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hollybee's Profile

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Quiet watering hole with craft beer?

Deep Ellum in Allston comes to mind. Excellent beer list. I'm not sure what their hours are, but if they are open during the day I can't imagine it would be too loud inside.

Deep Ellum Bar
477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

Aug 01, 2008
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

After work drinks near Park St T stop

I've enjoyed the cocktails at Ivy Restaurant on Temple- very close to the Park St T stop. Friendly and competent bartenders. I've only been for drinks on the weekend though, so I can't speak for the after work crowd.

49 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111

Nov 06, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Best pumpkin beers this season

The Shipyard Pumpkin Ale was my favorite last fall. It's of the pumpkin-pie sweet tasting variety.

Oct 19, 2007
hollybee in Beer

Nachos, anyone?

I'm a huge nacho fan, and I can honestly say that I've never had better nachos than the South of the Border Fiesta Nachos with BBQ pulled chicken at Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston (the Sunset Cantina makes them very well too). The last time I went there they were absolutely perfect. I especially like how they're topped with a pile of shredded lettuce- for some reason that makes a big difference to me :-) I will note that they have overcooked them on occasion, but for the most part they are always delicious.

Sunset Grill & Tap
130 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

Oct 04, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Where to Have Girlfriends B-day

Good Life is a great suggestion. I don't think that they get a huge crowd early on the weekends, so I bet they could accomodate you. They also have a great dinner menu (tuna tartare, and the mac&cheese w/foie gras are great), and an excellent Vodka bar.

Sep 26, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Holloween themed food

I've done almond cookies shaped like witches fingers, which went over well. Also, one year, I made peanut butter eyeballs (peanut butter balls dipped in white chocolate, then decorated with gel icing). A friend of mine made a mummy once- using phyllo dough wrapped around the stuffing in the shape of a mummy- I can't recall what was inside the dough, but it was something savory. I imagine you could do a spinach-feta stuffing to make it like spanakopita.

Sep 25, 2007
hollybee in Home Cooking

Cooking Clubs

My friend and I started a cooking/movie club a little over a year ago in the Boston area. We call it the S&M club (and not THAT kind of S&M…it stands for Supper & Movie).

To answer most of your questions:

The group currently consists of 12 members that all live within a few miles of downtown Boston, with most members living in the Cambridge/Somerville area. Some past members have moved away from Boston (including the friend who founded the club with me), so I’ve replaced them with others to keep the group roughly the same size. Being 25 years old puts me at the median age, with members ranging from 23-28 years old.

My friend and I first had the idea to start a monthly club while we were discussing a recent dinner party that we had attended. Being relatively young, we don’t belong to a social circle that regularly has dinner parties. So our conversation turned to a way to plan a monthly get-together centered on trying out new recipes and cooking techniques. We both also happen to be huge movie fans, and had just been discussing our obsession with Netflix, so we decided to add that into the mix.

When we first began the club we invited only some of our close friends that we knew enjoyed cooking. But as time went on we began to invite other people that we have met who share the same love for food, cooking and movies. Many of us do socialize outside of the group. I have a connection to everyone in the group: some are co-workers, some ex-co-workers, some friends from home, some friends from college, and several friends of friends.

We started the club in September of 2006, and have been meeting monthly ever since. At the end of each meeting we decide on a theme for the upcoming month and someone usually volunteers to host the evening. I keep a spreadsheet of all of our past themes, as well as ideas for future themes. Our past themes have included: Italian (The Godfather), Fall Harvest (Halloween), Greek (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Christmas Holiday (Christmas Vacation), Southern (Steel Magnolias), French (Amelie), Irish (In America), Indian (Kal Ho Naa Ho), Mexican (Real Women Have Curves), Spanish Tapas (Pan’s Labyrinth), Hawaiian (From Here to Eternity), Thai (The Beach).

To plan the logistics of the dinner the host will send out an Evite on which members can RSVP and sign up to cook a specific part of the meal (main dish, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, drinks). The host usually decides on the movie, but will sometimes add a poll to the Evite to have members vote. The members usually prepare most of their dish ahead of time, and then put the finishing touches on once they arrive. Over wine/drinks and appetizers we discuss the food and recipes we used. Following that we all dig into the rest of the meal and move into the living room to watch the movie. Dessert is served during the movie.

As to what I enjoy most about the club, I would have to say trying out different recipes or cuisines that I previously had no idea how to cook. I, along with most of the members, get really get into the themes too. For example, in preparation for Indian night I did a lot of web research on how to prepare traditional Indian dishes, went to an Indian market to purchase all the authentic ingredients (it’s a plus being in Boston and having access to stores like this), and then spent all day Sunday before the meeting preparing the dish. After all of the effort, it is really rewarding to make something that everyone enjoys. Also, I now know how to prepare several delicious Indian meals. I also enjoy watching my friends, some of which were previously not adventurous eaters, try out new things.

When it comes to favorite cooks/cookbooks/TV personalities, I think everyone in the group has their own favorites. One member swears by Rachel Ray recipes, while others have very different tastes.

Our group does not have a favorite type of food to make. Some of us really like a challenge, so we tend to favor the more ethnic themes. Others enjoy themes that are more familiar to them. We all really enjoyed the Thai and Spanish Tapas nights, as those were two of our best executed dinners.

It’s tough to describe the group in one word, but if I had to choose it would be… lip-smacking :-)

I didn’t get to all of the questions, but I hope my description helps. Please let me know if you would like any more info!

Sep 25, 2007
hollybee in Not About Food

Birthday dinner near BU

When I was at BU, we celebrated a lot of birthdays at Brown Sugar on Commonwealth Ave. Lots of varying opinions on the board, but I've always enjoyed it. Reasonably priced Americanized Thai cuisine- very nice atmosphere. 2 could dine heavily on $50.

Eastern Standard is also good choice- right in Kenmore Square near campus. If the pair does not order drinks, the $50 should just about cover it.

Sep 18, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Cheap, non-takeout ethnic food in Somerville/Cambridge

Great list so far. I would add Rangzen in Central Square for Tibetan/Nepalese cuisine.

Rangzen Tibet Restaurant
24 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Sep 13, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge/Boston for the weekend

Christina's, in Inman Square, will certainly satisfy your ice cream cravings. Homemade with a huge variety of interesting flavors.

Christina's Homemade Ice Cream
1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Aug 17, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Buying Ghee

Shalimar Indian Market and Harvest Co-Op in Central Square both sell it.

Jun 27, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Help me decide in Allston!

If it is still on the menu I would recommend you try the Avacado Dancing at Brown Sugar. It's a coconut-free yellow curry with shredded ginger and potatoes- served over fresh avacados. I haven't been to BS in a couple of years, but that was always my favorite dish.

Jun 14, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

What else can I make?

What kind of cheese do you typically use to make these?

Jun 11, 2007
hollybee in Home Cooking

Taranta Tonight

I suggest the muscles to start- the sauce is so good that you'llI want to eat it with a spoon. I also really enjoyed the Gnocchi di Yuca with lamb ragu- it's a little bit spicy and has a really nice flavor.

Apr 20, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

tuna tartar options...

LOVE the tuna tartare at the Good Life! Ask for extra chips.

Apr 05, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Lunch for 10, reasonably priced, near North Station, Gov't Center, Beacon Hill etc.

I will second the Anthem reccomendation. I work nearby, and we often do company lunches there. Reasonably priced, a variety of lunch choices, and a nice atmosphere.

Scollay Square is another place I would add to your list. Definitely right in your price range. Call ahead- the place is very popular during lunch hours.

Mar 19, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Places to watch March Madness

Eastern Standard does have televisions in the bar area. I think there are 3- not completely positive though. I'm pretty sure they will be showing games.

Let us know how Spirit was- I'm thinking of heading there for some of the games next week.

Mar 15, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite dishes at The Helmand?

Thanks for all of the recommendations! We had a very nice dinner at The Helmand on Saturday night. We started off with the Kadoo and Aushak appetizers, and of course the delicious bread that was served. The Kaddo, with the beef topping, was very tasty- a mix of flavors that I've never had before. My father was not as thrilled, he found it a little too sweet to start off the meal (not sure if i believe him though because he helped himself to thirds!). We all enjoyed the Aushak- especially the yogurt sauce. For entrees (there were 5 of us) everyone tried a different lamb dish. I decided to give the Chowpan a shot after reading all of the recs, and I was not disappointed- it was delicious and perfectly cooked. I don't recall all of the other dishes, but I know that I tried both the Korma Challow and the Lawland which were both very pleasing. I will definitely return sometime soon to try some of the other dishes.

Thanks again!

Mar 13, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Places to watch March Madness

I second the Spirit recommendation! Great bar food- and they also have surprisingly good weekly dinner specials. Definitely try the burgers and buffalo wings- both delicious.

Mar 12, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite dishes at The Helmand?

My parents are visiting this weekend and I've decided to take them to Helmand in Cambridge. I'd love some suggestions on what to order. I've heard great things about the kaddo pumpkin appetizer, so we're definitely going to try that. There are no vegetarians in the group, but feel free to recommend anything you've liked there. I'm particularly interested in any lamb recommendations, as my father and I both love lamb.

Thanks for your help!

Mar 09, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Easy and impressive lunch menu for parents?

My parents will be visiting this weekend. I'm looking for some ideas for a lunch menu to serve. My parents like pretty much any type of food- especially ethnic cuisine and dishes with a lot of flavor. I don't want to make anything too hearty because we will be going for a big dinner that evening (most likely Indian or Thai). Also something relatively quick would be ideal, as i will only have a few hours in the morning to shop and prepare.

Any suggestions are welcome! Thank you.

Mar 08, 2007
hollybee in Home Cooking

Downtown Lunch

I frequent most of the spots you mentioned. Ever tried Sebastians? There are a couple of locations in the downtown area (Summer st and Devonshire are two that I know of). You can order some items ahead of time online for take-out which is very convenient. I usually opt for a salad, but many of my coworkers are pleased with their sandwiches.

Jan 25, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Seeking suggestions for drinks and munchies literally right across from a T stop?

Harvard Gardens on Cambridge St is about a block up from the Charles/MGH T-stop. The food is good, and the bar gets a nice after work crowd.

Jan 25, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Lunch In boston

Scollay Square does a great lunch. Right near the commons at 21 Beacon.

Jan 22, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Drinks for a Crowd near TD Banknorth

The Greatest Bar on 262 Friend St can accomodate a large crowd if you call ahead. They have a semi-private second floor balcony area, as well as two additional private floors above that. The third floor could easily accomodate ~50 people.

I recently organized an after-work celebration on their third floor and it was a success. Food, although standard bar menu, was tasty and the service was great. No extra charge for the private room either. Michael Kalil was my contact there who put everything together.

Jan 22, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Very Happy with Steve's on Newbury

I work in the Government Center area, so I frequent the Steve's in Fanueil Hall for lunch. Their greek salads are very satisfying (although they do occasionally skimp on the olives) and I'm a big fan of the dressing. My office recently had Steve's cater a casual onsite dinner meeting and the food was absolutely delicious. Especially the spanakopita (fresh and a little bit crispy- not as greasy as I've had at other spots), the gyro sandwiches (just the right amount of tzaziki) and the baklava.

I will have to try Jaffa sometime soon- never been.

Jan 09, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

good sandwiches - Allston, Brighton, Watertown - What's out there?

I lived in Allston while attending Boston University and nothing beat the Angora Cafe for sandwiches and wraps. It's located at 1020 Commonwealth Ave. You can order for delivery online here:

The frozen yogurt is delicious as well!

Jan 08, 2007
hollybee in Greater Boston Area

Looking for great italian in Springfield, MA...

Does anyone know of a nice italian restaurant in Springfield that is near the hall of fame area? I'm taking my boyfriend to the hall of fame and want to make a night of it- so I'm looking for a nice date restaurant with really good food. I've heard a few things about Pazzo, Lido, and Caramia- so any opinions about those would be welcome too. Thanks!