Ferry Street Food & Drink – Malden Date Night

Tony and I like to try to keep up with all the new dining options that are opening up in Malden. It used to be easy, since quite frankly, there were little to none options. It’s pizza or pizza. However, it seems that now amazing restaurants are opening up all over the place in our own backyard. Last night we decided to check out Ferry Street Food & Drink.

We heard there’s free bar snacks from 5-7. Since the MBTA has been awful lately, I decided that I’ll have better luck running home. So runmute it was! It’s about 7.3 miles to my house and I like to end on a round mileage, 8.1 miles in under 64 minutes, proceeded by the fastest shower know to women kind.

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From the office to a dress in under 70 minutes! Take that orange line, I know you can’t beat me. Don’t worry, I didn’t run in Toms haha.

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When we got to Ferry street, we had the option of sitting at the Bar or table. We decided that since it was fairly slow and it was just me and Tony that we would grab a seat at the bar. The place was going for a gastropub type of vibe with exposed beautiful woodwork and license plates from the owner’s grandfather’s house.

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The restaurant was opened by a husband and wife team that graduated from Johnson & Wales and wanted to create an establishment that felt like they were entertaining guests in their own home. When we got there at 6:50, the place was a bit empty, but definitely picked up by 7:30.

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Our bartender/waitress was a delight! She was friendly and patient with all my beer questions. They had a ton of draft, can and bottle options ranging from local to the region, to domestic and I think a few international. Tony and I started with some free bar snacks that reminded me of Granada and free tapas back in Spain.

Tony got a Mystic Saison Renaud and I got Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union as we split some olives and house pate. 

The one thing about the menu was that there was no light options or vegetable sides. So Tony and I decided to split an appetizer and entrée.

We started with the meatballs glazed with Texas style BBQ over cheddar grits. OMG, why has this never been done on the east coast before?

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It was absolutely delicious and I probably would have eaten the whole portion on my own if I didn’t have to share.

The dinner menu is short, but all of the options looked good. I think it’s seasonal and will probably change, but right now you could get a burger, braised rabbit, roasted chicken, pork sandwich, fish of the day and steak. For our entree with chose that fish of the day which was fried trout.

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The steak fries were made fresh of course and had a nice little kick to it. The trout was fried up. Unfortunately the pickles were sweet and I prefer kosher dills only but the coleslaw more than made up for the pickle disappointment.

There was a dessert menu, but we were stuffed enough that I couldn’t imagine eating any more.

Overall, we had a great time at Ferry Street. I do wish they had a vegetarian option because as much as I love my fried food, I like to try to get some nutrients on the side. However, we’ll definitely be returning there for the meatballs and grits app! Or maybe just some beers and dessert next time.

QOTD

Can you keep up with all the local restaurants in your area? Try any place new recently?

A Workbar party with Popchips & KitchenSurfing

Last week I had an great opportunity to check out another Boston Blog and Tweet event. This time I crossed the bridge (with a very beautiful sunset I might add) into Cambridge for a friendly cooking competition with KitchenSurfing, Popchips at Workbar.

KitchenSurfing needs no great introduction on my blog since I did a review with them a few months ago, but in case you missed that here’s the deal. Its an online service where you pick a chef who will come to your home and cook, or teach you to cook a meal. Aside from the amazing food I’ve experienced, my second favorite part is that they do all the cleaning. Think of it as another option to those $$$$ restaurants, or a great way to cater an event. Every cuisine you can think of is available at various price options.

Popchips are a chip that’s “popped” versus the standard fried options. I think the process is similar to rice cakes (but don’t quote me on it). Regardless of how it’s made, it has lower calories then your standard chip and is so amazing. Little tip, Costco has great pricing on the family size bag!

Workbar offers communal workspaces where freelancers, start-ups, and remote employees of larger enterprises can enjoy high quality office amenities at an affordable price.  The provide an extraordinary workplace for their members; meeting rooms to meet with clients and give presentations; event space; and a wide variety of social and educational programming including happy hours, lunch seminars, workshops, and networking events.

Now that you know all the key players, let’s get to the competition, because you know at the end of the day, I’m there for some food, and maybe some chatting, One of my talents is talking and eating at the same time (even if my mother disapproved).

KitchenSurfingComp

First up are the boys of Aprons off Catering,  Mark O’Leary and Justin Hackett serving up loads of delicious Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich with Popchips cured pork, salt & vinegar Popchip mayo, Katy Perry’s Popchip pate, and a Vietnamese style baguette made with pulverized Popchips! I have to say that my favorite part of it all were their bread rolls! I even shamelessly came back for seconds! Check them out on KitchenSurfing and order up some tasty meals!

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Next up for my stomach was Jitti Chaithiraphant of Food Is Love! He prepared a corn and cheddar Popchips soup. I have the recipe and it was so good, that I might have to try it out myself with it’s rich cheddar flavor with Popchips as a base and a crunchy Popchips garnish. Maybe not the most healthiest soup, but absolutely satisfying!

KitchenSurfingComp3And finally last but not least, chef Jen Rogers of Perfect Bite who is absolutely hilarious, was serving up a party! She created a Popchips Chicken and Waffle app using Katy’s Kettle Corn Popchips for the “waffle” and Popchips breaded chicken, with a delicious Honey-Hot BBQ sauce. But wait, to make this chicken and waffle combo complete, she added in a Bloody Mary shooter!

As you can see from the description of the chefs, we were absolutely spoiled rotten! Add in a wonderful bartender mixing up some cranberry infused vodka with seltzer drinks and I got nothing to complain about.

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We were asked to pick a favorite and it’s a tough choice but I guess we can’t always all be winners besides my stomach. I would have to pick Jitti Chaithiraphant of Food Is Love and his cheddar Popchips soup. The ingredients just went so naturally together. Now if I could grab one of Mark and Justin’s rolls to have with it, I think it would have been a killer combo!

After the awesome event we all got to walk away with some Popchips for a chance to compete in a Popchips competition of our own to win a KitchenSurfing giftcard. So you bet that I’ll be entering and I’ll post the recipe later tomorrow! Stay tuned, because you’ll love it! (I hope so you can vote for me!)

In the mean time if you want to learn more about all the parties involved in organizing this awesome event, here are some links.

Popchips – Facebook – @Popchips
Workbar – Facebook – @WorkBar
KitchenSurfing – Facebook – @Kitchensurfing & @KS_Boston
BlogAndTweetBoston – Facebook– @BlogAndTweetBos

QOTD

Have you ever tried Popchips? As I mentioned before, I go through Costco sized bags!

Have you ever cooked anything with chips? No, but it was fun playing around!

12 Best Things I Ate in 2012

I got inspired by a post with the same title on Adventurous Kate’s blog and couldn’t help but reflect back on my own gastronomic adventures of 2012.  2012 has been great for me fitness/running wise, but with my new running ambition came a great appetite and I took full advantage to feed it!

These are not in any order other than random!

12. The best lobster roll from Roy Moore Lobster Co that I had after the Twin Light Half Marathon in Rockport, MA.

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11.  Smoked Meat Sandwich from Schwartz while in Montreal.  How good is it?  So good, there’s a musical about it!

Best Food 2012 8 10. Okay so this was a DIY moment but throwing my own Spring Roll party thanks to help from a friend was a very yummy experience of 2012
Best Food 2012 6 9. Fajita salad at Guadalajara Grill in Malden was awesome.  Sadly, they closed down.  They have a sister restaurant called Mexico Lindo in Melrose, but that doesn’t provide the convenience of being able to walk home after a pitcher of the best margaritas ever.  =(
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8. I never wrote about going to Mama Ayesha’s in Washington D.C. and that’s a shame.  Upon other visits to DC and the Zoo, I would always walk by this place that looked like a shack and I wasn’t ever sure if it’s actually open.  This year I got the courage to go inside to be delighted at a beautiful lantern filled Lebanese place!

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7. Ceviche at El Chalan in DC – Although nothing in the U.S. will ever come close to my experience in Peru, this was the closest and best I have yet to try and my stomach knows I tried many.
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6. I didn’t blog back then so there’s no link but brunch at Barney Greengrass in NYC was brunch of the year.  Smoked salmon and white fish scramble in a perfect pumpernickel bagel.  It was even worth the trek from south Brooklyn to midtown.

Best Food 2012 1

4.I would like to start with saying I hate duck,  I’m not a fan, I think there’s usually not enough meat to eat there.  However, Salt proved me wrong.  Tony took me there for our two year anniversary and it was the best!  There was definitely plenty of meat in that duck.

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3. Pintxos in Barcelona!  These bar bites with fresh fish, smoked fish, different whips, hard boiled eggs and veggies is everything my palate craves.

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2. This is another one of those trips that I just never blogged about.  Maybe one day I’ll go back and do a write-up on Burlington, VT.  Or maybe just maybe I’ll go back this in summer of 2013 for a warmer visit.  On our drive back from Montreal, we stopped by a few hours and I had the world’s best vegan burger at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill.  Laughing Lotus Farm kimchi, Cabot cheddar, pickled jalapeño and braised kale!  A vegetarian wet dream and the perfect refuel after a marathon

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1. I mentioned how these are not in any order but this one.  Number 1 is my all time favorite dining experience!  Dining at Girl and the Goat was the one time that I can say that I literally had nothing to complain about from all 6 small plate that we had!  This below is the sockeye tartare with truffle vinaigrette, summer squash & popiah

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What were your favorite dining moments of 2012? If you did a post, share it!

Exploring Chicago – Ukrainian Village & Lincoln Park Zoo

I’m posting double (wordpress and here) in hopes of getting more people to resubscribe and re-link to my new blog.  =)  Please re-subscribe on this page as wordpress doesn’t allow me to transfer subscriptions =(.

Our third day in Chicago we go less ambitious.  I wanted to do two things:

1. Visit Brooksfield Zoo

2. Eat at Calumet Fisheries

However, neither were next to each other and each involved a trek of an hour out of Chicago via rail or bus combo.  It was Sunday and we decided to stay inner-city.  Well relatively… since we went north.

Our first stop was a neighborhood called “Ukrainian Village.”  I wanted to visit it and see if it compares to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NY.  Alas very few things do but none the less the little village did have it’s charm with being smaller, friendlier and cleaner than NY!

Interesting part of Chicago neighborhood layout is that north is Wicker Park, a hipster hood of “vintage” shops and yummy cafes.  Midday you can see the babushkas walking along side the skinny jeans trotting hipster.

I scouted yelp for a place to feed my belly and stumbled upon Shokolad

Tony was HUNGRY and ordered “Gutsulske Pechenya” which was cubed beef, potatoes, carrots, lima beans, & celery combined in a clay pot & cooked until tender. Served with freshly backed ricotta rolls.  I ended up eating half his rolls while scooping up the soup.  It might have been 95 degrees outside but tasty hot soup is still tasty!

I went a little less heavy and ordered one of my childhood favorites!  Blueberry Varenyky!  Oh how home sick they made it!  I wish there was a place in Boston I could get them.  I could always make my own but I got two left hands when it comes to cooking.  So good with sour cream!

We then continued to walk around the check out the churches and all the residents in their Sunday wear.

This was one of the cooler 10 churches we saw; but I’m not sure which is called what.  Afterwards we took a bus outward to Lincoln Park

They had a really cool green house with free entrance!

The problem with wearing yellow is that I think I confused all the bees!  They loved me.

So many cool orchids!

Giant Fishies!

Aside from the botanical building, Lincoln Park also has a free city zoo!  They guy was feeling the heat as well

And this was my first time seeing a hippo out of water!  They are huge!!!!!! So cool!

We left the park to go search for Fro-Yo, however we never made it to fro-yo

Instead we got distracted by a pizza joint… We saw a bunch of people outside and wondered why!  Chicago Pizza & Grinder over Co.  So we came to a halt of something shiny and walked in.  The guy that owns the place doesn’t take your name, he just remembers your face as you wait to get seated.  Luckily Tony and I are small so we took a TINY but cozy booth right away.  While we were deciding between pizza or continuing for fro-yo, locals assured us we have to eat here, it’s the best, they been going here for YEARS… so how could we say no to the eager faces looking to share their joy.

Tony and I were actually not that hungry so we decided to split a small salad and a half pounder (of pizza).  And yes that’s their version of a small side salad.

The pizza! I’m usually not a fan of Chicago Style pizza being a New Yorker and all I view it more as a pot pie with tomato sauce. However, call it what you might this was quite tasty!

Yes I look dirty and exhausted.  Walking around miles in 95 degree weather definitely throws vanity out the window.

After the pizza and frosty adult beverages I forgot all about the Fro-yo as we walked back south to North Beach where I ran the day before.

It’s so beautiful!  Chicago Peeps you’re too lucky!

We were totally in love with Chi-Town!

This picture was taken from the Navy Pier as night which aside from the city view was very uneventful.  They didn’t even have an arcade… I was really itching to play some skeeball… None the less a great day and sadly our last full day.

Exploring Chicago – Day 1 of Long Walks & Exporation

Tony and I took a 6AM flight from Logan to Midway which let us explore the most in day one without having to pay for a hotel the night before.

It was early and after checking into the hotel we started by walking down to Millennium Park… Well actually correction, I started by walking us in the wrong direction (north vs. south).It was a good mile uptown before I said to myself, hmm the lake seems to be on the wrong side!

I have to admit, seeing a real metropolis distracted me from my usual sense of direction

After doing the embarrassing tourist turnaround, we made our way to the park

They have a very cool outdoor bandshell where an orchestra was performing! Also, what makes Millennium Park even cooler was that 12 years ago it was a wasteland of parking lots and railways and now is one of the greatest urban parks out there! Per Google this is what is used to look like:

Projects like this always go beyond budget and have a ton of corruption behind them but the results are still so amazing and great for a city. Down with parking lots up with parks! Roar!

We walked past the smells of Taste of Chicago (I decided to pass on sausages and hot dogs in exchange for finer snobby dining) and made our way to Buckingham Fountains.We had lunch reservations at 1:30 and it was mind over stomach!

Also a sad but gross display, Toms are comfortable BUT nothing including Toms will be comfortable in 95 degree weather as you walk around for miles being a tourist.My feet cried for flip-flops and I’m pretty sure these shoes lost 10 months of wear from me pressing in the back.

Finally it was time to walk over toB BlackbirdB for our reservations.I was super excited after reading about it on yelp, blogs and Anthony Bourdain’s love forB Chef Paul Kahan.I’m an impressionable foodie…

I opted for a 3 course special, I think it was like $25 bucks or something.My first course was great.kombu cured fluke with spring mojo verde, spruce tips and lardo. I love cured salty fish, its the littleB Jewish gal in me. After the first course, I was excited for the main entree…

Yup.. that was it. My cat could vomit up a bigger plate of food! Give me a slice of bread with it at least.Those are small thin pieces of wood-grilled sturgeon with some kind of sour white sauce on the side.It tasted great but I was hungrier afterwards then I was before it.

Then there was the terrible service.It’s not that our waiter was rude, he was quite polite and seemed like a nice fellow, but each course took over 35 minutes to get there.  I get it that when you sit down things take a while to get started but you usually don’t have to wait 35-45 minutes between each plate.

Before the dessert came out, I was wondering if the chef drove out to the woods to pick the blueberries himself.We got there at 1:30 PM and it was 3:30PM on a Friday.The place was mostly empty so it wasn’t that they were swamped with orders.Finally after staring for 45 minutes at my mostly empty plate, this came out.No apologies, no explanations, as if I really have nothing better to do than sit and stare at an empty plate for 45 minutes.Don’t get me wrong, the blueberries with hay ice cream, smoked honey meringue, thyme were delicious, but I was starting to get a splitting hunger headache.

Tony got a burger that he claimed was tiny but it looked like a meal fit for a king compared to mine. Luckily he had some fries that I stole as my plate became empty fairly soon.

Two hours later and more hungrier than before we walked back to the hotel for a nap.

Artsy parking lots?

After nap time we went to a random sketch comedy thing I found on GoldStar comp tickets.I highly recommend if you’re bored with nothing to do and want to go out check out the comp section.

We walked around Wicker Park, a sort of Williamsburg wannabe.I loved all the shops, and restaurants and could have started a new home there and been happy.

Luckily for our second meal of dinner.It did not disappoint !Cumin, a modern Nepalese restaurant was just what we needed to regain our confidence in Chicago dining.

I went with cauliflower florets deliciously cooked in nepalese spices with tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and Tony went we a chicken curry dish and we had ourselves a happy feast!

So day 1:

– Lots of walking, Toms are bad for 95 degree weather

– Chicago is fun to explore, especially millennium park

– Don’t eat at Black Bird unless you’re not very hungry and have 2 hours to sit and stare

– If you’re in Wicker Park, check out Cumin!You must, you must! It was so good.Looking at the pictures is making me drool!

Back to Running business

As my holiday came to an end I wasted no time in getting back to (running) business.

Tuesday 10.5 miles broken up with 6 for lunch and 4.5 after my slow stretch and strength class.

Today was the same 6 during lunch that felt difficult and draining with the humidity on full blast in the gym. B I went in the late afternoon after everyone worked out so the sweat of all others was fully in the air!

I’m excited for the half marathon in Providence at the end of August and wish it was sooner as I get a little depressed without racing. B I would race Tony but he just gives me a dirty look and says no.

Since I have nothing introspective to write, I’ll entertain you with pictures of what I ate (last) Wednesday since this Wednesday its less picturesque.

Arugula, shrimp and weird coleslaw from the cafe!

My favorite “cooking” creation as of late – quinoaB . rainbow of chopped peppers, sprouted tofu with sesame oil and lots of red pepper

Mango and spinach coconut milk protein shake; try not to like it, I dare you!

And yes I have to confess, Georgetown cupcakes is as amazing as everyone says it is. I’m not a cupcake type of gal (cookies are my true love) but this pumpkin baby held my heart for the hour. B It just opened up on Newbury so feel free to check it out!

Celebrating my 2 year anniversary with Tony at Salts

July 4th is a special day… not only is it America’s birthday but it’s also Tony and my anniversary and we all know what’s more important!

This year Tony took me out to Salts, aB French influenced contemporary AmericanB restaurant. B Their own organic farm is located in Canterbury, New Hampshire and I’ve been salivating over photos of their food since I read about it a few weeks ago in a foodie mag.

We started with the highlight of the meal!

Just kidding! B While we waited for our app, the waitress brought over this soup that was a mix of roasted peppers and mushrooms! B So good. B The plate is so big and crazy though.

Next came our appetizer!

Bergamot Cured Ocean Trout that theyB splitB between two plate so Tony and I didn’t have to fork it out on who can eat faster so we could eat more.

All for the main course?

All mine! B Just kidding, this was the roasted duck for TWO… or just me on a long run day. Luckily for Tony I only ran a 3 miles that day. B It was perfect, crispy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside! B I ate the apple herb stuffing and turnips in seconds and then I progressed to the beast.

They carved the duck for us and this is what the plate looked like for each of us. B We almost cleaned it and I thought we did a great job on the duck… that is until I turned around and saw there was still more than half of it left. B We did call it quits and took it to go. B A perfect dinner for later in the weekend.

Tony is hard at work there.

We were too full for dessert but the waitress brought these over with our check and how could we say no to free cookies

Yup, I guess we weren’t as full as I thought we were.

Quality price I pay for alwaysB forgettingB my camera but I guess memories are memories even in all blurry forms.

One of my favorite dinners with my favorite guy!