Posts Tagged ‘Food’

In France I would be described as a flâneur,”One who walks the city to experience it.” There isn’t much of an equivalent in English, so I refer to myself simply as an “urban adventurer.” Of these wandering adventures, my favorite would easily be those which result in food. My culinary expeditions have taken me all across the city to farmers markets in the North End, diverse grocery stores in the heart of Chinatown, and (believe it or not) former auto garages in Fenway.  Yet, my curiosity for bizarre cuisine peaked this past week during a short walk through Allston.

Tucked behind a RiteAid and a boarded/abandoned building (at least from Brighton Ave. where I found it) is Bazaar International Gourmet. Not only does the odd location eliminate the cart wielding chaos of the Trader Joe’s crowd, but after a few minutes of browsing fresh produce and imported goods, it will make you feel as though you’ve found hidden treasure. I consider the prized jewels of discovery to be the extensive variety of fresh cheeses, a deli that would make a vegan cry and a carnivore drool, and unique products ranging from mango juice to smoked goldfish. Add the fresh selection of vegetables, shelves full of imported beer, and aroma of freshly baked/cooked delights, and you have my new favorite culinary destination.

– Caleb Hutchings

P.S. Bazaar also has a location in Brookline, which is next on my list to visit.


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Phantom Food Festival

It’s starting to feel like I do PR for Phantom Gourmet and their festivities, but with the culinary adventures they throw, I don’t mind doing it for free.  The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, which is held only blocks away on Lansdowne Street, is quickly approaching.  On Saturday 26th, the street, along with neighboring restaurants and venues, will be filled with music, purple costumes, and plenty of hungry guests.  For only $40 you get to sample the cuisine from an overwhelming list of local restaurants and vendors.  For all the details and participating vendors list check out the Phantom Gourmet!

Tickets are available in stores at local Upper Crusts, Panera Breads and Aceticket.com.

-Caleb Hutchings

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So, if I had to assign a theme to the month of June so far, it would undoubtably be RAIN.  My commutes within New England on my motorcycle have concluded with me soaked and freezing 90% of the time.  My greatly anticipated trip to Laconia for Bike Week was also thwarted by the approaching week of rain.  All this to say that I’m more than prepared for summer to begin, and Phantom Gourmet is helping me kick that off.

Phantom Gourmet’s BBQ Beach Party has brought the best names in BBQ to the Hub for a serious cookout.  Teams from Texas, Memphis and even Australia have traveled miles to bring us their secret recipes and carnivorous masterpieces.  Pulled Pork, racks of ribs and beer will be a fantastically common sight at the event, so this guarantees that my face will be also.  Tickets are only $5 online, $10 at the gate.  The ticket price doesn’t include food/drinks, but from what I hear everything is reasonably priced so you can sample it all.  

– Caleb Hutchings

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As a fairly new vegetarian, finding deliciousness in a world full of meat can be quite a challenge. However, living in Boston makes it a little easier on herbivores that prefer to eat real vegetarian food over twigs and berries, as my mother swears I must be eating. Grasshopper, a vegan restaurant dedicated to feeding herbivorous fans of Chinese food, is a goldmine. With extremely big portions and inexpensive prices, vegans never have to worry about accidentally ordering a meal including animal products. The first time I went, my server recommended the “No Name” dish, which seems to be the number one choice at the restaurant. I complied, and didn’t regret my decision for one second. The menu at Grasshopper folds out to be 5 whole pages, needless to say there are a plethora of choices to never get tired of the place.

The most interesting thing about Grasshopper is that they cater to meat-eaters as well…or so you think. Plates on the menu are made to taste and look like chicken, beef, even seafood, so you can take your omnivorous friends as well. I went so far as taking my pre-pubescent brother who enjoys nothing more than a Big Mac, and he even enjoyed it. He ordered the Chicken-Seitan and American Broccoli, which came with a side of brown rice…Needless to say I was picking off his plate the entire meal.

There is also another treat, of which I accidentally stumbled upon, the BUFFET. Every third Sunday of the month the Allston grub spot offers 10$ all you can eat buffets, and on many occasions the servers are kind enough to let you go with a vegan “doggy” bag as well.

Everytime I go whether it’s the buffet or not, I end up having leftovers for days. Located at One North Beacon Street in Allston, MA right off the Harvard Ave T stop on the B line, come check out the restaurant where “the animals live to tell it all”.

-Billie Hirsch

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One of my favorite urban activities is scouring open markets.  It isn’t uncommon to catch me with a box of limes, backpack full of mangos or a couple tuna steaks.  However picking markets is a trial and error process since each one is unique.  Here’s my top three (feel free to add to the list, I know there are a couple across the bridge):

Haymarket: This is a tough one, because there is a science to it.  First off, it’s only open Fridays and Saturdays from about 9-6.  DON’T GO ON SATURDAYS! The reasoning is that everything is freshest on Friday morning, and the day makes a difference.  Make sure to inspect your food! Quality is what lacks at this market.  I only go Friday mornings if at all.  Stuff that looks good at the market doesn’t look so nice when you get it home, so be careful.  Also, don’t take anything you don’t select.  Vendors will try to pawn off their worst products early so select your own!  This is a good/only market to get seafood, but only get it Friday morning.  Make sure to pick out your steak/filet because they will try to rip you off.

Copley Market: Open Tuesday and Friday 11-6.  Copley leads the markets in food quality.  Lots of good cheeses, baked goods, actual plants, and quality vegetables.  You pay for the quality, but it’s worth the insurance.  Also, the atmosphere is much different than Haymarket, because the Newbury Street crowd/tourists will stop by.  Be prepared to motivate slow traffic in order to buy your baguette.

Southend Open Market (SOWA):  Probably the coolest of the three, the Sowa Market is a scene for local art, fashion and some food.  Not your grocery destination. Lots of local clothing designers.  Good potential for anyone looking to looking to distribute their talent.  Great atmosphere.  Downside is it’s only open Sundays.  Definitely check it out!

-Caleb Hutchings

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