Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Foie Gras Burger and Craft Cocktails at Best Burger Bar in Brookline (Boston, MA)

There's a burger and bar joint in Brookline that went under my radar because of the rather generic name, Best Burger Bar. However, I was invited to try the place not too long ago and was quite pleasantly surprised! The restaurant opened last summer in 2017.

Best Burger Bar specializes in dry aged burgers, which gives it that extra umami flavor, and they only use certified Angus beef. They also have an outdoor dining area / porch that's open throughout the summer. Get some burgers paired with a Margarita Fishbowl for two ($29.50). The fish bowl has tequila, lime, blue curacao, orange curacao, and sesame syrup.
Best Burger Bar
Their burgers start with a classic for $5.99 and go up from there depending on the ingredients. For the quality of meat they use, this is a good bang for your buck in Boston.

For the ultimate decadent burger, get the Bully Boy Royale ($13.99). It has a black truffle foie gras mousse, Bully Boy whiskey bacon cranberry jam
Best Burger Bar

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Michael Schlow's New L'Ancora Pop-Up at Eataly Boston

Chef Michael Schlow just started a new pop-up restaurant inside Eataly Boston. The latest pop-up is called L'Ancora and will feature cuisines from Italy's coastal cities. I recently attended a media preview tasting for the new pop-up. We started our lunch with some arancini.
L'Ancora

Bruschetta con 'Nduja (La Quercia, 'nduja, provolone, parsley). 'nduja came from the village of Spilinga in Calabria.
L'Ancora
If you've never had 'nduja, it is a spicy pork salumi spread. The combo on the toasted bread helps temper the spiciness and enhanced the flavors.

Insalata di Zucchine (raw farm zucchini, capers, lemon, arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano)
L'Ancora
This was a simple, yet extremely fresh salad. Isn't that what Italian food is all about?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Holbox: LA's Best Yucatan-style Mexican Seafood

Holbox is not that new anymore in LA, but just in case some of you are still not familiar with it, I'm letting you know that it's the place to get the best Yucatan-style seafood in LA. Holbox is a stall inside Mercado La Paloma in Downtown LA (which also houses Chichen Itza). Despite the casual environment, Holbox puts out the highest quality seafood at reasonable prices.

Among the many great things to try there is the pulpo (octopus) taco. The Spanish octopus is braised then fried and served on a handmade corn tortilla and squid ink sofrito ($12)
Holbox LA
The texture of the octopus is perfect and the flavors are spot on. Definitely order this.

Kumiai oysters from Guerrero Negro Lago in Baja California.
Holbox LA

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Discovering the History and Intricacies of Madeira Wines

Now that it's just after U.S. Independence Day, I thought it's the perfect time to talk about madeira wines! Did you know Madeira was the wines used to toast the Declaration of Independence? Madeira was very popular with the founding fathers and others during that time. New York received half of the total exports of Madeira out of Portugal during 1785-1787. George Washington himself ordered 15 barrels of Madeira from 1759-1783.

Madeira wine comes from the island of Madeira in Portugal. The island sits on top of a shield volcano. Back in the old days, winemakers would add neutral spirits to their wines so they not spoil during the long sailing time to the New World. Some of the unsold wines are returned, and they found that the heat and movement had changed the flavors of the wines. They recreated this effect using the Canteira system, the traditional system of making Madeira wines. Instead of keeping the wines cool in a cellar, to make Madeira the wines are slowly heated.
Madeira

Monday, July 2, 2018

Luau on Spectacle Island (Boston Harbor Islands)

Boston Harbor Cruises and Boston Harbor Now have added some fun events to their summer lineup. They've partnered with Barbara Lynch Gruppo for the food portion, making a trip to the harbor and islands even better this summer. There's now a sunset cocktail cruise, a brunch cruise, clambake on Spectacle Island, and also a luau on Spectacle Island. I recently got invited to experience one of the events and I went with the luau.
Luau on Spectacle
The ferry to the luau boards at 5:30pm each Sunday in the summer from Boston's Long Wharf.
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