Tag Archives: eats

Surviving in Hoth: Part 2

Mandy and Joe's - photo credit: Boston.com

Mandy and Joe’s – photo credit: Boston.com

I just got back from a long weekend in Jamaica to celebrate a friend’s wedding. The weather, while rainy at times, was in the 70s and 80s so you can imagine that coming back to the aftermath of a snowfall and an impending snowstorm was a bit of a shock.  Thankfully, there’s a lot of great local restaurants nearby that are helping to ease the cooped up feeling that comes as a result of these winter storms. With that in mind, this is the second part of my Surviving in Hoth series and today, I want to spotlight a local diner: Mandy and Joe’s Delicatessen.

Only a few doors down from Porter Belly’s (see my previous post), in Brighton Center, Mandy and Joe’s is one of my favorite breakfast spots. It consistently offers great home cooking with staples like hash and eggs, omelets, pancakes and french toast. It still looks like a 50s-style diner on the inside, giving you the instant impression that the staff knows what they are doing. The diner also serves sandwiches at lunch but I’ve never actually tried them. I prefer to stick with my favorite: breakfast.

While I’ve tried most of the breakfast menu, I usually end up deciding between two eggs with bacon, toast and homefries or hash and eggs. Keep in mind: this breakfast is not for anyone on a diet. You’re always going to get a good portion and plenty of butter.

It’s hard to describe the greatness of Mandy and Joe’s but here’s a quick story of a personal experience I’ve had at the restaurant. Around Mother’s Day last year, Mandy and Joe’s introduced a special item: stuffed french toast with strawberries. Of course, I order this to give it a try and while chatting with the chef (and I believe, owner) Ingrid, she was curious how I liked the special. After telling her how great it was, she proceeded to give me the recipe. I mean, how many places will just tell you how they make their food? Not many.

Just a few things to remember if you’re going to give Mandy and Joe’s a try: it’s cash only. If you’re in a hurry, Mandy and Joe’s does do pick up orders (even for full breakfast plates, not just breakfast sandwiches). If you go on the weekend, keep in mind that Mandy and Joe’s is in an area full of college kids, so anywhere between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm could be busy.


HIMYS Shucks On: Oysters at Summer Shack

Oysters at Summer Shack

The great thing about summer in Boston, besides the glorious weather (note: compared to Texas, this is amazing!), is all the delicious seafood. Lobster rolls are absolutely one of my new favorite foods – and something I didn’t experience until I moved.

Despite my love of seafood, there is one item that I don’t take advantage of very often: oysters. In my experience, many of my friends who are New England natives don’t like seafood quite like outsiders do. There are plenty of people in New England that love the seafood, don’t get me wrong, but for the people I usually go to restaurants with, seafood is a no no.

So, when my out-of-town friends visit, the first item on the agenda is visiting a seafood establishment. Recently, I had the opportunity to eat at Summer Shack, a restaurant from Chef Jasper White. It’s a frequent mention on the local restaurant review show Phantom Gourmet, which is one of my favorites for discovering new restaurants (both in events and on the show).

Classic Clam Chowder

I definitely need to go back to Summer Shack to try the lobster/clam bake, what I like to call the more traditional route when testing out seafood establishments. However, a night full of oysters is a good jumping off point.

I had an opportunity to try each of the Oysters offered from the raw bar – which change based on the season. My absolute favorite was the Cotuit oyster – a very smooth with a lot of flavor but not a fishy aftertaste. Honestly, like wine, I’m not good at describing the “flavor profiles” you experience with Oysters. Though, I will say, over the course of the night, my table split around 40 oysters and a majority of them were Cotuit. I also really enjoyed the ceviche (also a part of the raw bar) and the spicy bermuda fish & crab chowder.

After spending a night feasting on oysters, it reminded me that the summer is winding down – and I need to spend the next month or so getting my fill of seafood while it’s still in season. Excuse me while I enjoy this lobster roll…