Tag Archives: Fenway

Restaurant Review: Sweet Cheeks Q

Courtesy of Sweet Cheeks Q Site

As a former Texan, I’m cursed. No really. I have incredibly high standards when it comes to barbeque and Tex-Mex/Mexican food. The Bostonians I’ve met are always willing to provide recommendations for places to try – places that they LOVE. It’s hard to for me to try these and then report back that I didn’t really like them. (Honestly though, since I’m half Southern/half Mid-Western, it’s really tough for me to tell someone I didn’t enjoy their favorite BBQ joint as much as they did.)

I’m not saying that I have never found Mexican or BBQ that I liked, it’s just really hard to compare to the source. It’s the same with Boston’s seafood or clam chowder. There is probably no way that you’d find such incredible dishes in the South or Mid-West. It’s just not what they’re known for.

However, I was incredibly excited to find out that former Top Chef contestant Tiffani Faison’s had helped start a restaurant that focused on Texas-style BBQ, I was over the moon excited to try it.

Despite having to wait about 20-30 minutes to grab a table, I came pretty hungry – and the food came quickly! My table started with the homemade biscuits which came with honey butter, the hush puppies and fried okra. The biscuits were my absolute favorite part of the apps we ordered, with the fried okra coming in second. It just reminded me of being in Texas and I couldn’t get enough.

For my main course, I had the ribs with black-eyed peas and potato salad. The ribs were really good – and Sweet Cheeks provides three different sauces on every table: hot, traditional and vinegar-based. I went with the traditional but if you like spicy sauces, you’ll probably enjoy the hot version.

All in all, the trip was awesome. The wait was absolutely worth it, even if at the time, I was dying for food. I loved the atmosphere. Even the bathrooms were funky, as the woman’s contained framed photos of Dolly Parton, burning candles and a sticker vending machine.

I’ll definitely be returning for a BBQ fix and hopefully, comparing it to a few other joints in the area like Blue Ribbon. Next time, I’ll try to save room for dessert. The key word being TRY.

Update: This post was originally written in early January. Since that time I have been back to Sweet Cheeks, and tried the pork belly (OMG) and the pecan chocolate pie turnover (whoa!). All I can say is that I ate way too much – and it was still totally awesome.

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How I Met Your State Catches Up

There are so many activities or restaurants that I haven’t had a chance to blog about and since my list is growing, I thought I would change things up a bit. This post is a quick list of places I’ve been or things I’ve eaten that haven’t had a fair shake on the blog yet! While I would love to give each of these items a much longer post, I don’t know  what’s coming next on the adventure front and don’t want to miss a beat.

Attractions:

Fenway Park

Fenway Tour

Want to visit historic Fenway Park but can’t get tickets to a Red Sox game? You should consider the park tour. It runs every day of the week, picks up at the souvenir store on Yawkey Way and costs about $12 for adults. The chance to experience Fenway and get a bit of history is worth the price of the ticket.

HIMYS Recommends: Try to visit when the Red Sox are playing an away game. The tour might take you on the field but its not always a guaranteed stop.

Bars:

Sweet Caroline’s

New bar that opened recently in Fenway between Baseball Tavern and the Machine. Offers an incredible atmosphere for watching sporting events (huge TVs at the bar) and the woodwork makes you feel like cozying up for a longer stay.

HIMYS Recommends: Check out the bar while the Red Sox are not in season to get a feel for it. The location alone ensures that this is going to be a hot spot during games.

The Landsdowne Pub

Popular bar in the Fenway area, located on Landsdowne Street across from Fenway Park. This is a favorite night life locale in Boston, but also has a decent menu for hungry day dwellers.

HIMYS Recommends: Actually, my friend who is originally from Ireland raves about their Irish sausage and beans plate. He points out that this dish is the closest he’s come to the original in Ireland.

Places:

Cape Cod Beach on a Cloudy Day

Cape Cod

There is no way I can summarize this in one short paragraph! This is a place holder for a larger post later – with both activity and restaurant recommendations to follow!

HIMYS Recommends: Stay tuned for a more in depth post!

 

Restaurants:

Max Brenner’s

Located on Boylston, this restaurant is all about the delightful experience. If you don’t already know, this place is known for its desserts – and when you walk in, chocolate is being mixed in a vat.

HIMYS Recommends: Eat a smaller portion at dinner so you can indulge in dessert. Also check out the brunch menu – but be sure to make a reservation on OpenTable.

Mussels at the Barking Crab

Barking Crab

This infamous seafood restaurant is located right around the South End and the Waterfront area. If you are in the mood to pig out on seafood, you’ve found the place to be. The Barking Crab was featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs Food, which should tell you about the portion sizes.

HIMYS Recommends: Bring a friend and split a seafood dish to keep the cost reasonable…and try the steamed mussels.

Sibling Rivalry

A South End restaurant with two chefs and two distinctly different menu choices for the same meats or ingredients.

HIMYS Recommends: Hit up Sibling Rivalry during Restaurant Week or on Monday nights. The flat rate price for three course meal (without drinks) is a deal and a chance to test it before you spend a lot during a normal dinner.

Masa

Mexican-inspired restaurant located in the South End with a wide selection of tapas and margaritas. Masa also offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with a set price menu of its most popular morning dishes.

HIMYS Recommends: Try the Fiesta Brunch (fixed price) as you get a big bang for your buck and the food is delicious. Also, Masa regularly has happy hour prices on their tapas but you need to eat at the bar to get the menu. (It’s a great place for a book club meeting, as well.)

There are so many more places or activities that should be on this list. Since I can’t keep up with the pace on the blog, I’ll certain try to pull together these summary posts every few months.

Do you have a place you would recommend visiting or a tip for a certain activity/restaurant? Leave it in the comments section below.


Battle of the (Boy) Bands

NKOTBSB Concert

A phenomenon of mass proportions hit Fenway Park a few weeks ago. No, I’m not referring to the Bruins strutting out the Stanley Cup during a Sox game. I’m talking about the NKOTBSB concert. If you don’t know about NKOTBSB, it is a joint concert tour by 80s boy band New Kids on the Block and 90s boy band Backstreet Boys. (Apologies in advance to any mega-fans, as I am in no way capable of doing the concert or these bands justice.)

The concert was quite the event! New Kids are originally from Boston (which I did not know until a week prior), so the audience freaked out every time one of the guys made reference to the their roots. It was also fitting that Mayor Menino declared the day NKOTBSB Day in Boston and introduced surprise guest Mark Wahlberg who then introduced the bands. They entered Fenway in true Red Sox fashion, as each was individually introduced by the Sox announcer and ran across home plate before making their way onto the stage.

Mark Wahlberg - NKOTBSB Concert

The other huge effect for the concert, beyond the fireworks and thrusting (yes, I said thrusting), was the NKOTBSB banner that was hung off of the Green Monster. Of course, there was a ton of concert merchandise that looked like Sox gear.

The audience was mostly comprised of women that had followed the bands in various stages of their careers, and who knew the words to the more obscure songs. I was definitely taken back by surprise when the crowd not only screamed at the start of every song, but also sang along!

NKOTBSB did not disappoint in the dance moves or singing. As someone who never really got into boy bands, I was absolutely impressed with how they could still belt at the top of their lungs and manage to make thousands of women weak at the knees.

And of course, it wouldn’t be an outdoor concert without some kind of crazy weather crisis! About an hour into NKOTBSB’s act, it started POURING!! I have immense respect for all the women who stayed and powered through it (which were almost all of them in attendance). Even more props to the bands who turned the stage catwalk into an adult slip and slide for several of the songs.

The Boys

My biggest regret is not having more excitement for boy bands. I definitely left before the end – and I know a lot of other people who would have jumped through a ring of fire to go!

However, it was epic concert and I’m glad that I stuck it out as long as I did!

Boston hearts NKOTBSB!


Holy Moly! Church Rocks!

I’ve had an opportunity to visit quite a few amazing restaurants since moving here – though I have neglected writing about them…until now! A huge part of the excellence of the city is the culinary scene. Boston has incredible restaurant options, some renowned worldwide, while others are just locally raved. Of course, when you ask Bostonians for things to do, you typically receive a large amount of food recommendations. I’m just starting to work through them all!

One of the places that I visited recently was Church in the Fenway area. The restaurant is highly rated on sites like Yelp, so I figured I was in for something pretty good. And frankly, it did not disappoint. A friend and I stopped by for brunch on a Saturday, before hitting up the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum (which I’ll record in a future entry). The atmosphere is very warm and open – as there were couches and booths along the wall, while tables and a decent bar area filled the rest of the space.

Eggs Benedictine

The menu and drinks are themed with religious history, which was honestly very well done and incredibly creative. My breakfast, the Eggs Benedictine, was incredibly delicious. I’m not a huge eggs benedict fan but I would definitely order this again. My friend ordered the Toad in a Hole, which consisted of two slices of french toast with poached eggs and crisp bacon on top. I was able to sneak a bite of this dish, and though I don’t like mixing sweet and salty, I couldn’t help putting this on my favorites list.

The service was great and the price of two dishes with coffee was only 20 bucks. Really a steal for a fancy restaurant in the Fenway area! Church also boasts an interesting music scene, as there is a concert venue attached to the back of the restaurant. I would definitely recommend hitting up Church, if you are looking for some tasty food. If I don’t go back for brunch soon, I would love to try this spot for dinner and drinks.