Sunday, January 29, 2023

GENEROUS PORTIONS OF COMFORT FOOD AT LUCKY DOG TAVERN IN NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI

Sunday, January 29, 2023
Lucky Dog Tavern in North Smithfield, RI

A sample of beer.

Eggplant parmigiana

Beef short rib & cheddar grilled cheese

Chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream

Lucky Dog Tavern
North Smithfield, RI
 
It's always a good sign to arrive at a restaurant you've never tried before and get a rave review from a long-time customer. As we were waiting for our table, one of Lucky Dog Tavern's loyal customers had just eaten and told us that it's one of her favorite spots and all of the food is fantastic. She was right.
 
Lucky Dog Tavern is nestled on the bottom floor of a two-story home in North Smithfield. It is small, but the food is mighty good. My wife and I enjoyed the perfect meal from start to finish. Our waitress, Raelynn, was as good as it gets. She was highly knowledgeable of everything on the menu, went out of her way to check in on us and make recommendations. When I wasn't sure which beer I wanted to try, she brought over a sample. 

The menu is full of comfort food favorites including apps like stuffed mushrooms, Tavern poutine, lobster poutine and calamari. Warm up with some French onion soup or lobster bisque.
 
Entrees include flappers aka wings, quesadillas, burgers, pastas, sandwiches, chicken, veal,  and seafood dishes. Lucky Dog also serves up steak tips, a sirloin strip and plenty of hearty daily specials. I ordered one of their gourmet grilled cheeses, the beef short rib and cheddar grilled cheese, which was fantastic. My wife enjoyed the large plate of eggplant parm, and there was plenty to bring home. 
 
Since the meal was so good, we had to order dessert. We loved the molten chocolate lava cake, which comes with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. You would never know it's gluten free. There's also a house-made bread pudding for dessert that looks amazing.
 
Lucky Dog Tavern is one of the best restaurants I've been to in a long time, but make a reservation because it gets busy especially on weekends.

Friday, January 20, 2023

BUBBLE TEA: YUCK OR YUM?

Friday, January 20, 2023

 

ViVi Bubble Tea
A brand-new bubble tea shop has opened up in Faneuil Hall in Boston. ViVi Bubble Tea specializes in Taiwanese bubble tea. There are a few other locations in Massachusetts, but it originated in New York City.

So what is bubble tea? It is made of tea most often with chewy tapioca balls. This is why people either love or hate bubble tea. Many people at work said they do not like the texture, saying they don't want to chew their coffee. But I quite enjoy those tapioca balls along with the refreshing flavor of the cold and milky tea.

Vivi offers a bunch of bubble tea flavors like honey dew, Japanese matcha, black tea and even tiramisu. There are also a bunch of varieties like milk teas, floats and lattes. ViVI also serves food like popcorn chicken, curly fries, soup noodles and rice bowls. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A COZY CHRISTMASTIME VISIT TO THE BRICK ALLEY PUB & RESTAURANT IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

 

The halls are decked at the Brick Alley Pub.

Check out their salad bar!

Clam chowder

Fish and chips

The Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant
Newport, RI

It's always a good time to visit Newport, RI, but it's extra special at Christmas time. The shops are all decorated, there are Christmas trees everywhere and the restaurants are buzzing. 

The Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant on busy Thames Street has been a favorite for locals and visitors for 40 years. Their menu is packed full of comfort foods and seafood favorites. I enjoyed their fish and chips with a cup of clam chowder. The Rhode Island-style breading on the fish is fantastic and really brings out the taste of the fish. Other seafood dishes include classic baked scallops, lemony scallops piccata and baked stuffed shrimp.

There are a number of apps to kick off your meal like calamari, ahi tuna sliders and spinach and artichoke dip. There are also a bunch of "Famous Nacho Platters" to choose from like their cheese nachos, chicken nachos and Texas Chili Nacho Platter. Entrees include several salads, steaks, burgers, and pub style pizzas. The Italian in me would love to try one of their pastas one of these days. There's lobster mac & cheese, chicken piccata, chicken parm, spice buffalo pasta and more.

One thing I really enjoy about the Brick Alley Pub is their fresh salad bar. You don't see salad bars that much anymore, especially in the wake of Covid, so it's wonderful that they have one. Fill up a plate and grab a soup along with your entree or as a meal in itself. 

Brick Alley Pub has a full bar with plenty of beer on tap, along with an extensive wine list. There are margaritas, sangrias, a bunch of house specialty drinks and even frozen and warm libations. They say their warm Irish Coffee is the best and sounds like it would be a tasty sip on a chilly winter day.

Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant has it all. A variety of fantastic food and drinks, along with that salad bar. The service is also excellent. Our server forgot to include cheese on my wife's veggie burger, so when she ordered a hot cocoa, it was on the house! 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

TOUGH TIMES FOR BERTUCCI'S

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Bertucci's has filed for bankruptcy and is closing a number of restaurants. The Italian chain sites Covid-19 and inflation for declining sales and an increase in expenses. In Massachusetts, restaurants in North Attleboro, Beverly, Brockton, Canton and Marlborough have closed. In New Hampshire, Bertucci's in Manchester and Salem were closed. Only the Nashua location remains in New Hampshire. 20 Bertucci's in Massachusetts will remain open, along with 11 others on the East Coast. Bertucci's also filed for bankruptcy in 2018. The restaurant got its start in Somerville in 1981. 

Update: Sadly, the first location I ever went to decades ago has closed. Their spot in Newington, Connecticut.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

IT'S RED CUP DAY AT STARBUCKS

Thursday, November 17, 2022

 

2022 Starbucks Red Cup
It's my favorite day of the year at Starbucks! Today is their 25th annual Red Cup Day. Customers get a free reusable red cup to celebrate the holidays.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, ROSE'S BERRY FARM

Saturday, October 29, 2022

 

There was no better breakfast than their blueberry pancakes with homemade whipped cream.

Sunday morning memories.

The truck that drove people up to pick blueberries.

Breakfast With A View
It's hard to say goodbye to one of your favorite places. Rose's Berry Farm was a beloved pick-your-own berry farm in South Glastonbury, Connecticut. For years, my grandmother and I visited in the summer to pick blueberries. Rose's was also known for their Breakfast With A View on Sunday mornings. People would line up for their pancakes topped with blueberries and whipped cream. This was one of the most delicious breakfasts in all of New England, and on top of that, customers ate while enjoying a beautiful view of their sprawling farm. 

Rose's served their last Breakfast With a View last Sunday. On Monday, they gave away a pile of their remaining pumpkins and squash away to the community. Owner Sandi Rose is retiring and going to enjoy life in North Carolina.  She says the Town of Glastonbury and private buyers will allow the farm's legacy to continue.They will announce the next chapter for the farm in 2023.

I'd like to thank Rose's for the years of precious memories made with my family and my grandmother. Grandma passed just shy of her 92nd birthday last year, but I will always cherish the times we braved the hot summer sun to pick blueberries at Rose's Berry Farm.

MCDONALD'S PUMPKIN PAILS ARE BACK!

Saturday, October 29, 2022


“McBoo”
If you are an 80's or 90's kid, chances are that you remember McDonald’s Boo Buckets at Halloween. This year, they are back! There’s the ghost aka McBoo, the pumpkin aka McPunk’n and the witch aka McGoblin. This time around, they come with stickers! Get your taste of nostalgia through Halloween. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

FALL FLAVORS AND WARM CIDER DONUTS AT HANSON'S FARM

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
One of Hanson's perfect cider donuts.

Making the donuts fresh.

Hanson's Farm in Framingham
 
Hanson's Farm
Framingham, MA

It's that magical time of year where the leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and pumpkins are on just about every doorstep. Fall is here along with all of the comforting flavors that come with it. There are so many farm stands to enjoy in New England, and they are the perfect places to discover fall favorites. Hanson's Farm in Framingham, Massachusetts is one such special place. 
 
It's peak pumpkin season at Hanson's. Customers can pick their own pumpkins in their field or grab one in their store. Hanson's Farm started making their own cider donuts in 2020, and they are a MUST try. If you visit on the weekend in the fall, you can see them being made fresh. We bought a half-dozen and they were still warm in the bag, which made them even more delicious. These are some of the best cider donuts I've ever eaten. Still hungry? Check out their school bus ice cream truck with a number of flavors including pumpkin. When we were there on the weekend, they were also selling baked potatoes and BBQ pork sandwiches.
 
Hanson's is open from May to December. In the summer, the grow and sell their own produce like tomatoes, corn, zucchini and peppers. In November, they take orders for Thanksgiving pies and at Christmas, there are trees, wreaths, and more.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

THE BIG E 2022!

Thursday, October 06, 2022
Deep-fried taco

Their legendary cream puff!

Fried dough Connecticut style

For so many of us, it wouldn't be the start of fall without The Big E. The event broke attendance records on a number of days this year, which is no surprise. The food was unforgettable as always. The cream puff is a MUST for me. I look forward to it all year. I also LOVED the deep-fried taco. Some co-workers told me about how fried dough in Connecticut only comes with sauce and cheese. I tried it and enjoyed it! Not pictured is the large Del's lemonade and the Smuttynose pumpkin beer I gulped down during our afternoon at The Big E.

By the way, it's not too early to get ready for next year. The Big E is scheduled for September 15 to October 1, 2023.

Monday, September 05, 2022

A TASTE OF SUMMER AT MORGAN'S HARBOR TO HILL

Monday, September 05, 2022

 

The Live lobster tank greets customers.

Seafood casserole

Morgan's Harbor to Hill looks like a Cape Cod shanty.

Scallops and fries
Morgan's Harbor To Hill 
Hopkinton, MA 

There's a new restaurant in Hopkinton and it's a good one! Morgan's Harbor to Hill is a seafood market and restaurant, something that is really needed in town. Bring a few live lobsters home, or raw scallops in bacon, mussels, clams, shrimp or lobster pie. Morgan's also sells salads, pasta salads, and fish meals for customers to bring home.

Morgan's Harbor To Hill also offers a full restaurant menu. I really liked their seafood casserole with haddock, shrimp and scallops topped with cracker crumbs. There are also pasta dishes like lobster mac and cheese shrimp scampi and steamed mussels over linguini. Their fried fished is air-fried, which makes a real difference in the taste. Their scallops and fries plate is fantastic. They also serve up cups, bowls, pints and quarts of clam chowder and lobster bisque. App include shrimp cocktail, stuffed clams and crab cakes. There are also a few dishes for those who don't like seafood like chicken fingers, mac & cheese and chicken parm.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

DELICIOUS FAMILY DINING AT BURTONS GRILL & BAR

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Burtons in Framingham

The bar offers beer from local breweries like Jack's Abbey.

Kids plate with mac & cheese, fries and veggies

Chicken Piccata
Burtons
Framingham, MA

Burtons is one of those places I've been wanting to check out for awhile, and on Friday, my family and I finally STOPPED by for a nice dinner.

Burtons is a great spot for family dining or date night. It features a large bar with all sorts of local beers on tap. There are lots of tasty apps like Philly spring rolls and firecracker shrimp. We LOVED the Bread Service, which comes with a sharable roll with pesto, garlic butter and olive tapenade. It's the perfect thing to munch on while waiting for your food.

The menu features a number of burgers and salads but I really enjoyed their chicken piccata. It's a flavorful, hearty portion. Burtons also has a handful of seafood dishes like crab cakes, lobster shrimp pasta and crab crusted haddock. There are also several steaks to choose from. Burtons also offers an extensive kids menu where the little ones can order one entrée and two sides. We didn't have room for dessert, but I must not that there's crème brulee and key lime pie on the menu.

Burtons has a bunch of locations in Massachusetts, along with one in Nashua, NH and South Windsor, CT.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

IT'S BLUEBERRY SEASON AT TANGERINI'S

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Blueberry bush at Tangerini's

A pint of fresh blueberries.
The hot and sunny days of summer mean it's time to pick blueberries! There is no shortage of places to pick here in New England. Eat Up New England and family recently went on a picking spree at Tangerini's Farm in Millis, Massachusetts. Pick them by the pint or by the quart. Fresh blueberries are so much better than the ones sitting in the store. Customers can also pick strawberries, sunflowers and pumpkins during the year.

Tangerini's also has an ice cream shop, serving a variety of hard flavors. It's the perfect treat after picking blueberries in the hot sun. I'd also recommend one of their root beer floats.

If that wasn't enough, they also serve breakfast and lunch at The Farmer's Porch. Egg sandwiches, blueberry pancakes, donuts, bagels and other pastries fill the breakfast menu. For lunch, there's a blueberry feta salad, flatbread, burgers, wraps, fried chicken sandwich and more. Beer and wine is also served, along with cold drinks like iced coffee and iced tea.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

MOUTH-WATERING DETROIT PIZZA AT BLUE SQUARE PIZZA

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Mushroom Truffle Pizza

Blue Square Pizza
Hopkinton, MA
 
There's a new pizza shop that's getting a lot of buzz in Hopkinton. Blue Square Pizza recently opened up on Main Street. It specializes in gourmet Detroit-style pizza with a sourdough crust. Detroit-style pizza is rectangular and has a crispy, mouth-watering crust. There are a bunch of house specialties to choose from like mushroom truffle, summer veggie, sausage and red onion. Blue Square also offers traditional New York-style pizzas, along with salads, wings and breadsticks. But the Detroit pizza is the way to go. It's so good and so popular, that they often sell out early in the afternoon, so place your order early!

Sunday, July 03, 2022

GIGANTIC SANDWICHES AT BUSHEL N PECK

Sunday, July 03, 2022
The Jenerator

Bushel N Peck's Grafton location

Tons of drinks, chips and frozen entrees

Mac & cheese, kebobs and lasagna fill one of their showcases.


Bushel N Peck
Grafton, Clinton, Worcester & Westboro Massachusetts

Bring along a healthy appetite at the Bushel N Peck, a deli with a number of locations across Massachusetts. Eat Up New England visited their Grafton spot and was wowed by the selection.

There are a number of "creative combos" sandwiches to choose from. I ordered the "Jenerator." This large sandwich on half of an Italian bread comes with ham, bacon, swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo and honey mustard. It's fantastic. You can also custom order a sandwich of your own, with a variety of meats, breads, spreads and topping to choose from. There are salads, soups, wraps, vegetarian options and hot sandwiches, including a Pork Belly BLT made with thick cut bacon, melted cheddar, lettuce and tomatoes with Sriracha aioli. 

Be sure to check out their showcases which are filled with entrees like meat lasagna, kebobs, mac & cheese, chicken and a number of cold pasta salads. They even had a fried cheesecake when we visited. There's a seemingly endless selection of drinks and chips. You can also get frozen pizzas, pastas and more to go. Another bonus: as prices skyrocket everywhere, I thought Bushel N Peck's prices were very fair. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

DOWNEAST CIDER BLUE SLUSHIE

Saturday, June 25, 2022


Downeast Cider is now making Blue Slushie just in time for the summer. Yes, it’s blue like the real this and taste like it, too. It’s so refreshing especially on a hot summer night light tonight. They are a limited release, so stock up while you can. One of the workers at Vin Bin in Hopkinton, Massachusetts told me these have been selling like crazy. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

SUNDAE SCHOOL: A CAPE COD TRADITION

Saturday, June 18, 2022
Famous Sundae

Sundae School on a busy Saturday night

SUNDAE SCHOOL
Dennisport, MA

Cape Cod is the place for some of the finest ice cream around. One of the best spots to get it is Sundae School in Dennisport. This place has been making summer memories for as long as I can remember. For so many people, it’s not summer unless you visit Sundae School. 

My favorite is their Famous Sundae. Two scoops of ice cream, choose two sauces or toppings, homemade whipped cream and a cherry. The deliciousness of their whipped cream cannot be overstated. It’s sooo good. 

Sundae School scoops up all of the classic favorites like Oreo, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough. There are also fun flavored like Shark’s Tooth, Orange Pineapple and Milky Way.  There are also milkshakes, banana splits and a sampler with four different flavors.

Friday, June 03, 2022

CELEBRATE NATIONAL DONUT DAY AT A LOCAL DONUT SHOP

Friday, June 03, 2022
Support your local donut shop!

It’s National Donut Day once again, which means it’s your chance to score a free donut at shops in the area. After talking with a manager at my local Honey Dew, I’d like to encourage you to shop local whenever possible. He told me that a bag of coffee beans usually costs around $100. This week, it cost him $140. He also told me that workers are hard to come by, which is the case in so many industries. So, instead of running on that international chain that’s distancing itself from its donuts, check out Honey Dew or Ma’s Donuts or Heav’nly Donuts or Sip N Dip. You get the picture. Help out the little guy on National Donut Day and everyday. 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

MEDITERRANEAN MEETS AMERICAN AT ANGEL'S CAFE

Sunday, May 29, 2022
Chicken avocado salad

Angel's Cafe in Sharon, MA

ANGEL'S CAFE 
SHARON, MA 

Angel's Café describes itself as "an eclectic bistro café with a Mediterranean flare." This restaurant offers a delicious mix of American dishes, along with many Mediterranean favorites. 

There are a bunch of omelets, breakfast sandwiches, a homemade waffle and sweet sticky buns for breakfast. Angel's also offers a variety of hot and iced coffees from hot chai lattes to iced mochas. If you aren't in need of caffeine, be sure to check out their fresh-squeezed orange juice. They have one of those big old machines that squeezes the oranges right in front of you.

For lunch, there are salads, paninis, wraps and sandwiches. I LOVED their chicken avocado salad, which was much larger than salads at most places. Mediterranean favorites include a Mediterranean and falafel salads. There are also cauliflower, sabich and falafel pita pocket sandwiches or go for a beer kebab wrap. There's also a side of 4 falafel balls with tahini. Bored with the store brands of hummus? Angel's sells tubs of their hummus to go.

Angel's Café is open for breakfast and lunch everyday.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

DINING WITH A VIEW AT THE MARINA IN BRATTLEBORO, VT

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Marina mac n Cheese

Enjoy indoor and waterfront dining

The Marina 
Brattleboro, VT 

It's the perfect time of year to eat outside. The Marina in Brattleboro, Vermont is the perfect place to do just that. Open year round, they do have an indoor dining area, but with the summer approaching, pull up a seat outside and enjoy the water with a view of the mountains. My family and I recently enjoyed lunch al fresco. It was fun seeing people on the water as we ate.

I enjoyed one of their "dockside favorites," their Marina Mac n Cheese. The pasta is baked and topped with crispy panko bread crumbs and the salad is topped with fresh peppers and tomatoes. Other favorites include fried mahi tacos, grilled flat iron steak, fish n chips and grilled salmon. There are also a hand full of burgers to choose from, along with salads. Apps include shrimp skewers, lobster bisque, steamed mussels, clam chowder and nachos. There are lots of Vermont beers on tap including one of my favorites, Von Trap Beer. Cheesecake and a Tollhouse cookie sundae are some of the sweet treats The Marina offers.

The Marina is open for lunch and diner. As of this writing, they are requiring proof of Covid vaccination.

Friday, May 20, 2022

ICE CREAM SHORTAGE JUST IN TIME FOR THE SUMMER

Friday, May 20, 2022

 

There was plenty of cookie dough!

Out of some flavors

Murphy’s is always busy with lines of customers ordering ice cream. 
Add ice cream to the list of what’s in short supply. Richardson’s Ice Cream was forced to stop production because they were having trouble getting enough sugar. This is trickling down to a bunch of ice cream shops in New England including Murphy’s in Ashland, Massachusetts. Eat Up New England spotted a sign up today noting that they were out of some flavors because of the Richardson’s issue. Fortunately, the ice cream maker says they now have enough sugar and are resuming production, so this this hopefully this ice cream shortage will soon be solved.