brunch

MA GPO and Beeriety Sam Adams Brewery Tour and Brunch!

It’s so fun being part of Girls’ Pint Out! At the end of January we had an event with Beeriety at the Sam Adams Brewery and it was a blast. The event was called “Beer for Breakfast”. With a tagline like that, how could you go wrong?

I get to be the Official GPO Photog at all the events I attend, which is just fun for me. I’ve been to the brewery more times than I can even count at this point, but our GPO/Beeriety tour was V.I.P. status and they threw in some really awesome things for us.

We started out in the Ingredient Room for an overview of the ingredients used in all beer: barley, hops, water, and yeast.

After that, we got a special stop in the Barrel Room (where I’m still the Mayor, thank you very much), which is not included on any normal tours. It was interesting to hear a little more about why they now have the Barrel Room and learn about the different brews currently aging in barrels there.

Then we headed to the Brew House, to learn more about the process of beer brewing. And because I’m a crazy shutterbug, I got the tour guide to take this picture of our group. Of course, I would be the only one in the entire picture without their eyes open.

Then into everyone’s favorite stop, the Tasting Room. Again we got some special treatment here, with a tasting of 4 different styles of Sam Adams (normally 3 are offered). Our awesome tour guide was Kate, who made sure we were taken care of.

We got to leave with some fun swag too,  a free Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass and keychain, before hopping on the trolley to the famous Doyle’s. The trolley ride was definitely unique. Our driver was great and kept fun music pumping, but also liked to have some fun with the brake which kept us all holding on to whatever we could to keep our balance.

We got to Doyle’s and enjoyed brunch, coffee, and more beer. At the suggestion of our waitress, I had Sam Adams Chocolate Bock mixed with Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Never would have thought to do this on my own, but it was so delicious. As was my french toast.

Thanks to the organizers of the event, Becca from Girls’ Pint out and Sarah of Beeriety! Lovely ladies doing lovely things to make good beer more accessible to the masses.

Speaking of which, did I mention the next event is coming up this week? GPO and Beeriety are co-hosting the Winter Warm-Up at The Haven in Jamaica Plain on Thursday, February 10. Flights of Scottish beer, good people, and a restaurant with antlers as part of their decor. You should come. It’ll be a good time.

Cheers until next time!

Traditions: Pie in the Morning on Thanksgiving

This year we spent Thanksgiving in PA with Dane’s family. It was great to see everyone, and Dane & I were in charge of the Thanksgiving meal with his relatives and family friends.

Before we got started on dinner, we attending a Thanksgiving tradition at the home of Dane’s friends from college. Every year the family hosts a get-together on Thanksgiving morning. It’s the perfect chance to see everyone and catch up before things really get busy with family dinners. The centerpiece of this gathering is pie. Any kind will do.

We gather, we chat, we eat pie. It’s been an on-going tradition with the family for years. It was great to go and see friends who we probably wouldn’t have spent time with otherwise, because of how busy the holiday can be with family. I contributed some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Not pie, but everyone seemed totally OK with it.

Although we only planned to stay about an hour, we all know how timing goes when you start talking with friends you haven’t seen in awhile. We just enjoy their company too much to leave.

As if it could get any better with friends, family, and pie, it started to snow that morning. It was a light dusting, but just enough to really make it feel like the holidays had begun.

I just love this tradition. Family is incredibly important to both Dane and I, but our friends are just like extended family. We were so happy to spend some time together at the start of this holiday season!

What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?

Zaftigs, Brookline

While Sam was visiting I took Monday morning off. It was the perfect time to sleep in, then go to brunch before heading into work. When we were deciding where to go for brunch I mentioned Zaftigs. Sam said she had never been, and our decision was made.

Zaftigs in Brookline is always busy. Even on a Monday morning there was a fair share of people eating brunch. This was nothing compared to the wait on a Saturday or Sunday. But the food makes the time worth it. We sat right down and started perusing the menu.

Two best friends having brunch definitely called for mimosas. We started with the bagel chips they brought out (with a really yummy dipping sauce) and our brunch cocktails.

For our brunch, Sam ordered the french toast with strawberries. I ordered the Vermont Cheddar and apple omelet. I was intrigued by the combination of cheese and apples.

Everything was so delicious! The omelet with the combination of Cheddar and apples was fantastic. It was a great combination of salty and sweet. Also, the hash browns were AWESOME. Crispy, salty, and perfectly done. Sam was equally happy with her french toast, even though she couldn’t finish it all. The slices were huge! All those bagel chips probably didn’t help either.

And don’t forget the mimosas. Go get one.

As usual, Zaftigs was awesome. The staff is always friendly and efficient, even when there’s a long line of people waiting to get in. Brunch is great, but dinner and lunch are equally yummy. Try to go at an off time. Saturday and Sunday mornings are incredibly busy, so you’ll need some patience while you wait. It’s also easier to find parking during off times.

See you again soon, Zaftigs!

Zaftigs Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Robinwood Cafe, JP

Robinwood Cafe is quickly becoming one of our go-to places for a quick and affordable bite to eat. We passed by one day and decided to stop in for brunch. It was one of those mornings where I just needed some bacon and a cup of coffee (aka – I had a great time out with friends the night before), and Robinwood was perfect.

The restaurant opened recently and has a cozy atmosphere with a friendly waitstaff. There are a few booths and tables, and a counter for service.

Dane went with an omelet with vegetables and cheese and some home fries. I decided on a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a toasted English muffin. Of course, had to also go with a side of home fries. Oh, and don’t forget my coffee.

Everything was really good. The home fries have a little kick to them. I’m thinking there’s some red pepper on them. Service is fast and efficient and everything on the menu is very reasonably priced.

Last time Dane and I went there (because we’ve now gone 3 or 4 times), we finally realized there’s a laundromat next door. Makes this place even more perfect for us. Throw in a load of laundry, go eat, throw it in the dryer, and by the time you’re done eating and have paid the bill it’s ready to be folded.

Give Robinwood a shot, especially if you are already in the JP area. And let me know, I’ll meet you there!

Robinwood Cafe & Grille on Urbanspoon

Victoria’s Diner, Boston

First off, I apologize for being an awful blogger. I went on vacation to Disney, then had my sisters visiting for the weekend. We had a blast, but it didn’t leave much time for blogging! I’m back now. Promise.

Dane and I are becoming brunch people. Honestly, breakfast/brunch has never been my meal of choice (unless I’m eating it for dinner, which is just awesome). But we’ve found a few places worth loving, including Victoria’s Diner.

When I moved to Boston, one of the things I missed was the diner scene. I can’t count how many times I ended a night with friends at a diner on Long Island. There didn’t seem to be any diners around, and if there were, then I just wasn’t finding them. And then an episode of Phantom Gourmet shed light on a diner in Boston with Nutella French Toast. Dane and I were in the car within about 5 minutes headed to Victoria’s Diner. That was about 2 years ago, and we’ve been together ever since.

Most recently we stopped in to grab a quick brunch before heading out shopping. It was packed (as it usually is on Saturday/Sunday in the mid-morning) so we headed to the counter to grab two open stools. The service was fast and efficient, the food is good, and the bill is always reasonable.

Dane started by getting up close and personal with some muffins before we ordered.

I would highly recommend the french toast with Nutella, but for this visit we opted for some egg sandwiches. Dane ordered the Egg BLT (yes, a BLT with fried eggs) and I went for a simpler Bacon, Egg, and Cheese sandwich. All breakfast sandwiches come with their yummy hash browns.

This was just one of our many visits to Victoria’s Diner and, as usual, we left happy and full. The staff at Victoria’s embodies the no-nonsense kind of diner service you’d expect. You can be in and out quickly, or take your time with your meal.

If you’re in the mood for diner food, Victoria’s is a must try.

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/4/54857/restaurant/Roxbury/Victorias-Diner-Boston”><img alt=”Victoria’s Diner on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/54857/minilogo.gif” style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px” /></a>

The Friendly Toast, Cambridge

This is a place I kept hearing about, and has one of the cutest names ever. I had to give it a try, and given the name, it seemed like the place go to for brunch. Last weekend, we headed over around 10am on a Sunday.

And it was INSANE. The wait was at least a half hour, and the tiny waiting area was overflowing with people. My immediate reaction was two fold. First, this sucks because I’m really hungry. Second, well they must be doing something right for all these people to wait around just to have brunch here. So we settled in amongst the masses and waited for our name to be called. (FYI, another option would be to eat at the bar, which is first come first serve. We would have done this, except that families kept letting their kids sit in the seats and play on the bar, so there were no open seat and I didn’t want to be the mean lady that made the kids move.)

When we finally got a seat, we were greeted by a friendly waitress who handed over these menus. Love the 50′s themed cartoons and kitschy decor. All over the walls there were vintage decorations and signs. And then there was this guy…

Looking at some of the orders around me, it seemed that the portion sizes were huge. When I decided to go with the french toast, I had to ask about the massive slices of bread I kept seeing. The waitress told me one piece would probably be more than enough, and she was very right. I ordered the Drunkard’s French Toast (or something like that, I can’t remember the exact name and can’t find it on the menu online) with a Grand Marnier and raspberry cream sauce. Dane ordered Omar’s homefries, which was a mix of pototoes, veggies, and cheese.

Everything was delicious and we managed to polish it off. Service was fast and friendly, and for such a packed house it was a great experience. The staff seemed totally prepared for the rush. We definitely go back, but maybe at an off peak time. When I’m hungry I have to eat! I get cranky in large crowds when my stomach is growling. Can you blame me? Oh, and did I mention the toast is as big as your head?

Overall, good job Friendly Toast. We shall meet again, I’m sure.
Kristen

The Friendly Toast on Urbanspoon

Geoffrey’s Cafe, Roslindale

We were invited to brunch at Geoffrey’s Cafe by one of Dane’s co-workers a few weekends ago. She told us they had Disco Brunch every weekend, along with what seemed to be a magical creation called the Donut Muffin. That’s all it took for us to hop in the car and get ourselves to Roslindale.

We met up with everyone just as Geoffrey’s Cafe opened at 10:00 am. First people in, first people seated, and for a while the only people there. The decor is great and gives the place a really comfortable feel. Not to mention that I totally want an awesome wall like this in my own house one day.

We started with the reason we came, the Donut Muffin. They were piled high on platters on the bar, and made the whole restaurant smell amazing. We got two for the table to share because they’re huge and we wanted to have at least some room for our actual brunch. Let me just say, Donut Muffins are heavenly. Just go there and try one. You can thank me later.

Did I mention that our waitress was FANTASTIC? She chatted with us about her suggestions, and when Dane told her I have a food blog she asked me to give her the URL so she can check it out. Then she gave us ideas of other places to try in the area. Since we really aren’t familiar with Roslindale at all, it was great to hear about some new restaurants and stores that we can explore.

The restaurant started filling up with people who seemed to be regulars shortly after we got there. Or maybe it was just that the staff was super friendly, so it just seemed that way. It took a bit to decide after the Donut Muffins and I was fairly boring with my order. Just scrambled eggs, toast, homefries, and bacon. Everyone else tried different things.

Everything was fantastic. Food was delish, service was wonderful, easy location to get to, great atmosphere. Almost the entire brunch menu (except one item) is under $10, which makes it very affordable. Can you tell that I loved this place? We’ll definitely go back. In fact, maybe this Sunday would be good. See you soon Donut Muffins!

Geoffrey's on Urbanspoon

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