Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giveaway: 'Bobby Flay's Throwdown!' Autographed Cookbook

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Jenny!

This coming weekend, I'll be attending the Sun BBQ Fest at Mohegan Sun, a three-day event featuring a rib-eating contest and other barbecue-related dining, demonstrations, and music. In celebration of the event, Mohegan Sun is giving away one autographed copy of Bobby Flay's Throwdown! to a Fork it over, Boston! reader.

The cookbook features more than 100 recipes from Flay's Throwdown! with Bobby Flay show on Food Network, in which he competes to see if he can create a better version of chef's signature dishes. The show has featured several Massachusetts chefs, all of whom defeated Flay:
  • Jack and Rocko Collucci of Collucci Brothers' Diner in Hyannis (dish: meatloaf)
  • Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston (dish: sticky buns)
  • Marilyn and Sheila Brass, Cambridge-based cookbook authors (dish: pineapple upside-down cake)
Want the cookbook? I'll be doing a random drawing this Thursday morning, May 31, 2012; please get your entries in before 8am on Thursday. You can accumulate entries in any or all of the following ways:
  1. Leave a comment on this post - anything relevant to grilling, BBQ, or Bobby Flay (limited to one entry)
  2. Tweet about this giveaway: "I want to win a signed Bobby Flay cookbook from @MoheganSun and @blumie. Find out how! http://bit.ly/LCHlQV" You can change the wording around a bit if you'd like, but make sure to include @MoheganSun and @blumie and a link to this post. (unlimited entries - one per tweet - retweets don't count)
  3. Post publicly from your Facebook profile and/or page. Please tag Mohegan Sun and Fork it over, Boston!, and include a link to this post. (unlimited entries - one per post)
Good luck! And stay tuned for my coverage of the Sun BBQ Fest!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Jenny!

Disclosure: I am receiving free passes and a hotel room for the Sun BBQ Fest. I was not required to run this giveaway in order to attend the event.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Will You Be Ready for the Evil Space Dolphin Apocalypse?

This isn't remotely food-related, but what good is keeping a blog if I can't share non-food-related exciting life news now and then?  As some of you know, I play in a band, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, that can sort of be described as an indie pop ensemble or something along those lines.  We've got girls dressed as librarians, we've got mustaches (well, just one, but it's spectacular), we've got a somewhat odd assortment of instruments, and we've got advanced knowledge of the coming dolphin apocalypse.

I'm so excited to announce that we've just officially released our first music video, in which you can see cartoon versions of my bandmates and me as we find the perfect hero to save the universe from the evil space dolphins (who, I should note, also have spectacular mustaches).

I'd love it if you took a few minutes to check out the video, which I've embedded below.  If you like it, please don't hesitate to hit the thumbs up button and leave a comment on YouTube, share it with your friends, and make sure to alert the world to the danger of evil space dolphins.

The video was made by the immensely talented Dan St. Germain; you should check out his website and hire him to do awesome stuff for you.

Like the song?  The first half of the video features an instrumental version of "Faith in Free Part I," the real version (with vocals) of which is available on our newly released "Faith in Free" EP, and the second half is a song called "Amylee," off of our debut full-length album that we released last year, "Volume One." "Amylee" is probably my favorite song of our repertoire, so I really hope you enjoy it! You can also find these albums (and another one!) on Spotify and iTunes.

Thanks for taking the time to check out a little bit of my non-food life!

Me as a cartoon:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Painted Burro

This has been a great week for tacos. First, I had a very positive experience at The Taco Truck, a new taco truck (what did you expect?) in Cambridge. Then, last night, I returned to the fairly new Davis Square Mexican hotspot, The Painted Burro, and I was pleased to find that it was much improved from my visit the day after they had opened, particularly in terms of portion size, flavor, and service.

When The Painted Burro first opened, I had just returned from Austin with a newfound love for tacos and mezcal. I knew it was risky to visit in the first few days, but I just couldn't wait. I'm a huge fan of Posto, which is under the same ownership, so I had high hopes. Not surprisingly, there were still a lot of kinks to work out on that first visit. I left disappointed but resolved to return after they'd had a couple months to settle in. I'm pleased to report that nearly all of the problems have now been resolved, and I really enjoyed my meal. (On both visits, however, the bar was almost unreasonably slow, even with the restaurant about halfway full. Fortunately the cocktails were worth the wait, but I wonder how long it'd take to get a drink when the restaurant is packed. I'm referring to sitting at a table for dinner and ordering drinks; I'm not sure if the experience sitting right at the bar and ordering from the bartender is faster.)

They did a fantastic job remodeling the old Gargoyles space; it's much brighter and feels more open now. (If I remember correctly, there was a wall or at least a heavy curtain between the dining room and the bar in the Gargoyles days, but now there is not.) The chairs appear to be made of old window shutters, and the tables are also made of reclaimed wood, or at least that's how they look and feel. The ambiance seems inspired by Dia de los Muertos with a variety of festive skeleton decorations, but it doesn't go overboard. One of my dining companions commented that it looked like a place that could be in Los Angeles, a little bit funky while still classy. On a wall near the bar, there's a gorgeous and large mural of a burro (a painted burro!) and a skeleton with a mini-me skeleton on its shoulder.

As a newly enthusiastic drinker of mezcal, I appreciate the large selection, as well as the tequila and mezcal cocktails. The spicy mango margarita was the biggest hit at my table, but we were all quite happy with our drinks. Mine, El Jefe, was similar to one I've enjoyed at Trina's Starlite Lounge in the past. Xoclotl Mole bitters would probably not please everyone, but they make for a smooth and subtly chocolatey flavor.

Food highlights include the pork loin "cochinita" tacos, the kale and plantain side dish, and the helados (ice cream), particularly the chipotle chocolate and the sweet corn. (Picture creamed corn, take away the actual pieces of corn, and make it into ice cream. That's what this was. It might sound weird, but I assure you that it is actually delicious.)

For a quick and cheap taco fix, I'd head back to a place like The Taco Truck, but for a nice night out with friends, I'd definitely return to The Painted Burro. It gets quite pricey, particularly if you delve into the drink menu, so don't go over there expecting tacos for a couple bucks each. It's closer in cost and feel to a place like Olé. Be sure to try the sweet corn ice cream!

The Painted Burro on UrbanspoonSee my favorite dishes on Tasted Menu

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