c

Cattie's Profile

Title Last Reply

So this Billerica woman walks into a Somerville Market Basket . . .

Thank you all for your input! I think I'll give it a go early on a weekday. Will report back! :-)

Aug 04, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

Help a relocating San Francisco hound pick a neighborhood

Oh, and I forgot Christina's Ice Cream in Inman Square - the best ice cream on the planet. I know I said I'm not into sweet stuff, but ice cream is the exception.

Aug 03, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

So this Billerica woman walks into a Somerville Market Basket . . .

Does anyone know if they carry organic and natural stuff? Like Weleda's skin products, or non-bleached paper towels and such? Organic veggies? Canned goods from Eden Organics (no BPA)? We're spoiled by years of shopping at Whole Foods, but need to cut back on our food bill.

We thought we'd give MB in Somerville a try, but I am a bit scared. I went in once out of curiosity because I happened to be walking by (on a Saturday afternoon) and as soon as I got in the door almost had a panic attack from the chaos (not a fan of loudness and people getting into my personal space) and left. I guess I should give it a go at 7am... Or is the rumor that it's a lot more quiet between 9-11 am on Sundays true? I just want to see what they have, but I'm not prepared to loose a toe over a can of beans.

Aug 03, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

Help a relocating San Francisco hound pick a neighborhood

I agree with Formaggio's on Huron for cheese but only for special occasions - it is pricey! And don't go on a weekend or a day before a holiday, because you won't be able to move around.

For bread, my favorite is the Danish Pastry House, I love their six grain as well as the really dark kind (forget the name). I'm not into sweet stuff, but if you are, you have to try their pastries. The location is kind of odd, in a warehouse sort of area in Watertown, but this time of year, they're at the Farmer's Market at Harvard (outside the Science Center) on Tuesday afternoons. http://www.danishpastryhouse.com/

Also, for nuts and exotic stuff, there are several shops in Watertown (Sevan Bakery is one).

Aug 03, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

Best Margarita in SD area?

Reporting back

We had a great time in San Diego, just got back, and I wanted to report back to let you all know what we ate and drank. :-)

El Callejon - We actually ended up eating here 3 nights, sat in the cozy bar every time, loved the margaritas, food was good too (had shrimp tacos, rajas quesadillas and grilled shrimp).

Ritual Tavern - stopped for beer and a snack only. Our first try was on a Monday, unfortunately - they are closed on Mondays. The next try was on a Wednesday, we drove up sunburnt and exhausted from a day at the beach at 5 pm, and it turned out they opened at 5:30. Even my beer-loving husband was ready to give up at that point (annoyed by the limited opening hours), but we took a little walk around (pretty scary neighborhood, we thought) and came back at 5:30. Had 2 very good beers, although hubby was a bit disappointed that they didn't have more on tap (only 8 beers I think). Snacked on a crazily overpriced cheese plate. I was disappointed that the cheeses weren't local.

Pizza Port in Solana Beach. We had dinner here once when we were in CA 3 years ago, loved it then, love it now. The pizzas are sooooo good! We ate here twice this time and had the pizza with black bean sacue, cilantro and other interesting things, forget the name, but it was delicious. And a variety of beer of course. Can't remember which ones, but hubby was very happy.

Stone Brewery. We stopped for a beer and snack only after nearly passing out from heat stroke at the Wild Animal Park, not sure if that made us like the beer even more than we ordinarily would, but they were great. Hubby had Lagunita's A Little Sumpin Sumpin (sp?) and I had a german weiss beer (I kept trying to find local weiss beers or hefeweisen, but never managed to), they were both awesome. We snacked on soft pretzels with a special mustard (made with one of Stone's beers) and a cheddar dip, it was all delicious. We found the "hipper than thou" attitude a bit annoying, but the place was beautiful. We had planned to go to Hacienda de Vega after, but decided to just drive home instead, since we were so beat from the heat.

Mama Testa's. I had such high expectations and was really disappointed. When we got there, the line was out the door, but we waited anyway since I had heard so many great things about it. When we finally got a table, we waited for quite some time before our server appeared, ordered drinks which arrived promptly with (really good) chips. Got some salsa from the salsa cart and waited for our server to return for our dinner order. And waited. And waited. Meanwhile, the people at the tables on either side of us, both whom had sat down after we did, got to place their orders AND receive their food before it was our turn. In all fairness, it wasn't completely our servers fault, it was crazy busy, and I got the feeling they had gotten too popular too fast or something. The food we had was only ok, but maybe we didn't order the right thing. I had avocado tacos (I wanted to try the mashed potato ones, but then I saw that they were fried, and fried food does not agree with me) and hubby had chorizo tacos. They were both ok, but not more than that.

Bety's Tacos. We LOVED this place! This was the best meal of the trip and if we could pick one restaurant to go back to, this would be it. The atmosphere was festive and friendly, service prompt and the food! I will dream about my dish - shrimp enchiladas with salsa verde - for months to come. The shrimp were perfectly grilled, the salsa awesome and the beans outstanding. Hubby had the shrimp and fish taco combo plate and loved it. The chips and salsa (which arrived immediately after we sat down) were also delicious. If I had to find faults with Bety's, it would be the lighting (flourescent, I would turn that off and put candles on the tables), the lack of margaritas (not their fault, I know) and the not so great wine choices. But then again, beer goes better with mexican food anyway. Hubby went back to get takeout our last day there while I was cleaning and packing, and we were just as happy with everything the second time. I only had chips and salsa (that salsa is to die for!) and hubby had a chorizo/potato sandwich which came in a very interesting marinated bread (amazing). The guy with the mohawk told him that another mexican restaurant (a chain?) was going to open next door (or close by) so they are a bit worried about what's going to happen. I really hope they stay in business, both for their sake and ours!

We ended up not going to any of the breweries after learning about the "warehouse in an office park" settings (thanks for the warning, RB Hound). Cantina mayahuel was on our list, but we never made it there. Next time!

Thank you all for your input, it was a huge help! :-)

Aug 03, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

What's The One Thing You Can't Eat, even for money.

I have a friend who is absolutely disgusted by the sight of a grown man eating a banana. Women and kids are fine, it's just the men. Funny, isn't it? Wonder what Freud would have to say about that one.

Jul 22, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Best Margarita in SD area?

You're right, around here the few breweries that are left have pubs and/or restaurants attached to them. I'm going to have to see how hubby feels about the warehouse setting... (I'm all for skipping that!)

Jul 20, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

So I looked at Alesmith's website, and it looks like they're only open a few hours Fri and Sat afternoons. Do you know if that's for tours or the whole place?

Jul 19, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

Good to know, we both love Stout (although that might be a tad much in the middle of summer). Hubby loves IPAs, I prefer less bitter beers personally. I'll definitely tell him about that, I'm sure it will be added to the list.

Jul 17, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

Not sure which one he had in mind... do you recommend one over the other? We did know that they're just tasting rooms, but that's fine. We'll find a spot for dinner later. We do like Indian, but I think we'd probably want more of a sit down dinner sort of thing since we're on vacation and have the time. And we do a lot of Indian takeout here (live around the corner from a great place) so I think we'll probably go for something we can't get at home. I'm guessing we'll be eating lots of Mexican food, which is great, I love it and you can't get half the stuff you have here (read about mashed potato tacos, fish tacos, lobster quesadillas - yum!)

DougOLis, I think hubby looked at Alesmith, not sure what he decided on that one. Would you recommend it?

Jul 17, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

You're absolutely right RB Hound, hubby is a HUGE CA beer fan and Stone would be one of highlights of the trip for him (we are also going to Ballast Point - another of his favorites). I think we might go from the wild animal park to the Hacienda for dinner (and a margarita for me) and then to Stone. I guess I'll be driving home...

We actually did go to the Solana Beach Pizza Port the last time we were in San Diego (2006) and loved, loved, loved it. We're definitely going back.

Jul 16, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Is it "Soda" or "Pop" ?

My best friend who is from Long Island calls it SodaPop... I call it soda, but English is not my first language, so it doesn't count

Jul 15, 2009
Cattie in Not About Food

Best Margarita in SD area?

Good point, Cathy. I'll have to switch my eating/drinking schedule, I think. I like to have my drinks before I eat, once I'm done with dinner, that's usually it for me for the night. But maybe I'll just go wild and crazy on my vacation and have drinks after dinner! :-)

I'm adding the Hacienda to our must-try list right now!

Jul 15, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

oh, that looks so cozy! Just my kind of place. But isn't that quite far from Encinitas? We will go to the Wild Animal Park one day, but that evening, my husband has decided we're going to Stone brewery.

On another note, I saw somewhere that someone said people in SD eat early and some restaurants close at 9 already - is that true? That's around the time we like to eat dinner... (I grew up in Europe)

Jul 15, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

Thank you all for those suggestions! Will definitely check out 30th street and El Callejon (although my husband will not be happy with the beer choices there, I looked at their online menu). That's a great page (the 30th street one), I love how they've listed who serves what and where there's a sunny patio. I saw mixed reviews for Cantina Mayahuel on Yelp, but I think we may just go and make up our own minds about it. It looks adorable.

Jul 14, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Best Margarita in SD area?

Hi all
We're going to San Diego (staying in Encinitas) in a couple of weeks and I was hoping to find a place with awesome margaritas (on the rocks). I'm sure they must be better out there than up here in the northeast.

I'm looking for the plain old lime kind, no mango or other things like that (I'm allergic to almost all fruits, that's why, I'm sure they're delicious). We were there a couple of years ago, but I wasn't able to find any I liked. I sent the one I ordered at the Old Town Cafe (I know, it's a tourist trap, but we went anyway) back 3 or 4 times, and it got worse each time.

If there's a place that also have a wide selection of local beers, that would be even better. Hubby is a huge CA beer fan.

Jul 10, 2009
Cattie in San Diego

Ten best things to eat in Boston

- Gambas con Gabardina (Saffron-Batter Fried Shrimp w/Mojo Sauce) at Dali, Somerville (I could live on that sauce and bread)
- Lomito al Cabrales (Pork Tenderloin w/Blue Goat Cheese & Mushrooms) also at Dali in Somerville. I'm not particularly big on meat, so I usually let someone else have the pork part and eat the sauce - amazing
- Fresh mint ice cream at Christinas in Inman Square (only available in summer)
- Mysore masala dosas from Kebab Factory in Somerville (although they have not been on the menu for quite a while now, I still dream about them)
- The vegetarian sandwich (with everything and extra cheese) at Chacareros in downtown Boston (well worth both a detour to horrible downtown crossing and the wait in line)
- Guacamole made tableside at Ole in Cambridge (and that tomato-ish sauce that comes with the burritos at Olecitas - what is it?)

Mar 20, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

Sourdough bread without Iron?

No cooking whatsoever. :-( Iaguera, I had no idea there were vegan bakeries! I have to investigate!

Mar 13, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Sourdough bread without Iron?

the ones I looked at said anywhere from 6 - 12%. And even a morsel will ruin the treatment, apparently. I'm not even allowed to go into my kitchen for 25 hours.

Mar 13, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Sourdough bread without Iron?

I actually just had a thought - WASA sourdough rye. I looked it up and it does says Iron 0%
I guess I'll go with that... even though it's a bit dry... can't use butter this better work! :-)

Mar 13, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Sourdough bread without Iron?

I'm not sure why they said sourdough.. but that was the specific instruction... no, this is not a yeast treatment (that's coming later), this one is iron

Mar 13, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Sourdough bread without Iron?

I am going through a series of allergy treatments (if it works, I'll tell you all more about it) and am very restricted in what I am allowed to eat for the 25 hours following each treatment. It's usually such boring food I'd rather starve...

But I was excited to see that after an upcoming treatment, you are allowed to eat sourdough bread as long as it doesn't have any iron in it. Great, I thought, until I started looking - it seems ALL bread has iron. :-(

Does anyone know of a place in or around Boston where one could find sourdough bread without iron?

Mar 13, 2009
Cattie in General Topics

Best Buffalo Chicken Pizza?

Who makes the best buffalo chicken pizza in Cambridge/Boston? Desperate craving... Upper Crust which is my usual go to for pizza says the chicken on theirs is breaded - yuck!

Feb 17, 2009
Cattie in Greater Boston Area

Non-oaked red wine

Very interesting, maria. I had not seen that, but it seems I'm not the only one who was wondering... No, I don't have to avoid oaked in the winter, but I can't drink reds in the summer, so it must be something else. I get an insta-migraine when I try. The search goes on...

Jan 16, 2009
Cattie in Wine

Non-oaked red wine

Thank you all for your input! I'm psyched to hear that there are some options out there. And I'm especially excited to try the Spanish and Italian wines. I do like the heavy rich reds, not a big fan of young and fruity stuff, and it sounds from the descriptions of those that they would be something I'd like. I'll let you know when I try them and how it goes! :-)

Jan 15, 2009
Cattie in Wine

Non-oaked red wine

Hi all
I can only drink red wines (which I love) during the winter (after the first frost and up until the pollen starts going nuts). I'm extremely allergic to oak pollen, and the other night (seriously, it's taken me like 20 years to think of this) it finally dawned on me - red wines are usually aged in oak. Duh!

I'm wondering if there are any non-oaked reds (a Google search yielded only whites, which I can drink year round), and if it might make a difference... I managed to find a biodynamic red (I'm in MA, and consumers here are not allowed to order wine online - yet. A recent court ruling might change that, hopefully) and it did seem to be a tad better.

So my question to you all is: are there any reds aged in steel?

Jan 14, 2009
Cattie in Wine

Best people-watching cafes/bars

Hi everyone! So it's been a while since our trip, but I just wanted to let you know how things worked out. We did end up going for drinks at the Mandarin Oriental and my friend loved it. We drank the most expensive Cosmos I've ever had ($25 a piece! so we had two each...) but I have to say that they were also the best.

We also went to the Blue Water Grill on a rainy night, but it was still warm enough to sit outside (which my friend was amazed about, since it was late September and you're already wearing gloves and scarves is Sweden at that point). The food and service was great (can't remember what I ate though..), and not too expensive either.

Thank you all for your input and advice! :-)

Jan 11, 2009
Cattie in Manhattan

Use cast iron pot on gas grill?

Thank you all for your input. And for pointing out that the plastic knob might melt - I didn't think of that. I think I'll just get a non-enamel pot and try it out. I was looking at the Lodge Logic Double Dutch Oven, 5 Quarts... 20 lbs though..! I better use it while I'm still young enough to be able to handle it! :-)

Jan 11, 2009
Cattie in Cookware

Use cast iron pot on gas grill?

Hi everyone!
Does anyone know if you can use a cast iron pot (I have a Le Creuset) on an outdoor gas grill?

I can't stand frying onions in the house this time of year when you can't open the windows. The whole house stinks and forget about doing laundry and cooking at the same time. Someone suggested that I should try cooking the stinky parts of the dish on the grill outside and finish it off inside the house. Sounds like a great idea, as long as it's not snowing or raining, but I don't want to risk ruining my Le Creuset. I think it's the most valuable thing in my kitchen! Has anybody tried this?

Jan 09, 2009
Cattie in Cookware

Steamed milk without an espresso machine?

I realize the original post is from 2006, but here it goes anyway. I am also looking for a milk frother, and was wondering if anyone has tried the Frieling Milk Frother (Williams Sonoma sells it)? The price is right and it looks nice...

Jan 07, 2009
Cattie in Cookware