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.

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT EARLS

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Breakfast Burger
Earls in Somerville, Massachusetts offers a fine brunch on the weekend. Eat Up New England stopped by early Sunday afternoon. The place was packed and the mimosas were flying out of the bar. I highly recommend their breakfast burger. It's topped with cheddar, tomatoes, onion, smoked bacon and a fried egg, all on a soft brioche bun. The big burger also comes with a hearty helping of crispy potatoes. Other brunch options include chicken & waffles, blueberry waffles & cream, steak & eggs and a chorizo & mushroom hash. Diners can also order off of Earls full menu during brunch hours, which go until 3pm.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

MCDONALD'S BRINGS BACK CLASSIC HAPPY MEAL TOYS

Saturday, November 09, 2019
McDonald's is celebrating the 40th anniversary of their Happy Meals by releasing some of its most popular toys for a very limited time. There's a Furby, three McNugget guys, a Tamagotchi, My Little Pony, McDonald's characters, Transformers and many more. The best of the 80's, 90's and early 2000's. The toys come in white plastic bags, so you don't know what you're getting until you open one up. You can see my collection so far. I'm hoping to add a vintage Grimace to my collection. These retro toys are only available for five days, three as of this writing, through Monday, November 11.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

MERRY COFFEE! DID YOU GET YOUR FREE REUSABLE STARBUCKS HOLIDAY CUP?

Thursday, November 07, 2019
Free reusable holiday cup
'Tis the season for Christmas-inspired drinks at Starbucks. The coffee giant's holiday drinks are available for the season starting today. This year, they are offering five festive cups. Early risers also got hooked up with the free reusable red holiday cup pictured above. It's been trending on Twitter all morning with people using #StarbucksCupGiveaway to show off their free cups. Every year, Starbucks fans race to the stores to get the cups, which usually run out by mid-morning. EatUpNewEngland ran out of the house before 8 am to get one, along with a yummy Peppermint Mocha.  

Thursday, October 31, 2019

HALLOWEEN TO THE EXTREME AT ROCCO'S DOUGHNUT COMPANY

Thursday, October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween! Rocco's Doughnut Company in Westborough, Massachusetts is going ALL OUT for Halloween. These are just a sampling of all of the special doughnuts they are offering today. Check out the teeth on the Dracula doughnut! There's also a mummy doughnut, a spider and apple crisp doughnuts, along with so many others. These doughnuts are the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

THE BIG E 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019
Poutine
Lobster roll from the Maine State House.
Cold cider from the Vermont State House.
Baked potato with all of the fixins from the Connecticut State House.
The Big E's Legendary Cream Puff!
Chocolate-covered bacon from the Rhode Island State House
It's Big E season once again! The annual fair is the place to stuff yourself silly with foods from all over New England and beyond. This year, I devoured one of their legendary cream puffs for the first time ever. It was FANTASTIC! The Big E also serves some exotic foods, like the chocolate-covered bacon I enjoyed from the Rhode Island State House.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

DONUTS AFTER DARK AT BACK DOOR DONUTS IN MARTHA'S VINEYARD

Saturday, September 07, 2019
People lining up for Donuts After Dark.
There are many options to choose from!
The crew making those warm, delicious donuts.
A warm chocolate-frosted donut.
BACK DOOR DONUTS
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
www.backdoordonuts.com

Once the sun starts to go down, hungry customers start to line up at Back Door Donuts on Martha's Vineyard. Sure, their bakery is open all day, but at night they serve hot, fresh out of the oven donuts at their back door. It is truly a one-of-a-kind food experience.

There is a large selection of donuts including the more exotic flavors like the maple bacon donut. I really enjoy their warm chocolate frosted donut. I only wish I got more than one! Their double chocolate donut is also fantastic. Back Door Donuts also offers fried dough, apple fritters and cinnamon rolls. 

Back Door Donuts is open every night from 7pm to 1am. Don't be afraid of the line. It moves fast. Plus, you're on the Vineyard. Enjoy that cool ocean breeze!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

NYC'S ARTICHOKE BASILLE'S PIZZA COMES TO CONNECTICUT

Saturday, August 31, 2019
Artichoke: their signature slice
Artichoke's is known for their big slices. 
Newington, CT location
Artichoke Basille's
Newington, CT
www.artichokepizza.com

Artichoke Basille's pizza has been earning rave reviews and drawing huge crowds since it first opened in New York City's East Village in 2008. They are known for their delicious large slices of pizza. Artichoke's has opened its first location in New England, in Newington, Connecticut and they will soon expand to Hartford.

Their cozy Newington restaurant has just enough room for a bar and a few high top tables. The pizzas are sprawled out in front of their ovens.There are many slices to choose from like their signature artichoke slice with artichokes, spinach and cream sauce. Their meatball slice is really good and is topped with a generous portion of meat. They also make a Staten Island slice with meatballs, ricotta and onions. Artichoke's also offers crab, magherita, pepperoni and Sicilian slices.

Artichoke's slices are so good. Let's hope they continue to expand across New England!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

IT'S PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE SEASON!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The PSL hit Starbucks on August 27, 2019
Summer may be winding down, but have no fear. Pumpkin spice latte season is here! Everyone's favorite fall drink is out at Starbucks today, along with a new pumpkin creme cold brew. If you're bold enough to buy a PSL in August, try one on ice. It's amazing how polarizing the summer PSL can be. Some people get mad when they see you drinking one before September. I say, enjoy the flavor as soon as you can!

Monday, August 26, 2019

MOUTH-WATERING WINGS AT THE ROOSTER COMPANY

Monday, August 26, 2019
Boneless chicken wings
Truffled mac & cheese
The Rooster Company
Newington, Connecticut
www.roostercompany.net

The Rooster Company in Newington, Connecticut is one of Eat Up New England's favorites. I've blogged about it before, but I wanted to highlight a few delicious dishes I recently enjoyed there.

The Rooster Company's chicken wings are TO DIE FOR. There are a bunch of different flavors on the menu. I can't rave enough about their Parmesan boneless wings, along with their sweet & sour boneless wings. They are so flavorful and so tender. I also recommend their truffled mac & cheese as a side to any of their dishes. The flavor is fantastic on the pasta that's perfectly al dente.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

CRISPY FLATBREADS AT THE RAIL TRAIL FLATBREAD COMPANY

Saturday, August 17, 2019
Zucchini & Tzatziki
Chicken Bacon Ranch flatbread
Half Mexican Street Corn half Farmers' Market
Lindemans Framboise
The Rail Trail Flatbread Company
Hudson, Massachusetts
www.railtrailflatbread.com

It was a feast for the senses the moment Eat Up New England stepped inside The Rail Trail Flatbread Company. More than a dozen flatbreads with all sorts of tasty toppings were on display, ready to be cooked inside of their wood-fired oven. Staffers donned in different shades of flannel were buzzing around, serving everything from poutine to juicy burgers.  All this as the smell of the wood-burning stove filled the air. It felt more like we were in Vermont or Maine, not Hudson, Massachusetts. 

The bar boasts 20 taps with a rotating selection of beer, many of them from New England. They were even pouring Sip of Sunshine out of Waitsfield, Vermont. You don't see that at many restaurants outside of Vermont. I was excited to find Lindemans Framboise on their menu. This raspberry-flavored brew is from Belgium and goes down real easy.

Comfort food dominates Rail Trail's menu. Appetizers include mac & cheese, buffalo cauliflower and zucchini & tzatziki. This fried zucchini dish was fantastic, as was the pile of tzatziki that was served with it.

The flatbreads are the star of the show. There are several to choose from or customers can craft their own. Choose a sauce, cheese and toppings. You can also order half of one topping and half of another. I LOVED the chicken, bacon and ranch flatbread. The flavors of the toppings, along with a little caramelized onion and scallion worked so well together. 

Rail Trail also serves burgers and salads, but be sure to treat yourself to one of their flatbreads, even if it's just a slice from your friend's pie.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

SIZZLIN' SUMMER SPOTS: POCO'S IN MANCHESTER, NH

Saturday, August 10, 2019
Bow Street Nachos
Poco's has been delighting Portsmouth's visitors since 1982.
Diners can eat outside by the water.
Classic margarita
Fried Haddock Sandwich
Poco's
Portsmouth, NH
pocosbowstreetcantina.com

There's nothing like sipping a cocktail by the water on a hot summer day. Poco's Bow Street Cantina in Portsmouth, New Hampshire offers plenty of outdoor seating on their waterfront deck for customers to do just that.

Poco's menu offers a mix of American and Mexican classics along with some New England seafood dishes. Be sure to order one of their massive margaritas. I loved their Classic Margarita, but customers can also build their own selecting their tequila, liqueur, mix and flavor. They also mix many of their own drinks like the fruity "Poco's Punch" and a refreshing "Limonada." Beer fans will enjoy a selection of bottles and rotating brews on tap. They also serve several wines and sangria, including PITCHERS of sangria.

Do yourself a favor and try their famous nachos. Choose from buffalo chicken, veggie and bbq pork nachos or their Bow Street nachos, which come with cheese and pico de gallo. All of the nachos come in half and full-size and are served with salsa and sour cream. The half is plenty for two people. Other apps include quesadillas, fajitas and enchiladas. Poco's also serves cups and bowls of seafood chowder, chili and several salads.

Entrees include pot roast, sweet potato mac & cheese, chicken and waffles and surf & turf. Poco's also serves many seafood dishes like lobster mac & cheese, New England broiled seafood (choose from haddock, shrimp and scallops) and fried seafood dishes. There's also a lobster roll, build your own burger and cauliflower burger. I devoured their fried haddock sandwich, which is served on a toasted bun with a pile of fries. 

Poco's is a fun and tasty place to stop while taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful Portsmouth. Grab a drink and pull up a seat by the water while it's still warm out!