Kika Tapas – I came for the Sangria but stayed for the Paella

Tony and I have been on a goal to venture out beyond South End and Malden in our date night. A few weeks ago we trekked to the other side of the river…. the tough journey to Cambridge.

Kika Tapas sits in Kendall Sq among the shiny new developments and pharma tech. The name is inspired by the work of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and the menu includes modern Spanish tapas, traditional paellas, and Latino flavored dishes. There are always fun specials and “happy hour” (i put in quotes because everyone knows Boston doesn’t do alcohol happy hours but it can do food specials).

The inside decor is super fun and funky!

We always start with patata bravas because it’s the tell all of how the rest of the tapas will be. Trust me, you pass the patata test and you know the rest of your night will be tasty. You fail… well there’s always just more drinks! The flavoring on the potato roast was perfect, but I wouldn’t have minded some extra spicy sauce.

With our first test passed, we placed in some more tapa orders while our Sangria arrived

Next was the Palta Reina which is crab meat, mango and avocado! Never had this before, but it’s definitely a fave for the future

Our final tapa was the baby lamb Chuletillas served in apricot sauce.

We only ordered three tapas because our next stop was the Paella. It takes about 30-40 minutes to make so we had to appease the hunger for a bit.

When it comes to sharing paella with Tony, we always have to take turns, I love seafood, he um does not. This time I caved and we went for the Cazador- Duck confit, chicken thighs, super tender braised short rib and chorizo paella.  Half of ended up being an awesome lunch the next day.

And on a side note of specials, Saturdays have 50% off Paella so it’s a pretty darn good deal.

Tony’s Banana and nuts dessert (he’s bananas for bananas!) While I sipped on some whiskey to help cute my cold.

All in all, not a bad night. Check out Kika Tapas in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.

Marching through Madness with Yard House Pub Fare Menu

I was gifted a meal experience courtesy of Yard House. All opinions are my own.

Yard House has been celebrating a special Pub Fare Menu for March Madness featuring Irish-inspired dishes and drinks specially created by Chef Carlito Jocson. This limited menu is ending April 8th so Tony and I were excited to try it out before it was gone!

I also just learned yesterday that while I thought it was just Fenway that had a location, Yard House is actually in about 80 locations across the country and started in California, not Boston. Look at dat! You learn something new every day.

We ordered an app first, their new featured item Poke Nachos. It wasn’t on the Pub Fare Menu but I couldn’t tear my eyes from something that combines my two life staples, nachos and poke. Yes, they are served on Fried Wontons!

Yard House Poke Nachos

I also tried the whiskey margarita and I gotta say, I didn’t think it would but it worked! The mix was a little more sour but blended well with the whiskey.

Our next app was the Whiskey black pepper wings. The only debate – wings or legs? Def the wings for me.

Wings

Next, I ordered the Salmon for my main course. It had a light Whiskey glaze with option to add more on the side which I loved. The salmon was pairs with kale, cabbage and bacon mashed potatoes. I may need to try this mashed potato combo at home or maybe go to Yard House

Yard House Salmon

Tony went for the grilled GUINNESS Cheddar & braised beef melt served with tomato bisque. I snuck in some bites and definitely double dipped with no apologies.

Yard House Soup

My only regret is that I wasn’t able to try the Shepard’s Pie & Mash because I was too full and Tony commits blasphemy by not liking lamb. It features ground lamb simmered in stout beer with herbs, peas and potatoes, baked inside a flaky pastry crust and topped with parmesan mashed potatoes, brandy-shallot gravy and parsley.

So do me a favor, check it out before it’s gone after this weekend!

 

 

 

Avocado Dreaming – #Blendmoreveggies Boston Brunch Tricks

I don’t know how, but one day I woke and toast, warmed up bread, became a trendy thing. Yup, things you ate as a little kid in your pjs because the toaster was the only thing your mother trusted you to use in the kitchen (okay, maybe that’s just me). You know what I never did have as a little kid, avocado! I somehow spent 20 years of my life in vain without this vegetable (or is a fruit?) in my life! Luckily that gets me to my first trick of enjoying avocados!

AVOCADO Toast!

And yes, writing in CAPS always makes it that much tastier. Seriously, don’t shake your head at me in hipster scum disdain. Avocado toast is pretty amazing and one spot that excels at it in Boston is Tres Gatos in JP! Check it out. And no, I don’t just love the place because it has the word cats in it. (Although that does help just like my cat leggings).

734981_10103775171258340_8964470779624745163_n

AVOCADO Smoothie

Yup, instead of peanut butter, add an avocado for a creamy filling texture. Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and protein and pack an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Smoothie King in Back Bay (and other places near you!) just released a Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie (tip, you do have to tell them to not add sugar if you want yours veggies only, but the pineapple gives the perfect amount of sweetness!). FullSizeRender (9)

Check out their site for more ways to #blendsyourveggies and #drinkyourveggies or sign up for a $2.99 smoothie coupon!

Grilled AVOCADO

Because honestly, nothing tastes better than when it’s grilled. That it reminds me of summer and I miss summer.

o

This is not my picture because I kinda made mine disappear in 5 seconds before it takes my phone to turn on, but Toro  in South End at one point had this as a brunch option! Hopefully, they’ll bring it back soon!

 

Do you have any favorite, non traditional ways to enjoy avocado? Any recommendations?

Malden Eats – Oya Cuba Cafe & Sun Kong Dim Sum

This blog has been mostly running and no munching, so here’s an update on a few new Malden eats that I’ve discovered and am in love with.

Oya Cafe – I’ve been stalking and waiting for Oya to open up since November if not earlier because let’s face it, Malden sadly has limited fine dining options to eat.  We like to call fancy, any pizza joint that has a table cloth.

Oya Cafe has opened and I rejoiced.  It’s a chic Cuban cafe by Malden Square with a great lunch and dinner menu.  I’m still hoping they’ll have a brunch menu eventually.  A girl can hope!

Oyá cafeRopa Vieja – Braised Shredded Beef with Sauté Red Peppers, Onions, Garlic, and Sofrito, Served with White Rice, and Tostones.

That was seriously, probably the most delicious meat I’ve ever eaten.  Very tender with lots of sweat juicey flavor from the red peppers

Oyá cafe

Soup, Tony’s dad order.  I didn’t taste but it looked very pretty.

Oyá cafe

Cuban sandwich that took serious commitment that Tony and I were able to fulfill.

The order place we have become regulars at is Sun Kong in Malden for dim sum.  While we don’t speak a word of Chinese and the wait staff don’t speak English, we meet in the center with the language of pointing.

Sun Kong Malden

Steamed sweat pork buns

Sun Kong Malden 2Fried scallion  pork dumpling, sesame balls with red bean paste, and fried sesame ball shrimp goodness.  Not official names but it’s what they are.

Sun Kong Malden 3

Our first attempt at ordering the steamed sweat pork buns ended up with the baked version.  Bottom is another fried shrimp goodness but not as good at the sesame version and soupy dumplings.

Yum yum! And doesn’t require a trip to Chinatown!

Have you found any good local eats lately?