June 23, 2015

Boston Road Trip Part III

See Boston Road Trip Part I and Part II!

We made our way out to the much recommended Quincy Market. With a huge open cobblestone outdoor area surrounded by small and large shops, restaurants, and an expansive food court, I could see how this was not only a tourist attraction but a great place to relax on the weekends for locals.
This building was filled with countless eateries with buttery lobster rolls, creamy clam chowder, pizza, and desserts!
Of course I got pizza again... no surprise there :P I got the Margherita pizza from Regina Pizzeria, with a toasty crust and generous helping of cherry tomatoes. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so we sat outside to enjoy the light breeze. After a light meal we went to check out the shops!
I got a few basic pieces from Uniqlo, and then we stopped into Newbury Comics for a little fun. Look at these awesome bear mitts!  
There was a great little coffee shop across the street called Flat Black Coffee where we stopped for some caffeine. We ordered a delicious flat white, modeled by my handsome boyfriend... :)

Although we had a huge list of recommended places to eat at in Boston, we relied on Yelp a good amount for quick bites. It seems like Bostonians take their food seriously, there were hundreds (and thousands) of reviews for many restaurants on Yelp! Many seafood/Italian restaurants were booked into the evening or didn't take reservations, so we passed on our search. We ended up on Harvard's campus with ice cream in hand :)
After a nice day of sight seeing and eating, we met up with a good friend of mine (friends since middle school) for some drinks. I left the big camera at home to enjoy some quality time, and ended up at Corner Tavern and Yard House. Yard House had an extensive selection of beers, perfect for Bao and our friends. [Side note: just looked up Yard House and realized it's a chain, definitely will be checking this place out near home!]

Catching up was one of the best parts of the trip :) We headed home for another restful night since we'd be heading back home in the morning. It was great not to be woken up by an alarm again, then packed up the car to grab a quick breakfast before our drive. 
The view from our parking garage - so beautiful.
. . .

Recommended by a wonderfully talented coworker of mine, we headed towards Flour Bakery. Although we didn't get a chance to try some other restaurants per her recommendation, we were definitely not disappointed with Flour. Be sure to check out her food blog Honeycomb, but I must warn you her amazing recipes, writing prose and photos will leave your super hungry!

Flour Bakery + Cafe
1595 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to try this place. I'm the type that looks up every restaurant before I go and chooses my dish hours before I get there. I'm fairly indecisive (and incredibly excited about food) so choosing my dish early is my practical work-around! Too bad all the choices had me second-guessing... 
The cafe was bustling with people assembling perfect confections and sandwiches on the Tuesday morning. Neatly written on chalkboards were tons of sandwiches that ALL sounded amazing. I started off wanting the lamb sandwich, then roasted chicken, then portabello, on and on. Every time I read the next item on the menu, I changed my mind.
Desserts galore were displayed behind glass all across the counter, from "Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie" to chocolate drizzled cheesecakes. It looked like the bakery's motto, "Make life sweeter... eat dessert first!" inspired Bao, because he ordered a Boston cream pie before we ordered our sandwiches! Perfectly proportioned cake and cream was drizzled in a decadent chocolate ganache - this. was. incredible. 
Our food came out shortly afterwards, and even these savory sandwiches were SO. GOOD. Bao got a breakfast egg sandwich (bacon, cheddar, arugula, tomato and dijonaise), and I got the roasted lamb (with tomato chutney and goat cheese).
Upon first bite, I was absolutely in love. I normally love lamb dishes, but I've never come across lamb that wasn't greasy and heavy. This sandwich had the PERFECT balance of lamb, slightly chilled and perfectly tender, a bed of mixed greens, an herb goat cheese spread, and tomato chutney. The berries in the chutney added a sweet bite, balanced by the lamb and goat cheese. All of these amazing ingredients were nestled between the softest slices of homemade bread. Even the bottom of the dough had the slightest sweetness - I was floored. 
I can't rave enough about this sandwich and I'm still dreaming about it now. I'm so glad my coworker told me about Flour, now I'm just sad I can't enjoy it at home :(

Our final stop before leaving Boston was a cafe we found online, apparently featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Although the sandwiches looked appealing, I was there for one thing - their chocolate chip cookies. 

59 E Springfield St
Boston, MA 02118
It was a quick stop to pick up this sweet treat for the road, and the small interior was busy busy busy. Although we only picked up cookies, the owner was friendly and it looked like the staff was putting together some delicious looking sandwiches. Must try next time I'm in town :)

The cookies were a nice chocolatey treat on the road, and we made it back home by evening. I couldn't have asked for a more fulfilling vacation and first road trip together, I can't wait to do it again.

Until Next time!

Stay Hungry,

June 15, 2015

Boston Road Trip Part II

After a well rested night - without setting an alarm - we got up to continue exploring beautiful Boston. First thing on the agenda, breakfast of course!

327 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115
We arrived at a small little cafe with the entire facing wall opened up towards the street. With small marble white tables and woven chairs, we were greeted by a friendly waiter that told us to choose our seats. 
The tables were very small, only for one or two people at a time, but I loved how intimate it was. A small taupe menu was on each table displaying a short breakfast menu of pastries, coffee and a few dishes. Bao opted for the the "Coconut pineapple french toast with caramel sauce" for $14, while I chose the "Any style eggs, toast, home fries and bacon", for $12.
Bao and I were fully expecting standard breakfast dishes that we typically see in most restaurants, but were so pleasantly surprised when our dishes came out. Even the black coffee (co-op produced Indonesia, read more about a Wall Street Journal article here!) was smooth, bold and delicious!
The coconut and caramel drizzle on Bao's french toast was such a nice twist to a classic syrup, and my thinly sliced, perfectly cooked bacon were just a few details that made our dishes so amazing. My eggs were cooked perfectly, and the bacon was truly unique in that it wasn't heavily salted or greasy like I'm used to.

After a great meal, we made our way down Newbury again to stop by a store I was SO excited to see while parking the night before. As a long-time Johnny Cupcakes fan, I was literally giddy when I saw the storefront, so although we had to wait a bit for the doors to open we sat on a small brick bench until 11am. 

Johnny Cupcakes
279 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116
After getting so excited to see the storefront, I'm disappointed to say the customer service was one of the worst I'd ever experienced, and I left empty handed. The cashier saw Bao and I walking towards the door upon the store's opening, yet ignored us and crouched over the front counter - eyes glued to phone. The one time he spoke a word to us was a curt "No." when we asked for an available size in a hoodie. I still believe in the company's business model and respect the creator's work ethic, but what a let down! 

Regardless of the odd treatment at the store, we moved along and had fun for the rest of the day. It's hard to let anything get you down when you're in such a beautiful city :)
Next up was something we both looked forward to most for our trip - Samuel Adam's brewery tour!

Samuel Adam's Brewery
30 Germania St
Boston, MA 02130
After receiving our free (yes, free!) tickets, we had about a half hour wait for the tour to begin so we looked around the lobby. We felt like we were going to Wonka's chocolate factory with these golden tickets, haha! Although the tickets are free with any valid ID, it's great that Sam Adams encourages a $2 donation per person for local charities. Sounds like a good deal to me :)
We looked around the front lobby area where there was a small display of different beers and historical awards/articles.
A few minutes later, our enthusiastic tour guide Mike emerged from a large tunnel leading us to the tour. Mike was so informative, we learned so much about how brews are made and the subtle to stark contrasts of ingredients!
We got to try some grains that are used in Sam Adams beers, including the dark coffee-like grain in pictured in the back that creates dark stouts. 
Soon after a short walking tour of the machines and barrel room, we arrived at the tasting room. Here we learned how to assess the beer with different tasting methods, such as recognizing color and other complexities we normally don't think about.
We were handed these small tasting glasses to try our beers and take home as a little souvenir. We left with a growler for Bao and a smaller specialty brew for me in the gift shop (they have to make money somehow, right? haha).

We had such a wonderful experience at this brewery, hoping to visit more in the near future! I definitely recommend everyone stop by Sam Adams if they get a chance, you leave appreciating the process and very much the beer itself!

Part III coming up next, Quincy Market and other delicious eatings :)

Stay Hungry,

June 12, 2015

Boston Road Trip Part I

A few months ago, Bao and I talked about taking a trip up to Connecticut for the biggest Suburu event on the east coast - Wicked Big Meet. He bought group tickets back in February and decided to make the drive a road trip, our first one together!

The plan was to get up bright and early Saturday morning, drive up to New York to see a dear friend, Connecticut for the meet, then spend two days in Boston. Unfortunately, I switched up the dates for New York (silly mistake, sigh) and ended up taking our drive up to Philly instead. Even though I was bummed to miss a fun day with our friends, we decided to make the most of the change of plans.
There was a large outdoor art installation, Future Sensations, located at Eakins Oval. This exhibit was only being shown in Shanghai, Sao Paulo and Paris, so it was a great treat to be able to see it so close to home. We walked around most of the exhibits but didn't care to wait in the endless lines. The one exhibit with colorful glass panels to mimic a kaleidoscope, was a slow moving carousel that was fun to walk through. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the installations light up in the evening, but I'm sure everything looked spectacular :)
After cooling off at the small bier garten along the exhibits with some friends, we had a business call to take care of and started to head back to the car. Suddenly, a slow drizzle of rain turned into a heavy downpour (completely soaked in minutes), and we were so drenched we started to laugh at our unfortunate predicament. Luckily we had enough towels to keep us semi-dry while we drove to Bao's parents house. 

After a fun night hugging (or wrestling, same thing) with Rocky, we made our way to Connecticut. The event started at 10am, but we decided to take our time in the morning to arrive by noon. 
. . .

I think Bao and I share the same enthusiasm (even though I'm hardly as much a car fan as he is) whenever we drive up to these events because there's a huge dirt/gravel lot filled with beautiful cars. We walked up to the metal gates to pick up our goodie bags, then walked around to scope out the cars on display and the tents with Bao's favorite companies.
Similar to boxerfest, there's a huge raffle towards the end of the event with ridiculous prizes - $500 gift cards, costly parts, etc. - that everyone gathers around for. Although we didn't win anything, we both got pretty sun burnt haha!
I took far too many photos, here are a few of my favorites :) 

The event came to a close and we slowly made our way up to Boston for the final leg of our trip. At a leisurely 1.5 hour drive, we arrived at our room in Back Bay. Bao found the room through airbnb, and the location was absolutely perfect. Literally nestled between Pour House bar and Whiskey's, we were steps away from Newbury Street. 
The room was clean, and the host was so friendly, I'd recommend her + her place to anyone! After hours of standing out in the sun, we decided against sleeping right away to get outside and explore. Knowing how much I love pizza, we arrived at our first destination.

Dirty Water Dough Co.
222 Newbury St,
Boston, MA 02116
As we walked along the sidewalks, Bao took note of something I wasn't even aware of until he pointed it out - Boston sidewalks are wide, and the shops staggering from underground to ground level saved so much retail space while adding curb appeal. Boston's architecture is so beautiful.
We ordered a half and half of Abe Froman (shredded moz, romano cheese, sweet italian sausage, crumbled gorgonzola, broccoli rabe on garlic oil base) and Mediterranean (house blend moz, romano cheese, baby spinach, tomato, kalamata olives, feta on garlic oil base), along with a glass of Upper Cut Sauvignon and Dirty Dough's very own IPA! I was impressed with their signature own brew, and Bao said he thoroughly enjoyed it. 
The first bite scalded the top of my mouth (what sensible person patiently waits to dive into a delicious pie?) but it was well worth it. The Mediterranean was most definitely my favorite, since I love a light tomato base. The Froman was made with a pesto base instead with a hint of wasabi/horseradish that was unique.
After a delicious meal, we walked back for some well needed rest. 
More of our Boston adventure to be continued in the next post!

Stay Hungry,

Back to Top