Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cachaca Camaraderie

Deep Ellum - Allston, MA 

     After the 2x(5x5min) erg workout plus standard 4 mile run and weights, I was feeling pretty pooped. But, chicken tenders had been appearing in my life throughout the week. The smell of them, the thought of them... everything. I needed them. I wish I was exaggerating when I say I spent and hour and a half researching restaurants online. I was debating between three and wasn't really sold on either of them. Then the smoke cleared and I remembered Deep Ellum. Supposedly it was good. The moment I set eyes on the menu, I knew I had hit the jackpot.
     The place was skinny and dark. It was modern, yet gave off a rustic and authentic vibe. But this wasn't your typical bar and didn't have the typical bar menu. Every item on the menu was unique. The pairings of flavors sparked my interest. I figured I'd take a look at their drink menu just for kicks. I knew I had to get it as soon as I saw it. The Sao Paulo was Germana aged cachaca (a sugar cane rum), honey ginger syrup, mint and lime. It was a rarity to see cachaca in anything in the states, as far as I've seen. I first experience cachaca in all its glory in a drink called a caipirinha. I first had this drink in Ecuador but it is Brazil's national cocktail. It's made with cachaca, sugar and lime. It was the very first drink I ever learned to make and the second one I had ever tried. I was super excited to finally try something else with cachaca in it, especially in the states. The drink... was amazing. It was sweet but sour because of the lime and the muddled mint was a great addition. I can't say I tasted the ginger honey, but the whole thing was a palatte pleaser. Very happy with my choice.
     As I had planned I ordered the chicken tenders. They were perfect and exactly what I wanted. I wanted huge chunks of meat that didn't make me feel like crap after I ate them. The batter was light and not greasy in the least. The chicken was clean. You know what I mean by clean? I just mean that it wasn't fatty or oily but it was juicy and just... clean. It came with two really unique sauces. One was their own homemade buffalo sauce that was thinner than any buffalo sauce I've had before. I wasn't a huge fan, BUT I was a huge fan of their Maple Hapanero BBQ. It was phenomenal. You could taste both the maple flavor but also the unique spice of the habanero. I'd like to say I could drink it... but that would be weird.
     Karl and I also decided to get their soft pretzel with beer cheese. Have you ever had beer cheese? Me neither, and I can't believe I've gone so long without it. Our 2 pretzels arrived warm with a little salt and nice sized bowl of this cheese. It was a little more thin than your standard fake nacho cheese and a million times more delicious. Initially you got a hit of the beer and a really sharp bite. As the temperature of the cheese dropped, you could feel a mildly gritty texture and it began to thicken. Small chunks began to form at the bottom. I think it got even more delicious the thicker it got. Ultimate pairing with the salt pretzels.
    Karl got their Best Wurst appetizer with one house-made sausage, whole grain mustard and "seasonal pickles." However, I think they were pickled vegetables. The sausage was fabulous! Definitely homemade. It didn't hold together as well as most sausages that were stuffed with fillers. Once you cut this one up, it had a tendency to break apart. Maybe you could call it dry, but it didn't taste dry. Dry makes it sound unappetizing but it was anything but that. So much flavor and again, perfectly paired with the mustard. I was SO HAPPY with my choice. It was perfect in every way. Drink, food, atmosphere, price. A return visit is definitely in order.

Abbott's Custard - Brighton, MA 

     The perfect meal must be topped off with something sweet. It was time to finally use my $1.00 off a single scoop coupon for Abbott's. I have passed by it multiple times a day for the last 7 months and have yet to go. We caught them at the door just as they went to lock up. Almost perfect timing. They let us in anyway. I wanted the chocolate almond custard, but she "already cleaned the scooper for that one" so I just got plain chocolate. Bummed, but I couldn't complain. So sweet and smooth. Perfect ending.

Sunset Cantina - Boston, MA 

     Post City Sports, Kelly, Patrick and I are famished. We were feeling Mexico. This experience was familiar. Another 3000 page menu. Cheesecake Factory? You got it. I thought about being healthy and I had eaten tacos twice that week. So, I went with their South of the Border Fiesta Nachos. A half order, because I was "watching my weight." Boy was it a fiesta. Thank the lord I went with the half order. It was massive. But boy oh boy did they do it right. There wasn't any of that dump one load of cheese on a huge heap of chips business. They knew how to layer at Sunset. I went with the cajun chicken. Great choice. Chips, chicken, cheese, scallions, jalapenos, black olives, lettuce, salsa, guacamole (AMAZING GUAC) and sour cream and repeat. Over and over. But really, the guacamole was some of the best I've ever had. Not sure how they do it. It was just smooth with a little lime-y bite. Very simple. I feel like there were beans in my nachos too. Maybe some chili was included. Such a great combo. I'd have to say... if any nachos have even come close in deliciousness to those my dad and I used to make at home, it was these. Still not just as good but they were amazing. Again, I don't know why I try to fool myself, but I thought, I won't eat this whole thing. Lies. All lies. I demolished it. And attacked half of Kelly's taco salad bowl. Big cow. Moooo so good. So delicious for a late Sunday night. I rarely have anything negative to say about restaurants do I? Hmm.

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