Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HOCR Bender

John Harvard's - Cambridge, MA

     The Ringhams really are great people. After Dave and I raced in the Head of the Charles on Saturday (which was awesome btw), his parents took us plus Karl and Gelinas out for foods in Harvard Square. We went to a bar/restaurant called John Harvard's. Established circa 1638, this place is know for it's "Honest food, real beer." Supposedly it's rather well known, because it was practically in a basement but was crowded. The lighting was really dim, the music was at a respectable level, the MSU game was on and I wanted cheese sticks. I ordered this beautiful platter that had fried ravioli, mozzarella sticks, and fried zucchini. It was exactly what I wanted but couldn't get myself to put in my body before HOCR. The mozzarella sticks were absolutely perfectly fried. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, but not so hot that the melted cheese burns your face off when you bite into it. The ravioli was delicious too. The cheese inside was the perfect temperature too. It was basically just like normal ravioli but with a little crispness on the outside. Muah!
    For dinner I got a half pound smokehouse burger and big fat steak fries. Let me just say, I think this was the first time I think a restaurant has ever cooked the burger like I ask. I like it a little pink, but most places seem to think that still means well done. Regardless, this burger was amazing! Everything on it seemed to have a smoked flavor without being overwhelming. Adorning the precious burger was a little smoked gouda, chipotle mayo, and beer braised carmelized onions  I really liked the way the slight heat of the mayo complimented the whole ensemble. It all worked so well together. On numerous occasions, I found myself just starting into the deep abyss of the burger in awe of it's deliciousness.

Jim's Deli - Brighton, MA

     I've been wanting to go to Jim's Deli since we moved into our new apartment in Brighton. I bike by it everyday and it just seems like one of those amazing family owned places that has a bunch of loyal customers. I had also been wanted a big fat sub with tons of meat and melted cheese. I called before I left and Jim assured me they could toast the sub and melt the cheese. It was not an issue I was taking lightly. Upon entering the little deli, I was surprised at how it was laid out. It kind of seemed like a high school cafeteria with trays and baskets of silverware. You line up along the counter, tell the man what you want, they dish it out and you proceed down the counter to the drinks, cookies, and register. However, the food here was nothing like the kind from your typical cafeteria. I ordered a sub with corned beef and pastrami and had them toast the bun, grill the thick sliced deli meats, and melt the cheese on top. While it was all cooking, I couldn't help but eye the huge bbq briskets (cooked for 5 hours in the oven, Jim said), the roasted chickens, and the italian sausages nestled in a bed of cabbage, onions, and peppers. I wanted it all, but knew I'd spend $30 here if I didn't restrain myself. I did let them convince me to get the homemade mac and cheese though. It was delicious. Really creamy with those spiral noodles and browned cheese on top. MMM! The beautiful man at the register also convinced me to get a huge blueberry muffin, which Jim cut in half, buttered, and stuck on the grill for me. The edges crisped up so nicely and gave a little burnt butter taste. It was fabulous. Finally my sub came out and I took all my food to the sunlit booth by the window. The sub literally only had meat, cheese and spicy mustard. At first I contemplated taking it back up and asking for some lettuce and tomato, but there was just so much flavor packed in the meat, cheese and mustard sitting in between the toasted bun, that I decided I wanted nothing else to distract me from it's flavor. It was exactly what I had wanted. The atmosphere was homey, so I just sat there for a while basking in the sunlight and the glory of being full for once. Definitely going back.

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