Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Dorchester Staple That Is Not Violent: McKenna's

A Dorchester Staple That Is Not Violent: McKenna's
Brought to you By Canada

For those of you reading our blog that are actually familiar with Boston its because you:

a. live here
b. used to live here
c. have visited Boston
d. Really enjoyed the movie "The Departed" and decided to spend a good deal of time on Wikipedia learning about the city of Boston

Well if any of these are applicable to you then you know a little about the neighborhoods that make up this wonderful town. My next review takes place in a neighborhood that doesn't have the best reputation in Boston, Dorchester.  Warmly known as "The Dot" by Dorchester residents, it's been known for a little less warm and fuzzy things like shootings, assaults, robberies etc.  But Dorchester is a such an integral part of Boston and although some parts of the neighborhood do live up to the dangerous reputation it has, the Dot has it's charm and areas that are non-stabby.

(This is my friend, Laura. She was visiting me from Texas and was making that face because she didn't want me taking her picture, not because she doesn't like McKenna's. She actually loved this little diner)

McKenna's Veggie Burger

Located on the corner of Savin Hill and Sydney Street this little breakfast/lunch place may only be open in the mornings and afternoons but the cafe is always bustling with hungry customers.
Although I'm one of their regulars I'm usually just stopping by to grab a coffee, but every now and then I actually (thankfully!) take the time to sit down and enjoy some of their menu items and their cozy environment.

Even though their waffles make me consider taking out additional student loans just so I can afford to eat them for every meal and then subsequently pay for a personal trainer to work them off, this blog is about sandwiches so I'll turn my ramblings over to their veggie burger which is essentially a sandwich now, eh?

Served on a toasted bulkie roll, I get my veggie burger with a lettuce, tomatoes, melted provolone, ketchup and mayo (because its the best condiment, people!!!).  The veggie patty itself isn't the grey, rubbery faux meat some places try to sell to poor vegetarians, this one is a light shade of brown and includes actual visible shredded vegetables in the patty.  Although this isn't the best veggie burger I've ever had, that honour goes to Mother's back in Austin, it's still my go to menu item at McKenna's and I'm consistently left satisfied.  The bulkie roll is always soft, yet crunchy on the outside, the vegetables are never wilted, and McKenna's is always generous with the cheese (which is a huge deal to me).  But I do warn you, dear readers, it's a pretty messy food item to eat, so perhaps reconsider the condiments, or slippery vegetables if you're on a date, or trying to impress someone.  Thankfully, I've given up on trying to appear graceful or put together so ketchup running down my arm is no big deal. Oh!  It also comes with a side of coleslaw or potato salad. Trust me- go with the potato salad.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Veggies are not just for rabbits!

Today we have a guest blogger contributing, my husband, Erik Wormwood.  Erik and I frequently go to Pizzi Farm, as it is right up the street from my work in Waltham.  Here is his take on the Italian sandwich:

Hey dudes!!!

Pizzi Farm is great joint for sandwiches.  If you haven’t been it is probably because it’s a bit off the beaten path for the city dweller.  I think its in Waltham or something.  This place caters to the lunch business crowd in the area.  Let me tell you, this place is worth the trip.  When you walk in, there are autographs of 2 of the nameless fat guys from The Sopranos, so you know it must be pretty good.

Often, the wife and I will share two sandwiches.  This is usually a great move, because there are lots of delicious sandwiches here to choose from.  Unfortunately, my wife has boring taste a lot of the time.  So when she tells me she is getting the boringest sandwich on the menu (chicken pesto), I usually get the Italian sandwich. 

To start, the Italian sandwich comes on some of the tastiest scali bread I’ve ever had.  The bread is crispy on the outside, and you can taste the baked sesame seeds.  So dope.   As you move to the center of the sandwich, the scali bread is pillowy in the middle.  Perfect.  

Let’s move to the interior.  The vegatables on this sub make the sandwich what it is.  I know many of the Yay Pickle panelists are rabbits(vegetarians).  I would recommend that all of you rabbits try this sandwich regardless.  The 5-6 slices of italian meats are super, don’t get me wrong, but more importantly the veggies are sweet, tangy, and crunchy.  This is the bread and butter of the sandwich.  The provolone cheese adds some nutty undertones to the whole thing.  I would recommend adding hot peppers for some additional sour, vinegary crunch. 

Every sandwich is only complete with a crunchy pickle or chips.  I came across the perfect combination of both at Pizzi Farm to compliment my sandwich: Deep River New York Spicy Dill Pickle chips rule. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday morning breakfast sandwiches

It's early Saturday morning and after a long hard work week who doesn't want to wake up Saturday morning and get a nice breakfast sandwich while they're starting their day of errands around the city. Here's a list of the top places Yelp! recommends. Let us know what you think of their list!

 1. J Pace & Son

75 Blossom Ct
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 227-6141
Category: Grocery 
3.0 star rating
The market is expensive.  The location is inconvenient to everyone in Boston unless you work at MGH.  The pastries look kind of gross.

However, the breakfast sandwiches are HEAVEN.  This was my go-to hangover cure for two years and it worked like a…More »
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 2. Flour Bakery + Café

1595 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 267-4300
Categories: BakeriesCoffee & Tea 
Neighborhood: South End
4.0 star rating
A warm, homey cafe with shared seating - the only way you could tell you were in the South End is by the amazing food and the price tags that go along with it.  Even with the amount you end up spending, Flour gets 4 stars in my book.  Amazing…More »
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 3. Grafton Street

1230 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 497-0400
Categories: BarsAmerican (New) 
Neighborhood: Harvard Square
3.0 star rating
To be fair, Grafton should be rated by meal type.
Breakfast: 4 Stars.  Fresh squeezed OJ, fantastic pancakes and a pretty good breakfast sandwich, you really can't go wrong.  Grafton gets 5 stars when the weather is nice and offers al fresco dining.…More »
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 4. Gail's

138 Portobello Road
London W11 2DZ
+44 20 7460 0766
Category: Bakeries 
Neighborhood: Notting Hill
5.0 star rating

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our New Segment: Canada Explains Things

Oh whaaaaaaat? A new video segment?!?! That's right, friends, we have a brand new segment called, "Canada Explains Things" brought to you by everyone's token Canadian or at least to the people that know her in America.  Watch the 2:16 video and comment on it por favor. Suggestions for comments: which words Michelle pronounces with a Canadian accent, what a great nation Canada is, what Michelle could explain next, why ninjas clearly are better than pirates, who is that lady on the radiator behind the Canadian, etc. You get the point. We just want feedback regardless of the relevance.

Go for the Pizza, Stay for the Sandwich

Nice Slice lies in the middle of Thayer Street, trafficed by hipsters and Brown students a like, they offer up a large variety of creative thin crust slices. If you're a lover of art you'll enjoy that the owners let Shepard Fairey a RISD alumn wheat paste the walls and create some one-off OBEY metal pieces that are mounted above one of the counters.  

Although great for the quick in and out, you'll need to grab a few if you want to get filled up. For sandwich connoisseurs like ourselves, we know when you hit the local pizza shop that you should actually read into the menu to see what treasures lie beneath the surface. 

Nice slice offers something that very few traditional pizza shops do, vegan options. Not only do they have vegan pies and slices, but they have a VEGAN BBQ (faux) Chicken sandwich on a half a loaf of focaccia bread. If you're prepared to dedicate 10 minutes to this special order you'll be handsomely rewarded with a generous helping of faux chicken tossed in a sauce with a little kick and some nice daiya cheese melted on top. This is my destination when I hit providence and while I wait I tend to grab a slice too!

Nice Slice
267 Thayer st.
Providence, RI 02906

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Sunday Debacle That Resulted In Flour's Deliciousness

Flour Bakery + Cafe in the South End

Brought to you by Canada

I’m actually going to begin my sandwich review with a funny little story that occurred when trying to patronize this local eatery, which should demonstrate my level of commitment to sandwiches and how much effort I’m willing to put in to eat at this wonderful establishment

Backstory: Yesterday I took a friend of mine visiting from Austin to the airport for a very, very early morning flight.  That week/weekend I also had very little sleep and was pretty much just functioning off of coffee since about Wednesday.

Funny Little Story: At around 9:30am I suggested that my friends, Tina and Kelsey, and I meet up at Flour Bakery + Cafe in the South End for morning coffee/breakfast in about an hour.  So we all set off from our different locations and after an hour when we should have made it to Flour already, Tina began texting us letting us know there’s a long wait to get in, and to hurry up because she had a meeting soon.  Not long after we were all sending hurried text messages about our difficulties with trains, transfers etc. Tina pipes up that she just realized she went to a completely different establishment in the South End. I laughed at her silly, silly behavior but less than 30 seconds later I clue in to the fact that I have almost arrived at the Flour location in the Seaport District, rather than the one I suggested and have been to before in South End.  Kelsey, the newest Bostonian out of the three of us, was the only one to make it to the correct location.  After a little more shenanigans on my part, the three of us finally all make it to Flour after two hours of travelling around the city.

The Sandwich:

Since I have this whole “I won’t eat something that used to have a face” thing going on and because I don’t like mushrooms, I usually have to order something that has meat and ask the employees to alter the sandwich a tad for me.  I ordered the brie and chicken sandwich at Flour but asked them to sub in “I don’t know, tomatoes or something” instead of the clucker. Thank god I gave them creative liberties with this! The sandwich was delectable.

Made from bread baked in house, this grilled vegetarian sandwich consisted of melted Brie cheese, roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes, fresh, raw arugula, and caramelized onions.  Although the lines on the weekend were kind of long, and the woman in front of me took ten years to order her child one bloody chocolate chip cookie, it was well worth the wait to have this sandwich made fresh and tailored to my dietary habits.

The bread was definitely made that day, and was dense, rich and flavorful in itself. The caramelized onions, peppers and tomatoes were sautéed perfectly and the fresh nutty flavor of the arugula worked well with the other rich ingredients. The consistency of the leafy vegetable also contrasted nicely with the other softer cooked ingredients. My only complaint with this sandwich was not enough Brie! I admit to having a mild obsession with Brie, and to most people I’m sure that the sandwich had a healthy amount, but I would’ve liked the strong flavor profile of the Brie to be more evident in the experience.

All in all, this is a great place to go and have lunch, or any of their baked goods. The coffee is always nicely brewed and sitting outside on the sidewalk in South End with good food and good friends is a perfect way to spend a Sunday. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Delicious Sandwich, Terrible Service

My husband and I recently tried the new sandwich shop in Arlington Center, The Madrona Tree.  The restaurant is really small with 6 indoor tables and a few tables outside, but boasts a big message of "eat like you give a damn; care about what you eat, how you eat and the environment".  They are becoming known around town for their support of local farmers, their eco-friendly practices and their delicious sandwiches. 

And delicious it was!  I got the Jimbo's Pesto Chicken wrap, which was grilled chicken, pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and mushrooms on a syrian wrap.  Everything about this sandwich was excellent; everything tasted fresh and the combination of ingredients worked brilliantly!  Not only was the sandwich great, but the sides were equally good, garlic fries and homemade simple syrup soda!

Now, I realize this blog is supposed to be reviewing sandwiches only, but it is hard to ignore bad service; it kind of ruins the experience for you, and our service was terrible.  The fact that there are only six tables to be served should mean an attentive waitress but that was the opposite of true. 

Bottom line: The sandwich was worth returning for, but next time will be take-out!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Drop Everything You're Doing and Go Put This in Your Mouth!!!

Clover Food Truck: Where everything is delicious and vegetarian!

Chick Pea Fritter Review
Brought to you by Canada

I’ve tried almost everything on the menu at Clover food truck, and not only is this delightful food truck by far one of my favourite places to eat in Boston, its actually one of my favourite food joints in America.  According to the delightful little hipsters that work there, the chick pea fritter sandwich is their most popular menu item and it’s really not hard to understand why.

Aside from the perfectly fried chickpea fritters (aka falafel) inside this pita we have a delightful combination of creamy hummus, tahini, and grated beets and carrots. I may be wrong on this, but I think the beets and carrots are pickled as well.  If you haven’t tried this: GO!!! NOW!!! GO GET ONE RIGHT NOW!!!  For 6 bucks and just under 500 calories, you’ll not only leave completely full, but you’ll feel pretty great about yourself for not eating an animal in the making of a perfect lunch.
If you’ve got a big appetite, and need just a few more kcals, try their rosemary French fries or perhaps one of their lemonades. I highly recommend their basil lemonade; it’s light, refreshing and offers an interesting flavor combination that won’t disappoint.

Clover Food Trucks can be found near the Park Street train station in the Common, or in front of South Station in the Financial District.  I personally prefer the one in Boston Common because they usually give me free French fries, and one of the guys that works there always tells me I’m pretty.  But that’s just me.