Sunday, March 24, 2013

"I Don't Want You to Think I'm a Gluten"

Boston Burger Company - Boston, MA

The Green Monstuh
       Some people eat food for the nourishment, some for the energy, some because it tastes good, and some become they're in a emotionally committed relationship with it. I eat for all of the above. It's not everyday that a you get a visitor that shares the same affinity for such substance. Jake arrived on Saturday and immediately we were planning dinner. There were so many options. To celebrate his arrival, we headed over to Boston Burger Company on Boylston Street to meet up with some of his friends. There is a Boston Burger Company location right in Davis Square, but I'd never been (and now that I think about it, I don't understand why my coworkers don't go there, because this was an incredible experience). It seemed like a relatively classy-casual burger joint with a hosting staff (which isn't standard I'd say) and the beautiful aromas of freshly pressed beef patties. BEEF. It's what was for dinner.
Cajun Fries
          There reached a point after we both sat down where we both had to set the menu down and come up for air. There were so many types of burgers, all very different, and it was nearly impossible to decide. I was real tempted to try out their conch burger, but I was so scared. Maybe next time. Finally I settled on the "Green Monstah" with their homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, and "cheddah jack cheese." Woah buddy. This thing so plump and juicy and was loaded with the guac. The combo of the guac and the pico de gallo gave it this awesome southwest flavor with a little heat from the cheese. It was incredible. At first I told myself I wouldn't eat the whole thing... but I was just being dumb. The burger also came with their homemade potato chips that were also the bomb. Super simple and lightly browned, like the chips they probably throw away at most potato chip factories because they're "burnt." Well... those are my favorite... and these were my favorite.
     We made the right choice when it came to ordering only one side of fries. These fries weren't normal fries. Oh no. These were deee-lux fries. Choosing between the Greek Fries, Pizza Fries, Nacho Fries, Cajun Fries, and Buffalo Cheese Fries was no easy feat. Finally we decided on the cajun, and man oh man was it a pure stroke of genius. They weren't your standard french fries with cajun seasoning though. They were more like potato wedges sunked in this mildly spicy cajun sauce with sauteed onions and peppers. It was absolutely incredible. They were the best ones on the table.

Raising Cane's - Boston, MA

Smash Box Boss
     I know I'll probably get some lightweight hate for these couple of posts, but I don't care. Life is a celebration! And when you rage your face off at a concert, I'm sure you burn a few cals. So Jake and I stopped in at Raising Cane's after the show. He was ecstatic that there was a Boston location, and I was ecstatic that I was finally going to try it after being tortured by the Raisin Cane's smell billions of people would bring into City Sports. Raisin Cane's seems to me like a pretty standard fried chicken "fast food" joint but up a notch or two. The smash box was apparently the best. Needless to say, we smashed it. It came to the table piping hot and consisted of something like 4 or 6 chicken strips, coleslaw, fries, texas toast, 2 tubs of special sauce and a large drink. Why is it that every "special sauce" ever created is impossible to figure out? What in the world makes it so tasty? And why is it so delicious when paired with super hot fried chicken? The chicken was just the best and the breading was nice and light and not too greasy. This really hit the spot... especially for a Tuesday night. I felt like a rebel.

Jacob Wirth - Boston, MA

     The night had finally arrived. We had been waiting months, but it felt like years. After being a total moron and showing up late, Jake and I dove head first into this beast of a menu at Jacob Wirth. This restaurant is a German restaurant downtown nestled around Chinatown and the theater district.downtown. I had a groupon that was good for one appetizer, two entrées, and a dessert. As a "True Boston Classic," Jacob Wirth looks just like what I would picture a big German bar to look like, where people would be dancing in traditional German garb. The ceilings were super high and there were simple white christmas lights hung from the ceiling. It was perfect.
     After obliterating 2 baskets of cornbread, the appetizer we went with was Jake's Nibbler which included samplings of grilled knockwurst and brats, served over saurkraut, red cabbage, and german potato salad with a side of bittersweet red beer sauce. The knockwurst and brats were incredible. They were so juicy and had a distinct smoky flavor. Some people may think it's gross, but I absolutely loved the way the casing snapped when you bit into it. That's the real stuff for sure. The red beer sauce didn't have much of a beer flavor, but brought a coolness (like that of salsa) to the brat/saurkraut combo. The saurkraut was unlike any other saurkraut I've ever had. It seemed bubbly. I'm guessing the way they ferment the saurkraut made it still seem a little zing-y, or like if you made it into a drink it's be fizzy like soda. Weird description, I know. It was delicious.

     For my entrée I went with the Jaeger Schnitzel, which was two breaded fresh veal tenderloins served over mushroom and sweet pea handmade spaetzel with a Jagermeister sauce. I might as well stop with my description here because I have no idea how to explain how amazing this was. I don't eat veal often, but I wanted to try it again. The tenderloin seemed so delicate and was perfectly fried to a crisp only on the outside. Inside the meat was juicy and so tender. The spaetzel (tiny German dumplings) it was served over was all savory flavors with the mushrooms and peas in addition to the sauce it was resting in. I was a little nervous about the Jagermeister sauce tasting a lot like Jager, but I truthfully couldn't find the Jager flavor at all (I really wasn't that upset because whatever they did to give it flavor was spot on). Filing a fork with a piece of the veal, a mushroom, the spaetzel and a little sauce was as if you had personally aligned all of the planets. All was right in the world.
     There's no way we could've decided on one dessert... so we naturally got two. The first one was a German Chocolate Whoopie pie with a pecan coconut icing in between the two cakes. Unbelievable. The cakes were slightly warm and light, and the pecan coconut icing was so sweet but was hands down the best frosting I've ever had with a German chocolate cake. The second dessert were these two warm apple pastries served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They were like mini apple pies in a light crisp pastry dough.  On top of the pastries and the ice cream these drizzled this delicious dark cherry sauce. It brought a totally different flavor to each bite when you'd get a little of the sauce. It was like adding peppermint to a chocolate shake. Completely different.

Carrot Cake Granola - My Kitchen, Cambridge, MA

     When you know you probably shouldn't actually be eating real carrot cake, you have to make some sacrifices and make incredibly delicious carrot cake granola instead. I was on the hunt for granola recipes without oils or added sugar and found this one, which ended up being only about 75 cals per 1/4 cup. That's pretty good for granola. I was extremely impressed. It really does taste like carrot cake and is super easy. I found this recipe on a blog called iheartwellness and modified the nuts and fruits quantities to make it better (I think). However, I do think that this granola is deceptive. It doesn't seem crunchy at all when you pull it out of the oven, but it'll harden up if you let it cool out in the open air. However, if you put it in a sealed jar, I think the moisture of the banana softens it up a little bit. If I was looking for the crunchy granola in yogurt idea, I'd just pop it in the toaster for a minute or two to toast it up and let it cool again before using it. Either way, it's delicious crunchy or not.

Carrot Cake Granola

2 cups oats
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs shredded coconut
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 raw walnuts, chopped
1/4 raw almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 banana mashed
2 tbs honey
1 tbs agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 

2) Mix together the dry ingredients (except the raisins) in a large mixing bowl along with the shredded carrot. 

3) In a separate mixing bowl, mash the banana and stir in the remaining liquid. Add the dry incredients.

4) On a parchment lined cookie sheet spread the mixture out evenly and bake for 30 minutes or so. Rotate and stir every 10 minutes or so. 

5) Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Add the raisins. 

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