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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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We headed over to the Chestnut Hill mall to get some gelato at Morano Gelato. Morano is a New England based company that makes gelato in small batches.

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There’s a large window where, if you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of them making the gelato.

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What is gelato? It’s Italian ice cream that has much lower butterfat than American ice cream (making the flavors bolder), is denser than American ice cream (making it a higher quality product) and is served at a warmer temperature (to ensure maximum creamy texture and bold flavor).

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The prices are a bit on the pricey side, but the quality and flavor selection make it totally worth the trip!

What’s your favorite flavor of gelato??

Morano Gelato

199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA

http://www.moranogelato.com

Morano Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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My friend Leah spoils me. When we got together recently, she brought me some sweet treats from Praline. This treat is a religieuse a la vanille and it was truly a religious experience. It was light and fluffy, sweet but not too sweet, crisp and yet so smooth.

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While I generally don’t get chocolate desserts, this one was exceptional with a hidden surprise of caramel inside. While on the one hand I loved these, I’m hoping never to go to Praline myself because my inner fat kid will go insane and I’m sure all self control will fly out the window. Praline makes all of their pastries with the highest quality ingredients and they use traditional French techniques.

Praline

203 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA

http://www.pralineconfection.com

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

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My old intern Sarah and I met up at Trade for dinner, a great place to catch up over good for. We started with the avocado ($7) that came with a mango tamarind chutney and peanuts. While I love guacamole, it can get a bit boring – so I love this dish that serves avocado up in a new way. There’s a lot going on here, the creamy avocado, the crunchy peanuts, the brightness of the mango – it all comes together in this dish nicely.

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I have mixed emotions about lettuce wraps in general and you MUST have the perfect pieces of lettuce to make them work. These pork belly ones ($12), served with ginger, cabbage and peanut did not disappoint The lettuce stayed in tact for the whole time and the asian flavors was delicious.

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They have a great selection of flatbreads, the dough is just perfect. We had the soppressata ($16) topped with garlic oil, ricotta and tomatoes.

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The Taza chocolate cake ($8) is intense. The small sliver of cake is so rich and dense that you need the ice cream to break things up little. The fresh fruit is also a nice addition to cut through all that chocolate. This is pure gluttony on a dish!

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And how can you pass up warm doughnuts ($8)? These were served with a side of berry jam, a perfect way to end the meal.

Trade

540 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA

http://trade-boston.com/

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

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Leah and I headed out well past my bedtime to check out the Stone and Skillet English muffin pizza throw down at Daddy Jones Bar in Somerville. Yup, you read that right, English muffin pizzas! There was old school hip hop playing and plenty of yo mama jokes to go around. Dan Crothers and Kyle Meekins of Stone and Skillet provided the muffins for the event.

IMG_7646The bar was packed, we got there early and scored a two top in the back.There were some all-star chefs participating, my mouth had been watering for a week with anticipation. Mark O’Leary started the night off – check out how cute those little pizza boxes are!

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The Shojo chef came out with muffins blazing, serving up a mashed potato white pizza with bacon and scallions. Probably one of my favorites, the kind of thing I’d eat at home if I had the drive to do things like this…and by this I mean turn on my oven. Total comfort food. Not sure how carbs on carbs would be, let me tell you, delicious. Otto pizza makes a baked potato pizza that is pretty darn delicious, you should try it out.

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Next up, the only girl in the game, Jade Elan Taylor who works at Asta. I met Jade at a pop up dinner, where she did some serious southern cooking. Jade cooked up a Lambchovy pizza with lambcetta and anchovies. Usually I am down for anchovies, they just add a salty taste to whatever you’re cooking, these babies were whole though…had a hard time wrapping my mind around little fish faces….needless to say, Leah got my anchovies, I’m a wimp.

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Next up, Dougie Rodrigues, formerly of the Tip Tap Room, but now excited to have him join the Liquid Art House team, replacing Rachel Klein (who will be opening RFK Kitchen in Needham). Rodrigues made a porcini creme with chestnut, burgundy truffle and mache. I loved the flavors here, so rich and decadent! Apparently everyone else loved this as well, because Rodrigues won the gold plated English muffin!

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Next up, Paulie Desrochers from Boston Chops brought his A game with his taco mac n cheese, smothered in a tomato habanero cheese sauce. There were a lot of things going on in this pizza muffin, but it all just worked. At this point, we were stuffed, but still had more to go. You always want to pace yourself at these events, eat a few bites of each and save room for the next ones, but they had all been so good, plus, 4 halves are only really 2 muffins, right?

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Samuel Monsour, author of American Burger Revival, was back in town, and boy were we glad he was. Monsour brought game with a pate de champagne, smoked grafton, ocean spray, pickled fennel and mustard pizza on a pumpkin spiced muffin. Talk about decadent!

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And last but certainly not least, Phil Tang of Banyan and Refuge. He finished the night off strong with a duck fat béchamel, duck fat, telaggio, apple and gremolata pizza. Man are those all the right words, and the pizza was phenomenal. Can’t wait to try out Banyan!

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Before heading to lunch at Turner’s Seafood, I walked over to A&J King Artisan Bakers. The bakery, that opened in 2006, is owned by Andy and Jackie King. I followed my nose – you could smell that delicious bread all the way down the street!

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There were so many delicious things to choose from it was hard to narrow it down. I ended up with a whole grain bread to balance the pain au chocolat, brown butter cake, brownie and blueberry danish. Out of all of the treats, I think the brown butter cake was my favorite – crave worthy (I’m drooling just thinking about it as I am writing this). There were a bunch of cute tables inside if you want to eat your treats right away – they were packed on a weekend afternoon. Highly recommend stopping in for something delicious.

A & J King Artisan Bakers

48 Central St., Salem, MA

http://ajkingbakery.com

A & J King Artisan Bakers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Last week was my first trip to East Boston and the shipyard, and what better incentive to go than Kaki Lima’s pop up shop at KO Pies? We went in for lunch, but after this holiday week (they are closed) they will only be doing dinner service  on Mondays and Tuesdays. I first met Chef Retno at a pop up at my house with Soon Spoon and Kitchensurfing. She and her husband/sous chef, Peter Gelling introduced me to Indonesian cuisine. Retno and Peter met overseas when Peter was writing for a major newspaper, she helped translate for him and helped with logistics. He joked that now that they are back in the states, the roles are reversed.

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Somay Bandung  ($8) Steamed dumplings, shrimp, peanut, recap manis. In general, I’m not really a fan of peanut sauce, but this one had us licking the plate it was so good! The shrimp was very mild – and while I didn’t think that shrimp and peanuts would go well together, I adored this dish!

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Sambal Goreng Kentang  ($7) Fried potatoes, sambal. The fried potatoes were delicious, with a little heat to them which I loved! This was such a comfort food dish.

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Terong Banda ($8) Charred eggplant, macadamia, galangal, coconut milk. The coconut flavor was so subtle it took me a few bites to really taste it. I loved the texture of the grilled eggplant.

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Rending ($16) Slow-cooked beef, too many spices to list — served with — Acar Quick pickled carrot, cucumber and Sambal Hijab Green peppers, tomatillos, anchovies, lime.  This dish came served with a bowl of white rice, making it the perfect sized entree. The beef was cooked with spices, but it wasn’t spicy – it was more of a flavorful spice.

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Dadar Gulung ($5) Pandan crepes, shredded coconut, coconut caramel, toasted coconut. While coconut may not be my go to flavor for dessert (trust me, get dessert!), this really hit the spot, a little hint of sweetness to perfectly end the meal.

KL at KO

256 Marginal Way, East Boston, MA

http://www.kakilimaboston.com

Kaki Lima Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

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No trip to Nantucket would be complete without a stop at the Juice Bar. They closed for the season October 12th with killer deals on boxes and half boxes of ice cream to get you through the winter. How many more days until summer??

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In the summer, the line is out the door and around the block! They offer fresh squeezed juices along with soups, ice cream and ice cream cakes.

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The ice cream is good- creamy and delicious, hits the spot on a hot summer day!

The Juice Bar

12 Broad Street, Nantucket, MA

Check out their Facebook page here.

Juice Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_4920The Deluxe Station Diner is located in a historic train station from 1870 that was designed by HH Richardson. The interior has this really cool Harry Potter/steampunk vibe to it.

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I love any place where you can get breakfast all day! And they are open 7am-9pm Sunday – Thursday and 7am-10pm Fridays and Saturdays. Leah and I met for a breakfast meeting one morning and it was so hard to choose just one thing from their extensive menu. We decided not to pick just one thing!! We started off with the apple cinnamon babka French toast ($6.75). Yup, you read that right! Start drooling now. The thick slices of babka are lightly battered and served with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s sweet, but not overly so.

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And to balance out the sweet, I had the Western omelette ($11.50) with ham, onion, pepers, tomato and swiss cheese. All the omelettes are served with your choice of toast and either home fries or a mixed green salad. The portions are generous and I seriously had to waddle out of there! As I mentioned before, they have a large menu, so there is something for everyone – whether it’s chicken tenders, hummus, salmon, turkey tips, burgers, salads, sandwiches or omelettes.

Deluxe Station Diner

70 Union Street, Newton, MA

http://www.deluxedinerbrands.com

Deluxe Station Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Meredith and I headed over to the Seaport to grab a bit to eat. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer afternoon/evening. We grabbed a seat on the outdoor patio. The inside decor is pretty cool, from the Edison lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling to the rustic feeling you get from all the wood on the walls.

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Gather is located in District Hall, a dedicated civic space where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas. You walk through the District Hall space to get to the restrooms – the space is pretty cool with open space, classrooms and assembly space.

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We had the scallop ravioli ($14) which isn’t really ravioli at all. The scallops are sliced thinly and served topped with rock shrimp, grapes, shallots, corn and cilantro pesto. I loved this dish – there were so many flavors but they all worked perfectly together.

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We also had the duck tacos ($15) that came with apple kimchee, salsify root and guacamole. This was a delicious dish as well – although nothing topped the scallop ravioli. There was a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of a bit to this dish and the duck was tender.

Service was excellent, I would definitely go back to get more of the scallop ravioli try other things!

Gather

75 Northern Ave., Boston, MA

http://gatherboston.com

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

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What trip to New York is complete without stop at Magnolia Bakery? We were staying in midtown (let’s not talk about it) and so we headed up to the Rockefeller Center location. Not quite as charming as the Bleeker Street location, but hey…let’s not get picky.

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Have you checked out their instagram account lately? I dig what they are doing these days!

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Of course my go to is the vanilla with buttercream frosting. Still as sweet as I remember with light and fluffy cake. One bite will put you in a diabetic coma, but hey, isn’t that part of the fun? Can’t make it there? Don’t worry, they ship. Not quite the same as walking into the store and getting a fresh one, but when you don’t live in NYC, sometimes you have to make do.

Have you had their banana pudding? Tell me about it! Curious minds want to know…

Magnolia Bakery

1240 Avenue of the Americas at 49th Street, New York, NY

http://www.magnoliabakery.com

Magnolia Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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