By Siqi Liu ’19
Before my family embarked on our two-week road trip along the Pacific Coastline this December, my dad and I frantically searched the Internet for the best places to eat. I always thought I was the only one in my family with the foodie gene, I was wrong. As it turns out, my dad came up with an impressive list of restaurants for our trip that kept our stomachs as happy as we were from the rides at Universal Studios. During one of our last dinners in Los Angeles, we found a gem that to this day keeps me dreaming of soupy, hot steamed buns: Din Tai Fung.
A bit of a background: Din Tai Fung was founded all the way back in the 1970s in Taipei, where it gained fame from its xiaolongbao dishes. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, xiaolongbao is a type of steam bun that is shaped like a miniature bao and is cooked in a bamboo steaming basket, but has thin, dumpling-like skin. “Xiaolong” literally means “small basket,” standing for the small bamboo baskets they’re steamed in, and “bao” refers to its inherent similarity with the typical steamed meat or red bean stuffed bao you see at Wow Bao. Growing up, they’ve made up one of my favorite breakfast dishes (P.S. If you’re looking to put together a full, Chinese breakfast, I’d highly recommend serving xiaolongbao with hot Chinese soy milk and fresh Chinese crullers).
Going into Din Tai Fung, I already high expectations for xiaolongbao dishes: During my 2012 trip to Beijing, my mother and I visited the some of the most famous xiaolongbao restaurants in the city. But I also knew that Din Tai Fung has some pretty recognizable credentials, too: In the 90s, New York Times rated it as one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world; it opened three new branches in 2015 alone; and its website boasts praises from critics in well-known publications like Times and the Michelin Guide.
I was excited—excited enough to endure the one-hour wait as my family perused the menu and debated for the fifth time on whether we should order the braised beef noodle soup or shrimp & pork wontons. The upside is that I got to watch the chefs make xiaolongbao through their glass-window kitchen, which was pretty cool.
We were starving when we finally got our seats, but fortunately, the ball got rolling pretty fast from there. It seemed like only minutes passed before our first bamboo basket appeared on the table. I was surprised not only by how quick the service was but also its style—we ordered four baskets of xiaolongbao/steamed buns, but instead of serving them all at once, they came one by one. That way, none of them was sitting in the corner and getting cold.
The first dish we were presented was the pork xiaolongbao, and let me tell you: My family inhaled it. They were fresh off the stove, so I picked them up gingery with my chopsticks and took care not to poke a hole in them. The secret to eating xiaolongbao is to take a tiny bite first so the steam from the hot soup inside could cool a little before putting the whole thing in your mouth. And boy, I was in for a treat. The soup was perfectly flavored and not too salty, the skin was the right thickness, and the meat was tender. Needless to say, all ten of the xiaolongbao were gone in under a minute.
But that wasn’t even the best part. The highlight dishes of our dinner were the pork crab xiaolongbao, which I preferred over the plain pork xiaolongbao because I am a fan of seafood flavors, and the sweet taro xiaolongbao, which is simply divine for anyone with a sweet tooth. As someone who is far more of a savory than a sweet person, rarely orders dessert, and doesn’t like chocolate (gasp—I know), the sweet taro xiaolongbao was the perfect amount of sweetness. It wasn’t cloying or sticky, and even after eating practically the whole basket, I didn’t feel guilty.
I was also lucky enough to get a bite of my dad’s braised beef noodle soup, which had really thin, tender noodles and a mildly spicy flavor, but I’d say Din Tai Fung is still better with its steamed bun assortments. We tried to order the highly-recommended shrimp & pork shao mai, but they ran out, so we had to settle for the rice & pork shao mai. It which wasn’t bad, but it lacked the steaming hot soup that you get from xiaolongbao.
Overall, the dining experience was fantastic. I would probably faint out of happiness if Din Tai Fung decides to open a restaurant near my hometown in Chicago or Boston. So, if you find yourself on the West Coast, I beg you to do yourself a favor and try out this restaurant. Whether you’re weaned on xiaolongbao or looking to lose your xiaolongbao v-card, Din Tai Fung wouldn’t disappoint. Case in point: this pregnant lady who used to live in my neighborhood in Chicago craved Din Tai Fung so badly she and her husband flew to L.A. just to eat there. Now that’s true love.
Din Tai Fung
Location: Its U.S. restaurants are sadly limited to California and Seattle, but it has international locations in Japan, China, Singapore, and more.
Reservation: Only take reservations for a party of 6+ over the phone. Otherwise must wait in person, and it’s usually a long wait.
Overall Rating: 4/5
By Allison Kao ’20
I found heaven tucked between a Starbucks and pizza parlor.
Its name? Somerville on the Charles – a charming chocolate pop-up shop that is making its winter home on Harvard Square’s Church Street, keeping the space normally occupied by Lizzy’s Ice Cream cozy during the colder months.
The shop, which is open 11am to 11pm, seven days a week from December to February, is a collab between Gâté Comme des Filles and Somerville Chocolates, each run separately by chocolatiers Alexandra Whisnant and Eric Parkes.
While the storefront only spans the width of a door and window display, its quaint, unassuming appearance by no means embodies the bold flavors of its chocolates.
There are two main types of treats – French-style bon bons (provided by Gâté Comme des Filles) and chocolate bars (provided by Somerville Chocolates). Bon bons are creamy ganaches hand-dipped in a thin chocolate coating. With only two ingredients, cacao and sugar, the bean-to-bar chocolate brings sweetness down to its core raw goodness. The shop’s most popular items are the Hawaiian chocolate bar and honey-walnut and vanilla bean bon bons.
Everything is made in small batches, so flavors rotate daily. In addition, ingredients are chosen with great care – in fact, the honey, peppermint, and thyme are all sourced from right here in Cambridge.
Somerville on the Charles also offers to-die-for brownies and a rich, decadent mousse that’s scooped into cones like ice cream (what more could you ask for?!).
And if you’re looking for a holiday gift, check out the 4-piece giftbox or a combination of the Nicaraguan and Hawaiian chocolate bars.
At least for the next three months, I know where I’ll be going to satisfy my sugar fix.
- 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
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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!
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
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs milk or almond milk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
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!!
By Estefania Lahera ’20
A couple of weeks ago Professor Sorenson of SPU 27, Science of Cooking, dropped a bomb: Mario Batali would be making a surprise visit during the last week of class!
Now, I grew up with Mario Batali on my television, the jolly, good-humoured Iron Chef whose bright red hair and cheery smile were without a doubt memorable. Coming from Los Angeles, I was privileged enough to visit his acclaimed restaurants there, Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, both amazing in their own distinct ways. But I had absolutely no idea that he had a restaurant in Boston, which has been around for more than a year!
And because I’m an curious, dedicated food writer, I knew I had to give it a try. A couple of emails later, thanks to the wonderful PR team of B&B Hospital, my visit was arranged.
I recruited a another writer from the blog to come with me, and we went on a Saturday for lunch.
When you look at the address it’s a bit intimidating. And then you Google it and realize that it’s just a short ride on the Red Line and then a 15 minute walk if you get off at South Station. One subway ride in Boston, I’ve learned, is nothing. And especially in the summer, walking over the bridge from South Station to the restaurant is not only beautiful but but probably a good idea after eating a lovely, satisfying meal.
Babbo is just close enough to downtown Boston to be accessible, but not so close that it’s jam-packed with fanny-pack wearing, selfie stick toting sightseers from the middle-of-nowhere.
And perhaps even more relevant to us, being Harvard students after all, it’s also a 6 minute walk from the Institute of Contemporary Art, which we all know is on your bucket list before you graduate!
A bright, beautiful open space. It was strategic, not picking a location in North End or South End or Back Bay, where all the tables are practically on top of each other, crammed together, never any space, never any room to breathe.
Instead, Babbo is spacious, a luxury in Boston. And that allows for great little perks like an open kitchen where you can see the food being made, the pizza baking in the oven, the plating, the sort of things that brings you closer to the food.
I personally loved the interior design, the elegant, sleek mediterranean styling. It was gorgeous and clean and comforting.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and there were a lot of families. Pizza is, after all, a crowd-pleaser and the restaurant is near a childrens museum. When we entered the host wasn’t at the stand, but after a five minute wait we were seated and all settled.
A slight detour to discuss bread:
There was something notable about the way the bread came wrapped in paper rather than a bread bowl, the breadsticks still in plastic packaging. It was as if to prove that the breadsticks were actually imported from Italy, which was cool.
The bread was standard, not tough or stale, just a hearty Italian loaf you would buy from the supermarket that was baked the night before, as one bakery told me they do in Italy. Props for the authenticity.
After asking the waiter for suggestions, we ordered the tagliatelle, the goat cheese pizza, and the local shrimp. The menu is a perfect size: not too much, not too little.
First, the shrimp.
It really does not get much fresher than this. The shrimp still had its head on, with little legs or whiskers or something! There are two types of shrimp: really shrimpy, salt, brine-y pure-ocean-tasting shrimp that I personally don’t like, and more delicate, gentle shrimp. These were just in between, which was very interesting, having just a hint of that ocean taste but not overwhelmingly so. They were seasoned aggressively in the good way, a somewhat traditional blend of acid and herbs that never fails. Fresh and flavorful, what more can you ask?
The pasta was a larger portion than expected, a large mountain of tagliatelle covered in a hearty, chunky ragu! You know a restaurant is doing something right when they give more meat than pasta. It was on the more traditional side but done well, a very balanced and satisfying blend of flavors.
The pizza was the real surprise though. The goat cheese, pistachio, red onion, and truffle honey pizza came highly recommended, and with good reason. This is a pizza that makes no pretenses. It is sweet and it is yummy and that’s what matters. The pistachios provide a wonderful crunch and earthy flavor that blends nicely with the sweet honey. I am not a goat cheese person, but this pizza made it do-able, even enjoyable. The goat cheese doesn’t hide, though, it’s allowed to be natural, simple, without transformation, so if you don’t like goat cheese, you should probably order something else. I recommend the meatball pizza!
The crust was excellent, a nice light airiness balanced by a decent crunch, and towards the middle it got a bit softer and floppy but not soggy, which was really, really enjoyable. It had a delicate, almost sour flavor that really worked nicely with the pizza. That’s actually something notable, to have a dough be more just a vehicle and actually contribute to flavor.
I was most excited for dessert, though. The menu is a perfect blend of classic and modern, not too adventurous erring on awful, and not uber traditional boring.
Seeing the gelato pie, which is also done in Batali’s LA restaurant, confirmed my hopes: I knew we were in for something good.
We ordered the Black and White and the pumpkin gelato pie.
By far the best part of the meal. So so so so good. So good that it merits an excess of photographs that do not nearly capture the glory.
Just look at that massive slice of pure gelato. Magic. It felt like a full pint! But what was truly special about the gelato pie was the subtlety. There is nothing I dislike more than artificial flavors, and I think restaurants are often guilty of that when it comes to pumpkin, but Babbo definitely wasn’t. This dessert was a very gentle, natural, balanced pumpkin flavor. Instead of trying to overwhelm you with an excess of sugar, the authentic flavors of pumpkin and cream shined through. The little spice cake cubes, to be fair, weren’t really weren’t necessary and since they were a tad stale, they could have easily been omitted and the dessert would have been perfect. The gelato was just so perfect creamy and airy it could stand alone. It was impressive, actually, how the gelato held its form instead of melting, allowing you to enjoy your dessert without having to rush!
The black and white, dare I say it, was even better. A slightly caramel flavored whipped cream atop of creamy, sweet, chocolate-y gelato with a fudge sauce. It was comforting, it was uplifting, it was happiness. I will probably dream about it. The finishing touch that took the dessert over the edge was little malt-like, chocolate crisps sprinkled throughout so that with every bite you experienced a wonderful crunchy texture that brought the entire thing together.
I loved it.
Babbo was also kind enough to give us a little sampler of italian cookies, which were delicious. The mini brownie was fudgy and rich and super dark, very satisfying. The two varieties of biscotti they gave us were excellent; biscotti often is a sad excuse for a sweet, bland, crumbly bookie, but these were crisp and creatively spiced, one almond and the other with thyme we think. The little tri-colored cake was fruity with a lovely rich chocolate layer that brought all the little sponge cake flavors together. The pine nut cookie was crispy and delightfully subtle, but the real surprise was the one that looked like a macaroon! It was super airy, almost spongy in the coolest way with a malt-like chocolate flavor that was so interesting and fun. That’s the word exactly. It was just fun to eat, the way it felt and tasted.
Overall our trip to Babbo was by far a success. I think we can all agree Harvard students need to explore more, and Babbo is the perfect place to begin! Whether for lunch of dinner, it’s the perfect peaceful escape from campus.
Location: 11 Fan Pier Blvd. Boston 02210
Reservation: On their website or through Opentable.
Stand out dishes: Goat Cheese pizza, Black and White dessert
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Remember to follow the Crimson Crave on Instagram at @crimson_crave and if you’d like to see more about my personal food adventures, feel free to follow me at @tinyfoodtraveler!
by Estefania Lahera ’20
I grew up with Food Network. Rachel Ray was my spirit animal, Emeril was my alarm clock with his “Bams!” and “Kick it up a notch!”. Saturday mornings were spent in the kitchen with a box of Kraft mac n cheese, where I would pretend to be Rachel Ray, standing on chairs to reach the stove.
In short, I believe in Food Network. So when I say that there was a new show, Guy’s Diner’s Drive Ins, and Dives, I was like…. wtf.
Who the heck is Guy Fieri? Where did he come from, this weird dude with porcupine hair and a smoker’s voice? How was he qualified to give anyone advice on food? He was literally like a bum in my eyes, some creepy stranger that lacked the authenticity and substance of the Food Network icons like Emeril or Alton Brown or Cat Cora?
It was karma that my sister and mom fell in love with the show, forcing me to endure hearing their oohs and aahs over what I felt was a mediocre restaurant with a perv for a host. But I got over my initial resistance, and while I am still by no means a fan of Guy Fieri, I’m in the habit now, when I travel or go anywhere, to look for restaurants that were featured on his show because many of them are often hidden gems.
The closest one to Harvard, besides Bartley’s, is Boston Burger Co, and given the opportunity to go, I was happy to try it out.
Having looked at the menu and the prices, I was expecting a chain like Shake Shack or Tasty Burger, but it was an actual restaurant ambience, a clean place with actual table service and tableware, which was really nice.
The menu was extensive, another warming sign; a menu that tries to much fails more than it succeeds. But my friend and I ordered without incident: the mac attack for me, because that’s what Guy Fieri had, and the Sophie for my friend. It was an excellent sign that the waitress asked how we wanted out burgers cooked.
The burger was supposed to come with chips, but my poor stomach couldn’t handle the prospect of more junk food, so I just got a plain salad.
Then the burger was brought, and my first thought was that wasn’t as big as I would have expected. I actually think that was a good thing, considering the powerful flavors contained. Meat, mac n cheese, and bacon. That’s it.
And the flavor was definitely there. Not, it wasn’t gourmet, wasn’t extremely sophisticated, wasn’t enveloped in layers of flavors. But it’s a $13 burger, and gourmet does not necessarily mean good. It was solid. The mac and cheese was the gooey, stovetop kind, not a particularly complex flavor but also not one-dimensional and fake. The bacon was crispy and well cooked. The bun didn’t give way, holding it’s body without being stale or bland (although it had a shiny, almost oiliness that was a bit off-putting). Overall, it was a good burger and I enjoyed it.
Then I just had to order a frappe. I couldn’t help myself. I got the strawberry one, and looking back that was probably a mistake. Most strawberry desserts, if they are on the cheaper side, are usually fake strawberry, syrup or canned or even extract, and this was no exception.
The frappe came with a grand entrance, but the flavor didn’t deliver. It was just a rather think syrupy drink. The whipped cream was normal, not especially fresh or special. The Nilla wafers that were glued via frosting to the glass were stale. It came with a piece of cake on top, but if you’re going to put cake on top, either make it good or just don’t put it. It doesn’t help your case to stick on there two stale, dry squares on plain vanilla cake with syrup, clearly canned strawberries in between that had the bitter taste of preservation.
Like I said though, strawberries desserts are always tough, always a compromise. I’m sure that any of the other frappes would have been better, especially the Nutella one. If only Boston Burger Co. would invite me back to do a sampling! **wink wink nudge nudge**
So is Guy Fieri’s judgment sound?
I would say yes. Relatively affordable complex burgers are not rare, but that doesn’t diminish their value, especially if they are done well. It’s a solid standby that won’t blow your socks off, but still has a bit of a wow factor if you order the right things.
Remember to follow the Crimson Crave on Instagram at @crimson_crave and if you to see more about my personal food adventures, feel free to follow me at @tinyfoodtraveler!
By Joseph Winters ’20
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Bring two small pots of water to a boil.
- While waiting for water to boil, tear kale into chip-sized pieces. Julienne (slice very thinly) carrot.
- Toss kale in a little bit of melted butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices. Spread coated kale onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes, or until crisp but not burned.
- While kale is cooking, prepare the soft-boiled egg: place the raw egg in the pot of boiling water and set a timer for six minutes. When the timer goes off, remove the egg and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking.
- Prepare the ramen according to package instructions.
- Assemble the ramen bowl: pour the cooked ramen and broth into a bowl. Arrange the kale chips and julienned carrot around the edge of the bowl. Peel the soft-boiled egg and gently slice it down the middle (length-wise). Place the egg halves in the center of the bowl, yolk-side up (the yolk will be liquid-y and delicious, so be careful not to spill!).
- Season with more salt and/or pepper (and anything else—soy sauce or sriracha would probably be great) and enjoy!