Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boston in a (boiled pea)nut shell

This is a bourbon milkshake.
I died.

Just died and went straight to heaven.

It was served for dessert at Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I sort of expected to see Mark Twain shuffling out of the men’s room.

It’s witty and down-home but dusted with sophistication.

My pre-dinner cocktail from the bar alone was genius – Maker's Mark bourbon, sorghum syrup and amaretto with a boiled peanut dropped in as garnish.

Chef/owner Barry Maiden grew up in Virginia, then got himself a fancy French-style culinary degree. He blends his experiences with fab style, and named the place after Hungry Mother State Park near his home in Marion.

French technique...coming out of the walls.

I loved seeing simple Southern favorites on the menu – pimiento cheese, collard greens, catfish pate. Even the crispy-coated pork boudin balls are inspired by sausage that Cajuns have been known to eat at gas stations while perched on the hoods of their cars. 

And boiled peanuts! I’ve only eaten them out of paper sacks from black cauldrons along the sides of backroads. I liked seeing them celebrated in tiny white dishes with nuggets of Maine sea salt.

Overhead from the couple sitting at the next table...

Gentleman (looking at menu): "That's a good idea. Gourmet country. People in the North don't know good country."

Turns out the couple spend their time between Boston and Miami, but the gentleman was Kentucky-bred. After speaking with him, it seemed he might have been out of the Bluegrass State for some time? (Insert intellectual-throat-clearing here). Nice couple though!

Games of chess in Harvard Square.

The lemonade cupcake at a shop called Sweet on Mass Ave.

His name is Dylan.

From Exhale, a yoga studio and spa.
(All it takes is the push of a button, yo.)

The Public Garden.

Lunch from Flour Bakery + Cafe. Asparagus chicken soup with jasmine rice and a curried tuna salad sandwich. I'm going to try a similar version mixing tuna, mayo, a teaspoon or so of curry powder, golden raisins, carrots and chopped apple pieces.  

This is the view from the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), a new-ish space for the art museum on the South Boston waterfront.
Oh Boston…you cold, cranky, scrappy, loveable old town. I miss you…and your baseball team…and your restaurants…and culture…

The ICA hosted a listening party for the new Sonic Youth album over the weekend. And I loved the Shepard Fairey exhibit. Most people know him for the Obama HOPE posters. He’s also been called (and criticized as) the Warhol of our day for appropriating -- some say stealing -- familiar images. But isn't it his interpretation that makes it fresh? I like that he encourages us to rethink the familiar as propaganda, or the negative in messages of peace like this one...

He got his start as a skater dude and street artist (arrested more than 13 times) with the Andre the Giant has a Posse stickers.

Boston playlist: (inspired by Shepard Fairey who once said, “I may not play an instrument, but I'm gonna rock it hard as nails anyway.”)

Andre the Giant – Sic & Mad
Brothers and Sisters! – Public Enemy
EMI - Sex Pistols
Get Up/Stand Up - Bob Marley
Rise Above - Black Flag
I Fought the Law - The Clash


Caroline said...

I LOVE this post...everything about it. You are an amazing writer and I can't wait to see what you do with your talent.

I miss Boston dreadfully =(

And you!

- Pinkie

cook eat FRET said...

just found you!