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The Ground Meat Blues.

I’m so depressed. And it’s not because in my last yoga class the teacher called me out like fifteen times for not doing the correct move and was like, “no, no, do your antelope pose with your knee here Caroline!” and then tried to move my knee the five inches herself, which wouldn’t budge, and then we were just staring at each other in sadness for awhile and it was awkward. No, what makes me sad is the fact that I just went through a slideshow of the ten greatest burgers in Boston on Boston.com, and I’ve only had ONE of them! (And it was like five years ago!) How IS THIS POSSIBLE??? (And why are half of them fifty bucks??)

But man, do I love me some burgers. And, honestly, besides communists and vegetarians, who doesn’t? Burgers are so perfect. They’re summer. They’re ketchup. They look hot when they hook up with cheese. Sometimes I lay awake at night debating my true happy place: is it really good pizza and a Diet Coke, or a really good cheeseburger and a Diet Coke? So much tossing and turning, and I still haven’t figured it out. But it’s like, Leo? Or Tom Brady? THEY’RE DIFFERENT THINGS OKAY.

Like most people, I grew up going to sketchy fast-food places as a treat. My mom would take us a few times a month after soccer practice if we begged hard enough—mmm, shin guards and Big Macs—and my father would take my brother and me about four times in the span of two days, aka whenever we were with him on the weekends and he had to feed us. (For years most of my friends were happy meal toys.) So it’s interesting now how McDonald’s is Starbucking itself and most likely going to be a very different type of fast food place in the future. I can imagine that when I have kids one day (scaaa-reeey), and I’m taking them to Mickey D’s in order to bribe them, I’ll be like “you fools, once these places were underground and RAW and homeless people slept in the plastic booths—you know nothing!”)

But back to that glorious slideshow of local eats. It made me hungry, and it made me very mad at my tunafish sandwich today. I want to try some of these burgers. Excluding the super-expensive ones, does anyone have some suggestions? (Is anyone alive out there? CAN-YOU-HEAR-ME. Yes, I love Titanic..and comments…) Anyhow, the Eagle’s Deli photo scares me a lot, but I think I may have to check out Wild Willy’s Burger and Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage soon, based off of those amazing restaurant names alone. Yep, I’m going to eat my way through that list this summer. And maybe I just will have to make it over to that Craigie on Main, plop down twenty bucks, and see what all the fuss is about.

x0

(And happy teeny-tiny burst of sunshine—as my dad’s german ex-girlfriend would always say, “Thanks Gods for it!”)

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Feels like Friday.

The OptimistFreak, giggling in front of le Barking Crab. Those red and yellow stripes always put me in a good mood—means summer is here.

My roommates are both beautiful, right? (And clearly they have a thing for cute shoes.) Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful day. Go Celtics!

x0

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Holy Home-made Oreo.

Last night, I went to a see a musical at The Boston Conservatory called “Baby.” (Free shows in Boston performed by really talented people: hidden gem alert!!) My co-worker, Ansley, is a student there, and she was one of the leads in “Baby.” And, surprise, she was totally fantastic, as was the whole cast. (Ansley has a Disney princess voice, and really blue eyes, and I may now have to ask her to sing me to sleep doing all the “Little Mermaid” songs one night.) However, shockingly enough, the show titled “Baby” was about having babies—or trying and not being able to: GAH—and it was REALLY TERRIFYING AT TIMES. (It’s one thing to see a “deep” play that freaks you out about this stuff, or just something really scary and depressing in general,but when people are singing and dancing and snapping in your face about it, you’re like woah woah woah whatever happened to taking a load off at night and seeing something totally mindless like “Macbeth”?) And yet, the show was great, and everything worked out perfectly in the end. (Duh.) I definitely look forward to seeing more shows at BoCo, and encourage you to venture on over there as well.

AND THEN, the night got even better. When I got home from the theatuh with OptimistFreak, my other roommate Mike Tomlin (seen below)

had left the following note on our kitchen-counter: “Left over from my co-workers baby shower: home-made Oreos from Flour bakery.”

(They’re so beautiful, right?)

We had to eat them right away, even with our coats still on. And it was pretty life-changing, I’m not going to lie. Yes, I know everyone and their mother already knows that Joanne Chang is the cat’s pajamas and puts crack in all her baked-goods and FLOUR is the greatest place on earth and she makes all Bostonians super proud with her national success, but somehow I had yet to ever taste any of her food…And OH MY GOD those oreos were the greatest things I’ve ever had. (EVER—I was practically crying in a ball on my kitchen floor as I swallowed my last bite.) I can not wait to go to FLOUR soon. (Meaning today.) (But to which location?? And what should I wear???). I will battle off the heathen crowds banging at the door, eat a gourmet sandwich and a pile of cookies, and make like everyone else in the world as I take iPhone pictures of everything in site. Sounds glorious, right?

(I am so thankful Mike Tomlin is a good sharer, and also that her co-worker got pregnant and had a shower. Yay for “Baby” and babies!)

Happy Tuesday

xo

(Photo of life-changing oreos from penandfork.com)

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Coolidge Corner My Soul

Tomorrow is my roommate OptimistFreak’s twenty-fifth birthday. As this is an important milestone for her, and because she is a huge ham, we have turned the entire week into a her-themed celebration, which has been really nice, actually. (I feel like I have a very full calendar for the next few days, as opposed to my usual plans of: go home, eat Annie’s with some peas added to avoid contracting scurvy, pretend to read new non-ficition book about Iraq War, pass out.) And to get things rolling before the floats parade through the city this weekend, I took OF out to for an early birthday lunch yesterday, at The Regal Beagle, in Brookline.

This place has been around for over a year now, but I just heard about it recently from my boss and friend (is that allowed?) Sheila, who gave it a glowing recommendation and told me that their grilled cheese and soup combo was the best she’d ever had, and that the place was really cute, too. (It was a pretty easy sell. I was practically running down Beacon Street the moment she whispered, “huge grilled cheese” at me.) Also, Sheila reminds me of an Iranian Sophia Loren, dresses in a palette of dusty pinks and greys, and generally makes me sort of ga-ga with her amazing hair and ballet flat/boyfriend-jean collection, so I pretty much would do anything she told me to.

Sure enough, the Beags did not disappoint. IT WAS HA-MAZING, and the kind of place I wish Boston had more of: really, really good food, great atmosphere, wonderful service, and a not terribly expensive menu. For example, the appetizer that we split—bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola cheese—was only five dollars. (FIVE DOLLAHS!) I mean, sure, it wasn’t huge, but it had, like, seven levels of THIS IS GOOD enjoyment, and did I mention that the dates were wrapped in bacon and then stuffed with gorgonzola cheese? Worth the trip alone right there. The decor was also very charming, I thought, if not a little too much in-your-face hipsterish, though hipster gastro-pub is simply how the cookie crumbles these days, and I not-so secretly like all that stuff. If the food is as good as it is here, give me all the dark-wood accents and interesting wallpaper and ironic touches that a girl can get!

But back to the food: for our meal, OptimistFreak and I really branched out: we both got the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. The grilled cheese was giant as promised, and made with carmalized onions and grainy fancy mustard; the soup was creamy and full of flavor. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of our meal until it was all over—clearly I was not meant to write a food blog…

So, yeah, the Beags rocked. I can’t wait to go back for dinner in a bit and try something new. And not to sound like a cheerleader on speed or anything, but I totally love Coolidge Corner!!!! I mean, SIGN ME UP!!! I want to be in that hood one day: you got a huge Trader Joe’s that sells wine (boo the one on Boylston), the Coolidge Corner Cinema, the Brookline Booksmith (top ten greatest places on earth), and now this place? All adds up to a very wonderful part of our city, indeed.

Happy Birthday to my roommate, who is beautiful inside and out!

xo

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False Alarm.

I was in Cambridge yesterday, scouting banks to rob, and I got hungry. I decided to go to Crema Cafe. I’ve been there before. Is it not the best? It is. (Also: do you not love the amazing Bostonian fashion that is going on in this photo? Or the huge snow piles reflected in the window? Talk about February perfection.)

But when I got inside Crema there was a UGE line (go figure), and it looked like no where to sit, on either level. Plus, everyone who is eating or latte-ing in Crema always appears to me to be a professor of some type, and/or an eighteen-year-old genius, and it’s very disheartening at times—all that tweed, and the scarves; and open books on top of open books on top of sketch-pads. (So much high-lighting; so much talk about current events; so many lap-tops.) But I was craving tomato soup and a grilled cheese, and I figured I’d sit on the floor if I had to. But then I didn’t move in line, and I stared over-heating in my seven layers. Then I remembered I have no money. So I got back on the lovely T, went home, and ate a tuna sandwich.

I shall attempt to go again soon.

Happy Boston Thursday.

xoxo
Claire

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Le Back Bay Social Club.

I met my good friend Maria Sharapova for lunch yesterday. (No, not that one. Maria Sharapova is my friend’s blog code name; I call her this because she is a) sick at tennis and b) super hot.) Maria and I decided to check out The Back Bay Social Club, on Boylston, for food. I’m not sure if this place is cool or not, or the best decision for my first entry on Beantown food spots; essentially, my decision to try it out was based on it looking vaguely French inside, and the fact that there wasn’t grey ice-slush piled up by the booths. In February, those are pretty much my standards. For anything.

(Maria!)

I’ve known Maria Sharapova since I was fifteen, so lunch was going to be enjoyable no matter what; lots of old stories to re-hash and stupid stuff to gossip about. And despite the raging head cold I’ve got going on—it sort of feels like that creepy monkey from Toy Story 3 is playing the cymbals in my nasal passages 24/7—we had a great time. Back Bay Social Club has a wonderful vibe to it: it’s huge and well-lit, and if you’re into the brassiere eco-food rustic thing, which I am an admitted sucker for, it’s pretty much heaven. Unfortunately, my food wasn’t that great. Fortunately, for anyone that likes this place and/or wants to try it out, this was probably my fault.

You see, I love BLT’s. I LOVE THEM. They’re my go-to order choice in any dining situation, whether fancy or low-key, and I often have erotic dreams about them. But for some reason when I ordered at BBSC, I decided to betray myself. I by-passed what looked like their very delicious version of the American classic, and instead went with their slow-cooked pork sandwich, and the soup of the day. The soup of the day was very yummy (split pea), though not hot enough if we’re going to be super honest—whaaaat I can’t like my soup hot??? Sorrrrry—but the sandwich….um….I’m sure it was a great slow-cooked pork sandwich, but turns out, I don’t really like slow-cooked pork. At all. I hate it. Somehow in my deranged state I must have thought for a second I was at a BBQ joint in Memphis and ordering a pulled-pork sandwich in BBQ sauce (which I LURVE), but, alas, this was not the case, and my taste buds suffered. The pork in my sandwich reminded me of the steak in philly cheese steak sandwiches, and that ‘ish grosses me out. I freakin’ love steak, but that kind of “steak” is so smelly and greasy and odd-looking…I mean, no wonder Flyers fans are so mean. Wah wah wah; I’m an bad-ordering idiot, and I was totally lusting over Maria’s Ham melt the whole time. (Which she thoroughly enjoyed, I will add.) That being said, the bread my sandwich came on was de-lish, as were the adorable and scrumptious FRIES IN A BOX that it came with. Good fries in ketchup solve all the world’s problems.

So even though my food was sub-par and smelly, I would totally go back again. It seems like the perfect place to wear black tights and maybe shoes that hurt your feet a little, and order a cocktail, or a beer and their burger and pretend their isn’t a Dunkin Donuts right near-by. I’m such a sucker for red leather booths and black and white floors and big mirrors with specials written on them. Chocolate Raspberry Martini, YES PLEASE!

Hugs and kisses,

Claire

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