I Love Bond (no, not THAT Bond)

My friend Alexa is the best at picking out awesome restaurants–I owe a lot of the food on this blog to her fabulous finds. For her birthday, a group of us went to Bond, in the Langham Hotel. If you’re ever looking for a place with a elegant, “loungy” vibe, check this place out. The lounge setting fits its menu–smaller dishes for a sophisticated palate.

Bond Restaurant Tuna TartarMy friend and I split this incredibly fresh tuna tartar, a crispy sweet chili and black sesame glazed calamari, and a bread basket that was simply divine–it was served with this Maine butter topped with sea salt–talk about mouthwatering. The flavors that these foods combine could not work more perfectly. And one of my favorite things was that they served their calamari with chopsticks–how cool! We managed to eat everything without taking a breath. I wanted to order EVERY SINGLE THING on the menu (but that would have left me flat broke.) Other menu items included an artisan cheeseboard, smoked pork arancini, spicy lamb meatballs, a BBQ duck flatbread (it was hard to refrain myself from ordering this since all I need to see is the word BBQ and I’m sold), thai basil spring rolls, angus sliders and so much more–sorry for practically naming half the menu, I seem to be hungry as I’m writing this.

Bond Restaurant Calamari

The hotel is easily accessible and the vibe of the restaurant gives you a reason to dress up (and I’m always looking for an excuse to throw a statement necklace and heels on!) If you’re looking for a great place to go with a group of girlfriends or just want a drink and appetizer after work, Bond is a fabulous place for just that. But until next time, keep eating!

Advertisements

Breakfast All Day, Every Day

I never thought I would like leeks as a breakfast food, but boy was I wrong. Brunch has to be one of my favorite meals ever. I could eat breakfast food all day every day (breakfast for dinner is absolutely the best). Having breakfast for dinner almost feels like you’re doing something wrong, since eggs are typically thought of as a morning food, but that’s what makes it so much better.

The weather is finally getting nicer in Boston (HOPEFULLY no more snow….) so my friends and I planned on going out for brunch. The restaurant was in Boston’s South End, an area that is so cute and beautiful that I wish I went there more often. After finally finding a parking spot we walked to this small but absolutely outstanding restaurant: Aquitaine. The decor of the place was classy and elegant and their food was to die for.

The one thing I appreciated was their ‘prix fixe brunch’ menu (because I always love a good bargain–especially when it comes to food). That included a fresh, warm, gooey cinnamon roll, bottomless coffee, orange juice, and an omelette served with breakfast potatoes and toast all for about 10 dollars. Talk about a DEAL. I ordered the mushroom, leek, and Boursin omelette–I practically licked the plate clean! I can proudly say I was a member of the clean plate club today–something I’m never ashamed to admit. There was the perfect amount of mushrooms and leeks to cheese. Everything was cooked to a T. Trust me it’s going to be hard NOT to become a member of the clean plate club.

Image

I would go back in a heartbeat and honestly probably order the same thing–(hmm maybe a different omelette just to be adventurous). If you ever have a lazy weekend and don’t want to cook for a change, I can’t recommend Aquitaine enough–kudos to my friend for finding it. But until next time, keep eating!

What’s for Dinner? Homemade Pizza

If you’re ever looking for a quick, easy meal, homemade pizza is your savior. Most grocery stores sell pre-made dough (I would love to learn how to make dough but it’s not very practical in a college dorm), and then pick up some cheese and whatever toppings you’re in the mood for and you’re good to go!

My friend and I were craving veggie pizza, so we practically sprinted to Shaw’s to pick up the ingredients (since it was raining and incredibly windy outside). We bought eggplant, red peppers, shredded mozzarella, tomato, and shallots–but if veggies don’t appeal to you, you can add whatever you want (try some pepperoni if you’re a meat lover, or different kinds of cheeses if you simply can’t get enough cheese). Buy any type of sauce–if you want to be adventurous, try a spicy sauce or even a white sauce! One of  the best things about pre-made dough is that it only takes about 15 minutes to cook–which was perfect because we were starving (a video of our food-making process will be in my next post).

And, since the whole purpose of my blog is to ‘spice up my life’ through food, I naturally added a myriad of spices to my pizza. If I tell you all the spices I used, you’d look at me crazy–but it turned out to be delicious. I suggest adding some garlic salt and Italian seasoning for some flavor.

Cooking food is one of the best activities to do on a rainy day and it lets you be creative! So if you ever need a cheap, quick, easy meal, go for the homemade pizza–it’s a crowd pleaser. But until next time, keep eating!

The Joys of Late Night Eating

As my time as a college student is coming to an end, I can proudly say I’ve learned many things. One thing (aside from what I learned in school of course) is that all college kids know how to master the art of eating between the ages of midnight and 5am. These are what we call the ‘prime hours,’–any college student could tell you. These are the times when you’ll want to have some chips or Easy Mac at hand (all that greasy food that I know you’ve bee trying to avoid).

I’m not going to lie, I am strong advocate of late night eating. While everyone says it can be one of the worst things to do for your body (but then again how else would you gain the freshman fifteen that I mentioned in an earlier post?), there is nothing I enjoy doing more than getting back from a night out and immediately stuffing my face with the worst food possible. My food of choice: pizza.

In Boston, you’ll come to find, that one of the most popular places for late night eating is T’Anthony’s (aside from 2am Dominos delivery of course). There’s something about their pizza that makes it so popular–especially within the late night crowd. The combination of the grease, cheese, and crust will satisfy your late night craving instantly. I’m a huge fan of the crust and T’ Anthony’s pizza crust has earned a spot among my favorites.

If you like classier pizza, check out Otto, a pizza place that recently opened up on Commonwealth Ave. in the heart of BU’s campus. And let me tell you, it’s not just your average pizza. One of my personal favorites is the pulled pork and mango pizza–not your typical combination, but it works! It’s on the lighter side, which I appreciate, you might end up finding yourself eating three or four slices in one sitting. If you’re ever in the area and are craving pizza, check out either one of these places! But until next time, keep eating!

My College Life Without a Kitchen–Get Ready Because it’s not Going to be Pretty

I seem to be in a throwback kind of mood this week and it got me thinking about all the food I’ve had over my four years at Boston–most of it amazing, but some of it that’s just god-awful (and leaves me wondering ‘what was I thinking??’). So here it goes.

The college experience wouldn’t be the same if no one gained weight–it’s just a fact of life. While most people gain the ‘freshman fifteen,’ I seemed to also pile on the ‘sophomore seven‘. How does this happen? It’s simple, really.  Take carb-heavy dining hall food (“sure, I’ll have more mashed potatoes and maybe a side of fries…”) and combine it with the Junk Food Wonderland that becomes part of daily existence. I must have thought that never having unlimited pizza at home justified me eating about 5 slices… I ate everything from Easy Mac, to ice cream sandwiches, to Lays, an endless amount of Dominos pizza, and quite sadly the list goes on and on. Somebody was either ordering, bringing in, going out for or in the mood for something greasy, salty, fatty or just plain BAD.  And talk about a group dynamic—all it takes is two people and suddenly, you’re outnumbered.  The idea of a salad or a turkey sandwich disappears instantly, to be replaced by a cheddar-bacon-triple-stacked Gutbuster burger and a side of fries.

Now that I have my own apartment my junk food days are behind me (or at least I tell myself that….I caved and had KFC the other week), and I have switched to a more balanced and healthier diet. While I have to admit I do get lazy and end up making frozen food, I couldn’t imagine my life if I had to rely on the dining hall for all my meals. But that’s not to say I don’t splurge and get the greasiest food known to mankind once in a while, it would be a lie if I said I didn’t. And as a bonus, I do have to say eating better has helped me drop the unwanted pounds (that, and about a zillion steps on the elliptical….). So I hope you all take the time to splurge once a while and get that greasy burger with a side of fries (that I know you all secretly want, even if you don’t admit to it)–no one is going to judge you 🙂 But until next time, keep eating!

Cheerio! It’s Tea Time in Londontown

Since it’s technically spring (although Boston seems to have missed that memo) and I’m feeling nostalgic, I had to do a throwback to my spring semester abroad in London. While they do have one of the best accents out there, they aren’t particularly known for their cuisine. BUT what they are known for is their exquisite afternoon tea.

ImageAfternoon tea is one of my favorite things out there–besides popcorn, which deserves its own post. It is one of the things I miss most about London—there must be something about the delicious assortment of finger sandwiches and an endless amount of scones and pastries that gets me every time. A smoked salmon sandwich is usually in the assortment of sandwiches so naturally that helped fuel my love for tea (since I don’t think I’ve professed my love for smoked salmon clearly…. not). I had it practically every week when I was abroad. Coming back to the states meant I couldn’t have it every week, which was devastating (I was tempted to pack hundreds of Harrods scones in my suitcase but I was stopped by my suitcase being already overweight).

Image       Image

Luckily my love for put me on a search to find afternoon tea in Boston and I was successful. The two best places for authentic afternoon tea I’ve found so far are the Boston Public Library and the Taj hotel. I recently just went to the Taj for my birthday and was pleasantly pleased—I managed to clear mostly everything on the dainty china platters. It’s perfect for an afternoon adventure when you want something delicious, relaxing, and low key. Plus it gives you a reason to dress up if you want! If you haven’t had authentic afternoon tea, you should try it! But until next time, keep eating!

Remarkable Ramen

A successful night out never ends without food. My food of choice is usually something greasy, like a burger, pizza or fries and onion rings–that is until I had ramen. It’s not a typical late night food item (at least for me) but I am so glad I decided to be adventurous and stray from the norm.

Ramen. Noodles in a spicy broth, with egg, pork and topped with seaweed. Absolute heaven. This bowl of deliciousness is located at Uni in the Elliot Hotel on the corner of Mass Ave. and Commonwealth. The unique thing about this place is that they don’t start serving ramen till 11pm (which is great for anyone who enjoys a night out on the town) and stop when the last table is finished. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long. We sat down and I literally could not stop drooling over the food on their cool cardboard menus. I wanted everything. I knew this was going to be good.

Image

I opted for their traditional ramen bowl with extra spice. The spice of the broth was just right. The noodles were cooked to perfection. The pork was incredibly tender and paired perfectly with the broth. The egg was absolutely delicious. The seaweed strips on top completed the dish. I couldn’t have asked for a better meal. I wanted to drink the ramen straight from the bowl yet thankfully I realized I was in public (that would have been embarrassing).

Image

If you’re tired of greasy late night food, I urge you to check this place out. Be adventurous–I promise you won’t regret it. I can’t imagine going back to pizza (ok fine I can’t give it up completely) but this ramen sure gave my late night greasy food choices a run for their money. It’s too bad this place doesn’t deliver. I’m already thinking about the next time I’ll go back. But until next time, keep eating!

Taco Time

Image

If you like tacos, you need to check out this hidden gem, Pedro’s, located on Bromfield Street. Their tacos are absolutely to die for. They pride themselves on being famous for their fish taco and they sure as heck have earned it. I, with my enormous appetite, naturally ordered two tacos–I absolutely couldn’t decide between carne asada and their famous fish taco, so when in doubt I got both.

They take two corn tortillas, add flavorful, juicy steak, top it with ridiculously fresh salsa and guacamole. I was in instant heaven. After I literally devoured the carne asada taco, I moved onto their famous fish taco. Let me just say….there are hardly words. I couldn’t set the taco down. Something about the tortillas, battered cod, cabbage, salsa and fabulous aioli, left me absolutely speechless. And if both those tacos weren’t satisfying enough, their chips and side of guac will put you into an instant food coma–in a good way.

Image

My friend from California, who heard that Pedro’s opened in Boston (and thankfully introduced me to this magical place–I don’t know how to thank her), said it made her feel like home. Well if this is what the tacos are like in California then I’m on the next plane out of Logan International Airport and never coming back. And just to give you another reason to check out this place–it’s cheap! Two tacos didn’t cost me more than ten dollars–which for a girl on a college budget is like winning the lottery. If you’re looking for insanely delicious tacos at an incredible price, you need to check out Pedro’s. But until next time, keep eating!

Love for Lox

If I could live off one thing for the rest of my life it would be smoked salmon (aside from Jamaican barbeque and tzatziki of course). I know it’s an acquired taste for many, but man I could eat it for days—and that’s what I did.  Over the past week and a half, I had smoked salmon for either breakfast or lunch (and sometimes both).

It pairs so incredibly well with cream cheese (I tried it with an herb cream cheese, which may just beat plain old cream cheese), fresh tomatoes, red onion slices, capers, and a soft, doughy, plain bagel. As if this couldn’t get any better, you must top it off with some fresh lemon juice—seriously you won’t want to eat anything else.

Image

While I haven’t truly explored to find the best smoked salmon in Boston, I must say that Espresso Royale Café on Commonwealth Avenue, part of Boston University’s campus, does make a mean smoked salmon bagel–the Santa Monica. If consuming that much raw fish wasn’t bad for you, I would eat it all day, every day, breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Some would say that’s excessive, but I beg to differ. The thing that I like about that sandwich is that they add an avocado spread, which makes the rest of the flavors of the sandwich pop (particularly the smoked salmon).  Discovering the Santa Monica has made my college experience that much better (but can’t say the same for my wallet).

The funny thing is, is that while I absolutely love smoked salmon, I don’t ever buy it when grocery shopping. How strange. They do say there is a first for everything, so maybe I should start now? If you haven’t already experienced the wonderfulness of smoked salmon, I strongly recommend you do (especially with a bagel)—I now can’t imagine my life without it. But until next time, keep eating!

A Moveable Feast–City Living and Having to Travel with Groceries

The one downside to living in a city without a car? Grocery shopping. At home you simply go to the grocery store and when you’re done, load up your trunk and off you go. Here in Boston, you have to lug all your groceries back to where you live, counting every step while trying to figure out how 3 bags of groceries can weigh 1,000 pounds.

The past two years I have had the luxury of living in an apartment on campus. This means I don’t have to suffer through dining hall meals. It also means I have to cook all my meals myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, I just wish I could have the food supplies I need instantly teleported to my apartment without ever having to set one foot inside a grocery store. Yet I do have to say, I have just about perfected my grocery purchasing skills. Here’s my advice: If you do have to walk a far distance home, try to avoid liters of soda or gallons of milk (unless they are an absolute must; or buy them once and they’ll last you a while). DO buy bread; it’s nice and light! Frozen, easy to cook veggies, can be manageable, just keep it to a few bags. Keep canned items to two per bag and load up on fresh fruit. Except for grapefruit or watermelon, fruit is fairly light (learn to love grapes).

Bagging is another obstacle I have overcome. It’s all about balance. Put ONE or TWO of your heaviest items in one bag and then pack the rest of the bag with lighter options. Always choose paper over plastic because they’re sturdier and better for the environment (now you can say you did your part).

The absolute best grocery tactic? If, in fact, you’ve gone overboard and feel like you’re carrying two barbells, do what I do—and look for the cutest guy around. Then quickly—and quietly—break one of the handles on your bag.

Until next time, keep eating!