Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alive and Kicking - Lobster Sandwiches

For New Englanders, lobster rolls are serious business. Boston has a few restaurants known for their lobster rolls - like the ones at Neptune Oyster - but those can get pricey and require some waiting time. When friends (from Chicago, no less) recommended Alive and Kicking as some of the best they have ever had, Nick and I knew we had to get over there.

Alive and Kicking is located in Cambridgeport, about a 10 minute walk from Central Square. On one of the first lovely, warm spring days, Nick and I walked over to a seemingly residential area where the fish market/restaurant is tucked away. Outside there are plenty of picnic tables, both out in the sunshine and covered in case of rain or cold weather.

I knew we were going to be ordering the lobster sandwiches, but when I saw the steamers on the menu I knew we'd be getting an order. Thank goodness we did because these were outstanding, and the bowl (for only about $7) was an amazing deal.

The biggest difference that sets Alive and Kicking apart from the competition: rather than serving their lobster in a roll, you actually get it sandwich style.

Lobster Sandwich!
Inside the Lobster Sandwich
I was a bit skeptical, but a lobster sandwich is a great idea! This version is packed full of delicious lobster chunks - definitely no scrimping on the lobster meat here. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the toasted Italian bread rather than the roll, but it provided a great, unique flavor. While made with mayo, there is only a touch of it to keep the lobster together, so it wasn't overwhelming. Otherwise, there is no other "filler" - only lobster, the way I like it! Served with a bag of Cape Cod potato chips, it was the perfect summery lunch. At $16 this isn't the cheapest sandwich but certainly not as pricey as some of the other options in town - a pretty good deal for the amount of food you get.

I almost don't want to tell anyone about this place - I want it all for myself! If you're craving a traditional summer staple but maybe want to try a little twist, though, check out Alive and Kicking.

Alive and Kicking Lobsters on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wonderful Wine at Truett Hurst

We're taking things back to Healdsburg today! Friends of ours were just in Northern California, and their pictures reminded me of just how outstanding that area is. Knowing that we were going to spend a day in Healdsburg on our most recent trip out there, Nick and I both asked friends familiar with the area for recommendations. When we were each separately told to go to Truett Hurst, we immediately added it to our itinerary. Meghan's recommendation and her great blog post on the winery convinced me that I needed to spend some quality time on the red adirondack chairs by the stream.

Tasting Room and Surrounding Gardens

Thursday, June 19, 2014

La Brasa

Its amazing to me how much Boston and the surrounding areas are changing. When I first moved into Beacon Hill in 2006 and didn't know much about food I stuck mainly to my neighborhood, Back Bay, and the North End when craving some delicious Italian. Slowly, the food scene started to change, first with the South End and then more so in Cambridge. In the last couple of years, though, there has been an explosion in and around Boston, and chefs are scoping out newer neighborhoods to make a name for themselves. Almost every nook and cranny of the Boston area has great dining options.

La Paloma and the Eight Line Poem - tequila and mezcal based drinks, respectively

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homemade Scallion Pancakes

I'm not sure when it happened, but we recently became obsessed with scallion pancakes. What's not to like about crispy, flaky fried dough, mild onion flavor, and a savory dipping sauce? Every time we see them on a menu, whether served traditionally or in sandwich form, we have to order them. Nick and I finally decided to research how to make them at home, and one of Boston's favorites, Joanne Chang, has a recipe online that is not too difficult to follow - perfect!

Scallion Pancakes

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Row 34

When word got out that the folks behind Island Creek Oyster Bar were opening a new restaurant in the Fort Point area, we definitely paid attention. Upon opening, Row 34 was consistently packed, and getting reservations were a bit difficult to come by. So, on a random Tuesday night, Nick and I went over for an early dinner.

The space is nice and open, with lofted ceilings and an industrial mix of wood and metal. I decided to start the evening with a glass of bubbly - it turns out that the wine buyer is big into sparkling wines, so Row 34 has a great collection with plenty of options by the glass and bottle. Nick went with one of the draft brews from the extensive beer list.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

State Park - A Total Throwback

It's no secret that Kendall Square has become a major food destination in the last couple of years. With all the fantastic new restaurants over there, I find myself drawn to it more and more. Most recently, Nick and I decided to have a classic date night - dinner and a movie, but in reverse order. After enjoying a film at the Kendall Square Cinema, we wandered over to State Park, the new restaurant from the group behind one of my favorites, Hungry Mother. Where Hungry Mother is classic Southern Food in a refined atmosphere, State Park is like walking into your best friend's basement in 1984, complete with the pine paneled walls and decor pulled directly from your childhood - it's a total throwback!


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