Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheesecake is not just for dessert

This blog was started in order to review the best sandwiches in Boston, specifically ones made by small businesses in or around the city.  We felt these small businesses deserved to be recognized for making Boston unique, offering us delicious food without the marketing budgets of mass market, chain restaraunts.....but I am not embarassed to admit, sometimes I just NEED The Cheesecake Factory. 

While beginning my Christmas shopping last weekend, The Cheesecake Factory offered the convenience and affordibility (and cocktails) I was looking for in a late lunch; it also happens to offer one of my all time favorite sandwiches, the chicken and avocado club.  I can't tell you how many times I have ordered this sandwich (because that would be embarrassing) but I can tell you that I have never been disappointed.  First of all, the sandwich is huge; always provides two meals for me.  It comes with a side of fries, which up until this visit, was the only thing that I had any issue with.  The fries used to be thin, shoestring which always managed to come out cold, but now they have upgraded to hot, delicious steak fries.  The sandwich itself is grilled chicken with huge pieces of avocado, melted swiss, bacon and tomato with an herb mayonaisse.  Delicious!!

The sandwich is enough to fill me up, but with a dessert menu as extensive as theirs, who could resist a little slice of heaven? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boston Common Coffee: Hip, Delish and Rude

A Review Brought to you by Canada

Boston Common Coffee DT Crossing Location
Just a couple weeks after I moved to Boston I was introduced to my now close friend, Tina, and through her I discovered Boston Common Coffee.  Tied with Diesel Café in Somerville for my favourite coffee shop, Boston Common Coffee is not only one of my favourites in Boston, but anywhere I have lived  (Don’t worry Austinites, Bennu is still number one). Boston Common Coffee offers a trendy, hip vibe, delicious coffee and pretty great food, too.  The spinach feta croissant is my go-to menu option, and I literally have never had better soup in the Northeast than the delicious, unique varieties that they sell (potato asparagus anyone?). But this is a review on sandwiches, not delicious soups, coffees, lattes, croissants or heath bar cookies.

My lovely friend Kelsey

Right before Thanksgiving my other delightfully fantastic friend, Kelsey, and I stopped by the Washington Street location of Boston Common Coffee for a late lunch. Since I have a sandwich blog I opted for a wrap to review, rather than indulging in their sweet potato bisque.  I ended up of course going for their veggie wrap, because I don’t nom on critters. Served on a whole wheat wrap this rolled-up pile of delicious consisted of cucumber, red peppers, green peppers, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, avocado and a balsamic vinaigrette.  It also came with a little mixed green side salad topped with the same vinaigrette on the wrap. 

Overall I enjoyed the menu item I chose— it was light, fresh, healthy and pretty tasty. All of the vegetables were rotting grossness free and the velvety balsamic vinaigrette offered a complex flavoring of sweet and sour elements that paired nicely with the array of fresh vegetables. My only complaint with the sandwich lay in the amount of vinaigrette used- it was a little too much as it was dripping everywhere and left puddles at the bottom of my plate. Although I obviously enjoyed the taste of vinaigrette, it was just a bit too much and detracted from the ease of eating the wrap. 

Boston Common Coffee is a great place to get coffee, breakfast, snacks, lunch etc. and I highly recommend checking out any of the locations. Be forewarned though, I often have unfriendly encounters with the staff there. It is a typical ‘hipster’ joint and most of the staff seem to almost always condescendingly, and sarcastically make my coffee. But they play good music, have great eats and the coffee really is that good.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Thanksgiving is over. What are you doing with your leftovers? My guess is that you're going to find the two biggest pieces of bread you can and fill it with whatever you can find in your fridge.

You can (turkey) wing it or check out some recipes from NYC chefs that the Daily News posted.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Diesel Cafe, part 1

Diesel Cafe is settled right in the center of Davis Square, and walking by, seems like a small, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop.  Once inside though, you realize it is a pretty large cafe with an extensive menu of coffee drinks, sandwiches, and baked goods.  There are plenty of tables in the back if you were to eat in, and even a couple pool tables for entertainment.  Though it looks like a great place for people watching on a Sunday afternoon, I got our sandwiches to go, as MikeAwesome and I had a finance project to complete. 

I was torn by a few options here but landed on the Monkey Wrench, which was turkey, avocado, cheddar cheese, sprouts and tomato on a baguette.  The sandwich was delicious and made me a believer that I should be ordering more sprouts on my sandwiches!  It even made a finance project bearable to get through!

Diesel Cafe was just awarded the Green Business  of the Year Award by the Somerville Chamber of Commerce.  So go for the delicious food and feel good that your environmental impact was minimal.

Stay tuned for MikeAwesome's review of the Tempeh Burger from Diesel.....

Friday, November 16, 2012

Michelle Explains Why Canada is Awesome!

So many reasons why Canada is awesome, but I just cover 10 in this video. I apologize that I get somewhat emotional in the middle when talking about Gay Marriage. I'm a bleeding heart, what can I say? Also I have no idea how to edit, and I don't care to learn, so when I stumble over my words I have no choice but to leave in these hiccups.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mountain of Disappointment

A group of us made a trek up to lovely Woodstock, VT last weekend. We all stayed at the Apple Hill Inn and had an amazing time. When we did have to pull ourselves away from the inn and the amazing innkeeper Beverlee, it was only for sustenance.

Our first day out we took to the streets of Woodstock center looking for lunch. There was a 30 minute wait at our first choice so we headed across the street to Mountain Creamery. It had a very 70’s diner/kitchen feel which didn’t feel like it’d get an A from the board of health but we weren’t looking for fine dining, just something to keep us going. A greasy spoon would do just fine.

The group covered the menu pretty well: Grilled Cheese, Roast Beef, Turkey Dinner Sandwich. No fries at the place, just chips, slaw, or potato salad. Everything was priced exorbitantly from $9-12 for a sandwich, $6+ for a milkshake. It must have been the biggest dive of a tourist trap I’ve ever seen.

The food was fine but for $12 I might have expected a hot sandwich, some fries, and maybe a waitress that filled up the water glasses. Meh. Avoid it if you can.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Michelle's Guilty Pleasure

Venice Pizza's Hot Veggie Sub Review
Brought to you by Canada

I admit that I’m somewhat of a foodie.  What can I say? I like good eats.  But I, like so many others, have random guilty pleasures that, despite my snobby palate, I absolutely love indulging. My big ol’ guilty pleasure is the hot veggie sub from Venice Pizza in Dorchester. 

Venice Pizza is a Savin Hill staple and has been around for years. Even Mark Wahlberg, prior to his funky bunch days, was a frequent customer at this little hole in the wall eatery.  Seriously, he used to live right behind the place prior to his life modeling Calvin Klein briefs and you know rapping and funking up the music world.

So Venice Pizza is cash-only, it’s also cheap, fast and one of the only places in Dorchester that sells Fresca.  The sandwich is a sloppy mess of cooked broccoli, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, black olives topped with mayo and provolone cheese all on a white hoagie roll.  Are the veggies fresh? Nope, not even in the slightest. They're definitely frozen and/or canned. The bread doesn’t taste stale but is by no means fresh either.  But I love eating this sandwich. Every few weeks I get a craving for this hot mess of a sub and I enjoy every bite.  Venice Pizza doesn’t skimp on any of the veggies and with each mouthful mounds of veggies fall off the sandwich on to your lap, the paper wrapping, and the floor all while juices run down your arm. It’s super attractive.  And its soooooooooooooo good.  I even got my roommate (who is not a vegetarian) hooked on this sub. Its appeal is definitely not in the way it looks, it’s not in the high caliber of ingredients but it’s simple, hot and a solid comfort eat.

Don’t go out of your way to indulge in Venice Pizza but if you find yourself in Dorchester and need some nourishment quick make your way there. At least try their spicy fries with blue cheese- its a great way to get heartburn. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Playwright That Has Nothing To Do With Theatre

The Playwright Bar South Boston

Brought to you by Canada

Off of East Broadway in South Boston this restaurant/bar not only has a decent amount of draught beers on tap but their food is pretty great, too.  After a long week of exams, assignments and projects I spent my Friday night in a happening little bar in Southie with my lovely friend, Lauren, and a Boston Police officer that I annoyed for about an hour and half with a constant slew of questions about his job and all that it entails. That evening I learned a lot about Boston's finest, ate some pretty great noms and irritated the piss out of someone I just met.

So the sandwich: DELICIOUS. As per usual, I was that person at the restaurant and asked them to alter another sandwich to fit with my whole vegetarian thing I’ve got going on. So instead of a chicken and pear panini, my sandwich consisted of the following:

-Melted Brie Cheese
-Tiny slivers of pear
-Sautéed spinach
-Herb aioli     

All toasted on rosemary ciabiatta bread, which was a pretty tasty carbohydrate in itself.

Much to my chagrin many restaurants that serve sandwiches with Brie tend to go easy on the amount that they include in the sandwich due to the naturally strong flavor of the cheese, but this establishment did not commit such a horrible atrocity. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the most powerful tasting Brie cheese I’ve had, but it definitely satisfied my cheese fix for the day. That’s right, the day.  People underestimate how much I love cheese- just last weekend half my grocery bill went to a wide variety of cheeses. Expensive cheeses. I’m in graduate school, I should be more responsible with my finances.

Anyway the herb aioli added a nice flavor, and of course condiments are almost always necessary on sandwiches to keep them from being dry and scratching the back of your throat.  Even though I love me some mayonnaise, too much of a condiment can really detract from a sandwich, but thankfully the Playwright didn’t go overboard with the aioli and the flavoring of the herbs was soft enough to compliment the rest of the sandwich rather than overpower the other ingredients.

The tiny slivers of raw pear added a nice, sweet flavor contrast to the rest of the savory sandwich, and additionally added a nice change in consistency from the softness of the brie/cooked spinach.  

Bottom Line: Even though the bar/restaurant was a wee bit loud for the likes of this old lady, the food was actually a lot better than I expected and I would recommend stopping by for a bite if you’re in Southie. Plus their coleslaw is pretty bitchin’

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Canada Explains Sandwich Court

Oh hai there Internet World! Press play and learn something about sandwiches and the law you probably didn't know before!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Go Vote Sandwich!

For those of you that are eligible to vote, GO!!! GO VOTE! Its not only a privilege but it's a responsibility as an American to do so. You have a chance to use your voice, go and use it!


So I actually made this sandwich when I got home from school last night after I had a midterm I was super not prepared to take.
It was fairly delectable, so I thought I'd share what's going on in there:
  • Melted triple creamed Brie cheese
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Red Onions
  • Spring baby greens
  • Balsamic vinegar

Stupid Sandwich

Dave's Fresh EVERYTHING!!

I don't know how many times I have walked by Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square and never stopped in.  I am not a huge pasta lover, or really Italian food in general, so assuming that pasta was all they served, I didn't give it a second thought. Then while looking for good sandwich shops around my house, Dave's came to the top of the list so I thought I would go in and give it a try.  As soon as I stepped foot in the door, I knew that I had just entered the greatest place on Earth. 

The shop looks small from the outside, but they maintain four different rooms with some of the most delicious food and groceries I had ever seen.  I mentioned before that I am not a big pasta eater, but entering the pasta room made me want to try every different kind of homemade pasta and sauce as well as the huge assortment of cheeses from around the world.  Another whole room is devoted to wine and beer, but not just any beer and wine will make it into this shop.  Dave's will only offer wine and beer that is not mass produced or widely available. There is also help available if you want to pair your wine with any of their fresh pasta.   The third room is groceries: fresh produce, imported cured meats, oils, blocks of chocolate, all of their homemade treats and more.

As tempted as I was, my mission in going was for a sandwich, which was in another room.  They had a wide array of signature sandwiches as well as the option to customize your own.  I went with their popular "smoky-spicy turkey" on ciabatta (recommended to me by the helpful man behind the counter).  Though they had a few tables to eat in, I took my sandwich to go.  The service was extremely fast, which was good because I could not wait to get home and eat.  When I got home and unwrapped this sandwich, I was intimidated by the size of it, not even sure I could bite into it as they are very generous with their portions.  I ended up only able to eat half of the sandwich, while saving the other half for dinner. 

The sandwich itself was delicous: spicy turkey, smoked mozzarella, red onion, dill pickle, chipotle aioli, and smoked tomato mayo.  Everything on this sandwich worked! You could taste the smokey mozzarella but immediately got hit with the spiciness of the turkely and aioli.  One of the best parts of the sandwich, in my opinion though, was the pickle; it was the kind of pickle that is still more cucumber than true pickle so tastes super fresh, which I love! 

Bottom line: This sandwich left me wanting to try every other sandwich on the menu, as well as all the other goodies they had to offer (even the pasta)!  So, even if you are not in the mood for a sandwich, Dave's Fresh Pasta is sure to have something you will love.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Canada Explains The Origin Of Sandwiches

Today's history less brought to you by Yay Pickle's on staff Canadian, Michelle.
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