Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar

For our one year married anniversary we decided stay close to home and give the Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar a try. We have walked by this restaurant dozens of times and every time we tell ourselves we have to get a group of ten together to try their pig roast. This time around it was just us two but we have made it our goal to someday try their family style pig roast! 

We sat at their packed, u-shaped bar while waiting for a table and were served in five minutes. Our table was ready in about fifteen minutes, twenty minutes sooner than expected! The drinks at the Citizen Public House were right on point. Our favorite was the Fedora Branca made with Brugal Rum, Branca Menta, Meletti Chocolate, and cream. We have had Brugal rum in the Dominican Republic and this is the first time we have seen it in the states. This drink is the perfect dessert! It is sweet and tastes just like an Andes Mint. Delicious! 

Fedora Branca 
To start we decided to order a few snacks. First, came the Spicy Fried Pickles with a Buttermilk Sauce. As far as fried pickles go these were rather good! They were not greasy and had a nice crunch. We detected what we think was a strong paprika flavor which paired well with the creamy buttermilk sauce. 

Spicy Fried Pickles with a Buttermilk Sauce 

Next, we had their Crack Fried with a Beef Demi and Blue Cheese Sauce on the side. These fries were perfectly cooked, the beef demi was creamy and full of beef flavor. The portion was very generous for a snack and the flavors were explosive!

Crack Fries 

Following was the best dish of the night! The Skillet Smoked Mussels served with clarified butter and lime. These mussels were a revelation! They were perfectly smoked which gave them a very meaty flavor. This is a must have dish when dinning at the Citizen Public House. 

Skillet Smoked Mussels 

We are pork lovers and when we saw the Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly on the menu we had to order it. Served with honey crisp apple sauce this dish was a modern twist on the classic pork chop and apple sauce combination. The pork belly was melt in you mouth good! However, when eaten with the rest of the components on the dish, the flavors fell a little flat. It was not bad but it was not wow either.

Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly 

Last but not least, we ordered the Citizen Public House's Crispy Duck Cassoulet with smoked sausage, white beans, bacon, and cranberries. This dish could have benefited if the smoked sausage was diced and cooked with the white beans and bacon; it overpowered the duck when eaten together. The flavor of the duck confit was absolutely amazing! However, we were expecting crispy and we got none. The skin of the duck, although perfectly browned, was soggy, which was a little disappointing. Overall this was flavorful dish and with a little tweaking it has the potential of to be stunning. 

Crispy Duck Cassoulet 

We had a great time dining at the Citizen Public House! This is the perfect restaurant for groups of friends looking for a good time! They only take reservations for parties of six or more and offer validated parking at $4 for under three hours at the 1330 Boylston parking garage. The service was great, the food was tasty, and the drinks were powerful...what more can you ask for? 

For more information on the Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar visit http://www.citizenpub.com

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

DoorDash Food Delivery

A few weeks ago a new food delivery company in Boston called DoorDash sent us a gift card and asked us to try their service. We decided to give DoorDash a try given that they deliver food from some of our favorite restaurants like the Chili Duck and Vejigantes, which do not deliver to our area. DoorDash does not make food they simply pick it up and deliver it. 

We were impressed with DoorDash's punctuality. We ordered from the Chili Duck at around 7:00pm on a Tuesday and our order arrived three minutes before their estimated arrival time of 7:55pm. Our food was delivered by a uniformed driver in a DoorDash bag. DoorDash does charge a standard $7.00 delivery fee which we found to be a bit steep. 

DoorDash is offering our readers a free delivery when they use the code BosFoodLoveDD, which will be valid for the next few weeks. Go to doordash.com/redeem to redeem the code. We will in no way profit from our readers using this code. 

We would prefer to eat directly at the restaurant. However, on a rainy day we could see ourselves giving DoorDash another try. 

For more information on DoorDash visit https://www.doordash.com

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Back Bay Social Club

Last Saturday before heading over to watch the Lion King at the Boston Opera House we went to the Back Bay Social Club for dinner. We have heard of their burger from multiple sources, most of which call it one of the best burgers in Boston. We though we would decide for ourselves. 

We were in a good mood and ordered a couple sangrias. The White Peach Sangria was light and refreshing. It would be the perfect drink for when dinning al fresco during a hot summer day. The Pomegranate Red Sangria was packed full of pomegranate flavor. The Back Bay Social Club does not serve watered down drinks. These sangrias packed a punch! 

Pomegranate Red and White Peach Sangrias 

To start our meal we had Back Bay Social Club's Rhode Island style Calamari with sweet cherry peppers and garlic butter. This calamari was absolutely delicious! The real piece of resistance was the crispy piece of bread sitting below the calamari. It was soaked with the garlic butter and had an almost bacon like flavor. This dish is not for those out there counting calories. It is fried, fatty, buttery, and mouth watering! 

Rhode Island style Calamari 

Next came the Meat Candy which is composed of kielbasa, brown sugar, and pineapple. This dish surprised us, we were expecting crunchy and instead got mushy deliciousness! This dish achieves the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The brown sugar sauce was finger liking good. The kielbasa was well made and cooked correctly. The name alone on this dish is tempting and the flavors are addictive! 

Meat Candy 

Our first entree was the Brisket which is smoked in barbecue sauce and served with creamy mac n' cheese and broccolini. Our only issue with this dish would be the clunky plating which could use some refinement. The brisket was a little on the though side however it had good barbecue flavor. The mac n' cheese was enjoyable, especially the homemade creamy cheese sauce. Surprisingly the star of this dish was the broccolini. It added a much needed crunch to the dish and the lemon sauce topping it was exquisite! 

Brisket with Mac N' Cheese and Broccolini 

Last but not least we had the much talked about Social Burger topped with caramelized onions and sharp cheddar. This $22 burger is as straightforward as a burger could possibly be. The lightly seasoned beef was the star and the burger was cooked to a perfect medium. We would place the Social Burger on our top 5 of best burgers in Boston. 

The Social Burger 

We loved the sophisticated yet laid back atmosphere at the Back Bay Social Club. We would recommend the Back Bay Social club to large groups looking for a higher end restaurant with superv service and great food! 

For more information on the Back Bay Social Club please visit http://www.backbaysocialclub.com

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

La Galleria 33

Tonight we made the unfortunate decision of dinning at La Galleria 33 located in Boston's North End.  Usually, when we dine at a restaurant our experience ends when we walk out the door. La Galleria 33 decided to extend our visit by calling us at 10:25pm to argue with us about a minor complaint...here is the full story...

We made a reservation at La Galleria 33 for 7:30pm through OpenTable and were very impressed when one of the owners, who was serving as the hostess, agreed to seat us early. We had been walking around Boston all day and were starving so we arrived at around 7:05pm. Our waiter came over quickly and took our drink order, two Sprites. We are not wine drinkers and therefore decided to stick to soda. 

Throughout the course of our meal we ordered 3 refills on our sodas. We were never told that we were being charged for each and every refill. At the end of our meal when our check arrived we were surprised to see the $10 charge for 5 sodas. Therefore, we spoke to our waiter who proceeded to tell us that, that was a standard restaurant practice. We decided not to argue, we did not call the manager or speak to anyone else, payed the check, and walked out.

Our check at La Galleria 33

 About 2 hours later, at 10:25pm, we received a phone call from the restaurant, from someone allegedly named Rita, arguing about our complaint. After loudly telling us that we were wrong and that she did not understand the nature of our complaint the woman on the phone called us "a pair of cunts" and hung up. Before hanging up she challenged us to find one restaurant in the North End who did not charge for soda refills...we called around and found 3 restaurants located just a few blocks away from La Galleria 33 who readily told us "no, we do not charge for soda refills."

5 beer glasses in which our sodas were served at La Galleria 33

We were feeling very insulted and called the restaurant back to tell the woman of our findings. She proceeded to yell some more. We hung up. She called us about 3 more times. We did not pick up. On the phone she said she would call Boston.com and complain about us. We would like to make one thing clear, we are in NO WAY affiliated with Boston.com. Boston Food and Love is an independent blog simply used to practice our right, as Americans, to freedom of speech. We ask that the owners and/or staff of La Galleria 33 not contact us again. 

Now we would like to leave La Galleria 33's childish, disrespectful, insulting behavior behind and speak about what really matters...their food.

To start our meal we received a basket of bread. The bread was deliciously fresh, perfect for soaking up traditional Italian sauces. Along with the bread came a tasteless hummus like spread. We decided to have more of the bread with our meal but passed on its oily accompaniment.

Bread Basket with Hummus Like Spread 

As our first appetizer we had La Galleria 33's Crispy Calamari topped with a lemon aioli and Italian parsley. The lemon aioli was the star of this dish! Its assertive citrous flavor balanced perfectly against the slightly chewy fried calamari pieces. 

Crispy Calamari

Our second appetizer at La Galleria 33 were the Arancini. These rice fritters were made well. The tomato sauce accompanying this dish was the best bite we had all night. The sauce was light and fresh. We added a bit of salt to the Arancini, which improved their flavor. 


Our first entree was the Veal Piemontese which consists of breaded veal stuffed with prosciutto, fontina cheese, and spinach topped with a mushroom sauce. This dish had an unpleasant burnt aftertaste. The mushroom sauce was lacking in mushrooms and the fontina cheese was almost undetectable. The ziti pasta that accompanied this dish was mediocre at best. Overall, this was a flavorless dish. 

Veal Piemontese

Ziti accompanying the Veal Piemontese 

Last but not least, at the suggestion of our waiter, we had La Galleria 33's Baked Gnocchi with smoked mozzarella cheese. The gnocchi were severely overcooked. They stuck to the roof of our mouths as we ate them, they were very gummy. The tomato sauce could have benefited from a few pinches of salt. As a whole, this dish was a disappointment. 

Baked Gnocchi 

We suggest having a few glasses of wine when dinning at La Galleria 33, maybe then your palate will be able to ignore their lackluster food. Needless to say we would not recommend dining at La Galleria 33.

UPDATE: At around noon on September 21st we received two other phone calls from Rita at La Galleria 33. She saw our latest Twitter post of homemade blueberry muffins and called to say "unsweetened apple sauce you fat bitch after you had 5 sodas last night." We have blocked La Galleria 33 from all of our social media cites and would like to ask its owners and/or staff to please stop harassing us. 

For more information on La Galleria 33 please visit http://lagalleria33.com

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vejigantes - Revisited

Nestled in Boston's South End Vejigantes serves traditional Puerto Rican food at its best. Everything from the restaurant's decor to the music playing over the speakers reminds of the Caribbean island. This is our second time visiting Vejigantes and we were once again delighted with the flavor of their food. 

To start we ordered the Tostones con Salmorejo de Jueyes or fried green plantains topped with crab meat stew. This dish could have benefited from an extra pinch of salt. Apart from that, the flavor was great! The crab was soaked in the tomato based sauce and had a chicken like consistency. 

Tostones con Salmorejo de Jueyes

Tostones con Salmorejo de Jueyes

Next came the Bacalaitos or cod fish fritters. These traditional fritters were a bit greasy but the flavor definitely compensated for that! They were not overly fishy and very crunchy!


James decided to order one of the more original dishes on the menu, unfortunately we do not remember the exact name of this dish and it is not listed on Vejigantes' online menu. The dish consisted of chorizo stuffed inside chicken breast with a creole sauce. This dish was not very memorable. Its flavors were improved with a bit of Vejigantes' house hot sauce and salt.

Aida stuck to the classics and ordered the Mofongo Tradicional de Plátano or Traditional Fried Plantains with pork. This dish is served with a delicious side of chicken broth. Vejigantes makes a great mofongo! This savory dish is taken over-the-top with crunchy bits of pork skin mixed inside. Delicious! 

Mofongo Tradicional de Plátano 

Last but not least we ordered the Cheese Flan. Its texture was firmer than other flans we've had in the past. However it had a great, mildly cheesy flavor! A good ending to our meal! 

Cheese Flan

We are lucky to have Vejigantes in Boston. They serve solid Puerto Rican food in a fun atmosphere. This is a great place in Boston's South End! 

To read our previous review of Vejigantes visit http://www.bostonfoodandlove.com/2012/11/vejigantes-restaurant.html

For more information on Vejigantes visit http://www.vejigantesrestaurant.com

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Union Square Donuts

We have been hearing of Union Square Donuts for a while now. We follow them on Twitter and every time they post a new photo our mouths water. A few days ago we were heading over to the Somerville area to fix an issue with our cable company and decided to take advantage of our location. We finally paid Union Square Donuts an official visit, we had their donuts at SoWa Open Market last year. 

Union Square Donut's Shop Display Case

Union Square Donuts

We tried four of their huge, delightfully airy, fluffy donuts!

  • The Creamsicle Donut (top right) was full of orange flavor, thanks to the visible orange zest in the glaze.
  • The Sea Salted Bourbon Caramel (bottom right) had a very mild flavor, however the bourbon definitely came trough the specks of salt. 
  • The Chocolate Marble (top left) was extremely rich topped with dark chocolate and still hot from the frier! Yum! We usually prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate and therefore this donut left us craving just a hint of sugar. If you are a dark chocolate person you will love this donut! 
  • The Maple Bacon (bottom left) was our favorite donut of the day! The bacon was perfectly crunchy and added a nice hint of salt against the sweet maple glaze. This is an indulgent, delicious, creative, addictive donut! 

Union Square Donuts delivers delicious donuts! The price tag of about $3 per donut is justifiable given the humungous size of their product. We are Union Square Donuts fans and will definitely be coming back! 

For more information on Union Square Donuts visit http://unionsquaredonuts.com

Union Square Donuts on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 4, 2014

Besito Mexican - Burlington, MA

In the spirit of full transparency, we were hosted by Besito however we are writing this review as we would any other. No special considerations will be given. 

This past Saturday Besito Mexican invited us to dine at their newly opened Burlington location. Besito, which translates into little kiss in Spanish, focuses on authentic, fresh, and house made ingredients. The decor is bright and welcoming, something you would expect to find if dinning in Mexico. Our waiter was very knowledgeable of the menu and was able to make suggestions without hesitation. 

Even tough the decor and menu scream Mexico, the music does not. We travel to the Caribbean often and the music, which was mainly salsa and merengue, put us in a Caribbean state of of mind. Most would not be bothered by this, however this small detail had a significant effect on our meal. We were eating Mexican food but our minds were craving Caribbean cuisine, which is significantly different. 

Exterior of Besito at the Burlington Mall
Photo Credit: Besito Mexican 

Interior of Besito Mexican in Burlington
Photo Credit: Besito Mexican

Almost immediately after being seated our waiter brought us some chips and salsa. The salsa was delicious. It reminded us of a well made sofrito, which is the base for most latin cuisine. 

Chips and Salsa

 To start off, the manager brought out two of their Shrimp Tacos Dorados, which appear in the lunch menu. The shrimp in these crispy street style tacos topped with organic romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, and queso fresco were lightly breaded. The mild spiciness did not overpower the refreshing flavor of the shrimp. This was a well balanced dish and a great start to our meal! 

Shrimp Tacos Dorados

We took our waiter's suggestion and ordered the house "Besito Patron" Margarita, which is composed of Patron reposed, Cointreau, pomegranate-tangerine juice, and lime juice. This is a strong margarita, the Patron being the dominant flavor. Our only complaint would be rim, we missed the salt. If you like a strong yet refreshing drink, this margarita is for you! 

"Besito Patron" Margarita 

Besito is know for its Guacamole en Molcajete made tableside. Our waiter asked us at which level of spiciness we would like the guacamole and proceeded to quickly make it. Guacamole is guacamole. As far as this guacamole goes it was in desperate need of salt. However, the balance between creamy and chunky made up for that. The texture was very pleasant. Yet, if it were up to us, we would let the avocado be the star of the dish, there were way to many "fillers."

Guacamole en Molcajete 

For our final appetizer we strayed from the manager's suggestions and ordered what we consider to be one of the more original dishes on Besito's menu. The Panquesito de Jaiba, which is a crispy lump crab cake served with a roasted habanero cream sauce and topped with roasted corn salad and cilantro queso fresco was by far our favorite dish! This interpretation of the classic New England crab cake was packed full of crab flavor which balanced well with the creaminess of the avocado and the sweetness of the roasted corn. The Mexican flare injected into this dish both in its flavors and presentation make it a star! Delicioso! 

Panquesito de Jaiba

Next we had a traditional Mexican side. The Tamale de Elote which is a fresh corn tamale with chipotle chile cream, onion, cilantro, and queso fresco unfortunately fell apart. This side dish has solid flavors however Besito's textural interpretation was unexpected. This dish had an unfortunate corn pudding like texture which was not pleasing to the palate. 

Tamale de Elote

As our first entrée we had one of the manager's suggestions, the Pechuga de Pollo, which is a Yucatan spiced natural chicken breast served with green and yellow squash, a crispy rolled queso fresco taco, and pipian verde. The pipian verde, which is a pumpkin seed sauce, was the star of this dish! Frankly without it the chicken would have been practically inedible. The outside of the chicken was cooked to char and was incredibly hard to cut through. The inside was not much better, it was very dry. The taco was delicious and added a nice crunchy element to the dish. 

Pechuga de Pollo

As our second entrée we ordered the Tacos al Pastor which are composed of pineapple and guajillo marinated pork, grilled pineapple salsa, avocado salsa verde, and chile de arbol salsa. The pork was a bit dry yet the char on the outside worked with the sweetness and moisture of the pineapple salsa. This dish achieves the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The generous portion is perfect for sharing. 

Tacos al Pastor

 The first dessert we tried was a Tres Leches. Besito serves this vanilla sponge cake marinated in a citrus three milk sauce topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. This was by far our least favorite dish of the meal. We are fans of the Tres Leches and this one was one of the worst we've had. There were no hints of any citrus. The "three milk" sauce tasted like pure canned evaporated milk and lacked the sweetness you would expect of a good Tres Leches sauce. The cake in the center was dense and none of the marinade was allowed to sip through. We are dessert people, yet we almost wish the manager would not have surprised us with this dessert. 

Tres Leches 

Last but not least we had the Pudin the Chocolate. This Mexican chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream and fried tortillas is perfect for chocoholics! It is thick, creamy, and luxurious. The addictive qualities of this dessert made it the perfect ending to our meal! 

Pudin de Chocolate 

Besito Mexican located in the Burlington Mall, with another location coming soon to the Chestnut Hill area, is a great place for large groups of people looking for good drinks, good service, and decent food. We would like to thank Besito Mexican for its hospitality and its passion for Mexican cuisine.

For more information on Besito Mexican visit http://www.besitomexican.com/home

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