Taste Quincy

More than 35 establishments will take part in this year’s Taste Quincy, which kicks off this Sunday, March 22, and continues through Friday, March 27. The list of participants includes places you would expect to be involved in a restaurant week (um, restaurants), but even Babycakes, Coffee Break Cafe, Edible Arrangements, Fratelli’s Pastry Shop, Ginger Betty’s Bakery, Gypsy Kitchen and Montillio’s will be offering specials that week.

I’ve mentioned that I love these types of weeks that encourage you to get out there and try different places with minimal risk. That said, I still do appreciate a menu I can see ahead of time, and so far I’m at a loss to find anyone with a special Taste Quincy menu posted anywhere on the Web. What year is this? Apparently there are still a few things to be learned from Boston Restaurant Week, especially when Quincy has timed its event as a competitor.

Check out the Ledger story here.

The A-Roid

The A-Roid cocktail at Bonfire.

The A-Roid cocktail at Bonfire.

My favorite press release today comes courtesy of Todd English’s Bonfire, where they’re getting geared up for the start of the baseball season with a new drink aimed at a Red Sox fan’s favorite target:

“The A-Roid starts with a shot of El Mejor Tequila, served straight up.  To give the shot a little something extra; a spicy smoky splash is served on the side in a convenient syringe…minus the needle.  Inject the Performance-Enhancing Boost of Spicy Tomato “Juice” right into the shot or use it as a chaser.  However you use it, come clean and acknowledge it…don’t deny it.”

I had to think they were kidding when they wrote that a syringe was involved in the making of this drink, but no, it’s right there in the photo. And if you’re curious about what the “performance enhancer” is made of, that would be spicy tomato juice made of house-smoked tomatoes, tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce and jalapenos.

The A-Roid ($11) will be available with a host of Red Sox-loving items come April 6.

Bonfire
50 Park Plaza, Boston
http://www.bonfiresteakhouse.com

Restaurant Week

It’s time to secure those reservations if you haven’t already, as Restaurant Week Boston is set for Sunday, March 15 through Friday, March 20 and Sunday, March 22 to Friday, March 27. Participating restaurants throughout Boston, Cambridge and beyond will offer three-course lunches for $20.09 and/or dinners for $33.09. New this year is that some restaurants will offer a two-course lunch option for $15.09, where you choose an entree and then select either an appetizer or dessert; and some will extend the specials to Saturday. Find the list of participating restaurants, check out the menus and make reservations at http://www.bostonusa.com/restaurantweek.

This is one of my favorite events of the year. The best advice I can give you is to check out the menus beforehand, and it’s my opinion that you should only go to those restaurants that make an effort with Restaurant Week menus. There are restaurants out there that seem to make their prix-fixe selections so basic and lacking in the creativity that’s said to be present in their normal menu that you can’t help but seek out the regular menu and, therefore, drop a load of change, when all you really wanted to do was give the place a test run for a reasonable price.

Gaelic Gourmet Gala

This year’s Gaelic Gourmet Gala is a departure from years past, ditching the cocktail party atmosphere for a more formal sit-down dinner with some serious entertainers.
The food duel between the chefs from Boston and Ireland is gone, as the chefs will be working together on a four-course, sit-down dinner. Gerard Reidy of the Delphi Mountain Resort in Connemara, Galway, will represent Ireland; and Chef Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park and Chef Rachel Klein of Aura will represent Boston. Entertainment will be provided by Celtic Thunder, a popular quintet from Ireland that is often seen on PBS. This year’s gala will benefit Fisher House Boston, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for families of wounded veterans who are in Boston for medical treatment.
The gala will take place Saturday, March 14 at the Seaport Hotel’s restored Aura restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets for the gala are $125, $250 and $500. Call the Seaport Hotel for reservations at 617-385-5662.

Fish, chips and chowder

Morrell’s Country Kitchen in Abington normally closes after lunch, but through Lent it will stay open on Fridays until 9 p.m. Those extra hours mean more customers can try the “fresh fish and chips special” – $4.99 for fish fresh from the market, served fried, with chips and a cup of chowder. The special, which owner Peter Morrell is calling their “recession-buster price break for customers,” is available for the lunch crowd everyday.

Morrell’s Country Kitchen
222 North Ave, Abington
781-871-0446

Shop & Shop recalls

Stop & Shop is recalling several potato products because of fears of contamination. The 20-ounce bags of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns, Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices and Simply Potatoes Red Potato Wedges have use-by dates ranging from March 29 to April 3.

Genova solid light tuna has also been removed from the store because of an undeclared ingredient on its label: soybean oil.

The Ledger has more details about both recalls here.

Fat Tuesday traditions

fud-kingcake2Fat Tuesday sugary bliss is just a click away after all. The king cake, a New Orleans tradition, arrived in the office courtesy of 1-800 Bakery this week, and although it’s not part of my Fat Tuesday paczki tradition, this 2 1/2 pound cinnamon sweet bread decorated in purple, gold and green sugar may become my  substitute.

The cake’s sugary colors may give you pause, but the colors are symbolic, with purple for justice; green for faith; and gold for power. According to the bakery, the cake is representative of a jeweled crown, in honor of the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus on the Epiphany.  A tiny plastic baby symbolic of baby Jesus is placed inside each king cake.

You can order the cake from 1-800 Bakery here. At $23.95 plus shipping, it won’t be the cheapest breakfast you’ve ever had, but 2 1/2 pounds of bread will take you pretty far toward the 18-20 slice estimate.