Sunday, May 30, 2010

Boston Happy Hour: Cafeteria

posted by Katie

What: Cafeteria
Where: Newbury St. (Copley is closest)
Honeys Heart: $5 burgers at the bar

The roomie and I recently met up for a quick dinner at Cafeteria. Cafeteria serves gussied up versions of American classics (their slogan is "tray chic") and they offer $5 burgers at the bar all day long.

Cafeteria is all about using high-quality ingredients and they state proudly that their burgers are made from grass-fed beef. The $5 burgers come with cheddar cheese and Cafeteria sauce, and while they were on the small size, Shannon and I both thought they were quite tasty.

We also tried out the parmesan fries ($5ish). These were good too but there wasn't really enough parmesan sprinkled on the fries to actually taste the cheese. 

Overall, a good place for a quick meal, as long as you are not super hungry.

Portlanders, if Cafeteria sounds good, you might want to try The Original, which takes the concept of upscale cafeteria/diner food one step further. Read our post here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Boston Bar: Charlie's Beer Garden

posted by Katie

What: Charlie's Beer Garden
Where: Harvard Square (over by the Charles Hotel)
Honeys Heart: Outdoor drinking!

The plan for Saturday was that the roomie and I would continue our apartment decorating project and paint our kitchen. It was so nice out Saturday though that I was able to convince Shannon that we should wait until Sunday.

A bunch of my publishing friends and I ended up heading to EarthFest, a live music festival featuring 90s bands like The Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul. I'm not much into 90s music but I did appreciate all the food samples (free lunch!).

We all needed to cool down after sitting in the sun for so long so I suggested we head over to Charlie's Beer Garden which is a fenced-in outdoor area adjacent to Charlie's Kitchen.

It was crowded and the beer garden was pretty small but we managed to find a table that we could all stand around. The beers of choice for our crowd were Sam Summers and the raspberry beer (don't remember the brewery.)

We also shared the nachos, beer-battered fries, and the fried green beans (my new favorite fried food). And some thin mint Girl Scout cookies we pawned off some guy.

Charlie's had a fun vibe and good beer so I definitely plan on going back soon to enjoy some more outdoor drinking.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seattle Restaurant: Duke's Chowder House

Posted by Kelly

What: Duke's Chowder House
Where: Southcenter Mall, 757 Southcenter Mall, Seattle, WA 98188 (1 of 6 locations)
When: 11am - 10pm Sun-Thurs, 11am - 11pm Fri-Sat, Bar til 11pm Sun-Thurs & 12am Fri-Sat

Jenna turned 23 in April and I decided to surprise her on her birthday. I probably won't have a flexible schedule forever so I have to take advantage of it now! I arrived at the Tacoma Mall at 5pm, jumped in Michael's (Jenna's bf) car, picked up Jenna (she was surprised!) and her sister, then headed to Southcenter for her birthday dinner. We met her fam, and our pre-ordered mojitos, at Duke's Chowder House.

Jen's Dad had signed up for their email specials and came prepared with the offer of a free taco dinner (if that's what the bday girl wanted) so Jen and I split the Mahi Tacos ($17.99/12.99) with grilled sweet Tahi Chili marinated Mahi Mahi, sharp cheddar, mango chutney and tequila lime aioli with a cucumber pico de gallo and corn tortilla chips.

This was really good, but maybe a little saucy, and definitely a dinner that should be shared! The tacos where huge and full of fish. They don't skimp on the portions here...

I think we imagined the tacos being smaller, so we also ordered the Wild Mixed Greens ($6.99/$11.99) with crumbled bleu cheese, fresh orange and grapefruit, candied pecans and tarragon vinaigrette. This salad was fresh and would be great with grilled chicken breast ($4.99), calamari ($4.99), blacked wild alaska salmon ($5.99) or fresh dungeness crab ($5.99).

Michael went with the Chowder Sampler (All Five $12.49). This includes Dungeness Crab and  Bourbon Chowder, Northwest Seafood Chowder, Cajun Chicken Corn Chowder, Lobster Pernod Chowder, and the Duke's "Award Winning" Clam Chowder. We decided that it's fun to taste them all, but when you find the one you really like you wish there was more of it! Not a bad way to find your favorite though if you plan on returning.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of everyone's meals. Too much work and we were all too hungry to wait for photo taking. We all left full and happy though! This is a great place for a post Southcenter shopping din or if you're looking for a good meeting spot between Seattle and Tacoma. I'd say I'll be back, but I think Jen has a few other happy hours on the list for my next visit!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Portland Restaurant: Bunk Sandwiches

Posted by Kelly

What: BUNK Sandwiches
Where: 621 SE Morrison, Portland
When: 8am - 3pm Mon- Sat

Last weekend Rachel and I worked the Indie Wine Fest as logistic/event coordinators hired by Watershed Communications and Flint Design, the founders of this unique festival that showcases small Oregon Wineries. Since we were on the job we weren't tasting, but instead walking laps around the event, at the Bison Building, being available for questions, monitoring the space, and raising suspicion among the wineries and attendees about our "role" ....some thought we were OLCC (HAHA). Our miles of walking definitely made us hungry and Katie (with Watershed) was definitely appalled that I had never heard of Bunk, so she went and picked some up for lunch. 

Rachel and I shared (because we generally like the same things...) the Meatball Parmigiano Hero ($8) and the Oregon Albacore Tuna Melt ($8). So good, very filling, and reasonably priced. I definitely will be back to try their other sandwich specials!

Boston Restaurant: Fajitas & 'Ritas

posted by Katie

What: Fajitas & 'Ritas
Where: 25 West Street (near the Park St. T station)
Honeys Heart: The margaritas

This is Peg.
(And Katie C.)

During our first semester, a bunch of us were lucky enough to be part of Peg's Intro to Book Publishing class. Our class tries to get together for Book Pub reunions every once in a while (the picture above is from an impromptu Quidditch tailgating session) and recently we all met up to catch up over margaritas at Fajitas & 'Ritas.

I had been to Fajitas & 'Ritas once before for lunch with Scott, Katie C. and Anna P. We shared one pitcher and that's all it took for me to find myself in an H&M dressing room surrounded by piles of sequined items and wondering who smelled like cheap Mexican food. Point of the story: those margaritas are strong!

Liters of frozen margaritas go for $12.15 for the original or $12.85 if you opt for raspberry, strawberry or mango. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know Kel and I do not usually condone frozen margaritas, but for these, I can make an exception.

Sadly though, the food does not live up to the greatness of the margaritas. Shannon and I decided to split the nachos (about $7 depending on the toppings you get) and a cheese quesadilla ($5.33).

The nachos had lots and lots of toppings but only about four chips buried underneath. Not a good ratio in my book. And with all those toppings, you need to have some pretty decent chips to be able to scoop everything up. The tortilla chips at Fajitas & 'Ritas are quite thin and prone to breaking just when you think you've got a good scoop. Definitely not conducive to easy nacho eating and downright frustrating when you're trying to be responsible and balance your nacho intake with your margarita intake.

Shannon really liked the quesadilla but I had trouble with the fact that the cheese was on top. Also, they stuck some sad-tasting peppers and onions on the inside that just weren't doing it for me.

Anna G. got the burrito ($5.79) and didn't eat much of it, so I'm guessing it wasn't that great either. Katie H. did seem to enjoy her fajitas ($9.53) though, so maybe that's the dish to order. Either way, I think I'm too much of a California-bred Mexican food snob to really love any of the food at Fajitas & 'Ritas. (Oh god, just remembered one of my classmates/fellow diners went to undergrad in San Diego. I can only imagine what she thought of the food...Don't tell her I'm the one that suggested this place!)

So, it's a toss up. Great margaritas, not-so-great food.

But throw in great company, and I really can't complain. Overall, it was a fun night and I can't wait for our next class reunion!

(Can't wait to hear about Peg's trip to Italy either. We're missing each other in Capri by one day, can you believe it?...)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Katie Comes to Portland!

Posted by Kelly

Katie and I are good at a lot of things, but one thing we excel at, especially when together, is eating and drinking. Katie came to Portland the first weekend in May for her sister's graduation, but I like to pretend it was all about visiting me! It was so great to have her here and fun to hit up some of our old favorites. Here is a recap of our weekend of eating and drinking (after I picked Katie up from the airport.) We had limited time so we had to make the most of it...

Friday Night
Thai Ginger: Yellow Curry please...

Greyhounds: Best pre-night out drink ever (see recipe below)

Vault: Get the Gluttony (Smirnoff Citrus Vodka, rasberry puree, fresh lime juice) and work the crowd, which is usually slightly older. This place is hit or miss, but in college we started some incredible nights here. This night in particular involved a child actor, dares, and one of the tastiest Gimlets I've ever had.

(child actor in the middle...appearances in Malcom in the Middle, 
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Nash Bridges, and more...)

Candy: I wouldn't recommend going here unless you've had as many drinks as we had. It wasn't all bad because we danced and bothered the dj, but we weren't impress with the crowd, atmosphere, or horrible red "skittle" drink the bartender made us when we asked for something "delicious." I can't totally dislike this place though because the computers at the tables (and Adam) is the reason I got the job I have now!

Saturday Morning
Kettleman Bagels: If you love bagels, you love Kettleman's. If you hate hangovers, you love Kettleman's. It always hits the spot! I will discuss how much Honey's Heart bagels in a future post.

Sunday Night
Amalfi's (with Katie's fam): I frequent this place with my Mimi and Papa, but it's always fun to go with a different crowd. Really tasty pasta and the BEST BEST BEST blue cheese salad dressing. They make their own and it's garlicky, delicious. Katie and I ordered Citrus Drop's while her mom opted for the Raspberry Citrus Drop. Either way you win!

Mint: We walked in the door to an empty room and the waitress telling us they were actually closing for the night (heads up: they no longer have all night happy hour Sundays) but Katie and I both made the most pathetic whimper noise ever and the waitress felt bad enough to let us get one drink (thank you Mint/820!!) The Bella was amazing and the perfect last drink for a fun, but quick, visit.

(this is an old pic, we din't have sweet potato fries after our pasta, but we highly recommend them!!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DIY Happy Hour: Greyhounds

Posted by Kelly

If you ever need a simple drink that people will love, Greyhounds are an easy go-to. At UP the roomies and I would make these every Thursday night before the T-Room. You'll be surprised how little you taste the vodka! (This was necessary as we needed to give ourselves a bit of a liquor jacket before walking in the cold)

When we have friends over, I usually take that opportunity to make this DIY. They are always a hit! I have always made them individually, but this time to save time and effort I made a pitcher. Definitely do this if you plan on making a lot of them or you want to get the mess out of the way at the beginning of the night!

What You'll Need:
- citrus vodka (I normally buy Burnetts - cheap and tastes the same - but they were out)
- grapefruits (these were on sale, you don't need this many!)
- tonic (diet or regular)
- juicer (I love my Cuisinart, and it's only $29.99)
- ice
- straws

I was so excited at the store (and also a little drunk from happy hour) that I got ALL of those grapefruits for less than $3 I took a picture of that too!

Step 1: Juice the grapefruits

If I have learned anything over the last 5 years of drink-making it is that fresh squeezed juice makes all this difference. Don't try to get store bought juice and expect it to taste as good as fresh-squeezed. It won't.

Put a glass or bowl under the grapefruits to capture the juice. Cut your grapefruit in half, take one half and push it down on your juicer. Easy squeezy!

I LOVE that pint glass measuring cup. There are drink recipes around the side and ounce measurements up the side.  Perfect for measuring out large quantities or multiple drinks.

Step 2: Combine grapefruit juice, tonic, and vodka in pitcher

When I make these individually I put about:
- 2 - 2.5 oz vodka
- 2 - 3 oz grapefruit juice
- a little tonic on top

It is amazing how with almost equal parts vodka and grapefruit juice they taste DELISH.

In this case, since I was making a pitcher I put about:
- 16 oz vodka (could have just poured in the whole fifth)
- 20 oz grapefruit juice
- 8 oz tonic.

Step 3: Serve in glass with ice and straw

I add ice in the glass so it doesn't melt and water down the drink in the pitcher. And of course a straw is a must have!


Tacoma Happy Hour: Pacific Grill

Posted by Kelly

What: Pacific Grill
Where: 1502 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
When: 2 - 6pm Mon-Fri, 5 - 6pm Sat, and late night!
Honey's Heart: Blue Cheese Tator Tots! 

About a month ago Rachel (my boss at PUNCH Event Marketing) was speaking at WRPA about fundraising and sponsorship and as her loyal employee I got to tag along. We stayed at the modern Hotel Murano downtown, where the conference was taking place, and enjoyed some of Downtown Tacoma's restaurants with one of Rachel's mentors. 

Before exploring the Parks Expo we went to Pacific Grill for some snacks and drinks. Rachel went with wine, but I was feeling like I needed a martini so I went with the Pom Drop ($8.50), a Pearl pomegranate vodka, ruby red pomegranate juice and fresh squeezed lemon combination. It was just what I needed!

The happy hour menu offers 1/2 off almost everything on their bar menu which varies between snack type foods and meal type foods, with items such as mussels and fries, fish and chips, sandwiches, sliders, etc. We chose to share a few things. First came the Mac n cheese. It was so good I forgot to get a pic until we were almost done with it!

We also ordered the Blue Cheese Tator Tots ($4.25), which we enjoyed so much we may have gotten a second order...and finally the French Fry "Nirvana" ($2.75) with herbs and whole garlic cloves. You can't really go wrong there. 

I would definitely return to this happy hour, when I return to Tacoma. The food menu offers a good variety at a decent price not to mention beer, wine and well drink specials. After happy hour we headed over to the parks expo where I played on parks equipment. I would not recommend this after the amout of carbs, cheese and drinks I just had...

That night my bestie Jenna who is a grad student at PLU met us downtown for more food and drink. Great conference, great night, great friends, and great food!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Boston Restaurant/Bar: The Pour House

What: The Pour House
Where: 907 Boylston St., Back Bay
Honeys Heart: The Nachos

I didn't have class (again) last Thursday so Scott and I decided to meet up for drinks after we finished work. Scott was in the mood for nachos, so after consulting my new favorite Boston blog Nacho Patrol, we headed over to The Pour House.

Scott and I plopped ourselves down at the bar and ordered a round of margaritas and the Nachos Pollos ($8.75) which come loaded up with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, black olives, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, grilled chicken, black beans, salsa, and sour cream.

Here's what they looked like when we got them:

And here's what they looked like by the time we finished our margaritas and a round of Sam Summers:

I think we did a pretty good job...

In addition to their amazing nachos, The Pour House also has some pretty good greasy food specials. These include:

  • Wednesdays from 6-10pm: 1/2 price chicken sandwiches
  • Thursdays from 6-10pm: 1/2 price on all Border Bargains (burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, etc.)
  • Saturdays from 6-10pm: 1/2 price burgers (that means as little as $2 for a plain burgers)
Their frappes (aka milkshakes) are also supposed to be good. Scott and I watched some mudslides being made and they did look pretty damn delicious. Might have to sample one of those during my next visit...