Boston Restaurant Week!

Restaurant week is by FAR one of my favorite times of the year, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas and other occasions revolving around great food.

I could spend hours perusing the different menus offered just drooling. Restaurant Week is a time in big cities all over the country when restaurants come together offering special dining opportunities at a steal of a price. Restaurant Week is a time where you can go to the restaurant ‘you’ve been dying to try’ and get an amazing meal without burning a hole in your pocket.  Boston’s Restaurant week dates are : March 17th-22nd and this week, March 24th-29th

  • 3 Course Dinner for $38.13
  • 3 Course Lunch for $20.13
  • 2 Course Lunch for $15.13

For those who did not take advantage of Boston Restaurant week last week, this week is your last chance. Go, go, go!

Out of the plethora of great restaurants participating this year, here are some reviews of my favorites around the city!

Brasserie Joe – classic French cuisine

Sweet Cheeks Barbecue – Texas barbecue

Empire   -Asian fusion.

MET Back Bay – Contemporary American

Radius – American

Tremont 647 – American

Zocalo Boston – Mexican

Happy Eating

The Role of Social Media in the ‘Food World’

For my next project I want to focus on how different people, in different areas of ‘the food world’ interact with social media and the web. How the use of social media has helped further their businesses in ways it otherwise could not.

The food world in all its capacities has been changed immensely by the use of social media and the web. We can now make our dinner reservations online, restaurants have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Food bloggers can gain their own strides without being published in a mainstream paper.

Renee Hirschberg, a local boston food blogger and restaurant critic who has graciously agreed to speak with me. The web and social media is an integral part of her business and I am looking forward to hearing her thoughts on how her business has evolved other the past decade and how the use of social media has helped her progress.

I have also contacted  the two co-founders of ‘The Fresh Truck’. Daniel Clarke and Josh Trautwein, both Northeastern graduates, have taken an old school bus and retro-fitted it into a mobile farmers market set to hit the ground this coming summer. The aim of  ‘The Fresh Truck’ is to bring local, fresh, affordable produce to lower-income neighborhoods surrounding Boston that do not have easy access to nutritious food. To create community involvement and stimulate change to help build stronger, healthier communities. I am intrigued to hear their thoughts on how social media and the web has made their endeavors possible thus far as well how they plan to continue using it once they are up and roaming through Boston’s neighborhoods.

I am still looking for a few more, local sources and would love any suggestions!

Happy Eating

‘The Burger’ at Radius

RADIUS BURGER

There is no better way to  break up a long, stressful work day then to sit down to a nice lunch.  I was craving a good burger, and in my quest to find just the right place I came across a list on The Boston Globe professing ‘ The Best Burgers in Boston.’

The list covered every facet from fancy to funky and of course your classic greasy cheeseburger. I have frequented ‘Five Guys’ and their delicious cheeseburgers many a time and was looking for something a bit more refined… which led me to Radius. Not a restaurant where you would typically think to order a cheeseburger; when the lunch menu includes octopus and tuna tartare.

“Our Burger is different because we use a different cut of meat then the average. ‘We serve a dense 9oz patty made up of 90% ground sirloin and 10% ground chuck. Which gives it a deeper flavor.” according to General Manager, Augusto Gabriel. 

‘The Burger’ is served on a light and sweet house-made brioche bun. The burger is perfectly complemented with fresh Vermont cheddar cheese and a horseradish sauce which has a bite but is certainly not overpowering. As well, some crispy-fried onion strings… and that can do no wrong.

There is certainly nothing worse than getting a GREAT burger and the classic companion of french fries are lack-luster. Radius does a great job of making their fries crispy!

Radius is clean and sophisticated – a lunchtime favorite for local businessmen but certainly is not stuffy. With ornate crown moldings and bold red walls and modern accents Radius is a great representation of old Boston style meets new Boston flavor.  I sat bar side chatting with the bartender Rudy, who was knowledgable of ‘The Burger’ as well as other Boston contenders in the burger world.

Radius is located at 8 High street, on the corner of Summer street. Adjacent to the South Station T stop on the Red line.

Radius is handicap accessible, serving lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm and dinner Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm

Happy Eating

Mapping as a Graphic Tool

Mapping  and other graphic visuals like infographics and charticles (articles themselves that are entirely a graphic) I think are a beneficial tools that can be overlooked in classic print journalism. I think the idea of incorporating visuals into their written pieces for some journalist can be daunting, for fear that their writing will be overlooked or seen as less as important in comparison. Graphics are more commonly used in broadcast pieces naturally and sometimes in longer feature writing for magazines – but in this ever-changing world of journalism we need to play to the trends of the future by being more multi-media and graphic oriented.

Written content, posted online through a newspaper website, blog or forum should not be overlooked or debased by incorporating graphics, they should be used as a tool to enhance the written story – to make information more easily conveyed as well as just to offer more visual stimulation.

In the world of broadcast journalism you are expected to be a one-man-band. You are your editor, your camera man, your script writer as well as the reporter.

In print and multimedia journalism you are now also a one-man-band. You are your writer, your editor, your graphic designer as well as your reporter.

There are certain areas in stories that lend themselves well to the incorporation of visual graphics and maps. Trying to explain in an article the recent budget-cut plan approved by President Obama  would lend itself well to a graph. Another example I found that worked well is explaining where relief aid went geographically after Hurricane Sandy rocked the greater New York City area and eastern coast. Graphic courtesy of ProPublica.org.

An ‘oldie but goodie’ trend in visual graphics is a US map during presidential races and campaigns– showing party allegiances in the 50 states. Writing out in a lengthy article which candidate has ‘won’ what state and which are still being contested would take a while to read through but taking that same information and displaying it as a visual graphic is not only more immediate but also more impactful and concise.

Mapping and graphics are beneficial on a global scale of large stories, but also in smaller local stories. Boston.com used an interactive map to display reported pot-holes in the Greater Boston. The information seems a bit comical, but being informed that there is a huge pothole along your daily route to work could certainly save you a lot of aggravation. Similar to the map above, this information lends itself well to a graphic because writing out where every pothole is in Boston would make for an extremely long article. With an interactive map you can jump directly to the areas of the city that you travel through daily and see if you need to make adjustments to your morning commute.

The use of interactive maps, graphics and visuals is a way to add a new level to a body of written work. As well, it is an innovative way to appeal to dominantly visually receptive world.

Benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet.

A few weeks ago I read an interesting article on the Boston Globe website about the health benefits of a mediterranean diet. It’s a dream! Food so delicious and rich is also good for you.

Since finding out that I will be spending a few months in the lovely country of Greece this coming fall I have become just googly-eyed  with the thought of all the culinary gems I’ll come across and couldn’t help but  pass along my excitement.

According to Kay Lazar’s article and research studies done by  the American Heart Association, it is now found that a mediterranean diet can help prevent heart disease.

A diet low in red meat and rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and olive oil. Replacing ‘bad fat’ from meats and processed foods with ‘good fats’ like olive oil and omega 3 fatty-acids that are found in nuts.
In the spirit of health and fine dining, here is a link to some of Boston’s best Mediterranean cuisine according to Zagat.

Eating good food is not just about fueling the body, but also the heart and soul… and the taste buds!

Try incorporating some mediterranean love into your dinnertime with these recipes.

Happy Eating

Exploring Reading Terminal Market

Trending in Boston has ventured to explore the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ for the weekend, Philadelphia!

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to explore the local cuisine and hot spots. While in Philly I went to visit Reading Terminal Market. Similar to Faneuil Hall right here in Boston, but much larger and with a bit more variety. Boasting more than 80 vendors, Reading Terminal is a melting pot of different cuisines, local delicacies and an open market  where you can do your weekly shopping.

Full of delicious smells and passionate people, weaving through the aisles of Reading Terminal is an experience not to be missed.

When Food meets the Web

I have two main loves in life. One is for journalism and media, the other for food and when these two things merge together in a cohesive way I am like a little kid on Christmas morning – staring wide-eyed  at the bounty under the tree.

Being a self-professed foodie I have my arsenal of media sources I check on the regular when I want a new recipe or restaurant to try.

I have a love affair for  Zagat’s Boston Blog as I have gushed before -The site visually is simple, clean and sophisticated. Just like the persona of Zagat itself. A mogul in restaurant reviews  Zagat is certainly an expert source in knowing where to go and what to order.

The reason I love their Boston blog is because it is tailored to my lovely city! A creative quark of the site is it has weekly themes, this week being coffee- which is àpropos for all the Boston college students muscling through exams this week. Last weeks theme was burgers! and who wouldn’t love that.  Zagat’s Boston blog does a great job of  profiling local restaurant news, chefs as well as incorporating national news and how that relates locally. It involves its audience by providing a link to sign up for their weekly newsletter  as well as there being a comment section/ linking ability to social media sites if you wish to share the particular story. – The site also has links for blogs in other major cities likes Los Angeles or New York City so if you are traveling you can still find the best ‘eats’ around you. The site also has a link to its original claim to fame- its reviews and ‘Best Of’ lists on Zagat.com

A few close seconds I also love to peruse are Renee Hirschberg’s blog, Eat. Live. Blog. I enjoy her site because it is more personal. Hirschberg is a local restaurant reviewers and food blogger and I originally came across her blog through her Twitter.  She live tweets comments and photos when she is out reviewing a new restaurant which I enjoy and you can really sense her passion and excitement for food through her writing and through her tweets. Her site is easy to navigate with different tabs for reviews and recipes and has a fun logo.

And lastly, an oldie but goodie  The Boston Globe’s Food and Dining Section. In its classic style you’d imagine your grandmother cracking open a copy of the paper on a weekend morning looking for a new restaurant to try. With mouth-watering photos, the front page of the section lays out every facet of foodie related news at your mouse-click. From its ‘Recipe Box’ to Q&A articles, reviews and news on food trends it is a no-fail way to find whatever local gastronomic news your stomach desires.

Maybe you will find me writing my next blog post at one of Zagat’s recommended ‘10 Hot indie Coffee Shops in Boston‘!

Happy Eating

Winter Favorites

Us Bostonians have been inundated with snow over the past few weeks and on a dreary snowy  day like today I like to do nothing more than spend it in my kitchen.

Here are some cozy winter dishes that have my mouthwatering:

The food network has never done me wrong when it comes to making new dishes. One food I have become obsessed with this winter are Brussels Sprouts. These green veggies come with a stigma that needs to be broken; when cooked the right way they are quite delicious!

One thing that is so wonderful about winter is that it is full of food that makes your heart feel good. Soups, roasts, stews and more hearty dishes.

Other like-minded food bloggers have posted their favorite winter dishes on Food Gawker. From soups to breads and even wintry cocktails. When your cooped up indoors what is better than bringing the fun to your kitchen!

Shake the winter blues with a delicious meal that’ll warm you up.

Open Doors

Last week, my class go the pleasure to speak with Mary Knox Merrill, the current Associate Director of Multimedia and Communications for the Marketing and Communications major here at Northeastern.

Merrill came to talk to us about her journey to where she is today. Merrill is a professional photographer, having traveled extensively  for the Christian Science Monitor working on documentaries and taking photos before joining the NU community. The main purpose of her visit was to teach us tricks of the trade to creating a great story through video. But there was more to her lecture that really resonated. Merrill talked about her path into photography and journalism. After college she interned and took different apprenticeships in photography and eventually got to the Monitor. Merrill expressed just how important it is in the field to get out there, network and do anything and everything offered to you – because you never know what is going to help you towards your goals.

“You never know who is going to open a door for you”

This philosophy is something I have always personally believed, but I feel in the business of journalism it is particularly important. In 2 years of my college career I have done internships with MassLive.com, the online partnership to the Springfield Republican in Western Mass. where I worked as a digital reporter. I wrote stories, conducted interviews, filmed and edited videos, took photos and more. I learned an incredible amount during my two months with MassLive- a lot of skills that I am now translating back into the classroom. I interned as well with WSHM, the CBS affiliate in Springfield, Mass. Here I helped write scripts for the afternoon and evening newscasts, updated stores for the station website and even went out on stories with reporters. And finally, through Northeastern’s co-op education program I was able to spend 6 months in New York City working for MSNBC . Here, I worked in the booking department for the daytime shows during the week. I helped coördinate guests, conduct research and worked elbows-deep in the action behind live national television. Besides working in the esteemed Rockefeller Plaza during milestone events like the 2012 Presidential Election, Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 Summer Olympics I learned so much about the television business that has undoubtably shaped my future – and has attributed greatly to my education in the classroom.
Learning through experience has been a truly invaluable gift for me -getting out of the classroom and into the field isn’t something that should wait till you have your diploma. The more work experience you can gather under your belt, the more and more it will help you.

It is key, in today’s world and in the world of journalism to not be afraid to dive in and learn through every outlet at your fingertips.

Northeastern battles ‘Nemo’

IMG_1863
Blizzard Nemo tore through the Northeast over the weekend, Northeastern University students weren’t too upset by the whopping 25 inches of snow dumped on campus. With classes cancelled, the T service suspended and the majority of stores, restaurants and conveniences suspended students took to the campus quad to enjoy the snow.
Click on the photo above to a link to my Flickr photo gallery