May 23, 2013
boston, island creek, oyster bar, oysters, oysters on the half shell, wild belon
View from the bar.
We love raw oysters on the half shell. In LA, we typically have oysters from British Columbia, Washington state, even locally in Northern and Central California. We were especially excited to try some East Coast oysters and what better place to go than Island Creek Oyster Bar? During this quick stop we tried 6 varieties – 5 farm and 1 wild. This swanky oyster bar served its own Island Creek variety of oysters, farmed just south of Boston at Duxbury Bay along with several other New England varieties and other areas.
Can you spot the wild variety?
Starting from the right of the lemon: Island Creek (Duxbury, MA), Rocky Nook (Kingston, MA), Ichabod Flat (Plymouth, MA), Big Rock (E Dennis, MA), WellFleet (WellFleet, MA), Wild Belon (Harpswell, ME).
The Island Creek variety was definitely the creamiest and sweetest of the 6. As we went around the tray clockwise, each variety was more briny and became increasingly more complex than the last. The Wild Belon was a slap in the face, standing completely out from the rest with its powerful mineral notes throughout. Luckily we finished with the Wild Belon which blew out our taste buds for the next 15 minutes. It’s quite the experience but not for the faint of oyster.
The Raw Bar Menu
We enjoyed or brief hour or so at Island Creek Oyster Bar and could see ourselves frequenting this gem more often if we were Bostonians. If you’re dropping by Boston for a weekend or two, consider stopping by Island Creek Oyster Bar and try some of their local catches – you won’t be disappointed.
Check out Island Creek Oyster Bar: www.islandcreekoysterbar.com
500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
See their Yelp reviews here!
May 22, 2013
Nom Adventures, Sweet Noms
australia, candy, candy making, candy shop, giveaway, hollywood, los angeles, sticky, sweets
On Sunday, we trekked up to the Hollywood & Highland Center, a side of town we rarely leave the Westside to explore. But we had a wonderful reason to visit the heart of Tinseltown tourism — the team at Sticky had invited us over for a candy-making session!
Sticky – right in the heart of Sweet!
Sticky is an Australian candy company started by attorney-turned-confectioner David King. This Hollywood storefront, their first in the US, is situated in the middle of Sweet!, a full floor of the shopping center that’s completely dedicated to sugary treats. But skip those Hershey bars and kitschy Oscar statuettes and make a beeline for the entertaining live candy-making by the awesome team at Sticky… and possibly some newbie guests like us.
May 14, 2013
barley, beer, boston, brewery, factory tour, hops, lager, samuel adams
The golden ticket to enter Jim Cook’s Factory
The Sam Adams Brewery is a ways off from Downtown Boston but definitely worth the trek to experience the process of beer making if not for the free beer at the end of the tour. The free tour starts about once every 45 minutes and weekday tours did not seem very crowded. There may be a short wait between tours but visitors could distract themselves at the mini museum showcasing the many Sam Adams varieties and company history. I was actually surprised to find out that Sam Adams hasn’t been around all that long – only since 1984. Its wide appeal, many awards, widespread distribution, and iconic name has built a brand that feels like it has been around for much longer.
Best Family Photo Ever
May 8, 2013
baking, blueberry muffin, breakfast, crumb topping, low fat, muffins, recipe, streusel
Yes, dear readers – the cat is out of the bag. I refer to my mother as Mommie. I had contemplated titling this post “Mom’s Blueberry Muffins” to avoid any potential embarrassment, but then I realized that there are a billion and one recipes out there called “Mom’s Blueberry Muffins.” So I figured, why not call it like it is?
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever… until we nom it. — John Keats, sort of…
These moist and fluffy muffins are filled to the brim with blueberries, topped with a crispy crumble of streusel, and even better – they contain NO oil. Magical, right? A worthy adversary for Starbucks’ Bountiful Blueberry counterpart. And Starbucks Gold Card carrying Martin gives my muffins his seal of approval, so that’s a vote of confidence right there! We hope you’ll enjoy this sweet intermission from our Boston recap series.
Click here for the recipe!
May 6, 2013
boston, charcuterie, coppa di testa, cured meats, margherita, pizza, prosciutto, regina pizzeria, salumeria italiana
Cured meat is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. I think I would totally fit in on the streets of Spain where afternoon breaks for jamón ibérico are almost as commonplace as a kaffeeklatsch. So naturally, we just had to stop by yet another of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods destinations: Salumeria Italiana, a quaint hole-in-the-wall specialty market known as Boston’s best Italian grocery. After our midday snack, we headed over to Regina Pizzeria, a brick oven pizza joint often voted Boston’s #1 Pizza. After yet another North End adventure, we wandered back to our hotel, full and oh so satisfied.
The Cured Meat Display at Salumeria Italiana
May 1, 2013
aglio olio, boston, daily catch, fried calamari, hole in the wall, north end, squid ink pasta, tinta de calamar
After watching the Boston episode of Bizarre Foods America and being inspired to visit some of the same places that Andrew Zimmern did, I was especially excited to swing by The Daily Catch in the North End to try the fresh squid ink pasta. Whenever I see a menu with an al nero di seppia or tinta de calamar pasta dish, I just have to have it… especially here at The Daily Catch, where the infamous black pasta (homemade!) stars in the center of the chalkboard menu.
The Daily Catch menu