Every moderately religious Jewish child remembers that week in April during which bread and other leavened products are not to be eaten. To some, this would throw their entire week inside out—no more spaghetti with meat sauce, grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, or, by far the most detrimental, pizza. But the worst part is having to substitute these delicious staples of one’s diet with a dry, flavorless unsalted cracker called matzoh, or matzos. I won’t explain the tradition behind eating this flat baked form of bread, but the point is it is not risen dough because when the Jews escaped Egypt they had no time to wait for their bread to rise while it baked. So they ate this rather tasteless substitute. It serves as a reminder of the struggles the Jewish people went through when they were escaping the pharaohs that enslaved them. Read more
First and foremost, Machu Chicken is not the same as Machu Picchu, which is across the street with the same owner, Rosy Cerna from Peru. It is similar in that it is authentic and delicious Peruvian food, but far more casual and less expensive than its sibling restaurant. Read more
With spring beginning to shed its light upon us, citrus can add that same magical brightness to our meals. To make meals ranging from tart to sweet, citrus is an ingredient that no one should live with out. It can be that one ingredient that you did not know you were originally missing! Here I am going to take you through an entire meal from appetizer to dessert using citrus every step of the way to add that pivotal pop. Read more
Harvest Restaurant’s Executive Pastry Chef, Brian Mercury spoke at Tufts earlier this year and much to my dismay, I could not attend. On March 27, I had another opportunity to see Mercury in action this time for a baking demonstration sponsored by the Culinary Society. Per TCS’s instructions, I crept through Dewick’s side entrance. My feeling of mischievous anticipation at getting a glimpse into the inner workings of Tufts Dining gave way to a sense of foreboding as the heavy door closed behind me, and I faced a dimly lit, windowless hallway. Goodbye world, I hope to see you soon. After a moment of panic, I found my way into the baking kitchen where Mr. Mercury had already begun to talk about the extra-salty sea salt he acquires specifically from Maine and sprinkles on top of his desserts to enhance their flavor. I squeezed my way into the crowd of nineteen students standing in a semi-circle around a large, wooden table, adorned with baking implements and Tupperware. Read more
Mushrooms are ridiculously versatile and delicious ingredients that really are a bit of a culinary chameleon. They are meatiness incarnate, and not just in their pleasant chew and substance but in their rich stores of natural glutamates (the source of the ‘meat’ flavor; nutritionally they even mimic meat in their rich stores of minerals and B vitamins and high protein content). Their taste and texture makes them great in the place of meat or alongside it. While they aren’t the cheapest ingredients, there are plenty of ways to use them regardless of your budget. Here are some tips on saving money with mushrooms as well as three great recipes for using mushrooms that showcase their versatility. Read more
I must admit: I love Diners Drive-ins and Dives. I watch with a sort of sick fascination, the same mixture of awe and disgust that might accompany a viewing of Hoarders or some other mildly grotesque program. Until recently, the restaurants featured on the show seemed fantastical, over-the-top establishments that only exist in Guy Fieri’s frost-tipped exuberance. As a pescatarian, I haven’t really been interested in going to Boston Burger Company. But did you know that there is another Triple D restaurant within walking distance of Tufts? Little did I realize that Kelly’s Diner, in all its Food Network fame, is just down the block from Soundbites and Ball Square Café! On one freakishly warm, winter Saturday morning, my friends and I strolled passed the long lines outside the better-known brunch establishments and took a chance on Kelly’s. Though it too was quite crowded, we got seats at the counter pretty quickly.
At first glance, Kelly’s seems promising. As you approach, you realize that Kelly’s is housed in a huge, metal dining car from the 1950’s. According to their website, it was disassembled and shipped all the way from Delaware! The interior, as well as the exterior, screams old-fashioned diner. Metal counter tops, backless stools, bright turquoise seats, and a jukebox to transport patrons to a time in which inexpensive diners abounded and were places of congregation – or so I’m told. Perhaps Kelly’s fulfills an unrealistic diner fantasy of mine, a nostalgia for something that I never actually experienced. Regardless, I quickly became enamored of Kelly’s inviting, comfortable vibe.
Kelly’s meets the good-diner criteria not only in terms of decor, but also (and equally if not more importantly) in terms of food: cheap, huge portions, and DELICIOUS. My friends and I split French toast with fruit ($6.50), chocolate chip-strawberry pancakes ($8), and an omelet with mushrooms and cheddar ($7). Those would be relatively average prices if the dishes were individually sized, but they could feed a small army. The plates were twice the size of my head and came absolutely loaded with food. We could have easily split two dishes between the three of us, and we barely made a dent in three. The food wasn’t anything fancy but was very well done, which was expected and refreshing. The eggs and all their accouterments were flavorful and not too salty (and the cheese was perfectly oozy). The pancakes were exactly what chocolate chip strawberry pancakes ought to be – fluffy, tangy, and sweet. Our collective favorite was the French toast – it was rich but not too dense, eggy but not overwhelmingly so, and even good the next day!
Guy’s review was on point: if you’re looking for some serious weekend (or weekday) brunch that won’t break the bank, give Kelly’s a shot.
There is a time when one happily eats one’s words. For me, it was the time when I entered Sei Bar and was immediately floored. That was the night of Valentine’s Day, which the head waitress later said was one of their busiest nights of the year (the other contenders being Christmas and New Year’s). Read more