Life Lately {Winter 2017 Edition}

Life Lately {Winter 2017 Edition}

Oh hayyyyyy, my friends! Is anyone still out there?


If not, I get it. I’ve been a liiiiiitle MIA lately…. ‘lately’ being the last year (or three). To my credit, we (Peter and I) have been quite busy! Between planning a DIY wedding for 265 (plus!) of our closest family & friends + enjoying a mini-moon in the Pacific Northwest + buying our first home + moving to/discovering East Boston + adventuring for two weeks in Southeast Asia + building a real estate empire (I kid… mostly) — the last two years have been incredibly busy.

oh, and not to mention SO. FREAKIN. AWESOME.

Bagan, Myanmar

This is just one of the insanely cool places we got to see during our trip to Southeast Asia – we visited the city of Bagan, Myanmar and explored a few of its 2,000+ temples. The landscape is crazy, amiright?! We honestly must have taken thousands of photos during our two-week long adventure. I’ve actually managed to go through the ones on my DSLR (probably 1,500 or so!), and have uploaded some of my favorites to share with you guys!

Checkity checkkkk them out HERE!! enjoy :)

Phang Nga Bay

That said, our travels and adventures have left me with lots of great stories and delicious new recipes to share! Thai food, anyone?! :)

Howevaaahh – before we can get there, I need to finish our taxes, clean up/organize the”office” (i.e., our junk room that one day might be turned into an office), finish our wedding thank yous (I WISH I WERE JOKING #wearetheworst) anddddd catch up on our personal finances for the last 9 months. Yup, real life.

adulthood. COOL.

In the meantime, I’m going to take you guys on a virtual food tour of East Boston! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned once or twice, our ‘hood is chock full of delicious, authentic Latin American food — and so much more. Peter and I (along with some old – and new! – friends) have made an effort to step outside of our comfort zone as often as possible over the last fourteen months, and to try as many different restaurants in the neighborhood as we can – without going broke, of course. So I’ve put together a list of our favorites for you – along with a novel of reasons as to why you should try them all. right. now.

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Angela’s Cafe | 131 Lexington Street -or- 1012 Bennington Street

True to form, I’m too impatient to save the best for last – Angela’s is so good that I have to share it with you immediately. IMMEDIATELY (I’m channeling Principal Carr in Mean Girls here). If you’re looking for homemade, authentic, DELICIOUS Mexican food, Angela’s is the answer. Peter ate here once or twice before we moved in, and was confident that I’d love it — he was not wrong. I’d say we probably went to Angela’s at least once every other week for the first few months we lived here. Basically regulars, nbd. I’ve introduced it to a ton of my friends, and they are borderline obsessed — no joke, I’m pretty sure they come visit me in EB primarily to go to Angela’s (don’t worry, Jodi, I’m not offended).

So, let’s talk food. Their brunch is baller — lunch/dinner is unreal — AND they have a killer sangria (to be enjoyed at any meal, obvi). I’ve tried a number of different dishes, each one just as delicious as the last. My personal favorite is their chilaquiles, which is a mish-mosh of corn tortillas, Angela’s red or green sauce (you choose the spiciness!), pulled chicken, queso fresco, refried beans, raw onion slices and avocado – all topped with eggs cooked to your liking. I prefer sunny side up – because what’s better than gooey egg yolk mixing in with this delicousness?! Nothing, that’s what.

Also important: Angela’s food doesn’t make you feel gross like that Border Cafe/Margarita’s bullshit – it is the real freakin’ deal. Everything is cooked from scratch and has that ‘homemade meal’ comfort and flavor. If there’s only one restaurant you try in EB, make it Angela’s.

BONUS: this place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives wayyy back in the day. Guy’s face is even on the wall!

Rino’s Place | 258 Saratoga Street

Here’s another DDD special to check out (EB is full of ’em, huh) – and yet another restaurant that Peter tried first (without me…. are you sensing a trend here?!). Oddly enough, DDD is actually how I heard about Rino’s in the first place! I watched Guy learn how their lobster ravioli is made and was hooked immediately – I knew that I needed to try this place. However, there’s a catch – Rino’s is ALWAYS PACKED. Legit, always. They only take reservations for parties of 6 or more (and book out months in advance) and — I kid you not — I’ve waited 2.5 hours to be seated before.

On a Wednesday.

Yea, it’s that good.

Note that this is coming from a girl who does NOT like to wait for her food (because yes, hangry is a thing) – but believe me, Rino’s is worth every second of the wait. And it’s not just the homemade lobster ravioli that keeps people coming back — it’s the fresh pasta made in-house everyday, the portion sizes made for a family of 12, the heavenly sauce (this coming from an Italian who doesn’t even like red sauce i.e. gravy!), the generous pours and the cozy atmosphere (with a decibel level that could possibly leave you with tinnitus for a couple of days). Not to mention the staff, who you can’t help but have a love-hate relationship with by the end of the night.

Without fail, I always leave Rino’s full to my eyeballs, slightly buzzed, partially deaf, sore from laughing, and all warm & fuzzy with that feeling like I just had dinner with 30 of my closest friends… who I just met that night.  What’s not to love?!

Maverick Marketplace Cafe | 154 Maverick Street

andddddd we’re 3 for 3! Peter tried Maverick Marketplace multiple times before he invited me to join him I decided to tag along. Nope, no… not bitter at all.

So this place is the neighborhood joint that every twenty…. er, thirty-something dreams of (thank you, Friends, for setting unrealistic neighborhood/friend goals). Their burgers (and all their food, really) are bomb, the beer list is constantly changing and has something for everyone AND they have live music. Live music from local artists (!!!). Seriously… it’s the cutest and I’m obsessed. GO THERE. The end.

D’Parma | 182 Sumner Street

Yes, there’s another Italian restaurant on this list. It may not be Rino-level Italian food, but it’s damn good… surprisingly good, even. D’Parma’s is a little conflicting, I must admit — the menu (and most of the wine list) is Italian, the waitstaff are speaking Spanish AND English, there’s always some sporting event on tv (often with Spanish captions) and there’s a mural-sized painting of the Eiffel Towel on the swing door to the kitchen.

*tilts head to side and slow blinks*

Despite being… eclectic, to say the least, D’Parma’s has become another favorite of ours. Their East Boston location (there’s another in Winthrop) is open late — until 2am! — so it’s the perfect place to go for a late night meal, complete with warm bread + olive oil, a bottle of wine (or two) and some solid people watching.

Roy’s Cold Cuts | 198 Marion Street

This place has been around for ages – and is worth the visit even if just to step inside its doors and back in time a couple of decades. The walls (and counter tops and shelves and ceiling) are adorned with 60’s memorabilia – complete with photos of Roy + family posing with the various celebrities that have visited this fifty-something year old sub shop over the years. And get this – there is a legitimate wall of nostalgic candy. #winning

There are breakfast sandwiches and lunch sandwiches, sides and salads (though I use that term loosely), pizza and even some pasta. I dare you to check out their sandwich list and choose just one – there are seemingly hundreds of delicious options, each one more drool-worthy than the last. There’s the ‘Royben’, the shop’s take on the classic Reuben. The ‘Godfather’, a monstrosity of prosciutto, chicken cutlet, tomato, mozz and roasted red pepper. The ‘Peppacheddaturkachini’ which includes all its ingredients in its name (impressive, I know). There’s a favorite of Peter’s, the ‘Which Came First?’ – chicken cutlet with over easy eggs, smothered in american cheese. Plus a personal favorite – ‘The Edward Wolfgang Muenster’, a meatless sammie with fried eggplant, banana peppers, avocado, tomato and muenster cheese. I don’t often eat sandwiches like Roy’s offers, but I promise you they are worth every last damn artery-clogging calorie.

You should also check out Phantom Gourmet’s visit to Roy’s — once you see the sandwiches, you’ll get it.

KO Pies | 256 Marginal Street

Two words: meat pie. No No no, not that kind of meat pie (gross) — we’re talking Australian meat pies. and veggie pies! If you’ve never had one, you MUST try KO’s. Their pies are warm, savory and jam-packed with flavor – and juuuust the right size to finish one yourself and be happily overstuffed. Their East Boston location is pretty small — small enough that there always seems to be a line out the door and around the corner (no joke – especially in the summer). But they have a covered outdoor space that’s both dog- and family-friendly, with games and just enough picnic tables to ensure that you’ll be forced to make new friends every time you’re there.

Also, beware: if you’re coming from the Maverick side of Marginal street, it’s creepy and confusing as fk to enter the shipyard through what seems, at first sight, to be a security entrance. I’m pretty sure it’s not (anymore) and urge you to forge ahead — you’ll hear laughter and catch a whiff of a freshly baked meat pie soon enough, a sure sign that you’re in the right place.

Rincón Limeño | 409 Chelsea Street

And last, but certainly not least, we have another restaurant serving authentic Latin American cuisine — Rincón Limeño serves up Peruvian food, heavy in rice, beans, potatoes and FLAVOR. Some of the traditional Peruvian dishes served here include Lomo Saltado (marinated meat with fried potatoes, veggies and rice), Tacu Tacu (pan fried rice and beans) and Bistec a lo Pobre (steak, fried potatoes and onions – otherwise known as ”poor man’s steak”). Many of the dishes are comprised of pretty basic ingredients, but the seasonings and spices used are really what pack a punch. OH! and when you go, you MUST try the ceviche — it is truly out of this world.

One last thing to note — we learned the hard way that Rincón Limeño is one of those places whose aroma sticks with you. So plan accordingly and wear clothes you won’t mind tossing directly in the laundry! Unless of course you want to smell like Peruvian food for the next 24 hours. I mean, there are worst things, right?

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welp, now I’m drooling. I urge you guys to try one (or all) of these places ASAP. and, uh…. let me know if you want any company! I’ll be there with bells on — plus an empty stomach and lots of suggestions :)

Confessions of a Midnight Baker

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