Reasons I LOVE Ashmont Grill!

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Dorchester, Massachusetts.  My hometown, my city, home sweet home.  Although it gets a bad rap this neighborhood is up and coming making it more appealing to residents and visitors looking to stay local for dining instead of trucking it to the downtown area.  In 2005 Ashmont Grill graced Dorchester’s Peabody Square drawing in patrons from all over the city and beyond proving that Dorchester has lots of potential.

Here are my reasons for returning over and over again to Ashmont Grill:

Reason 1: Atmosphere.  Ashmont Grill gives off the feel of restaurants in the South End.  It’s friendly; host an inviting environment with familiar tunes and impressive service.

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Reason 2: Price.  Menu options here are wallet-friendly for all types of dining (dinner, Friday lunch, and brunch).  Dinner entrée’s are at most $24, Friday lunch ranges from $7 to $15 dollars, while brunch entrée’s top at $15.

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Reason 3: Location.  Right across from Ashmont T Station and with a customer parking lot this location is accessible to all.

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I usually have brunch here and always enjoy myself.  After placing your order they bring out a nice assortment of scones and chocolate chip banana bread.  I LOVE the banana bread.  The bread is soft and moist while the chocolate chips are semi soft creating a nice mix on the palette and a good texture to chew.

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I decided to switch it up and go for the Egg Benedict containing 2 poached eggs & smoked ham (I’m usually a salmon girl) on an English muffin, hollandaise sauce, fresh fruit, and homefries.  For a starter I got the Old Fashioned Cider Donuts made handcut with cinnamon and sugar.

First bite into my cider donut and I thought, “Yes! Chris, these are perfect!”  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Chef/Owner Chris Douglass who lives nearby the restaurant a couple of times and he’s always been pleasant.  My donuts (little munchkins) were nicely dusted with cinnamon and coated in sugar on the outside while the inside was soft and crumbly.  These donuts could be a kid’s best friend.

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When my Eggs Bene came out I was so pleased!  My eggs were nice and runny with hollandaise oozing all over it (insert smile here).  The ham was a nice thin cut and the English muffin was the SOFTEST texture I’ve Ever had! Well done!  The touch of pomegranates, pineapples, and oranges as their seasonal fruit medley was another plus!  Much different than the usual pairings of melons.

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Other recommendations I have for Ashmont Grill are:

Baked Mac n’ Cheese (Three Cheese blend.  Simply Amazing!)

Eggs Nova Scotia

Wood Grilled Lamb Sliders (you can TASTE the lamb!)

Classic Mai Tai Cocktail (Rum Yum Yum!)

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My sticky toffy and mai tai via insta

Sticky Toffy Pudding (featured on the Food Network!)

Niman Ranch Pasture Raised Burger

I assure you, these items WILL NOT disappoint.

As a Dorchester native (or Dot Rat) I am proud such a restaurant is here in our neighborhood.  Businesses like this and their sister restaurant Tavolo (located on 1918 Dorchester Ave.) allow people who live in the area the opportunity of experiencing more than just the neighborhood bar.

Thank You! Xo.

Ashmont Grill

555 Talbot Ave.

Dorchester, MA 02122

617.825.4300

http://ashmontgrill.com/

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Gettin’ Southern at Estelle’s!

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Recently I became a foodie tour guide for a friend who just moved in town; so many perks.  Aside from the exercise (we walk mostly to our destinations) I get to introduce my Podunk friend to foods he’d otherwise never try.  This past Columbus Day when we met I asked the “twenty-dollar” question: what would you like to eat?  As soon as he said, “a burger” I knew exactly where to go.

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Opened December 1, 2012 Estelle’s brings the south to the busy and diverse community of Boston’s South End.  Accessible by the T or car this location is actually a block away from another sister restaurant in the Wilcox Hospitality Group, Parish Café.  The Wilcox Hospitality Group, owned by Brian Poe, has a total of four restaurants including Estelle’s {Parish Café, Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, and The Tip Tap Room (Love it there!)}.

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The first thing my friend and I noticed on arrival after we complimented on the chill environment, perfect accent wall, and modern appeal was the beer menu.  Prices are SOOO college student friendly (although that was some years ago for me).  You can choose between half pints for no more than $4 and pints for no more than $8.  There’s even a Mug Club where you drink 130 beers in 180 days.   That’s a lot of barley.  Speaking of barley I tried a Tainted Love Cocktail consisting of Lavender Mead (Wine made from barley), Housemaid Lemon-Lime Aid and Rosemary.  This drink screamed SUMMER!  I can’t wait to actually visit in the summer and have one.  So sweet and tangy yet refreshing!

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I ordered Estelle’s House Beef Burger made of 100% beef with American Cheese, Onion, and B n’ B (Bread n’ Butter) Pickles for my main, but started off with their Buttermilk Fried Pickles.  Oh yes, I did.

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Lunch at Estelle’s gives you that Southern vibe in the Northern hemisphere.  Executive Chef Eric Gburski brings dishes like Cajun Cornmeal Crusted Catfish just an example! Sounds so good!  I’ve had his kangaroo at Tip Tap last year and was very impressed. The menu is full of comfort meals and “Southern Pride” favorites keeping options playful and familiar.   Prices range for $3.95 to $19.95.

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As we listened to nostalgic alternative music our pickles arrived!  These pickles were FANTASIC!  Best Fried Pickles in Boston HANDS DOWN!!!  Why?  Let me tell you: you’re served a pickled plate containing 3 types of pickles.  I don’t know the names of each type however I know they were tasty.  My Favorite of the three was the thick JUICY one.  It was SO sweet!

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Out next was my burger.  This little burger packed much flavor and was served with sauces.  I forgot to ask for the exact name of the sauces was BUT I recommend with Mild one for spice AND added flavor to your burger.  My fries were a nice potato stick cut.  I was surprised how full I was after my meal and HAPPY.  I was also borderline comatose which I didn’t mind at all (lol).

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I MUST RETURN for brunch and try their Stuffed French Toast “Elvis Style”!!! Peanut Butter & Banana fried CRISPY with Peach Caramel & a Fruit cup.  The King of Rock n’ Roll would be Proud!

Keep me wanting the South Estelle’s.  You’ve got this Boston girl HOOKED!

 

 

Estelle’s Southern Cuisine

782 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02118

857-250-2999

http://estellesboston.com/

Brunchin’ At Scollay Square!!!

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Sometimes I want something simple and comforting when I go out to eat.  Nothing beats simplicity when you’re either on a budget or just want to stay low-key.  In perfect accord I’ll introduce Scollay Square on Beacon Hill.

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Serving up American comfort food since 1992, Scollay Square provides a very inviting environment, making it perfect for hanging out with friends or stopping in for a solo bite.  Apart of the Legendary Restaurant Group since 2004, the owners Brad Dalbeck and Chris Damian run 5 other restaurants in addition to : Papagayo (My FAV!), Burger Dive, Max & Dylans, SiP Wine Bar + Kitchen, and Avery Provision Company.

Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm.  With an easy to follow menu, patrons are left with minimal questions regarding terminology.  Ahh, the simplicity of American dining.

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Pricing starts from $6.5 to $19.  That’s it, nothing higher than that!  Considering being located in the heart of Downtown Boston the prices are amazing, and Scollay prides themselves on offering, “reasonable prices”.  Seeing that I wanted something straightforward I picked the English Muffin Egg Sandwich that came with Canadian Bacon (smoked ham), Jack Cheese and Hash Browns.  See, right to the point!

Now, one of the coolest features of Scollay Square and what brought me to check it out is there “Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar”!

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How does it work?

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You choose your vodka at the main bar then head over to the set up bar.  This bar is used to garnish your BM how ever you’d like with the offerings of 3 types of tomato juice, all kinds of spices and hot sauces (e.g. the colon cleanser), as well as different veggie and fruit toppers.  Since I have yet to try a Bloody Mary I went STRAIGHT for their $4 Mimosa.

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Not much time later from ordering my sandwich arrived!  I wasn’t expecting the salad on the side but thought it was a nice touch to a potentially unhealthy breakfast.  I loved the portions.  I’m all about proper portions.  My sandwich fit nicely in my hand.

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On to the taste.  Usually I salt and pepper my eggs but not today.  The Jack Cheese gave each bite the right amount of pepper while the bacon gave off some salty traits.  I loved how the hash browns were golden and crispy.   Each bite had a crunch.  This meal, including drink was a wise $11.50 investment!

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I plan to revisit Scollay this weekend and go for either the Fillet Mignon Eggs Benedict or the Lobster Eggs Benedict.  With $2 being the only “big” difference it’s up to my mood on what I’ll pick that day.  #winning!

 

UPDATE: October 19th, 2013

Scollay Square

21 Beacon Street

Boston, MA 02108

617-742-4900

http://www.scollaysquare.com/

Mooo….for Brunch!

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There comes a time in my foodie mind when I think, “hmm, how can we take sometime classic and make it better?”  For me that classic would be brunch.  It screams perfection fusing alcohol and breakfast/lunch into one!  I’ve had my eye on dining at Mooo… for sometime now and finally had my moment.  I wasn’t sure before what mealtime I wanted to indulge in, but now I’m more than happy with the choice I made.

Opened July 2007 atop Boston’s Beacon Hill this modern steakhouse restaurant is apart of XV Beacon Hotel.  Affiliated with the Columbus Hospitality Group (see Taste of Columbus post) Mooo…. suggest booking reservations, an elegant or business casual dress code, and is open seven days a week even during current construction!  Perfect if your not a brunch freak like me.  With two floors  Mooo…. offers a lounge type dining on the first level with a private room below named, “the Wine Cellar”.  Chef/owner Jamie Mammano has done it again with another award winning restaurant.  Chef David Hutton keeps the food coming out with flavor.

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Here’s how Mooo….starts by making their Brunch fantastic:

  1. Free Valet Parking!  No need to circle the block to find a space, just hand over your keys and walk inside.
  2. Soft, LIVE Acoustic Music!  Marcella’s voice is amazing.  Full of passion and soul, with a bossanova style.
  3. Spacious Dining!  Your not seated too close to other guest making you feel your personal bubble has popped.  Here your kept cozy and separated in the modern and sophisticated décor.
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The amazing live performers

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Down to the Wine Cellar

Sunday Brunch is served from 10am to 2pm with meal prices varying from $9 to $39.  The highest priced item on the menu is a 6 oz Kobe Beef Steak and Eggs for $125…one day it shall be mines! Until then I got the Traditional Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon as my main course.  To start, I ordered the Blueberry Beignets (a square of fried dough eaten hot sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar) and our table received house-made Cinnamon Buns.  Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry, I had my two best friends with me that day for potential assistance.

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I was very excited about their tea selection 🙂

To drink I ordered the Pimm’s #15, a yummy cocktail consisting of Hendrick’s Gin, Pimm’s #1 and fresh lemon, garnished with thyme.  Usually I don’t do this but I had two drinks pretty much back to back.  Refreshing! Cocktails here are a bit pricey, ranging between $12 and $16 BUT if that makes you a bit uncomfortable you can choose from beer, wines, and hard liquor.

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First up were the Blueberry Beignets.

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Oh. My. GOODNESS!  These little jelly filled donut like pastries were yummy!  Best part, they were served Warm.  The jam inside wasn’t goopy and thick, but more liquid.  So soft with gooey blueberry!  Perfect starter.

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Once our order was placed we received our Cinnamon Buns.  The lightly cinnamon pastry was pretty tasty.  I liked the huge sugar crystals on top of the bun. Full of puff and not too dense.

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To end this AMAZING experience I got my Traditional Eggs Benedict with Salmon.  My meal was Complete!  The eggs were nice and runny and as usual mixed well with the hollandaise sauce.  The English muffin was lightly toasted, leaving it softer than others.  Accompanying my main course were O’Brien potatoes covered with Parmesan, Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Fresh Parsley.  I wish I had more space for the potatoes.

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My one regret from my unforgettable experience at Mooo….was that I didn’t try either of my best friends’ French Toast with Caramelized Banana and gingered maple.  One of my friends said it was the best french toast he’s EVER had.  I gotta go back for it and then some!

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Til next time Mooo….! Xo.

Mooo….Restaurant

15 Beacon St.

Boston, MA 02108

(617) 670-2515

http://mooorestaurant.com/