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So long

May 29th, 2010

Due to the lack of time I have for this blog, I’ll be letting it go when it expires toward the end of June.  Thanks for reading and sorry I couldn’t make time for it but between work, personal projects, family/friends and 3 other blogs something has to give.
I’ll be keeping so you can check out what’s going on there.

Have a great summer!


→ 2 CommentsTags: Goodbye

Cheesecake Factory

March 7th, 2010

We got a gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory so we headed over to the Natick Mall (I refuse to call it the Collection).  Normally we avoid the mall because it always seems to be so crazy but we went at 6pm on a Tuesday night and got sat immediately.
Cheesecake Factory always reminds me a little bit of a real factory because of the acoustics.  It seems like there could only be a few tables in there and it would still be noisy.  We got a booth which helped the noise a little bit.
Since we had a decent sized gift card, we got an appetizer of mini crab cakes or crab fritters, whatever they called them:

There were nice and crunch on the outside and really delicate on the inside.  The only thing that might have been better about these would be if they used less mayo but they were still very tasty.

Ethan got a combination plate of Shrimp Scampi and Steak Diane:

This plate didn’t photograph well but Ethan liked it.  The Scampi was a little different with a cream-based sauce separated from the steak by a divider of mashed potatoes (this also came with a side of steamed broccoli).
I got grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and broccoli:

I thought the salmon was great and the mashed potatoes were really good.  I only picked at them because I could imagine how much butter and cream were in them. 
We were stuffed and decided to get a dessert to go, which was a slice of Red Velvet cheesecake. 

This ended up being dessert for two nights!  Normally I go for straight cheesecake but Ethan thought we might give this a try and everything about it was delicious.  The cake was moist but not too dense (much different than CPK’s version) and the cheesecake was just rich enough to work with the Red Velvet part.  Ethan even found the whipped cream to be especially good.  This is a decent enough place for dinner but I feel like they really shine with their desserts (which makes sense).   We probably won’t find ourselves here often as we never go to the mall but it’s a good place to go to if you’re at the mall for the day and want to get a treat.

→ 3 CommentsTags: *Natick · restaurants

Charles River Coffee House

February 26th, 2010

My friend and I met at the Charles River Coffee House for…coffee.  It’s a nice little shop at 57 Eliot St. in Natick across from the library.
I haven’t been there in a long time, actually since it was Clever Monk Coffee which was a few years ago now.
Inside is small but manages to accommodate about 15 seats.  Perfect for a morning based busines the east-facing windows have shades that block the glare of the sun while still allowing the natural light to brighten up the little shop.

I really liked that they had a few different varieties of decaf (I’m a hardcore decaf a girl) so I got a Kenya AA, which was excellent.   I also got a raisin bran muffin top (which was really good) and my friend got a poppy seed muffin.

This is a really nice place to get a coffee and/or a little breakfast treat.  I saw they also have sandwiches and salads to offer at lunch.  I wish there were more reasons for me to go through South Natick, but it’ll definitely be a stop anytime I find myself passing by.
Check out their site for more information

→ Leave a commentTags: *Natick · restaurants · Support Local Business!

Sunnyside Cafe

January 31st, 2010

So…happy New Year.  I won’t get into the usual “I haven’t updated because I’ve been so busy” thing.  I do intend on keeping this blog and I’ll update it when I can and as usual, hopefully that will be more often.
ANYway…I had a precious weekday off and thought it would be nice to meet a friend for breakfast and we picked Sunnyside Cafe.  I know it’s silly but I had avoided this place before because it was previously Mel’s Sunnyside.  Not sure when it switched to just Sunnyside without the Mel, but I used to work at Norman’s restaurant when I was in High School and Mel is Norman’s brother and it just reminded me of Norman who was mean and the few times I interacted with Mel wasn’t that great either, nothing dramatic but you could tell they were related.  I’ll have to make a post about Norman’s sometime even though it burned down several years ago (wasn’t me) and is now a Dunkin Donuts.

Inside the Sunnyside is casual and comfortable with booths and tables and nice counter with swivel stools.
We sat in a booth since my friend had her 2 year old with her and someone came by with a page from a coloring book and some crayons.
The service was very good, not overly friendly but comfortably attentive.
I got..something benedict, I forget what it was called exactly now but it was spinach, onions and mushrooms on Portuguese muffins and hollandaise sauce and real bacon bits.  I was going to tell the waitress to leave off the bacond bits but then I figured what’s the difference.

I liked that the mushrooms weren’t watery and that they used fresh spinach instead of frozen, chopped spinach.  The potatoes were really good too, nicely seasons and a good combination of soft and crunchy pieces.

My friend Mindy got a vegetable omelet with silver dollar pancakes:

Mindy said the omelet was good, not amazing but did notice the stems of the broccoli were probably from a frozen bag, which is fine but we were guessing before she ordered if it would be fresh or frozen broccoli they’d use.   To be fair I don’t think many, places use fresh broccoli in their omelets.  The pancakes were fine and mindy’s 2 year old liked them.

Also I like that there are substantially sized condiment containers for ketchup and maple syrup at each table.
It wan’t spectacular but not disappointing at all and I’d probably go back there again.

→ 6 CommentsTags: *Ashland · restaurants

MacArthur’s Farm

December 16th, 2009

Last week we went looking for a place to get a “kissing ball” for the hook on our front steps that we usually hang a plant from in nice weather.
We too a drive down rt. 126 to Ashland figuring the Higgin’s Family (next to Nick’s restaurant) or the Lion’s (or Elk’s, I forget) club who both have shops set up near each other would have them, but neither place did.

We drove a little further down the road to MacArthur’s Farm in Holliston and they had plenty. 
The shop is open until 9pm which worked out good for us since we didn’t go searching until well after dinner.
They have lots of everything- trees, kissing balls, wreaths, plants etc…

The only thing is that I guess they were a little on the pricey side. I never bought one of these before so I paid the $30 that it was priced at , only to see a few days later Market Basket has them out front (and looking just as good) selling for $15.   But it is nice to support a local business and I don’t buy these all the time so I’m not kicking myself too hard about it -although I’m not going to tell my mom (who never reads this) about my discovery.

→ 1 CommentTags: *Holliston

The Oregon Club

December 6th, 2009

I’ve always wanted to go to the Oregon Club but never got around to it.  I think it was just last year, Ethan and I finally decided to go and found out it was closed(!).  We were happy to hear the former speakeasy re-opened this year and went down one night recently to check it out.
Inside was just how I thought it was with cozy rooms and dim lighting.

The waitress was kind of an older woman who was calmly recited the night’s specials and took our drink order.  We were served a fresh bread basket accompanied what I think was an olive tapenade.

We started off with a Caesar salad which comes with anchovies unless you ask for them to not be added.

Ethan got the steak???????????? which is called “The Steak” and is the only beef option on the menu.

Ethan thought this tasted good but felt the steak too fatty to give a full thumbs up.
I got a dish called “Duck Two Ways”- described in the menu as “Slow cooked duck leg and marinated grilled breast with a root vegetable hash, roasted pear and marsala reduction”

I loved this.  Everything tasted incredible and the sauce was perfect.  I couldn’t finish this and it was just as awesome the next day as leftovers.
We decided just for the sake of the blog to split a dessert and got chocolate mousse.

This was extremely rich, Ethan only lasted two bites and I gave up soon after that.

The only things that were a little weird about our experience there was that our server ignored us after we had been waiting a while after dinner and even after making eye contact, she just walked out of the room.   We were not going to get dessert because of that but I really wanted to see what the mousse was like so we stuck it out.
Another thing, which is kind of minor but, they played the same three or four songs over and over.  At first it was funny but after a while it kind of bothered Ethan, which I thought was funny, but I guess it was kind of weird.
So to wrap up, Ethan was disappointed between the steak, the server and the music.  I was just disappointed with the server, but it’s such a cute, cozy, local place and my dish was just so awesome that we’d go back an give it another chance.
For more info check out their site:

→ Leave a commentTags: *Ashland · restaurants · Support Local Business!

PF Changs

November 15th, 2009

Ah, it’s happened again where time slips away from me and the blog. I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t had time to really get out and about the Metrowest area much. I was going through some photos I took a couple of months ago and found this one I took of PF Changs.
Grab a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you a little story (if you want to hear one).
I worked at the PF Changs in Natick for two or three weeks when I was laid-off from my regular job and I knew it wouldn’t last from the first day of training. They had trainers come in from locations all around the country who lived, breathed and ate (no pun intended) PF Changs. It was like boot camp and these drill sergeants were the most obnoxious, condescending people I’ve ever met.
One of them, this blond girl who was very clearly used to being told she was cute, would strut into the room and yell “Hay HAY haaay!” and of course there were some people who would respond in like and became her fan base. She yelled everything. I asked her one time where something was (maybe I was looking for teabags or something I forget) and she yelled in my face “WHERE DO YOU THINK IT IS?!?!”. I just pivoted and walked away looking for someone who could actually help me get to know where stuff was. She must have realized that’s what I was doing because then she yelled “IN THE THIRD DRAWER FROM THE SOUP BIIIIIIIN!!!”.
She would also randomly test me with pop-quizzes like “WHAT ARE THE THREE MAIN INGREDIENTS IN CRISPY HONEY CHICKEN??”

Another trainer would like to hunt people down to degrade them. One night we were really busy and I guess I forgot to stab a bar ticket on the spike when I took my drinks. She came marching into the kitchen and screamed “WHO HAD A BAR TICKET FOR TWO MAI TAIS???” I just ignored her because I was busy getting a bunch of stuff ready to bring out and I just got double-sat and really didn’t have time to be degraded by her. Unfortunately, she looked further and found my name on the ticket and walked up to me and said “YOU NEED TO STAB YOU TICKETS!!” I just nodded and kept getting my tray together and she said “LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!” I looked at her only in disbelief that I was hearing this…person actually saying this to me and then she pushed the ticket to my forehead as if she were tacking it to a wall and yelled “ALWAYS STAB YOUR TICKETS!”. I looked at her, crushed the ticket in my hand, threw it on the floor and walked out of there before I took my tray of food and dumped it all over her. It was no use complaining to management because they witnessed all this stuff and just nodded their heads. I’ve been waiting tables since I was a teenager and never been treated like this, anywhere. Needless to say, I quit two days later.
A co-worker of mine stayed there another month and said it was just too crazy and also quit.
That’s my PF Chang Natick story. I will say the Mongolian Beef is great and also some coconut-pineapple shrimp thing was really good, although I’ll probably never go in there again to eat it. It’s probably not a bad experience to go as a customer but I don’t recommend it as a nice place to work.

→ 8 CommentsTags: *Natick · restaurants

Szechuan Garden

October 28th, 2009

My mom and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, Szechuan Garden in Medway. We haven’t been in a while but when we have gone in the past it’s always for the buffet. Not only is the food good but they really shine with their soups.
My mom always gets the Hot and Sour:

I got Egg Drop:

I took pictures of some of the offerings at the buffet. My mom loves their chicken wings:

Steamed dumplings with brown sauce:

A really great mushroom, tofu and eggplant dish:

General G:

They also had green beans, a couple of seafood dishes, spare ribs and more.
Szechuan Garden is at 109 Main St in Medway. It’s not technically Metrowest but it’s so close to Holliston and Milford, it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area.

→ 1 CommentTags: *Medway · restaurants

Jack in the Box

October 21st, 2009

I’ve always associated the fast-food chain “Jack in the Box” with the western and southern states but I guess once upon a time Jack lived out here too.
I recently found this old coupon in a table in my mom’s basement which expired in 1980. (click on the image for close up)

This coupon states Jack’s location was in Natick and “Opposite Shopper’s World” (must have meant diagonally and up the street a bit)
That’s a pretty good deal to get a “trio” for $1.69! 

→ 3 CommentsTags: *Natick · Flashback · random

Sweet Meadow Farm

October 18th, 2009

I posted before about Iron Horse Farm which was my usual place to get eggs.  The only problem with that place is that often if I don’t get there early enough I pull into the driveway to see the note on the fridge saying they’re out of eggs.  Sometimes even when I AM early enough they’re out of eggs.  This happened last time I went there and in my disappointed  mindset starting thinking of where else I might get fresh eggs.  I remembered seeing a farm further down the road that I had never gone to so I went there hoping they had eggs and they were open.
It was about 8am when I got there and no one was around but horses, chickens and a cat:

I went inside the “shop” – no one was in there but the door was open, the lights were on and there was a bunch of stuff  like pet food, drinks, flowers, hay and …eggs!
There was small fridge with a note reading “Farm Fresh Eggs $2.50″, above that was a note on a box asking customers to just leave money for goods in the box.  Perfect!  I got my eggs and the cat who had followed me into the store, went with me to go check out the chickens.

I noticed there was also a goat hanging out with the birds, not sure why but I thought it was funny he kept inching closer when I was taking pictures and you can see him in the background:

I’m glad I checked this place out since it saved me from going to the supermarket and it’s always nice to see the chickens you’re getting your eggs from.
They apparently have much more than just what I saw and you can check out their site here:

→ 3 CommentsTags: *Sherborn · Yays

Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour

October 5th, 2009

Yay, it’s finally my favorite month, October! I’m excited that the Framingham History Center is running their Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour. Below are some details from their website:

“Take a 45 minute trolley ride through Framingham’s mysterious past. Costumed actors tell true stories “dug up” and verified by author James L. Parr during a tour that features haunting scenes at actual locations of the town’s most bizarre and scary tales. Sword fighting pirates, ghosts, highwaymen and eerie tableaus will unfold as riders wend their way through the highways and byways of town.

After the tour visitors will be treated to refreshments and a variety of activities at the “haunted” Edgell Memorial Library on Framingham’s Centre Common. Esmeralda will tell fortunes, while paranormal investigators will share the “results” of their stake out at the library last winter.”

Check out their site for more info and to buy tickets:

→ Leave a commentTags: Community

Tougas Farm

September 27th, 2009

Today I was determined to get some small pumpkins for above our front door. We usually go to Mac’s Apples up in Londonderry, NH but since it was rainy we decided to take a trip to Northborough to Tougas Farm. I’ve never been here before but I have heard people rave about it.
We got there and headed to the picking desk located in a building that sells apples, honey, peaches and apple treat kids for candy and caramel apples:

I feel bad saying this (because I know so many people love this place) but I was disappointed that the set up was a field of pre-cut pumpkins.

There was a patch on he other side but the pumpkins didn’t seem that great and again, most of them (if not all) were already cut and all too large for above my doorway.

I know it was a rough year for pumpkins because of all the rain we had in the spring. I was just looking for something like Mac’s that has both large and small pumpkins and they give you clippers to cut your own (I like picking ones with interesting stems and choosing the length).
Other than that it looked like a fun place to pick apples and while we didn’t make it to the kitchen, I bought 5 very nice quality apples and made a delicious apple crisp.  Since my mission was purely pumpkins today, I will be back because I really feel I didn’t get the full Tougas Farm experience.   From looking at their website they have so much more to offer and I’ll return when it’s not raining (like today) and bring my nephew.
I’m wondering if there are any places in the metrowest area that have a PYO and cut-your-own pumpkin patch.

→ Leave a commentTags: *Northborough

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

September 20th, 2009

Today we went to Marlborough and had lunch at a fairly new burger place called Five Guys.  This branch of the multi-state chain is at 197 Boston Post Rd.
Inside is clean and red and white color themed:

I like the open kitchen and they seem to have an efficiently run system for getting the burgers out, it was only a few minutes for  our number to be called

Ethan  and I each got a small burger, I’m not sure how large the regular burgers are but these were plenty of burger for us.  They are hand-formed patties and you can get a variety of condiments and toppings including grilled onions and mushrooms at no extra charge.

I really liked this burger, it tasted great and the toasted bun was fresh and perfectly proportioned to the burger.
We split a regular order of fries which is a fair sized container but they over fill it so generously there are plenty of extra fries in the bag.

This was the “overflow” in the bag, definitely enough for  2 people.
Too bad this is so far over in Marlborough, which I rarely get to, but this is a great place to go to if you’re in the area.  Check out their site for more info: 

→ 6 CommentsTags: *Marlborough · restaurants

Button Box

September 3rd, 2009

As Laraine pointed out on my “About” page, it’s been a whole month and a half in between posts. I feel bad because I’d love to update weekly, which doesn’t sound like a lot but between two other blogs and all summer I was looking for a full-time job, which is a full-time job in it self, I just let it slag, so sorry and I really hope to keep up on this more in the future.
Not to make it worse but this post is technically not metrowest since it’s in Wellesley – BUT- it’s right on the Natick line on Route 9. I’m posting about it because since the very sad closing of Fabric Place in Framingham, we sewers have the limited local option of the Joann Fabric chain. Which is okay but it’s nice to get a different variety of fabric selection and support a local business.
I found the Button Box, which is at 5 Overbrook Drive in Wellesley but like I said it’s basically on Rt. 9 .
This is a great little shop with lots of quilting fabric, notions, buttons, books etc..:

The staff is very helpful and in the classroom in back you can see the quilts people are working on.
This is a great find for anyone looking for a different option than Joann’s. Check out their website for more info: If anyone else knows of a another local fabric store please feel free to share.

→ 1 CommentTags: Support Local Business!

Pejamajo Cafe

July 15th, 2009

A friend and I checked out the newly opened Pejajamo Cafe in Holliston. As I’ve mentioned before, when I grew up in Holliston, there was very little for food options besides pizza and subs so it’s very impressive to see a crepe place that serves lattes and alcohol.
Inside is cute, simple but kind of “classy”, I thought I got a shot of the seats but all I got was the counter:

My friend got a BLT crepe which included bacon, arugula, tomatoes, avocado, gruyere cheese:

My crepe had prosciutto, goat cheese and fig spread:

Both of these were pretty good. I guess the distribution of ingredients could have been a little for better a more consistent taste in each bite (some was just meat, some just cheese…) but I don’t know if that’s part of the crepe experience since I can’t remember the last time I even had a crepe.  The idea of the combination of the ingredients in both crepes were great though.

It was just the chime of 7pm (when they close) that we realized what time it was an wanted to split a smores crepe for dessert.  We asked if it was too late to order one and they said no but when we got it we thought next time we just won’t order it because it could have been cooked a little longer to have melted the marshmallows but it was good enough the way it was too:

We’ll definitely be back and think this is a great meeting place since Holliston is half-way between my house and my friend’s house in Millis and we can meet for a glass of wine or a coffee.
Check out their website for more info:

→ 5 CommentsTags: *Holliston · restaurants