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

Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink MIAMI!

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One thing a foodie like myself loves is recommendations!  I adore people saying to me, “you gotta try out this place” with conviction that their suggestion is the be all end all to my food research.  It’s great!   The most recent of my recommendations while in Florida lead me to Michael’s.

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Location in “little Haiti” or the Design District of Miami, this dress casual yet contemporary restaurant adds to the flavor in Atlas Plaza.  Opened back in 2007 James Beard Award winning-chef/owner Michael Schwartz brought a daily changing menu with fresh ingredients to this up and coming location.  I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Michael and it was lovely.

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Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (MGFD) is the 1st of two locations.  The second location is in the Cayman Islands.  Both restaurants are apart of The Genuine Hospitality Group of chef/owner Michael Schwartz.  The group includes a total of seven restaurants, two of which are aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise lines (150 Central Park).  To add to the line of restaurants, Michael’s also has their own Home Brew that carries a light bodied American ale.

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Opened from 11am to 3pm for lunch, I stopped in and had comfortable seat at the bar while getting a sneak peak of pasty chef Hedy Goldsmith involved in a staff meeting.  The calm yet upbeat jazz music makes the perfect background and filler adding to the ambiance.  Serving lunch, dinner, brunch, and happy hour guests can feel free to stop by three times a day during the week knowing their choices aren’t meager.

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The lunch menu is broken into appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, sides, and main entrees.  Prices between $6 and $39 (that’s for a 12oz. wood roasted Harris Ranch N.Y. Strip) make it possible for guest visiting able to try a couple options.  For my appetizer I had the Crispy Hominy (coarsely ground corn) with chili and lime.  I was impressed with the special of the day, the Pan-Seared Jerk Grouper Sandwich, so I ordered it.  This sandwich contained spear caught black grouper fish with avocado, mango salsa, mixed watercress greens, and lemon vinegar dressing.  Do you see why I feel in love?  For dessert I tried the Chocolate Cremoso and I washed all this down with a special from the bartender Brittney.

This was going to be a magical moment.

My drink contained passion fruit seeds and tasted wonderful.  If I didn’t have to drive I would have gotten another.

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Another “special” the restaurant does is with Double Crossed-Vodka.  Everyday bartenders make a new cocktail with it.  That’s been consistent for the past 5 years.

The hominy was comforting.  I could see myself eating some while watching TV, a great mouth-popping snack.  Definitely like crunchy popcorn.

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Next up was the meal of the day, the Pan-Seared Jerk Grouper Sandwich.  Talk about “wow”.   I’ve never had jerked fish before, and I see I’d been missing out.  So juicy! The spice was there, perfect with the mango salsa!   I do love mango salsa.   Using the lemon vinegar on the greens was a good choice rather than predictable balsamic.  My only issue with the sandwich was that my fish was trying to escape its fate.  It slid out of my bun mid bite, causing me to get a bit messy and required me man-handling it back into place.  It was worth every moment!

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Now, to seal the deal on my experience at MGFD was the Chocolate Cremoso, which was recommended by Brittney and Andrea (a member of the team).  This little number was so exciting to me.  Not only was it a mix of flavors (sea salt, olive oil, sourdough crostini, and espresso parfait) but the presentation was beautiful.  Turns out Chef Michael actually made this dessert for me himself from how the food was displayed said a staff member. AWESOME!

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The Cremoso was yummy.  It reminded me of a dessert I would experience in Europe brought to me via U.S.A.  The salt and the chocolate had a great chemistry meanwhile the oil was soaking into the crostini and powdered sugar.  Heaven.  I could have eaten that all day long.

Other perks of this restaurant is the gallery room used for events, private dining and art shows.  Want to take the chefs home with you?  Well you can’t do that, but you can get their cookbooks for either $27.50 or $35.

As far as parking is concerned there are meters but I went with valet.  You can valet starting at $3 for a few hours.  That’s cheaper than ANY valet I know of in the north.

Until we meet next time MGFD – and that WILL be on my next trip – I bid the adieu!

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

130 Northeast 40th Street

Miami, FL 33137

305/ 573.5550

http://michaelsgenuine.com/miami/

Junie’s Restaurant!

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I’m one of those consumers who when they see something on TV they have to try it.  For instance, if a restaurant is featured in a film, I want to try it out.  I mean, what made this place mentionable?  That’s what brought me visit Junie’s Caribbean Cuisine in Miami Gardens.

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Scene from “Shottas” filmed in 2002 at Junie’s Restaurant

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From the film “Shottas” in 2002

Featured in one of Jamaica’s well-known movies from 2002, “Shottas” Junie’s has a variety of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 7 days a week. Opened Monday thru Thursday 9am to 8pm, Friday & Saturday from 9am to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 6pm customers can call ahead with their order.  Everyday there’s a different special, for instance there’s Soul Food Friday, where the specials of the day are, “BBQ Chicken & BBQ Ribs, Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Soup, Potato Salad, Jerk Chicken, and Stew Peas (red kidney beans boiled out in water with seasoning added)”.  I like the idea that they have this variety of food, considering a lot of people wouldn’t think of a Jamaican restaurant carrying soul food.

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Their daily menu consists of Oxtail, Curry Goat, Brown Stew Fish, and Brown Stew Chicken.  I would recommend calling ahead if one wanted something more specific (like Jerk Chicken) but to me, the idea of having oxtail, brown stew chicken and curry goat available at ALL TIMES is AMAZING!  Coming from a Jamaican family I must say those are party staples. Worried about price?  Typically around $12 can get you medium plate of food consisting of meat, rice and vegetables.

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I stopped by on a Tuesday where the specials were cowfoot and fish soup.  For whatever reason I skipped the fish soup and tried their Banana Porridge, which was written on the board for the day.

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First PLUS about this porridge was the size.  It came in a 20oz cup.  That’s pretty big and cost only $3.50!  The consistency was great; no large lumps!  This lightly sweetened, typical breakfast entrée was a good filler upper without needing to chew.  I know that sounds lazy but it’s so true!

When I return to Florida I hope I can visit on a Saturday where one of the specials is Goat Head Soup!  Don’t knock it til you try it!

Although Miss June has pasted on, her name will live on in Miami.

To Junie’s, big up!  Keep yuh hand Sweet!

Junie’s Caribbean Cuisine

18400 NW 2nd Ave

Miami, FL 33169-4536

(305) 654-2955

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/