Farmers Market: Copley Square in Boston

Copley Square Water Fountain

Recently, I was in Copley Square. I thought I’d share some pictures. Above, I was facing Boylston Street looking at the fountain.

old south church at Copley Square

Here, I was standing on the steps of the Boston Public Library looking down Newbury Street.

Boston Public Library Copley Square Farmers Market

I was returning a library book and happened to be there at the right time to stroll around the Copley Square Farmers Market.

farmers market raspberries at Copley SquareDon’t these raspberries look good? I’ve never tried the yellow or orange. So many choices!

Copley Square Farmers market squash carrots peppersCopley Square Farmers market sunflowersCopley Square farmers market vegetables

I was tempted by the rainbow carrots, but already had carrots at home, so I decided not to get them. When I saw the golden beets, I couldn’t resist. As a child, I hated beets. But over the past few years, I’ve started to warm up to them.

Last night, I roasted the golden beets. I drizzled olive oil on them. Then sprinkled some sea salt and black pepperCopley Square farmers market beets and carrots

I used the beet greens and walnuts to make a pesto. Then I spread the pesto on puff pastry, added some sliced red onions and the roasted beets on top.  A new vegetable tart! It was really good and G loved it!

He’s been sick the past few days, so I’ve been a bit worried. His temperature is finally getting close to normal and he seems to be on the mend. I have no proof, but maybe it was the golden beets.

Lunch at Bostonia Public House

Bostonia frontA little over a month ago, my friend Karen (Boston area food blogger Fussy Eater) and I had a wonderful lunch at Bostonia Public House. The plan was to catch up over dessert and coffee. But both of us arrived rather hungry, so we ended up having a full lunch.

Bostonia neighborhood

The day was hot and humid and we both needed to cool off fast. Since we decided to really get a feel for this restaurant with a full meal, we both decided to have cocktails. Sure it was only mid-afternoon. But it was a Saturday and this is one of the perks of being an adult. There sure are a ton of responsibilities, so we might as well have fun when we can!

Karen arrived first and she was sipping on a mint julep, when I walked in. While not on the drink menu at the time, she ordered it anyway and was very pleased.

mint julepAs I read over the drink menu, I was intrigued with Pimm’s #617. I’ve read good things about Pimm’s, but have never tried it. I was pretty excited to order it, but unfortunately they were out. I ended up ordering a French Martini instead. Loved it!

French Martini

We both took pictures of our drinks with our phones and I can definitely see that I need to upgrade. But for now, at least you can see what the drink looks like. The pretty pink color was a pleasant surprise! By the way, service at Bostonia Public House was excellent!

The ambiance of the restaurant is very nice. My only comment was that there were many TVs with sports on. That is not my preference, but a public house or pub is like a sports bar where the focus is on drinks and sports. Given the name, they do the “extras” very well and probably won’t be turning off the TVs anytime soon.

Also, I’m not a fan of the seemingly growing trend of restaurants having tall tables with stools, which is how we were seated. I’m fairly short at 5-foot-3, so I have to make a fair effort to sit on the stool and never feel very comfortable. Karen didn’t find it a problem, but she’s also much taller than I. Is the trend to focus on taller people? Are there no short people making restaurant purchasing decisions??!! This is quite curious to me. But, I digress….

warm lobster rollBack to our lunch. We both had lobster rolls. There was a choice between warm and cold, which was quite nice. I had the cold and Karen had the warm, which is pictured above. They were a hit regardless of temperature!

Both Karen and I have a big focus on desserts with our blogging, so we were eagerly anticipating the sweets offered here. We decided to share, so we could try both.Boston Cream pieThe “Bostonia” Cream Pie was good and an interesting twist on the traditional Boston Cream Pie. It was beautifully presented, but I wished there had been more of the chocolate ganache. After much Boston Cream Pie tasting, I’ve realized that I prefer the messy, gooey and sloppy, which does not align with a pristine presentation. I think a less than perfect looking homemade Boston Cream Pie is the way to go and will probably not be ordering anymore in restaurants.

Now, if you take nothing else from this post, please remember this. If you value your own happiness and appreciate that life is short and fleeting, you must try the Berkshire Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potato Doughnuts. Do it now. We don’t know what tomorrow brings.

sweet potato donutsThis is one of the best desserts of my life. The doughnuts were served hot. They were tender inside with a soft crackle of glaze outside and reminded me of French toast.

Lunch was a real treat, but way more expensive than what I can justify on a regular basis. However, I will be going back for those doughnuts and I hope you do too.

*Updated 10/16/2014* I forgot to mention the generous portion size of the doughnuts. Karen’s post reminded me. Take a look at her thoughts over here.

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Photo Credits: Karen Zgoda photographed the mint julep, lobster roll and doughnuts.

Is Legal Sea Foods a Restaurant Chain?

poll about restaurant chainHave you seen any of the commercials that are part of Legal Sea Foods “Not A Chain” campaign? They’re rather clever. But after watching them, I can still only think, “Really? Thou doth protest too much.” As much as Legal’s doesn’t want to be considered a restaurant chain, it is considered a chain restaurant by many, if not most. At least according to this poll pictured above. Boston.com’s article, “When Does a Restaurant Become a Chain?” discusses this very issue.

For full disclosure, I cast a vote in this poll and said that I consider Legal’s a restaurant chain. When I took the screen shot of the results, there were 601 votes and 87.69% also considered it a chain. Also, at least at the time of this writing, if you look up Chain store in Wikipedia, there is a section for restaurant chains. Below is an excerpt with links removed.

A restaurant chain is a set of related restaurants in many different locations that are either under shared corporate ownership (e.g., McDonald’s in the U.S.) or franchising agreements. Typically, the restaurants within a chain are built to a standard format through architectural prototype development and offer a standard menu and/or services. …

Fast food restaurants are the most common, but sit-down restaurant chains (such as Timber Lodge Steakhouse, Outback Steakhouse, T.G.I. Friday’s, Legal Sea Foods, Ruby Tuesday,and Olive Garden) also exist.

Legal Sea Foods is listed as an example on the page right now, although I would not be surprised if their name is soon removed.

I remember when Legal Sea Foods was new and special, because you could only find it in the Boston area. Going to the Park Square restaurant was a really big deal. At least to me. The food was always wonderful. The service too. I haven’t been to a Legal Sea Foods in years, although I have planned to try one of their new concept restaurants. They do know how to keep things fresh! While their locations may be branded differently, they are still under the umbrella of Legal’s and part of their family. That is why it seems like a chain to me. Their restaurants are all still related.

Years ago, when I learned that you can find Legal’s restaurants not only outside of Massachusetts, but also outside of New England, I was a bit disappointed. They were no longer special to us in this region. One of the things that I love about travel is trying someplace that I cannot find at home.

If I’m in Florida or California, I generally don’t want to go places that I can find here in Massachusetts. Unless of course, I need a quick cup of coffee before my caffeine withdrawal headache starts and I can’t find a local coffee shop. Then I will go into a Starbucks.

What do you think? Do you consider Legal Sea Foods a chain? Have you been to one of their locations recently? Tried one of their new concept restaurants?

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Photo Credit: Boston.com

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

Edgar Allen Poe Square in Boston

We had another unseasonably warm day in Boston yesterday. Since I was already downtown meeting with someone for an article that I am working on, I decided to enjoy the weather and walk around a bit afterwards.

Edgar Allen Poe is a favorite writer of mine, and a new statute of him was just unveiled in Boston this past Sunday, October 5th.

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

I walked over to Edgar Allen Poe Square and took a look for myself. It’s so much smaller than I expected! There were a few other people walking around looking and taking pictures too.

If you were walking and not paying attention, say looking down at your phone, it would be quite easy to smash into it and take quite a topple.

The directions that I was given by various people were sketchy at best. Let me give you the benefit of my wandering around and make it easier for you to find.

If you take the T, get out at Boylston Street on the Green Line. After you exit, cross the street onto Boylston Street and walk away from Boston Common towards Charles Street and looking at Park Square.

While I was admiring the statue, I couldn’t help but think about all the negative comments Poe made about the city of his birth. He was not fond of Boston.

Does he like this or is he rolling over in his grave? Something to think about with Halloween arriving soon and the man who wrote to terrify now conjured up and walking amongst us. The “Do Not Enter” sign appearing before him might just be taking on a whole new meaning…..

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month

Boomchickapop popcorn truck in Quincy

Earlier this evening, I went to Stop & Shop to quickly pick-up a few groceries. As I was parking my car (add the Boston accent if you like), I spotted this pink and purple truck and took a picture. I walked into the store and they were handing out free bags of popcorn, so of course I took a couple.

According to The Popcorn Board, October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t know there was a Popcorn Board never mind that that this is the official month of popcorn poppin’.

The Boom Tour is in the Boston area right now and I just happened to walk smack into it. A Huffington Post article says that Angie Bastian started her business, BOOMCHICKAPOP, because she was trying to make some extra money to put toward her children’s college funds. She and her husband Dan turned it into a $50 million dollar business and their products are sold in all fifty states and Canada.

Looks like the kids won’t be needing student loans!