
Pepe’s is one of the oldest pizzerias in the US. The chain opened in New Haven, CT and has locations in CT and NY. If you’re from New Haven, you’re either a Sally’s or a Pepe’s (there are strong feelings about this!) and it’s all about the white clam pie.
Pizzas come in three sizes (12″, 16″, 18″) and can range from $7 for a small tomato pie to $28 for a large clam pie. The New Haven style, thin crust pizza is cooked in an oven with coal, which leaves those lovely char marks.
So are you a Sally’s or a Pepe’s?
Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria
199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA
On a rainy afternoon, a few friends and I headed out to suburbia to try out Saltbox Kitchen in Concord. Ben Elliott is at the helm at Saltbox Kitchen, as the chef and farmer. Elliott was previously the Chef de Cuisine at No.9 Park, opened Lynch’s demonstration kitchen Stir, and launched Lynch’s catering company 9 at Home as Chef de Cuisine.
84 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA
I love soup dumplings – and they have some seriously good ones here. Soup dumplings are steamed and generally filled with pork. Good thing Leah and I are friends, sometimes these can get a little messy to eat 😉
And just to round out our meal, we ordered the rice cake noodles with pork and mustard greens. I love me some rice cake noodles and this dish was tasty – it felt very light. Looking forward to heading back to get my dumpling fix!
179 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Talk about being behind – this was from back in December!! When I think of McDonald’s I have childhood memories of my mom taking me there for dinner. We would drive through the drive through and then eat in the car, a special Monday night treat while my dad was working…even though sometimes it was more than just on Mondays…
While the memories were good, and at the time, the food tasted delicious, I’m pretty sure that we could have made some better, healthier choices. McDonald’s challenged Top Chef Stephanie Cmar to come up with a menu using ingredients only found in the McDonald’s kitchen. Cmar, who you may know from Stacked Doughnuts and Party of Two, rose to the challenge and put together a delicious three course dinner at Fairsted Kitchen (where she was formerly the Executive Chef).
The first course was chicken croquettes with cilantro lime sauce, cucumber and peanut salad and wilted Romaine puree. Cmar made these with chicken nuggets, although if she didn’t mention it, you never would have known.
Note that Cmar is no longer with Fairsted Kitchen, she has moved to SRV as a daytime pasta maker, can’t wait to check it out!
Second course was a French fry gnocchi with sausage and beef bolognese. Cmar put the frozen fries through a meat grinder to make the gnocchi and the meat for the bolgnese was from the hamburger and sausage patties.
1704 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
As soon as you walk in, not only are you greeted with a smile and a friendly hello, but you are also greeted with a sugar high. The smell of the donuts is intoxicating….and I think I may have gotten a cavity from being in such close proximity 😉 The donuts are on display inside a glass case so you don’t drool on them while you’re making decisions.
They’re open from 7am-3pm, or until the donuts sell out. I recommend heading there in the morning because by 1:30/2pm they are running low on choices.
They are best known for their honey dip – it’s award winning! They’ve got traditional yeast donuts, cake donuts, donuts dipped in chocolate, filled donuts, even gluten free donuts! Oh and they serve coffee if you need something to help you wash down those delicious donuts!
Other unique flavors include pistachio (bottom left), creme brûlée (bottom right) and blueberry (top left).
Starting at the top left and moving left to right by row: French cruller, turtle, honey lemon, chocolate orgasm, coconut, strawberry, jelly, snickers and an apple fritter. Stop in soon, they are only at The Street until March 26th!
Can’t make it to the pop up? Visit the original location in Saugus or their newest location in the Financial District – see the website for more details.
3 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA (next to the Star Market)