Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Drink! Thanks Steve!

Posted by Kelly

When I turned 23 in June I started my birthday celebration at Elephants (of course) and I must say my drinks were much better than a birthday cake! Steve even put a candle in this one...


Since I have already blogged about Elephants multiple times I won't say more. It's obviously a favorite! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boston Happy Hour: Ivy Restaurant

Posted by Katie

What: Ivy Restaurant
Where: 49 Temple Place, Downtown Crossing
When: Thursdays from 5-7pm
Honeys Heart: $5 paninis and $5 prosecco

I walk through Downtown Crossing every other day on my way to work. And it smells horrible. Especially in the summer. And so, I don't really associate that area of Boston with delicious food.

But I should. Because Downtown Crossing is where Ivy is, and Ivy has darn good paninis, at the very least. 

Ivy thinks of itself as a very classy place, as it should. The lighting is low and the atmosphere is elegant. There's also a beautiful 22-foot marble bar, which is good because you can only get happy hour while sitting there and its length means there are plenty of seats to go around.

Happy hour at Ivy is from 5-7pm every Thursday. It includes two different choices of paninis for $5 each and glasses of prosecco, also for $5 each.

On the night I went, the choices were pulled pork with bbq sauce and muenster cheese or grilled cheese with cheddar, mozzarella & fontina. Here's a picture of my pulled pork. Very tasty.


Don't have a picture of the grilled cheese...whoops. But that's the one that Anna got and she said it was very good too.

And since Ivy is so good at posting their weekly panini offerings on Twitter, I can give you more of a taste of what they serve, because it changes each week.

Aug 19
cured local tomato with fresh mozzarella
Italiano with soppressata

Aug 5
smoked gouda & meatball 
grilled asparagus, roasted pepper & feta

July 29
classic BLT
roasted pepper w/ gouda

July 22
Chicken Milanese w/ fresh arugula
grilled summer veggies with goat cheese spread 

July 15
short rib
classic caprese

July 1
chicken meatball sliders
grilled cheese with tomato
   
Sounds delicious, no?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seattle Restaurant: The Pink Door

posted by Katie

What: The Pink Door
Where: 1919 Post Alley, near Pike Place Market
Honeys Heart: Lasagna Pink Door!!! and the pageantry (of course)

Doug is better at being a girlfriend than I am. It was his idea for me to surprise Nick and take him out to dinner in Seattle since Nick was planning to take me to a nice restaurant in Half Moon Bay when we got back to San Jose.

Doug even sent me a few recommendations for where I might take Nick. The Pink Door was the obvious choice.

One of my favorite parts about The Pink Door is that there's no sign outside, just a little note with opening and closing times. You just have to know that it's there. I love that.


This is the view after you walk through that door. So unexpected!


After being seated (reservations are a must!), Nick and I snuggled into our corner table and waited for the entertainment to begin. That's another great thing about this place, live entertainment every day of the week. Nick and I went on a Sunday night, which meant that we got to see Tamara the Trapeze Lady in action. On other nights of the week, they have jazz trios, burlesque shows and special guest performers. You can check out their "cabaret" schedule here.

And now some pictures of Tamara:


That guy in the white shirt was pretty sure he was going to get kicked in the face...but I think they probably try to avoid that sort of thing.

And then there was the food...

We started off with the Caprese Salad ($12) with Heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella. Delish!


Then came the showstopper: Lasagna Pink Door.


This was the richest, most delicious lasagna I've ever had. It's made with fresh spinach pasta, a decadent b├ęchamel sauce, pesto, and marinara sauce. I want to say it was the fresh spinach pasta that really made this dish, but then I remember the creamy white sauce or the tangy marinara, and I really can't decide.


My mouth is watering...Basically, you must order this dish if you go to The Pink Door. Probably you should go just so that you can have it. Really. It's that good.

Nick and I also had the Pappardelle al Ragu Bolognese ($18). Nothing could top that lasagna, but this was pretty tasty too.



And because I'm me, you know I had to get a drink.


It wasn't that good. But when I think about that lasagna, I don't really care.

We were so full, we didn't even get dessert. And that never happens.

Also, I should mention that the service was excellent. We loved our waiter, especially because he was honest and told us that the dish we originally planned to order instead of the bolognese was not that spectacular. So glad he saved us from a mediocre (but expensive) dish!

So yeah, I owe Doug big time for recommending such a fun and delicious place.

And you should also know that The Pink Door has a happy hour. It's on their deck lounge Monday-Thursday 3-5pm and 10pm til close and on Friday from 3-5pm only. Rigatoni & meatballs and meatball sliders go for $7 each and the garlic bread and tapanada (olive spread on bread) go for $5 each.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seattle Happy Hours: Owl N' Thistle and Elliot Bay Brewing Company

Posted by Katie

What: Owl N' Thistle
Where: 808 Post Ave, Downtown
When: 3-6pm daily

What: Elliot Bay Brewing Company
Where:
255 SW 152nd St, Burien (there's one in West Seattle too)
When: 3-6pm daily, 10-close Mon-Sat, and 9-close Sunday

I was in Portland for a former roommate's wedding (Ahhhh! I feel old) and so were most of my good friends from college, including the BF and my friend Doug. Doug lives in Seattle so Nick and I drove back up with him to spend a few days in the "Emerald City."

Seattle and I have a bit of a rocky relationship. My first taste of the city was on a family trip when I was about 12. If San Jose had any sort of "alternative culture" at that time, my sister and I certainly hadn't been exposed to it, so Seattle's many wacky residents came as a bit of a surprise. My sis and I christened them "SPOS": Scary People of Seattle.

And 10 years later, there are still plenty of SPOS running around Seattle. Most of them are more entertaining than scary (oh hey, person in oddly fitting bike shorts who flipped us for no reason), but some are actually pretty sketch (looking at you, potential pick-pocket).

But despite the SPOS thing, I've come to see that Seattle is actually a pretty cool place. And they loooove happy hours there. Perfect!

We started our visit with a Mariner's game. They won! (Surprisingly)



Note Doug's bright green Sounder's jersey. That's because he was going to the soccer game later that night. Before a soccer game it's important to 1) eat some food so you have lots of energy to sing songs and do cheers and 2) drink beer because singing songs and doing cheers is way more fun when you're tipsy.

Accordingly, Doug brought us to Owl N' Thistle Irish Pub's happy hour for some cheap food and beer. Owl N' Thistle's happy hour includes $2 Buds; $3 Widmer Hefewizen, Mack & Jack, African Amber, Mongoose IPA, Manny's Pale Ale, Ninkasi; and $3 well drinks. As far as food, fries and soup are $2.25 each and burgers, stew, hummus, spinach & artichoke dip, and fish n' chips are $3.50 each.

Check out the fish n' chips; they were voted "Best in Town" (by who, not quite sure...)


Our 2nd happy hour of the trip was a quick one. We stopped at Elliot Bay Brewing Company in Burien on our way to the airport.


Elliot Bay is fun because not only do they have a pretty good happy hour and lots of craft beers on tap (some brewed on location), they also have shuffle board.


While we played a game, the boys took advantage of all the craft beers and I tried the apple cider mixed with the strawberry beer. My pick is not recommended.

For food, we ordered the waffle fries topped with chili and the pulled pork quesadilla. They were both pretty decent, though the fries got a little soggy toward the end.



Doug told me that Owl N' Thistle and Elliot Bay are just two of the many happy hours that he frequents in Seattle. In fact, he claims to hit up one favorite hh and one new hh almost every week. So jealous!! Crossing my fingers that Boston will one day see the light...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday to Us!

On Aug 8th, Happy Hour Honeys turned 2 years old...and we inadvertently celebrated our blog's birthday a day early by hitting up one of our favorite spots in Portland, Elephants Delicatessen.

And with bartenders Steve and Kelly's help, celebrate we did...


Before we continue, you should know that we were at Elephants for like 4 hours...which justifies all the drinks we had...right?


Round 1. Delicious. The one on the left was spicy and sweet. The one on the right involved limes... (Here we should probably also mention that we didn't really take notes about what we were drinking...sorry.)


Round 2. These might have involved rum...?


At this point, the woman sitting next to us at the Elephants bar informed us that Bartender Kelly has a nice tush. We made him prove it. He did, willingly.

 

Round 2.5: Berry and honey goodness. Nice garnish as well. Kudos Kelly.


Round 3. And one more berry/honey creation for each of us. We decided that this drink should be named after us. Steve (or maybe it was Kelly) suggested "The Kellkat."


When Kelly took this she definitely thought it was not blurry...whoops.


During our stay at Elephants, we were given the task of looking through magazines and newspapers to find "faces" of people to motivate Kelly and Steve. We did. Then we put them in this envelope and covered it with these beautiful representations of  the four of us. And also quotes.


So as if we weren't tipsy enough, we asked for shots. Kelly made a "Hot Load" and yes, inappropriate conversation ensued....


We were not pleased so we asked for another...we got these. DELICIOUS.


Before we left, we felt the need to demonstrate the effect of imbibing so many of Elephants' excellent drinks. A woman walking by was quite disturbed. We thought it was cute...Seconds after taking this, Kelly and Steve chased poor Katie with a broom and spray bottle. Lesson learned, never pass out on the steps of Elephants.


Definitely thought we were funny. Also, another example of Kelly's superb photography skills.


Then we went home, ate tasty homemade gyros, changed, and headed to Gypsy to share a bowl drink.

Don't worry. We couldn't finish it. We actually couldn't even start it (it was that bad). So we gave it away and headed elsewhere...


to do tequila shots.


Cheers! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Boston Restaurant: Picco

Posted by Katie

What: Picco
Where: 513 Tremont St.
Honeys Heart: Homemade ice cream sundaes and root beer floats

Remember how I'm obsessed with the South End? Well, that love affair started a few months back when I was doing some research for work, research that required me to drag Anna (my tour guide) all over the South End on a super hot summer afternoon. 

By the time I was finished, we were both in need of a little something to help us cool down, and some homemade ice cream from Picco seemed just the thing.

Picco offers a rotating menu of homemade ice creams with flavors like vanilla, caramel swirl, coconut chip, banana PB swirl, cinnamon, honey, and raspberry chip, as well as a number of fresh sorbets like dark chocolate and lemon raspberry.

Anna tried the "Adult" Ice Cream Soda ($11) made with your choice of Belgium Lambic (Anna got strawberry)  poured over Picco's vanilla ice cream.


I have always enjoyed root beer floats so I ordered the Brown Cow ($5.50) made with Capt'n Eli's root beer and Picco's vanilla ice cream. The vanilla ice cream was rich and flavorful on its own, and the addition of Capt'n Eli's made the float one of the best I've ever had. 

In fact, I enjoyed my trip to Picco so much that I made sure to bring my family there for dessert when they were visiting. My dad and sister are big ice cream lovers too so I knew they would appreciate Picco's homemade flavors.

True to form, I ordered what I knew I liked and once again went with the Brown Cow. 

My mom and sister both opted for the Sundae ($5) with vanilla ice cream, Scharffen Berger hot fudge, and homemade whipped cream. So decadent!


My dad decided to go big and get the Dark Chocolate Brownie Sundae ($7) with malted chocolate chip ice cream, chunks of brownies, and hot fudge.


The malted chocolate chip ice cream was so delicious! Too bad Picco insists on constantly changing up its flavors so there's no guarantee that malted chocolate chip will be on the menu the next time I go. At least they post their daily flavors on their website so I can check what's available before I make the long trek out there! Here's to hoping that they'll open another location in the Brookline area in the very near future...

I should also probably mention that Picco does more than just ice cream. They are also known for their artisan pizzas. I've never had one, but they looked and smelled delicious. Very reminiscent of the tasty pizzas at San Jose's own Pizza Antica. Hopefully I'll be able to find out whether or not that comparison holds up soon.

and one last thing...

ATTN: FELLOW ICE CREAM LOVERS

Picco is participating in Boston's 2nd Annual Ice Cream Showdown this weekend (Aug 21 & 22)! The Showdown will pit Picco against the likes of J.P. Licks, Stonyfield, Chilly Cow Custard, Christina's, Toscanini's, and b.good. The Showdown will take place in Union Square in Somerville on Saturday from 2-4pm and at the SoWa Market in the South End on Sunday from 2-4pm. You can get your $8 tickets here or at the door. According to Picco's site, "a large portion of ticket sales will be going to local charities including Lovin' SpoonfulShare our StrengthSomerville Local FirstArts Union, and Community Servings."

See you there!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Plymouth Bakery: Cupcake Charlie's

posted by Katie

What: Cupcake Charlie's
Where: Plymouth Waterfront

So maybe you've heard of a show called Cupcake Wars? I've only seen it once but I'm pretty sure my mom and sister have seen every episode, which makes sense because a) Food Network is on all the time at my house and b) they are both obsessed with cupcakes.

When my family was planning their trip to Boston, we decided that it would be fun to go to Plymouth, MA for a day. I was doing some research about the town while talking to my mom on the phone when I happened to mention that there was a bakery called Cupcake Charlie's in Plymouth. "CUPCAKE CHARLIE'S!!! They were on Cupcake Wars!" And so obviously we had to go...and Shannon and Anna came along for the fun.


Cupcakes from Cupcake Wars


 Orange Dreamsicle 
orange zest cake with orange buttercream frosting

 Chocolate Raspberry Surprise 
chocolate cake filled with raspberry chocolate ganache and topped with raspberry buttercream frosting

Rockin' Red Velvet 
with cream cheese frosting

Lemon Drop 
lemon infused cake with lemon pastry filling and topped with lemon buttercream frosting

 Charlie's Chocolate Chip 
vanilla chocolate chip cake topped with vanilla buttercream frosting

Oreo Delight 
chocolate cake with cream filling and oreo buttercream frosting

I was pleasantly surprised that Cupcake Charlie's had so many choices and everyone seemed to enjoy their selections...except for me. I was lured into ordering Grammy's Carrot Cake (not pictured here) due to the name as we called my grandmother Grammy and I thought it was cute. The cute name, however, prevented me from conducting a close inspection of the cupcakes in the display case, which meant that I did not notice that there was coconut sprinkled all over the cupcake's cream cheese frosting. I absolutely despise coconut, so the fact that Grammy's was full of the stuff made it nearly inedible for me.

I sampled everyone else's cupcakes though, and can happily report that Charlie's Cupcakes are, unlike some other cupcakes I've had (ahem, Sprinkles in Palo Alto), moist and delicious and I would certainly not be opposed to another stop at Charlie's if I'm ever in Plymouth again.