Area Four

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I once cried over garlic knots. True story. Area Four in Cambridge has the best garlic knots in the world. One day, I had a fierce craving for Area Four garlic knots. For days I thought about them and we made plans for Sunday brunch. I saved up my appetite all morning. Please note that I am the type of person who goes to bed thinking about what I want to eat for breakfast the next day and I wake up hungry. So, we got to Area Four, plopped down at the bar, didn’t even open a menu and asked for an order of garlic knots. When the bartender told us that they didn’t serve garlic knots during brunch, I swear you could hear my heart shatter from three doors down. And then I got hangry. We left Area Four, disappointed and with growling stomachs.  My Mr. then Yelped other restaurants in the area trying to find something else but for some reason, all the places we could think of weren’t open! I felt like the universe didn’t want to feed me, I was so hungry and so disappointed about the garlic knots that I cried. Just a little. But anyways. This trip to Area Four had a much happier ending.

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We ended up ordering two kinds of garlic knots! Their garlic knots are giant fluffy balls of sourdough, tossed in some magical mixture of seasonings that include pecorino, garlic, lemon zest (just the tiniest hint), and parsley; otherwise known as germolata. Chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.The SUPREME garlic knots are baked in a tomato sauce and topped with lots of gooey mozzarella cheese.  Oh yeah. Two of these and I’m all set for the rest of the afternoon.

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And their pizza. Here’s the Not Pepperoni topped with sopressata, mozzarella, tomato, and pecorino. Our friend couldn’t get over how smooth and melty the mozzarella was.

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And here’s the Margherita. Their dough is made from a 12 year old starter and is fermented for more than 30 hours. That’s dedication. Delicious dedication.

Area Four
Kendall Square
500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Area Four

Zaftigs

Gravy cheese fries. That is how I started my Saturday and it was amazing. Zaftigs is a Jewish deli in Coolidge Corner in Brookline.

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Let me tell you about these fries. So crunchy with the perfect drizzle of gravy and melted cheese. No sogginess, no superfluous puddles of cheese here. It is just enough so that every fry gets a nice coating. Zaftigs, they really know how to fry things. Their potato pancakes are also amazing but when there’s just two of us eating, we try to pick only one fried potato side. Have to have some restraint, right?

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I often get breakfast (hello challah french bread) but today I went full gravy and got the Raphel. Imagine if you will, a Thanksgiving dinner served on toasted challah bread. While the stuffing is a bit too sweet for my taste (also made with challah I believe), I got about four bites in and then was full.

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My Mr. got the reuben which is so jam packed with meat I’m not sure how he can get a bite in. He loved their potato salad.

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And even though I could barely breathe at this point, we got rice pudding because I can’t ever say no to rice pudding. It was so good! My Mr. doesn’t even really like rice pudding and we still polished it off. So sweet and creamy… why can’t there be more rice pudding in the world?

Zaftigs Brookline
355 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446

Zaftigs Natick
1298 Worcester St.
Natick, MA 01760

Zaftigs

Jury Duty and Gyros

I get called for jury duty more than anyone else I know. Every three years on the dot, I get my summons. I’m convinced that it can’t be random. Or maybe there’s a shortage of jurors in Boston. Either way, of course I had to get called in one last time before leaving Boston. I planned on getting there late. The summons always says to arrive by 8:00am but they never start until 9:00am! I decided to be a rebel and arrive at 8:15am! So of course I end up getting there at 7:45am. Fail. Still, it ended being one of my favorite jury duty experiences.

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I was in a different building than usual and it was beautiful, new, clean and quite frankly a little intimating but very nice. Our officer was nice and did a great job of explaining how our day would go. He also acknowledged that jury duty was kind of a pain which I appreciated. But the best part of my day was lunch. My Mr. recommended a Greek place he went to the last time he did jury duty. It’s called Zo’s. I wouldn’t call myself a Greek food enthusiast but I LOVED Zo’s.

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Everything about this gyro was perfect. The pita was warm, soft, and so fluffy… like your favorite winter quilt. The meat was piping hot, tender, and flavorful. I don’t know what’s in their tzatziki sauce but it’s like no other tzatziki sauce I’ve ever tasted. Their tomatoes are marinated in a delicious, tangy sauce that makes the whole thing taste bright. So many delicious flavors and textures! I inhaled the entire thing and then got sad because it was all gone. It was the perfect meal and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. They’re located by Government Center and Faneuil Hall and operate a few trucks in the big business areas. But they’re only open during lunch on weekdays. Breaks my heart. It makes me want to do jury duty again. It’s that good.

Faneuil Hall
92 State Street
Boston, MA 02108-1909
(617) 227-0101

Government Center
3 Center Plaza
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 227-0101

Jury Duty and Gyros

India Quality

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This is by far the best Indian food in Boston. We came here in our early years in Boston with our BU friends. We laughed at the name but quickly realized that it truly was quality.

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They have an extensive menu and the service is super speedy.

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I love, love this stuff. Crisp, light and filled with flavorful spices, these crackers greet you as soon as you sit down. I think they’re called papadum?

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We ordered some of our favorites. Chicken mughlai, tender pieces of chicken with mushroom in a rich and creamy sauce. Saag paneer, spinach with Indian cheese. And of course, garlic naan to help scoop up all that yummy sauce. So delicious! And it doesn’t have pools of oil that we’ve seen in other Indian restaurants. They ask what level of spice you would like and we usually get mild or medium. We once ordered hot and learned the hard way that it is not a good idea.

We’ve tried a lot of Indian restaurants in Boston and Cambridge and nothing comes close to India Quality. And as a bonus, there’s a table full of Pixy Stix and Dum Dums so that you can pick up something sweet on your way out.

India Quality
Kenmore Square
484 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

India Quality

Celtics Draft Party

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This is pretty high on my list of “How did I end up here?” moments. Boston is a big, huge, sports city. I am not a big, huge sports person. In our 10 years in Boston, we’ve seen the Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, and Red Sox all win championships. That’s a lot of Duck Boat parades.

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Neither my Mr. nor I became Boston fans during our time here. We were too strongly rooted in our hometowns. I would cheer for my Chicago teams and my Mr. would cheer for his New York teams. Quietly. And we would try to leave town if the Red Sox made it to the playoffs.

Last week, our friends P & T offered us tickets to the official Celtics draft party at the Seaport Hotel. You see, they moved to SF back before all that snow came to town but they still hold season tickets to the Celtics which comes with draft party tickets. Since they couldn’t make it to the party, they kindly offered them to us! Thanks guys! My Mr. was super excited.

It was a pretty sweet party and I definitely could appreciate how cool this event is for sports fans. Tables of tasty food, open bar, LOTS of green, and a real festive energy. My Mr. patiently explained everything to me as I asked important questions such as, “How do they get a jersey with the player’s name on it so quickly?” I had no idea what was going on.

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The moment we’ve all been waiting for…

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Tah dah! Terry Rozier. Who? The room didn’t seem too thrilled. At least they weren’t as mad as New York was.

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I can’t remember who this was but he was important and came down to explain their draft pick.

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Then their coach, Brad Stevens, (had to Google it) said a few words as well. I was really impressed that on a night as big as this, they took the time to come down to the party and address the fans. And also, what the heck, I thought he was a trainer or something! He looks so young!

Overall, a unique and interesting experience. We saw a famous player (Jo Jo White) and my Mr. got a photo with the trophy. Shiny!

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As cool as this party was, to be honest, the best thing that came out of draft night was this video. I watch it at least twice a day and it makes me laugh hysterically every time. Poor New York.

Celtics Draft Party