Brunching at Puritan & Co

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Whether it was the Napa Valley charm or the assortment of pastries laid out on the long wooden, rustic table, I felt like I was dining in my own kitchen when enjoying brunch not too long ago at Puritan and Company. Well lit, with subway tiles along the walls, bright flavorful dishes, and a knack for hitting that sweet spot with their renowned pastries,  P&C as I’ll call it, is not to be overlooked. I had the honor of joining the lovely Boston Brunchers for an afternoon out, where they (much more knowledgeable than me) quickly filled me in on Puritan & Co’s philosophy, mission, and values. Definitely a New England style menu mixed with ethnic styles and flare, combining the elements of farm to table, all within a cozy restaurant located in Cambridge. There is an excitement and passion that can be felt through the menu choices, which included Sourdough griddle cakes, wagyu steak, and a coppa ham sandwich. All of their eggs come from Pete and Gerry’s, an organic farm in NH that produces eggs that I soon discovered can’t be beat! Add in flavors such as honey butter, creme fraiche, and applewood bacon, and mmm-mmm good is what we’ve got at P&C. 

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We were first greeted with their pastry assortment, all of which we couldn’t get enough of! Banana bread, Boston Cream donuts, blondies, and a ham cheese pinwheel to name a few. I tried one of each of course and settled on the dulche de leche and coconut danish. My taste buds were more than delighted.

I ultimately went with the cheddar and broccoli scramble for my main dish seeing as brunch cannot be complete for me without some vegetable and protein. Though a little too oily and fatty to my liking, I did enjoy the side of arugula salad that came with it. It was refreshing and light and complemented the heavy scramble. I also enjoyed one of their “sunday sippers,” the Park Ave, which was just a tad too strong for my liking. I am always one for a mimosa but wanting to venture out of my comfort zone a bit, I chose this drink instead. Looking back I would have stuck to my guts and chosen the house mimosa and the Corned Beef Hash or ham sandwich, which were out of this world. The chef came over after and mentioned to us that the beef is cured in house (no wonder it was so tasty!).

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One of my favorite aspects about the brunch was the lovely toast that was served with most dishes. It was either grilled in butter or cooked with butter because it had such a nice flavor to it. I don’t indulge in white bread often, but the slices were small and too good to pass up! You can tell that Puritan & Company strives to be unique and unconventional while also mixing in the comforts of New England fare, very similar to the atmosphere you will encounter there. Their cozy, warm, and friendly environment is what allows you to feel comfortable enough to venture out of your typical culinary food and beverage preferences, once again combining the elements of new and old. 

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The whole experience was truly something special and I enjoyed chatting with the bloggers. Whether we had been here or not before, we all seemed to appreciate their attention to detail, flavor, and color combinations on the plate. Located in the Inman Square area of Cambridge, Puritan & Company’s menu truly fits the description of that neighborhood in being diverse and community-oriented. Oh- and you can’t overlook the eccentric bathrooms, with the sinks being located side by side OUTSIDE of the restrooms! Talk about unconventional. 

 

Special thanks to Puritan & Co. for providing this brunch free of charge to the Boston Brunchers. All opinions are my own. 

Homemade Low cal Paleo Pasta!

Happy Almost-Monday!

This weekend was a complete whirlwind and diet disaster for me. Saturday I attended Reebok’s Fitness Instructor networking event, complete with brunch, mimosas, and one sweaty kick-butt workout. Elspeth Polt flew in to teach the class, which consisted of a 45 min circuit training workout! The class completed plank-ups, burpees, lunges, jumps, and reverse-crunches to name a few. I don’t think any of us expected to sweat as much as we did. Not having had any time before to grab something to eat, I nonetheless was tempted by the assortment of bagels, potatoes, quiche, and fresh fruit. Ugh- major downfall!  The class was intense and I was craving something starchy, but definitely knew I should have eaten a little something before the class to prevent that. Bai, Hint, and Motto were also kind enough to provide refreshments for the event, which helped us all cool down and wash down our bagels and quiche 🙂 I adore healthy thirst-quenching beverages.

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Post-class, I was invited to brunch with a good friend at L’Andana, out in Burlington, MA. L’Andana is quite similar to Sorrelina and Mistral and Boston, but resembles an old-school Tuscan farmhouse that is luxurious and warm. The restaurant was serving light fare to the public, and a huge fan of Mistral, I could not pass up the opportunity. We arrived around 130pm to a room full of people!  L’Andana fortunately has a large space as they primarily serve as a wedding venue, because boy was it packed! The lines moved quickly though and we were soon greeted with smells of their famous pasta bolognese, steak tips, caesar salad, and charcuterie and crudités. If you ever make it up to Burlington, stop by this place and PLEASE order the bolognese. I never eat pasta ( and I’ll talk about that more below), but their bolognese is the best I’ve ever had.

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L’Andana does offer gluten free options and has quite the selection of wood-fire dmeats and fishes. The prices are a little on the steep side, and needless to say we were the youngest ones there, but the dining is meant to be upscale, decadent, and unsurpassed.

Naturally, I tried everything, with a glass of prosecco, and of course left feeling fuller than full and even more guilty than my morning fare left me. It was a lovely meal though and a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Attempting to make up for the larger part of the day, and be healthy and “good,” I decided it was time to make one of my favorite meals: Spaghetti squash pasta! My inspiration actually came from my mom because she makes a delectable squash with heavy cream and butter. Not wanting to go that route with my squash, I chose to season it with pasta sauce, shrimp, and mushrooms, with a side of broccolini. It’s real simple to make and low calorie! I add in a touch of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and you have one of my favorite dinners! Spaghetti squash “pasta,” is such a great alternative to regular pasta, is loaded with nutrients and provides about 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates not to mention fiber. I love recommending it to those looking to watch their weight but still need their “pasta and sauce.”

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So have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  If so, how do you like to season it?

Brunch Delights at Towne Stove and Spirits

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When it comes to food, there is nothing I love more than a good Brunch. Though my recent work schedule has prevented me from frequenting brunches with some of my favorite ladies in the #BostonBrunchers group, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the latest gathering. And boy am I glad I did! Boston has quite the hopping Brunch scene, and one of the places on your Go-To list, must include Towne Stove and Spirits.

Located next to the Pru, this classy restaurant boasts quite an exquisite arrangement of dishes to meet your pre and post-shopping fuel needs. Brunch is served on both Saturdays and Sundays, but their Sunday Brunch Buffet is what really Wow’s the crowd.   Here is an inkling of what they offer

·  Breakfast Breads and Pastries
·  Coffee Cakes
·  Cereals
·  Grilled Vegetable & Salad Station with weekly Salad Specials
·  Raw Bar Including Wellfleet Oysters & Jumbo Shrimp
·  Bagels, Salmon & Other Smoked Fishes
·  Selection of Cheeses, Pates & Terrines
·  Carved Meat of the Day
·  Three Hot Entrees (Fish, Meat or Poultry)
·  Including Vegetarian Pasta
·  Maple Bacon,
·  House Made Sausage
·  Grilled Ham
·  Made -to- Order Omelet Station
·  Made -to- Order Pancake Stations
·  Dessert Display

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Their menu changes weekly, so when we arrived we were first greeted with glasses of prosecco and coffee and a first course of (my fave) Oysters! I should back the story up a bit by saying I actually arrived late because I had to work, so when I was taken upstairs to the table I first saw just a man with a glass of prosecco. I couldn’t see the rest of the brunches behind the curtain so when the hostess insisted that that was our table, I kindly replied ” Um..no..that’s a man..we don’t have men in our group!” Well- in fact we do! Welcome to the group Alex! Anyways, after I was sat and settled with my coffee and libation, we were asked to go indulge.

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The first course arrangement included a cobb salad, shrimp, fruit smoothies, crab, smoked salmon, and a cheese assortment. If you don’t enjoy brunch, at least go for their cheese platter and warm bread pudding. Living with someone who eats paleo, I don’t often get to eat cheese so you can bet I enjoyed every single one of the cheeses they had to offer.

As you can see I kind of went with the unorganized messy approach and just went to town (literally!), as it is an all you can eat buffet.

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The second course consisted of maple glazed pork (yummy!), with a maple syrup glaze. The salmon and kale were also really delicious and cooked to perfection. There was also a carving station, made to order omelets (which I unfortunately did not try), and an entire breads and pastries section. Pacing myself for dessert was a challenge.

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But, between mini red velvet whoopie pies, chocolate mousse in champagne glasses, and of course their famous warm bread pudding with layers of deliciousness, chocolate bits, and topped off with whip cream, how could I say no? I was in dessert heaven.

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Overall, a wonderful time with new friends and old, chatting about Vegas, nutrition, chefs, and of course our blogs! As Towne could put it

“a delightful mingling of international flavors & solid american fare,” was had by all!

Thanks for having us!

On a side note: Fun brunch promo!: The Sunday after Black Friday (Sunday, December 1), Brunch guests will receive a free house-made candy bar (layers of handmade caramel and cookies dipped in milk chocolate) as a way to fuel up before hitting the Pru/Newbury Street for holiday shopping.

Note: Towne Stove and Spirits provided the Boston Brunchers this brunch free of charge. But all opinions expressed here are my own.

The Sinclair: Vegas and Paradise for the Boston Brunchers

On a bright sunny afternoon, two sundays ago, also known as cinco de mayo, a group of dedicated foodies met up for brunch in the heart of Harvard Square, at THE SINCLAIR. I am not too familiar with the Harvard Square area or their various restaurants, so this was my VERY FIRST experience indulging at one of the many hidden gems HS has to offer. And boy will I definitely come back.

Upon arrival we were immediately taken up to their adorable outdoor patio area, which considering the city was abuzz with the festivities of cinco de mayo, was pleasantly serene. Mind you, this was my second Boston Brunchers event so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was delighted to see new faces and can honestly say I enjoyed this experience much better than the last at THE FIREPLACE. I was seated next to  Gluten Free Boston Girl who I enjoyed getting to know as we engaged in talk of nutrition and health and kambucha parties 😉 ( a new fave topic of mine)

After we were all settled in, we were greeted with a Mimosa flightImageThe Orchard pear being my favorite of the three! But seriously how cute! Not one, not two, but 3 cocktails! And what a great way to wet our appetites and ensure that we liked their food ( jk jk…it would have been delicious without all of the alcohol).

Next we were served a Virginia Oyster with pink peppercorn.ImageI adore oysters so this was a perfectly copacetic way to begin my brunch experience.

It was complemented with a Smoked Pork Belly Bloody Mary made with house vodka and Bloody Mary mix. The pork belly did have a nice smoky flavor to it and complemented the bloody mary quite well. Unfortunately, I hate bloody mary’s and this particular one did not woo me. It was a tad too salty for my liking, which I suppose is to be expected with this drink.

A brunch is not complete without a soup of course!  So we were then served an asparagus soup with parmesan shavings on top. The Sinclair is certainly not stingy when it comes to portion sizes and ingredients. The soup was more than a generous amount! I was also pleasantly surprised that it was not too creamy and I was actually able to tolerate it quite well!ImageThe brunch continued on with a delicious SMOKED SALMON with pickled chilies, capers, and truffle oil. I am crazy about truffle oil, so you can imagine my excitement when this dish was presented with one of my all time favorite ingredients.

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Of course, at this point, it was time for another drink, so we were appreciative to be served a light and refreshing grapefruit and soda cocktail known as THE TIGER LILY. ImageI am not much of a drinker, so it was delightful to have a drink that was light and not too “alcoholy.”

It was at this point that not only was I starting to get tipsy but also incredible full. Of course what came next was not to be missed, as it was another one of my fave dishes. Fried Calamari with Tom Yun Gai sauce.  The squid was nice and crunchy, just how I like it and the thai sauce was a perfect complement. Absolutely scrumptious! ImageThe sauce was not super spicy (hardly at all!) and to my surprise, Gluten Free Boston Girl asked if it was GF, AND IT WAS! So to all you GF people out there dying to eat some calamari, hit up THE SINCLAIR.

Last but not least, Duck Confit over Vegetable Hash. Duck confit seems to be a popular menu item in Boston I am coming to realize, as it was also served at my last BB event. Even though I was completely stuffed at this point, I made sure to have a few bites of this delectable dish. The colors for spring were full and bright and really brought the dish together. Duck confit is pretty colorless so you will, and should, often find it served with colorful foods. But, I absolutely loved this particular presentation and how it was served with a veggie hash as opposed to a salad of some sort. Definitely an admirable, creative take on bfast hash!ImageIf all BB events were like this, I’d be sure to attend each and every one of them. I was not quite sure what to expect as, at The Fireplace, we each ordered our own separate meals, which was fine, but I much preferred receiving a sampling of many of the items on The Sinclair menu. They really made sure to highlight some of their best dishes, and it reminded me a lot of my experience in Vegas. The waitstaff was super attentive (they kept refilling my water glass right away, which I drink a ton of water and it was a hot day, so this was super important to me and obviously recognized). Our waiters made sure to explain each dish in detail and also engaged in conversation with us, asking us about our blogs and what we do. I also loved  the adorable outdoor patio, the creative and fresh dishes, the sampling of menu items, and of course getting to socialize with all of the Brunchers! I can’t wait to revisit this modern american restaurant soon!

The Sinclair= Vegas and paradise 🙂

Note: Due to my being a member of the Boston Brunchers, I was provided this meal free of charge by The Sinclair, but my opinions are completely my own. 

Boston Brunchers Heat it Up at The Fireplace

Anyone who knows me knows I am a) a huge foodie and b) I adore breakfast/brunch. Back home, in Rochester, NY we have this AWESOME diner known as Billy’s that during the summers my family and friends pretty much frequent this hopping joint daily. Breakfast/brunch is a great time to jump start the metabolism and get us ready for the day’s activities. Therefore, logically, when I came across the group “BostonBrunchers” I knew we would be like two peas in a pod and just had to join this wonderful group! For those of you unfamiliar with Boston Brunchers, they are a group of (you guessed it) people who come together for convo+delicious food and then blog about it! You sort of have to win a spot for their events as you don’t always get to attend each and every event. So, when I was selected to attend my first ever brunch event last sunday OF COURSE I was ecstatic and knew I couldn’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity. What a great way to network, make new friends, and engage in conversation and delectable food.

And let me say my expectations were met. On Sunday, April 14th, I had the pleasure of joining I believe 8 other ladies for a delicious Brunch in Brookline at a restaurant called “The Fireplace. According to the BostonBrunchers description: ” It is  a New England grill and barbeque, with an emphasis on wood-smoked and rotisserie  dishes that utilize the freshest ingredients” with a focus on clean, healthy, locally sourced, seasonal food. Of course there is a fireplace right as you walk in and the place embraces you with a sense of warmth and homeyness.

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And the wait staff strove to continue that vibe, as they were all so attentive, friendly, and outgoing, upholding the standards expected of them at such a nice restaurant.

As this was my first event, I was unsure of how the ordering worked. Would we all order separate dishes or a bunch to share? I love sharing! Fortunately, because the menu was so daunting (even though I love having so many choices), the girls thought it best to order a few savory dishes to share as appetizers and then we’d also each order our own.

As the waiter brought out a citrus salad with beets and oranges, vegetable hash, Seared Confit Duck and Arugula Salad with Dried Apricots, and my own lobster eggs benedict, I couldn’t help but gaze at the gorgeous food laid out before me. The colors were incredibly rich and bright and really brought the food to life. Not to mention, my satisfaction with knowing this restaurant’s dedication to regional and season ingredients.

I had originally intended to get the pumpkin pancakes with cranberry apple glaze and whipped cream, and still longed to get that, but also desired to get the lobster eggs benedict as it sounded way too good! Fortunately, one of the other girls said she’d split the pancakes with me! (I love these girls already!), so I was able to get both 🙂 Happy Belly. And, I’m glad we got them, because they were by far the best pancakes I have ever had and the maple syrup was that REAL maple syrup that you just can’t get enough of.

The salads as well were light and fresh, however, covered in just a tad too much dressing for my liking. Additionally, I found lipstick on my spoon which led me to wonder how clean the other plates were :/ I didn’t make a fuss over it just simple wiped it off, but it definitely put a dent in the experience for me. Not to complain too much, but I would have preferred my lobster to be soaked in a tad less butter, I’m a nutrition student after all. This place is definitely for those with rich and hearty appetites who are looking for luxurious comfort food, not for the health conscious.

On a positive note I scored seats next to BostonBachelorette and  tutusandtea who are absolutely the sweetest! We shared tidbits of information on some of our fav Boston hideaway spots (boutiques, cafes, restaurants), dished on some of the hottest workouts around town, and simply engaged in lighthearted conversation. My favorite part about Brunch I think was getting to know this amazing group of individuals who have such a passion for Boston and all it has to offer just like I do!

I can honestly call some of these girls new friends and of course have to thank The Fireplace for their delicious brunch and for bringing us all together!

p.s. Due to dining with BostonBrunchers, I enjoyed this meal free of charge. My thoughts and opinions were in no way influenced by this.