Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Spots are running...

As we head in to the holiday season, I was once again part of Jordan Rich’s Connoisseurs’ Corner line-up, and the spots have started running on WBZ 1030am (also available at cbsboston.com soon).  Among the topics for these fourteen spots were restaurants, both for everyday meals and holidays, “special” holiday foods, burgers with new crazy toppings, family meals and the memories derived from meals of days gone by, and food gifts for the holidays.  As is my practice, here are my notes from the first few recording sessions….more to come, so enjoy.

Some restaurants we talked about:

Shake Shack-if you like Five Guys, you’ll love Shake Shack.  With a couple of locations here in Massachusetts, this NY-based chain has brought their delicious quick-serve burgers and crinkle-cut fries to Chestnut Hill, Newbury Street and Dedham. 

Del Frisco’s Grill-This sister/subsidiary of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse has locations across the country and one in Chestnut Hill and another in Burlington.  With a more eclectic menu than the steakhouse, and a more casual vibe, this is a great choice for a fantastic burger, or fish, or steak.  Check out their local menu here.

Burlington, VT-back in the summer, Mrs. Palate and I took a brief sojourn to Burlington, Vermont.  While only there for a couple of days, we enjoyed a few fantastic meals.

When two people that have no relationship to Burlington tell you that you “must” eat somewhere, you know you have to look into this.  Such was the case with A Single Pebble in downtown Burlington VT.  A quick check of the Internet indicated that Alton Brown of the Food Network calls the “mock eel” at A Single Pebble the best thing he’s ever eaten, so I knew that I had to try it.  I assure you, it did not disappoint.  The mock eel is made from thinly sliced shitake mushrooms and defy description.  Three Pepper Chicken was phenomenal, as was a very spicy tofu dish.  If you like interesting, uncommon and expertly prepared Asian cuisine, a Single Pebble is a must eat.  Check out their beautiful website here.

Farmhouse Tap and Grille-also recommended to me by a graduate of UVM was the Farmhouse Tap and Grille.  Burlington has a great farm to table movement with fresh meats and produce readily available from local farms, and with Vermont being one of the leading states for the craft beer movement, they have definitely hit on a winning combination.  Mrs. Palate calls their turkey burger the best she’s ever had, and my burger was quite excellent; the food was so good, we ate their twice!  The beer could not be fresher, with so many local breweries, and clearly “Heady Topper” is quite popular (check it out at http://alchemistbeer.com/). 

Mountain View Station in Center Ossipee, NH-sometimes you go to a place and judge the book by the cover, and when the person taking you says “don’t worry about what it looks like”, you really have to wonder…well, wonder no more about the Mountain View Station…BEST…CHEESEBURGER…EVER.  And the prices are phenomenal.  The burger was $6.99 with fries or onion rings.  Where do you get a burger for that price in today’s world?  And the quality was phenomenal, cooked on a flat top, with just the right amount of crisp from the Mailliard reaction and juiciness from quality meat, and a delicious cluster of onion rings.  There wasn’t one aspect of the meal, from food choices (appetizers and mains), presentation, quality or price that disappointed.  Even though it looks like a place where you go down two steps, sociologically and physically, the meal was great.  Don’t judge a book by its cover and book it to Mountain View Station.

More coming up, after the break...

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