Wednesday, August 26, 2015


          If you've been following my blog lately, you know that I've been trying out different meal delivery services. I love the idea of having just the right amount of ingredients delivered along with specific instructions so there's no waste and the recipe is essentially foolproof! The latest in this series is PeachDish, and the meals have definitely been some of my favorites!

          PeachDish is based in Atlanta, and the menu reflects that. They source seasonally and regionally when possible. Their classically trained chefs develop Southern-infused and seasonally inspired recipes for dishes you would typically find at a restaurant, but are surprisingly quick and easy to prepare at home. They also believe that there are also so many great, international flavors waiting to be discovered, but sometimes it can seem a bit daunting to commit to an entire jar of jerk seasoning when you just want to take Jamaican food for a quick test drive. They incorporate these flavors into their meals, and because all of the ingredients are pre-portioned, you can get a taste without the waste.

           Every week, they offer four different seasonally inspired meals. Two are vegetarian, and two are animal protein-based. Each meal is packaged in increments of two servings, for $12.50 per serving. A standard box includes two servings of two of the week’s delicious meals, for $50 with higher quantities also available. I tried one vegetarian and one meal with chicken, and in addition to the two meals by shipment came with some great surprises including chocolate covered pretzels, dark chocolate, and peaches!

           The two meals included in my package were the chicken fundida with squash and polenta, and the summer squash, basil, and corn risotto. The ingredients for each came packaged separately in beautiful bags.

          There was a sheet with a list of ingredients and where they came from, as well as recipes with detailed instructions including pictures.

           Both meals were delicious, but I absolutely loved the corn and squash risotto. I think was my favorite of all the meals I've tried lately.

           I've never made risotto from scratch before; the closest I've come is from a box and it definitely did not have the bright, fresh flavors in my PeachDish meal. I love that PeachDish made this more accessible to me, and hope to experience more dishes like this in the future!

Thursday, August 20, 2015


          I recently had the chance to try Ogawa Coffee in downtown crossing, the first US location of the well known Japanese coffee roaster. Ogawa has a goal to produce the perfect cup of coffee, and everything on the menu is created with extreme precision, care, and attention to detail. Unlike the US, Japanese coffee culture is not typically grab and go with the intent of getting a quick caffeine fix. It's meant to be savored as a part of a relaxing experience, and Ogawa's atmosphere definitely reflects this (although you can get a coffee to go).

          Boston was selected as Ogawa’s first international shop due to its appreciation for coffee and unique similarities in culture and size to sister-city Kyoto, Japan, where Ogawa Coffee is headquartered. The shop offers a welcoming coffee experience grounded in Ogawa hospitality and precision unlike any other coffee shop I've seen in Boston.

          The Ogawa Coffee Boston shop showcases a customized layout and design created by Boston-based architect and designer Takako Oji. Abundant natural sunlight filters through the original stenciled walls, transforming the space into an imaginary coffee grove, an “urban oasis.”

          The shop also serves as a teaching lab with retractable stadium seating in front of the bar to provide a bird’s eye view of the skilled baristas at work. I was lucky enough to see the  2010 World Latte Art Champion barista Haruna Murayama when I came in. I was impressed by the precision that goes into each drink, and the beautiful end result.

           With the distinction of being the first Japanese and first woman to ever win the World Latte Art Championship, Haruna has been working as a barista since 2006 and joined Ogawa in 2012, introducing a level of artistry, beauty and technical skill that has since become synonymous with Ogawa Coffee lattes. She is dedicated to sharing her passion, precision and hospitality with new Ogawa baristas, as well as with customers of the Ogawa Coffee Boston shop.

           This is Haruna's award winning design. It's currently available as part of the Signature Drink pairing -  a periodically changing signature drink, which right now is comprised of foamed bittersweet espresso served in a martini glass paired with latte featuring Haruna's art.

          I ordered the signature drink with a soy latte, which was some of the best coffee I've ever had. Although beautiful, you can see my cup didn't feature the award winning latte art because (as Haruna explained to me personally) it's just not possible without whole milk.

          The Single Origin Trio -  is a great choice if you want to sample a few different types of coffee. Each pour is served in a small glass with tasting notes, similar to a wine tasting. I tried the one from El Salvador, and could definitely taste the hint of peaches described in the tasting notes. This was such a fun way to experience coffee, that I'd never realized was possible.

          The Blancmange is another really cool pairing, a sparkling espresso with a rice based pudding made with coffee beans.

           In addition to coffee, Ogawa offers breakfast, lunch and sweets including menu items traditionally found in Japan such as Teriyaki Chicken Tartine and Housemade Gelatin Coffee Sundae and American favorites such as ham and cheese croissants and oatmeal. I hope to try them again soon!

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Saturday, August 15, 2015


          I've been trying out several meal delivery services recently, since I love the idea of having chef inspired meals delivered to you with just enough ingredients so there's no waste and easy to follow instructions so the recipes are basically fool proof. Most recently I tried Plated, which is another great option and so far has offered the most flexibility and variety (you can choose 2-4 meals from several different options).

Here's an overview of Plated
  • Plated delivers everything you need to create chef-designed recipes, making it simpler and more fun to cook at home.
  • You get a weekly box of fresh and seasonal ingredients, pre-portioned for the recipes you choose, so you can create great food with less effort.
  • Plated exclusively source meats raised without antibiotics, sustainable seafood, and fresh produce. Everything arrives pre-portioned to minimize food waste and prep time.
  • Once you sign up, you can add, swap, or remove recipes or skip deliveries anytime.

          The sign up process was very quick and easy - I signed up online and chose a delivery day, number of meals, and entered any dietary restrictions or preferences. I opted for a Friday delivery and chose Pork Tonkatsu with Cherry Salsa and Caprese Roasted Chicken Wraps.
          The food arrived mid day Friday, packed in plenty of ice so it would've been fine if I hadn't been home for several hours. Each component was labeled so that it was clear which entree it was for, and the recipes came on individual cards with detailed instructions and pictures.

           Both meals were delicious and very easy to prepare with the instructions provided. There is prep work involved, but not so much that it would prevent me from making these on a weeknight after work. I also loved that the recipe cards included nutritional information on each dish (~600-700 calories).

           Now for the best part - I have an chance for you to try out Plated! My readers get two free meals with a purchase of four - redeem them here  to get started!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


          I've been dying for Hojoko to open ever since I heard about the project, well over a year ago at this point. I love Oya but can only go ~once a year, and so I've been excited at the prospect of a more accessible option. Hojoko opened this past Thursday, and I braved the Fenway traffic to try it!

           The atmosphere felt like a cross between Asian pop culture meets 90s punk / grunge - it was really fun and not like anything this side of the river!

          The menu is divided into sections including sushi rolls, grilled, fried, warm, cold, sandwiches, etc. We ordered a good mix from each section; most were small portions designed to be shared. Since we love Oya, we had to order a good variety of sushi (or sushi like items).

          All of them were delicious, the foie spam roll was my favorite served with grilled pineapple on top - but I also loved the sashimi plate and tuna poke. In comparison to Oya, these dishes seemed much more traditional (with the exception of the foie gras roll) but were still fresh and high quality. 

Spicy Tuna Poke with Avocado

Foie Fras Spam roll

Sashimi plate for one
           The torched uni was one of my favorite dishes of the night, it was incredibly rich and decadent spread over toast with the nori butter.

Torched Uni with Nori Butter and Toast
          Next were the pork and shrimp potstickers with foie gras sauce, and wagyu steakums with Korean spices and kimchi. These felt like the comfort food dishes of the menu, and my favorite ended up being the potstickers - mostly because of the foie gras sauce.            

Pork and Shrimp potstickers with foie gras sauce

American Wagyu shortrib "Steakums" with Korean spices and kimchi
          We ended with the most unusual dishes on the menu, which I couldn't leave without trying - the grilled chicken livers and fried calves brain.

Brains on Crack
Buttermilk Brined Chicken Liver

          At first I was excited about the novelty of trying brains, but I ended up really enjoying them! They were similar in flavor and texture to fried sweet breads, but felt a little bit more delicate. I also enjoyed the liver, which was grilled perfectly.

          After a year of anticipation, Hojoko lived up to my expectations and then some. I will definitely be back soon!

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Flying Rhino

          Last weekend I headed to Worcester to check out The Flying Rhino for their annual Summer Beach Party. Every year they convert their parking lot into a great space complete with sand, live music, food, drinks, and dancing.

          We started with some cocktails before heading inside for some dinner; my favorite was this mojito.

          We shared a couple of apps including the hummus and short rib tacos. I enjoyed the tacos, but I'm officially obsessed with this hummus. It's spicy, topped with plenty of olive oil and feta, and served with warm pita. I could eat this every day and be perfectly happy. 

          The sticky pork was the recent winner of a local people's choice award, so naturally I had to try it. Before it even came out, our server brought over these sides of watermelon salad and corn bread. I wanted to save room for my entree, but I couldn't stop eating these. The warm corn bread was more like a muffin top (aka the best part) and the watermelon was served with feta, mint, and a poppy seed dressing.

          The pork was just as good as I'd anticipated; it came with a sweet and tangy hoisin glaze, zucchini “pappardelle” and wasabi ginger carrot puree. I didn't come close to finishing but it reheated very well the next day.

          I don't often make it out to Worcester, but I may have to start coming more often for that hummus at Flying Rhino!

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Friday, August 7, 2015


          Last weekend I headed to the North End to try Terramia with Blog and Tweet Boston. I'd been once before and had a great meal, but it had been awhile and I was excited see if it was as good as I'd remembered... and it was better! I arrived just in time to catch a bit of this festival before heading in.

          Once we were seated, we enjoyed some prosecco while one of the servers who'd been working there for close to 15 years told us about the restaurant. Terramia was founded in 1993, and was one of the first restaurants in the North End to move away from the traditional "red sauce" Italian in favor of dishes that are a bit more creative and upscale.

          We started with several appetizers to share including the tomato, basil and mozzarella salad, the lobster fritters with crispy sweet potatoes, leeks and balsamic honey glaze, and the fried zucchini blossoms with mozzarella and truffle honey. All three were amazing, but I especially loved the creativity of the lobster fritters and zucchini blossoms.

          For dinner I ordered one of the house specialties, the grilled bone in veal chop with fingerling potatoes, broccoli rabe, and truffle porcini reduction. This was a huge portion, but somehow I managed to finish all of it - even after indulging in seconds of the appetizers!

          The most popular dish in our group seemed to be the fig ravioli - several people tried this and they all raved about it.

          For dessert we shared the bread pudding, flourless chocolate cake, and tiramisu. Bread pudding is always a favorite - and Terramia's take with caramel and ice cream did not disappoint!

          The owner of Terramia has another restaurant just up the street, Antico Forno, that serves more casual Italian including pizza. After a great experience at Terramia, I hope to try Antico Forno soon!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ladies Night at Abby Park

          I mentioned recently how much I enjoyed the brunch at Abby Park in Milton, and so my friend and I decided to go in and check out an amazing Ladies Night special they're offering on Monday nights. Every Monday from 6-9PM they have a special three course meal for thirty dollars, which offers an appetizer, entree, dessert and cocktail. The night we went in, there was also a really fun shopping event going on!


          After checking out the cute jewelry and accessories we started with a cocktail while perusing the menu. 


          We decided to order different things for each course and share everything so we could try more, starting with the clam chowder and tomato and mozzarella salad. The chowder was perfectly rich and creamy, and the salad came with a delicious basil pesto and balsamic dressing.


          We had a hard time deciding on entrees because everything sounded good, but in the end chose the bolognese with ground beef, veal, pork and a touch of cream, and the flatiron steak with gorgonzola mashed and sauteed brussels sprouts and red wine demi glaze.

           The portions were huge, but they were so good we couldn't stop eating. We managed to finish them, and then realized we still had dessert coming! I didn't think I'd be able to eat another bite, but then I saw that the molten cake had peanut butter in the middle. I've never seen this before, but I don't know why this isn't a big thing! Chocolate and peanut butter are a perfect pairing, made even better when they're served warm and gooey.

          The sorbet with berries added some balance and made us feel like we were at least being a little healthy - fruit totally balances out the chocolate, right??

           In  case you missed it, let me mention again that this three course special is only $30 a person. It's a ton of food, but they definitely don't sacrifice quality for quantity. This is one of the best values in Boston.