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Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

Awww, C., thanks. Now let's convince him of that!

38 minutes ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

This makes me even appreciate Market Basket even more! My son loves Indian Pudding and occasionally likes to have some for breakfast, so I decided to keep some canned for when I don't have time to make my own and he has a craving. I bought some Bar Harbor at Whole Foods for $4.69/can and told him it would be an occasional treat at that price. I searched at Shaw's, Wilson Farm, Russo's, and elsewhere and didn't see it. Lo and behold, Market Basket in Burlington had the same brand, Bar Harbor, for $2.49/can. Let's save our Market Basket!

The Bar Harbor isn't quite as tasty as Jasper White's recipe, but it is really good warmed with Haagen Dazs Vanilla on top. Yum.

about 1 hour ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

I checked the wood chunks/chips at True Value Waltham today. They didn't have any alder or beech, just cherry, apple, mesquite, hickory, pecan and the Jack Daniels barrels.

about 4 hours ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Lulu's Allston, anyone been yet?

Thanks for reporting, chuck. What did you think of the "coziness" factor? Warm or more bar-like? Thanks. The menu looks fun but I didn't get a sense when I drove by a couple of weeks ago.

about 8 hours ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

They didn't a couple years back when I went, but maybe they were just out of the small bags. A call or an email would be wise if you want smaller

1 day ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

They do sell wood chunks and it's great if you have storage. Just be aware that the bags are really large, either 25 or 40 lbs. Too big for my tiny house, sadly.

1 day ago
bear in Greater Boston Area

Thomas Keller at Stanford School of Business

I caught that segment of Wait, Wait and thought Keller was lots of fun.

My sister and her husband had gone to the Bastille Day party last week at Bouchon in Yountville and he took a turn in the dunk tank and was a really good sport about it. It's fun to see his humorous side.

2 days ago
bear in Food Media & News

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

True Value Hardware on Lexington St. in Waltham had several different kinds of chips and chunks a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what the inventory is like now. Also, Home Depot usually has a couple of kinds of chunks.

Jul 21, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

My imagination, or is Stop&Shop getting good again?

The Waltham Shaw's on Lexington St. just became a Star as well, so maybe they'll all turn over eventually.

Jul 18, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Sunday brunch/lunch between Brookline and Arlington

I've only been to Cook for Saturday brunch, which doesn't tend to be really busy, and it wasn't loud. Sunday brunch tends to be busier, so maybe it's not the best choice but I don't have any personal experience.

Jul 17, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area
1

Sunday brunch/lunch between Brookline and Arlington

Both of those crossed my mind. Rox Diner on Walnut St. in Newtonville says they don't take reservations, but Rox Cafe in on Lincoln St. in Newton Highlands says they do but they don't say for what size party. Either Cook or the Roxes are child-friendly.

In a pinch, Social Bar and Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza on Washington St. in Newton Corner would work. It is a pretty space but feels a little bit like a hotel restaurant. The one dinner I had there a while back was actually pretty good and service was excellent. It wasn't very full, so that might be a plus.

You might get a recommendation for Deluxe Station Diner in Newton Center, but every time I've seen it on a weekend, it's been really busy.

Jul 16, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area
1

Sunday Lunchtime Steak?

Boston Chops doesn't have much in the way of views, but the food is delicious. They offer Sunday brunch but have a few different steaks on the menu. The food and service have been top notch when we've been.

Jul 15, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

Gee, I had the burger two weeks ago. Delicious as always. Bummer! Hope it's just temporary.

Jul 14, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

June 2014 Farmers' Markets, Farm Stands, CSA updates

I just had Patti from On the Edge sharpen part of my mandoline (my husband removed the blade first) and she did a terrific job. It's really sharp and she's great to deal with.

Jul 13, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area
2

Which is the best vanilla ice cream?

I much prefer Haagen Dazs to Ben and Jerry's. It's really creamy and natural tasting and not quite as sweet as B&J's. The flavor is pretty much what you get from homemade vanilla made from a good custard base. You can even use it, melted, as a quick creme anglaise in a pinch.

Jul 12, 2014
bear in General Topics
5

Finally, Mary Chung: order what?

My son loves the dry-cooked sliced beef. I've had a few bites and it is pretty yummy.

Jul 12, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Native Corn

Russo's had "native corn" but after asking a couple of different people I wasn't able to find out the source. One woman said it was probably from Western Mass. but she couldn't be sure.
The corn looked to be butter and sugar. It was pretty tasty and tender although not super sweet. $3.98/dozen.

Jul 12, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

NanaP [Jewish deli in Boston?]

Moody's and Katz's pastramis are two different animals, so to speak. I recently had my first Katz pastrami and loved it. It was warm, flavorful and succulent and sliced quite thickly, almost like brisket. Moody's is meant to be sliced quite thin and eaten either cold or steamed quickly. I don't feel that they can easily be compared since the styles are completely different.

Jul 10, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

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

Wilson Farm in Lexington had berries from Canada yesterday. They were very small and red and somewhat tart as opposed to sweet. The texture and strawberry flavor was quite good.

Idylwilde Farm in Acton had Vermont berries today. They were medium-sized and looked juicy but I didn't try them.

Jul 10, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Native Corn

Idylwilde Farm in Acton had Connecticut corn today. It didn't fit into my dinner plans so I didn't try it, but it looked mature and not underdeveloped.

Jul 10, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Where to Buy Sour Cherries in Boston

teezee, can you tell me what the package looks like? I had an odd experience at Bazaar a couple of weeks ago when I tried to buy sour cherries for my son's birthday pie. I wanted to make sure the packages I was buying were sour cherries, not sweet, and a woman working at the store said they definitely were not sour and that they did not have any sour cherries.

Last time I bought them was at Bazaar West in Framingham, which I would guess has a similar inventory. The package was different from the ones at Bazaar on Cambridge St. I haven't made it back to Framingham yet but hope to do so soon to check and see if they still carry them. I still owe my son a sour cherry pie!

Jul 09, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

July 2014 Openings and Closings

Thanks for the warning. I figured as much from the online reviews and lack of interest here. Bummer.

Jul 09, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Book Recommendation

Thanks, nikki. I'll definitely check it out.

Jul 09, 2014
bear in Food Media & News

Anywhere to get really top notch whole leaf tea?

I just picked up some MEM herbal tea at Simon's on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. They said they'd sell it in 4 oz. quantities if their inventory was good, and I assume they'll sell whole leaf tea supply-permitting. I'm pretty sure Sofra sells it as well.

Jul 09, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Book Recommendation

I also really enjoyed Life on the Line. It's always amazing to see Grant and realize just how gravely ill he was and how incredibly healthy and vibrant he is now. On a slightly different note, I also really enjoyed watching the documentary Spinning Plates, in which Achatz and Alinea were one of the three restaurants profiled.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry was lots of fun, and I have loved everything Ruhlman has written.

Jul 08, 2014
bear in Food Media & News

Book Recommendation

Have you read David's The Sweet Life in Paris? Very enjoyable read.

Jul 08, 2014
bear in Food Media & News
1

D'Amelio's Off the Boat or ????

Agreed that there has always been a crazy wait at Rino's when I've gone, but I do love the food. As far as seafood goes, Rino's has a hand-written photocopied extensive daily specials menu that for some reason isn't posted online. It has included lobster, shrimp, scallops, haddock and sole dishes every time I've seen it. As a matter of fact, I don't think it changes very often. Delicious, but often a two-hour+ wait.

Prima e Dopo, their place across the street for waiting and grabbing a drink, is great but I'm usually so tempted to order something from their menu that I end up not hungry enough for dinner.

Jul 08, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

Good pizza Newton Wellesley area

My son tried to get an Italian beef about a year ago and they had discontinued it. We haven't bothered to return since the pizza is underwhelming.

Jul 07, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

L'Impasto, Cambridge - kudos

Glad it worked out for your group, Bob. Four of us went to L'impasto for the first time a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. We started with a creamy burrata with roasted peppers and prosciutto, and had lasagna with bolognese and b├ęchamel, cannelloni with sausage and b├ęchamel, ravioli filled with potato and piave cheese, and whole wheat pasta with wild mushrooms and garlic (this wasn't loved by the person who ordered it, but I thought it was quite good.) Overall, the food was delicious and the house-made pasta and bread wonderful.

Service was sweet and enthusiastic. The two servers appeared to be quite young, maybe high school girls, and did their best to answer questions but definitely were new to the industry.

Anyway, we'll happily return. It's a little gem of a place.

Jul 06, 2014
bear in Greater Boston Area

MasterChef US June 30 chatter

Thanks so much, jimo. I'm watching episode 1 now! Easy.

Thankfully, no heels so far!

Jul 03, 2014
bear in Food Media & News