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New Yorker in Boston for three days.

There are places that fit that inexpensive old-school vibe with old timers hanging at the bar, but less and less in downtown Boston. I'm thinking of places like the Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale and Doyles in JP. One spot in downtown that has a great ambiance, although maybe a little more funky and kitschy than "old school" is Anchovies in the South End. Charlies Kitchen in Harvard Square is another spot with a lived in feel, but it can be more of a college crowd.

Edi: Another option in Boston is JJ Foleys, which has two locations. The one on E. Berkeley Street is a real classic Boston Irish bar. I can't comment on the food though.

Nov 25, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

Interesting. I don't recall seeing a cocktail list since the first time I went there, so are these more made-to-order drinks?

On the pricing, I spent a lot the first time I went, but the more I go back (been about five times) the more I find myself drawn to the more affordable non-entree options. To be honest, I might never stray from the fried chicken and sliders again because i find them both sublimely delicious. Those two dishes (and the chowder when it was on the menu) really rise above similar fare elsewhere, and I find myself periodically craving them and wanting to go back.

Nov 19, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

They have improved somewhat. Just from memory, they've eliminated some of the $10 plus beers and are serving, for example, Jacks Abby Hoponius Union for $7. The craft beer selection and prices seem to be more in that $6 - $8 range. Not the best pricing, but not outrageous. They also have two Harpoon draft lines up and running (sorry, didn't catch the pricing) and I believe they have PBR 16 oz cans as a cheaper alternative to the craft beers.

Nov 19, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

best quality tequila for mixing

I like Lunazul, which is pretty affordable for 100% agave (I usually find it priced under $20).

Sep 10, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

I doubt you'll see whiskey drinks, as, based upon what I was told, they don't have a full liquor license. I don't know exactly how they're doing some of what they're doing, as they are serving cocktails with vodka and rum (perhaps using lower proof spirits?). Maybe someone with more knowledge on licensing can chime in. Credit to them for being inventive. The one cocktail I had there was quite good and I look forward to sampling others on the list. I'm also hoping they get a few draft beer lines in there and rotate them periodically.

Aug 22, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

What are some good higher proof bourbons that aren't expensive, like Evan Williams?

Good point. It has been harder and harder to find. I stumbled upon some on vacation recently, but my local sources have been out lately. I hope this isn't the new norm for OWA.

Aug 13, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

What are some good higher proof bourbons that aren't expensive, like Evan Williams?

Old Weller Antique.

Aug 12, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits
1

Low Alcohol IPA?

I recently tried the Stone Go To IPA, which is 4.5%. Very impressive. If you're looking for that big hit of citrus and pine hops on the nose, this is one to seek out.

May 29, 2014
tomjb27 in Beer

Mid-Tier Spirits for Every-Day Cocktail Making

My current go-to's:

Bourbon: Old Weller Antique
Rye: Rittenhouse 100
Tequila: Lunazul
Gin: Beefeater
Rum: Barbancourt 3 & 5 star, El Dorado 3 & 5, Appleton VX & Reserve, Goslings Black Seal
Cognac: Landy

Aside from a few of the rums, these are all about $17 - $25 for a .750. About half of these I came across on this website, so thanks to whomever has recommended these fine, affordable spirits in the past.

And not to go off topic, but I've found it increasingly harder to find Old Weller and Rittenhouse stocked on a regular basis in all the places I used to find them. I hope that's not the new norm.

May 15, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

Dark and Stormy - Ginger Beer Challenge

Nice job on the tasting.

My two favorites are AJ Stephans, followed by Maine Root. Stephans, to me, has the best spicy bite of any commercial brand, while Maine Root brings a prominent citrus element I don't find in most brands.

May 15, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

ISO Troegs Nugget Nectar

I just randomly came upon a six pack at Sav-More liquors in Medford on Mystic Valley Parkway about two hours ago. There was at least one more there. The beer guy told me a case was mislaid and found. The bottling date is 2/17/14. I am hoping it isn't too far past it's prime.

Apr 12, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

ISO Troegs Nugget Nectar

Interesting. How fresh was the Sucks and did you come across it in Boston? Sucks is one of my favorite beers I can get semi-regularly around here (usually about a month out), but fresh Heady is probably the best hoppy beer I've ever tasted. I was dubious of the hype, but it's undeniable.

Apr 12, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

ISO Troegs Nugget Nectar

I believe wholefoods in Cambridge still had some as of late last week.

Apr 09, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Has anyone tried this stuff?

This topic reminded me of this article, which has a lot of interesting information on spirits aging http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/a...

I was particularly intrigued by this mention of rum made in Medford, MA:
Such an approach may actually have had historic precedent: 19th-century rum from Medford, Massachusetts, was famed for its quality, with one writer explaining, “It never left the bonded warehouse on Riverside Avenue until it had passed a severe test and was shipped across the Atlantic and back again, in wood, to age it."

Mar 17, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

Trying to get into rum...

Very interesting point. Are you saying that if I were to make a Manhattan with Old Overholt rather than my preferred Rittenhouse, I should adjust the recipe (upping the spirit ratio) or adjust the dilution? I can't see adjusting the dilution (in this case less dilution) working because it would impact all the ingredients. Do people tweak the recipe? It hasn't been my experience when drinking a Manhattan made with Old Overholt or Jim Beam, for example, that anything was done to compensate for the lower proof. This might just come down to personal preference.

Mar 14, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

Trying to get into rum...

I feel Old Overholt is not very good in cocktails in general, which I ascribe to its relative low proof. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but i always find it to be bland and washed out. When I am out, I never order any classic cocktail anymore if it lists an 80 proof whiskey as the base. But I've had many happy experiences with higher proof less expensive whiskeys (Old Weller Antique, Rittenhouse), so your overall point is not lost on me.

Mar 13, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

fernet branca - love it or hate it?

Russell House Tavern used to feature a cocktail called the Wigglesworth, which I enjoyed enough to attempt making at home (thanks to finding the recipe on this invaluable website:http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20... ). It featured bourbon, fernet, apple-cinnamon simple syrup and maple bitters. Definitely a Fall-Winter vibe. In the proper proportion, the fernet perfectly offset the treacly apple-cinnamon simple syrup. Alas, the cocktail is no longer featured on their cocktail list, although perhaps some there can still make it.

Mar 11, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Visitor looking for Good Craft Beer Sections

Agreed. Flatbreads has an impressive local lineup and Redbones turns their taps over frequently and always has something new and interesting every time I stop by. I would add the frequently unloved (on CH) Cambridge Common (between Harvard and Porter) as another bar with a well priced craft draft selection.They aren't as interesting as Redbones or local at Flatbreads, but I'll keep coming back for $6 pints of Greenflash.

Feb 24, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

Feb 07, 2014
tomjb27 in Beer
1

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

I was a Haffenreffer Private Stock man myself, in my formative years. The bottle caps used to have little puzzles on the inside, which I considered a plus.

Feb 07, 2014
tomjb27 in Beer

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

Wow, you've brought back some memories. We must be of an age, because I certainly remember the ascendency of MGD in the late 80s. At the time I was more of a Bush drinker (because it was cheap). To your point about the "uncoolness" of Bud, I can recall splurging on Michelob every now and then - Bud wasn't even in the conversation. It's funny fads change. In the early 90s, I remember ultra-cheap smaller outfits (Black Label, Shaefer) being well represented at college parties, but the reigning macro brew in my neck of the woods was Natural Light. Sometime in that era was the whole "ice" beer phenomena, which I thankfully skipped. Rolling Rock's heyday happened around that time too, perhaps more mid-90s. Around the same time my younger brother told me all the kids were now drinking Keystone, a beer I think I've never to this day even tried.

Somewhat off topic, but this got me thinking about the first domestic "craft" beer I drank often in the 90s, the beer that - imports aside - probably turned me toward craft beers as much as anything else: Pete's Wicked Ale. Does anyone else recall this beer? It seemed pretty popular and widely available in the North East during the 90s, one of the first consistent domestic alternatives to macros. Then at some point it disappeared.

Feb 04, 2014
tomjb27 in Beer

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

I've become pretty exclusively craft, except for consuming quite a bit of Bud during summer softball games. Being quite familiar with cheap watery domestics from my college days, I've actually grown to appreciate Bud. Like most, I saw no point in paying more when I could get something similar for less, but Bud's quality control is pretty remarkable. Every beer tastes the same and is usually fresh, which I can't say for many other mass producers. An ice cold Bud on a hot summer evening outdoors is not the worst thing in the world

Feb 02, 2014
tomjb27 in Beer

Anchovies -- anyone been lately?

I love Anchovies for a multitude of reasons, including sentimental. This was my favorite neighborhood spot to grab a bite and drinks when I first moved to Boston, back in the late 90s. It combines a really dark, unique city atmosphere with great value. I don't make it back as often as I'd like, but remarkably, it hasn't changed that much, even surviving an ownership change intact. I will mourn the day, if it ever comes, when that space is turned into another cookie-cutter upscale restaurant or gastro-pub.

Jan 14, 2014
tomjb27 in Greater Boston Area

Best Ginger Beer for a Dark and Stormy?

I would recommend AJ Stephans and Maine Root, in that order.

Jan 10, 2014
tomjb27 in Spirits

New Years cocktails

Any special cocktails being mixed? I made a rum Manhattan with Appleton 12, Perucci Gran Reserva vermouth and Angostura Orange bitters, orange twist. My Appleton 12 won't be a mixer very often, but what the hell. Smooth and decadent. Happy New Year's.

Dec 31, 2013
tomjb27 in Spirits

Question on freezing meatballs

I definitely like the idea of cooking in the sauce for that very reason. I think you've articulated from experience what I was hoping would be the case.

Dec 28, 2013
tomjb27 in Home Cooking

Question on freezing meatballs

I should probably have stated up front that a driving reason for the brown and freeze idea is convenience and maximizing the up front labor, not what will give me the absolute best results irregardless of time and effort. I typically make about a pound of meatballs for a meal. Since i like using both pork and beef, it makes sense for me to buy a pound of each and make two pounds of meatballs. Not to imply that meatballs are a labor intensive meal, but on my schedule, and with my limited cooking skills and equipment, they are enough of a project to fall into my weekend meal category. Freezing post-browning pushes a lot of a labor into that initial weekend cook, Freezing uncooked would make the second cook that much less convenient and time-saving for me. Fully cooking all the meatballs and freezing would require more time and sauce and a larger pot up front, or cooking half the meatballs in the oven, which is a method I'm not really familiar or comfortable with. Brown then freeze seems like the sweet spot for leveraging my up front time and having a relatively easy second meal to make. Hope that makes sense and sorry for not being clear.

Question on freezing meatballs

Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I had not thought in depth about the mechanics of freezing the meatballs, so those recommendations are very helpful as well.

Dec 28, 2013
tomjb27 in Home Cooking

Question on freezing meatballs

Hello,

I am planning to make a large batch of meatballs and freeze half of them. My usual method is to brown meatballs in the pan and finish cooking in the sauce. My question is can I brown all the meatballs and then freeze half of them, to thaw and then finish in the sauce at a later date? In other words, is it okay to freeze partially cooked,meatballs that have only been browned? Thanks.

Dec 27, 2013
tomjb27 in Home Cooking

Adios to Old Weller 12?

I know this is a long shot,but does anyone know where to find this in the Boston area?

Dec 21, 2013
tomjb27 in Spirits