Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Portland Happy Hour: Limo

Posted by Kelly
What: Limo Peruvian Restaurant
Where: 2340 NW Westover Rd
Honey's Heart: Sangria!

Every time I would go to my fav pet store on NW Westover I would walk by Limo and say "I want to try that sometime soon" and I never made it happen, but during a recent gmail chat convo with my friend Erika I discovered that she had been there and was a big fan of the sangria. We made a plan to go to happy hour and I'm so glad we did.

Of course we started with the sangria. So refreshing.

We looked over the happy hour menu and decided that it all looked good, so we chose to order a couple items and share. The classic mixed ceviche ($7) was an obvious choice. The fish mixed with octopus, calamari, shrimp, and limo chili pepper was incredible. I love seafood, and the citrus made it perfect.

Next was the fried potatoes ($4) with a yellow sauce. Yep, that's all I know about it. It was yellow and it was tasty.

Erika and I are both asparagus fans so we decided to include an order of the asparagus sprinkled with feta ($4). I like to cook asparagus at home and for some reason I had never thought to sprinkle with feta cheese. It is so good, and definitely a simple thing to make on my own! 

Our last dish was supposed to be the mussels ($4), but our waitress thought I said mushrooms and since they looked so delicious we ended up keeping them and getting the mussels. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly and the sauce was incredible. The mussels (which we forgot to photograph) were also amazing, topped with a mixture of chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and Peruvian corn (yum) with cancha corn.

Though we were happy with our food selection, we were need of another drink. Since Erika had never been to Elephants I thought it was probably my responsibility to introduce her to the unsuspectingly delicious drinks at this deli. She might look a little afraid of her "Wrong Island" in this photo, but she was really loving it!

DIY Happy Hour: Felix Felicis Potion aka Citrus & Ginger Punch

Posted by Katie

No interest in Harry Potter? Scroll down for the recipe...

If you know me outside of this blog, you know that I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan. We probably don't need to get into the details (which may or may not include a Harry wig) but it should come as no surprise to you that I am very excited for tomorrow's midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part One

Lauren is a huge HP fangirl too, so when we were reunited this past weekend, we decided to make up for the fact that we won't be seeing film #7 together by throwing a viewing party for film #6.

Lauren whipped up some delicious pumpkin pasties (pumpkin whoopie pies in our muggle world) to serve in addition to our dragon scales (yellow and blue tortilla chips) and troll boogies (guac). And then she set up this impressive candle-lit spread:

I put myself in charge of beverages and decided that a cauldron of Felix Felicis potion would be quite appropriate for the occasion.

Since the potion needed to be gold, the "Bourbon Ginger Snap" punch recipe I poached from my mom's December issue of Real Simple seemed like the perfect choice. Also, I'm obsessed with ginger drinks right now...

Here's the recipe:

Citrus & Ginger Punch 

Real Simple calls this "Bourbon Ginger Snap" punch. The bourbon part is good but I think the term "gingersnap" is misleading. There's nothing sugary about this punch and really, citrus is the dominate flavor, not ginger. That's why I'm calling it "Citrus & Ginger Punch". Also, don't be scared about the bourbon. I'm a gin and vodka girl through and through but I could handle the bourbon just fine.

Also, the recipe from Real Simple was for 20. We were only serving 6 so I halved the recipe. Go ahead and double it if you need too. 

Ok, let's get to it.

What You'll Need: 
- 1/2 liter Bourbon
- Fresh ginger
- 2 lemons
- 6 oranges (or orange juice if you don't have juicer handy)
- Honey
- 2 cans of Kerns pear nectar (or peach or whatever you can find)
- Water
- Ice

Step 1: Peel and slice 3 inches of fresh ginger.
Use the back of a spoon. Really, it works.

(Those are Nick's man-hands not my lady ones, just fyi.)

Step 3: Juice the lemons. You'll need 1/2 cup. 

Step 2: Heat sliced ginger, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup honey, and 1 quart of water.
In a large saucepan, bring the above ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Strain ginger/lemon/honey mixture. Let cool.

Step 4: Juice the oranges. You'll need 3 cups.

Step 5: Combine cooled ginger/lemon/honey mixture with 3 cups of orange juice, 2 cups pear nectar, and 1/2 liter of bourbon. 

Step 6: Serve over ice.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Boston Restaurant: Myers + Chang

Posted by Katie

What: Myers + Chang
Where: 1145 Washington St in the South End
Honeys Heart: Pork Belly Buns

For Kel's last night in Boston, we decided that we should try someplace new to both of us. We considered making our way out to Cambridge, but we were on a bit of a tight schedule so we ended up choosing the South End.

I am so tired of American cuisine, so Myers + Chang's fusion of "Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese specialties" sounded perfect.

Since it was a Saturday night and we didn't have reservations, we were in for a bit of a wait. To help pass the time, we decided to order some drinks and an appetizer at the bar.

Myers + Chang's cocktail menu has a number of innovative Asian-inspired drinks, some of which use saki and soju, a distilled liquor similar to vodka, in the place of more familiar spirits like tequila and rum.

Kel and I tried the St. Shar Pei made from soju, sake, St. Germain, green chartreuse, and grapefruit. We went for the cafare ($25) which holds about 3 cocktails.

Nothing sweet about this cocktail, but we liked this fresh take on a greyhound just fine.

For our appetizer, we ordered the Braised Pork Belly Buns ($9) with bao, brandy hoisin, and house pickles.

Just thinking about that brandy hoisin sauce makes my mouth water. It was so flavorful with the perfect amount of saltiness. And then the pork belly. Kel's East Coast trip was the first time either of us tried it and these buns just reinforced what we learned when we ordered pork belly in Brooklyn the weekend before: it's heavenly.

Once we were seated, it was time to make some more decisions. Everything on the menu looked so good, so we turned to our friendly waitress for advice.

She said that the Beef and Broccoli Chow Fun ($15) with coulotte steak and fresh rice noodles is a customer favorite...

...and we could see why. This was our second favorite dish of the night. We loved the thick chow fun noodles and the beef and broccoli had a great, if traditional, flavor.

We also tried Mama Chang's Pork and Chive Potstickers ($11).

These were nice and crispy, but we both agreed we wouldn't be opposed to nixing them to try a different dish the next time around.

Our final dish was the Asian-Braised Soft Tacos ($13) with pear, radish, and chili-sesame salsa.

We liked the idea of Asian tacos but unfortunately, they were a miss for us. I didn't like the favor of the meat and the tacos were pretty messy as the juices made the tortillas soggy and nearly impossible to eat with our hands. Oh well. 4 out of 5 ain't bad.

I should also mention that the service was amazing. The hostess chatted with us about cocktails and our waitress wasn't shy about sharing her preferences, which we appreciated.

We also liked the atmosphere of the restaurant. It was funky and fun without a drop of pretension, which can be hard to find in the South End. 

I'm already thinking about what restaurants to bring my family to in May when they visit for my graduation, and Myers + Chang now holds a place on that list. So glad we tried something new!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Boston Restaurant: Jacky's Table

Posted by Katie

What: Jacky's Table
Where: 1414 Commomwealth Ave in Brighton

Oh, Jacky's Table. I so wanted to like you.

When I found out Zocalo was closing, I wasn't surprised  (I don't think I've ever had worse Mexican food at that price), and when I saw a sign announcing that a little French bistro was opening in its place, I was overjoyed. Just thinking of the delicious French pastries and tasty Croque Monsieurs you would serve me made my mouth water.

Then we actually met. And it was awkward.

The first time I walked in your doors, I was totally thrown off by the stuffy feeling of the place. Your sparsely decorated dining room might read elegance in another part of town, but here in Allston/Brighton, it's just boring and pretentious. And that music, ugh. Did you borrow that play list from my eighty-six-year-old great aunt? If you want, I can burn you a mix of fun French pop. Even if you don't play it in the dining room, it might work well at the bar. You know, just to give things a little flavor...

I do have to admit that the desserts that the roomie, Kate, and I sampled during my first visit were pretty good. But the stiff formalness of your dining room and our always-absent waitress managed to drain our outing of any enjoyment. Disappointing.

But I wanted to give you another chance, so when Kel was visiting last weekend, we decided to pop in to your bar for a quick dinner after my dance class.

I can see that you're trying, what with the Foosball table by the window and your attempt at "cheap bar food" in the form of the $10 cheese or chocolate fondue. But when this is what we get...'s hard to be impressed.

$10 for a small pot of amazingly humdrum cheese fondue (that the bartender warned us tasted "kind of chocolaty"...what?) and literally 15 small croutons.

Granted, we were given more bread. But the bartender nearly threw it at us, so it almost doesn't count.

So, what am I trying to say to you, Jacky?

I know it's not your fault that you're not living up to the funky French bistro I wanted you to be. And I still have yet to try your Croque Monsieur, so maybe that will be a redeeming point. But, to be perfectly honest, I miss the days when I would walk by your windows to check out your fresh coat of paint or inspect your new awning. It was so much fun to watch your progress and await your opening.

I guess we'll always have those special spring days, back before you opened your doors. I just wish things had turned out differently.

I guess, at the very least, you're better than Zocalo...right?