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6 nights no kids, need opinions please

I've been wondering if Il Casale Lex has improved since our disastrous first/only visit last summer with bro and SIL from NYC. They were politely critical, as we were, eating on the patio but none of us were in the mood to complain on a holiday weekend. We haven't been back since. It's a shame because both the interior and outdoor spaces are so pleasant and it's about 5 minutes by car from us and we love the Belmont spot. I wonder why there is such disparity between the two locales.

Has the food at Vine Brook Tavern been decent? Yet another place that has let us down.

about 12 hours ago
digga in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Week

This is not a criticism of you, mmmiv, but I find it sad when our so-called fine-dining spots are offering coupons. Or perhaps D Boulud does this in other locales and I am clueless (I am often clueless). Nevertheless, I can't imagine getting spiffed up for a meal at L'Espalier and then fumbling around in my purse or on my phone for a coupon. Then again, though we can afford L'Espalier, we are pub-/hole-in-the-wall types so I have no idea what fine-dining means in Boston. It's just what I imagine.

about 12 hours ago
digga in Greater Boston Area

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

Does 158 Pickett hold a fun pizza night, too, with BYOB (to me, pizza always equals fun)? I vaguely remember reading about it on a Maine-centric blog.

1 day ago
digga in Greater Boston Area

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

Good call on Red Dory. There have been some promising reviews from dependable Southern NE/RI hounds.

Got to get over there one of these days.

Aug 26, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

Westport is a great idea. We haven't been to Buzzards Bay in ages, but I checked out their website a few weeks ago and they've grown from tasting room only to hosting food trucks and live music, a la Cisco Brewery out on Nantucket. Sounds like a fun time.

We have always liked eating at the bar at the Back Eddy during off-hours.

Usually no traffic coming from Boston, either.

Aug 26, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

One-day foodie road trip from Boston

I wouldn't recommend Ogunquit for the food, although I love the beach there.

When I think of day-trips, I personally don't like driving more than an hour each way, especially if we have adult beverages, which we always do. Kittery is an hour from Boston. The tiny area called Wallingford Square is hopping with interesting food these days. Anneke Jans, Anju Noodle Bar, Black Birch, MEat butcher shop, etc., and When Pigs Fly pizzeria is close-by.

ETA: Tulsi is also in Kittery.

For your trip south, I would definitely recommend Providence. The list would be too long and, like Maine, wouldn't belong here on GBA.

Aug 26, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

Chow-heaven in East Boston

Off-topic...I miss these posts of old-school Chow-outings, which either don't seem to happen or just don't get reported these days. I have no problem when great old posts are resurrected. I once was "a l i c e" back in the day (before I had problems migrated to the old new system and had to create a new profile altogether) and am grateful I participated in Chow-outings once in a while with some very well-informed fellow 'hounds.

I am so ignorant of Eastie eats. Thanks for the reminder to try to get over there.

Aug 25, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area
1

What's for Dinner #383 - The Shank of the Summer Edition! [through August 28, 2015]

It's not very different from your usual vinaigrette. I don't measure out the ingredients - several tablespoons of rice vinegar, maybe a tablespoon of mustard with lots of mustard seeds, 2 fat garlic cloves that are Microplaned into the bowl, salt and pepper, whisk in good olive oil. A squirt of lemon juice if it's not quite tart enough.

Aug 24, 2015
digga in Home Cooking
2

Seoul Soulongtang and Bottega Fiorentina any good?

I've been curious about this place, though I know it's not new. Is it worth the trek from Arlington with Chowpup and grandparents in tow? Can you offer recommendations other than the soulontang? For example, have you tried the yookejang? Is it sinus-clearing delicious or merely adequate?

Aug 24, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

What's for Dinner #383 - The Shank of the Summer Edition! [through August 28, 2015]

Koreans and Japanese love their pens/mechanical pencils and I am guilty as charged. Our Chowpup is a mere 8 months old so we have some time before the fun stationery shopping begins. But who knows, by the time he's in school, perhaps writing instruments will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, this is a fun site/shop..I love me a satisfying pencil. http://cwpencils.com

Ahem...back to the food. This wonderful corn, tomatillo, shrimp salad made a lovely prelude to a grilled steak dinner on Saturday (it was B's birthday). I took some liberties by adding quartered grape tomatoes from our garden, a more liberal (some might say heavy-handed, but not in this house) showering of scallion and cilantro on top and a few dribbles of my very tart garlicky vinaigrette. The steaks were a gift back from December which seemed fine after nearly 9 months in the freezer. They also sent baked potatoes with some creamy, cheesy piped-on topping that felt straight outta 1986 Ponderosa or something similar. They were an anachronistic hoot but we both silently gobbled our potatoes down. A rich Chilean carmenere was the perfect accompaniment. A purchased strawberry shortcake with whipped cream frosting to finish.
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

If I Were A Fundamentalist Locavore in Boston...

One correction to your list - I've been enjoying locally-grown wheat berries from Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA. Purchased at Lex Community Farm in Lexington.

Aug 24, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

Asian Green--what is this?

I don't find amaranth sour, but I usually get the green vs the red variety. Green amaranth is slightly slimy in the same way that Western spinach is. It's a great green to work with and eat as it's versatile and so very healthy.

I have a bad feeling that a lot of the "weird" greens that Flats Mentor grows don't get sold but I'm just guessing as I'm never at the markets at closing time. For example, I bought a HUGE bunch of lolot leaves a couple of weeks ago (straight-up green, resembling Japanese shiso or Korean perilla...definitely not what you were gifted) which I happily stuffed into salmon ssam with gojuchang and brown rice or torn-up in our salads but I can't imagine a lot of folks would know what to do with it.

The kids "manning" the stand are usually ready with recipes or uses for their greens. Mine their brains!

Aug 17, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area
1

What's for Dinner #381- The Summer Doldrums Edition! [through August 16, 2015]

I enticed many a boyfriend with my mom's Korean home cooking. My hubby (not Korean) was similarly hooked on her food and continues to be so. If you like this young man, "bring out your best" (to paraphrase Monty Python).

I'm sorry to hear about your siblings' tough times. Here in Boston, we all became too well-acquainted with amputations and their consequences after the Marathon bombings. It's such an awesome thing to be able to take comfort in cooking because though it's at times a solitary activity, once everyone comes to the table, it's all about the company you keep. And the wine that you drink. That's how I roll, too.

Asian Green--what is this?

Don't know what you got (lucky you for getting free greens!) but I wonder if the stand was Flats Mentor Farm. They are my favorite stand in Arlington and Belmont. The program is awesome.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flats-...

Here's a useful guide to Asian greens. When in doubt, I saute Asian greens with mushrooms and a $#!tload of garlic and ginger. Maybe a few glugs of soy sauce and a drop of sesame oil. Spice it up to taste with crushed red chile. Throw the whole mix on top of soba noodles.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/as...

Why is Boston food so bland?

MLouis - I must agree with you about the lack of licensed places here in Boston. Many times we have traveled both in the US (for example, the Northwest, SF, even as close as Maine) and abroad, we love that we can get a beer or glass of wine in the most modest of places. We've spent many a chill afternoon, catching up on email/researching our next leg of a trip while nursing a drink or two and a snack in an unassuming cafe.

And I do think that it's harder to find good food randomly in the Greater Boston Area (GBA). I think that researching restaurants to death takes the fun out of discovery and perhaps we're all somewhat guilty of that. Much like when you would walk into a record shop in the old days and just stumble upon something awesome - people don't seem open to that kind of discovery anymore. To paraphrase another poster - just because you've never heard of a place doesn't mean it's not worthy of checking out. Don't you want to not know every place in the GBA? In my opinion, Boston does not lend itself to random ambling as (and I paraphrase another poster) Tokyo, Paris, NYC, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul (to name a few places where I've eaten) do.

But I suppose I'm not addressing the original post, and I refrain from getting into that vortex since taste is so subjective. I think there have been many good recommendations in this interesting thread. Please report back, positively or negatively. I think it's all important for the dialogue.

Aug 12, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

Boston Public Market is here

I love a conspiracy theory!

Aug 08, 2015
digga in Greater Boston Area

What's for Dinner? #380 - Insert weather-related title here [through August 11, 2015]

Pfttt...Korean condiments NEVER expire. That shit's all fermented/dried/etc. I don't think my mom has ever tossed anything (nor have I). I'd be truly frightened of any harmful bacteria that can grow in gochujang (and I'm a biologist!).

What's for Dinner? #380 - Insert weather-related title here [through August 11, 2015]

Count me and my hubby in as bridge geeks (bridges seem to ultimately lead to good eats). Hubby B took me over the Chesapeake bridge a few years ago on our way to Ocean City, MD and the promise of Boardwalk fries. What a gorgeous drive that was!

I grew up in Rhode Island where bridges were, for us, necessary to get to the shore. We were a naive Korean family 30+ years ago, picking up a bucket of original recipe KFC and those awesome biscuits, gravy, and mashed potatoes in Providence supplemented with kimchee and various other banchan to feast upon the rocks of Beavertail Park in Jamestown, RI. Gotta say, my parents were ahead of their time. Grandma used to pick out long strands of kelp and dry it on the rocks to bring home to the embarrassment of me and my bro but now it is such a fond memory. The glorious ride over the Jamestown bridge is still something I do whenever I get the chance to and I can't wait to take my Chowpup on that same exact journey.

Where's the coffee, vancouver ?

The fact that Musette is a cyclist hangout made it more attractive to me ("musette" is a cycling term so it's not like they're hiding that fact). When we went last July, we walked in at like 8 am on a Monday during the Tour de France to find a small, diverse crowd watching the live feed and drinking coffee. I'm talking folks in their 60's or 70's, people with their babies, young cyclist dudes, people on their way to work, and us, a couple from Boston in their (ahem) post 30's. A beautiful scene.

Aug 07, 2015
digga in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Nanaimo/Qualicum/Ucluelet Vegetarian Options

Sorry I didn't see your other question directed towards me about other things to do. I would've definitely suggested that you check out Pacific Trail in Ucluelet and Cathedral Grove. Hope you had a great trip and ate well. Right about now I'm craving those amazing wild blackberries in Esquimalt and a wild salmon brown rice bowl in Tofino.

Aug 07, 2015
digga in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where's the coffee, vancouver ?

Another vote for Musette Burrard.

Aug 07, 2015
digga in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Your favorite spaghetti recipe

I have tried the one-pot pasta and enjoyed it immensely, although I found it via one of my favorite blogs, lottie+doof.

http://www.lottieanddoof.com/2013/06/...

Aug 06, 2015
digga in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

Nice to see a fellow Wilco fan on this board! Sounds like a super birthday celebration in spite of being shut out of the show.

Aug 06, 2015
digga in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

I'd love to hear about more results from Min's talking rice cooker. I'm thinking about getting my mom a replacement for the rice cooker that she's had forever and I think she would get a kick out of the new advances in rice cookers. She'll either be amused or she may pooh-pooh the new generation of cookers....She's old-school (as am I) but not close-minded.

Aug 05, 2015
digga in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

LW - Looks like you've defeated the pesky "albumin rising to the top of my salmon" problem from several threads ago...I guess the low and slow method did it? In any case, fantastic!

Aug 05, 2015
digga in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

No offense meant...I hate getting on my soapbox, but I like to suggest non-disposable options if and when I have a viable alternative to offer.

Here's a photo of one with my hand for scale for others who might be interested (I have midget hands).

Aug 04, 2015
digga in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

If you are looking for a non-disposable option, I have a bunch of these that I bought at a Crate and Barrel outlet store (for like $1 each or maybe even less). They are small-sized, just like the plastic ones, perfect for condiments, leftover chopped herbs, peeled garlic cloves, etc. and one less thing for the landfill/recycling.

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/mini-ri...

What's for Dinner? #379 - The dog days of August [through Aug. 7, 2015]

To prevent the giant salt crystals from forming in your fish sauce, do not refrigerate it. Sounds kinda crazy, but it won't go bad and does not require refrigeration.

Aug 04, 2015
digga in Home Cooking
1

Good dinner this Saturday before PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center)

Just curious - where did you go? I need a similar rec for my bro and since I don't have recent first-hand experience, I thought I'd tap your brain.

Aug 03, 2015
digga in Southern New England

Now Eating Rhode Island, August 2015

What a wonderful jaunt around northern RI. Although I was born and raised in that part of Rhody, I've never explored it as a card-carrying Chowhound. ;)

Thanks for the report.

Aug 03, 2015
digga in Southern New England