Best Thing I Ever Ate

Here is a blog post that’s been on my draft list for 5 months. I feel remorseful that I didn’t hit publish when I originally wrote the post, but better late than never. I feel like I can’t really start blogging about San Francisco food while I still have Boston food posts in the queue. Certainly not food as important as this.

This plate of food was by far the best thing I ever ate.

And my photo does not do it justice. It is dim and blurry when it should really be crisp and bright to match the perfection of what was served that night.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Justin took me out for my 26th birthday to Harvest in Harvard Square.

We ordered a whiskey sour and the Plymouth Plantation(bombay gin, agave nectar, grapefruit, fresh lime sour) at the bar, and while we waited, we overheard the bartender being commended by a women sitting at the bar. She said the blood orange martini she ordered was the best martini she’s ever had, and I believe she really meant it. Our drinks were both delicious, too. Hats off to the bartendress!

Soon after, we were lucky enough to be seated at a fine table in the corner of their outdoor seating area. It was cool and cozy and I could not wait to order food.

We had already picked the braised Vermont rabbit for our appetizer when we checked out the menu at home, solely because we rarely see rabbit on menus.

There was less rabbit in this dish than we anticipated, but the pieces that were there were succulent and rich. Mixed with gnocchi and mushrooms in a rich sauce, the rabbit sort of melted away. It was a small portion to share but actually turned out to be just right to save room for the main course.

Justin got the rack of lamb from the special menu. It was stacked on top of a white bean ragu, but honestly, I paid little attention to what was happening on his plate.

Because this was happening on mine.

Seared halibut served over sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and bacon. I don’t know what the sauce was, but it was perfect. I would have licked the plate clean if our table was in a less conspicuous place.

But, it was really the preparation of the fish that made the meal. I have never had a piece with such an incredible crust on one side, while the rest of the fish was flaky and buttery. The rest of the components on the plate raise the fish to a new level. Our waitress said that the chef’s family had been in earlier that day and they had all ordered the halibut too – I think it was one of their most popular dishes, for good reason!

On top of being a plate of flavors that I really love, it encompasses what is most fresh during the summer season. That’s the philosophy of Harvest and it makes me want to come back see what’s on their menu during the fall and winter months! (But I can’t because now I live in California, so Boston readers, let me know what they are serving!)

And of course, we saved room for dessert. They have an exquisite pastry chef on board, unfortunately I think we made a less than exquisite choice from the menu.

This was a deconstructed “root beer float”: tower root beer cake, sarsaparilla ice cream, mascarpone caramel, frothed vanilla milk.

I had high hopes for the sarsaparilla  ice cream, but it was just a little bit too sassy. Maybe if the frothy vanilla milk had been swapped with whipped cream, the flavors might have come together in a less offensive way.

I felt like a Top Chef judge as I maneuvered this dessert. I totally get why they always moan when Marcel or other gastro-chefs put foam on everything. It’s air with a little flair, at best.

Overall, this was an incredible dining experience. Enjoying thoughtful menus like this is one of my favorite things to do, and I started this blog as a way to capture meals just like this one.


Five months later, I still agree with this being the best food I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. I’m so excited to explore the San Francisco food scene and see what they have to offer.

Places we already love:

SushiToni – B.T.S. roll for the win

Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack – if you come here and get anything other than spaghetti, you’re a crazy fool

Toast Eatery – delicious breakfast and brunch options



Food Feature: Food Truck Food

How’s that for a title?

Today’s food feature is a happy one. I finally got food from a food truck! A month ago, I showed you the grilled cheese sandwich Justin got from a food truck near his work. I was jealous. Not long after that post, we went down to get dinner together from Roxy’s food truck.

It was a blustery day, but still a handful of people were waiting in line. Justin and I picked a couple sandwiches from the menu: the Mighty Rib and the Mac n Chorizo.


The mighty rib had braised short rib meat, caramelized onions, and fontina on it. The Mac n Choriza was filled with, you guessed it, mac n cheese + piece of chorizo. We also got an order of the handcut truffle fries.

The Mighty Rib was definitely our favorite sandwich of the two. It was just weird to eat pasta between sandwich bread. Good, but weird.

About a week later, we noticed a different food truck in the same spot at Cleveland circle. This time it was Clover Food Lab’s truck.

Their menu was much less appealing to Justin because it is vegetarian. He thought about ordering the BBQ seitan and I encouraged him not to do that. What an utter disappointment seitan would be for someone expecting BBQ meat.

We did find something delicious to order, though. The chickpea fritter sandwich had all the fixings: carrots, cabbage, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus, and chickpea fritters.

It’s pretty, right? To be honest, I didn’t really want to share this with Justin because it was so, so good. He’s not as big a fan of hummus and falafel as I am. I will definitely try to recreate this sammie at home sometime.

So, that’s the grub I’ve retrieved from food trucks so far. There are several around town still left to visit.  I’m thinking about making “Food Truck Friday” a tradition this spring. We’ll pack a picnic blanket and head to the nearest food truck for dinner outside.

Happy Friday, folks!


Food Feature: City Table

This week’s food feature has been sitting as a draft for two weeks.

It is the extraordinary dinner Justin and I shared for Valentine’s day at City Table. Love doesn’t have an expiration date, so there is no harm in reliving the evening two weeks later.

We dined here once before and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can check out the post about our first meal here, but the pictures are ugly. Today’s pictures are a touch better despite being taken in dim lighting. We ordered a lot of plates, starting with a wedge salad. It was served with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, crumbled cheese, and Russian dressing.

That salad quickly vanished before our eyes, so the server brought out the next round of appetizers.

First: house made burrata cheese served with grilled baguette, speck ham, and pablano tomato jam. The jam and ham were great with the grilled bread, but there was too much cheese on the plate to finish. No one likes to waste cheese.

From the Valentine’s special menu, we could not resist ordering the wild boar ragout. Oh my spades, this was so good. The boar was soft stew meat mixed with orecchiette pasta and smoked mozzarella. This was definitely our favorite plate of the night, so much so that I tweeted City Table to let them know how much we loved it!

We easily could have stopped eating after that plate. Our bellies were pleasantly filled. But, no.

This came out of the kitchen with Justin’s name on it written in bone marrow butter. His bone-in rib eye steak was enormous.

It came with potatoes, green beans, and a red wine sauce. Of course Justin didn’t eat the whole thing. He basically sliced it up and ate a few bites before waving the white flag. No harm there because he had the rest of it for leftovers the next day (actually, I think he ate it for breakfast!)

I thought ahead with my entreé by only ordering a half-size plate. I picked the wild mushroom pappardelle because I love to say pappardelle (just like last time we were here, I got the walla walla soup just to say it out loud.)

The sauce on this pasta was quite nice but I don’t know what it was. I couldn’t clear my plate either, so I brought back leftovers too.

With so many amazing restaurants in Back Bay, there is little reason to visit the same place twice. Of all the fancier places we’ve dined, this is the first time we came back to a restaurant for seconds. We appreciate City Table for its thoughtful menu and unique ingredients.They straddle the line between comfort food and upscale eating.

What’s your opinion on fancy dinners out? Do you usually leave the restaurant feeling satisfied, or walk out craving french fries or pizza?


Let Her Eat Cake Balls

This year I received a new kind of box of chocolates for Valentine’s. Instead of chocolate truffles and bon-bons, I asked for (three months in advance) a box of cake balls. They look like large truffles on the outside, but inside, they are filled with cake crumbs mixed with frosting.

Justin ordered an assortment from the Cake Ball Company with four types of cake balls: birthday cake, wedding cake, brownie, and strawberry.

Some were garnished with sweet sugar hearts, but they were mangled during shipping and most of them fell off. I replaced them for pictures.

I ate these as quickly as I usually devour my Valentine’s chocolates (re: two to three days.) I sliced them all in half because they are quite large, and mixed and matched the flavors each time.

I could not taste a difference between wedding cake and birthday cake – but they were my favorite of the lot. The strawberry cake had very strong flavor, so much so that it started to permeate the other cake balls. The brownie cake ball is actually make with brownie crumbs.

I might have shared a couple with Justin, but that’s not really the point of Valentine’s day, is it? Oh wait…

In return, I got Justin a juicy steak and a bottle of steak sauce for his special treat. I also picked him up a giant Oreo cupcake from Party Favors that I’m hoping he will want to share after his big steak dinner.

For my funny Valentine, I bought an arrangement of mice and bag of treats.

He was interested in the selection enough to let me put a bow on him and snap pictures.

Moments later, he decided to ignore the mice and attack the bow. But don’t worry, the mice eventually got theirs.

I can’t tell if he ate the feathers directly off their butts, or if he just licked them into oblivion. Either way, I know why these toy mice were on sale at the pet store.

Back to the grind today!


Food Feature: Cups

Today’s food feature is the last little bakery I visited in San Diego before my vacation came to an end. In the fancy neighborhood of La Jolla (which is not pronounced La Joe-la FYI), we visited a cupcake bakery called Cups.

Cups is the street name for cupcakes, you know. At $4 for a full cup and $2 for a lil’ cup, you can enjoy cupcakes baked with organic ingredients in a variety of fun flavors.

They even sell Cuppies for $2 which are cupcakes for dogs. Bring your dog outside and chill in the outdoor doggie area.

Is there anything cuter in this world? (The answer is yes, a playground for cats.)

We ordered a few cupcakes and ate them at the bar inside.

I had a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. At first I thought it was a vegan cupcake (they have a few on their menu) because the cake tasted a little bit like crayons.

After double checking the menu, I realized it was just a regular cupcake made with organic ingredients… that tasted like crayons. The frosting was very good though – hard to go wrong with cream cheese.

Justin had a little Minty Wonderland cupcake. His mom and sister had one too, along with two peanut butter frosted cupcakes that were dipped in chocolate to form something like a Reese’s peanut butter cup on top.

I think their chocolate cake tasted better than my red velvet. Other fun flavors available here: bunny love (carrot cake), goober (PB&J), and bruleé.

In Boston, we have a few trendy cupcake shops. I recommend Sweet which has a few locations around Boston and Cambridge. I also fully advocate going to Athan’s bakery at any hour, and yes, they sell cupcakes.

What do you think will be the next trendy dessert? Crepes? Gelato? Miniature pies?

Want to be a part of the food feature series? Send me an email at or comment below!


Extraordinary Desserts

There are few things I enjoy more on vacation than eating fancy desserts in the middle of the day. Many cities have a variety of bakeries and cupcake shops to enjoy, and I can’t rely on visiting them all after dinner. So, we stopped into Extraordinary Desserts after lunch this weekend.

Truly, these desserts are nothing short of extraordinary.

I wanted to climb behind the counter so I could take pictures of everything close up.

Looks aside, we had to try a couple desserts to see just how good they are. Justin’s mom and sister split a white chocolate linzer cake.

I ordered the chocolate fruit tart and shared a few bites with Justin.

It actually wasn’t as fantastic tasting as I hoped- the chocolate tart shell was very hard and the ganache was thick. I picked all the fruit off and ate the chocolate mousse on top. I also noticed a bug on one of my flower leaves, so at least we know they use fresh flowers.

Still, the experience here was special and I’m happy we came. The desserts they offer change daily, so I wouldn’t just them by this tart alone.

Aside from the desserts, there is a cheese menu and a variety of lunch and appetizer options. They also have lots of teas and coffees to order.

I am a sucker for tea served in individual tea pots.

Justin enjoyed an Americano.

Check out the rock sugar! Can’t say I’ve seen sugar served this way before.

Continuing on the topic of delicious baked goods, I wanted to let you know about an online bake sale that Amanda the Kitchen Misfit is running to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Bidding goes live tonight at midnight and continues through the 28th. Visit this page to see what’s up for auction an place a bid.

I am providing two items for the bake sale:

Carrot Cake Scones – recipe here

The winner of this item will receive one dozen medium-sized carrot cake scones. These are soft, cake-line scones laced with shreds of carrot and scented with citrus. Enjoy room temperature or toasted with butter.

Best Ever Brownies- recipe here

The winner of this item will receive one dozen thick, soft brownies with their choice of mix-ins (nut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, or mini marshmallows). They are the best brownies I’ve ever made!

I picked these recipes because I think they will hold up well in shipping and are appealing to a range of palettes. Click over to Amanda’s bake sale page tomorrow and start bidding!


Sweet Cheeks Q

Over the weekend, I ate dinner at Sweet Cheeks Q with a couple of girl friends.

I heard of this barbecue mecca via some Boston food bloggers who dined there recently. Amanda wrote a great review, and just walking through the front door, I knew she wasn’t exaggerating. My hair smelled like smokey barbecue when I came home (and I had tons of leftovers), much to Justin’s delight.

Here is some information about Sweet Cheeks Q:

Chef/Owner: Tiffani Faison of Top chef

Location: near Fenway Park

Vibe: casual, eat-’til-you-drop

Cuisine: barbecue “done right

Price range: ~$20 per tray, cocktails are all $10

No reservations on Friday & Saturday night – get there early!

We ordered a round of house bill 819 cocktails, composed of tea infused with Berkshire mountain corn whiskey, lemon juice, mint, and simple syrup. It was potent and seemed to evaporate while we waited for our table.

The menu is fun because it caters to all sorts of appetites. Believe it or not, the monstrous platter shown below cost only $15. These “trays” come with a choice of BBQ meat, a hot side, a cold side, pickles, onions, and two slices of white bread. You can also order meat by the pound or choose from more appetizers and even dessert.

I ordered the pulled chicken with coleslaw and BBQ beans.  The flavors on the plate held up to the delicious scent wafting through the room. I think the baked beans were my favorite  part, but it is hard to choose!

After a solid effort, I cleared all the coleslaw but had a lot of chicken and beans left to bring home.

My friend who was in town visiting had leftovers, too, and she gave her leftover mac & cheese and a few ribs to me.

We devoured the leftovers as a full meal. Jelly wanted in on the barbecue action so bad.

I already want to go back to Sweet Cheeks Q to try some of their biscuits, potato salad, and sweet tea.

What’s the best barbecue place in your neck of the woods? I


Adorable Businesses

How many times do you have to order food from an establishment before you can say that you love it?

We finally ordered from a sandwich place that we pass on the way to the gym (after ogling it maybe a dozen times.) Then, we ordered again. Devouring our second round of pita roll-ups, we knew we had struck gold.

Andalus Pizza and Cafe is where we found this soft, supple pita bread. And yes, they deliver.

It is tucked away on a side street, so there never seems to be many diners. Maybe they send out a lot of orders, because they seem to have good reviews on Yelp!. I agree that their food is fresh and delicious for a fair price. Plus, they have fries that taste like real potato rather than real oil.

Perks to visiting the cafe in person: frozen yogurt and wi-fi. I am so disappointed we lived here a whole year without knowing about their extensive flavor menu (although we were quite satisfied by the fro-yo at Chill this summer.)

In other take-out news: We ordered several items for delivery from Golden Temple last month. It was just as good as the first time we ordered from there, but this time there was a lot more food:

Beef Udon Noodle
Golden Cloud Noodle Chicken
Golden Temple Plate for 3 (Egg Roll, Barbecued Ribs, Fried Shrimp, Fried Won Tons, Chicken Wings and Pot Stickers)

This was not, I repeat, was not a meal for just the two of us. (Only in my dreams.) We had a couple friends over and still have leftovers.

All of the appetizers were delicious as expected. It’s hard to go wrong with American-style Chinese food, in my opinion. Golden Temple fills their menu with all the standard items, but they prepare the food in a healthy, fresh way. So far, the only dish we have tried that we didn’t love was the golden cloud noodle. It was sort of like a plain pad thai, too bland on its own. We will try something else next time.

I might as well add in these pictures from the party store where I bought those frilly toothpicks for the NYE party. Party Favors Brookline is an original version of iParty plus cakes and confections.

Look at those birthday party truffles! I want to have to go back and nose around some more.

My enthusiasm for this store may or may not have something to do with this:

So, there you have three local businesses that I officially adore. What great establishments are in your neck of the woods?


Golden Temple

Our neighborhood has lot of restaurants. We’ve been to most of them, and we recently crossed two more off the list. I posted about Jimmy’s Bar and Oven which is right next door to the Chinese restaurant we went to over the weekend.

Jimmy’s is so new that Google Maps still doesn’t know they are there. I saw the Google streetcar driving around recently in the neighborhood, so they should show up in the next update. Golden Temple, however, has been a fixture in Washington Square for more than fifty years.

Their claim to fame is serving “healthy fresh food.” Certainly, when I think of Chinese food, what I picture is neither healthy nor fresh. I see sweet and sour chicken, wings, rangoons, and lots of it.

We order crab rangoons anytime we get a chance. Never have I had such a fluffy, stuffed rangoon. There was more crab meat than cream cheese, which I appreciated, but almost too much filling to handle. We ate half the order at the table and brought the rest home.

The entrees can be ordered in medium or large portions. We shared a large order of the mandarin orange chicken, and brought home half of that too!

We also got a medium plate of beef with udon noodles. This was so good. The veggies were substantial and the beef was so flavorful (they use all-natural meats.) It is a thousand times better than the beef lo mein I normally order for delivery. There wasn’t very much left of that plate to bring home, but we scraped up what flavorful morsels we could into our doggie bag.

Justin washed his meal down with a large Sapporo beer, I had a soda.

We left feeling full but not lethargic. Oftentimes, eating a lot of Chinese takeout can really drag me down. I think they use a little less fat and more natural flavors in their food, and prepare things in a healthy way rather than frying it all. I think we will order delivery from here instead of Chang’s from now on!

What’s your opinion on Chinese food? Can it really be healthy?

What do you typically order for delivery or take-out?


Pizza at Jimmy’s

A small group of Boston Food Bloggers were invited to dinner at Jimmy’s Bar and Oven in Brookline earlier this week. This restaurant has only been open for several months, but I’ve passed it more than a hundred times on my way to and from work. When the invitation popped up to dine there, I jumped at it!

We got to chat with the owner Jimmy (duh) and hear the gist of their mission. Their goal is to be the “neighborhood pizza joint” but accomplish it with a certain flair: good ingredients, an authentic wood-burning stove, and an updated Italian menu.

They gutted the place as it was vacant for several years before they moved in. I definitely like the vibe they pulled together. It feels sort of like a swanky garage, with chalkboard paint on the walls and funky metal light fixtures.

I like when you can peak into the kitchen and see the cooks working their magic on the ingredient.

Speaking of kitchen magic, let’s talk food.

We started with appetizers: meatballs and mashed potatoes, fried calamari, and eggplant. All the platters were completely cleared, so it is safe to say we liked them! The calamari was my favorite, but it was not better than the best we’ve ever had.

Then we were served crostini with a variety of spreads: broccoli, eggplant, and sun-dried tomato. We enjoyed some but not all of the flavors, and were able to tell the manager after the meal how we really felt. Our opinions served a purpose because they are still refining their menu. They really wanted to hear our feedback!

Now, the pièce de résistance: the pizzas. They are just the right size for an individual to have a slice or two leftover, or share to with a friend alongside some apps. The crust: perfect. The cheese:  fresh mozzarella. The sauce: well-rounded.

Eating with food bloggers is always so fun. It is as if a Hollywood starlet is walking the red carpet whenever the food arrives. Camera come out and flashes go off in a fury. Eventually, we settle down and eat.

We had a few pizza pies to choose from: margherita, pesto, vegetable, and arugula with proscuitto.

Fan favorite is definitely the arugula pizza. They said it is their most popular pie and understandably so. I plan on going back to this restaurant with Justin just so that he can try that pizza!

Thanks again to Rachel for organizing the event, and the staff at Jimmy’s for feeding us!

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