Tag Archives: Boston

Back to Boston

I got to take an extended vacation thanks to the holiday week. I gotta tell you, post vacation blues SUCK. Back to reminisce on the good times.
am36First things first – had to swing by the Chive to grab a beer with the guys and the Berries, and watch Elliot play the didgeridoo.
am35Legit Australian-style. Then  we caught a red eye out with hardly any sleep. Yay.
AMGreeted with a local and patriotic brew.
AM1Along with a delicious, piping hot bowl of chowda. Only bad thing about this picture? It was about 90 degrees with about 90% humidity. Still delicious.
AM2Dinner was swordfish, caught that morning by a local fisherman, along with freshly roasted asparagus and potatoes.
AM3And chardonnay. Gotta have the chardonnay on a hot night.
AM4I was a member of the clean plate club. My first time having swordfish – I’m ruined. Never again will I be able to enjoy frozen fish.
AM9On the 4th of July, we woke up bright and early and grabbed a shady spot on the street to enjoy the local parade. It was even hotter out than the day we arrived.
AM5AM7AM6Military veterans getting their due recognition. They even had a car with some WWII vets drive through.
AM8Aaand mermaids and clowns…. With bubbles nonetheless…
AM10We took Commander Matt’s parental units’ boat out every day we were there. I enjoyed the sun. It enjoyed me.
am34It enjoyed me a little too much. I spent the rest of the trip coating myself with aloe and cool, wet towels. Lesson learned – the sun is, indeed, evil.
AM11Erasing that painful memory with another beautiful view of the yacht club.
am33I got to go sailing for the first time ever! Matt’s uncle owns a Hobie Cat that we power-boated out to and took around the bay. I didn’t die. I consider that a win.
am32Afterwards we refueled with fried clam bellies – something my parental unit told me was a must on the east coast.
AM12We also refueled with Uncle Dave’s famous fish tacos he grilled up at his house.
AM13I hate coleslaw. This coleslaw made me a convert. Pardon my drool.
am31The next day was a ride out to Martha’s Vineyard. In case you didn’t know, there is no vineyard. I was thoroughly confused.
AM14The Black Dog is THE place to go in Martha’s Vineyard. We waited almost two hours for a table and took advantage of the time to stroll through the town.
AM15Mad Martha’s is also incredibly well-known. Matt and his family used to frequent there when they lived in MA.
AM16Mother-son love.
AM18FINALLY the wait was up!
AM17Hash ‘n eggs with a gigantic bottomless coffee. Drool again.
AM19And that evening it was time for even more food. The family brought over fresh clams which they steamed with beer, onions, celery and hot dogs.
AM23I ate one. One and done…
AM24Not a joint. Clam neck – in case of any confusion.
am21Clam pie – butter, clams, more butter, bread crumbs, butter, butter and bacon!
AM25And then it was time for the massacre.
AM26Twenty lobstas.
AM27Twenty gigantic lobstas.
AM28I couldn’t even finish my one – these things were out of control.
AM22Luckily I had some guidance – very  helpful after the painful attempt I made last time.
AM29The sun was thankfully setting and a cool breeze was flowing through the yard. We all sat lazily with beer in hand until it was time to go watch some of the best fireworks I’d ever seen being fired from a barge about 100 yards off the beach. Pictures omitted because I was enjoying myself and pictures of fireworks are hard ‘n stuff.
am20AM30Of course nothing went to waste – lobsta rolls the next day before we packed up and flew back!

Yet another amazing trip out east. Thank you to all of our wonderful hosts! I had an amazing time. Again.

Now to kick some post vacay blues butt.


Filed under Travel

Samuel Adams Training

I’m back from a wonderful three days in Boston! Two coworkers and I were flown out to Boston by my company for training at the Samuel Adams brewery. This’ll be a picture-heavy post – lots of phone pics as well since I didn’t feel like hefting my big camera bag along the miles of walking.
am15We flew out on JetBlue. Only four hours and ten minutes out with tons of leg space – at least in comparison to United and American! Plus a personal TV screen on each seat. Win! We dropped our bags at the hotel and set out for a walk in the freezing rain.
AM16jm Curley is a newer place across the street from Stoddard’s Fine Foods and Ale. We grabbed a beer to warm up and perused the menu. The new seasonal special – housemade donut fried in bacon fat with strawberry-rhubarb filling, basil crystals and a foie gras glaze. You read that right. I couldn’t not.
AM17Holy geez.
am20Yes. I can say without hesitation that this is one of the top three things I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. Ever.
am19Next up was Union Oyster House, and we were lucky enough to score seats at the bar!
am18I consumed my first oyster! After very low expectations (my imagination went from dry-heaving to salt water sneezes to other horrible things), I was pleasantly surprised – sweet and tender without a freaky texture! I don’t think I’ll eat another one, but I’m glad I tried it.
am21They had quite a full lobster tank which included this eleven pound beast. I didn’t consume him.
am22We were sent by the bartender to a locals’ favorite, Durty Nelly’s, which was full of big brand beers plus a Samuel Adams. We continued along the way, going to a place and asking the bartender where his/her favorite place was and continuing in this manner.
am23After a few jumps, we enjoyed a freezing cold stroll for about half a mile before hailing a taxi to take us the rest of the way back to the hotel.
amThe next morning we were in the lobby at 7am (4am California time) and took the subway down to Samuel Adams Brewery.
am1Study supplies were stacked on the tables…
am2and a group of seventeen total (me being the only female) slowly tried to jar ourselves awake.
am4Breakfast was brought in by Max’s Deli Cafe – delicious every single morning!
am5We had ten hours of intense lectures interjected with mini-tours of the brewery.
am8Our instructor and Certified Cicerone, Ken Smith. He has an insane amount of energy – far too much for me when it was 4am my time, but once the coffee started working, I thoroughly enjoyed him and his exciting speeches and lectures.
am9Head Brewer Dean!
am11Looking out from the brew system. At lunch I snuck over and Dean was kind enough to let me watch the transfer and sparging of the mash.
am10am29I also got to try the first wort from next years Utopias he was brewing this day! Nothing like a hot cup of sugar water to wake you up in the mornings!
am28During the sparge Dean was able to give a quick tour of the place.
am31We walked into the barrel room and were bombarded by the wonderful scent of spirits that emanated from the racks of barrels.
am33These 68bbl fermenters used to be in the main brewery but have recently been moved into the new building they recently obtained after their neighbors closed business.
am48Another lovely view as I creepered around the place.
am12The whirlpool tank – after initial whirlpool in the boil kettle, the wort is transferred here and whirled again to get rid of as much trub as possible before filtering.
am24Lunch was delivered again by Max’s – roasted salmon, shrimp skewers and fancy salad and grilled veggies.
am6They brought plenty of dessert options which were greedily consumed by the class I was with, and then by the brewers Dean and Bob.
am7I also got a sneak peak at the 26.2 Pale Wheat that Sam Adams is releasing on April 15th for the marathon! Sweet, smooth and crisp – perfect for rehydration after running a marathon.
am26After ten hours of sitting, we were released and headed over to Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale.
am25No casks were available, so I stuck with a local porter. We ended the night a little earlier than the previous one… We’d learned our lesson after each having a small headache for the majority of the day…

The next day we met in the lobby again at 7am, but class was cut short after about an hour when poor Ken wasn’t feeling well. We set out to explore the city. And by city, I mean foods and pubs in the city.
am30I walked towards the water and found Granary Tavern. After sipping a Saison from the local brewery Pretty Things, the boys met up with me and we each ordered a gigantic, lovely, delicious, more adjectives lobsta roll. Tender and succulent with housemade dill mayo, wrapped in a warm cushion of a frankfurter roll. Happy sigh.
am34Every bartender we’d come across had told us that Mr. Dooley’s had the best pint of Guinness in the city. I don’t like Guinness, but I felt like I had to order one when we got here. Maybe it’s the gas blend, maybe it’s the Irish people pouring the pints, but this was the most delicious Guinness I’ve ever had! It had much more flavor than I remember – chocolate, charcoal and vanilla cream.
am35Our next stop at The Green Dragon had a Chiver! We got a slightly drunken history lesson and some good pictures with him. We had a beer dinner scheduled that night, so we headed back to the hotel to relax for an hour before piling into a taxi and heading over to Post 390 where the dinner was being hosted.
am40Oh boy.
am41Smokey salmon over wilted mixed greens, potatoes and a pickled quail egg paired with Sam Adams Noble Pils. I had about half of this, minus the egg, before I decided I should probably go slowly with the extensive menu.
am42Pork and apple croquette in a cauliflower and cheese soup paired with Sam Adams Boston Lager. Again, I had to stop halfway through.
am43Char grilled duck in a white bean cassoulette paired with Sam Adams Double Bock.
am45Some kind of a chocolate custard with rich ganache and meringue on top. Honestly though, this was the highlight of the entire meal:
am44UTOPIAS! I’ve never had the chance to try this before – 29%ABV, extreme flavors of Bourbon with a high sweetness and hints of oak, smoke and vanilla. I could’ve sipped a few ounces of this over the entire night and been content.
am46Utopias 10th Anniversary bottle. I wants it. I wants it so much.

Our final day consisted of a six hour class with beer and cheese pairings and tastings.
am47Ta-daaaaah! We got shipped off to the airport and flew back to Los Angeles on a long 6.5 hour flight.

Can I be a professional student of beer for a living?


Filed under brewery, Travel

Boston: Part 3

The lobsta cookout we had was absolutely incredible and ridiculous.
We started (and ended) the night with seafood. Fresh shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce drizzled with lemon. This was the sweetest, freshest shrimp I’ve ever had the good luck to come by.
The next course was something I’ve absolutely never had before and would never have thought to try. Clam pie. I had some just to be polite and was surprised to find out that I actually enjoyed it! The massive amounts of butter, bread crumbs and bacon topping might be one of the reasons I liked it so.
It was a blustery evening, but luckily the rain had let up for a few hours so we were able to cook outdoors.
It was cold enough that the fireplace spent the evening crackling away in a feeble attempt to thaw my freezing hands. I wasn’t in a sharing mood so everyone else froze.
Then the massacre began. Believe it or not I’d never tried lobster before, excepting some tempura lobster wrapped up in a sushi roll.
For a group of eight, there were twenty lobstas. TWENTY! I wasn’t sure if I would even like lobsta, which was daunting enough in itself. If I hated it could I pull it off acting like I really did enjoy it to be polite?
We removed the bands from the lobsta claws as they tried to remove our fingers at the same time and put them all in a giant pot of boiling water.
To distract ourselves from the horrors that were occurring outside, we poured some zinfandel and shared platitudes of guilt.
Fifteen minutes later, the lobstas entered the kitchen and graced our plates.
This was my expression the entire night as I tried to figure out how to crack, extract and consume the lobsta. It took me about an hour to figure it out, plus a lot of help from those sitting next to me, but believe it or not I actually liked it! I honestly didn’t think I would, and judging by that picture, I’m not sure anyone in the room believed me when I said I did…
We rounded out the meal with fresh apple and cranberry pie. To say I was stuffed is a massive understatement. I fell into a shellfish-induced food coma for another hour before I finally rolled into bed.
Kathy made a baked french toast casserole for breakfast the next morning. Made with fresh challah bread and blueberries, this sweet bread pudding was a perfect lobsta-hangover cure.
Perhaps this will be an addition to my traditional savory bread pudding we make for Christmas! Please note I said addition, not substitution.
Lunch was lobsta rolls made with the six leftover lobstas we were unable to consume the night before. These were much easier to eat and just as, if not more, delicious as regular lobsta! I’d like to add – these New England style hot dog buns with flat sides rock my world. Why are they not made in California??
Commander Matt and I had to book it back to the airport to catch our flight back. We took a detour and stopped by the oldest restaurant in America, Union Oyster House.
We waited for about twenty minutes in order to be able to sit at the original bar. It was well worth the wait.
I got a cup of the clam chowder and a pint of Sam Adams Colonial Ale, brewed specifically for this restaurant. When in Boston, drink as the Bostonians do! Love the local brews!

We finally got the rental car returned…just in time to get a text from American Airlines saying our flight had been delayed. Three times. Our evening was spent at the airport bars enjoying a few local beers and watching as each delay was extended.
When they finally began boarding the plane the ticket checker insisted that everyone make sure their carry-ons were to the designated size. This poor woman got her suitcase to fit…
…and then spent the next twenty minutes attempting to remove it from its confines. We slipped quietly on board for a sleepless flight back to Los Angeles.

I went to my first day at my new job with two hours of sleep, a brutal cold that still hasn’t departed and credit fraud, but I wouldn’t trade the trip for anything! Except maybe a longer visit…


Filed under FOOD, Travel

Boston: Part 2

I came back from Boston with a nasty cold and credit card fraud, so forgive the delay. Let’s get back to reminiscing about happier times.

Thursday night we attended the dress rehearsal of Commander Matt’s good friends, Matt and Kristen. The rehearsal dinner that followed took place as the sun set on a wonderfully chilly evening.
The happy group met at a country club after to wine, dine and celebrate.
I was very pleased to see these heaters while shaking in my knee-length dress. The cocktail(s) may have helped warm me as well.
I sampled a little of everything – from lasagna to sole, goat cheese and butternut sqaush risotto to chicken piccata and fresh mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic reduction. As usual, I pawned off the leftovers to the people around me.

The wedding went off beautifully despite the downpour and the reception that followed was ridiculously fun and one of the best nights I’ve had. For privacy purposes (and the fact that I didn’t take my camera to either), pictures have been omitted.

On Saturday morning we drove over to Marion – an adorable little town off the edge of Buzzard’s Bay.
The Enegren parental unit took us out on their boat during the short reprieve from rain.
We watched the end of a sailing race! No, wait, this was before the beginning…
This was DEFINITELY either the end or the beginning. Although it may have been the middle… I’m not trained enough to follow.
When you don’t understand something, grab a local beer. That always makes everything make sense. Or just passes the time while you wait for a race to start and/or finish.
I only slightly froze. They had 100+ degree temps over in California, so I was loving the chill!
After the extremely confusing race, we raced back into the bay and moored the boat while Mama Enegren made a fancy lunch.
I absolutely adored the ride in. All of the original houses from the 1800s line the shore, looking like postcard pictures.
We started off with piping hot clam chowda. With the temperature hovering around 60 degrees and a drizzle beginning to come in, this was a welcomed sight, and so delicious! There’s just something about having clam chowda on the east coast that just makes life feel right.
Homemade chicken salad sammiches rounded out the meal. I tried not to finish mine since we had a lobsta cookout coming later that night and I wanted to be ravenous!
We got a lift in to the yacht club, disembarked and perused through the old building, gazing at the history that lined the walls and cabinets.
I couldn’t have asked for a nicer welcome to Marion. Plus, I still had the lobsta cookout to look forward to!
Coming soon!

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Boston: Part 1

On Wednesday I took off for Boston to attend a wedding. We decided to start our vacation a little early and take some gifts to the good folks at The Chive before catching the red eye.
Of course it was beer, what else would you expect me to take?
Okey fine, oatmeal stout brownies topped with caramelized bacon may have made an appearance too…
Patty, John, Megan, Alex, Emily and Elliot were kind enough to take some time out of their workday to try out the new seasonal beers we’d brought from Enegren.
The beautiful ladies of The Berry and I enjoying some Foliage Pale Ale. And brownies. With bacon on top. Did I mention those yet? We hung out tasting beer for about an hour and then headed off to prep for our flight out.
Beer is prep. LOVE the pour on this – the fill line is completely ignored and no head remains after the faucet was submerged in the glass. Delicious.

The red eye was cramped, hot and nearly impossible to sleep on. I had about two hours of shut eye before we landed in Boston at 6:30am.  After finding the rental car, we took off into downtown for breakfast.
We found this gem after three unsuccessful attempts to find non-chain restaurants that had unassuming names but turned out to be Dunkin Donuts. The Dunkin is big on this side of the country.
Anytime I see bread pudding, I must order it.
Grilled cheesy bread pudding topped with a fried egg and tomato compote. Holy deliciousness. The sweetness of the compote combined with a perfectly runny yolk that cascaded over thick slices of bread pudding studded with generous doses of cheddar made for a VERY happy girl, exhaustion aside.
We walked around the city for a few more hours and visited the Holocaust memorial.
The tattooed numbers of the estimated eleven million who were killed are etched into the glass towers and show up when steam rises through the grates below. These towers are shocking and beautiful at the same time.
We visited the old cobbled streets lined with the original pubs.
I’m ridiculously touristy and not ashamed!
THIS without a doubt was my favorite part of the city. On my Facebook I asked for recommendations of places to visit while in the city. Don is a bartender at Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale, and suggested I check the restaurant out. Stoddard’s serves FIVE cask ales. I read the word “casks” and immediately wrote it into the schedule.
They have twenty beers of draught. Don was kind enough to let us sample a few of them.
These, however, are the reason we showed up.
I asked Don for his cask recommendations and he put these two beauties in front of me. Wachusset Black Shack Porter and BBC Steele Rail Pale Ale. Absolutely stunning. Cellar temperature and smooth nitro-like carbonation thanks to the sparkler. Utter contentment.
A huge thank you to Don for the wonderful recommendation, helping us out and treating us to some absolutely delicious beers.

Stay tuned for Boston: Part 2… Whenever I have another quiet few moments to write that down. For now – off to the wedding!

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