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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

imag1159Another summer and that means another trip up to Stowe Mountain Lodge. There is just something about Vermont that we love. I can’t quite figure out what it is, but the people are nicer, the air seems fresher and crisper, and the food is outstanding. There was some blasting on the highway on the way up to VT so it took us about 5 hours to get there. Needless to say we were a bit tired when we arrived…and some of us were hangry and cranky, but I won’t name any names.

imag1153This year, we had a two bedroom suite and a studio. Pictured above is the second bedroom in the two bedroom suite. The bedroom had it’s own full bathroom with shower and there was another half bathroom outside in the hallway near the kitchen.

imag1151This layout was a little different than last year’s suite, this layout provided more privacy for each bedroom.

imag1149The master bedroom had a king size bed and a private bathroom.

imag1150There was a stand up shower and a soaking tub.

imag1165We were all anxiously awaiting our rematch at the Alpine slide this year, there have been excuses all year long about not knowing how to properly drive the sled and who actually won. We were a little disappointed to see that the slide wasn’t open this year. They are doing massive construction to allow for a zip line, an outdoor ice skating rink and a parking garage.

imag1162This gave us a good excuse to take in some of the other parts of the property.

imag1160We took a short and easy hike around the property – which was really quite beautiful.

For more information on Stowe Mountain Lodge, check out their website.

7412 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT

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IMG_6489Thursday night, September 4th, Buick hosted an evening at Sweet Cheeks Q. To follow the conversations check out the hashtag #summerencore and #bosdistrict along with the twitter handle @districtdrive. It was the perfect summer evening, we had the whole patio to ourselves and they pulled up the canopy so that we could eat under the stars.

IMG_6485Guests included Rachel from Eater Boston, Eric from Urban Daddy Boston, Erik from Thrillist and Tom, aka Boston Tweet. There were two signature drinks for the evening, a “Regal Buick” and a “Palmer Encore”. So here’s what you’re thinking: what does Buick have to do with BBQ? From time to time they do these events to get out in front of their audience. People buy cars every 8-10 years, you don’t want to wait that long to have a conversation with them. The evening was relaxed and casual – it was about the company and the food, talking about a new car was a bonus. Buying a car can be pretty stressful, trust me, I bought one a little over a year ago – from a 25 year old girl who looked like she just came from a club – it was so awkward I didn’t know where to look.

IMG_6486I love how creative they got with the seating. Guests were sent home with a Buick wine stopper and the opportunity to take a Buick vehicle out for a full week for a test drive. Conor, co-founder of SoonSpoon joined me for the evening and we had a blast! He’s from Texas, so this was right up his alley.

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The cocktail hour featured small canapes: summer tomato with whipped pimento cheese and charred scallion; maple crisped southern “Johnny cake” with bluefush pate (above); smashed cucumber with North Carolina tahini and dill; and crispy oysters with lettuce and corn salsa.

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First course was plated: pork belly and grits with smashed tomato sauce and shrimpy sauce. How can one go wrong with pork belly?

imag1407The second course was served family style: a fried chicken and shrimp boil poured out right onto the table. How amazing is this? The fried chicken was PERFECT, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. You should have seen the size of those shrimps! Tiffani came out and chatted with us over the course of the meal – we talked Top Chef, opening your own restaurant, and where the other best places in the city are to get fried chicken. We met briefly at a Good Ones party months ago, but this was a nice chance to get to know her a little better. Let me tell you, she couldn’t be nicer or more down to earth.

imag1409Don’t for get the sides: biscuits with honey butter, mac and cheese, collard greens, fried okra and broccoli casserole. The best part about Sweet Cheeks are the biscuits – not only are they enormous but they still manage to feel light – and that honey butter? Forget about it – I dream about that stuff.

imag1412Dessert was a gigantic nutter butter with garnishes. One word: AMAZING! On the regular menu, it’s just the nutter butter, so this one was kicked into overdrive. We couldn’t finish it all! Thanks to Buick and Tiffani for a wonderful evening. Can’t wait to pick out a car and take it for a spin!

Disclaimer: Buick invited me to attend this event as their guest – all opinions are my own.

Sweet Cheeks Q

1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

http://www.sweetcheeksq.com/

Sweet Cheeks Q on Urbanspoon

 

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IMG_6445The Friday before Labor Day I was hoping to already be out of town – escape the students and dreaded September 1 move in (No Allston Christmas for this gal). Since I was still here, I decided to head over to Charles River Park and check out the Jugos pop up location. Ron Marco, owner of Jugos in the Back Bay, opened a second pop up location at the outdoor pool at Charles River Park for the summer – you know the place – the signs that say, “If you lived here, you would be home now”.

IMG_6453The private party was a farewell to summer party of sorts. They had great live reggae music as well as samples of some of their delicious menu items.

IMG_6456While it was an unusually cool night for the summer, the music certainly heated things up.

IMG_6464Strawberry lemonade was a nice treat – not too sweet.

IMG_6446I’m a huge fan of Jugos – our old office was right around the corner from Back Bay Station and I was there at least twice a week, getting my figawi fix.

IMG_6463While the Back Bay location only has juices and smoothies with a few pre-made items like chia pudin, salads and sandwiches, this location has an expanded menu. The tostones were warm and salty – and not too sweet.

IMG_6460I forgot my floss at home, so no corn on the cob for this gal, but it looked and smelled delicious!

IMG_6440There were a variety of empanadas that went in the blink of an eye.

IMG_6438All of the food was delicious, there wasn’t one thing there that I didn’t like. And it just kept coming…more food after more food.

img_20140829_185227Some of the food I had never tried before, like these plantains stuffed with cheese. Bold flavors that really worked well with each other.

imag1381The fruita en chile had a surprising kick to it, fresh fruit with chile lime salt.

imag1377The chia pudin had chia seeds, homemade cashew milk, sea salt and vanilla cinnamon.

imag1379And the fruta bomba was a delicious blend of papaya, strawberry, mango, tumeric, banana and coconut water.

Jugos Pool Club

10 Whittier Place, Boston, MA

www.visitjugos.com/jugospoolclub

Jugos on Urbanspoon

Check out their Back Bay Location: 145 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA

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IMG_6553By now you may have heard that Stephanie Cmar (Stacked Donuts) and Justin Burke Samson (Trademark Tarts) have officially partnered up and re-branded to Party of Two LLC.

IMG_6554What have they been up to this summer? They have been on a whirlwind tour – taking their sweets on the road to LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Brooklyn and Portland, ME. And they have been getting some great coverage: Boston Magazine in April, again in July,  Lux and Concord, and Eater.

IMG_6569I stopped by State Park on Friday to chat and get some treats. Justin made fruity pebble pop tarts.

IMG_6579And cookie dough candy bars…a little melty/messy but boy was is tasty.

IMG_6575Stephanie rolled out a chocolate Guinness stout donut.

IMG_6571She also made a white chocolate cherry donut and a sugar bruleee donut (not pictured). Did you miss them on Friday? Don’t worry, they will be at Fairsted Kitchen on Monday, September 8th at 10pm serving up boozy versions of tarts and donuts!

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IMG_4724Latin Spoon is new to the scene this year. We caught them over at City Hall Plaza one afternoon. My coworker had the Pata Cone ($7-$9), a green plantain cone that is gluten free. Inside was avocado sauce, cheese, pink sauce and sofrito. You can get it with carnitas or chicken but my coworker picked the veggie which comes with carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and cucumbers.

IMG_4726I tried to order the empanadas ($3) but they only had one left, so I chose a side of rice to supplement. The line wasn’t that bad, but we waited a good 15 minutes for our food. The food itself was delicious, so we are hoping that they work on their execution a bit before we go back for another round.

The Latin Spoon

http://www.thelatinspoon.com/

Latin Spoon (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4516Evan’s deli started out as a brick and mortar in Marblehead but this season has branched out to a food truck. You can usually find them on Mondays by the Rings Fountain on the Greenway.

IMAG0234What’s my go to? Pastrami sandwich with cheese of course! Sandwiches run around $9.

IMAG0235Also great from their truck, the knishes. The potato knish might be my favorite. Carbohydrates on top of carbohydrates! YUM!

IMG_4559They’re pretty consistent with their food and you are in and out fairly quickly. They are out at 11am, so you can also get breakfast from the truck. They serve bagels and breakfast sandwiches.

IMG_4560My second favorite would be the sweet potato knish! And I’m dying to try the pastrami knish – but it seems elusive! Check out the website to see where the truck will be.

Evan’s New york Style Deli

http://www.evansdeli.com/

Evan's NY Deli on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4236This post seems to have missed the whole Philly set of posts. No matter! When you go to Philly, one of the must try things (besides a cheese steak) is a pretzel. You’ve had a pretzel before, maybe Auntie Annies? You can’t even compare these to other pretzels you’ve had.

IMG_0417Located in the Reading Terminal Market, Miller’s twist offers delicious hot and fresh pretzels that are soft and chewy, buttery and delicious.  I go for the original but they also come in flavors like cinnamon, garlic, and sour cream and onion. You cal also get things like a pretzel dog or a chicken cheese steak. And if that isn’t enough, they also have ice cream! My only regret is that I only went once and that I only bought 1 pretzel.

Miller’s Twist

Reading Terminal Market

11th Avenue and B, Philadelphia, PA

http://www.millerstwist.com/

Miller's Twist Pretzel's & More on Urbanspoon

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imag1327I have to admit, in the weeks building up to the opening of Janky Donuts, I was actually pumped at the thought of a new donut shop. Yup, Janky Donuts, you fooled me. If you don’t know by now, Janky Donuts is an art installation (which opened in July) – creatively marketed like it was going to be a new restaurant -I even saw it show up on Urbanspoon for a minute.

imag1326The installation was the brain child of five friends: Colin Driesch, Winston MacDonald, Luke O’Sullivan, Dominic Casserly, and Andrew Meers. See the Individuals Collective website here.

imag1325The “donut shop” is a front for a back room gun operation.

imag1328_1All the pieces in the installation are for sale.

imag1323Move into the back room and that is where things get interesting.

imag1324Fake guns made out of salvaged materials line the walls.

imag1330Getting ready to put a gun in a donut box with a false bottom.

Loved the exhibit and the marketing behind it was brilliant. I attended on a night when Tavern Road paired up with the team to offer real donuts for one night only. Thank goodness, because after huffing up 4 flights of stairs, I deserved some real donuts! Ha.

This exhibit is now closed.

Janky Donuts

145 Pearl Street, #5, Boston, MA

http://jankydonuts.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jankydonuts

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Located on the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Commonwealth Ave. I always seem to forget about Deuxave. Only odd because it is on the corner of two very major streets in Boston. My parents were in town and wanted to take us out for dinner. The service here has been good on previous visits, and this time was no exception. Our server drives all the way up from Rhode Island and really seems to take pride in his job. His attention to detail is impressive.

IMAG0616“Night Moves” Scituate Lobster with Gnocchi: Potato Gnocchi, Mushrooms, Green Grapes, Curried Walnuts & Pearl Onions, in a Citrus Fricassee  ($19). A really lovely and flavorful dish. A little pricey for an appetizer, but worth the money!

IMAG0624My dad gets the 9 Hour French Onion Soup: Slowly Caramelized Onion Soup, Beef Bone Marrow Crouton, Comté Cheese ($14) which was delicious, even if it is hard to eat politely, and the lobster appetizer for his meal.

IMAG0617My mom gets the salad which she can’t stop raving about throughout the entire meal.

IMAG0618Not only is the presentation beautiful, it also tastes delicious.

IMAG0619I order the pork three ways, which is really out of this world.

IMAG0620We order the Duo of Giannone Chicken & Local Tomatoes: Crispy Skinned Breast, Housemade Sausage, Sweet 100, Tomatoes, Pumpernickel Roulade, Lolla Rossa Lettuce, Heirloom Egg Green Goddess Aioli, Smoked Jus ($29).

IMAG0627My mom has the creme brulee, her go to dessert anywhere we go ($12)

IMAG0631We order the deconstructed opera cake for dessert.

IMAG0628I order the native strawberries, a delicious and not too sweet dessert with tres leches cake (AMAZING), variations of strawberry, lemon verbena gelee, roasted white chocolate and avocado ice cream ($14). Lovely presentation!

IMAG0632When the check comes, our server also brings us over caramels and lavender chocolates. While this restaurant isn’t always top of mind for me, I always love it when we dine here.

Deuxave

371 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA

http://deuxave.com/

Deuxave on Urbanspoon

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imag0743M and I went to Alta Strada after the Jeni’s Ice Cream Demo. It was clearing out as it was on the later side, so we had the full attention of our waiter. I had the Spicy Chitarra with Lobster, Shrimp, Tomato, and Basil ($23). It was a little spicy, but really delicious. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was cooked perfectly.

imag0744M went with her all time favorite the Handmade Cavatelli with Spicy Sausage, Broccolini and Pecorino Romano ($21). I can see why she loves it – such a classic dish, but certainly crave-worthy.

imag0746We are stuffed, I even take half of my meal home, but we still order the Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel ($10). Really rich and quite tasty, I’m embarrassed to say that we couldn’t finish it! As I mentioned before, service was great – per usual. He realized we were busy chatting and stay back a bit, checking in at only the right moments.

Alta Strada

92 Central Street, Wellesley, MA

http://www.altastradarestaurant.com/

Alta Strada on Urbanspoon

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