Sunday, April 28, 2013

CHIPOTLE BEER AND CHEDDAR ALE SOUP AT WHETSTONE STATION IN VERMONT

Beer sampler: Chipotle is on the right
Cheddar Ale Soup
After raving about Whetstone Station & Brewery in Brattleboro, VT recently, it was only a matter of time before I had to go back. Their brewery is opening in mid-May, but there are still plenty of great craft beers on the menu. I sampled two with lunch. One of them was a chipotle beer. I thought it would have a mild kick. Oh, no. This was the real deal. If you order this beer, make sure to have plenty of water and station fries to go with it. 

The cheddar ale soup looked really good the last time I visited, so I tried it this time. Very rich and just enough Switchback Ale without overpowering the smooth Grafton Cheddar. For lunch, I ordered off the specials menu and tried the delicious maple bacon pizza. Whetstone Station & Brewery really does serve unique comfort food at a great price. It's quickly become an Eat Up New England Favorite and should be one of your favorites, too. , , ,

Friday, April 26, 2013

RED, WHITE & BLUE IN WATERTOWN



One week ago, Watertown was under lockdown. Everyone was told to stay inside because there was a terrorist on the loose. What a difference a week makes. The New Yorker Diner is now sporting a patriot new paint job, decked out in red, white and blue. #bostonstrong

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ITALIAN AT LUI LUI IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Wood fired pizza cooked crisp inside of a huge tomato-shaped oven. You'll find that and many more mouth-watering Italian dishes at Lui Lui in West Lebanon (pictured below) and Nashua, New Hampshire.

Go for their pizzas and pastas. There are so many different types of pasta on the menu. I really enjoyed their rigatoni bolognese. Other pasta dishes on the menu include lobster ravioli, shrimp scampi & linguine, stuffed shells, lasagne and spaghetti carbonara. Many of their pasta dishes are vegetarian or gluten free. Their pizzas really are cooked in a stove that's in the shape of a tomato. The oven cooks them to extra crispy perfection. Order a pizza with a combination of toppings you want or go for one of their creative concoctions like The Caesar Pizza - a pizza with a Caesar salad on top.

Fresh bread comes with all entrees. Lui Lui also has several salads on the menu, including a BLT and wood-fried vegetable salads. I enjoyed a small insalata with mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, onions and shredded mozzarella. There aren't many places that put mozzarella on their salads. It really kicks the taste up a notch. 

Lui Lui's has a satisfying selection of beers. For those under 21, Lui Lui's has a root beer float on the menu, which is served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Locations
Nashua and West Lebanon, New Hampshire
Deals and Discounts
- If it's your birthday, they'll hook you up with a free brownie sundae.
- They have several great pasta specials for under $9.99.
- Order off their "Express Lunch" menu for a tasty meal served quick. There are many pizzas and pastas to choose from.




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TWO POPULAR BOSTON FOOD TRUCKS TO OPEN RESTAURANTS

Two popular Boston food trucks are opening up new brick and mortar locations.  Today, Roxy's Grilled Cheese confirmed it will be opening up a restaurant on Cambridge Street in Union Square in Allston, Mass. Vegetarian favorite Clover will be opening up locations in Brookline Village, Newbury Street and Burlington. Of course, their food trucks aren't going anywhere. You can see Roxy's Grilled Cheese and Clover at the SOWA Open Market all summer long Sundays in the South End of Boston.


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Sunday, April 21, 2013

CELEBRATE BOSTON: ROXY'S GRILLED CHEESE

If you haven't been to Boston since the Boston Marathon bombings, it's time to go and support the city's restaurants and businesses! Boston's fine food trucks are out and about, including the local and national favorite, Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Roxy's was featured on the Food Network's, "The Great Food Truck Race," and has two trucks that can be found all over the city at different times of the day. You've gotta try their "Green Muenster Melt," a delicious combo of muenster cheese, applewood bacon and homemade guac. Their heaping helping of handcut truffle fries makes for a great side to any of their sandwiches.

Roxy's Website - Log on to see where Roxy's trucks are parked for lunch and dinner.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

BACK TO BUSINESS

The second bombing suspect was captured in dramatic fashion. It's time to think about the four people killed in the bombings and the more than 180 hurt. It's also time to slowly get back to daily life and on this site, that means blogging about New England's restaurants. I have some wonderful places to tell you about in Vermont and New Hampshire in the coming days. So, Eat Up New England! #bostonstrong

Friday, April 19, 2013

DUNKIN DONUTS HELPING MARATHON BOMBING RECOVERY

Add Dunkin Donuts to the long list of local businesses helping out in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. They have donated $100,000 donation to The One Fund Boston to help those most impacted by the tragedy. Starting next week, many Dunkin Donuts shops in Massachusetts and New Hampshire will begin collecting donations for The One Fund. By the way, while all other businesses are closed down in Watertown, Mass today, Dunkin Donuts was told to remain open to provide food and coffee to emergency workers. They gladly did so. , , ,

BOSTON BOMBING: ONE SUSPECT DEAD, THE OTHER STILL AT LARGE

UPDATED AT 10:57 AM FRIDAY 
There are major developments in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Overnight, 26-year-old MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed in a confrontation with suspect one, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Suspect one was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown overnight. His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, remains at large. People in Boston, Watertown, Newton, Cambridge, Belmont, Waltham, Brookline are being ordered to stay inside. It's not safe to go outside.

Hero MIT police officer Sean Collier
Boston is a ghost town today. Everyone has been ordered to stay indoors.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A BOMBING IN OUR OWN BACKYARD

Boston is forever changed, but forever strong. 

On Monday, I was on Boylston Street watching the wheelchair racers speed towards the finish line. There was an undeniable excitement in the air. Just like very year, people were holding handmade signs of support and ringing their cowbells - excited to watch these real-life superheroes do what they've trained months to do. No one could have imagined that true evil would visit our city that afternoon.

We all know what happened. Three innocent people, killed by savages. More than 180 others were hurt. Their lives and their families lives were changed in the blink of an eye. I returned to Boston on Wednesday, 48 hours later. All of those smiles I saw were replaced with looks of concern. Boylston Street was shut down, blocked off by police, Humvees and armed military. All of the local media covering the marathon were joined by national and international press.

Out of all of this, comes good. On Monday, many marathoners ran to the hospital to donate blood to the victims. On Wednesday night, dozens of restaurants in Boston came together to donate some of their profits to survivors. Once Boylston Street opens up, be sure to give its restaurants and stores your business. They need it more now than ever. #bostonstrong

A sea of police tape near Boylston Street.
John King & Wolf Blitzer of CNN broadcasting live. Notice the Humvee in the background.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

BOSTON STRONG

The finish line of the Boston Marathon is now a crime scene. The Boylston Street area is now covered in yellow crime tape and flooded with international media, police and military officials. Post this picture on your Facebook page. Tweet it out. Boston has always been a strong city and will continue to be.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CRAFT BEER NOW ON THE MENU AT MILLER'S ALE HOUSE

Miller's Ale House is a national chain with nearly 60 locations. Many of them are in Florida, but there is one in New England - in Watertown, Massachusetts. They aren't lying when they call themselves an ale house. They have an extensive drink menu with dozens of beers on tap. Right now, they are showcasing their craft beers. I wasn't sure what to try, so they were kind enough to bring me a sample glass of the Clown Shoes Clementine, which is a Belgian style white ale. Great flavor. It turns out, it's made in Ipswich, MA.

There are endless possibilities for dinner. Miller's is known for their Zingers, which are boneless wings. Other apps include loaded fries, potstickers, nachos and fish dip. This is definitely a great place to sit back to what a game. As a huge fan of seafood and pasta, I tried the 35 shrimp scampi. This dish really does come with 35 shrimp - all for only $11.95. The garlic bread it's served with is good, too. There are pages and pages of food to order from. They have different kinds of steaks, many seafood combinations, sandwiches, burgers and huge salads. They also serve a variety of delicious desserts. Next time, I hope to have room for the "Chocolate Pounder," a chocolcate cake with chocolate frosting which is big enough for two.

Clown Shoes Clementine
35 shrimp scampi

TASTY TIPS 
- There's plenty of free parking inside of their own parking garage.
DEALS & DISCOUNTS
-  Join their free e-club to get specials throughout the year. They'll even hook you up with a free treat around your birthday. , ,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WHERE TO GET THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and this Friday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day. Let's celebrate everyone's favorite ooey gooey sandwich by taking a look at some of the tastiest grilled cheeses you can find in New England.

JUNIOR'S RESTAURANT - This open-faced grilled cheese with crisp bacon and cheddar is one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. The steak fries make it even better. JUNIOR'S RESTAURANT is inside of FOXWOODS CASINO in CONNECTICUT. There's also on in Times Square in NYC.
JOHNNY'S LUNCHEONETTE - Their grilled cheese on challah bread is packed full of Vermont cheddar. It comes with a pickle and cole slaw. JOHNNY'S is located in Newton, MA.
THE ROX DINER - "The Ultimate Grilled Cheese" is stuffed with tomato, Vermont cheddar and bacon. It's all nestled in between brioche bread. The Rox Diner has two locations in MA: Newtonville & West Roxbury.
ROXY'S GOURMET GRILLED CHEESE -"The Green Muenster" is made with Vermont Cheddar, bacon and homemade guac. It's one of the many delicious sandwiches that's made this Food Network-featured food truck a favorite in Boston and across the country. You can find Roxy's parked in various locations in Boston and at the SOWA Market every summer.
GRILLED CHEESE NATION - Another Boston food truck. They offer several unique grilled cheeses. I enioy the "In Gouda We Trust" with gouda, caramelized onions and mushrooms. Grilled cheese nation is often parked near the Rose Kennedy Greenway. You can also find it at the SOWA Market on Sundays in the summer.
BLACK BEAR SUGARWORKS FARMSTAND - Just a simple grilled cheese with delicious Vermont cheddar cheese. This small stand is open from May to October at 580 Canal Street in Brattleboro, Vermont.

WHETSTONE STATION - A grilled cheese and bacon like no other. It has a layer of cream cheese which makes it unforgettable. Whetstone Station is in Brattleboro, VT. Search their name for my previous entry about this hot new spot for comfort food and beer.
There are many chain restaurants in New England that serve perfectly good grilled cheeses. Johnny Rockets (Providence Place Mall, Thayer Street, Providence, RI, Mohegan Sun, CT and Freeport, ME to name a few locations) and the new Cheeseboy (Prudential Center, Boston, Providence Place, Milford, CT and South Station are among their locations) offer delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.




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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

DID YOU GET YOUR FREE CONE TODAY?

Every April, Vermont's own Ben & Jerry's thanks its loyal customers with "Free Cone Day." As you can see from this picture in Natick, MA, there were long lines today at some of their locations. If you've never taken part, all you have to do is show up at any of their locations and you get a free ice cream cone. Whatever flavor you want. If you weren't able to stand in line today, there's always next year!

UPDATE: Free Cone Day is so popular that Ben & Jerry's customers crashed their Website trying to learn more about it! ,

BRUNCH IS THE BUZZ AT THE ROX DINER

Banana and cream cheese stuffed French toast. Apple, cinnamon and granola pancakes. Savory and sinful dishes like these have customers lining up outside of the door for brunch at the Rox Diner in Newtonville, MA. And you'd better believe the food is worth the wait!

You can start your meal off with some fresh-squeezed orange juice. They have a machine that they stuff full of oranges to squeeze right on the spot. Try some. It's good stuff. There are endless choices for breakfast, which makes it difficult to settle on just one. If you're extra hungry, try the "Big Rig." It comes with two eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and home fries. I tried the "Boston Scrambler" for the first time recently and loved it. It's scrambled eggs mixed with ham and topped over with melted Swiss cheese. If that wasn't enough, it comes with home fries and toast.  Rox Diner also offers a bunch of tasty omelets, breakfast sandwiches and several varieties of French toast and pancakes.

The Rox Diner is also open for lunch and dinner. They serve a fantastic grilled cheese. More on that in an upcoming post... 

Boston Scrambler

Deals & Discounts: Rox Diner is on Foursquare and they offer deals for checking in.
Reservations: You can call ahead to leave your name. Weekend mornings and early afternoons get busy, so there will probably be a wait.


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Saturday, April 06, 2013

EAT UP NE FAVORITE: NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE'S

The bread and that blend of olive oil & cheese. No matter who you talk to about Not Your Average Joe's, they will no doubt rave about the bread and that magical, yet simple concoction of oil, cheese and spices. Every meal starts out with it and once you've tried it, you're hooked. There's no turning back. It's just so damn good. 

There's a full bar and if you stop by now between Monday and Wednesday, they'll let you sample one of their many wines. I tend to order one of their seasonal beers. Lately, I've been going for their sangria. They give you a full wine glass, which is more than enough to last through your meal.

The entree selection is endless. There are salads, stone-hearth pizzas, sandwiches and burgers. I tend to order off of the "Joe's Creations" and "Joe's Favorites" sections of the menu. Here, you'll find their specialties. I can recommend the chicken piccata with fettuccine, the herb-crusted haddock and the chicken farfalle wth fresh mozzarella. They don't skimp on the portions. All of their meals will fill you up. Last night, I went for something I hadn't tried before: the mustard-crusted chicken. My God, was it good. Two big chicken breasts soaked in their three mustard marinade. They're breaded, pan seared and served up with green beans and a hearty portion of garlic mashed potatoes. You know you've had a good meal when you're stuffed full and are still craving more. That's how I felt about the mustard-crusted chicken. 

If you still have room for dessert, there most popular dessert is the "Peanut Butter Thing," a huge hunk of peanut butter ice cream cake covered in Oreo cookie crumbs. It's perfect for two or three people.

Olive oil, cheese and spices dip
Generous hunks of their soft bread, with onion crust


Locations: Acton, Arlington, Beverly, Burlington, Dartmouth, Hyannis, Medford, Methuen, Needham Newburyport, Norwell, Randolph, Seekonk, Watertown, Westboro
Deals & Discounts: NYA Joe's has the best birthday deal. When you join their email club, you'll get a coupon for a free entree AND dessert. You can get the most expensive meal on the menu and a dessert and it's still free! It doesn't get any better than that.
Social Media: NYA Joe's is all over social media. Find them on Foursquare, where they always have a deal in the works. Right now, you can get a large cheese pizza and two apps for $19.99. You can also follow them on Twitter @NYAJoes.

Mustard-crusted chicken
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Thursday, April 04, 2013

WACHUSETT BLUEBERRY BEER

One of my favorite beers just so happens to be brewed locally -  in Westminster, Massachusetts. Wachusett Blueberry is just so good. Packed with blueberry flavor, it can be made even better by adding some blueberries to your pint. A six-pack costs about $10 and you can get this at bars and restaurants all over New England. If you've never tried Wachusett Blueberry before, be sure to ask for it the next time you go out. Wachusett also brews many other fine beers including their own IPA, Pale ale, Octoberfest, Milk Stout and Winter Ale. Are you thirsty yet?

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

EXCITING NEW DINING OPTIONS AT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

As a proud graduate of Northeastern University, I return to campus several times a year to see what's new. The Curry Student Center has a fresh, new look, along with several new places to grab a quick bite. The Taco Bell, West End and On-The-Go Convenience are still there and joined by several exciting new restaurants, including Popeye's, Sweet Tomatoes Pizza (first location in Boston) and UBurger.

With so much buzz about burger joints in and around Boston lately, I decided to try out UBurger for the first time. They have a bunch of different burgers on their menu, along with hot dogs, fries and shakes. I ordered the UCheeseburger, a classic burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and their house spread. It was only $5 and perfectly filling. I'm looking forward to going back to try some of their other burgers. 
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Monday, April 01, 2013

CAPE COD RESTAURANT WEEK IS COMING!

Boston's Winter Restaurant Week may be over, but it will be restaurant week on Cape Cod before we know it. This year, it runs from May 13th-19th. The town of Wellfleet will also be hosting their own restaurant week from May 29-June 5, 2013. I've been to Moby Dick's and Van Rensselaer's for Wellfleet Restaurant Week a few times and would highly recommend both restaurants.

Cape Cod restaurant week info
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