my week with mealpass!

guys, im NOT ready for winter. dont tell summer, but i actually kinda like the snow… its pretty! i do not, however, enjoy commuting in it. ¬†thankfully uber had a special for 50% off uberpool during commuter hours this past week, which worked out perfectly! $3 to get to work? im in. i was going to take one on the way home too, but it was somewhat starting to stop snowing and it looked pretty (plus i was just going home to eat mac and cheese and be a bum aka didnt care if my hair got messed up) so i decided to walk. good. choice.

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thats my building behind that tree!

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wintry wonderland
and some nicely shoveled sidewalks. good work beanie.

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i stopped to take one too many pictures (lovingggg my new camera!) so by the time i got home the sun was setting. and WOW. seriously. the entire sky went from white and grey to pink and purple in a matter of minutes. so glad i skipped that uber!

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sunsetthe prettiest! hard to beat a view like that…

whats better than a pretty pink sunset? food, duh ūüôā a couple of weeks ago i got an email asking if id like to¬†attend the launch party for¬†MealPass. for those familiar with ClassPass- it’s kinda similar, except for food! you pay $99 a month (~$5 a meal) and get to pick a lunch every business day from one of ~50 restaurants in the city (primarily downtown.) and, unlike ClassPass, there are no restrictions on how many times you can go to the same place! sweeeet.

the folks at MealPass not only hosted a fun launch with lots of food samples and drinks, but they were also super generous and gave the attendees of the party a free week of their service! i typically bring my lunch during the week (and eat the same. darn. thing. for four days in a row…blah…) so i was pretty stoked about it! lets dive in, shall we?

how it works.

every night at 7pm you get an email from MealPass letting you know your options for tomorrows lunch are available and that you have until 9:30am to make your selection. i really liked that they provided pictures of the items as well- sometimes something can sound super delish on the menu but then when you get it…womp womp… not what you expected. ¬†knowing exactly what i was in for ahead of time was a big pro for me.

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once you log in, you click on the picture of the item you want for lunch and then select your pickup time (intervals of 15minutes from 11-3ish). ¬†i will say pick up varied at each place- some asked for my name, some made me sign for my lunch, some didn’t seem to really check anything and just handed me stuff- but either way, i was in and out within a few minutes every time.

the food.

friday: tossed. black forest ham & swiss sandwich.

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i was super tempted by the zucchini pesto pasta from cocobeet (seen in the email above), but it was kind of far away and gross out. I was going out for drinks that night too so decided to get something healthy but still hearty-¬†sandwich me. i had been to tossed once before (throwback!) and really liked my salad, so was hopeful the sandwich would be good too. ¬†the sandwich was pretty basic, but i liked the grainy bread and that the woman gave me some extra honey dijon on the side (one can never have enough condiments. at least not in my book ūüôā )

would i suggest getting it if you were at tossed? yes!
should you go out of your way to get it? no.
was it a good deal? normal cost: $8.99- yes.

monday: jm curley. curley burger with fries.

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ah, jm curley. how do i love thee. let me count the ways. im a BIG fan of this spot. great food. great drinks. especially their burger- 5 oz. natural beef patty, griddled onions, cheddar, pop’s russian dressing, pickles. and those fries. YUM. this was an AGGRESSIVE start to the week, but since the options at every restaurant change daily, i couldnt risk not having this one pop up again. devoured.

would i get it again if i was at jm curley? yes!
should you go out of your way to get it? yes. yes. yes.
was it a good deal? normal cost: $13- yes!

tuesday: genes chinese flatbread. handpull noodles.

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do you like doughy noodles? do you like garlic? if you answered no to either of these, we probably will never be friends. if you answered yes- you must try these noodles.  again, another aggressive lunch pick for a tuesday (note: i refrained from getting on the scale this week) but i didnt want to miss out on these bad boys. so good. warning- they are oily. and it will kinda stick with you for the rest of the day after eating them. but oh, so worth it. plus- you can see them making the noodles right in front of you, which is pretty awesome in my book.

would i get it again if i was at jm genes? yes! (although want to try the lamb curry noodle)
should you go out of your way to get it? yes.
was it a good deal? normal cost: $6- not as great of a deal, but yes!

wednesday: freshii. fiesta salad.

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i go out to lunch once a week with t & kp and freshii used to be one of our regular spots (they also have great management!) but we kinda stopped going there.  i cant exactly say why? it just fell out of our rotation.  after eating a burger and noodles, i decided to try something a bit healthier and go with the fiesta salad.  i wasnt sold on the cilantro lime vinaigrette- so was glad to see it on the side (although, there was barely a tablespoon in there, so for those who were using it, kind of a bummer! i just doused it in sriracha.) i liked the flavors in the salad a lot, but it was kinda small and barely any lettuce underneath all the goodies. maybe my stomach was stretched out from the other two meals, but i was hungry again by like 3:30.

would i get it again if i was at freshii? probably not. unless i added a protein.
should you go out of your way to get it? no.
was it a good deal? normal cost: $8.49- yes.

thursday: freshii (again.) spicy lemongrass soup.

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you didnt really like your lunch there wendesday, why would you go back? because i do loveeee this soup. especially on a cold day. (although, oddly, it was not. it was like 55. typical boston to go from 55 to snow overnight… but i digress…) this soup is comprised of a spicy lemongrass broth (i added in more sriracha- its not normally THAT red), rice noodles, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and cilantro. ¬†it definitely fills you up without making you feel disgusting. as a bulk eater, thats always a pro. i will say i barely got any noodles this time (freshii had all the noodle containers filled up and waiting for the mealpassers sans broth… i almost asked for a different one but felt fat doing that… so got stuck with less stuff more broth… dang) but still enjoyed it!

would i get it again if i was at freshii? yes!
should you go out of your way to get it? maybe not, but if youre in the area, try it!
was it a good deal? normal cost: $6.99- not as great a deal, but yes.

overall thoughts.

did i enjoy my week on mealpass? for sure! like i said, i usually make all my lunches for the week on sunday and eat the same thing. every. day. it can get a bit boring by the end of the week. plus, it does require a bit of prep on sunday.  i also liked that most of the 50 places were within a 10 minute walk from my office.

…there were definitely some things i didnt love though. although there were some healthy options, they were usually the smallest options and not usually the best deal (a plain garden or caesar salad with no protein) or just not filling (a smoothie or one california roll.) also, although i totally understand that allowing people to make substitutions would create chaos, i feel like for salads, dressing on the side should be an option when you reserve (or just standard!) i was thankful freshii did that- but it kept me from ordering some of the other salads.

do i think im going to switch over to mealpass? probably not, or ill end up being 500lbs.  but if there were more healthy options, its something i would totally consider.

…phew that was a long one! if you have any questions about my MealPass experience I didn’t answer, you can leave a comment and I’ll (hopefully) be able to answer it for you!¬†and a big thanks again to MealPass for my tasty week of treats!

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so who else is over this snow?

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this best be all of you out there.
but seriously. this snow has got to stop.

moving on… lets start with the best theme party of the year- bruces canadian tuxedo super bowl party. whether your team wins or loses, its a guaranteed success.

while i did have some leftover denim from years before, i decided to browse the internet for some new threads. ¬†obviously my first search was for “cat denim dress” because hello- cats. denim. i hate pants. to my surprise, this lead me to etsy and to this beautiful little number.

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bringing sexy back.

nothing like an embroidered cat denim jumper from the 70s to get the party started! i was so worried it wouldnt get here in time with the snow storm, but thankfully it got here friday night and fit like a glove. jk it was a bit snug around the tots. shocker.

purrrfect outfit in hand, a bunch of us decided to head back to ward 8 for a little pre-game brunch. we all started off with the bacon bloody marys like we did last time– seriously, so good. total shocker, i was torn on what to order (it was between the salmon cakes and the breakfast burger), but knowing id eat 5,000 calories later, figured i should go with the salmon over the burger and fries.

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sorry for dem shadows.

queue two perfectly poached eggs on top of salmon cakes with a dill creme fraiche. the salmon cakes were very salmon-y with not a ton of filler. and after eating one full one i was pretty full (and should have stopped.) but i didnt. another winner at our table that i wouldnt have thought to order was the french toast casserole (brioche/cream cheese/fresh fruit/whipped cream.) it was HUGE and got rave reviews.

after stuffing face, it was time to go back and change for the partay. while i do think my outfit was clearly unbeatable, these two definitely got gold stars.

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so adam just moved here and didnt have a canadian tuxedo.
i think the onesie is a decent substitute, no? 

im not sure it could have worked out more perfectly. 1.) we won the super bowl and 2.) we got a snow day. the only not perfect thing was getting home the next morning. holy snow.

oh, and forgot to mention that over the weekend teresa and i went to parla on hanover street (aka right down the road from me!)

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its a super small spot but really enjoyed the ambiance.  ive been meaning to go for awhile and although im not a huge groupon person, we purchased one a few months ago for two cocktails and three small plates for $35. pretty good deal if you ask me!

they dont have their menu online, but i got some spicy tequila drink (that t ordered after her first, and i got again for a second) and woo, strong! but seriously good.

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even though we had a huge (read: HUGE) jibby lunch at figaros, we decided on the maine mussels, the wild board meatballs and a polenta dish that isnt on the online menu. but seriously, all SO good. and all pretty decent portions for the price. (ive heard, however, the entrees are a bit overpriced for their portions. so maybe stick to drinks and small plates!)

oh, and they have a great gatsby themed brunch on sundays. i MUST go to.

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oh, and to balance out the 576,923 calories ive ate in the past month (and since i have races in my near future), i ran three miles this week. HA. but, um… brutal. you would have thought i ran a marathon based on the redness in my face/the sweat on my shirt/the hyperventilation going on in my lungs. BUT, gotta start somewhere. and it felt good!¬†since the race isnt til june, not going to go too crazy right now. going to aim for anywhere between 3-6 miles three or four times a week.

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ok, so i still owe you the parade, a taco salad, and an awesome new salmon recipe. but im exhausted and im hoping for a snow day so going to bed. happy monday!

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(b)logs favorite eats: october 2014 edition

so a friend from college recently reached out to me (hi caroline!) and said she was coming to boston and asked for some restaurant recommendations. i get this question every now and then from friends, so figured i’d put together a little list of my current top ten favorite places for lunch, dinner, and brunch! will make updates every now and then, and will (eventually) do some top ten places for drinks, take-out, etc.

*note, there’s obviously a bias towards the north end/downtown, especially for lunch, since that’s where i spent 75% of my time… ok who am I kidding, 95% of my time… so restaurants in other neighborhoods, im sorry you didn’t make the cut- but feel free to lure me to your neck of the woods ūüėČ

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sam lagrassas sandwich
(pic cred)

lunch (in alphabetical order)

  • chacarero: financial district¬†http://www.chacarero.com
    what they serve: chilean sandwiches
    my usual order: small bbq chicken with everything, extra spicy
    (b)’s notes: the¬†bbq chicken itself is already pretty spicy, so first timers should probably skip the extra spicy part. but if you like spicy, then go for it! (and if you don’t, just order the regular chicken- still delicious)
  • ernestos pizza: north end¬†http://www.ernestosnorthend.com
    what they serve: pizza
    my usual order: fried eggplant & ricotta OR chicken bacon ranch
    (b)’s notes: i don’t care how hungry you are, order one slice, at least to start. it’s literally a quarter of a large pizza!
  • granary tavern: downtown¬†(sit down) http://www.granarytavern.com
    what they serve: american/pub
    my usual order: chicken fried chicken
    (b)’s notes: won’t sugar coat it, these are basically just chicken tenders. but like, chicken tenders on crack. oh so good.
  • james hook & co.: financial district¬†http://www.jameshooklobster.com
    what they serve: seafood
    my usual order: lobster roll & a stuffed quahog
    (b)’s notes: this place is a trailer, but don’t let looks deceive you. if you want reasonably priced, tasty seafood lunch in a jiffy, this is the place to go.
  • monicas mercato: north end¬†http://www.monicasboston.com
    what they serve: fresh cut deli sandwiches & italian specialties
    my usual order: small italian with everything, extra hots
    (b)’s notes: warning, there is no menu. but these are¬†the best sliced to order subs you will probably ever have. and they are huge. just get the italian, or the mozz/tomato/basil/prosciutto ¬†and thank me later.
  • the parish cafe: back bay¬†(sit down) http://parishcafe.com
    what they serve: sandwiches and beer. lots of beer.
    my usual order: onion rings & a beer
    (b)’s notes: they have lots of sandwiches that people love, but honestly, the reason im coming here is for the onion rings and a beer. (so read yelp for sandwich suggestions)
  • pasta beach: downtown (sit down)¬†http://www.pastabeachrestaurants.com
    what they serve: pizza, pastas & sandwiches
    my usual order: fungi pizza, but you can’t go wrong with anything really.
    (b)’s notes: just be prepared, the service can sometimes be slowwww… but i think its worth it
  • paulis: north end¬†http://paulisnorthend.com
    what they serve: sandwiches and wraps
    my usual order: the killer bee on a whole wheat wrap or the california wrap
    (b)’s notes: i eat here WAYYY too much. and get it delivered even though i live a few blocks away. it’s hard to go wrong with any of their sandwiches. oh, and the chocolate chip cookies are also pretty unreal.
  • sam lagrassas: financial district¬†http://www.samlagrassas.com
    what they serve: sandwiches
    my usual order: pastrami corned beef combo & fries
    (b)’s notes: this. place. gets. busy. but its one of the best sandwiches in the city, especially if you like corned beef or pastrami.
  • yankee lobster company: seaport¬†http://www.yankeelobstercompany.com
    what they serve: seafood
    my usual order: lobster roll or fried clams/fried oysters.
    (b)’s notes: this place is def a hidden seafood gem. shockingly, there aren’t all¬†that many seafood places in boston. this place is a hole in the wall but they’ve got everything you want and it’s all delicious. (just be prepared for paper plates, this place ain’t fancy)
  • honorable mention:
    • vitos tavern: north end ($$)¬†http://www.vitostavern.com
      what they serve: bar food
      my usual order: bacon cheeseburger, honey siracha wings & a vitos ale
      (b)’s notes: in a sea of italian this is a great little sports bar! the burgers are huge and delicious and wings are half price on wednesdays!

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dinner (in order that i thought of them, aka the order in which i love them the most)

  • the gallows: south end ($$)¬†http://www.thegallowsboston.com
    what they serve: american
    my usual order: ¬†the poutine, pork corn muffin, carpet bagger burger, stoners delight dessert (peanut butter banana and fluff br√Ľl√©e) & the brazen bull cocktail.
    (b)’s notes:¬†could you tell i love everything here? the space is unique and awesome, the owners/staff are awesome, the food is awesome, and the cocktails are, you guessed it, awesome.
  • scampo: beacon hill ($$$)¬†http://scampoboston.com
    what they serve: high end italian
    my usual order: start with the ciccio bread and then get the lobster pizza.
    (b)’s notes: this place isn’t cheap, and you have to dress up a bit, but it is totally worth it. not only is it delicious (hello, lobster pizza) but its inside the beautiful liberty hotel, definitely a must if visiting!
  • panza: north end ($$)¬†http://www.panzarestaurant.com
    what they serve: italian
    my usual order: linguine alla pescatore with the fra diavolo sauce
    (b)’s notes: when you walk down hanover st. you will see a line wrapping around the block for giaccomos. don’t get me wrong, their italian is delicious. but i think panza is just as tasty¬†AND they take reservations. also pretty cheap compared to some other spots in the north end. like….
  • neptune oyster: north end ($$$)¬†http://www.neptuneoyster.com
    what they serve: seafood
    my usual order: lobster roll (cold)
    (b)’s notes: you will have to wait. a while. so get there right at 5 and put your name in- they will call you so you can continue to walk around the city. but this place is not to be missed! (if it wasn’t like $30 for a lobster roll it’d be number one on my list… but its the best lobster roll out there. and order it hot. i like cold. but get the one with hot butter if its your first time.)
  • navy yard bistro: charlestown ($$)¬†http://www.navyyardbistro.com
    what they serve: american
    my usual order: ginger sake salmon
    (b)’s notes: this place is tiny but almost everything on their menu is delicious. charlestown is not the most convenient spot, but def worth the trip!
  • al dente: north end ($$)¬†http://www.aldenteboston.com
    what they serve: casual italian
    my usual order: mussels marinara and literally anything else on the menu as long you order it with the homemade fussili (i usually do veal parm or pasta with the a’matriciana sauce)
    (b)’s notes: the homemade fussili is a must! like everything is delicious, but ordering it with the homemade pasta kicks it up about 50 notches.
  • blue dragon: fort point ($$)¬†https://www.ming.com/blue-dragon.htm
    what they serve: asian fusion
    my usual order: braised short rib potstickers & a trillium beer and some form of noodles
    (b)’s notes: ming tsai. seriously, do i need to say more. swooooooon.
  • myers & chang: south end ($$)¬†http://www.myersandchang.com
    what they serve: asian fusion
    my usual order: pork & chive dumplings and the cold dan dan noodles
    (b)’s notes: order a bunch of dishes and share! i recommend 3-4 for two people!
  • sonsie: back bay ($$)¬†http://www.sonsieboston.com/home
    what they serve: american
    my usual order: cheeseburger pizza, duh.
    (b)’s notes: this place is great because you can have a nice sit down meal if you want to or just meet up with some friends, have some nice drinks, and order a pizza that tastes like a big mac.
  • mooo: beacon hill ($$$$)¬†http://mooorestaurant.com
    what they serve: steak house
    my usual order: filet mingnon
    (b)’s notes: be prepared to drop bank. but the food/steaks are worth it. there are a bunch of steakhouses in the city, but i think this one is my favorite. love the ambiance as well!
  • very very honorable mention:
    • toro: south end¬†($$$)¬†http://toro-restaurant.com/boston/
      what they serve: tapas
      my usual order: the corn, and anything and everything else people want to share with me
      (b)’s notes: this place should be #2¬†but you just probably won’t get a table. like i have trained my brain to forget this place exists so i don’t get depressed i don’t eat their more often. but if you do go and magically get a table- get the corn! (but sorry, you. will. wait. forever.)

photo9south end buttery eggys benny
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brunch (i admit i’ve been slacking on my brunch game, so there’s not quite ten… also, they all serve, you guess it, brunch. so skipping that part.)

  • south end buttery: south end ($$)¬†http://www.southendbuttery.com
    my usual order: shaved ham & manchego eggs benedict on a homemade biscuit
    (b)’s notes: start with the buttery basket. all little pastries and jams that are perfect to snack on while you sip a mimosa and catch up with friends.
  • the beehive: south end ($$)¬†http://www.beehiveboston.com
    my usual order: short rib benedict or the eggs shakshuka (poached eggs and sausage over polenta with a tomato sauce)
    (b)’s notes: this place always has live music and you feel like your in moulin rouge. love.
  • tupelo: inman square ($$)¬†http://tupelo02139.com
    my usual order: oyster po’boy or¬†the dude (fried chicken, eggs, biscuits & gravy)
    (b)’s notes: sometimes you just need a little southern comfort food. and this spot nails it. boy did i take biscuits and gravy for granted every morning in college…
  • north street¬†grill: north end ($$)¬†http://www.northstreetgrille.com
    my usual order: brie stuffed french toast
    (b)’s notes: i typically go for savory breakfasts, but i love this french toast. everything on the menu is delicious though (but, like most places in the north end, be prepared to wait a bit- but not terrible as long as you have a smaller party or its just you stuffing face.)
  • joes american bar & grill: multiple locations¬†($$)¬†http://www.joesamerican.com
    my usual order: a greyhound
    (b)’s notes: ok i order food too, but if you like greyhounds, they are the best in the city. (they fresh squeeze the grapefruit juice, usually to order.) food wise, i like the crab cakes and the club sandwich (although sometimes that’s hit or miss)
  • honorable mentions:
    • stephanies on newbury: back bay ($$)¬†http://www.stephaniesonnewbury.com
      i don’t go here often, so i don’t have a usual order, but its kind of a boston staple (at least in my mind) and I’ve also never had anything bad! word on the street is the mac and cheese is divine.
    • bostonia public house: downtown ($$)
      http://bostoniapublichouse.com
      ok, so brodie rudely went without me (just kidding love you) so i have never actually ate here, but he said the brunch was fabulous. i have, however, drank here several times and it is def in my top ten places to get a glass of wine (that list to come another day)
    • mike and pattys: bay village ($)
      http://www.mikeandpattys.com
      so this place is more a breakfast to-go place than brunch, but it has THE best egg sandwich ive maybe ever had, ever. the fancy is comprised of a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, avocado, red onion, and house made mayo (!) on multigrain bread and it will knock your socks off. I’ve never ate anything else but its been voted one of the best breakfast places for years so im sure its all good (but seriously, why would you order anything else…)

phew! ok, there are SO many more places i love, but this is a good start! now, time to get ready for the family birthday party- cant wait to see¬†soph!¬†will be back on monday with a full weekend wrap up including my brothers delicious birthday pizza dinner (read: i ate an entire pizza.)¬†can’t believe my little brother is 18, sigh… where does the time go!

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