On The Menu


Comments (0) | Sunday, June 27, 2010

Strange Food Combos (6rounds)

Some Hot Food (Becks.com)

Beers for breakfast (Phoenix New Times)

Finally, a list of Vietnamese food related blogs:

Viet World Kitchen

Playing with My Food

Simply Vietnamese

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The Gallows

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If you follow this blog, you know I've been dying for a good burger and beer joint in the South End to come and be a place I can go to once a week when I'm not feeling like cooking. To be honest I wanted the famous Spotted Pig to come and open up right down the street from me. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but The Gallows sure comes close.

First, let's give a moment of silence to Sage who gave it's restaurant life for The Gallows. Maybe it's just because JP the bartender at Sage was always so nice and friendly to us any time we came in that made us really love Sage, but the food was really good too. Such a shame it had to go...

But, if it had to be replaced by any restaurant, I'm glad it was The Gallows. A gastropub that serves many different beers ranging from Natty Light to Bud Heavy was just what the doctor ordered. Neither of us ordered such high class drinks that night, but we did stick with the other items on draught. We sat at the bar, which is the best seat in the house in my opinion, and had two great bartenders take care of us while we were there. (We also met a couple waiting for their friends that talked to us when they saw me take pictures of the food. They were food blog readers, so I hope you guys remembered what our blog was and read this review.)

The menu has a lot of interesting items, with most items $25 or less. We started off with the Scotch Egg, which I thought was just a soft boiled egg. What comes out is a soft boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage! Good lord that was some good eating. The sausage had just enough salt that went perfectly with the runny yolk of the egg. I want this for breakfast every freaking day. I want it for lunch and dinner too. Hell, I want it when I'm completely bombed on a Friday night to help me with my drunkeness. Basically, if you come to The Gallows and don't order the Scotch Egg, I hate you and your family.

In all seriousness though, the one menu item I had the most hope for was the $9 burger. It comes with lettuce, onions and pickles and cheese and you don't have any other options. I love that. I don't need to be able to order 500 different toppings for my burger. The burger itself is a "California Flat Patty" whatever that is. It is served with fries and homemade ketchup (you can ask for Heinz if you like, but we didn't.) The burger comes out and there's a nice little layer of grease already on the plate. Before I pick it up I knew this burger was going to be incredible, and it was. Sadly, I also knew I would probably never order anything else on this menu whenever I come in after my first bite. The burger went down perfectly with my nice cold beer.

The menu has poutine, which I know tons of people love...but to me it's a bit un-American. I mean, I love gravy and cheese, but I can't put it over my fries. Maybe one day I'll get the foie gras poutine, but I'll stick to good old American style French Fries any day.

If there was one small complaint I had, it was that I only got a small handfull of fries with my burger. Luckily Abby didn't eat too many of her own, so I could munch on her leftovers but maybe next time I'll order an extra side of fries for myself. I don't know if they allow changing the burger at all, but I'd love to see if they could put a fried egg on top of it just for me. Next time I go, I'll ask and see what happens. I give The Gallows a 4 and 1/2 out of 5.

The Gallows on Urbanspoon


Went back in last night and asked for an egg on my burger and they obliged. Asked to see if they would name the burger after me, but no dice. Abby went for the lobster salad, which looked small, but filled her up. Got dessert, the fluffernutter banana foster thingy, and it was good, albeit very sweet and rich. For adding the egg on my burger, it's enough to push The Gallows to a 5 out of 5.

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Quick Hit Reviews (Channel Cafe, Bogies, Garden at the Cellar, Case De Luca, Pho Hoa Quincy)

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I've had a bunch of reviews I've been meaning to get to, but have been too lazy to do a full write up on each of them. So I decided to clump them all together into one post.

Channel Cafe

Located on Summer Street in South Boston in the Fort Point Channel area, Channel Cafe is a very quaint cafe located on the basement level of a artist studio condo building. Basically, this place is a lot better than it needs to be. There's a DJ in the corner by the bar with tons of small tables in the open area of the basement. We started with the cheese plate which was accompanied by apples and honey. Abby got the veggie burger and I went with the carnitas tacos. Both were excellent. Finally, even though we were both stuffed, I just had to order the doughnuts for dessert. Hot and fresh, it was a great way to end the meal. Prices aren't bad either. I give Channel Cafe a 4 out of 5.

Channel Cafe on Urbanspoon

Garden at the Cellar

A place we've been dying to try for the food for a long time and it seems like every Friday night that we've come here, it was over 2 hours to wait for a table. I've been here before for just drinks and any bar that serves Boddingtons on tap is my type of place. Finally, during a birthday bar crawl for our friend Heidi, we stopped in to get a quick bite while the rest of the crawl continued on their drunken way. I ordered the cuban sandwich with the famous tater tots. Good god was that a great sandwich and the tots were as good as advertised. We will definitely be back to try out dinner one of these nights. I give Garden at the Cellar a 4 and 1/2 out of 5.

Garden at the Cellar on Urbanspoon


We had our hopes up to try out this great BBQ joint near Abby's parent's house in Great Barrington called Route 7 Grill. Sadly, it was 3:30 on a Saturday and it was between lunch and dinner so we were out of luck there. Down the street was Bogies, a bar that Abby used to frequent often in her younger years. On it's premise was a driving range, which I thought was pretty neat. Too bad the rest of the bar wasn't as neat. It was cheap, I'll give it that. But the food was medicore and the service was a little slow, especially since there was only us 4 and a group of people watching the World Cup. The driving range and the games in the back adds 1/2 a point and I give Bogies a 2 and 1/2 out of 5.

Casa De Lucca

If you are in Beverly, MA for some reason and are looking for dinner, you can do a lot worse than Casa De Lucca. Very above average Italian fare with extremely generous portions, Casa De Lucca is basically an Olive Garden run by a family. (And I mean that as a compliment, I really do.) There's the never ending breadsticks and salad that comes with every pasta dish. There's the older lady waitress that's super sweet and smiles every time she comes to our table. There's wine that's a good price for a whole bottle. I ordered the Southern Italy tour which comes with full portions of lasagna, linguine bolognese, and chicken parm. (It really comes with eggplant parm, but I asked to have it switched out and they did it with no extra charge.) Try as I might, I couldn't even put a dent into this plate. I'll be having leftovers for the next two days. Casa De Lucca won't come close to the best North End restaurants, but it doesn't have to. The prices are dirt cheap and the food is good. What else do you want? I give Casa De Lucca a 3 and 1/2 out of 5.

Casa De Lucca on Urbanspoon

Pho Hoa Quincy

Recently profiled in Boston.com Cheap Eats, Pho Hoa in Quincy is another in the famous Vietnamese chain. The prices are a bit cheaper than in Boston and I thought the pho bo broth was tastier. The place was clean and the service quick and friendly. I give Pho Hoa Quincy a 3 and 1/2 out of 5.

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Vietnamese Frittata

Comments (0) | Monday, June 21, 2010

My mom used to make this dish for us to eat with rice all the time. It's simply a ground beef frittata. A good recipe can be found here.

I took some liberties with the recipe and made it my own. I used ground beef, black beans, rotel tomatoes and lots of eggs. We served it over rice.

It turned out to be way too much food for two people. but wasn't that bad tasting at all. Maybe next time I'll leave out the black beans though because that took to be the dominant flavor.

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Greek Fest

Comments (0) | Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Woburn Greek Fest. The Gyros were good and the pastries were even better

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Indomei with Fried Egg

Comments (0) | Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some of the best instant noodles is the brothless Indomie brand. A great way to gussy it up is to add a fried egg on top.

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A Tale of Two Small Plates (Rocca and Savant Project Reviews)

Comments (0) | Sunday, June 6, 2010

The last couple of weeks we had dinner at two places that specializes in small plate eating. Tapas basically so that you can eat different plates and share with your dining companions. When done right, a diner can usually be in for a good and fulfilling meal. When done wrong...well, let's say you might order 2 or 3 items that you might not like and are stuck with it. Here are two examples, one from each category.


I've been to Rocca a couple of times in the past. Mainly for drinks only in the very large lounge/bar area, but I have dined there previously and I really enjoyed their pasta dishes. I'm not sure why they changed chefs, but recently from Top Chef fame, Tiffani Faison has taken over the helm at Rocca. We met her very briefly at the Bacon and Beer Fest and she seemed very nice and her ultra crispy bacon was a fantastic treat so we had high hopes for Rocca.

The meal started out with some nice crusty bread and olive oil. This was followed by our first item, the Gnocchetti with lobster in an uni broth.

Man, what a start to dinner. The gnocchi and the lobster were perfectly cooked and uni broth was some of the best pasta broth I've had in a long, long time. I used the bread to soap up all the uni goodness. We seriously thought we were in for a meal of a lifetime sort of moment. Oh how we were so wrong.

Our next dish was the lobster butter garlic bread and this was the start of a chain of disapointments. The bread was burnt in places and was very greasy. There was very little faint hints of lobster, but really unless if you knew there was suppose to be lobster on the bread I don't think you could have figured it out.

Next up was the Tre Calor pizza. At this point we both realized we ordered too many bread-like items because we were getting full, in an unsatisfying manner. The pizza itself was just ok. I liked the egg on top, but really couldn't taste any pork at all and there was way too much "greens" on the pizza.

Our last dish was the monkfish and shrimp sausage. It tasted like any other seafood sausage I've ever had...and that's not really a compliment. It wasn't bad tasting by any means, but I guess I was hoping for it to taste like monkfish liver for some reason.

Overall, I think I liked the old Rocca better. The food here isn't bad at all, but you aren't going to get anything that will wow you (the Gnocchetti being the one exception). Service was spotty at times too, with our waitress ignoring us at times while she talked to another table in between dropping off plates to the other people in our section. If she was routinely checking up on each table then I could understand this, but she ignored most the other tables just to chat with this one particular foursome for most the time we were there. I give Rocca a 2 and 1/2 out of 5.

Also, not that it really matters, but Harold's place (review here) was better.
Rocca on Urbanspoon

Savant Project

Abby picked up a groupon for the Savant Project a while ago and we finally decided to go eat there. We were planning on taking the T, but after looking on their website I saw there was plenty of spots for street parking and we decided to drive there. Sure enough we found a spot half a block away. We were early for our reservation by about 20 minutes, but the host didn't care and sat us immediately. It wasn't that crowded in the main dining/bar area, but the outdoor patio was packed.

Once we sat down I noticed a gentlemen at the bar drinking Yuengling, a beer that you never see in the Boston area. I asked the waitress about it and she said it's a bit pricey because they have to go out of state for it, but that doesn't shy me away and I order Pennsylvania's finest. Abby goes for the chocolate bacon martini. I wasn't the biggest fan of that drink, but she seemed to enjoy it. Along with our drinks came chips and salsa. The salsa was pretty good and I wished they gave us more. The pieces of apples was a very nice touch.

We started with the tasting menu to share, which was basically all four seafood tapas on one plate with a pairing of drinks.

On the plate was Tuna Sliders, Tuna Sashimi, smoked salmon and a shrimp ceviche. The tuna sashimi was a very nice delicate piece of tuna laying on a salad bed. The salad had just a little too much dressing on it, but the wasabi peas that garnished it was a nice complement. The smoked salmon had creme fraiche and capers and fried pita. I quite enjoyed this. The tuna sliders and the shrimp ceviche were both tasty as well and we had no problems eating everything on the plate. At $27, with the drinks, this would be a nice little meal for a single person.

Next came the spare pork ribs. These ribs were cooked perfectly and fell right off the bone. The Asian styled BBQ sauce was good, but not great. I think I would have preferred a regular smokey BBQ sauce, but that's just me.

Finally, we finished with the beer battered fried tofu tacos. These came out and it looked like fried twinkees in a tortilla. I was expecting the tofu to be the fried triangles that you see at Thai restaurants, but instead they just cut a log of tofu, battered and deep fried it. AWESOME! The tacos were messy and hard to eat with my hands, but that didn't stop me from devouring it. The coleslaw and avacado added the Mexican flair to the tacos.

Even without the groupon the entire dinner was a reasonable price. The service was slow at times, but was also very friendly and nice. There were other items on the menu that I would love to try, especially the churros and chocolate for dessert. I will definitely be back. I give the Savant Project a 4 out of 5.

Savant Project on Urbanspoon

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