Monday, May 9, 2016

See Ya Never

Anthem - Boston, MA
Orecchiette with roasted veggies and steak

     The Boston Marathon came and went... and so did the all you can eat pasta deals. Sad face. This was the second year that David and I (as non-runners) took advantage of the all you can eat pasta deals that restaurants in the area offer the night before the race. Last year we went to Bambara, which was honestly better than Anthem. Even though it's pretty pricey, Anthem has a beautiful, modern-rustic space in the heart of Quincy Market, and it's often teeming with tourists.
     For the marathon, Anthem had an unlimited pasta deal, but you had to pay extra for meat with each additional bowl. So we got steak added to the first bowl, which was delicious, and we were sad for the rest of the bowls. However, I really liked the combo sauce made of marinara and pesto that they added to the orecchiette pasta. It gave the pasta a much more rich flavor than straight marinara would have. They also mixed in some roasted squash, zucchini and carrots. Bonus.


BISq - Cambridge, MA
Bazz Hook-Up Board

     After work/school, Zach and I met up for our bi-monthy feeding. We both wanted to try out Bisq, which is a tiny, hip, "restaurant and wine bar" that recently opened near GG. Bisq seems to be semi farm-to-table and focuses on unique, natural, whole ingredients, similar to Commonwealth (which Zach and I also went to once). It's a wooden furniture and mason jars kind of place that serves up a non-Spanish version of tapas, or small plates. 
Top: N'Awlins shrimp toast, Bottom: Lamb ribs
     The waiter sold us on the Bazz Hook-Up Board, which is their head chef's version of a charcuterie board. They had three homemade meats: something similar to a procuitto, a blood sausage like variety, and another resembling salami. All of them were served with toast and absolutely delicious. Salty, melt-in-your-mouth meat. The board also had a chicken liver patte topped with house-made granola, kale and (what I think was) a pomegranate sauce. Crazy combination, but it worked. There was also a glob of lard that was whipped with cinnamon sugar. Yes I said lard. I think it was cinnamon sugar and it was strangely sweet, but delicious, especially when spread on the toast. THAT was melt-in-your-mouth because it was straight fat. That's ok, right? Lastly, they had a few small pieces of house-pickled okra and a whole grain mustard. I liked the pickles because they helped cut the fat in your mouth after eating the other board items. I wished there were more. 
     For the meal we ordered the lamb ribs... obviously. I don't think I've ever had lamb ribs, and these were incredible. I don't know how they even got them onto the plate without the meat falling off the bone because it was out of this world tender. They were super succulent and topped with small pieces of crispy kale and a sour orange glaze, adding some unique texture elements. That glaze was a surprisingly fabulous addition to the lamb. The sweet but sour flavor was delicious with the savory flavory of the lamb. As the second dish, we order the N'awlings barbecue shrimp toast which was mind-blowing. It seems next to impossible to deconstruct this. It was served as two pieces of toast with a thick, rich, cheesy layer that had grilled small shrimp in it. It wasn't barbecue as in the tomato-based barbecue sauce you're probably thinking of, but rather it's considered barbecue because it was cooked on a barbecue. On top they drizzled another slightly sour but sweet glaze and some "sexy scallions." So good. 
     These types of restaurants are difficult to describe because the flavors of things are so intricate and complex. It beautiful. I couldn't believe that lamb. It was so good. Like mind-alteringly good. 


The Banshee - Dorchester, MA
Black angus burger and pub fries

O'Malley's Gaelic fries
     After a year and a half at UMass Boston, I finally hit up The Banshee, the local, favorite bar of a lot of my classmates. After my last grad GIS class I was teaching, all of the students and I went out for some food and beers as our final farewell. I anticipated standard bar food, but this was far from. The Banshee was a cozy little dark Irish pub with a really chill vibe. I loved it, and the menu was so much more than I expected with a little bit of everything from pizzas to burgers and bangers and mash. I'm still in this I-need-a-burger-everyday phase (where I'm not actually eating burgers everyday but I want them) so I ordered their black angus burger that was served with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms on a brioche roll. The burger was beautiful. Thick and juicy and the sautéed goodies were the perfect addition. It was served with a side of great salty fries...some soft, some crispy, some a little burnt. I ate half of it all partially because it was 9pm and partially because I destroyed a plate of their O'Malley's Gaelic fries. These were their pub fries topped with cheddar cheese, butcher's cut smoked bacon and a drizzle of ranch. It was stupid good. Stupid good and stupid artery clogging I'm sure but that cheese though...


The Linden Store - Wellesley, MA
The Linden Special

     There aren't many surprises in my life that are more exciting than when customers offer to buy us lunch when we're working. This time we were doing a job out in Wellesley and the wifey offered to get us some deli sandwiches from The Linden Store. It was their favorite local deli. My lightweight days made me appreciate a deli sandwich I can sink my teeth into more than the average person, so I was pumped. I ordered the Linden Special which was mortadella, prosciutto, salami, provolone cheese, marinated peppers, tomatoes, and oil. It was simple, but delicious. There were so many delicious salty meats that paired so well with the marinated peppers, again that cut the fat of the meats. I think it would've been a little better with some more greenery. Maybe some spinach or arugula. But it was still tasty. A step up from Jimmy Johns for sure. 


Greenhills Irish Bakery - Dorchester, MA

Irish Breakfast Roll

     A pro to working with such diverse crews is that a lot of them often know where to get great food from their home countries. We finished an onload far too quickly down in Dorchester a couple weeks ago and Mark knew just the place to stop for second breakfast. There's nothing wrong with second breakfast. It was this hopping place called Greenhills Irish Bakery serving up a variety of pastries, breads, and INCREDIBLE breakfast sandwiches. I got their small Irish breakfast roll which was a homemade buttered roll that nuzzled a fried egg, Irish bacon (which is more like what we consider ham but better), Irish sausage and black and white pudding. I couldn't believe how good the sausage was. It was 100% different than the type of sausage you normally buy here in that it was less greasy, more meaty and tasted like it had more spices in it. It was the same story with the blood sausage/black and white pudding. The blood sausage had an incredible flavor partially due to the caraway seeds, which are not a commonly used spice. In both sausages, I really felt like I was tasting the meat itself rather than fillers or fat. Throw it all together with the salty Irish bacon and the egg and it was something dreamy. 

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