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erfer007's Profile

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Local meats/eggs w/o breaking the bank...recommendations?

I agree and was going to say something similar. We eat essentially only local, family farm-raised meat, but since we don't have tons to spend we only but cuts that cost under $10/lb (ground beef or pork, sausage, short ribs, stew beef...) and use less of it. I think this is an instance where you almost always get what you pay for- the "organic" meats you get at the supermarket just isn't as different from the non-organic stuff as you'd think. For this reason, I buy almost exclusively at farmer's markets, lately mostly from Lilac Hedge Farm. HTH.

Dec 16, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Went to the Brookline Sichuan Garden for a late lunch today. Had a delicious, hot bowl of Sichuan Beef Noodle Soup with a rich, spicy broth, fresh spinach and spiked with Szechuan peppercorns. The scene was entertaining- an elderly man came in off the street offering advice on putting disclaimers on menus. An NECN reporter and cameraman walked in looking for an interview. The staff sat off to the side looking at the coverage and laughing lightheartedly. To anyone claiming that a mom and pop shop like this one isn't just un-tech-savvy, but instead is purposefully leaving incorrect info on their website to make an extra buck or two, can you explain why these websites tend to just be terrible in general (poorly designed, often not working, etc.)? Is that part of a grander scheme to make money off outdated menus? I would argue that this all just points to the fact that just because you're able to run a restaurant (and perhaps answer questions on twitter and Facebook) doesn't mean you're able to run a website. I am a well-educated, 30-something woman and there's no way I could design/run a wordpress site myself.
So, just food for thought. I think their response to this whole thing (I think someone posted the link below) was genuinely kind and classy. Their food is tasty and it's a nice mom and pop Sichuan joint, so I'll keep patronizing them (internet inaccuracies and all) and encourage others to do the same!

Dec 10, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

"Real" Eggnog

Thatcher Farm's eggnog (which comes in a glass bottle) tends to be fairly, thick, creamy and delicious! I usually find it at City Feed and Allandale Farm in JP (although I imagine they distribute it elsewhere as well) but I'm having a hard time finding it this year. I bought Crescent Ridge Dairy's eggnog at Whole Foods last week and found it to be a little less thick and creamy than I'd like, but definitely better that many. Good luck!

Dec 08, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

apple sorbet

I know that JP Licks has an apple cider sorbet right now. Not sure what the closest location is to Bedford or how far you're willing to travel...

Nov 20, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

Noodle Barn on Centre St in Jamaica Plain looked like it was ready to open when I walked by it this morning. I'm really hoping their Vietnamese food is tasty and their Thai is much better than it's predecessor Ban Chiang (although that's a REALLY low threshold...).

Sep 13, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

John Crow Farm CSA - What Happened to Them?

If you keep reading that thread, you'll find that the Lunenberg address belongs to Parker Farm and they were not aware their address was being used by "Moonlight Farm" until someone brought it to their attention. It sounds like some of the John Crow people (or friends of theirs?) were buying and packaging meat with the name "Moonlight Farm" and selling it using Parker Farm's address without their knowledge. The whole thing (and just about everyone associated with it) just seems really dodgy.

Aug 03, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

Dave's Pasta in Somerville makes a very good lasagna and it's made with their homemade pasta noodles so I think it would be softer? Maybe worth a try? So sorry about your mom :(.

Jul 31, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Where oh where to get "mushy peas"???

The Haven in JP serves "minty" mashed peas with their fish and chips. They are served cold (the peas- not the fish and chips). Not sure if that's traditional or not.

Jul 04, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

It's Strawberry Season Again! Anyone seen the local ones yet?

We went to Russell Orchard's strawberry festival on Saturday and picked up a quart. They are so sweet and kind of perfume-y... Delicious! Way better than the more tart ones we got from Stillmans the week before. Also picked up a pint of their first cherries! Yay summer!

Jun 23, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Farm fresh eggs?

I got chip-in eggs at Capones in Union Sq. a couple weekends ago. They were $4.

Jun 09, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Very fresh mozzarella coming your way soon

Oh, wow! We go to that Rozzie market and I was already excited for opening day but now even more so!! Thanks!

Jun 06, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

It is a really wonderful place! Always so welcoming of my toddler as well (for brunch, I wouldn't bring her for dinner at this age). Yes, the TG folks have apparently bought the Centre St Cafe! This is some of the best food news out of JP IMHO! People line up at CSC's brunch and having tried it a few times, I honestly have no idea why. Dinner has always seemed to be pretty quiet there. I am excited to see what the TG guys do there!

Jun 05, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

Tres Gatos in JP has a Saturday jazz brunch. They have a patio in front- not the most beautiful view (busy Centre St, CVS...) but they do have some plants out there I think. I personally love their brunch- very unique menu. The chickpea pancakes are really soft and flavorful, the patatas bravas with salsa roja and aioli are a can't miss, and their brunch cocktails are also interesting (had a great tamarind cocktail there one brunch that was particularly memorable!). In any case, it's not a huge menu so best to check it out online beforehand to see if it meets your needs. Also, their website never seems to work for brunch reservations, but I believe they'll take them by phone if you call. Good luck!

Jun 04, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Ice cream with a peanut allergy?

I personally live in JP, but bought it at Union Square Farmers Market in Somerville this am. Not sure where else they're selling- they seemed like a newer business (or at least I'd never seen them around before). I'm in no way related to them- just excited that my nut allergic kiddo can eat ice cream this summer! Note that they don't advertise the fact that they're nut free on their website- they just told us that this morning.

May 31, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Ice cream with a peanut allergy?

I just found a local nut free ice cream! It's called Tipping Cow Ice Cream based in Medford, MA and it is ridiculously delicious! They have flavors like "sweet corn" and "strawberry basil" as well as several others- all nut free and made in a nut free kitchen! I don't think they've been advertising it as nut free- I think they're actually using a commercial kitchen that happens to be nut free and were seeing it as somewhat of a disadvantage. I let them know that there are many moms and dads who would see that as a great selling point! We picked up a pint (I think it was $6) at Union Sq. Farmers Market in Somerville. Not sure where else they sell. After trying several samples I can say that this stuff is ridiculously tasty even without the nut-free-ness!

May 31, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Seriously dark chocolate?

Formaggio has a great selection. Got a Spanish dark chocolate bar that contained olive oil the other day. It had a somewhat gritty texture a la Taza, but was somehow smoother. Lots of choices there but definitely not cheap.

May 29, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Awesome burgers: new thread

Yeah, parking is actually pretty easy (and free!) but like alisonk, I'm also happy to be able to keep walking in without a reservation so long as they're doing okay :).
IMHO, JP used to have an unearned reputation of having lots of good restaurants when we really did not. Now, with mid-range/nicer restaurants like The Haven, Tres Gatos and Ten Tables and a couple solid casual/ethnic places like Blue Nile Ethiopian, I think we've actually got some significant tastiness going on here. But again, I'm happy to be able to get into my favorite local spots without too much advanced planning...

May 22, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area
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Late May Farmers' Markets, Farm Stands, CSA updates

I don't know where you're from, but I saw their yogurt today at City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain. That market in RI mentioned below is amazing! We love their winter market especially- totally worth the hour drive! Good luck!

May 22, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Awesome burgers: new thread

The burger at The Haven in Jamaica Plain is outstanding- chunks of bacon, carmelized onion, tomato, arugula, "house pickle sauce" and cheese- juicy and delicious served with nice steak fries and homemade ketchup. Need a stack of napkins to handle it, but really delicious!

May 21, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Ice cream with a peanut allergy?

Do you happen to know what it was called?? I'm trying to find it online and having no luck. I'd love to take my peanut-allergic kiddo!

May 10, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Delicous Pizza Dough

Agreed. Clear Flour's dough is excellent and makes a great pizza. Fornax in Roslindale makes excellent dough (in white or wheat) too and sell at a few places in JP (Harvest, City Feed) as well as at the shop in Roslindale. Both are significantly better than any other dough I've had.

May 05, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

March 2013 Openings and Closings

Boston Eater posted a link to their new menu. I recognize all of the sandwich names from the Real Deal in JP. I'm guessing they are now owned by the same people?

http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

http://thebrooklinespa.com/_pdfs/menu...

Feb 26, 2014
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Chilli Garden?

If you don't think anything there is too spicy, I'm guessing you haven't tried the "wonton soup with chili sauce and vinegar"? I have a very high tolerance for spiciness, but it even makes me cough. It's delicious though- full of garlic, black vinegar, and a thick chili oil layer on top. Also love the chicken with mustard greens (pickled) and green pepper. They are by far my favorite Szechuan restaurant.

Dec 05, 2013
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Odd sausage question

Formaggio in Cambridge had some homemade garlic sausage over the weekend that didn't have fennel in it. It also didn't have hot pepper flakes which I'd think your friend also wouldn't want if she's avoiding nuts and seeds for digestive reasons (and would usually be in hot Italian sausage). It wasn't far off from an Italian sausage and I can vouch for the fact that it was tasty!

May 29, 2013
erfer007 in Greater Boston Area

Best eating region in Italy?

I am so jealous that you're going to be there this October! My husband and I went to Italy last late October to early November and it was a wonderful time to be there to enjoy good food! We particularly loved going to all of the festivals in Tuscany and Le Marche. In Tuscany, I know there was a truffle festival in the hill town of Volterra with lots of tastes of truffle preparations, local sheep cheeses and cured hams. As I mentioned before though, our favorite portion of our trip (by far, really) was in Le Marche staying at Vento di Rose in Monterubbiano. The owners Emidio and Emanula pointed us in the direction of wonderful food adventures every day and they were certainly excursions we would never have found ourselves. We went to a small vineyard producing "vino cotto" or "cooked wine" and chatted with the owner (Emidio translated for us through the trip!). We went to a wonderful large festival in a town at the base of the Sibilini mountains and a much smaller (but equally amazing!) festival and ate amazing risotto in the town of Monterubbiano. For us, having the hosts at our agriturismo guide us to the best eats and adventures made for a trip we will never forget! Oh, and if you go to Marche, make sure you go to this restaurant in the town of Petritoli with Sergio the chef- he only opens if he has 6 or more reservations and cooks one huge, incredible meal with many courses in this romantic dining room with a long shared table and a fireplace for something like 25 euros including wine and apertif! I wish I knew the name, but again, Emidio guided us there and I don't think they even have a sign. If you can get there, you won't regret it! I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it! Have a wonderful trip!

Aug 15, 2011
erfer007 in Italy

Best eating region in Italy?

I love how my original post months ago became such a great discussion- thanks guys! We ended up staying in Tuscany for the first half of our trip and in Marche (in a little town called Monterubbiano) for the second half. While we had some memorable meals in Tuscany (Osteria Acquacheta in Montepulciano and happening upon a truffle and cheese festival in Volterra stand out as delicious eating memories!) our greatest food adventures turned out to be in Marche. I'm sure that delicious food can be found all over Italy (as evidenced by all of your comments!) but I think the key is to have a local to guide you. We stayed at this agritourismo called "Vento di Rose" in Monterubbiano and one of the hosts there (Emidio) took us all over Marche to taste the best food and view local treats being made. We saw vino cotto being cooked down in large cauldrons, olives being picked and then pressed into olive oil, and visited incredible food festivals we never would have found on our own. Emidio also guided us to a "can't miss" restaurant down an alley without any advertising that opens only when they have 6 people reserved for dinner for the evening! It's in Petritoli and the chef Sergio makes whatever he pleases for the night (I wish I knew the name of the restaurant, but I'm honestly not even sure it was marked!). This was truly the best meal of my life.
So, I guess after tasting Sicily, Tuscany and Marche so far (hopefully other regions await me in the future!) my suggestion is to find a local to guide you to the best eats, and you probably won't go wrong. Also, if you're looking for a great guide to the best food experiences around, I highly recommend staying at Vento di Rose in Marche and telling Emidio you're interested in food adventures- you can't go wrong! You can see my review on tripadvisor for more info on our stay there- I get nothing for recommending them, but just thought I'd pass it along to other food-lovers!

Jun 19, 2011
erfer007 in Italy

Best eating region in Italy?

I know this is VERY subjective, but just looking for your opinions on where to find the best food in Italy. My husband and I booked a last minute trip to Italy in two weeks. We have our second week booked in the Marche region, but are trying to figure where to stay for the first 5 days. Sure, there are other considerations on where to stay (culture, scenery...), but I think some of the best memories are made from really good food! About us: We are in our early 30's, love eating whatever is local and fresh, but especially cheese and pork (and really any other meats), not so interested in seafood. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Oct 07, 2010
erfer007 in Italy