I have so much catching up to do on this blog. Things have been kind of crazy lately; I had end of semester assignments and I also moved to a new apartment. Not to mention all the great places I’ve been to eat…the pictures have piled up! My friend, Betty, recently sent me the photos she took from my visit to Boston. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a chance to learn how to shuck oysters at Mercato del Mare, a seafood market in the North End.

Our instructor showing us the oysters we were to shuck and the proper way to orient them for shucking.

First try…

I was having trouble wedging my shucking knife into the oyster

….but I finally managed to get it, but botched it slightly.

cheers!

Thanks, Betty for the photos!

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Boston!!

April 22, 2009

A couple weekends ago, one of my friends happened to be driving up to Boston to visit, so I thought I’d tag along, since I haven’t been in over a year. I had a great time visiting with old friends. It turned out to be a big alumni weekend so I got to see a lot of people from my graduating class as well. I had an awesome time revisiting the city and eating at new places (and some old, familiar ones as well).

The first night I was there I got to have dinner with one of my best friends from home. She took me to Oleana, a restaurant with a strong Mediterranean influence (according to their website they lean mostly towards Turkish) located in Inman Square. When I was in college I didn’t venture too far into Cambridge so I never knew there were so many ethnic restaurants in the area. I guess if it wasn’t easily accessible by T, I didn’t really make it there.

The food was so good. My friend and I shared a few appetizers and one main course, as well as dessert. To start, we had baked hummus, which I didn’t really think was hummus, unless my definition of hummus is wrong. There was chickpeas in it, but they weren’t mashed. But the chickpeas were accompanied by an assortment of goodies, including avocado, pita chips, and sprouts. Served warm, it was a nice start to the meal. We also had the deviled egg with tuna and black olives. The filling was nice a creamy. The last appetizer we got was the spinach falafel. Amazing. It had tahini and this yogurt that wasn’t to yogurty. We were advised to mush up the falafel and eat it kind of as a taco. Probably my favorite dish of the night.

For the main, we ordered the duck in vermicelli. I thought it was pretty good. The duck was juicy and tender, though I didn’t really see what the vermicelli added to the dish.

Lastly for dessert, we ordered the Baked Alaska, described as “Coconut Ice Cream & Passion Fruit Caramel.” The meringue on the outside went nicely with the coconut, and I usually don’t really like coconut. I did think the passion fruit caramel was too sweet and tart, and halfway into the dessert, I didn’t know if I could finish it–and this was with two people working at it. Though a bit on the expensive side, I really enjoyed the food here, and I’m glad my friend suggested it.

Clockwise from top left: deviled eggs, baked hummus, duck, baked alaska, sangria, spinach falafel

The next day, I met up with a couple college friends for lunch. We went to Union Oyster House near Fanueil Hall. It’s Boston’s oldest restaurant, and definitely a classic. I ordered the clam chowder and fish n’ chips. My friend ordered the lobster roll. Even though it was their lunch menu, the portions were still very generous and we stumbled out of their with very full stomachs.

After lunch we headed to Mercato del Mare, a tiny seafood market in the North End. On Saturday afternoons, they offer free oyster shucking lessons. It was a lot of fun, and the people working there are super friendly. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from the experience, but I’ll have to get them from my friend at some point.

I realllly wanted to get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastries, but I was still so full from lunch. So we just walked in and looked around and came back out. They had these really fun-shaped marzipans on display. Even a hot dog marzipan! (in the center of the photo).

Sunday (last day in boston) we managed to get 10 of my sorority sisters together for brunch at Charley’s Eating and Drinking Saloon off of Newbury street. It was great to see all of them and hear about what they’re all up to. I realized that since graduating, five of the girls are now continuing school at Harvard…all in different schools too! Law, Dental, Grad, Public Health, and Business. And the other half are still at MIT doing grad school or working at amazing jobs. My classmates are so accomplished. Anyway, back to the food. I ordered the eggs benedict, which would have been good, except there was egg shell in mine. Not too excited about that. Oh well. Charley’s was the only place that would take brunch reservations for 10, so I can’t really complain, since it was more about seeing old friends than anything else.

After brunch we all took a little walk along Newbury. It was a gorgeous day and it really made me miss living in Boston. One by one, my friends all left for other Sunday obligations, but my friend Arlis and I walked over to Sweet, a cupcake place on Mass Ave. I’d heard good things about it from my friends, so i was curious to check it out. I ended up getting four of their mini cupcakes. The red velvet and the cappucino were amazing. The icing wasn’t to sweet, and even though it was pile high onto the cupcake, it was very light, so you didn’t feel like you were stuffing your face (even if you were). I wish we had a good cupcake place like Sweet in Baltimore. I got the cupcakes to go, and unfortunately I accidentally dropped the box so all the icing got smushed! So the only good pictures I have are at the store itself.

That just about sums up my Boston trip. I feel like anytime I go away for a weekend to visit friends it turns into an eating marathon. But that’s not a bad thing, I suppose =)

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