Sunday, June 17, 2012


Flour - Cambridge, MA
        I look forward to trips out of the office quite a bit. I especially did this day because I was meeting my boss at  a bakery called Flour. Their slogan is:

 "Make life sweeter. Eat dessert first."

    I love it. And it just so happens to be the same place that I had my initial interview with Bluetrain Mobile. Naturally, I wanted to do some research on the place before I went because this time I wanted to get a tasty treat. Flour was started by an Asian woman name Joanne. Growing up, she was never exposed to sweets. Once she finally saw the light, she was hooked and has since established three Flour locations throughout Boston. The woman is a master of her craft. I also found at the Bobby Flay came and did one of his throwdowns against her sticky bun. If you don't know, how the throwdown works is that world famous chef Bobby Flay will go to restaurants and challenge chefs with their signature dish. Then three judges will test which dish they like better without knowing whose is whose.
        Either way, Joanne's sticky bun beat Bobby Flay's. So... I of course had to try it. Oh... man. At first I was surprised because I was kind of expecting a cinnamon roll type bun, but it wasn't rolled up. The dough seemed slightly dry to me, I think it might supposed to be like that becuase the pecan caramel topping more than made up for it. The  syrup she created and poured over top was sweet, rich, and nutty. The pecans were toasted just perfectly and completely covered the top of the bun. It absolutely hit the spot. Now I just have to go back because there are so many other things left to try. I found a video of Joanne making her sticky bun. She is seriously a dessert goddess.

Peruvian Place - Brockton, MA

     My boss and I headed out to Avon to sell some furniture. As I had been hoping, the client, my boss and I all ventured out to grab some lunch midday. I was excited because I know my boss is a fan of trying new things, and I was sure we weren't going to end up at a Pizza Hut or something. We headed into downtown Brockton and found a restaurant called Peruvain Place. It was a tiny little hidden gem next to city hall that only had 3 other customers the entire time we were there. I noticed some similarities in the menu to those that I had seen while in Ecuador, but I still wanted to try something new and crazy.
     As an appetizer we got Yuca Fritas (fried yucca). The edible part of a yucca plant is its root. It's like a potato but a little different. To me, yucca roots look like dried up shrively dead slugs... but taste much better, I assume. Our fried yucca came in the shape of large steak fries. The root is a little more fibrous than a potato, so each fry was a slightly odd shape. They came piping hot and salted and were just amazing. I hadn't had fried food like this in a while. They were also served with a sour cream/herby (maybe dill) dipping sauce. It was unique and refreshing. I liked it.
     For my meal, I ordered a traditional Peruvian dish called Tiradito de Pescado. I'm not going to lie. The dish that arrived on the table was much different than the picture in the menu, but I was up for the experience. This dish consisted of a bunch of strips of partially cooked Tilapia. Yes.... partially cooked. It was white on the outside, but pinkish on the inside. The strips of fish were cold and swimming in deep pool of a thin lemony liquid sprinkled with herbs. The first bite took me by surprise because A) it was cold (and that was weird) and B) it  felt like I got hit in the face with 10,000 lemons. Each strip of fish was soaked in this lemony flavor, which was actually a bit too lemony for me. It still tasted good, but I couldn't finish all the fish because my mouth literally started to hurt. On one side of the plate was a slice of a carrot 3 inches in diameter and an inch thick (that's got to be one huge whole carrot).  On the other side of the place was a pile of true South American corn. If you've ever been to South America, you know what I'm talking about. Each kernel of corn is three times the size of a normal genetically modified kernel, and each one has a unique shape. It's awesome. And this corn was so much more delicious than normal corn. It wasn't necessarily sweeter... it was just ... better and more fresh. Overall, interesting experience. I'd definitely try Peruvian again but just maybe steer away from anything with lemon.

Rosie's Bakery - Cambridge, MA

     Big oops. It was Tim's birthday and I remembered he said a while ago that carrot cake was his favorite. So I ordered him a big carrot cake from Rosie's Bakery in Cambridge. I was pumped because it was my favorite cake too. And then... the night before I was going to pick it up, I found out he is on the Atkin's diet. That means no carbs or sugar. Big fail. I had already paid for it anyway, so I had to pick it up. Plus, I wanted to eat it. So in order to do something fun for him for his birthday, I got a tub of spreadable cheese, formed it into a mound on a plate, covered it in baby carrots, surrounded it in a ring of sliced pepperoni and stuck candles in the top. Boom. Carrot cake mastered. Everyone thought it was hilarious.
     Anyway, the carrot cake from Rosie's was absolutely perfect. The best way I can describe it was that it was homemade and you could tell. The shreds of carrot were huge, the walnuts were also huge and were spread throughout the cake as well as on top. The cake part was not very dense and airy. It broke apart easily and not in a bad way. The cream cheese was also phenomenal. It was light in that I didn't feel like I was consuming a whole block of cream cheese in every bite and it wasn't overly sweet. I had to have eaten 4 pieces that day, and proceeded to eat 3 or 4 more in the next two days. It was great. Let's just say I'll be getting cakes from Rosie again.

Otto - Cambridge, MA

     I was in Harvard Square, and it was dinner time. Otto is always packed with people and they sold pizza by the slice. This was good. This was portion control for me. As I biked past Otto I contemplated my dinner plans and the looming race weigh-in in less than 2 weeks. After much deliberation, I entered Otto anyway and was overwhelmed with their options. I had narrowed it down to "white bean, sausage, herb and red pepper flake" and "butternut squash, ricotta and cranberry." What genius comes up with these? Seriously.
     I went with the butternut squash, ricotta and cranberry. The slice was huge, the crust was thin on the bottom and bubbly towards the outer edge. The bottom was covered in a dusting of cornmeal, just the way any quality slice should be. First bite blew me away. I guess I wasn't ready for the sweetness of the pizza. It. Was. Fabulous. The ricotta cheese gave this whole idea of pizza a more succulent feel. The cranberries were just bursts of flavor with a hint of bitterness. Combined with the small mounds of sweet butternut squash, the whole thing was a masterpiece. Simply a work of art. Have you ever been inspired by pizza? Try Otto. You will be.

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