We decided to skip dessert at Cru and walk our meal off before getting dessert. We end up at Freddo on King Street. The chain opened it’s first shop in Argentina in 1969, and it is now the leader in “helado” premium Argentine gelato. Check out the helado process here.
The shop is tiny, with only one little table that we enjoy our gelato at.
I order the strawberry sorbet and the vanilla bean helado in a cone. Such a great combination if I do say so myself – the gelato is creamy and delicious and the sorbet is perfect for cooling off in this heat!
In contrast, the chocolate gelatos really satisfied our sweet tooth chocolate cravings!
239 1/2 King Street, Charleston, SC
The restaurant is a dive bar with large LCD televisions on the wall and keno at the bar.
I started with the quahog chowder ($4.50) that won the Cape Cod Life Upper Cape gold medal. The chowder came with apple wood smoked bacon, red bliss potatoes and a little cream. It was flavorful and hit the spot.
The “monsta lobsta roll” ($26) is seasonal and comes with tail and claw meat with a little bit of mayo. You can get some hot butter on the side as well. The sandwich was enormous and came with heaps of lobster meat.
The potato skins ($12) came loaded with cheddar and mozzarella cheese and were served with a side of salsa and sour cream.
The burger with bacon and a fried egg, because all burgers should have a fried egg on top! While this was a delicious burger, the sheer height of it made it hard to eat.
While chili technically isn’t on the menu (you can get your potato skins topped with it) we got a bowl of it. Pretty tasty, it seriously hit the spot.
97 Spring Street, Falmouth, MA
My friend Eric and I went to a Good Ones party at the W Hotel and afterwards we decided to grab a bite close by. My friend Sarah was also at the party and had mentioned that her Uber driver was telling her about this great Korean fried chicken place. The only Korean chicken place I had been to was Bon Chon, so we decided to give Crave Mad for Chicken a chance. They are a chain out of NYC. We started with the wonton mozzarella sticks ($9) which were basically string cheese wrapped in wonton wrappers. We were starving, so these seemed like a good idea at the time – they would be great after a night of drinking, but the next day, I regretted our decision.
I can’t remember if these were the medium order or the large order, but we had to try the chicken. It was crisp and some of them were a little spicy. They were smaller than Bon Chon’s chicken but unlike Bon Chon, we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes for our food. The restaurant is pretty spacious, and it wasn’t very crowded. They have fun drinks and I’m pretty sure I saw a sign that said they have jello shots…
All in all, the lesson here is: don’t take restaurant suggestions from your Uber driver…
Crave – Mad for Chicken
75 Kneeland Street, Boston, MA
On our last night in Charleston we had dinner at Cru Cafe. While located on Pinckney street, its on the corner of Motley!
Everywhere in Charleston is pretty casual (with only 2 or 3 exceptions). Cru Cafe is located just steps from our hotel. The open kitchen gives this place a cozy feeling. There are smaller tables in the main dining room and a hightop table in the front for larger parties. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating.
We start with the butter lettuce salad ($9) that comes with poached pears, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and a honey sherry vinaigrette.
The salad comes piled high on the plate and was a great way to start our meal.
I ordered the grilled basil shrimp pasta ($21.95) that was orecchiette pasta with kielbasa, peas, and cremini mushrooms. I loved the flavors in this dish.
We also had the sesame tuna appetizer ($16.75) as our main meal. It came with General Tso’s Brussels sprouts, asian slaw and fried wontons. I love inventive new takes on Brussels sprouts, these were delicious. The tuna just melted in your mouth and the bold asian flavors were tasty.
18 Pinckney Street, Charleston, SC
Naco Taco opened this spring in Central Square. While November doesn’t scream patio season, we have had a stretch of near 70 degree days, so of course we were going to take advantage of the last few days of warm weather – and we weren’t alone. We showed up a little early, before they were open, to get this shot, but the patio was filled by 11:45 – I guess we weren’t the only ones who wanted summer to last a few more days!
The restaurant has a large patio area out front and is way more spacious inside than it looks. The walls are covered with art from a local artist and the space has other fun details.
The bar currently only serves beer and wine, but they are headed in front of the committee to see if they can get approved for a full liquor license. As you can see in the first photo, the space didn’t have a kitchen, so they “permanently” attached a food truck to the space. Menu items come out as they are ready, so we braced ourselves for the onslaught of food!
I embraced my inner fat kid and ordered basically one of everything. All the items on the menu looked delicious and I wanted to get a good feel for the dishes. On the left was the carne asada taco ($4) that was steak, salsa rosa and cotija cheese. On the right, the al pastor taco ($4) with spit roasted pork and burnt pineapple. They get the dough for the tacos from La Nina in Everett, add a secret ingredient (lard) and press fresh in house. These two tacos were my favorite part of the meal. I loved the pineapple with the al pastor and the pork was flavorful. And you know, there’s just something about carne asada…
Next we ordered the plantains and tostones ($5) that came with a black bean crema. The plantains were a little mushy and sweet for my liking but the tostones were right up my alley – crunchy and salty. Tostones are plantains as well, but they are fried, smashed and then refried until crispy golden brown.
After having the mushrooms at Tahaza, I have nothing but mushrooms on my mind. So we tried the portobello taco ($4) that came with roasted poblano, crispy tortillas over top and a dijon cotija crema. I liked the zip in the dish, but the mushrooms weren’t as dreamy as the ones from Tahaza. I think Tahaza may have set my bar pretty high!
We had the roasted cauliflower ($7) that was served with a chipotle aioli, cotija and a chickpea crumble. I really liked this dish and the aioli brought a little spice to the dish. Really nice flavors here.
Tortas are sandwiches made on housemade corn talera bread and served with picked onions and cilantro. The shishito y huevo fundito ($9) was delicious, it was almost like a breakfast sandwich. The bread was soft and the sandwich had chihuahua cheese and a fried egg. We should have added on the bacon for $2, because, well, bacon makes everything better. This was a total winner for us.
Again, fried egg for me is so hot right now. We tried the fried egg tostada ($4) that came with avocado, black beans, cilantro and cotija cheese. The tortilla is crispy and everything comes together so well in this dish – this would be a great breakfast dish to make at home! (it’s like a suped up avocado toast) Another winner for me.
Finally, we had the fish taco, a fried cod taco with salted cabbage, avocado and tomatillo crema. The fish was a little too soft for my liking, if that makes any sense, but the flavors were good in this dish.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to visit Naco Taco. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.
297 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
Located next door to Husk is Poogan’s Porch. We ate lunch here the third day of our trip. Where does the name come from? The Victorian house was built in 1888, and in 1976 the then owners sold the house and moved away, leaving their dog, Poogan. The dog served as the official greeter at his post on the porch, so they thought it was only fitting to name the restaurant after him.
The interior is a little more southern that the decor over at Husk next door. The restaurant has been recognized by Martha Stewart Living, Wine Spectator and The Travel Channel.
We start off with a couple of biscuits – I am in heaven, we are in the land of biscuits and honey butter. These are light as air!
While the traditional she crab soup sounds tempting, we start with the mac and cheese ($7). It comes with country ham and smoked gouda. I’m amazed at again, how light this dish is. We gobbled it right up it was so tasty.
I order the short rib sandwich ($12) that comes with caramelized onions, white cheddar and horseradish mayo. This sandwich is so falling that I had to eat the second half without the bread! I love the flavors here, bold and savory – serious comfort food.
They’re known for their fried chicken sandwich ($12) that comes with dill pickle slaw, Texas Pete-honey jus and house made potato chips. There is something really special about this fried chicken, so juicy on the inside and it has a nice crunch on the outside.
The service here was excellent, I would definitely come back again.
Who do you think has the best fried chicken?
72 Queen Street, Charleston, SC
On our second night in Charleston, we had an early dinner at The Macintosh.
Executive Chef Jeremiah Bacon is a three time James Beard semifinalist.
He uses locally sourced ingredients, which means the menu changes daily.
We are having a super early dinner so there aren’t many other people here – a few people are grabbing drinks as the bar.
Just check out how great their bar is! We get a great u shaped booth right up front with a great view of the tv, the bar and the busy street outside – perfect people watching conditions!
We started with the street corn salad ($12), grilled corn, peppers, spinach, pickled onions, Feta, popcorn and crema. First, the presentation is excellent. Second, the flavors are bold and playful but all work well together. Third, we inhaled this so fast we almost ordered a second!
We also had the burrata appetizer ($14) that had peaches, lonzino, grilled bread, arugula, balsamic and pistachios. I love the burrito pistachio flavor combination – there is a lot of salty creamy goodness going on here. The addition of peaches was really nice – bringing a little sweetness to the dish while the arugula gave it a little peppery bite!
I had the ricotta gnudi ($14) as my main meal. It came with bacon crumble, sweet onion compote and blue cheese. Usually I frown upon blue cheese but it was so mild you forgot it was there. I love the presentation of this dish and the gunned was so light!
We also had the scallops ($16) for a main meal – served with watermelon, tomatoes, basil, arugula, turnips and fish sauce caramel. The scallops were cooked perfectly and I love the pairing with the watermelon, a little sweetness, but not too much. This was a clean, fresh dish, I loved it!
While it didn’tt really go with our entrees, we ordered the truffle frites ($7) and boy am I glad we did. The heaping side order came with a pillow of shaved pecorino on top. Almost too pretty to eat….almost. They tasted as dreamy as they look!
For dessert we had the peach crisp ($8) which was served warm. I loved the crumble topping on this – it was the perfect southern dessert! Service was excellent here, we would definitely go back!
479 King Street, Charleston, SC
Everyone I know who has been to Charleston said that we HAD to go to Husk. Located in an old house from the late 19th centuty, Husk is run by James Beard Award winning chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s.
The decor inside is simple and chic. We headed there for lunch on day 2 of our trip.
I love the chalkboard that tells you where all the ingredients come from!
The restaurant has its own garden and they try and grow as much produce as they can for the dishes that they create.
Of course I had to try the burger that came with a side of potato wedges.
The cheeseburger ($11) was delicious, thin double stacked patties smothered in cheese and the bun held up very nicely. I was full but it wasn’t heavy at all.
We also had the shrimp and Edisto grits ($16) that our waiter said were the best in town. The dish came with N’Duja and tomato emulsion, charred peppers and herb chimichurri with KY bacon. I’m not a huge grits fan, but these were delicious. A perfect texture and it didn’t leave you with a heavy feeling in your stomach like some other grits can.
For dessert we had the cheesecake ($7), how beautiful is this presentation? It was light, had a graham cracker crust and was served with some delicious blueberries. Our meal was excellent from top to bottom, I would highly recommend Husk to anyone traveling to Charleston. The service was top notch as well, our waiter was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.
76 Queen Street, Charleston, SC
The gelateria serves coffee and acts as a retail space for the restaurant.
It’s hard to choose from all the delicious flavors and to make things harder, they also have gelato sandwiches and popsicles!!
Beard Cat’s proudly served Counter Culture coffee.
The gelato is rich and creamy – a perfect way to end our first night in Charleston!
Beard Cat’s Sweet Shop
2063 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island, SC
I know what you’re thinking when I say I was invited to Not Your Average Joe’s for a harvest dinner. You’re probably thinking of the older locations, like the one in Watertown. But the new location in Waltham is the future of the brand. The restaurant is conveniently located right off of Route 128 and has plenty of parking. They have a great outdoor space, and even though it was a bit chilly, we cozied up to the fire pit before dinner (they have blankets if you want them). They are planning for a bocce court and other outdoor activities when the weather gets warmer.
We head inside and there is a great little waiting area (bottom right). Rumor has it that when CEO Steve Silverstein came in to the restaurant, he thought that the waiting area needed additional seating – so he and his wife jumped in the car and brought back some great Anthropologie chairs!
The restaurant has a large bar area where you can watch the game or meet some new friends at a communal high top table. I love the counter at the bar, it has seashells in it (top right)! The bar has 20 beers on tap and an extensive wine collection, including 21 of which you can get by the glass. The traditional dining room has a table that faces right into the kitchen – so fun to watch the hustle and bustle. The best part is that if you are sitting in the main dining space, you can’t hear the games being played at the bar, instead, you hear music.
Did you know that Not Your Average Joe’s works with local charities to help them raise money? For a month, on Tuesdays, they have this promotion, all you have to do is download the certificate on the website and bring it with you (either printed or on your phone), and 15% of the cost of your meal will be donated to the charity.
We were fortunate enough to sit with Executive Chef Jeff Tenner for our meal and he walked us through every dish. He said that the menu at Not Your Average Joe’s changes every quarter and you can expect 8-10 new dishes every three months. Jeff started off in the business in Portsmouth, NH where he owned and operated his own restaurant. He later moved into the corporate world, working for companies like Bertucci’s and Legal Sea Foods. Chef Tenner put out a very approachable menu with some classic favorites and some dishes that are a twist on the original.
Not Your Average Joe’s is known for their delicious bread. It’s baked fresh daily and comes to the table with olive oil, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.
We started our evening out with the deviled eggs. They were topped with sriracha chili spice and togarashi spice along with some crushed potato crisps. I’m generally not a fan of deviled eggs, but these were delicious. They were different enough from the traditional version to make anyone give this dish a second look.
The mango shrimp rolls were one of my favorite dishes. Sweet chili poached shrimp with mango, cucumber, mint, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in a fresh roll and served with a peanut dipping sauce. What makes this dish special is the sauce!
The Caribbean buffalo chicken tenders are hand breaded and tossed with a mango, buffalo bbq sauce and is served with a pineapple jalapeño salsa. Again, another twist on a traditional dish. I loved the sauce, it was a little sweet and a little zippy.
The butternut squash flatbread was a table favorite, it came topped with a sage pecan pesto, roasted butternut squash, shaved Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, smoked mozzarella and was finished off with a balsamic reduction. This is such a fall dish – some really great flavors here. The crust was thin and a little crispy with a great flavor.
Generally I don’t eat salad, but this super crunch salad had so many delicious things in it, you almost didn’t realize it was a salad. It came loaded with grilled chicken, quinoa, green apples, pistachios, avocado, spinach, mint and cilantro. The dressing was an orange sesame flavor that went well with the dish. I love the texture in this salad – the crisp apples, the crunchy nuts and then the smooth avocado as a balance.
The mustard crusted chicken was marinated in three mustard marinade and lightly breaded with panic crumbs. The dish is pan seared and served with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes (not shown). The mustard taste was really subtle which I really liked and those garlic mashed potatoes were heavenly – they were prepping me for Thanksgiving!!
Another table favorite was the Vietnamese salmon that was spice rubbed and grilled and served in a lime infused chili broth with rice noodles, crunchy vegetables and crushed peanuts. I loved the asian flavors in this dish and it’s not every day that you see a fish dish served with noodles – yum!
The spaghetti squash bolognese is for you veggie lovers! This dish is the vegetarian version of the Italian classic with roasted spaghetti squash, a mushroom bolognese, sautéed spinach and it is topped with romano cheese. Again, some really nice fall flavors here.
Yes, the food keeps coming! The rosemary skewered scallops come from New Bedford and they are served over a bed of Israeli couscous, grilled corn, bacon and tomatoes. The dish was finished off with an orange chipotle glaze. I loved everything about this dish, not sure which I liked more, the scallops or the couscous salad it came on.
The cranberry teriyaki roasted chicken was another table favorite. The pan roasted Bell and Evans chicken was served with a house made butternut squash and ricotta cannelloni. It was hard to choose a favorite part of this dish since both the chicken and the pasta were excellent. The chicken was tender and juicy and the squash cannelloni was so flavorful. Both would be great solo dishes, so together, they made a great pair on the plate.
As if I had any more room in me by the time that we got to dessert. We started with the goji berry apple crisp with cinnamon spiced apples, goji berries and ginger in a brown oat crust. It was served a la mode with vanilla ice cream.
The carrot cake was gluten free and yet still delicious! It had a delicious cream cheese frosting and was drizzled with a caramel sauce.
And we ended the night with Not Your Average Joe’s signature dessert, the peanut butter thing: vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate chunks, that is rolled in Oreo cookie crumbs. It was drizzled with hot chocolate and caramel sauce table side!
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to the Not Your Average Joe’s Harvest Dinner. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.
Not Your Average Joe’s
56 Market Place Drive, Waltham, MA