Saturday, October 10, 2020

THE WHOO(PIE) WAGON

Saturday, October 10, 2020


The Whoo(pie) Wagon

It's always a good day when the Whoopie Wagon rolls into town. Today, it spent the day at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. This food truck offers many tasty takes on the traditional whoopie pie. This time of year they are baking a pumpkin whoopie with cream cheese filling. It is amazing. Other flavors include apple caramel, chocolate chip, red velvet and carrot.




Monday, September 07, 2020

COUSINS MAINE LOBSTER

Monday, September 07, 2020
Lobster grilled cheese
Lobster tots
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck
                                      

Lobster tacos
Cousins Maine Lobster

cousinsmainelobster.com

One of the highlights of this summer has been the Cousins Maine Lobster pulling up at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The food truck became a national sensation on Shark Tank when its founders partnered with Barbara Corcoran. Now, Cousins Maine Lobster Trucks (and restaurants) can be found in cities around the country.

All of their food is phenomenal. Of course, there are traditional hot and cold lobster rolls. Those classics can be found everywhere, so I ordered some of the more exotic items. The lobster grilled cheese is fantastic. It's stuffed with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. The lobster tots are also a favorite. The large portion of tots is topped with warm lobster, pico de gallo and a cilantro lime sauce. Cousins' soft lobster tacos are also a delight and are complimented with a cup of their clam chowder or lobster bisque. Cousins also offers a lobster quesadilla, shrimp tacos and a lobster tail and tots. There are kids meals and whoopie pies for dessert.

Check out their website and social media for where their trucks will appear next.




Thursday, September 03, 2020

THE CORONAVIRUS TAKES ITS TOLL ON MASSACHUSETTS RESTAURANTS

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Add Sky Restaurant in Norwood, Massachusetts to the long list of restaurants that has closed permanently because of struggles from the coronavirus. The restaurant was in business for nearly 20 years. It was known for its gigantic Sunday brunch buffet, which always included a chocolate fountain. The owner of Sky also owns 3 Restaurant in Franklin, which has a similar menu. Sky gift cards are also being honored there.

It's been a brutal week for restaurants in and around Boston. The Fours closed its popular location near the TD Garden. LIR on Boylton Street in Boston is closing. Legal Test Kitchen in the Seaport closed after 15 years in business. The Friendly Toast shut down their popular spot in Cambridge. Anna's Taqueria closed down their original location in Brookline after 25 years. In Hopkinton, Carbone's restaurant is closing after 87 years in business. The owners do hope to sell to new owners. And last week, Covid-19 forced Stellina Italian restaurant to close its doors in Watertown after 34 years. 

Needless to say, support your favorite restaurants right now.

Monday, August 24, 2020

CAST YOUR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT AT STEW LEONARD'S

Monday, August 24, 2020

The election is still a few months away, but you can voice your choice for the Oval Office right now. This display is up at Stew Leonard's in Newington, Connecticut. Avery's Soda is out with some fun sodas for the election. Buy blue for Joe Biden. Take home a red for Donald Trump. The store is keeping tabs of how many of each are bought and is posting the results. 

Stew Leonard's Soda Poll
 

Friday, August 14, 2020

MEXICALI CANTINA GRILL

Friday, August 14, 2020
Mexicali Cantina Grill's Westboro, MA location

Mexicali Chimichanga

Outdoor dining with chips & sangria

Mexicali Cantina Grill

Westboro, MA (with many other MA & CT locations)

www.mexicalicantinagrill.com

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

A COUPLE OF MASSACHUSETTS MOE'S CLOSE FOR GOOD

Tuesday, August 04, 2020
At least two Massachusetts Moe's Southwest Grill locations have shuttered, likely brought by the coronavirus pandemic. The locations in Natick and Patriot Place in Foxboro are now out of business. There are plenty of other locations in New England, including a bunch in Massachusetts in places like Bellingham and Attleboro. Moe's is one of the better national chains with a large selection of burrito toppings and free chips & salsa with every meal.

The Moe's that was in Foxboro.

Friday, July 31, 2020

TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS IN HYANNIS

Friday, July 31, 2020
Main Street in Hyannis

Cape Cod's restaurants are open for business this summer, but things are much different because of the coronavirus. Many restaurants are offering both indoor and outdoor service. Some are offering just outdoor service, while others are still just takeout only. It's best to call or check online before arriving to your favorite dining destination on the Cape.

In Hyannis, one lane of traffic on Main Street has been given to restaurants and shops, so people can eat and browse outside. There are heavy cement barriers to keep people safe.



Thursday, June 25, 2020

DINING AL FRESCO AT BOURBON'S

Thursday, June 25, 2020
Bourbon's new outdoor dining area.

Purple Haze

Nachos piled high!
Nachos piled high!

Rangoons
Rangoons

Crispy Brussels
Crispy Brussels

Bourbon's Kitchen & Cocktails
Framingham, Massachusetts
www.bourbonsframingham.com

Bourbon's Kitchen & Cocktails is back at it, serving dinner indoors (limited seating) and outdoors at their dining area. The outdoor spot is wonderful especially on a warm summer night. It's lined with small palm trees and all of the tables are spaced out for social distancing. Like all restaurants, Bourbon's has made a few changed because of the coronavirus. The menu can be found using a QR code. Paying is also done by cell phone. There is also a $1 charge person customer so they can keep things running during the pandemic.

There are a bunch of refreshing summer drinks on their menu right now including mixed berry or grapefruit rose sangria. I enjoyed one of their many beers on tap: a Purple Haze, a raspberry blend from the Abita Brewing Company in Louisiana.

Our family shared a bunch of their amazing appetizers. We loved their tower of nachos with street corn and pepper jack cheese. Everyone seemed to be ordering their crispy brussels. The sprouts are stirred up with truffle aioli and parmesan. Amazing. We also loved their rangoons with onions and cream cheese inside. ALL of these apps are vegetarian, but Bourbon's has plenty of plates for carnivores like their steak tacos, meatballs and candied bacon.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

OUTDOOR DINING IS BACK!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Outdoor dining is back at Murphy's in Ashland, Massachusetts and restaurants across New England.

After only takeout and delivery service for four months because of the coronavirus, things are finally starting to get back to normal at restaurants across New England. This week, outdoor dining at restaurants was given the green light in phase two of the reopening in Massachusetts. This is great news for places like Murphy's in Ashland, which had its picnic tables roped off for a month. Other restaurants like TJ's in Ashland are adapting to the times, setting up tables with umbrellas outdoors. Outdoor dining is being allowed in all New England states now. Just be sure to call ahead because the tables fill up fast. Al fresco is the way it will be for now, but what perfect timing, just in time for the summer.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

TAKE-OUT: START LINE BREWING

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Start Line's fish and chips
Start Line Brewery
Hopkinton, Massachusetts
www.startlinebrewing.com

Start Line Brewing is known for its beer, but they are also putting themselves on the map for their food. During the pandemic, they are open for carry out and have some delicious foods to choose from.

Comfort food is king here, so start off with one of their apps like BBQ nachos, Brewhouse Poutine, onion rings or herb parmesan fries. For dinner, there are many sandwiches like a vegetarian-friendly spicy black bean burger. Carnivores may want to try their BBQ puled port sandwich, chicken sandwich or flank steak sandwich. They are also offering a lobster roll and fish & chips. (Check out that portion and those fries! It was so good!) Start Line's menu also includes a few salads like a grilled southwest Caesar salad and a cobb salad. There's also mac & cheese and lobster mac & cheese. Eat Up New England recommends their carrot cake for dessert

Start Line is still brewing, so customers can also pick up beer. Check out their website for beers available and their hours.

TAKE-OUT: AN ITALIAN FEAST FROM ARTURO'S RISTORANTE

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Arturo's is offering curbside pickup for dinner.
Pappardelle bolognese
Arturo's Ristorante
Westborough, MA
www.arturosristorante.com

We are all so lucky that restaurants are still offering take-out and deliveries at this time. There's never been a better time to show your support for your favorite local spots. 

We enjoyed a huge Italian dinner from Arturo's this week. Every meal comes with a little bread. Their menu includes favorites like eggplant rollatini, penne chicken and broccoli, shrimp scampi, piccata and linguine and meatballs. There are a bunch of pizzas to choose from or make your own. I loved their large portion of pappardelle bolognese. There was enough for two meals. For dessert, my wife and I split the mouth-watering limoncello mascarpone cake. 

Right now, Arturo's is also offering family style to-go dinner, designed to feed a family of four. Choose from chicken parm, penne chicken & broccollli or penne with meatballs. They all come with a salad. Check out their website for more information.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

CELEBRATING ST. PATRICK'S DAY TAKE-OUT STYLE

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Irish Pizza from Stone's Public House
It was a St. Patrick's Day that won't be forgotten thanks to the coronavirus. Normally busy pubs and restaurants were silent. There were no pints of Guinness flowing. Forget the green beer. All parades were cancelled.

Fortunately, many restaurants are still offering delivery and take-out. Eat Up New England ordered a delicious Irish pizza from our local Irish place, Stone's Public House.  

Daniel Mulhall, Ireland's Ambassador to the USA, said he's telling everyone that St. Patrick's Day 2021 will be the biggest celebration ever. Let's hope he's right.

THE CORONAVIRUS FORCES RESTAURANTS TO MAKE CHANGES

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The cornavirus is forcing all of us to make changes, changes that could last for months. Restaurants across New England and the country are being impacted. In Massachusetts, it's take-out or delivery only. Major chains like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Chick-Fil-A have closed their dining rooms since large groups of people have been banned. Other restaurants are closing until this scare is over with. Not Your Average Joe's has closed all of its locations.

All of our inboxes are being flooded with emails from restaurants who desperately need our business. Many of them are offering deals. UNO's is open for takeout and is giving customers one free pizza if they buy one. Many restaurants like The First & Last Tavern in Hartford, Connecticut are offering free delivery.

If you can and are comfortable with it, give your local restaurants some take-out or delivery business during these tough times. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

TRILLIUM BREWING COMPANY

Saturday, February 29, 2020
Trillium's large selection of draft beer.
Raspberry Chocolate Gateau
Trillium Brewing Company
Canton, MA
www.trilliumbrewing.com

Trillium is the place to go for some fantastic local beer. Their brewing company in Canton includes a brewery, taproom and a large patio where crowds of beer lovers and their four-legged friends can enjoy a pint or two year round.

I am a big fan of flavored beers, so I was excited to discover that Trillium brews a bunch of them. I really enjoyed their Raspberry Chocolate Gateau. Other flavors include Peanut Butter PM Dawn. a Coconut Truffle stout and Peach Super Soak. There are also hoppy beers like Olmsted and Pipsqueak Penguin. All of the beers rotate. There's a list of beers currently on tap on their home page. Trillium also offers some snacks, and on weekends, they often bring in a food truck.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

BEACH PIZZA IN SALISBURY: A TASTE OF SUMMER IN THE WINTER

Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Beach pizza
Hot out of the oven!
Cristy's has been serving slices for generations.
Cristy's
Salisbury, Massachusetts 

For generations, pizza lovers have been treating themselves to slices of "beach pizza" at Cristy's on Broadway in Salisbury. This pizza shop, and its competition, Tripoli's, are steps from the beach. Cristy's only sells pizza, while Tripoli's also makes cannoli's from scratch. The locals all have a favorite shop and swear that one pizza is better than the other. I enjoy them both.

Beach pizza is baked by the sheet and sliced into squares. It comes out of the oven piping hot, which is good for melting a slice of provolone cheese on top. The sauce on beach pizza is also satisfyingly sweet. After decades, it's still very inexpensive, with two slices for a little less than $5. 

Cristy's and Tripoli's are open year round, which means customers can get slices in the dead of winter just like I did yesterday.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

SAY "HOLA" TO A FANTASTIC MEXICAN MEAL AT HOLA

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Chips and a selection of four salsas, along with a red sangia.
Chori pollo
Hola
Southborough, MA
www.visithola.com

Treat yourself to some fine Mexican food at Hola Restaurante & Tequila Bar in Southborough, Massachusetts. This cozy spot is always jumping at night and is the perfect spot for a date or a fun family dinner.

Every meal starts with their chips and four salsas. They are happy to keep the chips and salsas coming if you want more. Start your meal of with guacamole that's made from scratch right in front of you, or go for one of their other apps like the queso fundido. Hola has a large full bar packed with local beer, wine and tequila. I really enjoyed their red sangria, which is pretty large compared to what other restaurants serve.

For dinner, there are tacos, burritos (they are known for their HUGE burritos), salads, enchiladas and plenty of house specialties. Their enchiladas suizas are very good - five chicken-filled enchiladas topped with a creamy sauce and queso fresco. I can't recommend their Chori Pollo enough. It's a large piece of marinated chicken, topped with chorizo, pineapple and chihuahua cheese. This mouthwatering meal also includes rice and beans and three tortillas to make tacos with. It's also gluten free.

Hola also offers a lunch menu where every meal is $9.99. They also have a nice kids menu with small versions of staples like quesadillas along with a choice of three appetizers and a drink.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

SAY CHEESE!

Saturday, November 30, 2019
"The Wedge"
Say Cheese!
www.saycheeseft.com

After spending the morning Black Friday shopping, I was delighted to find the Say Cheese! grilled cheese truck at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The family-owned food truck is based out of Worcester. It can often be found at the Tree House brewery in Charlton. But this Christmas season, it's making a couple of stops in Hopkinton.

I LOVED their grilled cheese called "The Wedge." It's stuffed with bacon, tomato, cheddar and bleu cheese crumbles. They also have a sandwich called "Pickleback," which is filled with pickles, cheddar and bacon. If you're not into one of their specialties, Say Cheese! will make you your own custom grilled cheese. Choose your cheese and fillings. This time of the year they are also selling hot cocoa along with their cold sodas.

Check out their website to see where Say Cheese! is stopping today. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

BRAVING THE THANKSGIVING CROWD AT OUTPOST FARM

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Customers lining up for turkey, pies, stuffing and more.
The mild weather made the line much more bearable.
Finally inside!
Outpost Farm
Holliston, Massachusetts
Outpostfarmma.com

Outpost Farm specializes in turkey, stuffing and pies all year long. So, one the day before Thanksgiving it's not surprise that this place is packed. Police were hired to direct traffic. Cars were parked all along the street. The line stretched outside, but moved quickly. We got inside in about 35 minutes. 

Outpost was ready with stacks of  fresh-baked pies, tubs of stuffing, gravy, squash and potatoes. They also had some pre-made Thanksgiving sandwiches. I grabbed one with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. They make these year round, too. I also LOVE their turkey pies, which are filled with either white or dark meat and gravy. I'll pair one of those pies with their stuffing and have hearty meals that will last for days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2019

STEW LEONARD'S IS READY FOR THANKSGIVING

Monday, November 25, 2019
Turkey, anyone?
Tons of apps and side dishes
Avocado the turkey
The shelves of Stew Leonard's in Newington, Connecticut are packed with everything for a Thanksgiving feast. Whole roaming the isles, I could not believe all of the turkeys they have! It's really a sight to see. The grocery store also has so many pre-made Thanksgiving sides like Idaho mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted vegetables and sweet potato mouse. One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions at Stew's is the turkey they pardon. This year's bird is named Avocado. Catch him roaming around and pecking at his seed at the front of the store. After Thanksgiving, Avocado will go on to live a long life at a farm sanctuary in upstate Connecticut.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MIKE'S PASTRY BRINGS THE NORTH END TO SOMERVILLE

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Cannolis, pies, cakes - they have it all.
Italian cookies of all shapes and sizes!
Mike's Pastry in Somerville
I have FINALLY tried the newish Mike's Pastry in Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. It's a smaller version of their iconic shop in the North End of Boston that offers many of its amazing Italian desserts. You can't leave Mike's without a cannoli, which come in many flavors. They also have tons of cookies, cheesecake, cakes, pies and coffees. It's a true treat for people in the Somerville area who now don't have to go into the city for a taste of the North End.