Get SatisFi’d at BurgerFi!

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With attempts to bring some sunshine and warmth to the cold Boston University area BurgerFi – the new burger-joint on campus – hails from Delray Beach Florida serving up a mix of meals, desserts, and libations in an environment suitable for both students and families.

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Opened Monday thru Wednesday 11AM to 11PM and Thursday thru Sunday 11AM to 1AM BurgerFi pumps out healthier food options for their guest in an earth friendly environment much like a Shake Shack from the south with, “chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood, and large fans that use 66% less electricity”. In addition they also maintain a low carbon footprint through other sustainable practices.

Prices for this new eatery vary from $5.57 to $9.97 for one of their signature burgers, including a veggie!  If your more creative they have a “Build Your Best Burger” option starting at $3.97 for a single-stack with toppings costing extra.  Next up are the Hot Dogs between $3.67 and $4.97.  Sides or “accessories” range from fries or onion  rings OR Both from $2.97 to $4.97.  Desserts consist of Frozen custards or Frozen Concretes.  You can have them in multiple ways starting with shakes at $4.47 to concretes at $5.57.  Beer prices vary, but wine is served by the glass at $4.97 or by the bottle at $19.97.

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To be health conscious the restaurant listed clearly it’s calorie content for their guest on their menu.  I love it! No guessing here.

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This new addition the Commonwealth Ave line of restaurants in Brighton was a refreshing burst of change for the area, giving customers more options on where they’d like to dine, and also making it possible to grab a beer without being in a bar atmosphere.

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Wanting to start with the basics I ordered the BurgerFi Cheeseburger and Vanilla Frozen Custard with Carmel on top.  To step on the ‘wild side’ I tried out the Crispy Onion Rings with, get this, Parmesan Cheese and Herbs!

There was bit of a wait for my meal, but once out I wasted no time.  My double-decker Angus burger containing two slices of American Cheese, Lettuce, and BurgerFi Sauce was satisfying.  I LOVE the grill branding atop the bun.  I was able to eat the entire burger with ease, and that left me happy.  Next time I go I’m getting the Brisket Burger (double natural 28 day Dry Aged Ground Brisket, Swiss Cheese, Blue Cheese, Lettuce Pickles and BurgerFi® Sauce) or maybe a Chicago Style Dog (All-Natural Dog topped with Mustard, Neon Relish, Diced Onion, Tomato slices, Sport Peppers, Celery Salt, and a Pickle spear served on a Poppy Seed Bun) to remind me of my favorite city in America.

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My frozen vanilla custard was quite yummy.  Smooth and creamy.

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My FAVORITE takeaway from this meal however was indeed the crispy onion rings!  O.M.Gee!!!  True to it’s name, these crispy delights tasted like Funyuns Onion Flavored Ring Chips!  The Amazing difference being that I was eating REAL onions with massive flavor!  Heaven!  I MUST get a LARGE order next, even if it’s 980 calories in a serving.

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Maybe next time I’ll get the Urban Fries from the “Secret Menu” that contains Parmesan and Herb Fries topped with Garlic Aioli.  The secret will be OUT if they top the onion rings and they might get swarmed and have to give up all their secrets.  But hey, it’s good for business, right? Xo!

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BurgerFi

961 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02215

617-254-4200

http://burgerfi.com

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/

Up-Beat Vibes at The Sinclair!

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When The Sinclair first opened up in Harvard Square on September 4th, 2012 I thought to myself, “Wow! A venue in Harvard for concerts, I gotta look into that”.  But when I heard in January 2013 that The Sinclair ADDED on an American Kitchen I thought to myself, “When can I get there?!”  Finally I did.  Searching for atmosphere and potential good eats I wound up at The Sinclair by chance on Patriots Day or Marathon Monday as Boston residents like myself refer to the day.  With such despair created in Boston I thought Cambridge would be the right place to lift my spirits a bit and full my tummy.

Michael Schlow is the one of the chef’s behind this operation.  Relocating here in ’95 from NYC he’s owned an operated several restaurants: Radius, Alta Strada (2 locations), Via Matta, Happy’s Bar and Kitchen [R.I.P] and Barrio Cantina which took place of Happy’s.  It’s awesome that Boston has such a well-acclaimed chef, winning the James Beard award for the Best Chef in the Northeast.  Head chef in this location is Chef de Cuisine Marcellus Coleman from Manhattan.  Recently the winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped” Marcellus adds to the, “eclectic menu” as site states by bring tasty small, big, and sharable bites to the city.

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Pour.DRANK!

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Before even stepping in I was amused by the sidewalk chalkboard’s “dranks all night” line which I thought was a friendly invite in (I only stayed til 6PM).  Taking a seat at the bar, I had the pleasure of meeting Ron, a bartender who’s been with The Sinclair since the beginning.

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Ron makes a good thirst quenching drink.   Cocktails range from $9 to $12, beers vary from $5 to $20 (that’s A LOT of beer!) and wine ranges from $7 to $12 by the glass.  Want something stronger?  Lucky you, there’s a full bar with top shelf and regular brands.  There’s even an after dinner drink list too!

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I tired out their Jack Rose cocktail made up of Laird’s Applejack, house grenadine, and lime.  Can you say “bomb dot com?”  The chemistry was well balanced between the jack and the grenadine so it wasn’t too sweet like a  “girly drink” but wasn’t strong enough to put “hair on your chest”.

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My starter was Deviled eggs with mushroom truffle and bacon.  For dinner I got the Sinclair Burger with basil aioli, MC’s secret sauce, watercress and french fries.  Because of my timing I grabbed the deviled eggs off the mid day bites menu served from 3pm-5pm since dinner doesn’t start until 5pm.  Small plates are between $7 and $13, while entrée’s are $13 to $25.  Mid bites are between $9 and $13, while dinner snacks are between $4 and $8.  I love the range of options. When I return I MUST try their pastrami’d pork belly sliders!

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After my first bite of my eggs I thought, “why doesn’t Everyone make deviled eggs like this?”  I’m a firm believer bacon can make a dish better and THIS is a perfect example.  With a surprise of a creamy layer under each egg this was a nice mouth popper before the main course.

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Chef Fun!

On to my burger.  Cooked well, the aioli spread and secret sauce made this burger come alive, separating it from just an ordinary meat patty.  Watercress was the classier choice over boring lettuce and I agree with the decision.  My fries were good with a nice crisp in most of my bites and the presentation overall won me over before eating anything.

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Although dimly light by the bar, natural sunlight brought life into the downstairs and upstairs dinning space.  I liked the separation of spaces; while downstairs had more of a cafeteria style seating arrangement upstairs retained a fine dining vibe which is great how both are housed under one roof.  The décor is contemporary yet simple so you can either dress up or down in this gastropub and not feel out of place.

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As the tone was set for Boston, The Sinclair managed to remain in higher spirits.  TV’s where conveying the news, but diners and drinkers at The Sinclair were able to create a separation of inside the bar and the world outside.  I thought it was interesting when Ron apologized for the bar being not as full at that hour since usually it’s busy on the weekends (which is fact!); little did he know that setting at that time on Monday was full enough for me.

Great Job Sinclair!  Xo.

 

The Sinclair

52 CHURCH STREET

CAMBRIDGE

MA, 02138

617-547-5200

INFO@SINCLAIRCAMBRIDGE.COM

Shake It Out at Shake Shack!

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The EPIC line to get in.

It’s here, it’s Here!

Shake Shack is HERE Boston, we finally have one!  Now I didn’t know much about Shake Shack when my interest was sparked coming back from New York on a Lucky Star bus passing the billboard in November 2012, but I can share a bit now.  It all started 2001 in New York City at Madison Square Park in Manhattan as a hot dog cart for a solid two years before they were able to make a permanent kiosk.  A hot dog cart. Really? I think that’s AWESOME!

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Big Hit in Chestnut Hill!

My friend and I decided on Friday night, March 22nd to give the new Chestnut Hill location a try.  She already tried Shake Shack in Miami and wanted to compare, meanwhile I just wanted to try it since November period.   Although the line was about a 30-45 minute wait to get inside (yes, this is true) I honestly feel this is NOT your average burger joint that you’re waiting for.

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Simple, easy to follow menu.

What I like about the menu is it’s to the point.  There are 5 different kinds of burgers (1 being portabella mushroom), 4 different hot dogs, and 2 types of fries.  Perfect!  No need to worry about bringing your indecisive friends here.  Their price range works perfectly for the hungry Boston University, Boston College, and Pine Manor student being you can get a single patty cheeseburger as cheap as $4.75 and a double for $7.40 before tax.  The highest priced burger would be the Shack Stack which contains BOTH a cheeseburger and ‘shroom burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce for $8.95.

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Custard Calendar!!!

For frozen delights you have the choice between Frozen Custard [a dense dessert made from milk and flavors] or a Concrete [custard blended at high speed with a mix-in] from their popular choices or you can try a shake, regular ice cream, or a float. This will cost between $3.25 and $6.50 before tax.   Funny enough I didn’t want a shake on my visit like I thought I would when coming back from New York, but when I return I think I’ll have the Lobstah Shell [vanilla custard, lobster tail pastry shell from Boston’s North End, strawberry puree and ricotta cream] which you can ONLY get in Massachusetts.  Their drink list consists of non-alcoholic options as well as wine and beer (yes!).

My order was quite simple.  I got the ShackBurger, which is a juicy 100%-all natural Angus beef cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce that tasted to me like thousand island with mustard.  Different but Good!  I washed it down with a cup of ShakeMeister Ale, which is an Exclusive Brew for Shake Shack by Brooklyn Brewery.  Very impressive.  Dessert was chosen from the Custard Calendar for March (genius) which was half of a “Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter”.

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I must say, although that was the RAREST meat I’ve EVER eaten in all my life, it was Delicious!  The burger was quite juicy, which surprised me because it wasn’t a big patty.  The ShakeSauce complimented the burger by being not too bold but leaving a nice love tap to your taste buds.  The beer was a good light body beer.  Not too hoppy but still had a bite.  And then, I had the custard.  Umm, custard (insert Homer Simpson Grawl Here!).  The texture of the custard was like a thickened mousse.  Great balance of PB to chocolate with a hint of salty for contrast.

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Yummy Custard

Being that this location just opened up I can see the line to get in remaining long for the next couple of months.  That being said, this REALLY Shouldn’t stop anyone who has a bit of time on their hands from going.  They even have two lines for people who just want something cold from those looking for food which is helpful to the person getting their custard and leaving right away.  The staff is so friendly and helpful.  One of the employee’s who was in charge of handing order’s to customer’s asked me my name.  When I replied, “Potbelly” he laughed and said, “Nice to meet you”.  I told him I’d review this location and he was glad to hear it.  Team members clear your table for you and ask, “how did you enjoy the food?”  A fast food joint with full service restaurant demeanor, love it!

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Yup, that’s Me!

The modern space is clean looking, organized, and makes good use of wood throughout the restaurant.  From the walls to the tables real wood is the theme with a nice natural finish.  Each table has a carving of either the symbolized Shake Shack Burger or a message like, “Handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY this surface was part of a bowling lane” which means, they RECYCLE!!!   The use of magnets for the menu board is very efficient so new products can get added to the space without disturbing much of the structure such as clothes or a new shake.

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Recycled!

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Creative AND Cute!

In the end I was highly impressed with Shake Shack and what they have to offer.  They have me as a customer whenever I can make it out to Chestnut Hill.  When they actually COME to Boston however, I think that’s when I’ll be VERY pleased.

LOVE YOU! – Potbelly Tara, xo.

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We’re Happy Too!

Shake Shack

49 Boylston Street

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

617.651.3406

chestnuthill@shakeshack.com