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Wholesale Clam prices increased over 50% this week !!? !!? Dairy Joy

The red tide ban was lifted for some areas (Ipswich) on June 19th, the rest on July 1st.

Jul 09, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Novice traveling to Belgium, want to learn ahead of trip

Don't know if things have changed in the past ten yrs since visiting Belgium, but the beer centric bars that I went to usually only offered a handful of beer on tap - usually lagers and golden ales - which was only a fraction of the styles and brands offered in the bottle.

Jul 07, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Vast Selection indicates Superior Taste Buds

The irony of this post is so precious. Any serious beer connoisseur, would know why.

Jul 04, 2014
LStaff in Beer
4

Recommendations For Casual Seafood Dining Near Boston

The liberal club is not by the water and I'm not sure they serve whole lobster either.

Jul 04, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Where can I BBQ at the beach in Boston??

Give Summer Shack a call - they do catered clambakes for private parties. Website said they can help you find a location too.

Jun 28, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Belgian Trippel Blind (or Bland?) Tasting

Westmalle tripel is considered the benchmark for the style by many beer drinkers. Sounds like your sample was off/old.

Jun 25, 2014
LStaff in Beer
1

Waltham is the Paris of the Teens (nee the new Somerville)

With improved beer selection in the past couple of years with The Gaff, Copper House, and Bison county stepping up, and the new Market Basket coming, I will have few reasons to venture out of Waltham.

Jun 25, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Ice Cream Trucks near Waltham or anywhere near Boston/Metro West that carry FrozFruit

Hang out at the Spray Deck at Beaver Brook state park and you can have your pick from multiple ice cream trucks over the course of an hour or so.

Jun 23, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
1

Portsmouth and area report (and $4.99 lobster roll!)

Nothing wrong with warren's if you are looking for straight ahead seafood like you would get at a shack, but want options other than fried seafood, seating, air conditioning, and/or a bug free environment without standing in line. My wife and I eat lunch here whenever we are in the area and are not anywhere near retirement age. ;-) I have had fried clams here that are way beyond the quality of Bob's and rivals the best ive had in new england.

Jun 17, 2014
LStaff in Northern New England

dinner in Boston, steamers in Boston

Probably too late now, but my favorite place for clams on the way to Newport is the Liberal Club in Fall River. They are littlenecks and not soft shell style and you can get them plain or sauteed in garlic and oil. I recommend the latter and ask for some pops to dip in the broth. Good red chowder here too, although on the salty side sometimes.

Jun 16, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

June 2014 Openings and Closings

The mayor of waltham recently declared that MB in waltham is scheduled to open in September.

Jun 12, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Summer Beer Rundown 2014 -- What are you drinking this year?

Widmer Citra Blonde is still tops for me again this year. Been drinking many of the session ipa's as they come in fresh, but Founder's all day is the only one I have purchased repeatedly and has replaced Narraganset summer in my fridge this year. Victory summer mix pack has two great new beers - hop ticket pils and session ipa - whirlwind wit is over spiced with coriander imo, and summer love is just meh to me. Narraganset Dels shandy is an ok thirst quencher when guzzled ice cold. 2 Roads Ol'factory pils is pretty hoppy and drinkable.

Jun 11, 2014
LStaff in Beer
1

Narragansett/Del's Lemonade Shandy in Boston

Got a six pack of pounders at D&L on Lex St in Waltham yesterday. It was better and less seeet than I was expecting a premixed shandy to be. Very refreshing while it is ice cold, quite a bit harder to drink with disjointed flavors when it warms up a little.

Jun 06, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
1

Hot dogs

I've tasted the Spike dog without the bread - just be glad the bread covers up the flavor for you. Farm yard is the nicest way I can describe it's flavor. No amount of bread or condiments can cover up that flavor for me.

Jun 04, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Summer Beer Rundown 2014 -- What are you drinking this year?

Drinking a whole lotta Founders All Day IPA this summer which has seemed to have replaced Narragansett summer in my fridge this year. Still havent seen my last year's favorite, Widmer Citra Summer ...

Jun 02, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Maine Lunch IPA in Portland??

Heading to Portland on monday, any heads up where I can find MBC beers and other local hoppy offerings on tap in the old port area is much appreciated. Thks.

May 01, 2014
LStaff in Northern New England

Wegmans in Chestnut Hill

I so miss hardrolls. Especially one with butter and a cup of coffee for breakfast.

Apr 30, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Wegmans in Chestnut Hill

I was unimpressed by the selection, random layout, and pricing of their beer section. Some of the bigger crafts like SN or Lagunitas and a couple locals were a little cheaper than local beer stores, but everything else was about the same or higher than better beer stores in the area. Also have to be careful with freshness too even though they just opened. Hopefully the Burlington location gets a little more attention when it comes to beer instead of the afterthought that it is here.

Apr 30, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Zaftig's a question.

Neillio's pastrami does have a sweet glaze on it.

Apr 30, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

ISO Troegs Nugget Nectar

Within the 6 pack I drank this year - the week it arrived in the area- there were a couple bottles that were awful (drank on separate nights, so it wasn't just a palate anomaly) and the rest were as good as I remember it to be in recent years (just ok). The bad ones tasted like stale hops were used.

Apr 18, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Brooklyn Pilsner eruptions rumble on...

Can't/won't brew their own flagships, but they can spend the time/money/effort to open a brewery in europe. I would be a fan of their lagers if I knew their wouldn't be a good chance of getting a diacetyl bomb. I would suggest moving on to another brand if they cant be trusted to deliver everytime. Plenty of quality beer to choose from these days.

Apr 13, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Lamb Sandwiches

They are very inconsistent with the amount of tzatziki sauce they put on their sandwiches. And many times half the sandwich doesn't have any, and the other half has way too much. My wife and I take bets on who is going to get the tzatziki bomb and who is going to get shafted whenever we order gyros.

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Passable/ok food - horrible service. I used to go for the buffet lunch for a while and got tired of the lack of service. Went once for dinner with my wife and she refused to go back. Retail prices for Duvel though....

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Searching for a great Hot Dog as winter winds down.

I thought the jumbo dog at Fred's was bland too when I tried it for the first time last year- maybe because it was a little undercooked/barely warm in the middle. Guess I need to try again, or get the smaller dog or sausage and peppers mentioned above.

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Search for Everyday-Drinking Pale Ales

Always thought there would someday be a demand for interesting and drinkable lower abv american pale ales/english bitter styles that used american hops for unique flavors, just never thought they would have to be called IPA's to get anyone's interest though. ;-)

Here are some of the Session IPA's that I have tried:

Founder's All Day IPA - So far this is the king of this "new" pale ale for me, but only out of a can - for some reason the hop flavor is short lived on draft and bottle, but every sip out of the can is deliciously hoppy with tropical and citrusy flavors. Best balance/mouthfeel- which is pretty difficult to pull off for this style imo. 15 packs out now for ~$17 and this will be a staple in my fridge - Seems to keep its fresh hop flavor for 2+ months too.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA - enjoyed the heck out of it when it first came to market (~2yrs ago?)- lots of hop punch up front and good drinkable balance. Recent try lacked the hop flavor and was a bit astringent and watery.

Stone Go To IPA - Probably the hoppiest of the bunch that I have tried but bit too floral/grassy and out of balance (dry/bitter) for my tastes in something that I am going to drink multiples of in a session. Good when blended with one of the lesser hopped examples below though.

Ithaca Green Trail - a nice somewhat fruity pale ale and drinkable malty base, but doesn't push my hop buttons enough to consider it as an IPA

Uinta Detour - an easy drinking red ale - bandwagon jumping on the session ipa name though

Notch Left of the Dial - tried on tap last year. Very similar to Uinta Detour

Greenflash Citra Session - only had on tap, but nicely hoppy and drinkable until I had another beer and came back to it, then it just seemed wispy/watery.

Wachusett Light IPA - caramel malty body and somewhat bold old school (centennial ?) hop flavor. Nice drinkability when its cold, but gets a little cloying when it warms. As far as I know this is the first brewery to use this naming convention. IMO - if/when someone gains crossover traction with this name and the big lager producers jump on it, it could be the perfect storm that overcomes premium pilsner as the most popular style in the US - you will see a broad range of flavorless to full flavored beers called Light IPA's. Then you will see some serious hop shortages. ;-)

Apr 09, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Ive only had the buffet at these places, but frequently:
Ritu ki rosai
Kebab and tandoor
Little India - Waltham -probably the most consistent- may not be boldly spiced, but always a depth of spices.
Pongol - hit or miss

For menu ordering I liked Kushboo in Lex and Namaskar in Davis, but both now closed.

Had a good experience at Minerva in Natick -bold and depth of spices- and wouldnt hesitate to try again.

Apr 08, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Searching for a great Hot Dog as winter winds down.

Had a couple Chicago dog's at Spalla's on Monday. Authentic as can be - and the dog was served hot - unlike some that I have gotten at Windy City Eats or at Gold Coast stands in Chicago that weren't heated all the way through. Talked to the owner at Spalla's and she was given a recommendation to steam the dog for 1.5 minutes from her supplier - but she thinks that is not enough. I love this place, but its going to make me fat because now I have to get a chicago dog AND an italian beef whenever I am in the area.

Apr 02, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
2

New Half Sour Pickles at my local Market Basket.

I picked some up from the burlington location last sunday, there were only 3 tubs on the shelf though, and its been kind of hit or miss at the billerica store the last couple of months I have noticed them. They can be found in the hot dog/sausage/prepackaged deli meat isle when they have them.

Mar 13, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Rogue Farms IPA: Beer Terroir? Will they evolve with aging or go flat?

That may be your opinion (and many other beer geeks) of what a west coast ipa is, but the reality of commercial brewers that market their beers as such is much more muddied. For one example, the namesake itself, Greenflash West Coast ipa is a very malt laden beer with a hefty dose of carapils and caramel malt in the grainbill. Used to have an impression of dryness due to the hop character overcoming the maltiness- but not so much recently though imo.

Mar 12, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Rogue Farms IPA: Beer Terroir? Will they evolve with aging or go flat?

If caps weren't airtight, bottled beer would lose carbonation and go flat in short time. It's oxygen introduced during the brewing and mostly bottling process that is of concern, not oxygen seeping in post capping.

And there's more to oxidation of hoppy beer than just a fading of hop flavor. Can also create unpleasant grassy, metallic, musty flavors - but from my experience most craftbeer drikers including knowledgeable beer geeks really don't know/recognize the difference between fresh hop flavors and oxidized hop flavor.

Mar 12, 2014
LStaff in Beer