Monday, December 29, 2014

Free and 1/2 Price Brunch options at Papagayo

          Did the holidays leave you strapped for cash? Here's one way you can have brunch for free starting in January at Papagayo in Charlestown!

Complete Release:

Boston Area Restaurant Debuts New Sunday Brunch with “Karaoke-For-Free” Option
Papagayo’s Charlestown Location Will Launch Brunch Service in the New Year with Karaoke and Free Food Twist!

WHAT:            When do huevos rancheros, eggs benedict and pancakes get even better? When you get them for free!

Papagayo Restaurant in Charlestown, MA is giving that exact offer… if you’re willing to sing in public that is. That’s right, “sing for your supper” has taken on a new Sunday morning incarnation. 
On January 4th, 2015, Papagayo’s Charlestown, MA location will be launching their new “Karaoke Brunch” from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. Customer’s that call ahead with their reservation can sign up to belt out a few tunes live on stage and in return they will be awarded a free brunch entrée. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal considering there are dishes like Classic French Toast with thick cut griddled brioche bread and cinnamon egg custard, The Brunch Stack with pan seared filet mignon, over easy eggs, crispy corn tortillas, cotija, avocado relish, salsa roja and refried beans and five different types of eggs benedict and amazing morning cocktails.
Don’t have the moxy to sing your rendition of “Call Me Maybe” for a waffle? Not to worry, every single customer that comes to support the effort will get 50% off their brunch entrees for the month of January. Reservations recommended. Schedule your time for free Karaoke when making your reservation and practice, practice, practice…or just drink.

WHERE:         Papagayo | 1 Chelsea St. | Charlestown, MA | 02129

WHEN:            Every Sunday beginning January 4th, 2015 from 10:00AM – 3:00PM

Chilaquiles        9
Poached Chicken, Baked Corn Tortilla Casserole, Sunny Side Up Eggs, Chihuahua Cheese, Tres Chili Salsa

Brunch Stack    13
Pan Seared Filet Mignon, Over Easy Eggs, Crispy Corn Tortillas, Cotija, Avocado Relish, Salsa Rojo, Refried Beans

Breakfast Quesadilla     8
Chili Dusted Hash Browns, Chorizo, Scrambled Eggs, Monterey Jack Cheese, Pico De Gallo

Huevos Divorciado        8
Sunny Side Up Eggs Over Ranchero and Verde Sauces, Chili Dusted Home Fries

Mexican Breakfast Burrito         9
Scrambled Eggs, Chorizo, Jack Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Refried Beans, Chili Dusted Home Fries

Omelette Tacos - Fresh Scrambled,       10
Authentic Chorizo, Jack Cheese, Crispy Potato Sticks, Chili de Arbol Salsa

Mexican Eggs Benedict  13
Poached Eggs, English Muffins, Chipotle Hollandaise, Chorizo, Home Fries, Chili-Lime Dressed Greens

Huevos Ranchero         9
Sunny Side Up Eggs on Soft Corn Tortillas with Black Bean Puree, Spicy Ranchero, Crema, Tortilla Strips, Cotija, Chili Dusted Home Fries

Carne Asada con Huevos          15
Marinated and Grilled Skirt Steak, Scrambled Eggs, Salsa Verde, Chili Dusted Home Fries, Guacamole, Pico De gallo

Breakfast Enchiladas     9
Soft Corn Tortillas with Scrambled Eggs, Salsa Verde, Jack Cheese, Pico De Gallo, Sliced Avocado. Chili Dusted Home Fries and Black Beans


~ Eggs ~
Fried Egg Sandwich      8
Bacon, Fontina, Tomato, Arugula, Onion,
Lemon Aioli, Home Fries

All American Breakfast  10
Three Eggs, Applewood Bacon or Chicken Apple Sausage, Home Fries, English Muffin

Farmer’s Scrambled      10
Eggs Scrambled with Chicken Apple
Sausage, Spinach, Mushrooms,
Onions, Home Fries, English Muffin

Short Rib Burrito           12
Egg Scramble, Pulled Short Rib, Tomato,
Scallions, Cheddar Cheese, Flour Tortilla,
Home Fries

~ Benedicts & Omelets ~
Served With Home Fries And Lemon Dressed Greens
Eggs Benedict   12
Traditional with Canadian Bacon

West Coast       12
Fire Roasted Turkey, Fresh Avocado

California          12
Bacon, Guacamole, Monterey Jack Cheese,
Topped with Sour Cream

Garden 12
Spinach, Tomato, Mushrooms, Onions, Fontina

~ Griddle ~
Pancakes          12
Traditional, Blueberry or Strawberry
Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Batter

French Toast    12
Classic, Thick Cut Griddled Brioche Bread,
Cinnamon Egg Custard

Chili Dusted Home Fries            2
Fresh Fruit Cup 3
English Muffin   2
Breakfast Taco  3
Scrambled Eggs 3

Available for Children 12 and Under
Served with French Fries, Soda, Milk or Orange Juice
French Toast
Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Cheese
Breakfast Tacos
Mac & Cheese
Chicken Fingers

About Papagayo:
Papagayo is a concept started by Legendary Restaurant Group in 2010. The first was on Summer Street in South Boston and was the third concept developed by the group. Serving the finest food, with the freshest ingredients; hand muddling Margaritas and making fresh to order Hand Hacked Guacamole were some of their early ideas. Today Somerville will be their fourth location joining the Summer St, City Square Charlestown, and Downtown Crossing location.  Now serving over 180 tequilas, Papagayo is the best Mexican Food – Tequila bar around. Inside you will find juxtaposition of old and new with old world wood and brick combined with bright colors, Mexican Art and colorful paintings.  Reservations are recommended.  Phone: 617-242-7400   Web:

The Breakfast Club

          This weekend I had the chance to check out The Breakfast Club in Allston, a diner named after the movie with great food and a fun 1980s atmosphere.

          The walls are decked out in 80s memorabilia and several of the menu items are named after characters in the movie!

          I went in with the fiance around 1:30 on a Sunday and the crowd was just starting to thin out. We decided to share a few different things so we could try more. Eggs benedict is a favorite of both of ours, and The Breakfast Club had a ton of options. We went with the traditional, which was done perfectly!

          We also shared the Monte Cristo from the lunch menu, a ham and turkey sandwich served warm between slices of french toast. This was delicious dipped in some maple syrup.

          We ordered sides of bacon and home made hash, and the hash ended up being both of our favorite. I would come back just for this dish, which included tons of tender corned beef mixed with potato, onions, carrots, and onions.

          The Breakfast Club was definitely one of the best breakfast spots in Boston that I've ever tried, and I highly recommend it for both food and atmosphere!

Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Study Restaurant

          I absolutely love the creative dishes and fantastic wine list at Journeyman, so I was excited to check out the owner's newest restaurant Study which just opened in Kendall Square. The concept is very similar, but it's meant to be a bit more casual with two tasting menus as well as a la carte options. The menu is made up of four sections, three savory and one dessert. The 13 course menu includes all savory courses plus one sweet. The four course menu includes one course from each section (and each section has one vegetarian option, so you could do a vegetarian tasting). The fiance and I decided to order the smaller four course menu with a couple of extra courses.

          We started with an amuse: bresaola with parmesan gelee. This was a perfect bite packed full of interesting flavors and textures. It set the stage well for the rest of the meal.

           Next was the lamb tartare with uni, pear, nori, and egg yolk. The presentation was beautiful, and there was a great mix of classic combinations like the tartare and egg yolk in addition to some more unusual pairings like the addition of uni and seaweed. Everything worked well together.

           I had the rabbit loin and confit with brussels sprouts, grape sauce, and cognac. The rabbit was crisp but still delicate, and the grape added just the right amount of sweetness.

           The fiance had the surf clam with carrot, sea grass, and black garlic, which was one of the prettiest dishes of the night. This came with an amazing wine, which I ended up stealing most of ordering a glass of my own!

          The Mosse Moussamoussettes is a Loire Valley wine made by Agnès et René Mosse. It's an unfiltered, biodynamic, sparkling orange rose - a combination of two of my favorites, so naturally I loved this! It tasted earthy with notes of strawberry and pink flowers.

           We both had the sunchoke for our next course, which came with an onion puree, sunchoke chips, braised sunchoke root, egg yolk slices, and meyer lemon. This was the only vegetarian dish we tried, and we were both impressed. I would like to come in sometime and try a vegetarian tasting.

          The next few dishes were some of my favorites for the night, starting with the seared foie gras with quail, apple, espresso, and marcona almond. This foie and quail were both incredibly rich, and I tried to savor every bite by pairing tiny pieces of the proteins with the sweet fruit.

            The beef tongue was some of the most tender I've ever had, and just melted in your mouth. It came with salsify, kumquat, and brown butter sauce and a really great vermouth pairing.

          The goat was another rich, meaty dish with great texture and flavor. The pomegranate and barley were the perfect accompaniments; the barley was creamy almost like a risotto.

           The monkfish with beets and lobster roe sauce was amazing, and I loved that it was paired with an orange wine!

          Before bringing out the dessert courses, our server came over with a cheese cart which had a huge selection of cheeses.

          We tried a creamy blue goat cheese, an aged sheeps milk cheese, and a harder goat cheese. My favorite was the harder goat cheese, which had a delicious, nutty rind. All of the cheeses were served with some apple jam and a fruit / nut bar.

          It's rare that I don't order the chocolate dessert (there was one on the menu), but the heirloom pumpkin sounded  so good, I just had to try it! This dish included pieces of pumpkin lightly cooked with a pumpkin sherry sauce and walnut ice cream.

          The fiance had quince with foie gras mousse, celeriac, and vanilla which he also enjoyed.

          Being such a fan of Journeyman, I had high expectations for Study - it not only lived up to, but exceeded these expectations!  I truly enjoyed every dish that I tried, and loved the wine list with a whole section for orange wines and some unfiltered, bio-dynamic options (one of my favorite styles). It's a great place for a casual meal or a special occasion and I will definitely be back.

  Study Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Barcelona - South End

          Barcelona's new South End location has been in the works for awhile, and they were packed last week on opening night! I was lucky enough to snag a seat at the bar fairly early and enjoyed an excellent meal with the fiance. 

          This was probably the smoothest opening I've ever seen. The service was impeccable, and our bartender had excellent recommendations and sherry pairings which the kitchen executed on flawlessly.

          We started with a selection of meat and cheeses including black foot ham (one of my favorites), manchego, and mahon. This came out with some delicious crusty bread, and we somehow managed not to eat the entire basket and saved room for more tapas.

          Our next two dishes looked so good that we dove into them before snapping pics: the tuna crudo and spinach and chickpea cazuela. The tuna was excellent paired with citrus fruits and garlic, and the spinach and chickpeas had great flavors with a bit of a Mediterranean influence. 

          We had to try the tortilla and croquettes, since those are some of our favorite Spanish dishes. The tortilla was mostly potato with a bit of egg, served with a side of herbed sour cream. The croquettes were bite sized balls of ham and cheesy deliciousness.

          The next two dishes were my favorites, and these came highly recommended by the bartender. The beef tongue was the most tender I've ever had, and served with a mix of spicy peppers. The fideos with chorizo, poached egg, and fois gras was probably the most creative dish on the menu. The rich flavors of the egg and fois gras were perfect with the crispy noodles. I was literally scraping the pan trying to eat all of this.

          This dessert is unique to the South End location, and probably one of my favorites in all of Boston: sugar cookie sandwiches filled with home made dulce de leche. The cookies were just a little crunchy, and the filling rich and creamy. I would go back just for this dish alone.

          I was impressed by the entire experience at Barcelona, both the food and service. The menu is huge and definitely has something for everyone - staples like tortilla, croquettes and patatas bravas, as well as more adventurous items like the beef tongue and fideos.

 Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gourmet Dumpling House

          When people ask me for recommendations in Chinatown, this Gourmet Dumpling House is always on my list with one caveat- go at a weird time or be prepared to wait in line! This place is small and insanely popular, with good reason. They have a good selection of dumplings including my favorite, juicy or "soup" dumplings, plus a lot of other great dishes on the menu. Here are some highlights from one of my most recent meals.

           Pan fried pork dumplings: These were perfectly seared on the outside, and the pork had great flavor.

          Pei pa tofu: this is one of my all time favorite dishes, and I love Gourmet Dumpling House's version, which has some spicy salt. In case you've never heard of it, it's a dish usually found at Cantonese restaurants and is tofu stuffed with shrimp, deep fried, and served with a sweet sauce. Sadly the last time I went they had taken this off the menu, I really hope they bring it back!

          Scallion pancake: this is one of the best I've ever had. When I think of scallion pancakes I usually think of the thin, greasy kind I got as a kid from American-Chinese takeout places. These are thick, airy inside, and perfectly crisp on the outside.

          Juicy dumplings with seafood and pork: these are my favorite kind of dumplings and I've tried several different kinds at Gourmet Dumpling House. These were stuffed full of crabmeat, which you can see is bursting out the top.

          Crab Rangoon: ok, I know these aren't authentic, but you can never go wrong with crab rangoon!

          Some of my other favorites on the menu are the beef ribs and flat noodles with beef, but I've never tried something here that I didn't like. This is definitely one of my favorites in Chinatown and I recommend it for the newbie or more adventurous eater!

Gourmet Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 28, 2014

Product Review: Sushi at Home

          Sushi at Home is a new product I discovered recently, and I absolutely love! I've been using it to make my favorite tuna tartare recipe and I'm always impressed by the freshness and quality of the fish.  

          Over the summer I attended a great talk by Jeremy Sewall, where he made some really good points about how frozen seafood can often be more fresh than what you get at the counter. Sushi at Home is one of these products. Fish from Sushi at Home are Super Frozen, which means they're immediately after they're caught at a temperature of -76 degrees Fahrenheit - the Eutectic Point. When this point is reached, all water in the cells of the fish is completely frozen and all microbial decomposition brought to a standstill. At this temperature it's possible to transport or store fish for an “infinite” period without loss of quality. Oxidation is halted and superfrozen tuna will maintain its bright color for the normal 3-5 after defrosting, just as fresh tuna would. Essentially you are eating 8 hour old tuna.

           Sushi at Home is available at Whole Foods, which has very high standards for its supplier, particularly seafood. Additionally according to Sushi at Home's website, the products are:
  • All Natural
  • No CO Treatment
  • No Antibiotics
  • No Preservatives
  • No Artificial Colors
  • Sushi Chefs' Choice
  • Long line caught
          I've only tried the tuna so far, but I've purchased it several times because it's so good! I definitely plan to try some of the other products available like their salmon. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


          Pavement Coffee House is a local chain in Boston, and has some of the best local coffee and sandwiches around (including some amazing vegan options). I'm a regular at the Newbury Street location, and the place is always packed. It has a great atmosphere with a cool, artsy vibe.

          I'm not a vegan, but I'm lactose intolerant and appreciate the many non-dairy options including almond milk. I'm obsessed with the vegan sunrise, which is a breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel with veggie / tofu cream cheese, tempah sausage, hot peppers, and lettuce.

          Pavement has several locations in the Boston area, and if you see one I highly recommend stopping by. There will likely be a line, but it's definitely worth the wait!

Pavement Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tips for Navigating the Boston Wine Expo

          It's almost that time again! The Boston Wine Expo is returning to the Seaport Hotel This Feb! I'm a huge fan of the Boston Wine Expo, and if you're like me you're already planning your strategy for this year! The expo is huge and can feel overwhelming if you've never been. It's also easy to drink a lot right away, but if you start to get tipsy you won't pick up on all of the flavor profiles and subtleties of the wines you're tasting (and may not remember them). Here are a few tips I've learned from 2013 and 2014 to get the most out of the experience:
  1. Go both days and arrive as early as possible
  2. Leave your coat in the car, there will be a long coat check line
  3. Do not go on an empty stomach - there are food samples, but not enough to fill you before you start tasting wine
  4. Many professionals will tell you to always spit when tasting wine (see my point above) but that isn't always fun. Try to spit half the time, or only keep sipping (and swallow) your favorites!
  5. Look up the list of exhibitors in advance and make a list of the ones you want to try most
  6. When you arrive, find those exhibitors on your map, mark them, and visit them in order
  7. Once you've hit up all of your must try places, do a second loop and explore!


The Wine Expo typically includes the following:

Grand Tasting: The main exhibit, featuring over 200 exhibitors and 2,000 wines

Vintner's Reserve Lounge: A smaller exhibit featuring unique wines that generally retail for over $75 a bottle, plus tastes from some of Boston's finest restaurants.

VIP Experience: This allows you into the expo 30 minutes early, a separate line and coat check, and access to a VIP lounge

Seminars: Included in the general admission price, these educational sessions are going on throughout the weekend and feature talks and demonstrations from experts in the food and wine industry

Tickets are now on sale, grab them now for any last minute Christmas gifts on your list!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Brunch at Kirkland Tap and Trotter

          I recently had an amazing dinner at Kirkland Tap and Trotter, so I was psyched to have the opportunity to try them out for brunch with the Boston Brunchers.

          We started with some sticky buns to share, and they were delicious!

          It was hard to choose between so many great options, but I decided to go with one of the most interesting sounding dishes on the menu - the poached egg with pasta, lamb ragu, and pumpkin. 

           It was creative and delicious, exactly what I'd expect from Tony Maw's. All of my fellow bruncher's dishes also looked amazing.

Vegetable frittata with smoked salmon
Turkish breakfast
           I was disappointed to learn recently that Craigie on Main is planning to stop serving brunch, but being able to go to Kirkland Tap and Trotter makes it a little better!

Kirkland Tap & Trotter on Urbanspoon