Monday, March 27, 2017

Five Movies About Food You can Watch on FiOs On Demand

I've been waiting for Verizon FiOs to come to Dorchester ever since I moved here in May, and now they're finally here (and Roxbury)!

Getting Verizon FiOs isn't only about the internet and TV service, though. Did you know you can stream TV shows and movies anywhere with FiOs On Demand? Most of the TV shows are available for free for FiOs customers, and the newer release movies can be rented or purchased.

Of course, I've been browsing what they have for streaming (you're welcome). Here are five movies about food you can watch online with FiOs On Demand:

Chef

This was a star-studded feel-good movie that will make you look for the best food trucks in your town, or anywhere that makes Cubano sandwiches.
It follows Jon Favreau as a disillusioned chef who quit his fine dining head chef job. Unsure what to do next, he heads to Miami, gets a food truck, starts driving towards Los Angeles while stopping and serving food - all the while bonding with his young son. Oh, and they get to stop and eat at Franklin's BBQ in Austin without waiting in line. JEALOUS. Not to mention all the star cameos.
Fun fact: Jon Favreau trained with LA's chef Roy Choi so he can do his own cooking in the movie.


The Hundred-Foot Journey

After their old restaurant was attacked and their mother killed, an Indian family moves to France to start a new life. They set up their Indian restaurant in front of an upscale French restaurant and get into a rivalry with the French restaurant's owner (Helen Miren). Meanwhile, the son of the Indian family wants to get into French cooking. Lots of mouthwatering food scenes in this cute movie, both Indian and French!
PS. Sadly, the sea urchin dish they were cooking in the opening scene is not a real dish. Too bad, it looked amazing.

Julie & Julia
A story about Julie Powell, who started an ambitious project of cooking each of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" - the film is intertwined with the life story of Julia Child. Meryl Streep as Julia Child is a combination of two of my favorite characters. I loved the wit and heart in the Julia Child's storyline here, and of course, the food looked great.

Ratatouille (free)
Basically the best movie ever, right, guys? Do I even have to really tell you what the movie is about? OK, fine. One of my favorite Pixar's movies (although I love pretty much all of them), Ratatouille follows Remy, a Parisian rat with an impeccable palate and can cook to boot. He befriends a garbage boy-turned-cook named Linguini and make amazing food to eventually impress the skinny food critic, Anton Ego.





Food, Inc

An outlier in the list, Food, Inc is not a light-hearted, feel-good movie. Instead, it's a look at how our food is produced. It's a documentary of the food chain in the United States and a sobering look at how large corporations are controlling the US food industry. Still, it's a well-done documentary that has been nominated for an Academy Award - and it's very important to know where our food comes from.


You can check if FiOs is now available at your address using this link: fios.verizon.com/

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Verizon Fios as part of the #BostonFiOs campaign


Friday, March 24, 2017

Brunch at Firefly's Romantic Patio (Studio City, Los Angeles, CA)

by Bryan Tsunoda (discovering-la.com)

Firefly has consistently been on the list of Top Romantic Restaurants in LA. I guess I haven’t romanced my wife enough lately because we haven’t been there. I recently attended a media tasting to sample their Sunday brunch offerings.

Customers enter into what appears to be a library lounge setting with couches and a classic bar from the past. Walking past the bar, you enter the bright patio which appears to be outdoors, but is protected from the elements by a translucent covering. 
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Along the wall are Moroccan-style cabanas that can close for privacy.
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Food Network and Cutthroat Kitchen star, chef Perry Pollaci, took over the kitchen last November. He’s a C.I.A. alum and has used his talents in New York City, Paris and Madrid restaurants. More recently he’s worked at Church and State and Kendall’s Brasserie, and has transformed The Royce into a cutting edge wood-fired steakhouse. He also volunteers his time at Slideluck LA which is dedicated to building and strengthening community through food and art. 

If you are the type that enjoys a continental breakfast, you’ll appreciate the variety of fresh baked pastries. Despite how good everything looked, I only tried a couple of them. The raspberry tart was fruit filled, flakey and quite tasty. A few of us were impressed by the sticky bun because it had a crisp exterior and wasn’t overly sweet.
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I sampled both the lobster and veggie scrambles. The eggs had a nice buttery taste and were extremely light and fluffy. 
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Naturally I veered towards the lobster scramble because they were made with truffle butter, tarragon, and topped with caviar. I would definitely order that again.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Get a Taste of Iceland in Boston

For the past couple of years, Iceland Naturally has brought Icelandic culture to Boston with Taste of Iceland. This year, Taste of Iceland is coming back to Boston from March 16-20. The five-day festival brings Nordic cuisine, music, art, film, and literature.

The main draw for me, of course, is the food and drinks. This year, they are bringing in Chef Sigurdur Helgason (a.k.a. Siggi Helga) of  GrilliĆ° restaurant to create a four-course Icelandic menu at The Merchant (not to be confused with the MIT mathematician Sigurdur Helgason - not that most of you would). GrilliĆ° is located in the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel. This hotel is actually owned by the Icelandic Farmers Association and is also known as Farmers Palace. As you can imagine, the farm-to-table vision is very much alive and well at a place like this.

Siggi also represented Iceland in Bocuse d'Or in 2015. Here, he brought many of the Icelandic ingredients for the 4-day stint in Boston. The first course is a "taste of Icelandic nature", composed of three different bites.

The first: Langoustine with black garlic-herb garden
Taste of Iceland
I look forward to a bite of langoustine each year for the Taste of Iceland event. If you've never had Icelandic langoustine, what are you waiting for?

Second: Forest mushroom in volcanic croquettes
Taste of Iceland
These bites are not only inspired by the flavors in Iceland, but also the landscapes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boston Cocktail Lovers, Don't Miss Thirst Boston (April 28-30, 2017)

Cocktail enthusiast, bartender, or just like to drink? Whichever one you are, if you enjoy cocktails, then take a look at Thirst Boston, Boston's cocktail festival that is coming on April 28-30! There will be tasting and hands-on seminars, parties, and after-parties that you'd be wise to prepare your liver for. You can now view the schedule and map out your weekend.

First, the parties. There will be two night-time parties filled with cocktails. Saturday night is State Lines. This Thirst Boston tradition brings distillers, brewers, and winemakers from around New England along with bartenders from across the region. There will also be carnival games. Drunken carnie games!
Thirst Boston

Sunday night will be another Thirst Boston tradition, the Blender Bender. Teams of bartenders will be competing to make the best - you guessed it - blended drinks to win a fancy new Vitamix blender.
Thirst Boston
This year's twist is that it will be a Gender Bender Blender Bender, so the teams of bartenders will cross-dressing.
Thirst Boston

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Street Art and Brews in Miami's Wynwood Art District

Just a few years ago, Miami's Wynwood was a warehouse district that no one ventures out to. Now, it is one of the hottest destinations in Miami filled with street art and some of the city's best breweries and restaurants.
Wynwood
Conceived by community revitalizer, the late Tony Goldman, in 2009, the idea is to bring great street art onto the walls of Wynwood's windowless warehouse buildings, and then develop the surrounding area. Today, Wynwood Walls is a colorful place that pedestrians, both locals and tourists, all enjoy.
Wynwood
I heard about Wynwood from the bartender at The Abbey (the only brewpub in Miami Beach), who told me Wynwood has a good concentration of Miami's craft breweries. If you are a beer lover, skip the beach and head to Wynwood.
I hopped on an Uber there, but stopping off first to get a different kind of brew at Panther Coffee, one of the best-known coffee shops in the city (and probably the best, as well).
Wynwood
Panther roasts their own coffee on site in small batches. Panther has two blends for the espresso, East Coast and West Coast espresso. I opted for the East Coast espresso since the tasting notes were "very creamy, round chocolate .. notes of sweet black cherry". Those all sounded good to me and resulted in a delicious cappuccino.
Wynwood
From there, I walked to J. Wakefield Brewing. I fell in love with it as soon as I got to the parking lot. Darth Vader wall!
Wynwood

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

by CHLOE Brings Vegan Comforts to Boston Seaport

by CHLOE, a New York-based casual vegan restaurant, finally opened a location in Boston. The first Boston location is in the Seaport district while a second store in Fenway is on the way. I attended their opening preview, sampling a lot of vegan dishes and desserts. I am surprised to say, I really enjoyed these vegan dishes! And you should all know I'm a carnivore by now.

They have pastas and salads, of course, but also other classic comfort food items that somehow tasted really good even as a vegan version.
by CHLOE
For example, the "mac n cheese". The "cheese" is a sweet potato cashew vegan cheese, and the mac n cheese was topped with crispy shiitake "bacon"
by CHLOE
The Guac Burger is quite popular, and I can see. It's made with a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty and topped with corn salsa, guacamole, onion, tortilla strips, chipotle aioli on a whole grain bun. It was very flavorful!
by CHLOE
by CHLOE location in Seaport also has Boston-only specials, like the "lobster roll".

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