Sunday, April 27, 2014


It's grand opening day at the much buzzed about Wegmans grocery store in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Who is crazy enough to brave the crowds to check this place out? Eat Up New England. That's who.

As expected, this place was full of people just before noon this morning. Surprisingly, the parking wasn't a nightmare. There is a free parking garage that holds plenty of cars. Once inside, it was every man, woman and baby for themselves. Yes, this place is big, but not big enough to hold this opening day crowd. There were lots of shopping carts getting in the way of things.  At times, it got frustrating just trying to go from one aisle to the next, but this is to be expected during a grand opening. One big positive: the place was well-staffed with plenty of workers to help everyone. Staffers were very friendly and helpful. The checkout lines also went fast with more than 20 lanes open for shoppers.

Like other Wegmans, this one has all kind of special sections to shop. There's a large bakery, a cut veggies station, seafood market, pizza-by-the-slice section, hot/cold buffet, even a Mediterranean bar that's packed full of olives, hummus and salads. My favorite section within the bakery is mini pastries display. Six mini croissants, turnovers or danish for $5. You can't beat that.    

The prices at Wegmans are hit or miss. I saw some yogurt for 50 cents. A half gallon of milk is $1.99. Good prices. But some of their items are a little prices like the prepared hot/cold meals, which could have been a buck or two less expensive. Also, where were all of the freebies on grand opening day? Sure, there were coupons, but hook us all up for coming! All I got was a organic strawberry and a piece of Vermont cheddar.

Wegmans in Chestnut Hill is definitely worth the trip. Just be sure to visit during off-peak hours. Also, check out their Shopper's Club for coupons and discounts.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Hummus sandwich
Everyone gets an animal figurine so your server can find your table.

The Beehive Cafe in Bristol, Rhode Island is a cozy little spot that's always abuzz with customers craving a tasty meal. When you step inside, you'll notice their pastry rack loaded with delicious cakes, pies, cookies and more. Good luck resisting those treats as you place your order! You can sit wherever you want. There's some patio space out front, tables inside, but if you're lucky you'll be able to sit upstairs on their balcony.

I've always visited during lunch, but the Beehive Cafe opens bright and early everyday at 7:00 for breakfast. You can choose from traditional favorites like omelets, egg sandwiches and French toast. They also have bacon & brown sugar pancakes, lemon cornmeal pancakes and a black bean fritter on the menu.

For lunch, their menu is filled with sandwiches and salads. I really like their grilled cheese made with Vermont cheddar. During my last visit, I tried the hummus sandwich with tomato, cucumber, red onion and pea greens on flaxseed bread. Very good and filling. Forget the fries. Choose from dressed greens or chickpeas for a side. There are several salads at the Beehive Cafe including kale, lentil and arugula salads. Dinner is served three nights a week. The menu includes their lunch options with some heartier entrees including meatloaf, ricotta gnocchi, chicken pot pie, vegetable pot pie, mac & cheese and pizza. Of course, the chef offers up several specials each day.

What I really enjoy about The Beehive Cafe is that there are plenty of delicious meals for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. The food is local and healthy. Be sure to take a stroll down to Independence Park when you visit for a beautiful view of the ocean.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


It's tough to find a better view of the ocean than the one you'll find at Sip 'n Dip Donuts in Bristol, Rhode Island. It's an old school coffee shop that's a longtime favorite of locals and visitors alike. I only had time for a chocolate-frosted donut when I was there. It tasted a lot like the chocolate-covered donut I get at Honey Dew, which is one of my favorites. Frequent visitors rave about their coffee, particularly Sip 'n Dip's iced coffee. They also offer soft ice cream to cool visitors off in the summer. Once you get your food, bring it outside and take in the beautiful view of the ocean. ,

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Lemon chicken
No one likes to wait when they go out to eat, but if you have to wait at Fiorella's in Newton, at least you'll get a free show. The kitchen is at the front of the house, which means diners can watch the chefs cook up all of their Italian meals. Look out! Things can get fiery! Once you're seated, you'll soon find out that Fiorella's is one of those restaurants where you can't get a bad meal. Everything here is delicious.

Every meal starts with their wicked good garlic bread sticks with marinara sauce. You'll find yourself asking for a second basket. Fiorella's has a large wine menu with reasonable prices. I had a large glass of Merlot for just $6. They also have several mixed drinks and beers. Apps include Italian favorites like arancini, calamari and toasted ravioli. You can also begin your meal with a Caesar, house or goat cheese & glazed walnut salad.

All of Fiorella's entrees are hearty. Tonight, I really enjoyed their lemon chicken with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives. It's tossed with penne and pecorino romano cheese. I can also recommend their baked haddock and bolognese. Other entrees include cheese ravioli, eggplant parm, chicken parm, shrimp scampi, baby clams, salmon and scallops served over risotto. Fiorella's also has several pizzas and calzones for lunch and dinner.

If you save room for dessert, go for their chocolatey tiramisu. Other traditional Italian desserts include gelato, cannolis and flourless chocolate cake. If you're lucky, cheesecake will be one of their specials. 

Tasty Tips
- Fiorella's also has express locations in Brighton and Belmont, MA.
- Join their birthday club and get a free entree (up to $15) on your birthday.
- Fiorella's is open for lunch and dinner daily, except for Sundays when only dinner is served. , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I've told you about Via Via Pizza in Newport, RI before. They are home to one of my favorite slices around, the lasagna pizza! They also have this one-of-a-kind pizza: the lobster pizza! It's made with a white sauce, cheese and chunks of lobster. It's $4.99 a slice and definitely worth a try. , ,

Monday, April 14, 2014


After a VERY long winter, it's finally starting to feel like spring in New England. If you're in Rhode Island, you'll notice the Del's trucks are out and serving everyone's favorite frozen lemonade. I spotted a few of them over the weekend in Bristol and Newport, including this truck at Easton's Beach in Newport.

Monday, April 07, 2014


The line outside of the Ben & Jerry's on Newbury Street in 2011.
Every April, Ben & Jerry's says "thank you" to their customers with Free Cone Day. Tomorrow, April 8, you can stop by an Ben & Jerry's for a free ice cream cone from noon to 8pm. As you can tell from the photo above, Free Cone Day attracts a lot of ice cream lovers, so prepare for a short wait.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


The Goat Island Lighthouse
The forecast looks good  for the rest of the week, so why not head down to Newport, Rhode Island for Newport Restaurant Week?! Discover dozens of restaurants in and around Newport that are offering 3-course meals. I can highly recommend Mamma Luisa Restaurant in Newport for a wonderful Italian meal. It's small and intimate. The perfect place to bring a date. The Brick Alley Pub in downtown Newport is also a favorite. Brick Alley is known for their comfort food, large selection of beers and their salad bar. For one of the best views in Newport, check out the Windward Grille at the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island. After your 3-course dinner, go outside, sit down in one of their Cape chairs and marvel at the ocean view. Did I mention the Goat Island Lighthouse is right there? You can walk right up to it. It's a perfect spot for pictures especially when the sun is setting.

April 4-13 
Three course lunch: $16 Diner: $35
Full list of participating restaurants & menus: ,