Pizza Bagels

by Caroline Gentile ’17

On a night when there was no pizza to be found in the dining hall (a very sad night indeed), I struggled to put food on my plate that seemed appetizing.  And then – genius struck. I could make my own pizza! I poached some marinara sauce from the spaghetti station while I waited for my bagels to toast, and asked the grille for two slices of cheese. Just a few minutes later, I was enjoying my pizza bagel while my blockmates drooled in jealousy.  Soon, they too made their own pizza bagels, and together we marveled at how delicious they are, yet so easy to make. So the next time you are at a loss for what to eat for lunch or dinner, consider the pizza bagel. It won’t let you down!


You’ll need:

  • A bagel, cut into halves (use either plain or whole grain)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheese (either from the sandwich bar or from the grille)
  • Bacon or other toppings that you think would make your pizza bagel even better (optional)

Toast the bagel until it is well-toasted (a little more than golden brown). You want to ensure that it will not get soggy when you put the marinara sauce on it. Then, add the marinara sauce, about a spoonful for each half, or more depending on your preference.  If you are adding toppings, place them on top of the marinara sauce. Place one slice of cheese on each half.  Put the prepared pizza bagel into the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until the cheese is sufficiently melted. Wait for the pizza bagel to cool for as long as your self-control will allow you (no more than a few minutes though, thank god) and enjoy!


FLP Thai Cooking Class

by Hayoung Chang ’18

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Today, I ventured down to the depths of Northwest Labs to attend a Thai food cooking class. Led by a Thai chef, the class was filled with a diverse mix of people including hungry college students like me, grad students, as well as old people. After a swift safety briefing, we familiarized ourselves with the authentic Thai ingredients, utensils, and layout of the cooking lab, a neat and comfortable space.

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Following the instructions of our instructor chef as well as the recipe, we got to work. Chopping vegetables and mixing sauces, I was glad to get my hands dirty with some Thai spices. My partners prepared the vermicelli noodles. Mixing it all together, the fresh peppers, hint of spice and succulent noodles combined to create a wonderful dish. I could hardly believe that I had cooked it myself!

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Next, we started preparing the curry by warming some coconut milk. The fragrance bubbling up from the pot was enough to make my mouth water. With my stomach growling, we added dollops of spice and sauces, plopped in some tofu, tomatoes and pineapples, and brought the curry to a gentle boil. Once the consistency was just right, we sprinkled some basil to finish it off. 

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The taste was amazing, to say the least. Perhaps the fact that we had cooked it from scratch had heightened my senses. The curry was just the right amount of spicy, creamy and silky smoothness. The warm and soft tofu complemented the sharp sweetness of the pineapple. Drizzled over jasmine rice, the dish was a huge success.

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Overall, I immensely enjoyed the experience. Not only did I learn how to make some great curry, I also learned to appreciate food, and real food. These days, we consume so many processed and pre-cooked foods, that we often forget where food comes from. By partaking in the process of transforming fruit, vegetables and grain to a delightful dish, my eyes were opened to the true nature of food. Perhaps that’s a little too cheesy, but hey, at least I got the best curry recipe under my belt.


Crave Follows the Freak Frappe Craze

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18

If there’s one thing New Yorkers do well, it’s setting trends. Let us never forget the cronut, a humble combination of a croissant and a donut, that caused New Yorkers to lose their minds a couple years ago.

There is one food trend Caroline and I can get on board for, however, and it’s the not-so-humble milkshake.


This trend originated in Black Tap Burgers and Beer in NYC and has found its way to our very own Boston Burger Company!  Dubbed “freak frappes,” these milkshakes are topped with m&ms, brownies, toasted marshmallows, and even bacon. Caroline and I decided to investigate these high-calorie treats to see if they were worth the hype.


Pro tip: do not attempt to tackle a freak frappe if you are even a little bit full.  I couldn’t even finish mine (the Nutella frappe with chocolate cookies and m&ms), which is saying a lot. The real MVP would have to be Caroline, who fearlessly conquered an Oreo frappe with every cookie offered, a toasted marshmallow, and a brownie.

These milkshakes will look incredible on your Instagram feed and taste equally as good.  Be wary of the pricing, however, because it’s easy to get carried away with all the delicious toppings and lose track of it all. Boston Burger Company is already known for their crazy burger options (the 420 burger has mozzarella sticks in it!), but they have really outdone themselves here. Midterms got you feeling down? Grab a friend, grab a burger, and grab a freak frappe at Boston Burger Company.  I guarantee the sugar rush is powerful enough to overcome any stress that’s coming your way.


Barbecued Bliss at Sweet Cheeks Q

by Caroline Gentile ‘17

Compared to my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Boston has a lot more to offer. In terms of culture, things to do, and most importantly, things to eat, the difference is like night and day. In fact, I think Harvard Square alone has more diversity in fare than my homogeneous suburb of Cincinnati. However, the one category in which I’ve found the greater Boston area—and New England in general— has fallen short, is barbecue.

Until I found Sweet Cheeks Q.

Finally, a place where I could stuff my face with smoked meat and biscuits the size of my face – and wash it all down with a towering glass of sweet tea! At first, I will say, I was skeptical. Given the scarcity of barbecue in New England, I did not have high hopes for Sweet Cheeks. Located in Fenway, the restaurant itself seemed a bit too polished with to serve truly authentic barbecue compared to the dive-like barbecue establishments I’m used to.

I was quickly proven wrong. When a large bucket, overflowing with warm, fluffy, buttery biscuits was placed right in front of me, with a side of honey butter, I could barely control myself. After a 5-minute-but-felt-like-5-years walk in the 15-degree weather from the T to the restaurant, let me tell you that there are few things better than coming in from the cold and being given a bucket of biscuits to slather in melted honey butter deliciousness.


Approximately two minutes elapsed until my table had demolished all ten of the massive buttery biscuits. Our next victim? The drinks. I should have known from the bar vibe that Sweet Cheeks gives off—think bar stools and massive TV—but they have some damn good drinks. The legal members of my fellow diners decided to go for the John Daly Scorpion Ball. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a John Daly is the alcoholic twist of an Arnold Palmer: lemonade, sweet tea, and sweet tea vodka. When the drink finally arrived, we were in shock; the Mason jar, filled to the brim with the sweet, yet tart elixir, was literally bigger than our faces. For the under-21 crew, the non-alcoholic version of this beverage was just as tasty, and also served in an absurdly massive mason jar.


Now, for the star of the show: the barbecue. By this point in the meal, I was already overflowing with biscuits and sweet tea, but I soldiered on so as to make room for what I really came for. A friend and I decided to split the Fat Cheeks Tray, which allowed us to pick three kinds of meat, a cold side, and a hot side. We decided on pulled pork, pulled chicken, and brisket, with sides of mac n’ cheese and potato salad.


While the pulled chicken was nothing impressive, the pulled pork and brisket were everything smoked meat should be: tender, flavorful, and well, smoky. Their tangy, savory barbecue sauce went perfectly with their meat. The potato salad was crisp and fresh. Honestly, though, I think the best part of the Fat Cheeks Tray—even better than the barbecue itself— was the mac n’ cheese. Not too thick, creamy, or cheesy, and covered in toasted breadcrumbs, this mac n’ cheese was probably the best I’ve ever had.


Frankly, because I am not truly from the South (although Cincinnati does share an airport with Kentucky…), I am not entirely qualified to make informed decisions and recommendations about barbecue. I am, however, a mac n cheese expert. Rest assured, one of my friends who accompanied me to Sweet Cheeks Q hails from San Antonio, and she, too, was impressed with not only the mac n cheese, but also the barbecue. And if a Texan likes it, you know it must be good.


Sweet Cheeks Q

Location: 1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

Reservation: TableUp or call at (617)-266-1300

Stand-out dishes: Brisket, Mac n’ Cheese

Overall Rating: 4/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 3.5/5

Ambience: 3.5/5


Editor’s note: Tiffani Faison, the head chef and owner of Sweet Cheeks Q, recently opened an Asian-inspired restaurant, Tiger Mama. Check both of them out!


iV: The Ivy League Conference

By Joseph Winters ’20
This weekend, the sixth annual Ivy League Vegan Conference drew a crowd of around four hundred health-conscious eaters to Harvard’s Geo Museum for three days of nutrient analyses, animal rights roundtables, and—of course—a healthy dose of delicious vegan food.
The conference, called iV, was first held in 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania, and has since taken place annually at Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, and this year was hosted by the Harvard Vegan Society. Speakers and panelists presented on a range of topics, from bioethics to chronic disease, in the Harvard Geological Museum from Friday to Sunday afternoon.
At the registration booth, attendees were welcomed by complimentary scoops of coconut milk-based FoMu ice cream. I refused to choose between the lemony marshmallow pie flavor and one called “Candy Bar,” demanding that the scoopers put together a half-and-half combo for me. Not that I was unfamiliar with FoMu; in fact, it’s my favorite creamery in Boston, vegan or not. What I didn’t know, however, was that FoMu was founded by Boston local Deena Jala, who had no culinary experience prior to opening shop. I got to hear Jala tell her story at the conference during a panel about vegan entrepreneurship.
Some of the other highlights of the conference included a presentation by Cass Sunstein, JD, Harvard Law School professor and author of the best-selling book Nudge, about behavioral economics and “choice architecture.” This is interesting when considering the creation of dining spaces—the undergraduate dining halls, for example, have a variety of features programmed into them in order to “nudge” eaters towards more healthful options. For example, something as simple as putting vegetables before the meat entrees can cause meat consumption to decline.
There was a preview of an upcoming movie, as well, called Eating Animals. Adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book with the same title, the film provides a Food, Inc.-esque glimpse into the inhumane conditions feedlot animals are often subjected to. Farm Forward CEO and Divinity School alum Aaron Gross, who contributed to the film’s production, provided commentary on several movie clips and spoke about the production of the film.
Along with animal rights and welfare, the other two major themes of the iV Conference were nutrition and sustainability. The Saturday conference schedule began with an entrepreneurship panel including Allen Campbell, who was once the personal chef of the NFL’s Tom Brady; FoMu’s Deena Jala; and Pankaj Pradhan, owner and chef of the Watertown vegan/vegetarian restaurant Red Lentil. Later in the conference was a presentation from Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of Purple Carrot, a Blue Apron-style meal kit service specializing in plant-based foods.
Interestingly, many of the speakers at the conference weren’t actually vegan, including many of those entrepreneurs who have made names for themselves in the world of vegetarianism/veganism. Purple Carrot’s Andy Levitt calls himself, and even his target audience, “balanceataraians,” meaning that they use whole, plant-based foods to find balance in a diet that doesn’t categorically exclude animal products. This approach to diet was more popular than many stereotypes about veganism might have you think. Rather than promoting extremism, many of the nutrition speakers and panelists on Sunday spoke about a need for variety, flexibility, and balance. The health and sustainability values of dietary choices exist as sliding scales, not black and white options.
Food provided during the conference wasn’t the typical conference fare; no bulk pastry basket for breakfast, no box lunch sandwich and potato chips combo here. Each morning during the conference, chef Kristin Sinavage cooked up some delicious scrambled “eggs” for conference attendees. The scramble was made from a chickpea base, and didn’t really taste anything like eggs, but it was yellow and very tasty. Plus, it went well with the wide array of toppings provided, from roasted cherry tomatoes to sautéed kale to seaweed “bacon” and Tofurky breakfast sausage. Also provided was avocado toast (of course), almond butter toast, chia seed pudding, and mashed sweet potatoes with cocoa nib toppings.
To tide us over until lunch, Juice Press provided us with some snack food in the form of dried mangoes, macaroon-like cookies, date-based granola bars, and dark chocolate. Whole Foods catered lunch with vegan wraps and salads. Truth be told, the ticket price for non-Harvard conference-goers (it was free for Harvard students) may have been worth it just for the excellent food provided. The iV Conference certainly left me feeling nourished, with a full belly and a renewed interest in the crossroads between health, nutrition, animal welfare, and sustainability. And a bag full of Juice Press coconut vanilla cookies that will probably be gone within a day or so.

Legume Noodle Soup for the Soul

by Joseph Winters ’20

I first got to know Yotam Ottolenghi at Powell’s Books, a massive independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon. His cookbook, Plenty More, lay open on a “Staff Recommended” display. “Vibrant Vegetable Cooking,” read the book’s subtitle; all of its recipes were vegetarian, highlighting the overlooked value of vegetables in gourmet cooking. Ottolenghi is the owner of several delis and restaurants in the UK, the author of four cookbooks, and he is arguably one of today’s most influential culinary figures.
But I didn’t know that as I flipped to the “Simmered” section of Plenty More. What I did know was that his recipe for Legume Noodle Soup sounded delicious, and it came with some pretty mouth-watering food-tography. One impulse buy later, Plenty More was mine and I was already making dinner plans.
Together, my mom and I have made this soup for countless get-togethers and parties, sometimes doubling or even tripling the recipe. Leftovers of this soup are highly valued in the Winters household, so when we make a batch, we don’t mind having ready-to-pack lunches for the next week and a half.
What makes this soup so incredible is the way it combines flavor with healthiness. It’s got legumes: protein. It’s got noodles: carbs. It’s got spinach and fresh herbs: healthiness. Everything is simmered together with onions and garlic and turmeric. Oh yeah, and butter…lots of butter. It’s a flavor powerhouse and a balanced meal all in itself. This weekend, I decided to bring back some fond memories and make myself a heaping pot-full. It ended up lasting me seven meals, which came in handy especially on Tuesday and Thursday, when I have nonstop class from 10:00 to 2:30 (plus section until 4:30 on Tuesdays!). Hopefully my French 40 classmates didn’t mind the wafting aroma of turmeric-y, dill-filled legume noodle soup as we analyzed French cinematography…
*In honor of the Environmental Action Committee’s Veguary Campaign, which tries to get people to commit to a reduction in animal consumption during February, I’ve been vegan since the beginning of the month. I just had to swap the butter in this recipe for olive oil, but I don’t think it affected the flavor that much.
Also, since the original version requires some fancy schmancy cookery that’s just not reasonable for college students cooking in the Grays common room kitchen, I’ve made some alterations with convenience in mind (e.g. in my version, you don’t need to measure 125 grams of dry chickpeas and soak them overnight with baking soda).
Legume Noodle Soup — adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More
Ingredients – the ones in bold can be found in Annenberg
  • 1 1/3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/3 cups any other kind of beans (I used kidney beans)
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped (about 4 cups total) *I used chopped red onions from the D-hall
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced (or garlic powder from the D-hall)
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 8 1/2 cups vegetable broth (about two cartons)
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup dill leaves (that’s fresh dill, unfortunately not the dry stuff you can get in the D-hall)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (green and white parts)
  • 5 cups spinach leaves
  • 3 1/2 oz dry linguine (or spaghetti, but I like linguine better for this soup)
  • optional: 2/3 cup sour cream (or yogurt), 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar, lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • salt and pepper
  • Put the butter (or olive oil) in a big pot over medium heat. Cook for twenty minutes, until the onions are super soft and golden. Add the turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, and some black pepper.
  • Add the chickpeas, beans, split peas, and stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes, checking to see when the peas get tender.
  • Add the parsley, cilantro, dill leaves, green onions, and spinach. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the linguine and cook for 10 minutes, until it’s soft.
  • Stir in the optional sour cream, white wine vinegar, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Hi B3ear Ice Cream

by Caroline Gentile ’17

This past summer, my Instagram feed was flooded with pictures of rolled ice cream posted by friends interning in San Francisco and New York.  Fueled by my novel ice cream FOMO, I searched for a place in Boston that offered rolled ice cream for me to try, but at the time, could not find anything.  Finally, at the end of the summer of 2016, Hi B3ar fulfilled my rolled ice cream dreams and opened in Allston (147 Brighton Ave.).

The owner of Hi B3ar also owns nearby Mala Restaurant, and hopes “to give everyone a hot spicy taste then a cold, sweet taste for dessert.”  Hi B3ar certainly delivers on the promise of a cold, sweet treat.  The shop has 10 different offerings of rolled ice cream, with flavors varying from coffee to chocolate to berry to mango, all for $6.95 plus tax.

My ice cream buddy and I opted to try the First Kiss, which had strawberries, graham crackers, and chocolate sauce, and the Cookie Monster, which had Oreos.  We watched in awe as the server poured a creamy liquid onto the cold surface, sprinkled on our desired toppings, and skillfully manipulated the mixture until it resembled perfect rolls.

When we were finally handed our bowls of rolled ice cream, we dug in immediately.  While the cold surface had allowed the liquid to take on the perfect rolled shape, it made the ice cream far too cold to taste anything at first.  After waiting a few minutes for it to thaw, we gave it another shot.  Still, the ice cream seemed to lack flavor, and had a bit of an egg-y aftertaste.  It was a generous serving of ice cream, but for $6.95, we had both expected better tasting ice cream.

Though I am certainly glad Hi B3ar has brought rolled ice cream to Boston, I found their ice cream to be lackluster in taste.  That being said, the experience of watching the ice cream get rolled up in front of me was worthwhile in itself, and so if you want to try something new, I encourage you to give Hi B3ar a chance!



Ice cream + Donut = A Double Chin Specialty

by Audrey Thorne ’19

Upon walking into what appeared from the outside a tiny store, I was excited by the vast and chic interior. Toting a wooden bench swing, almost lantern-like lights, both low and high tables, and an open connection to the bakery next door, the space is stunning.


When asked what flavours were available for their ice cream donut sandwiches the man at the counter handed me a menu of the four donut sandwiches offered and informed me that the red velvet had run out. That meant that made my choice easier. Now I was stuck between three options instead of four. Though the image of the Galaxy was visually stunning, I finally decided to get the Nutella and the Matcha. I ordered one of each to go.

I tried the Nutella first. The flavour was reminiscent of a dark hot chocolate and had an overall smooth consistency. There were no surprises to the bite. The chocolate donut matched the chocolate ice cream. The rainbow sprinkles on top gave it a bit of texture. It was not too sweet.

Next I tried the Matcha. The first thing that hits me in the strong matcha flavour from the matcha powder topping the donut. The vanilla ice cream complements the matcha donut well. The donut is moist and the matcha powder is delectable. It is sweeter than the Nutella and more unique. The more I eat it, the more I want.

As far as ice cream donut sandwiches go, I have reached the verdict that the two together are exponentially better than either alone. They’re my favourite couple this Valentine’s Day.

Gâté Comme Des Filles and Somerville Chocolate: Your Valentine’s Destination

By Saranya Vijayakumar ’18 and Sara Surani ’181

We decided to cover Somerville’s chocolates again for Valentine’s day! During the winter months, Lizzy’s ice cream turns into a pop-up chocolate shop. The chocolates are made in collaboration between Alexandra Whisnant’s gáté comme des filles and Somerville Chocolate. The chocolates are made at Aeronaut, the brewery that also has a restaurant and somerville chocolate within the building.  

The woman running the shop is named Fallon and is absolutely amazing. Her fiery red hair and welcoming personality make the hole-in-the-wall treasure trove feel more like a chocolate home than a chocolate shop. She took us around the store and showed us the handmade chocolates. She gave us a few to try, including the white chocolate cardamom, the hazelnut praline, the vanilla bean, and the meyer lemon. Our favorites were the meyer lemon, with gold leaf on the top, and the hazelnut, which tasted like nutella…but better.


The pop up lasts only until the end of February, when the shop becomes Lizzy’s ice cream again. It’s the perfect place to get a Valentine’s Day gift, with adorable Alice in Wonderland wrapping and tasty chocolates!

If you’re curious on what chocolates to try, gift to your loved one, or surprise your favorite galentine with, here are some of our suggestions!

Hazelnut praline:

Are you a Nutella-lover? Well, look no further! This all-organic, freshly made chocolate tastes just like nutella… except better. It has the warm soul-sensation of a Ferrero Rocher, but is both fluffier on the touch and gentler on the palate. It’s a classic crowd pleaser and brings back hints of nostalgia with its tones of crisp hazelnut. The nutella-like flavor hugs your tastebuds and doesn’t let go–much like your Valentine’s day date won’t let go after you two share this lovely treat together!

Lemon meyer:

Do you like your sweet with a hint of sass? Then the lemon meyer is your go-to! While this chocolate has a nice milk chocolate exterior like the other chocolates, the puckering tinge of lemon sets it apart from the rest! (Not to mention the delicately crafted gold leaf on top!) Not only does the lemon-y taste catch you by pleasant surprise, but the citrus-y taste lasts long after your chocolate has disappeared! The best part? It is all-organic, made with fresh meyer lemon juice, and is vegan-friendly!

Vanilla bean:

Want to stay on the safe side but still want to feel warm inside? If so, you can’t go wrong with the vanilla bean bonbon! Immediately upon biting into the creamy chocolate, you taste warm tones of both organic chocolate and Costa Rican vanilla bean. The two flavor duo compliments each other better than any of your two favorite duos–Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet, Barak and Joe, you name it! This soothing flavor, accompanied by the dark valrhona chocolate ganache is a perfect chocolate for a snowy day!

White chocolate cardamom:

Are you a fan of Starbucks’ dirty chai latte? Then the white chocolate cardamom bonbon is perfect for you! This beautiful snowflake-colored bonbon has a glimmering creamy exterior and and an even creamier and fluffier interior. This hearty treat exudes warmth and content-ness with its smooth white chocolate hard shell and its strong flavor of cardamom on the inside. Even though though the tones of cardamon are strong, they gently dance on your tastebuds. Having a bad day? Wait no longer, this white chocolate cardamom is a great pick-me up and can turn any sub-par day into a stellar one!


This tiny shop should not be overlooked. It’s a cozy place to go for a quick treat in the snowstorm, so check it out before it leaves for the year!

Also, Fallon has an art show on February 25th from noon to midnight at Warehouse XI. Everyone is invited. She’s super cool, so visit her at the chocolate shop and go to her show!

Life Pops Up at Life Alive

by Joseph Winters ’20
At 5:57 PM, I sidled into my seat at a communal table next to Kendyl from California, who had been a vegan for four years, and Steve, who said he kept Kosher, but also called himself a flexitarian, a flexible vegetarian. A few minutes later, “Same” sat down to my right. I looked at his name tag and wondered how to pronounce such an unique, ethnic name.
“It’s Sam,” he said. “They got it wrong.”
Whoops, I thought.
Sam’s sister, Thuy, came next, and finally Krystal. The six of us were sitting around a circular table in the basement of Life Alive, a vegetarian/alternative restaurant in Central Square. Life Alive’s regular menu includes a variety of vegetable/grain bowls full of yummy sauces like “Ginger Nama Shoyu,” as well as a wraps, salads, smoothies, and juices. That night, January 25, they were having a four-course pop-up dinner crafted by “culinary guru” Leah Dubois, with each course paired by a special mushroom tea mocktail from Tamim Teas, a Cambridge-based tea company started by a Harvard graduate who had studied urban planning.
We all sat around the table a little awkwardly at first. Inevitably, the conversation turned to food—what else could have brought us all together at a gourmet vegetarian dinner? Most of us had experimented with some kind of reduced-meat diet before—Kendyl with her veganism, Sam’s “hardcore” vegetarianism (as described by his sister, Thuy), my pescatarianism (no meat, but fish and shellfish are okay), and the Kosher keepings of both Steve and Krystal.
Our conversation became more relaxed as we began to nibble on the first course: deviled eggs. But in true Life Alive fashion, they weren’t ordinary deviled eggs. Apart from being free-range eggs, the filling was made from cashew aioli and mustard, and they were topped with house-made pickled jalapeños and sprouts. There were plenty to go around, whetting our appetites for the rest of the meal.
As we munched on our eggs, we were introduced to the owner of Tamim Teas, Liat, who started drinking mushroom-infused teas for their health benefits (not the taste, which, as she writes on her website, is less than appetizing). But, as Liat later discovered, mushroom teas could be made really tasty by using local fungi and “balancing the flavors of mushrooms with a unique array of organic, caffeine-free herbs, [to make] them safe and accessible to a wider demographic.” For our first tea, we tried an astralagus-infused blend made from maitake shrooms, locally-sourced ginger and goji berries. Lost yet? So was I—astralagus is apparently a root with lots of medicinal properties, and maitakes are a kind of mushroom apparently renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties. Goji berries just taste good, I guess (plus they’re a berry, so they’ve probably got some great antioxidant properties or something). The tea was warm and soothing, and paired well with the deviled eggs.
Next we had the “Life Alive version of dahl,” Leah explained to our table. It was made with black lentils, sautéd fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, cumin seeds popped in coconut oil, and rainbow carrots from a local farm. It was topped with house-made pickled mango, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and radish sprouts. Everyone at the table loved the dahl. I’m pretty sure I overheard Steve whisper “they hit a home run with this one” into his bowl. Very soothing and mild, I really enjoyed the tang the pickled mango gave it.
Liat came by again, this time with a cold tea. It was called the Lion’s Share Blend, and had lion’s mane mushrooms, local turmeric, black peppercorns, and green rooibos. The roobois was interesting because it’s generally sold red—this is because, as Liat explained, it’s easier to sell rooibos in burned form, maybe because it has to be shipped all the way from Africa, where it is mostly grown. You’ve probably had rooibos if you’ve ever sipped on specialty herbal teas infused with fruity flavors like pineapple or mango.
Salad was next, featuring—believe it or not—more mushrooms! Maitakes made an appearance in whole form, having been roasted to delicious tenderness and finished with alfalfa and radish micro greens, citrus slices, and a lemony vinaigrette. This was really light and fruity, an interesting contrast to the soothingness of the dahl.
Liat’s tea pairing was called Shiitake Uplift, including rooibos, ginger, lemongrass, lemon peel, and a touch of kombucha for fizziness. The fizz went perfectly with the lightness of the salad, and the citrus matched the lemony dressing. This “tea” (it was more kombucha-y than tea-like) was probably my favorite, possibly because it was pretty sweet.
For dessert, Leah brought us these gorgeous mini jars full of coconut milk-based lavender gelato, speckled with crumbled pistachios and coconut flakes. The gelato was phenomenal—super creamy, coconut-y, and sweet. I’m not sure if I could tell that there was lavender in the gelato itself, but there were little pieces of whole lavender petals (if they’re called petals) between the pistachio and coconut flakes.
Our gelato was paired with Reishi Delight, apparently made from a mushroom that is one of the oldest fungi used for its medicinal purposes. It was combined with African honeybush, two types of cinnamon (one of which was in whole form), and orange peel. It was served warm and contrasted well with the cold gelato. It was especially good after Liat poured in some of Life Alive’s house-made almond milk.
According to Leah, these kinds of pop-up dinners are going to become monthly-occurring Life Alive events, possibly in partner with different local businesses like Tamim Teas.
As I polished off the last scoop of lavender gelato from the bottom of my mini Mason jar, Kendyl said goodbye to our little group of new friends. I followed soon after, leaving the others to continue their scintillating conversation about the challenges faced when home pickling watermelon rinds. I had a great experience—great food, tea, and cool people. I will definitely keep checking my Instagram for news of future Life Alive pop-ups!

Bergamot & Bisq: Siblings at Their Finest

By Joseph Winters ’20
Typical college dining calls to mind bowls of brothy ramen, burgers, pizza, burritos—cheap fast food. It can generally be eaten fast (or maybe it must be eaten fast—cold French fries are pretty much only useful as dog food) and seasoned with a healthy tablespoon or two of salt.
Bergamot, on the other hand, is nothing like that.
I had passed by the Somerville restaurant a couple times on runs to Union Square, assuming, as the name suggested, that it was a tea house or café of some sort (bergamot is an orange-derived flavoring for tea). But while you might be able to order some tea with your meal at Bergamot, the restaurant is by no means a teahouse. I spoke with co-owner Servio Garcia before visiting his restaurant this December, when he told me that they specialize in finding ways to “use what we are able to get on hand” locally. From there, Servio works some culinary magic to give those ingredients global flair by using “influences from all over the world.” But mostly, he says, he’s preoccupied with offering “the best dining experience to every one of our guests.”
As I walked into Bergamot, bundled up in my down coat, the host immediately offered to take it, whisking it away to some back room. This was the first indication at I was in over my head; never before had I been in a restaurant this upscale. I took a seat on the bench side of a table for two and observed the interior of the restaurant. Very dim lighting, a few elegantly dressed people, and a very small bar gave the single-room space intimacy. Soft music played, and the people around me talked in semi-hushed voices.
A waiter come to my table and explained that I would be receiving a variation of the chef’s tasting menu: the chefs would select a few items for me to try, serving them in smaller-than-usual portions so that I could try a wider variety of dishes. I thanked the waiter, took a sip of sparkling water, and prepared myself for the culinary surprises that awaited me.
First up, the waiter appeared with “bread service” for the evening. That day’s offering was a cornbread muffin with miso maple butter. It was crumbly and sweet, and I appreciated the miso’s funkiness. I self-consciously Instagrammed a photo of it, unsure of the proper food-tography etiquette for this style of restaurant.
The first real plate came soon after, and it looked like something from the TV show Chopped. Small chunks of beets were delicately piled atop a little schmear of whipped feta, dotted with some “spiced ancient grains” (quinoa and bulgur) and fried chickpeas, then drizzled with a mint and parsley pistou. I was actually pretty impressed that the waiter could remember all of the separate components of the dish when he described them to me. I’m a veggie lover, so this dish was an easy hit. It had tang from the feta, grit from the grains, crunch from the chickpeas, and sweetness from the beets. A definite winner.
Next out was a small bowl of house made cavatelli pasta with pieces of apple, chestnuts, and kale chips on top. It was dressed in chestnut madeira cream—I’m not entirely sure what that even means, but I liked it. There was a really mild, nutty sweetness to the sauce, often accompanied by a squishy golden raisin.
Next I got pan fried smelts, imported from Canada. The five sardine-sized fish were spread on a shallow dish, with pieces of medjool dates, olives, onion, tangerine, and boiled potato speckled between them, all drizzled with a garlic bread sauce (the last drops of which I ended up soaking up with some pieces of potato). This may have been my favorite dish of the night. The fish were served skin-on, nearly whole except for the head, and the skin was crisped to perfection, with an excellently gritty bit of char to them. This worked really well with the crispy boiled potatoes, and the dates were so tender they were falling apart before I could even get them into my mouth.
The next dish turned out to be the only dish I wasn’t pleased with. It was a charcuterie board with five different kinds of meat, each paired with their own kind of sauce or cream or cheese. To begin with, a charcuterie board felt a little out of place after the daintiness of the other dishes. Part of e problem may be that I’m far from a meat connoisseur—I used to be a vegetarian, and to this day eat meat mostly on special occasions. I tried each kind of meat, actually finding that I really liked some of the pairings more than the meats themselves. In particular, the crispy grits that went with a chicken patê were delicious, and the mustard that was paired with the sausage was super pungent. I finished around half the plate before telling the waiter I didn’t think I could finish the whole thing, hoping I hadn’t just committed an egregious faut pas in the foodie world.
Grilled salmon was next, and it turned out to be a testament to Bergamot’s mission of serving globally-inspired foods. Besides being a great piece of salmon (I would know; being from the Pacific Northwest has made me a salmon snob), cooked right to that delicate balance between juiciness and flakiness, it came with pineapple chow, pepper pot sauce, black beans, and molasses ham. This dish, my waiter informed me, was inspired by the owner’s recent trip to the Caribbean. Jamaican influence shone through in the pineapple chow and the molasses ham, but the pairing with salmon was an intriguing choice. “In true Bergamot fashion, here we have a dish putting together multiple cultural influences,” he explained. Completely and unapologetically nontraditional. “Here’s a saag paneer. Sort of,” my waiter told a nearby table a little later, making me smile to myself.
At this point in the meal, I was beginning to feel a little full, and nearly two hours had gone by. But I had no trouble finding room for the final savory dish that appeared in front of me: the Braised Short Plate. It was a simple piece of meat so tender that it was in severe danger of falling apart at a single prod from my fork, garnished with caramelized sweet potato, chimichurri, cabbage, and grape slaw. This plate was a definite winner—the grape slaw was a wonderfully fresh pairing with the rich meat and potato, and the chimichurri was light and tangy. The couple next to me also ordered this dish, and I couldn’t help but overhear their zealous enthusiasm for it, as well. Whenever their conversation lulled, one of them would say, “Wow, that short plate was so good!”
And, of course, there was dessert. I love describing this dish to friends because it combined so many different parts. A ginger snap cookie was topped with a small scoop of ginger ice cream, drizzled with some special cranberry-y sauce, and dotted with red wine poached prunes, these puffy cranberries called cranberry coulis, and whipped pistachio drops. Often when I go out, I look for the kinds of things that I would never be able to make myself, and this was certainly one of them. The cranberries were light and airy like a sort of sweet popcorn, and coated with crystallized sugar. The whipped pistachios were like pistachio-flavored chocolate chips, but softer and creamier. The ginger snap cookie and ice cream weren’t unlike many ginger snap cookies and ice cream that I’ve had, but I don’t think that was the point; the additions were what really made the dish shine.
Finally, after two and a half hours and seven courses, I walked out of Bergamot feeling pretty full but very happy. I had just eaten what had perhaps been the fanciest meal of my life. The food was great and the staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and, most importantly, passionate. As I left, one chef explained to me that recipe development is a joint effort between all staff members. “Every single cook has an influence on the menu,” Bergamot’s owner Servio Garcia told me in an interview a few days after my meal. “They just put ideas on the table,” and through trial and error, they come up a menu that is ever-changing, with no single item remaining on the menu for more than two or three months.
Fortunately for me, Servio invited me to review Bergamot’s sister restaurant, BISq, the very next night. So at 6:15 PM, I made the ten-minute bike ride from Harvard Yard towards eastern Somerville. BISq opened in the summer of 2015 and has since become a unique mainstay of the Boston-area dining scene. Servio describes his vision for BISq as a “wine bar where you can go and have great wines and awesome food.” BISq is best experienced in large groups—the more people in your group, the greater the number of tapas you’ll get to try. Also in the spirit of sharing, BISq offers “whole roasted animals.” Check out their Instagram page for some pretty impressive photos of entire pigs, charred and placed smack in the middle of a family-style table.
When I visited, I did not have quite a big enough appetite for a whole roasted animal. But I did have the opportunity to try some tapas. I was seated in an interesting area, at a bar right in front of the kitchen, so I got to watch the chefs preparing dishes, chopping and frying and slicing with delicate care. There seemed to be two other main areas to BISq, with more space for larger groups, but the room at the front of the restaurant, where I was, was a little smaller.
Based on a recommendation from my waitress, I ordered two veggie plates and two meatier ones: Cast-Iron Roasted Brassicas, Roasted Hen of the Woods, Fried Chicken, and 1/2 Lobster. The veggie dishes came out first. The roasted brassicas—cauliflower and broccoli—were piled in a small heap at the center of a plate and dotted with red harissa aioli. This dish was as delicious as it was beautiful—I loved the fun mix of different colored and shaped brassicas, and the bite-sized pieces were perfectly charred on the edges. But I immediately forgot about cauliflowers when the Roasted Hen of the Woods appeared. This was probably the most interesting dish of my meal. The hen of the woods (mushrooms, not pieces of chicken, as I had first thought) were piled atop a pureed spinach sauce, and some cured egg yolk served as a powdery topping. Each bite alternated between crispy or soft, crunchy or buttery. I had no problem polishing this plate off quite quickly.
Before dinner that night, I had been perusing BISq’s Instagram page, which had heavily featured their fried chicken dish. It turned out that this was because for that week, all proceeds from the sale of this dish would go towards relief for families affected by the East Cambridge fire of December 2016. I’d been craving a plate of my own, so I was excited to see it arrive, coming with a shallow bowl of buttermilk ranch with dots of Thai bird chili salt in the center. Although I think it would be pretty difficult to mess up fried chicken, BISq’s preparation was extra crispy, and that buttermilk sauce was more complex than your typical ranch dipping sauce. It had creaminess, some heat, and a little bit of tang, which came together nicely against the fried chicken.
Embarrassingly, when my 1/2 lobster arrived, I had to ask the waitress how to eat it; I’ve only eaten lobster once before. Was I supposed to crack the legs open? Use my hands? From what I gathered, eating lobster was sort of like an anything-goes mission, where whatever you can do to get at the tender lobster meat is acceptable. I dipped the flesh into a sweet and tart tub of meyer lemon sauce, accidentally splattering a little bit of buttery goodness all over the counter in front of me. I inconspicuously tidied my area up and continued to crack my lobster legs. There were also brussels sprouts with pear butter that served as a nest for the lobster. There are a lot of nonbelievers when it comes to brussels sprouts, but I think they’ve probably just never had them done the right way. BISq certainly does them the right way, roasting them just enough to cook through and absorb the pear butter, but leaving them with enough body of their own to retain some bite.
After scooping up the last bit of meyer lemon sauce, I looked at the wreckage I’d created with some satisfaction. Four dishes done beautifully. Although my meal at Bergamot was an incredible dining experience, I would have to say that BISq is more my style. I would take someone to Bergamot if I wanted to impress them, but I would go to BISq to have a good time. I think this probably fits with the kinds of audiences Bergamot and BISq are trying to cater to; Bergamot is more formal, BISq more casual. But both of Servio Garcia’s restaurants show his commitment to quality food and interesting preparation. I left contentedly to a happy farewell from the waitstaff, my bike ride back to my dorm fueled by the warm memory of chili buttermilk, meyer lemons, harissa aioli, and hen of the woods mushrooms.

Green Blender: Blend it Your Way

By Joseph Winters ’20
I love smoothies. Smoothies in the morning, smoothies for snacks, smoothies before bed—there’s no bad time for a smoothie. At home, they served two main functions: 1) they were a good way to eat more greens without even realizing it, and 2) they helped my family reduce waste by allowing us to use whatever fruits and veggies were lying around in the fridge, a little past their prime but still edible.
The ultimate dream would be for Annenberg to have a smoothie station, where students have anytime access to a fridge full of fresh ingredients and a quality blender. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite the case. As freshmen, we’re pretty much stuck with using whatever blender we can find in the dorm kitchens, or renting from the FDO.
Not to mention, the ingredients! I’ve swiped my share of bananas from Annenberg, but most smoothie recipes call for teeny amounts of things like chia or hemp seeds, apple pie spice, fresh ginger… Without frequent trips to Whole Foods, it’s hard to imagine being able to stock the right smoothie ingredients all the time.
That’s what GreenBlender can help with: they deliver weekly smoothie boxes, complete with prepackaged and portioned ingredients that go with five recipes (two servings per recipe—so ten smoothies per week). I was intrigued, so I emailed GreenBlender, and they agreed to send me a box in exchange for this review!
Here are the ways you can subscribe to GreenBlender:
  • Fresh Start: a week-to-week subscription for $49/box
    • $4.90 per serving
  • Monthly Challenge: a monthly subscription for $176
    • $4.40 per serving
  • Healthy Habit: a one-year subscription for $468
    • $3.90 per serving
My box arrived just before Thanksgiving Break, so the recipes were all Thanksgiving-themed. The ingredients were meticulously packaged in plastic baggies, with convenient labels for things I might not recognize, like maqui powder. Plus, I really appreciated that they weren’t the stereotypical smoothie recipes that you might find at some pseudo-health smoothie place, laden with just fruit and yogurt and honey or syrup; three of the recipes had greens, one had a summer squash, and one used sweet potato. No nauseatingly sweet stuff here! Also, everything GreenBlender sent was organic, which I thought was a great feature of their service.
Here are the five smoothies, with my comments:
Maqui Apple Cleanse
This smoothie was surprisingly delicious. It wasn’t too sweet, but very refreshing. I mostly tasted the applesauce, but the grapes gave it some tartness. The squash made the consistency a little fibrous, but that would have been remedied if I’d just blended it for a minute or so more.
1 yellow squash, chopped
5 oz grapes
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp maqui berry powder
1 cup water
1 cup ice
Maple Almond Apple Pie
Many health foodies are familiar with the concept of the “açai bowl”, which is basically a really thick berry smoothie. But I don’t think the açai bowl needs to limit itself to açai berries as a base; I like to make “smoothie bowls,” which are basically smoothies with less liquid. That’s what I decided to do with the Maple Almond Apple Pie recipe that GreenBlender sent. I put all the ingredients into the blender as normal but omitted the cup of water. Into the blender went:
1.5 oz baby kale
1 tsp apple pie spice
2 apples, chopped
1 tbsp maple almond butter
1 cup ice
If you don’t have a powerful blender, I’m not sure this would work, but Vitamixes and Blendtecs should do the job handily! The consistency was a little meltier than frozen yogurt, and while it didn’t taste like a real pie, the apple pie spice definitely gave the smoothie bowl some holiday flavor, and—of course—the kale was undetectable.
I like this smoothie-eating method particularly because I could never drink only a liquid smoothie for breakfast—I’d be hungry within an hour. This way, I get some more carbs from toppings like granola (and a scone on this particular morning!), and a healthy schmear of peanut butter makes it a little more like an actual meal.
Cranberry Ginger
While it wasn’t bad, this smoothie was probably my least favorite of the smoothies I sampled. It was the kind of smoothie someone might accuse of tasting “healthy” in a derogatory way. “Healthy” is a taste I’ve acquired and come to like, but it’s definitely not for everybody. That being said, it still made for a nice smoothie bowl breakfast. I would have added more ginger than the tiny slice that came with the ingredients, though, since I could barely tell that it was there.
1.5 oz spinach
2 oz cranberries
2 dates
1 pear, chopped
1/2 inch ginger
3 tbsp walnuts
1 cup ice
Pineapple Kumquat Passion
When I think of classic smoothies, this is what I think of. Super citrusy, pleasantly sweet, and deceptively green-colored. It was the first smoothie I made, and I shared it with one of my friends. She even woke up for a nap just to share in the smoothie-making. Both of us agreed that it was a quality sip of Vitamin C.
I also commented that GreenBlender helped me control my tendency to shove about five fistfuls of greens into the smoothie in the name of health. Doing this usually makes the smoothie extremely fibrous and completely unsatisfactory—with the recipe they provided, the smoothie had just the right amount of greens: still tasty, but with a healthy boost.
1.5 oz swiss chard
3 oz kumquats
1 orange, peeled
4 oz pineapple
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup coconut water
Pineapple Kumquat Smoothies!
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
This was the smoothie I was most excited to make. I love sweet potatoes, I love smoothies—what could go wrong?
4 oz raw sweet potatoes
1 banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp cashews
1 cup water
1 cup ice
The outcome was amazing—sweetness from the banana, spice from the cinnamon, sweet potato-y goodness from the sweet potatoes. As with many banana smoothies, this kind of tasted like a milkshake. In fact, it was so good that, after my GreenBlender trial, I looked up the recipe and bought all the ingredients at Whole Foods so I could make it again. The second time, I had some extra coconut milk on hand, so I subbed it for the water and got a super dessert-like, creamy consistency.
After my week of smoothies, I was pretty sold on GreenBlender. I recently did a review of the meal delivery service Plated, but my conclusion was that it didn’t make sense for undergraduates on an unlimited, mandatory meal plan. GreenBlender, however, might make sense for those who are already devout smoothie lovers. They ease the difficulty of having to find quality smoothie recipes, go to the grocery store to find the ingredients (where you might have to buy a huge container of maple syrup even if you only need a tablespoon), and haul them back to your dorm kitchen.
Also of note is the fact that GreenBlender publishes all its smoothie recipes to its website! It’s definitely worth checking out, especially some of the candy bar-themed smoothies. Even if you don’t purchase your own subscription to GreenBlender, you can still make some killer smoothies from their enormous recipe index!
Website: https://greenblender.com/
Use the coupon code CRIMSONCRAVE when paying for a 20% discount from Green Blender!

The Six Best Pizzas From Regina’s, Ranked: What to Eat to Console Yourself This Finals Season


By Estefania Lahera’20

It’s that time of year again: finals. We’re tired, we’re cranky, and most importantly, we’re hungry. And let’s be honest: what’s more convenient and comforting than pizza?

But before you reach for the phone and dial up some convenient Harvard standbys that may or may not be amazing because you’ve had a tough day and just want some damn pizza stat, take a deep breathe and hear me out.

When it comes to food, I don’t settle for anything but the best. So, when I was craving pizza several months back, naturally I wanted Boston’s finest. After diligent research, I found my answer: Regina Pizzeria.

Now, you Boston natives might be saying “well duh, everyone knows that”, but as a transplant to the east coast, finding the true “best” was a bit difficult, a bit hidden under the oohs and ahhs of new wave, less traditional pizza places. I’m all for innovative takes of pizza, but not at the expense of forgetting or shunning the classics. It’s the curse of being the best. Everyone knows you’re the best, they know you are consistent, so they decide to try other new places. Which sucks. So of course, I had to go pay Regina’s a visit.


This was way back in September, and I remember it fondly. I had a great experience, but I couldn’t help leaving with a bit of regret, and not for the reason you’d expect.

You see, the menu was HUGE and tiny college-student me could only eat (and afford) so much.

And I wanted just about everything on the menu.


So many different combinations called my name, but what was a girl to do, alone in a pizzeria?


I would look crazy to order more than one pizza for one person, but I wanted to have the one best pizza in the best pizza place in Boston. How in the world would I ever know which pizza combination was the best if I only tried one?

Sure, I could go back another day, but it would be difficult to compare. Yes, it is commonly acknowledged that Regina is one of the best, but the lack of consensus of which pizza was the best was a little blemish in the Boston food reporting scene, one I was more than happy to address.

I bided my time, and when I finally joined the Crimson Crave, I called Regina’s to ask about taste testing their pizzas, so that perfectionists like me could be sure to be completely satisfied next time they visit Regina’s.

That happy day came, a day of pizza paradise, when I visited Regina’s original North End location and sampled six of their best pizzas.

So, without further ado, I give you a thorough, diverse study and ultimately a ranking of some of the pizzas Regina Pizzeria has to offer!


  1. The Melanzane.

This was the biggest surprise of the day, the dark horse in this pizza race that ended up being my favorite, and received equally high marks from my fellow tasters. I tacked it onto the order at the last minute, a decision I will never, never regret. Homemade ricotta with eggplant and red onions might not sound like the “go to” for pizza, but it is magic. Literal magic. I don’t know why more pizza places don’t use ricotta, because the warm, soft creaminess of it combined with the tart, crunchy onion and eggplant is to die for. Normally, I don’t even like ricotta or eggplant. I would go as far as to say that I actually dislike ricotta and eggplant. But this pizza, as one taster described it, was “like a combination of lasagna and pizza”, a perfect harmony of classics combined in a way that makes them feel new. I only slightly disagree. It was better than lasagna on pizza (probably because I don’t like lasagna!). This pizza was the perfect medium, light enough to not feel it was destroying your cholesterol, but not so light that it failed to excite the taste buds.


  1. The Giambotta.

The giambotta has a bit of a reputation, and I was expecting it to come out on top. But in a competition where there is no bad, just delicious and scrumptious, the giambotta came in second by an inch. The giambotta is an absolute beast of a pizza, with large chunky vegetables and three meats, because of course pepperoni is not enough; you have to throw in some sausage and salami to really kick things up a notch.


  1. The St. Anthony

If you’re going for a white pizza but are craving meat, this is the pizza for you. Hearty chunks of sweet, crunchy, fresh green pepper paired with various meats seems to be a (welcome) pattern at Regina’s, and the St. Anthony’s was definitely a riff on this. I am a firm proponent of going easy with the meat. Sometimes, to be fair, like with the giambotta, you need a good punch of juicy flavor, but that only works in combinations like the giambotta, paired as it is with an abundance of vegetables. Here, the pepper was enough for the sausage, and the sausage was enough for the pepper, no more, no less. The sausage in the St. Anthony was subtle, where you could actually taste the true flavor of the meat, delicate and balanced, rather than an overload of salt and pepper. This was a quiet favorite, the go to for that rainy day. It’s much more nuanced, relying on the purity of ingredients rather than powerhouse red sauces that dominate the pizza industry. It’s not new-wave inventive with bananas and hot sauce imported from Brazil or some crazy hipster combination like that, but it doesn’t have to be so far-fetched and almost forcefully inventive to be unique and standout.


  1. The Mediterranean.

Here’s the thing about the Mediterranean. You can really, really taste the olives. You can really, really taste that the briney sea flavor, and that’s what transports you. A taster as first remarked that it was too salty, but after taking another bite, this time with some sweet onion and the creamy feta, revoked their statement. The Mediterranean pizza (just like the Mediterranean diet!) is all about balance, and Regina’s hit it on the nail. Again, as a picky eater who dislikes feta, I was pleasantly surprised.


  1. The spinach E Pomodoro.

This pizza comes near the end of this list to the great protest of my fellow tasters. To them, this was their absolute favorite, a fresh, light pie with whole tomato and spinach. They loved the pure tomato-yness of it, the simplicity, the restraint. It’s my ranking though, and torn as I am, something had go near the bottom and I picked this one. It’s just not as much of a showstopper as the others, and I’m a “go big or go home kind of girl”.

That being said, if you’re craving something lighter, even lighter than the melanzane, skip over the first four pizzas in this list and go ahead and order this one. As a health nut in between bouts of indulgence like this, I would definitely recommend this pizza as a wiser choice when eating out with friends. I’m happy that Regina’s accommodates all types of eaters, not just carnivores like me!


  1. Meatball pomodoro.

Placing the meatball pizza near the end, like the spinach pomodoro, was controversial among my fellow tasters. They enjoyed it, especially the gentle garlic flavor, which even I couldn’t pick out. That’s actually quite the accomplishment, to incorporate garlic subtlety without the pungent flavor dominating the pizza, now that I think about it! But I had originally picked this pizza because I wanted to try something under the meat section of the menu, and was expecting little round meatballs on top of the pizza. Because I’m an idiot and didn’t do my research (on Yelp) to ascertain that assumption, I’m taking it out on this pizza and placing it last!

Just kidding. In reality, it’s only last because I don’t think most people, myself included, can handle a meat pizza without some sort of vegetable balance or light counterpart to buffer the heaviness. Were I a 250 lb football player, maybe the ranking would be different, but alas, I’m not.


The aftermath:


Here’s the thing about Regina’s, though: regardless of the topping, every single crust is amazing. The crust just blew all of our minds because it stayed crispy in the center. I cannot tell you how many pizzas I’ve had whose crust is nice and crispy on the outside edge, sure, but once you got to the center, the crust flopped around like a soggy mess. In my opinion, they don’t advertise the brick oven enough, because I’m pretty sure that, along with their secret recipe, is what makes that crust so spectacularly “crusty” on the outside while keeping it soft on the inside.

And that red sauce…. Just perfect. It tasted fresh and tangy and just sweet enough. The garlic sauce is like a underdog that just captures everyone’s heart, and last but not least: they do not skimp on toppings. Each pizza is piled with hearty additions that makes it extra satisfying.

And that is why Regina’s is the best pizza in Boston. Not because of their amazing abundance of toppings (which are all delicious), but because, like with all important things in like (pizza, school, work) the foundation, the crust that goes for every pizza, the two main sauces, the generosity with the toppings, is solid.

And it’s for that reason that looking back, this ranking was sort of ridiculous. It was like trying to rank good, yummy, delicious, delectable, and mouth-watering. They were all good because they all had the same crust, the consistently great sauces, and a generous helping of good quality, well matched toppings. How could that every be bad?

And so in reality this ranking represents is my personal preference of toppings, but more so a confirmation that Regina Pizzeria still dominates the Boston pizza scene.

Therefore, my dear colleagues, next time you’re craving something comforting, especially this finals period when the typical schedule is suspended, just go ahead and treat yourself to some pizza from Regina’s. Best for rewarding yourself after a day spent studying or celebrating the disposal of another final.

I recommend the original North End location, but whether you go to the Fenway location, the Allston location (a twenty minute bus ride from campus!), or somewhere else in the city, a classic institution like Regina’s can’t disappoint. Fulfilling that niche intersection of convenience and quality, local chain has upheld its standards and played a significant part of Boston’s food culture for almost 100 years.



The four closest to Harvard are:

Original North End: 11 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

Faneuil Hall: 226 Faneuil Marketplace, Boston, MA 02109

Allston: 353 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

Fenway: 1330 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

Reservations: none needed!

Available for take out, curbside, and via DiningIn.

Finally, feel free to follow the Crimson Crave on Instagram at @crimson_crave or if you’d like to see more about my personal food adventures, follow me at @tinyfoodtraveler!




Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

By Danielle Leavitt ’17


Pumpkin is the flavor of fall! From pumpkin flavored coffees to pumpkin desserts, it is always a welcoming and comforting treat. This amazing gluten free recipe combining pumpkin in your favorite coffee mug is easily made and can satisfy your fall pumpkin crave!


1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tbs milk or almond milk

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients .jpg


Mix all ingredients up in a mug. Microwave for 3 minutes or until cooked (it will still look moist in the center)


That’s it!!! This recipe is very quick and easy to make. Fall never tasted so good!!