Sunday, July 7, 2013

Froyo. I Need It Three Times A Week To Heal My Broken Bones.

Yogurt Land - Cambridge, MA
There is yogurt down in there somewhere.

     Well, you-know-what pretty much hit the fan. Some external force was telling me not to go to camp. My body was freaking out, making me immobile and unable to breathe. Joanie was nice enough to take to the ER on Friday night, and afterward, we treated ourselves to some AWESOME froyo at Yogurt Land in Harvard Square. This place is definitely in my top 3 favorite froyo places here in Boston, up there with Zinga and Mixx. Self serve is totally the way to go. I really liked their flavor options here because they had a good mix of refreshing fruity ones, standard ones, and unique ones like bananas foster, pecan pralines or new york cheesecake. I made sure to try most of the ones I knew I wouldn't get. I know this is kind of the opposite of what most people do, but I don't care. I wanted to sample the red velvet cake, pecan pralines and New York cheesecake because deep down, I knew I'd want the dutch chocolate, a fruity one (that was bound to be good anyway) and a unique one. I ended up going with the chocolate, passionfruit guava, bananas foster and double cookies and cream. Topped that sucker with some brownie pieces, cookie dough (which was absolutely perfect), resses peanut butter cups, reeses pieces, malt balls and a frosted cookie. Their topping selections though were phenomenal. Tons of kinds of fruits, chocolates, gummies, syrups, cookies, etc. It was overwhelming. I've been 4 times now. It's becoming a problem. I wonder if they'd let you just buy a bowl of toppings?

Not Your Average Joe's - Watertown, MA

Pulled Pork Pretzel Bites
   Being practically bed ridden is not fun. I had to get out of the house on day two of my muscle flair-up.
Jimmy picked me up and we headed to meet Dave, Karl and Mr. and Mrs. Harshe at Not Your Average Joe's in Watertown. The place had a really neat modern vibe full of bold colors and simple wall decorations.
You would definitely describe it as classy casual. I wasn't super hungry but they offered the most amazing bread dip to go with their onion bread. The dip was basicaly mashed up garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil with red pepper flakes. It made it a little bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Just garlicy and cheesy with a touch of heat.
     Instead of getting a meal, I ordered two appetizers. The one I split with Jimmy were these Pulled Pork Pretzel bites. Oh my gosh. They must've taken a big slice of a pretzel stick, topped it with this delicious bbq pulled pork, added some coleslaw on top, and covered them with thin crispy onion rings and sprouts. Shoot... the different kinds of flavors and textures in these babies were out of control. The warm pulled pork had a lightly sweet bbq flavor that was balanced with the light, cool and refreshing coleslaw, and the onion rings gave it and awesome crispness. So many flavors and textures in each bite.
Buffalo Caribbean Chicken Tenders
     For my second appetizer I got the Buffalo Carribean Chicken tenders. Oh man... they were incredible. Each tender was tossed in a buffalo mango barbeque sauce. They were a tad sweet but spicy, and you could really taste the mango flavor in the sauce. Another bonus was that the breading underneath the sauce was still a tad bit crunchy, as in, it hadn't softened up and gotten soggy when they covered it in the sauce. The whole dish was served with a little bit of pineapple jalapeno salsa and blue cheese. The salsa was nice to finish with because it was light and refreshing. Both of those dishes had such unique flavor combinations that I wasn't really expecting from a classy casual American cuisine restaurant.

UpStairs on the Square - Cambridge, MA

     Well, this place was ... interesting. If something wasn't pink, it was purple. If it wasn't purple, it was a
Mexican Street corn... and Meldrim
zebra. The decor in UpStairs on the Square was definitely unique and out there. Oddly shaped tables and zebras all over the walls. Aside from horrendous service, it felt like a treat to be in such a strange place. Meagan's grandparents took us out to dinner there the evening she moved in. The menu was pretty small, and most dishes were complex. Complex in that I had no idea what they meant. Jimmy and I decided to do the whole splitsies thing.... again. It was some special grill night, so he got 1/2 a grilled lobster and an ear of Mexican street corn. The lobster was pretty decent, but nothing extraordinary. I thought maybe grilling it might give it some awesomely different flavor, but it really didn't. It was still delicious obviously... because it's lobster... and because they filled half the shell with butter. I had a bite of his corn and that was incredible. It had some sort of chipotle mayo, some kind of cheese and a bunch of spices on it.
Pizza d'oro
I ordered the Pizza d'oro, which was this crazy pizza with a "type of bacon" (which I swear I never tasted or could find), hedgehog mushrooms (which were marinated in something), and a "pullet egg," which is basically an egg cracked on top and lightly cooked. I thought the pizza was fantastic. I absolutely loved the fluffy crust and the mushrooms, and dipping the slices of pizza in the cracked egg was just incredible. I also tried a piece of Todd's White Pizza, which was duck fat potatoes (oh ... I know), caramelized onions and wine grapes. I can't say I tasted the wine grapes or was really even looking for them because the duck fat potatoes stole my attention. I still want to go back for that Rhubarb Brown Butter Tart.

Cambridge Brewing Company - Cambridge, MA

Famous CBC nachos
     Dinner #2 with Babcia and Poppy. They wanted a diner... so I took them to Cambridge Brewing Company. That is not a diner. I knew that. I also knew before I got there that I had to get the CBC nachos. If you recall, Cambridge Brewing Company was on my list of the top nachos in Boston from my "Nacho Average Run." Apparently these babies were huge and delicious, so I couldn'tnot get them. They were just that. HUGE and delicious. They looked like a mountain. An enormous pile of multicolored chips with layers of a seriously awesome cheese, vegetarian bean chili, green onions, salsa, sour cream and jalapenos. They did it the right way and did a layer of chips, toppings, chips, toppings, etc. I definitely could've eaten the entire plate.

Legal Harborside - Boston, MA

     Legal Seafoods is one of those restaurants I hear people talk about a lot in Boston. Apparently there are
Crispy Montauk Calamari
a bunch, but I believe they started here in Beantown. Dinner #3 with Babcia, Poppy and Meagan was at Legal Harborside. After taking them on our self-guided tour of Boston and visiting the ocean, we were in the mood for seafood. I couldn't believe how crazy this place was, but oh my was it beautiful. I never went upstairs, but the main level looked right out onto the harbor and they had the huge bay doors wide open, letting the smell of the sea roll in. We had a seat by the carry-out section because there was no wait, as opposed to the hour and a half wait for the main dining area. First of all, the rolls they brought, were probably the best rolls I've ever had at a restaurant. Each one was like a freshly baked loaf of bread that's crispy on the outside, but super hot and fluffy on the inside. I couldn't believe it. I could've eaten zillions (with endless butter of course).
     I ordered some calamari for the table as an appetizer, and it was better than I expected. A lot of times when you order calamari it comes, in only the little rings, but this dish had the little rings as well as full little fried squids. They were adorable... and delicious. They were lightly breaded and fried along with a few pieces of hot peppers. A really unique addition I've never heard of in standard calamari dishes.
Looks like a cheese pizza, right? Far from it. 
     For my meal, I had to order the Crab and Pepperoni Pizza. Sounds weird right? That's why I got it. Crab and pepperoni. I had mixed feelings and needed to sort them out. It. Was. Amazing. I'm not kidding. This thing wasn't overloaded with either the crab or pepperoni, but had moderate sized pieces of crab interspersed among the pepperoni. So it wasn't overly seafood-y, but definitely not your standard pepperoni. It smelled deadly and tasted even better. The mozzarella cheese they used was also amazing. I think it picked up a bit of the crab flavor, so even though there wasn't a ton of crab all over the pizza, the crab flavor was throughout the entire thing. Of course, I also helped Meagan finish her fish tacos, which were pretty good. I wished the fish had been a little bit crispier (it was fried), and I wasn't a fan of the corn tortillas. I'm trying to like them. That pizza though... oh man.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars - Antonia's Kitchen, Cambridge, MA

This really is a beautiful thing. 
     Ok, I have no idea why they're called Slutty Cheesecake Bars. Everyone kept asking, but I have no Wallflour Girl and needed them. Definitely a treat meant for those in love with sugar. Beware, this is rather involved. A two person team makes it a lot easier.
answers. And truthfully, it doesn't matter, because once you taste them, you'll forget about their name... and practically everything else in your life at that moment. In short, these guys were a chocolate chip cookie layer, a layer of oreos, a cheesecake layer, and then a heafty topping of crumbled oreos and chopped malt balls. You can't breathe. I know. Serious sugar overload but SO worth it. Antonia and I made these for Joan's birthday because she had shown me the recipe  a few weeks prior from a blog called

Chocolate Chip Cookie Base:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  2. Set bowl aside and make cheesecake layer.
Cheesecake layer:
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat in until completely smooth, but be sure not to overbeat.
  2. Set aside cheesecake layer as you assemble.
  • 21 Oreos (16 whole Oreos and 5 chopped Oreos, divided)
  • 5 oz. Whoppers, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Your cookie dough layer should be about half an inch thick–if you have leftover dough, you can bake it immediately as individual cookies or simply toss it into the fridge for baking at a later time. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the dough is just cooked through and firm. Remove from oven.
  3. Layer 16 whole Oreos on baked cookie crust. Pour cheesecake filling evenly over Oreos. Sprinkle 5 chopped Oreos and 5 oz. chopped Whoppers over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake is pretty well set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan before cutting. Best served chilled from refrigerator (but make sure you store it in the fridge either way).

Banana Soft Serve - Jimmy's Kitchen, Brighton, MA

     Since Jimmy wouldn't make Meagan and I brownies (something about it being over 90 degrees and not Chocolate Covered Katie. Love.
Banana Soft Serve. Hard to capture how delicious it was. 
wanting to turn on his oven... I don't know), I decided I was going to make us all this banana soft serve I'd been wanting to make for a while. It is literally frozen bananas, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Put it into a food processor and it comes out just like soft serve ice cream and tastes amazing. If you have a super freezer, you may have to add a little milk to get the bananas chopped up, or let them thaw a tad. I also threw in some chocolate chips, because honestly, there's no way they'd screw anything up. The recipe I used was off of

Chocolate Banana Soft Serve
  • 3 chopped medium bananas (the riper the better)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • optional: sweetener (depending on your tastebuds and ripeness of the bananas)
  • optional: 3-5 tbsp peanut butter or another nut butter of choice
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. If you want the look of ice cream, freeze about 10-15 minutes and the texture will also become a bit firmer. Done!

Long Beach Dairy Maid - Gloucester, MA

     I'm not sure if I've blogged about these guys before, but I just have to bring it up anyway. After a visit to
The "small" portion
Good Harbor beach, Jimmy, Meagan and I stopped at Long Beach Dairy Maid. They have 24 flavors of soft serve, 8 flavors of frozen yogurt and literally 60 flavors of "Super Premium Ice Cream." I was so overwhelmed. I was even more overwhelmed when I saw Meagan's "small" ice cream in a waffle cone come out the window. I got a regular cone assuming that I wouldn't get as much. Nope. Still more than a pint of ice cream. I am seriously not kidding. Not one bit. It was outrageous. I got a "small" peanut butter oreo cookie and finished every bit. Totally could've eaten a second one. By far the best value and selection I've ever experienced at an ice cream shop.


  1. Absolutely amazing, Laurissa! Just wonderful reading and long distance tasting. Yum for all of them! Keep it up! Great Job! Love, AJ

  2. I live in Gloucester and let me tell you Long Beach Dairy Maid is by far the best ice cream place in town! I just went and made the mistake of getting a small, for some one who is trying to be healthy I knew before hand to get a kiddie but hey it was hot out. I am jealous, peanut butter oreo is definitely a new flavor. I will be going there this weekend to try it! Thanks for sharing.