Tuesday, August 14, 2018

COMFORT FOOD & A WATERFALL VIEW AT OLD GRIST MILL TAVERN

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Fishbowl cocktail complete with Swedish Fish
Lobster mac & cheese
Fresh from the salad bar
The waterfall is one of the star attractions at Old Grist Mill Tavern.
Old Grist Mill Tavern
Seekonk, Massachusetts
ogmtavern.com

For decades, my family has always made reservations at The Old Grist Mill Tavern in Seekonk, Massachusetts for special occasions. Graduations. Anniversaries. Birthdays. Why do we keep coming back? The food is fantastic. The portions are perfect. There's a waterfall right outside, which makes for a super pleasant dining experience. And, of course, there's their salad bar. There aren't so many restaurants with salad bars anymore, but the Old Grist Mill Tavern has kept theirs going much to every diners delight.

Every meal begins with a basket of their fresh bread, which also includes their famous cinnamon bread and butter. The Tavern offers all kinds of fun cocktails. In the summer, I love their fishbowl.

The Tavern is known for its seafood and steak. For dinner, there are dishes like Baked Boston Scrod, Sea Scallops and Shrimp Scampi over Linguini. Diners can also order fresh lobsters of various sizes right out of the tank.  They also offer prime rib, sirloin, filet mignon and ribeye steak combos. Pair your meat with grilled salmon, baked stuffed shrimp, lobster saute or a steamed lobster

Every summer, Old Grist Mill tavern celebrates lobster with their Lobster Feast. There are steamed lobsters, a lobster roll, seafood pie, lobster scampi and lobster salads. There are also lobster inspired starts like lobster bisque, lobster spring rolls and lobster stuffed mushrooms. I ordered their lobster mac & cheese. This rich dish is made of bowtie pasta, chunks of fresh lobster meat and topped off with crumbled Ritz crackers.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

FAMILY STYLE ITALIAN AT THE ROME RESTAURANT

Wednesday, August 01, 2018
The Mia Tia
Seafood chowder
Fettuccine and meatballs
The Rome Restaurant
Franklin, Massachusetts
www.the-rome.com

Since 1965, The Rome Restaurant established itself as a prime spot for a hearty family dinner. Portions are huge, so bring your appetite. 

The Rome's full bar offers a large selection of beer and wine, along with some yummy cocktails. I enjoyed the tropical Mia Tia, with black rum and pineapple juice. 

Their menu is full of large entrees. Pastas include homemade spaghetti, fettuccine, cheese ravioli and penne, which can all be topped with sauce or olive oil. I ordered a heaping helping of their fettuccine with meatballs. I could only finish half and had plenty for lunch the next day.

Other entrees include several chicken, veal, eggplant and alfredo dishes. There are also many house pizza specials like chicken ranch and white shrimp & garlic or make your own pizza. Several salads and steaks round out there plentiful menu. All of the entrees come with soup or salad and a basket of bread & butter. For the summer, The Rome is offering a bunch of seafood specials.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A VARIETY OF DONUTS & ICED COFFEE AT GOURMET DONUTS

Saturday, July 28, 2018
A variety of donuts, muffins and bagels.
One of their dozens of flavors of iced coffee.
Check out their compact Car Visor Menu.
GOURMET DONUTS
Several locations in Massachusetts including Westboro & Worcester. Also in Rindge, NH
www.gourmetdonuts.com

Growing tired of the national chain that's on every corner, which offers the same tasteless donuts and coffee? Check out Gourmet Donuts for a large variety of donuts, muffins, iced coffees and bagels. Eat Up New England stopped by their Westboro location today and was wowed by the selection.

The iced coffee menu at Gourmet Donuts is truly impressive. There's every flavor you can think of from banana cream pie and chocolate covered strawberry to mocha mint and maple french toast. They even make up special brews like cookie dough and KitKat. Gourmet Coffee also offers season coffees like Smashing Pumpkin and Vermont Maple Walnut. In the summer, stop by for one of their Del's or Watermelon frozen drinks.

Gourmet Donuts sells a variety of donuts. Classics like chocolate frosted, jelly, honey dip, maple frosted and rainbow sprinkles are available all year, with special donuts around certain holidays.

Eat Up New England enjoyed the chocolate raspberry iced coffee with a chocolate glazed donut. One thing I've never seen before is their Car Visor Menu, which lists all of their products and folds up for tucking away. It's a great idea for repeat customers on the go.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

WALK UP TO THE ICE CREAM WINDOW AT MILDRED'S DAIRY BAR

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Root beer float
The Gobbler
Located at The Vermont Country Store
Mildred's Dairy Bar
Weston, Vermont

The Vermont Country Store is one of my favorite places to shop in Vermont. They offer unique gifts, a huge candy section, Vermont beers and cheeses to sample. After shopping, customers can check out Mildred's Dairy Bar in season.

Walk right up to the windows to order ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes. There are also traditional summer foods like hamburgers and hot dogs, along with a couple of turkey sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, salads and a grilled cheese made with Vermont cheddar. I enjoyed The Gobbler turkey sandwich, which is made with nice cuts of turkey (not the shiny cold cuts garbage), Vermont cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce and a cranberry mayo. I also could not resist their root beer float with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

There's also a second Mildred's at the Vermont Country Store's other location in Rockingham, Vermont. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

GO YARD GOATS! ENJOYING THE FOOD AT DUNKIN DONUTS PARK

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Super Nachos
Chompers entertains the crowd!
The Hartford Yard Goats
www.milb.com/hartford

Since 2016, the Hartford Yard Goats have been all the buzz - or maybe the MEHHH - in Connecticut. The beautiful new park for the AA team sells out all of the time with the help of its adorable mascots, Chompers and Chew Chew. Dunkin Donuts Park is also the home of some good food, which Eat Up New England was lucky enough to try out.

There are the ballpark staples like hot dogs and hamburgers. Fans can get a large popcorn in a large Yard Goats helmet to take home. Ice cream is also served in small souvenir helmets. There's also Bear's Smokehouse BBQ, which features dishes like pulled pork and pulled pork mac & cheese. Of course, there is a Dunkin Donuts along with several donut-inspired dishes. There's the Glazed & Grazed Burger, which uses a glazed donut for a bun. There are also Dunkin' & Chicken Skewers - boneless bbq chicken with glazed Munchkins.

I enjoyed the Super Nachos from one of the concession carts. I piled nacho cheese, shredded cheese, chicken, salsa, lettuce and sour cream on top of my chips. I kept my beer local, opting for a gigantic cup of 308 Pilsner from Hartford's own Hanging Hills Brewing company. By the way, the food prices are reasonable, unlike in the big leagues.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

EAT UP ON THE ROAD: PHILLY'S FANTASTIC FOOD

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Cheesesteak Hoagie from Cleavers
Crabfries from Chickie's & Petes
Philadelphia is the home of American history, but this fantastic city also houses some fine food. The city is world famous for their mouth-watering cheesesteaks. There is so much buzz about Geno's and Pats, but the locals told Eat Up New England to check out Cleavers. Their "Cheesesteak Hoagie" is by far one of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted. It is loaded with steak and melted cheese. Underneath it all is lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo. All of it is piled into a sesame seed bun. This cheesesteak is as good as it gets. 

Eat Up New England also made it to Citizens Bank Park for a Phillies game. So many people were eating crabfries, so I hunted them out. They come from the local chain, Chickie's & Pete's. These seasoned fries are so addictive, especially when you pair them with hot cheese sauce.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

MYSTIC CAFE IN MANCHESTER, VERMONT

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Italian sandwich with chips
One of the many beers on their menu.
Mystic Cafe offers customers a bright and inviting atmosphere.
Mystic Cafe
4928 Main Street 
Manchester, Vermont
 
The town of Manchester, Vermont is known for its shopping. There are tons of outlet shops. It is also the home to Orvis. There are also many cozy restaurants in town like Mystic Cafe.

The Cafe's menu features comfort foods like soups, sandwiches, flatbreads and salads. I really enjoyed their Italian sandwich, filled with thinly sliced meats and cheese. There's also a grilled cheese stuffed with three different cheeses. Order some tomato soup with it for dunking. Dinners include entrees like lamb sliders, paella and a boneless chicken caciatore.

Mystic Cafe offers brunch on Sundays with waffles, eggs dishes, frittatas and sandwiches. There are plenty of coffee options including lattes, espresso and cappuccino. They also serve alcohol, with many local beers, wine and sangria to choose from.

EAT UP NE FAVORITE: THE LOBSTER POT

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Clam strips & fries plate
Cup of clam chowder
The Lobster Pot has a raw bar with oysters, cherrystones & shrimp cocktail.
The Lobster Pot is known for their HUGE lobsters, which they will cook for you.
THE LOBSTER POT
Buzzard's Bay - Wareham Line, Massachusetts
http://lobsterpotrestaurant.biz/

When the sun starts to shine and the temperature rises, The Lobster Pot is the first place Eat Up New England goes for an authentic seafood meal. This restaurant boasts an extensive menu with all of the Cape Cod classics.

I LOVE their clam strips plate. It comes with a pile of clam strips, crispy fries and cole slaw. I usually order a cup of their fantastic clam chowder to go with it. Other seafood dinners include fish & chips, oysters, scallops, calamari, shrimp and whole clams. The Lobster Pot also offers baked and boiled haddock, lobster and scallop dinners. Their lobster rolls are also amazing and jam-packed with fresh lobster meat. Be sure to check out their tank of live lobsters to eat. Some of them are pretty big. Their menu also includes burgers, a hot dog, grilled cheese and the summer classic, corn on the cob.

Customers can drink up at The Lobster Pot. They have a bar that's stocked with beer and wine. For dessert, there are frappes and ice cream sundaes.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

FOOD TRUCKS GALORE AT METROFEST

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Say Cheese! Grilled Cheese Food Truck
The Pickleback
MELT Food Truck
Classic Poutine from MELT
The food trucks are a huge draw at MetroFest.
It was food trucks on parade today at the annual MetroFest in Framingham, Massachusetts. This traditional community event kicks off the summer ever season with local vendors and a line of food trucks. I sampled a few of the trucks, starting with Say Cheese! I loved their Pickleback grilled cheese with bacon, cheddar and dill pickles stuffed in the sandwich. I also can't turn down poutine so I ordered the Classic Poutine from the MELT food truck of Worcester. The fries were topped with gravy and a generous amount of cheese curds. If I had an extra stomach, I would have ordered a Bobbie from the Cappriotti's food truck.  I also saw an amazing looking taco quesadilla from another truck.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

$9.99 FOR A LOBSTER ROLL PLATTER? YES, PLEASE!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
A taste of summer in the city. Tonight, Uno's was offering lobster platters to their Insiders members for just $9.99. Needless to say, their Framingham location was jumping. That's a great price at any time, but with the sky high price of lobster meat this season, it's a STEAL. PLUS, it comes with clam chowder, fries and cider cole slaw. Uno's Insiders Club is one of the best restaurant programs. It's free to join and they hook up members with great deals like this one all of the time. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

GIGANTIC & FLAVORFUL BURRITOS AT "BUENO Y SANO"

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
One BIG burrito!
Baja Burrito
Bueno Y Sano's Acton, Mass. location
Bueno Y Sano
Acton, MA 
www.buenoysano.com

In Spanish, Bueno Y Sano means "Good and Healthy." This delightful local Mexican chain sticks by its name, offering healthy and local foods without skimping on the portions. Just look at the Baja Burrito I ordered at their Acton location. The thing is almost the size of a football. It's also packed with flavor. The Baja is stuffed with grilled chicken, bacon, white rice, black beans, pico de gallo, cheese, lettuce, onion and chipotle sour cream. The bacon and chipotle sour cream really add some flavor to this burrito. I ate the whole thing, but was stuffed for the rest of the night!

Other specialty burritos including a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans and cheese. There's even a spicy Thai burrito with rice, red cabbage slaw and Thai peanut sauce. Customers can make their own burritos and tacos with steak, chicken, pulled pork and grilled chicken. All burritos can be made into bowls. There are also several vegetarian options like spinach & garlic, tofu, mixed grilled veggie and bean burritos. Bueno Y Sano also serves up salads and quesadillas.

Bueno Y Sano was started by a UMass Amherst alum in 1995. It's original store is still in business in Amherst and there are now many other locations including in Springfield, MA and Burlington, VT.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A TASTE OF PUERTO VALLARTA IN CONNECTICUT

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Puerto Vallarta has several locations in Connecticut including this one in Newington.
Camarones Mexicanos
Everyone gets bottomless chips and salsa!
One of their fine margaritas.
A good excuse to enjoy some tequila!

PUERTO VALLARTA 
Newington, CT
www.puertovallartausa.com

You don't have to travel to Mexico to experience the flavor of Puerto Vallarta. Eat Up New England recently enjoyed a hearty Mexican lunch at their Newington, Connecticut location.

Puerto Vallarta makes sure its customers don't go hungry. A waiter came rushing with chips and salsa before we had taken off our coats! When we ran out, they brought us more. 

Puerto Vallarta's menu is HUGE. Choose from tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, salads, soups, burritos and a long list of house specialties. I ordered the Camerones Mexicanos (Mexican shrimp) from their lunch menu. I was presented with a large plate of shrimp over rice with peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. They are served with tortillas so you can make your own tacos. This large and delicious dish was just $9.99 at lunch. If you save room for dessert, they offer traditional favorites like tres leches cake, churros and deep-fried ice cream.

Puerto Vallarta has other locations in Avon, Danbury, Middletown, Orange and Southington. It's the perfect spot for a mouth-watering Mexican meal whether your group is big or small.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

CRAFT BEERS & LOCAL FOODS AT VERMONT'S KINGDOM TAPROOM

Tuesday, May 01, 2018
A stout with a sample of a vanilla porter.
Artichoke dip & chips
BBQ beef brisket with herb-roasted potatoes
Kingdom Taproom serves craft beer and locally sourced foods.
Kingdom Taproom
St. Johnsbury, VT
www.kingdomtaproom.com

Kingdom Taproom brings some of New England's best craft beers and locally-sourced food together. This gastropub is located in northeastern Vermont and is well worth a stop on the way to Canada.

At lunch, we were handed a beer menu which included an impressive selection of beers, many of them from Vermont and other New England states. I settled with a stout and was delighted when our server also presented me with a sample of a vanilla porter that they had on tap. Now, that's service. BTW, Kingdom Taproom always has a current list of their beers on their website.

The food is as tasty as their beer. We began with their cheesy artichoke dip and chips. I really enjoyed their BBQ beef brisket sandwich. I ordered it with herb-roasted potatoes, which were a tasty twist on regular fries. Also on their menu: several salads, flatbreads, mac & cheese and California BLT. For dessert, there's a root beer float but they also serve a Dark Beer Float with beer and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

INSIDE OF THE BRAND NEW WEGMANS IN NATICK, MASSACHUSETTS

Sunday, April 29, 2018
The new Wegmans at the Natick Mall is finally open.
This location has its own Mexican restaurant called Blue Dalia.
An impressive cheese section where there are plenty of samples to enjoy.
Fresh veggies on the second floor
Live lobsters and some creatively packaged vodka on the second floor.
The massive new Wegmans at the Natick Mall finally opened today. Eat Up New England stopped by this afternoon and there was plenty of parking in the parking garage. The store was packed with first-time shoppers, which is to be expected on opening day. 

This mega grocery store features two huge floors. Upstairs, there is a bakery, fruits/veggies section, prepared meals, hot/cold buffets, a large cheese section, seafood, and a restaurant called The Burger Bar. Downstairs, customers will find frozen & refrigerated foods, dairy, cereals and a large wine, beer and liquor section. 

The soon-to-open Blue Dalia restaurant is also on the first floor. Roberto Santibanez will serve as the Mexican restaurant's culinary director. He is the chef and owner of Fonda's third locations in New York City. Blue Dalia opens on May 4th.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

EAT UP ON THE ROAD: POUTINE IN CANADA

Saturday, April 28, 2018
BBP poutine from Mache in Montreal
Italian poutine from Dunns Famous in Montreal
Chicken poutine from stHubert
Eat Up New England is just back from a relaxing and food-filled trip to Quebec, Canada. Trying kinds of poutine at different restaurants was one of the many highlights. Poutine originates from Quebec and is made of fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. But, as you'll see there are many tasty variations in Canada.

The first place I enjoyed this dish was Mache in Montreal. This small restaurant was recommended to us because it's a place where the locals eat. They have several poutine dishes on their menu, but I settled for one that they call BBP where the fries are covered in ground beef, bacon, cheese curds, peas and house gravy. This dish was so large that I couldn't finish it!

The next poutine I enjoyed was at a place called Dunns Famous in Montreal. They are known for their smoked meats. I loved their "Poutine Italienne," which substitutes the traditional gravy with their homemade meat sauce. Amazingly good and filling.

I also LOVED a chicken poutine at the chicken restaurant chain StHubert. This dish was made of breaded chicken chunks drizzled with BBQ sauce, plenty of cheese curds and gravy at the bottom of the dish.