Luke’s Lobster Pop UP!

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Lobster Season is here and I’m so excited.  My current favorite lobster dish: lobster rolls.

Funny enough that wasn’t always true.  Something about cold lobster didn’t entice me until about 2 years ago. Although my past rolls were good from Boston, I would like to share what I think is Hands-Down one of the BEST tasting lobster rolls of my lobster-loving searches.  That would be Luke’s Lobster hailing from New York City.

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Merchandise with my Favorite Cape Cod chips.

Founded by Luke Holden in 2009, this business started when Luke moved to NYC for finance and noticed the overpriced lobster “slop” they would call lobster rolls.  Determined to bring the lobster he knew and loved from Maine to the cities of New York, Luke and his dad Jeff came up with a plan and Luke’s Lobster was born.

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With locations in New York, Washington D.C., Maryland and Philadelphia the company is in the process of bringing a Luke’s Lobster’s to…you guessed it, BOSTON.  Unfortunately it’s not certain where and when the team will make Boston their 5th home with a restaurant and or food truck (yes, food truck) however Boston recently got a taste of what Luke has to offer at Supply Good Market, a pop up flea market on Newbury Street to benefit survivors of the Marathon Bombing treated at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.  I can’t imagine a better event to have your name attached to.

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Now a bit about the roll: from one of the five Maine Harbors used by Luke each roll contains 5 or 6 lobster claws.  That’s right, CLAWS.  Not lobster bits with about 2 claws and a sea of mayo.  The roll is lightly toasted with a “swipe” of mayo.  That sounds quite refreshing to me.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying lobster salad is terrible, I’m just glad I found an eatery that sees lobster rolls in another light.

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The menu? Short, sweet, and to the point.  There are three type of rolls (Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp) and you can have it 3 ways: with soda, chips, and a pickle OR with beer, chips, and a pickle, OR just the roll itself.  You can’t lose.  Rolls alone are $15, $12, and $8 and if you wanted to add one of the two meal options it’s $2 or $3 more.  Two specials they have are “Taste of Maine” which is three half rolls of lobster, crab and shrimp with soda, chips, and a pickle for $20 or you can do “Noah’s Arch” which would be double the “Taste” and is designed for two costing $38.  There was no beer option for the pop-up, but I’m sure when their permanent things will work out.

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I got the Lobster Roll with a Blueberry soda.  I think can talk about this lobster roll forever!

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I’ve never seen so much “meat” on a lobster roll before.   The seasoning used was visible and gave the lobster added flavor, which I found interesting because usually if there is any seasoning, it’s drowned with mayo.  The warm split top bun with the melted butter brought happiness to my taste buds.  The touch of light mayo was appropriate; it didn’t take over the lobster, or rob the roll of the main focus that IS the lobster.  Not into spices?  You can have the mayo, butter, and spices removed if that’s your style.

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I want it ALL!

I can see Luke’s Lobster thriving in Boston whenever they bring us a permanent location.  With such a fresh product and obvious care for their consumers they’ll have no problem keeping the people of this city satisfied.  It’ll also the quickest way for Bostonians to have Maine lobster without driving, flying or taking the train.

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Thanks in advance.

Luke’s Lobster

Coming Soon to Boston

http://lukeslobster.com/

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Pizza Express in Haymarket!

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I LOVE London.  Something about the culture there fascinates me.

The food there? Usually not so much.

But like they say, “Third times a charm” and that can be applied to my recent U.K. experience.  On my first two visits to the country I didn’t create the opportunity to explore tasty options, in fact I mainly ate what was given to me or dined at the usual pub.  In 2013 however, that would be unacceptable behavior.  Recommended by a family friend, Pizza Express was exactly what I needed to experience in the city.

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Being more popular than I could imagine, Pizza Express has over 400 restaurants within the United Kingdom with each one being unique in their decor.  Their concept was developed in the sixties and inspired by, “fresh thinking”.  This West End location around the corner from Piccadilly Square and Regent Street has two floors for comfortable seating, a meeting room, and is open Monday through Saturday 11:30AM to 12AM; On Sunday they close at 11PM.

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Now although I don’t love pizza, I enjoy it from time to time and today was London’s chance to satisfy my craving.   I went with the Pollo ad Astra which consisted of Chicken, Sweet Peppadew Peppers, Red Onions, Mozzerella, Tomato, Cajun Spices and Garlic Oil.  I’m drooling just thinking about this crafty Italian dish.  I sipped some red with this one (although white would have been better with chicken) of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

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Diners can experience decently priced meals in Pizza Express’s laid back, contemporary location.  The pizzas come dressed to impress so you don’t have to.  With a reasonably priced menu patrons can get a meal and a beverage for £20.  Not too bad, and converts to about $30.85 according to today’s pound to dollar rate.

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Not interested in pizza?  There are many other Italian favorites like pasta, calzones, and salads. Got an allergy? Their menu has “gluten-free” options to work with.  They even have an “Intro” that you can have BEFORE your “Starter”. Love it.

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Upon arrival of my pizza and wine (always a winning combination) I noticed my pizza was uncut.  I thought that was pretty cool!  My pizza cutter and I had a GREAT Time together!  As I ran the cutter across the pizza and divided up my uneven sections I liked that the pie stayed together.  They didn’t serve it too hot-the cheese wasn’t sliding all over-making it perfect to work with as a newbie cutter.

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iPhone’s can’t Always capture delicious. So good!

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The taste was very, very, satisfying.  The Cajun sauce wasn’t overbearing, but gentle with the spice being used here more for flavor than warming the mouth.  The veggies and chicken blended well and had a nice balance.  Not too much sauce to drown in on a thin crust.  I can see this thriving in New York.  Very tasty Pizza Express!  My wine, although dry, had nice cherry notes.  I did enjoy this bottle and must buy one in the states.

 

 

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With a phone app for Android or iOS, online table reservations, and a take away option Pizza Express makes it easy to get the food you want, when you want it.  Can’t make it to the restaurant?  They have option to prepare at home in your location U.K. Supermarket.  Maybe one day they’ll hit America.  Boston First I hope.

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YUM!

 

Pizza Express in Haymarket

26 Panton House,

Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4EN

020 7930 8044

http://www.pizzaexpress.com/visit-a-restaurant/restaurant/london-haymarket/

Abbott’s Frozen Custard

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It’s time to switch it up!

Usually, when I want a treat to cool off I’ll turn to a popsicle that’s refreshing or to creamy ice cream.  But why not something different, like frozen custard?

What’s frozen custard? A cold dessert similar to ice cream, but made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar.  It’s quite yummy, and if you’re in Brighton, MA you should give this spot a try!

I stumbled upon Abbott’s while accompanying my sister to her job and with custard still fresh in my mind (see my Shake Shack review) I wanted to grab a scoop.

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Get a Shirt!

Turns out this cute little shop is located in 5 states (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Colorado) and in over 30 cities.  With the first shop in Rochester, New York back in 1926 Arthur Abbot made his imprint with his frozen custard to America.  With 3 classical flavors always available (Vanilla, Chocolate, Chocolate Almond) and 42 Specialty Flavors that can pop up at any time customers are kept not only on their toes, but they know the menu won’t get boring.  That can get depressing Even with something as Happy as frozen milk.

Opened everyday from 12PM to 10PM with a reasonable priced menu of most items UNDER $5 customers have a variety of creamy goodness concoctions to chose from.

Yes, UNDER $5.

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The menu is split between Sundaes (several to choose from), Novelties (Ice cream Sandwiches and their FAMOUS Turtle-which I will return to try!), Shakes and Floats, and plenty of toppings.

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I got the Salty Carmel Custard in a Waffle Cone.  I hadn’t had a waffle cone since I worked at Cold Stone Creamy (yes, I worked there for 4 years through high school).  I got a kiddie size, but it was more than perfect for me.  Just enough custard and it went a LONG way.  The texture was smooth, the taste was creamy (expected) mixed with a caramel trace and a hint of the salty.  I think this is my new favorite flavor for the summer.

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I’m sure Arthur had no idea his creation would travel through time like it has, but I must say on behalf of my family we’re more than happy it did!

Like what you taste?  They CATER as well and offer packages!  Need something smaller?  Take a look in their freeze and get something to go.  They have cakes, pies, and pints waiting to make their way to your kitchen.

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Abbott’s Frozen Custard

358 Washington St

Brighton, MA 02135

http://abbottscustard.com

The RIPE Drink!

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On hot days like we’ve been having you need a thirst-quenching beverage keep you cool and refreshed.  Although there are hundreds of drinks you can choose, let me suggest something new, Ripe Bar Juice.  Created in 2008 by Michel Boissy and Ryan Guimond with the determination to make bar juice that was pure squeezed and handcrafted.  As good as this juice is by itself, paired with alcohol is a relief on the tongue from, “the big ol’ bottle of glo green non-juice rita mix” as stated on the site.  Boy, can THAT ruin a drink.

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With a shelf life of only a few weeks (yea, that’s pretty Fresh!) Ripe blows away the competition.  Made with 6 ingredients Ripe doesn’t confuse their consumer with frills and big words.  Their citrus comes in from either U.S. or Mexico daily and is squeezed using a proprietary method to keep out that bitter taste that can occur from incorrect juicing.  Using organic Agave syrup, the company spends a bit more on their sweetener for their product, but they see this as a way to better the customer’s enjoyment of their drink.  How thoughtful.

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Chocolate, Juice, and Tequila…WINNING!!!

With 5 bar juice options (Agave Margarita, San Marzano Bloody Mary, Agave Lemon Sour, Agave Mojito, and Agave Punch) consumers can keep a variety of social gatherings while knowing their serving an all natural product.  I was fortunate enough to try the Margarita flavor at a Cinco De Mayo event in Somerville, Massachusetts.  There I got to met “The East Coast Guy” JD Altobello (what a cool name!).

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The Awesome JD Altobello!

We talked a bit about the product and I tired the drink with AND without alcohol.  With alcohol it blened QUITE well with the El Buho Mezcal Tequila.  It didn’t overpower the alcohol like most sour mixes, making you feel you just purchased a sour drink or a lemon flavored 50¢ Big Burst at your local corner store.  Instead it made you feel like lounging, preferably beachside or by the pool with a tiny umbrella in your glass.  By itself, the drink stood strong.  Being a light, easy drink this would be a great option for giving non-alcoholic drinkers.

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With distribution throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, and Florida Ripe you can find Ripe at a store near you.  Not in any of these locations?  There’s always delivery!

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Ripe Bar Juice

https://www.drinkripe.com/

Viva La Viva Burrito!

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Being that I used to work in the West End a couple of years back (when Cold Stone Creamery was in the mini plaza with Whole Foods) I had lunch from Viva Burrito in the past and recalled it being good.  Now that I take my eats more seriously, I had to return to this cozy spot and confirm my memory.

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Pretty fast at taking your order and quick with service Viva is great for a pit stop on a lunch break or to have a seat and relax in the Boston area.

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Unable to come in person to place an order?  Have no fear; if you have a pen, paper, and a fax machine handy then you can fax order over and have it waiting for you upon arrival.

Open 7 days a week with over 13 option sections to pick from on their menu, customers can experience authentic Mexican food without being bored by simplicity.  I went with the Chicken Burrito containing Rice, Black Beans, Salsa Fresca, Cheese, and Grilled Chicken Breast Marinated in Fresh Garlic with Spices as the main entrée.  For a snack I enjoyed chips and quac. Want something Spicy? They offer a FREE Spicy Salsa Bar!

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Burrito’s range from $4.95 to $5.99.  Sides are from $1.99 to $5.49.  I would break down the menu further, however at this reasonable restaurant if you walk in with $20 to feed yourself you’ll leave satisfied with not only food but a beverage.  They offer smoothies, sodas, and beer options.  I had a soda (rare!)

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My burrito was delicious.  I work in a restaurant that makes burritos so it was great eating another recipe.  My memory wasn’t wrong.  The only thing my memory didn’t have was trying their guacamole.  I was missing out!

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So chunky!  Well balanced with flavor.  So good to say the least.  I actually, at that moment remembered back to when I visited Cozumel, Mexico and had quac and chips there and it seemed pretty much the same.  Awesome!

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I’m not sure when I’ll return to the West End for eats, but with summer almost here I’m sure Viva can get ready to see more me, Potbelly.

Xo.

Viva Burrito

66 Staniford Street Boston, MA

617-523-6390

http://vivaburrito.com/