We have had soooo much rain here in the Northeast that my 2-acres of grass more resembles a hay field then it does a lawn. If I can’t get it mowed by the end of this weekend, I’m going to have to bail it and sell it as hay!!!
I do not know what happened with the last Blog post. Apparently some of you received it in your email, while some of you received the previous one and still others did not receive anything at all. I just love modern technology – don’t you? I’m hoping that this post will go according to plan – I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
- Maine Wild Blueberries – Healthy and Oh-So-Tasty…
- A visit to Feile Restaurant in Wells, ME.
- A weekend in Boston and the food is fine.
- Murphy-Goode – not so Goode for me!
THIS WEEKS RECIPES:
- Warm Brie with Wild Maine Blueberry Chutney
- Summertime Grilling - Beef Tri-Tip Sirloin
- WEEKLY CHICKEN DISH:
- Buffalo Chicken Farfalle
- PEPCID FRIENDLY RECIPE:
- Oven Roasted Miso Glazed Wild Salmon
Maine Wild Blueberries – Healthy and Oh-So-Tasty…
A recent study by the National Berry Crops Initiative (NBCI), presented at the Berry Health Benefits Symposium shows that wild blueberries have been central to research exploring the role of diet in disease prevention and management of age-related health risks. Recent discoveries attribute potential health benefits of the wild blueberry to antioxidants such as anthocyanin, anti-inflammatories and other natural compounds found throughout the deep blue wild blueberry. Wild blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving compared with more than 20 other fruits. Antioxidants help protect against disease and age-related health risks by battling against free radicals - unstable oxygen molecules associated with cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging.
What the study did not point out is the simple fact that wild blueberries are just so darn tasty and easy to enjoy…either by themselves, with breakfast, lunch, dinner or night-time snack. And we ALL know that Maine wild blueberries are some of the Best the world has to offer – so make sure that you load up on Wild Maine Blueberries whenever you see them in the grocery store or Farmer’s Market!
I have included a wonderfully delicious recipe for Warm Brie with Wild Maine Blueberry Chutney this week for your enjoyment.
A visit to Feile Restaurant in Wells, ME…
Recently, Cindy, my daughter Jessica and I found ourselves in the mood for some Irish fare and wanted to check out the new Feile (pronounced “FAY-luh” – which means feast day) Irish Restaurant and Pub, located on Route 1 in Wells, Me in the former Mexican restaurant “Marcia’s” location.
A new paint job both inside and out, some new landscaping and some new decor inside certainly do a lot to spruce this property up a bit.
Upon entering, we were greeted by a group of enthusiastic, albeit young, staff who appeared more than eager to attend to our needs. The pub was relatively busier then the dining room on this particular Thursday evening.
Our hostess showed us to a nice sized table in one of the small dining rooms in the front section of the building. Classic Irish music played out of the speakers as she handed us our food menu’s as well as our beer & wine menu’s…which I thought a bit odd that each of us would be handed one as I am accustomed to one per table. I quickly realized that the beer selection is so massive that it makes sense for each patron to have their own. Let me say this clearly – if you cannot find a cold beer of your liking at Feile, then you won’t find it anywhere in Southern Maine! The wine list is minute in comparison – and could be extended a bit to include some more depth of selection!!!
Upon first glance of the dinner menu, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed by the selection as such items as “Buffalo Wings”, “Loaded Potato Skins” and “Spicy Beef Chili” seemed to jump off the page and SHOUT anything BUT Irish fare to me. Once I readjusted my focus though I discovered items such as “PEI Mussels steamed in Red Ale”, “Guinness Beef Stew”, “Bangers and Mash”, “Shepherd's Pie” and “Crispy Pork Belly with Garlic Mashed Potatoes” – okay, that’s better!!! Further into the menu one finds some “New England Favorites” such as “Shrimp and Grits”, “Seafood Mac n’ Cheese”, “Oyster Po Boy”, “Fish n’Chips” and others.
Cindy & Jesse shared an order of the PEI Mussels steamed in Red Ale with fennel, garlic and oven-roasted tomatoes which they both enjoyed.
I tried the Buttermilk Fried Oysters that were dusted in cornmeal and served with a Granny Smith apple slaw and what was supposed to be a curry aioli, but the amount was so scant that one could not really get an accurate taste of the curry. The idea behind this dish is a solid one but the cornmeal did not adhere itself to the oysters very well and so I basically had deep fried oysters with cornmeal dust and some wonderfully julienned apple and a drop of curry colored matter on the plate.
For entrees, Cindy tried the Shrimp and Grits which she loved and ate every morsel of. Jesse had the Traditional Caesar Salad with Seared Salmon which was perfectly cooked and she fully enjoyed the freshness of the dish. I had to try the Crispy Braised Pork Belly which again was delightfully cooked, although the potatoes were no more than room temperature when my entree arrived – they were flavorful and well prepared just the same.
Service was friendly and attentive throughout our meal. Although the staff is young and could use a bit more “nuts & bolts” training, one could not but notice that each and everyone of them was happy to be there, wanted to do a great job and to make sure that each guest left feeling happy.
The atmosphere is nice and cozy but there is little in the way of soft surfaces…the walls, ceilings and floor are all hard so even the slightest of sounds is magnified – we could hear every foot step by every person (guest and staff) the entire time. I can imagine that when busy the noise level is simply going to increase greatly. At present, Feile is not a place to go for a quite, romantic dinner, although this could easily be changed with a bit of decor revamping.
All-in-all, I would have to say that we enjoyed ourselves at Feile and would most certainly return. We visited shortly after their opening and I am sure that they will quickly work out the few little mis-steps that we encountered on our visit. It is easy to see that there is some real talent in the kitchen and a true desire on the part of the floor staff to be extremely accommodating to their guests.
Feile Restaurant and Pub
1629 Post Road, Wells ME
|RATES:||Would certainly try again.|
A weekend in Boston and the food is fine.
This past weekend, Cindy and I enjoyed a lovely time in Boston. On Saturday, we visited the Phantom Gourmet’s Annual Beach Party & BBQ Cook-off, held at Suffolk Downs, which was a whole lot of fun. There were BBQ Champs from as far away as Australia and from all over the USA – one can only consume so much BBQ though so after nearly bursting at the seams…Cindy and I retreated out to the track and watched several of the races.
Having been my first time to Suffolk Downs, I must say that I was rather impressed by the condition of the track and the manicured infield. We had a blast watching the horses parade by before each race…we picked our favorites based on the colors of the jockeys outfits – needless to say, that was not a winning strategy. We actually only placed one - $2 bet, but we still had a lot of fun just the same.
For dinner that evening, we had planned to dine at the “Top of The Hub” but we were still so stuffed from all the BBQ that we instead opted for some lovely sushi from a new Market Basket in Chelsea and we enjoyed it in our hotel room. I have to say that this was the best sushi I’ve ever experienced from a supermarket in my life. We met the owner of this little place, located within the supermarket. She was a delight and very enthusiastic about the quality of her product, which was being made as we stood there…fresh is an understatement. All the fish was certainly “restaurant grade”. It fit the bill nicely.
|East Coast Grill and Raw Bar|
For Sunday Brunch we found ourselves visiting East Coast Grill and Raw Bar in Cambridge. What a funky little eatery this is, owned by notable chef Chris Schlesinger who is a staple in the Boston area. Although it is predominantly a seafood restaurant at night, on Sunday’s it transforms into a South-of-the-border watering whole…and it was fun, delicious and upbeat. The East Coast Grill and raw Bar claims to have the world’s largest “Bloody Mary Bar” where guests can go and assemble their own concoction from various tomato inspired juices, salsa’s, spices, fruits, etc.
Cindy absolutely savored the “Breakfast Platter” - with 3 Eggs any style, Black Beans 'n Rice, Mango-Avocado-Hearts of Palm Salad, Fried Plantains, Rojo & a Warm Flour Tortilla
The “Tortilla Rellenas Con Pato Loco”- Smoked Duck 'n' Jack Cheese over Salsa Verde & Salsa Roja, Queso Fresco & Guava Paste caught my eye, but then again, anything made with duck tends to do that to me.
Both entrees where huge and delicious and worked beautifully with the wonderful Bloody Mary’s, oh, and the coffee was delicious and robust as well.
East Coast Grill & Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
|RATES:||Would certainly check out brunch or dinner here, also make yourself a Bloody Mary!!!|
After Brunch the day was spent touring the Museum of Science, which we needed to work off some of the calories we consumed over the previous 24 hour period! It had been years since we visited the museum and it was a fun packed afternoon. There is just so much to see and discover here. The Boston Museum of Science should be on everyone’s list visiting the Boston area!!!
Well, the Goode folks at Murphy-Goode Winery have made their first “elimination cut” down to the Top 50 Candidates and decided that yours truly was not what they were looking for in a Wine Country Correspondent. Although I would love to have continued on, I would like to congratulate the 50 well-qualified candidates who did make the cut. It was an exciting exercise and I feel that I learned an awesome amount about social media marketing and hopefully that will help me to continue to enhance this blog and my future writings.
I would be amiss if I didn’t take a moment and thank EVERYONE who cast a vote for me during this process…I was so moved by the number of emails and words of encouragement from all of you – Thank you so very much!!! So I’ll just have to “eat, drink and blog” on my own dime for a little longer and California will have to wait for the GYPSY KITCHEN to make it’s way out west.
Until next time,
Chef John (aka the Gypsy)
Please feel free to pass this on to all your friends, family members and/or associates!!!
The "GYPSY KITCHEN" is the traveling culinary adventure of John and Cindy Hughes who are cruising the backroads and forgotten highways of America in a 36–foot motorcoach searching for wonderful, interesting regional foods and delicious culinary treasures…Please come and join us!
THE WOODEN SPOON RATING SYSTEM:
|= Hopeless, Would Definitely Not Return|
|= Needs Work, Most Likely Would Not Return|
|= Good Basic Find, Things Could Be Improved, Would Probably Try Again|
|= Good Basic Find, Things Could Be Improved, Would Probably Try Again|
|= Better Than Expected, Great Choice, Would Definitely Revisit|
|= Totally Blown Away, Every Point Exceeded Expectation, Would Drive |
Out-Of-Way To Revisit