Boston “Hahbah” Cruise

One sprinkling Saturday, Mr. J and I went on a brunch cruise in Boston for his bday. It was fun even though we’re from here. The commentary was interesting (with new info!) and it was something different than our usual weekend plans. It was through Boston Harbor Cruises
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The brunch specifically was not overly amazing, but we really enjoyed ourselves. I know there were items listed on the menu we each were looking forward to but that weren’t served, and I noticed the menu doesn’t list that it is “subject to change without notice” or “subject to availability”.

Mr. J was interested in cream cheese stuffed french toast and I wish we had crab cake eggs benedict. The brunch served was pretty basic, but OK in terms of a buffet offering.
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I was thankful that it wasn’t crowded and that coffee was available right when we stepped onto the boat. Each group had their own table! I think the weather had something to do with that, but it was fine with us.

We started with a little fruit and cheese thinking we shouldn’t go heavy on pastries since the brunch sounded pretty good. One of my cheeses was red pepper and tasted like cheddar…it was amazing! I really loved it and hadn’t had anything like it before. I liked the flavor and the spice.
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When the buffet opened we had eggs, french toast sticks (which made me feel like my soon-to-be-nephews were with us), potatoes, sausage, and a veggie medly. I tried it all and didn’t think anything was very special, very good quality, or memorable.
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I also grabbed some apple crisp thing which was stellar. I loved it. My mum makes pretty fantastic apple crisp and this was up there.
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Dessert was interesting. It was great that everything was bite sized so we shared bites of everything. We are pretty sure that the pumpkin cheesecake had salt instead of sugar. It was fun to see others also experience the same reaction we had.
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Had they asked my opinion or on a survey I would have shared my disappointment in the food. I might have felt differently if they set my expectations by not listing what was served. It also wasn’t really brunch. I think brunch is breakfast items and some lunch items.

Being realistic, the brunch is fine. Nobody is there for the food and I really had a great time overall. I’d recommend a fun brunch downtown or enjoying food truck fare on the Rose Kennedy Greenway with the Historic Boston Sightseeing cruise instead.

Guest Blog: The Fabulous Food Truck Festival

Allow me to introduce a guest blog post from Justin! Justin writes:

 

Lately, I hadn’t been out taking as many photos as I usually do, and when I saw The Fabulous Food Truck Festival advertised on Boston.com, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get some photos and try some local food truck fare.

It was advertised that all items were $7 and under, and that quantities may be limited, so it was encouraged to arrive on the earlier side of the day. I am definitely glad I got there when I did – about 30mins after it started – because it gave me a chance to get some photos and still have time to get in lines for food.

I walked around taking photos for a bit, then decided to get into the line at Grilled Cheese Nation. It was the longest line at the time, so I thought it would be good to get that one out of the way. I also thought it was a good plan to start with a grilled cheese – not too heavy – before going on to something else. I went with the Brie Me Up – Blythdale Farm Brie with sliced local Asian Pear on Iggy’s Organic Pain de Mie Bread. I wanted to go with something a little more daring than a traditional grilled cheese and was glad I tried this. My only critique would be that Brie doesn’t hold up well when melted, so the sandwich looked a little bleak when it was handed over. The flavors were great, though, and I love pear.

Brie Me Up

After that, I noticed most of the lines getting longer and longer, as it was around a typical lunchtime by then. I got into the line at The Eat Wagon and quickly realized that the sun was more intense than I thought, as I ended up standing in line for at least 30mins and got a little burn on my head, neck and arms. When it was my turn, the staff let me know that they were out of cheese, and I could wait or have it without. I decided a burger without cheese just isn’t fair, so I waited another 10mins or so. I went with the Eat Burger – Grass fed beef, lettuce, cheese, onion dip, potato chips. I’m not sure if it was the long wait or that the ingredients were that good, but it was a GREAT burger, cooked to a perfect medium as I like it. The onion dip and chips were such a great idea, and a great combination of textures. I normally eat my burgers with blue cheese dressing, so I was especially partial to a burger with a dip for a condiment.

The Eat Burger

I originally had wanted to get a couple things for dessert – there were cupcakes and a frozen yogurt truck on site, so I had to choose one first. I went with The Froyo Truck first, as the line was a little shorter. By the time I was done there, Kickass Cupcakes had sold out; I was a little bummed that I missed them because I haven’t had them since living in Massachusetts. At The Froyo Truck, I had California Tart, with dark chocolate chips and mango. I would typically go with a chocolate option, but because I don’t regularly eat a lot of fruit, I thought Emily would be proud that I hopped off the normal path and went with a lighter choice. The staff at The Froyo Truck mocked me a bit for getting the small size, but I was trying to eat from as many trucks as possible, and it turns out the small was a little bigger than what I would picture.

California Tart

It was a great day, and the weather was perfect. I got some good photos, and got to try some great mobile food. Emily wasn’t able to make it, and I know she would have loved it, so I will be sure to keep my eyes peeled for another event like this.

 

Would you like to be a guest blogger? Email emily@thethreebiterule for more details!

Life Savor Fundraiser Event Meal

The other night I had the pleasure of attending a benefit for one of my favorite organizations: Community Servings. I got to know them because they are a beneficiary of the fundraising my organization works so hard to raise.

Community Servings provides THOUSANDS of meals to patients, their caregivers, and dependants battling critical illnesses. I’ve volunteered in their amazing kitchen and I’ve had their delectable catering. Their annual Life Savor event raised $445,000 this year!

A group of my colleagues and I went and had the greatest time. The event starts with a cocktail party generously sponsored by the Langham Hotel. I’ve been to events at this hotel so amidst the crowds, I brought the gang to the “promise land” as Mrs. A called it: the Grey Goose Martini bar. Yum. We munched and drank while checking out the silent auction items before dinner.

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Dinner is at one of 80 different restaurants providing a special three course meal. Do you see the speckles? It snowed! We are taken on trolleys to a meal I’ll remember forever at West Side Lounge in Cambridge.

We started our meal with an aperitif with house-made, organic, citrus vodka muddled with blueberries. It was so delicious and a great way to welcome us which GM Leo Crowley continued by sending out an amuse bouche of a Chatham Oyster with a dollop of avocado creme fraiche paired with lightly fruity & Loire Valley white wine. From here we perused our special menus.

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As a food blogger, I loved that the GM introduced himself AND took our order. He talked us through the meal as well as the wine pairings. I could tell he pulled out all the stops on this meal. That’s precisely the reason I don’t always love restaurant week with it’s dumbed down menus and annoyed staff. I love that I have a newly discovered nearby restaurant!
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Our first course was a choice of Asparagus Creme Soup or Baby Spinach Salad with strawberries and toasted walnuts. I got the salad and was impressed that the strawberries were perfectly ripe despite this time of year. I didn’t taste the champagne vinaigrette but thought the dressing was good. Chardonnay provided a cool and refreshing pairing.

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Our second course was a pasta course. GM Leo told us that they tried making their own pasta and just couldn’t compete with Dave’s Fresh Pasta in my own Davis Square! This pasta course was Tomato, basil, and ricotta ravioli or lobster ravioli. I never turn down lobster so that’s what I went with. These have huge chunks of lobster inside and you can tell Dave’s Fresh Pasta didn’t skimp on the lobster here. Pinot Noir is my favorite red wine so this was one of my favorite glass.

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The main course was a choice of Parmesan Cod from Gloucester with basil mashed, asparagus and a tomato white wine sauce or Lamb Lollies with whipped potatoes and pea tendrils. I can only eat very small quantities of very specific red meat varieites but I went with the lamb. This was a great cut of lamb cooked perfectly pink. I don’t come across pea tendrils often, but I’m not convinced they were really part of the simple salad…the leaves seemed to big to be pea tendrils but I’m no connoisseur so maybe I’m mistaken. This meal was paired with another red wine but I was more focused on the food so I left with wine alone.

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More…yes, there’s more food and wine to come.

Our last (count ‘em, 4 courses) was dessert. Somehow we chatted about figs on the way to dinner and they showed up! Warm chocolate and fig bread pudding or flourless chocolate cake. Thank you West Side Lounge for providing true desserts (each with chocolate). We were busting at the seams so we all shared bites of each one instead of ordering our own. Unfortunately there was so much wine with each pairing, I could barely enjoy the riesling.

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I can’t thank West Side Lounge enough for participating in this very special fundraiser. I loved the meal, I loved the staff, and I will love to go back.