Thursday, January 22, 2015

DEFLATE-GATE CUPCAKES


New England restaurants and bake shops are getting creative over the Patriots' Deflate-Gate. These cupcakes are currently available at Cupcake City out of North Reading. They have another location in Newton, too. As you can see, they're celebrating the Patriots with messages like "Get Over It " and "Deflate This." The football cupcake is their deflated cupcake and only has half of the amount of cream as usual. I had that one and it's sooo good!

In Boston, the Boston Common Coffee Company is selling Deflate-Gate cookies. They are selling fast and were even featured on The Today Show. On Martha's Vineyard, Sharky's Restaurant is selling a Deflate Nacho Plate with the beans on top in the shape of a deflated football. , ,

Monday, January 19, 2015

MARKET BASKET OPENS IN ATTLEBORO, MA

Another Market Basket is open for business. Their newest location is in Attleboro, Massachusetts. It's been sitting there ready to go for months and months, but the Market Basket drama from last summer held things up. I stopped by just before the Patriots game on Sunday. The place was packed. Enjoy a few pictures from inside.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

VEGETARIAN AT GREEN LEAF IN FRAMINGHAM, MA

Gobi Manchurian
Mediterranean Millet Risotto
Potato Leek Pizza
There are more and more vegetarian restaurants opening up and they're quite popular. I'm not a vegetarian, but that didn't stop me from trying out Green Leaf in Framingham, Massachusetts this weekend.

We started out with the Gobi Manchurian for an appetizer. It's cauliflower dipped in chickpea flour, fried, glazed with a sweet tomato sauce and served with peppers and onions. They were delicious and surprisingly filling. Other apps include edamame, artichoke stuffed mushrooms and nachos. 

There are many healthy drink options on the menu. We enjoyed an apple, banana and strawberry smoothie. Here's where things get rough. There are no alcoholic beverages on the menu. No wine. No beer. If you don't know that going in, you're going to be bummed.

For dinner, we split the "Mediterranean Millet Risotto" and the "Potato Leek Pizza." As an Italian, I love risotto. However, if you order this dish thinking it will be anything like the Italian classic, you will be disappointed. The millet was mushy and the dish as a whole lacked flavor. I suppose that's what I get for trying a vegan dish. They redeemed themselves with the pizza. It was so filling that we brought some home.

Green Leaf is also open for brunch on the weekends, so I'd be interested in trying their omelets and French toast. For lunch, they offer a variety of sandwiches, which are not on the dinner menu. ,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

AN ITALIAN FEAST AT GRAPPA

Every meal begins with their mouth-watering garlic bread.
Stuffed mushrooms
Chicken piccata
Chocolate bomba
When I first started Eat Up New England two years ago, I wasn't so sure about blogging about Grappa. It's a tiny Italian spot tucked in on a side street near Target in Watertown, Massachusetts. Everyone eats in one room and the food is off the charts delicious. I felt this little restaurant was a hidden gem and didn't want to give away one of the best kept secrets around. Well, it's time for everyone to enjoy this Eat Up New England Favorite.

Every meal at Grappa starts with a tray of their garlic bread. It's soooo good and yes, they will bring you seconds. Apps include rolled eggplant, salads and bruschetta. My favorite is their baked stuffed mushrooms. They are overflowing with breadcrumbs and sprinkled with just enough cheese. They are also vegetarian.

You can find all of your Italian favorites on their dinner menu.  My favorites include the fettucine bolognese, spaghetti carbonara, chicken piccata (pictured above) and shrimp scampi. Also on the menu, a catch of the day, several other chicken and veal options, spinach & ricotta ravioli and linguine with clams. 

Save room for dessert and order their chocolate bomba. It's a ball chocolate and vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate. There are also almonds inside and a cherry in the center.

Grappa is open for DINNER only. Make reservations if you go on the weekend. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays. I discovered Grappa on Groupon and have been hooked ever since. They still put up deals on Groupon every now and then.

www.grappawatertown.com


UPDATE: Grappa went out of business in July 2015. Read Eat Up NE's post from July 29th for more information. , ,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

BREAKFAST AT MEL'S COMMONWEALTH CAFE

Mel's Commonwealth Cafe in Wayland, Massachusetts is one of those cozy, old-school restaurants where you get the feeling that everyone knows each other. It's a local landmark and you'll realize that after driving around the parking lot a few times looking for a spot. This place is always packed!

Sure, Mel's serves lunch, but let's focus on why I always eat there: their breakfast! Mel's has a ginormous breakfast menu, packed with all of the favorites. There are a bunch of egg specials. If you're really hungry try "The Wayland Warrior" with four eggs, four silver dollar pancakes, three strips of bacon, three sausage links, home fries, a bagel and orange juice. Feeling healthy? There's the "Healthy Heart Breakfast" with 3 scrambled egg whites, grilled turkey sausage, a fruit cup and whole wheat toast.

Other breakfast favorites include pancakes, Belgian waffles, French toast, omelets, Benedicts and breakfast sandwiches. I enjoyed an omelet with bacon and cheddar cheese, served with home fries. I always like when you can get an English muffin for your bread! Just like any good breakfast spot, Mel's attentive staff came by several times to top off my coffee.

melscommonwealthcafe.com ,

Monday, January 05, 2015

FINE DINING AT NEWTON'S BOKX 109

This is their menu, folded up in a paper bag.
Cod with fingerling potatoes and corn succotash
Lobster mac & cheese
It's a new year and that makes it the perfect time to try out the cuisine at some restaurants I've never been to before. On Saturday night, my fiancee and I braved the snow to enjoy dinner at Bokx 109 American Prime in Newton, Massachusetts. It's inside of the Hotel Indigo. The valet even parks the car for you.

The ambiance was warm and vibrant, with a jazz band setting a relaxed tone during dinner. Bokx 109 boasts an extensive wine menu, but I went for a Harpoon Winter Warmer. Apps include wings, crab cakes, mussels and oysters. There are traditional salads including Caesar, beet and a wedge. At $15/bowl, soups like their lobster & seafood chowder and caramelized onion, are on the pricy side, but I bet they are very satisfying.

I ordered the cod for dinner and added a small side of mac & cheese to go along with it. The cod was among the finest fish dishes I've ever had the pleasure of eating. It was cooked perfectly on a bed a fingerling potatoes and corn succotash. There were small bits of glazed ham in the succotash that made the flavors of this dish just pop. Somehow, I saved room for the hearty lobster mac & cheese, which was nice and cheesy and included just enough lobster.

One of the highlights on Bokx 109's menu is a New England lobster boil with mussels, clams and scallops. Also on their mouth-watering menu are land & sea tacos, broiled scallops, chicken, short ribs and salmon. Who could forget the steak? Cuts run from the $32 Sirloin Tri Tips to the $60 103 Cowboy Ribeye. Pair your steaks with sides like grilled asparagus, sweet potato fries, brussel sprouts and short rib mac & cheese. There are a few burgers on the menu, including a hearty veggie burger, along with several flatbreads. Desserts include creme brulee, cheesecake and chocolate molton cake.

Bokx 109 is open for dinner only. In the summer, you can order from their menu while relaxing by Hotel Indigo's outdoor pool.

bokx109prime.com , ,