Kane’s Donuts: YUM

Kane's Donuts

Kane’s Donuts!

DONUTS. Is there anything better to talk about? Ok, well maybe there is (and I’m not even a donut person) but these donuts are on point. If you’re a local, than you’ve probably already heard, the famous Kane’s Donuts in Saugus has opened a second location in the city. My friend, Chissel, and I decided we had to check out the original location because, well, she loves donuts, and I love a good adventure and neither of us felt like going into the city.

Like I said, Kane’s Donuts is located in Saugus, MA, a suburb right outside Boston. I haven’t been up there since the night I flew in, and it is SO cute in the daylight. Lots of cute little cottages. Chissel and I “house shopped” while we were driving back, and by “house shopped”, I mean we got lost, and took the scenic route home. Anyways, back to the donuts.

These donuts. Guys. They were amazing. I’m not even a donut person. I got a half dozen ($9.95) just to try the different flavors: Maine Blueberry (my favorite), Honey Dipped (similar to glazed), Cookies & Cream (I know.Just.I know), Maple Bacon (for a colleague), Apple Cinnamon (amazing), and Cinnamon Sugar. Blueberry was definitely my favorite but I suspect it’s because I want all things blueberry right now. The donuts managed to last a full week in my house without getting gobbled up, I was pretty impressed with my will-power. I’m still dreaming of that Maine Blueberry donut to this day!

If you haven’t checked it out, you need to make the trip. It’s totally worth it. Kane’s opens at 3 AM – we got there by 11 and the line was out the door still! The staff was friendly and helpful (a rarity here, let me tell you), and the inside is SO cute – wrought iron tables and chairs, and you can definitely picture it 20-30-40 years ago. I fell in love with the decor and old-timey charm.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

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The Quick & Dirty List of All Things Boston

Visiting Boston? Check out the list below for all things Boston related.  I tried to note if my suggestions are pricey or not. (I’m still suffering from sticker shock).

Coffee Shops:

  • Darwins, LTD (Cambridge–two locations: Cambridge St. or St. Auburn St.). Amazing coffee, yummy sandwiches, and delicious Florentine cookies 😉
  • Barismo (Arlington): coffee shop that touts the fact that you won’t need sugar for your coffee because theirs is so good. It’s true.
  • The Thinking Cup (North End, Boston Common, or Newbury St.): coffee shop, small bakery, and light lunch (if I’m remembering correctly). I find it a little over priced, but they have yummy macarons.
  • Crema Cafe (Cambridge): Coffee shop with light lunch. Yummy coffee, grilled cheese wasn’t bad either, but I’d pass on the sweet potato chips
  • Boston Coffee Shop (Theater District): I want to love this place, but I had a vegan chocolate chip cookie and it turned me off completely
  • Tratta (Kendall Square): coffee shop and bakery–SO good
  • Flour (Central Square): coffee shop and bakery–light lunch/dinner/bakery. Owner has a few cookbooks out. It’s good and reasonably priced. I would skip brunch on the weekend–it’s packed.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (or Dunks to the locals): it’s a national chain but the first one originated here. It’s kind of a thing. The locals would rather have Dunks than Starbucks any day 😉 I’m a fan of an iced coffee with skim and one Splenda. Definitely makes me happy!

Restaurants:

  • Life Alive (Cambridge) is a great vegetarian restaurant (wicked crunchy granola–smells like pachouli and cashiers have dreds, but super yummy) and affordable
  • Christopher’s (Porter Square): their Buffalo Chicken Tofu is the bomb.com–the bar area is good too
  • The Museum of Science: It’s a bar with yummy looking burgers–but they only serve beer and wine. I went there on a date for drinks, so haven’t had a chance to try the food, but I want to.
  • 5 Horses Tavern (Somerville): great bar area, killer brunch and lunch. One of my favorite spots in the ‘Ville. I’ve never had a bad meal there–they have really interesting brunch options (the last time I was there, I had quinoa with pears and apples for breakfast).
  • Pomodoro’s (North End): hands down my favorite restaurant in the North End. A little pricey, but great for a celebratory night out. Only has wine service. Salted cod pasta is ridiculously good. Owner goes across the street to get Mike’s Pastry’s. Not a huge eclair fan, but I love theirs (bonus: she brings over a mini version, so you don’t have to eat a days worth of calories in one treat.)
  • Giacamo’s: People rave about this place. Maybe we got it on a bad night. I got the special, and while it was good, and affordable, it wasn’t anything to write home about. I was also very disappointed when I saw a case of Barilla pasta in the back :\
  • Stephanie’s on Newbury: One of my favorite brunch places…the lobster roll is amazing, as is the clam chowder, and the burger. Decently priced drinks–full bar.
  • Pizza Regina (North End): the best pizza in the city (and reasonably priced). Prepare for a line–we waited 45 min, but it was totally worth it. It’s really cramped, and the service is kind of rude, but it’s worth putting up with.
  • Za’s (Arlington): pizza, salads, etc. Think Mellow Mushroom of New England. I had the mac & cheese pizza–wasn’t my fav–I don’t really like mac & cheese, not really sure why I ordered it, but my friends are obsessed.
  • Tryst (Arlington): LOVE. My favorite brunch spot in my neck of the woods. The steak & eggs is amazing. Reasonably priced too.
  • Max Brenner’s: chocolate everything. And I mean, EVERYTHING. Martini’s, pizza, crepes, you name it.
  • Park (Cambridge): Yummy place for dinner, though a little pricey. Cambridge can be expensive because of the Harvard $$, FYI.
  • Met Bar (Newbury Street): I’ve only been once, but I liked it. They serve lunch (I think), definitely dinner, and have a small bar downstairs. I just liked the vibe. I went around the holidays and had calamari (YUM) and a flight of hot chocolate. Was reasonably priced and a fun/interesting spot.
  • Tavern on the Square (Cambridge): a local chain, food’s OK…sports bar atmosphere
  • Not Your Average Joe’s (multiple locations): a local chain, food is good and reasonably priced

Night Life:

  • Legal Seafood at the Seaport–expensive but you can’t beat the view
  • Sissy K’s–I haven’t been there yet, but I heard it’s great
  • Bell in Hand–fun pub in Fanueil Hall area
  • Science Museum (Porter Square)
  • Joshua Tree (Porter Square)
  • McGoon’s Irish Pub (Tufts)–love their beer selection
  • Mead Hall (Kendall Square)–killer beer selection on tap
  • Toads: good local music–only serve beer and wine
  • Russel House: killer drinks–only went for post-dinner drinks but they were really different and interesting
  • Boston Beer Works

Things To Do:

  • Duck Boat Tour (look for a Groupon–otherwise, can be pricey)–also, you’ll need to schedule this ahead of time
  • Walk the Freedom Trail (Free!)–be sure to check out Bunker Hill–I loved it
  • The JFK Museum-one of my favorite things in the city–it’s $10 to get in, but sometimes you can get reduced passes or free passes at the library
  • Boston Public Library Tour-free on Sundays at 2 PM–so good!! A little long (2 hours ish, I think) but really well done
  • Walden Pond (Concord): Thoreau lived here for a year and wrote Walden Pond–it’s gorgeous and they have a replica of his home as well as the remnants of his original place. You’ll need to Zipcar a car to do this.
  • Orchard House: Louisa May Alcott’s Home: tour is $10 and well worth it. You’ll need to Zipcar a car.
  • American Repertory Theater (ART) (Cambridge)–great local theater
  • Broadway a the Boston Opera House–pricey, but the theater is AMAZING. So gorgeous.
  • Catch a movie (free) at the hatch shell
  • Catch a concert at the Blue Hills Pavilion
  • Fanueil Hall
  • Kayak in the Charles River (can pick this up in Kendall Square)–SO fun!!! We did this on my birthday and it was a blast. I got a Groupon, so you may want to keep your eyes peeled
  • Take the Commuter Rail to Newport and spend the day–get a lobsta roll and chowda at the Brick Alley Pub. Check out the Breakers or the other mansions in the area–Newport is one of my favorite places (it’s about an hour by car), so beautiful and a typical New England city
  • Rent a Zipcar for the day and go hiking in the White Mountains (New Hampshire)–New Hampshire is one of my favorite things about this area
  • Spend a Sunday in the Southend and go to SoWa, a vintage market and farmer’s market–the few times I’ve been, they’ve had fresh homemade donuts, breads, cheeses, and vegetables. Great vintage shopping, if you’re into that sort of thing
  • Rent a paddle boat on Boston Public Garden
  • Sox game! I’m not a huge baseball fan, but the stadium is awesome (the oldest in the country–you can do tours for $14) and the experience is fun (it’s no Swamp, but it’s fun)…one of those things you have to do while you’re here 😉
  • Tour the Boston Science Museum: great for a rainy day. I have a season pass and love taking the twins (my cousins) or friends when their in town
  • Rent a Zipcar and check out the strawberry festival in Concord–was really fun for a Saturday afternoon
  • Tour the Harpoon Brewery
  • The Cider House (Somerville)–just opened, heard it was cool but haven’t been

Enjoy the City,

C

Walden Pond & Orchard House

A few months ago, a friend recommended I check out Walden Pond. She said it was “close” but I brushed her off because Concord always sounded far from me. Turns out, it’s a hop, skip, and a jump away. Fast forward to the first nice day we’ve had in months, the weather was beautiful, 60s and sunny, and I couldn’t stand the thought of being inside, so I threw on some shorts and went for a hike. 

Walden Pond is BEAUTIFUL. The drive over is gorgeous and once you’re there it’s just…breathtaking. I can see why Thoreau lived there. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Henry David Thoreau wrote “Walden”, an essay about his time living on Walden Pond. He writes about his time there and uses the four seasons as a metaphor for personal growth and development. For more on the subject, check this out. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a poetry fan, or a Thoreau fan for that matter, but after visiting Walden Pond, I am definitely going to check it out. It was so serene, even though it was fairly busy for a Saturday afternoon. You can take various trails around the lake, there is a small “beach” (sorry, former Floridian here), and you can also check out the remnants of Thoreau’s house, as well as a replica of the house itself. The house is very small, about 100 square feet, if that, and only housed a small wood burning stove, a bed, and a small table. I definitely couldn’t handle that! (Sorry, this girl likes to shop too much!).

After Walden Pond, I checked out Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott’s home. Louisa May Alcott is the author of “Little Women” and a native of the Boston area. Her family lived all over–in the city, Cambridge, and eventually residing in Concord. The Alcott’s moved 18 times before settling at Orchard House. Orchard House, named by Alcott’s father after the apple orchard on-site, is a beautiful old home, set against a large hill with large and dense trees. I wish I could describe it better, but it’s one of those things you’ll have to check out for yourself. The tour of Orchard House is $10, and well worth it. Our tour guide was a young girl, who couldn’t have been more than 16 years old, and she gave such a great tour. We were all impressed. She told us little secrets about each room, and told funny little stories about the family (Did you know the entire reason kids have recess today is because of Louisa’s father? He started an unconventional school for the time period and believed kids shouldn’t be chained to their desks or kept inside all day, that they should be able to run around and play outside?) No photo’s are allowed during the tour, but you’ll wish they could have been–May’s (Louisa’s youngest sister) original artwork is drawn onto the walls, there are original signed copies of “Little Women” in Louisa’s room, and if you look very carefully in the parent’s room, you can see an original doll from Louisa’s older sister, Anna. For more on Orchard House, and the tour, check out the Orchard House’s website, here.

Portsmouth, NH Adventures!

Hi Everyone (my whole 11 readers out there), I know, I’ve been a little lax on the posts lately but I’ve been a busy, busy little bee. You’ll see a ton of updates in the next few days…Ok, who am I kidding…tonight. Ha! I’ve been squirreling away the photo’s and posts, so get ready for a fun ride!

A few weeks ago, (Hey, I said I was behind!), I went to Portsmouth, NH to visit a dear old friend. It’s a long story, and I won’t bore you with the details, but she was my tutor in first grade, and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be able to pronounce my vowels or identify a combined word (Example: doghouse. See, still got it.). Fast forward, 25 years, and after a quick Facebook search (thank you, Zuckerberg, I found my dear old friend and re-connected.) We decided to meet in Portsmouth, NH, which is a little over an hour away, for all you local Bostonians.

Portsmouth is a quaint seaside New England town, great for lazy Sundays (or Saturdays in our case) that boasts tons of cute little shops, concerts in the summer, and was once an Air Force Base (there is even a submarine you can tour). For more of the history on Portsmouth, go here. We went to a cute little bakery called Popovers on the Square for lunch. Each meal comes with mini or full sized popovers. What is a popover, you ask? (It’s OK, I had never heard of one either.) A popover is a light and airy baked treat (picture a cross between a croissant and a muffin). READ: Yummy.

We didn’t get to walk around too much as we had other plans (hel-lo, Kittery Outlets in Maine!) but it was a nice and relaxing afternoon, regardless. I would love to check it out when the weather is warmer.

So, dear reader, have you been to Portsmouth before? If so, what hotspots should I check out?

 

Sunday Funday Hot Spot: Tryst–Arlington Center, MA

 

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(Image source here)

Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, hands down. I’m always up for a Sunday brunch and always looking for a new spot. A few weeks ago, I met a girl friend for brunch at Tryst, in downtown Arlington. It reminds of Biscotti’s (for all of my Jax-villians out there). Yummy food, good menu, good cocktails.

I took a friend there last weekend, and we both loved our meals. We got lucky, and they were doing the Eat Up Boston deal, so we were able to get an appetizer and entree for a fixed price of $15. I got the brussels sprout and kale salad with lemon vinaigrette and steak and eggs (pictured below). So yummy. Check it out next time you’re in town.

 

 

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My Favorite Hidden Gem in Boston: Darwin’s, LTD.

darwinsDarwin’s is hands down, my favorite coffee shop in Boston (I know what you’re thinking, I’m cheating on Dunks? Yes, it’s true.) Darwin’s is my favorite place to spend a Sunday reading a book on my new Kindle Fire (Thanks, Mom!), journaling, and people watching.  The coffee is so yummy (I’m a fan of their latte’s) and their sandwiches are amazing too. The price is fair for what you get, and the service is always friendly. Get there early or it’ll be tough to find a seat!

There are two locations: one on Cambridge Street & one on Mount Auburn Street. I prefer the Cambridge Street location (more street parking) and the library across the street has underground parking for $1/hour if you need it. There is also more seating inside vs. the Mount Auburn location.

If you’re in the area, please check it out–and grab a Florentine cookie while you’re there–they’re to die for!

BIG Announcement.

So, after three months, I guess it’s time to update y’all…I moved to Boston! Ta da!  ::round of applause::

How was the move? This is how I like to summarize it: Remember that time I moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, left all of my family and friends…my cat ran away on the way to the airport (more on him later), I didn’t have a car, my apartment wasn’t ready when I got here, and when the movers finally came with my stuff, they couldn’t fit my couch through the doorway? Yeah, me neither.

Oh-and then the marathon THAT I WAS AT was attacked by terrorists?! Yeah…me neither.

It’s almost comical (minus the Boston Marathon part). I mean, you just have to laugh at some point because it’s completely nuts. If anything, I’ve learned to roll with the punches.

You’ll be seeing a lot of posts of things to do around New England (I have a bucket list), restaurants to try out, and tips & tricks on the city (don’t drive. EVER.) Looking forward to sharing my new adventure with all of you 🙂 If you have an suggestions of things to do, I’m all ears!