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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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So stop in tomorrow and pick up a margarita donut, or a dozen…don’t worry, I won’t tell!

Kane’s Donuts

90 Oliver Street, Boston, MA

Kane's Hand-Crafted Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Townsman 1I 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.

Townsman 2I love the decor -from the lights to the bright red chairs that add just the right pop of color.

Townsman 3As you can see, we were in during the holidays (I’m way behind!!).

Townsman 11The counter is a great place to get a view into the kitchen and check out all the action!

Townsman 4As always, we get a bunch of plates to split so we taste a little of everything.  Look at how lovely this red zen rickey is and yup, it tasted as good as it looks!

Townsman 6We 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…

Townsman 5I 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!

Townsman 7I 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!

Townsman 8Of course we saved room for dessert and none of them disappointed.

Townsman 9Leah isn’t much of a dessert person, but we both enjoyed these mini ice cream sandwiches!

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How cute is this mini ice cream cone?


120 Kingston Street, Boston, MA

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

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Dumpling Palace 2

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.

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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.

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Leah and I had been to the restaurant once before and had an outstanding meal, this one was equally as delicious.

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No we didn’t make these, but we did sample a variety of dumplings – everything from pork to vegetarian.

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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.

Dumpling Palace

179 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA

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IMG_9478Playska is the newest restaurant by Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann (TW Food and Bronwyn). Chef Tim’s sandwich shop is his nod to the Balkans.

IMG_9479The shop is small with only a few tables to dine in at, but it’s comfortable and relaxed.

IMG_9477As we are browsing the menu, trying to figure out what to order, we can’t help but drool over the display case.

IMG_9476Kolaches can be sweet or savory – I picked up some sweet ones to go in flavors like almond and apple. Savory options include herbed feta and paprika, tomato feta basil and bacon sauerkraut.

IMG_9483We HAD to get a sample of the pickled vegetables – the honey jalapeno carrots, the garlic pickled pear, the cauliflower and golden raisin, the beets and the daikon root.

IMG_9484The garlic pickled pear ($2.75) was by far my favorite, such an interesting flavor.

IMG_9485The beets were crunchy, which I really liked (admit it, no one likes soggy beets).


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

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

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Branch Line 1Located 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.

Branch Line 2We 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 4Branch 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.

Branch Line 3Everything on the menu sounds delicious, so we have to contain ourselves….we order a half chicken to split and some tasty small plates just so we can try a little of everything.

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We started off with the fried cheese ($6) which looks to not be on the menu anymore. Tasty bites to get our appetites in gear.

Branch Line 6Snap 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.

Branch Line

321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA

Branch Line Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_8458In 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)!

IMG_8465Pepe’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.

IMG_8459Foxon Park sodas have been served at Pepe’s since 1925! It comes in flavors like kola, diet kola, sassosa (Italian Lemon flavor), white birch beer, root beer, cream soda and ginger ale.

IMG_8460Pizzas 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.

IMG_8463The famous white clam pie – if you could have only smelled the garlic!! YUM!

So are you a Sally’s or a Pepe’s?

Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria

199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_8631On 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.

IMG_8633The sandwiches all sounded delicious, it was hard to choose (there were additional sandwiches being served as specials). I love love love the bread!

IMG_8632The Brussel Sprouts were a crowd favorite at our table, made with bacon and preserved lemon ($8).

IMG_8635I am very picky about my bolognese, and this dish did not disappoint. I only wish there had been more of it, I gobbled it up so quickly!

IMG_8636The desserts were tasty, although none of us really had room left by the end of our meal. The carrot cake was probably my favorite of the two.

IMG_8637Saltbox is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers takeout as well. Selections change daily – so check them out often!

Saltbox Kitchen

84 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA

Saltbox Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_8405Leah and I decided to grab lunch at Dumpling Palace one afternoon. Located on Mass Ave, parking can be dicey at times – best to try and take public transportation there!

IMG_8406The fun part about this place is that there’s a little window and you can look in on the chef making the dumplings by hand!

IMG_8407I 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 😉

IMG_8408The steamed pork and leek dumplings were delicious.

IMG_8409And 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!

Dumpling Palace

179 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA

Dumpling Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Version 2Talk 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…

_MG_6401While 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).

_MG_6409As guests arrived they sipped on a pineapple mango mocktail inspired by McDonald’s McCafe smoothie.

_MG_6411What McDonald’s event would be complete without a fry bar?

_MG_6455The 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.

_MG_6435She mentioned that the croquettes tasted/reminded her of corn dogs…(although I’ve never actually had one in real life).

_MG_6472Note 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!

_MG_6485Second 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.

_MG_6512No dinner with Cmar would be complete without one of her signature doughnuts!

_MG_6525Third course was homemade doughnuts with cranberry and salted caramel – so delicious!

Fairsted Kitchen

1704 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA

Fairsted Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I didn’t know I even craved donuts that much until Kane’s Donuts took over the pop up shop at The Street in Chestnut Hill.


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).

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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.

Kane’s Donuts

3 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA (next to the Star Market)

Kane's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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