Tag Archives: Food

Fiesta Through the Eyes of the Little Guys

For anyone who has grown up in or around Gloucester, the St. Peter’s Fiesta has clearly served as the true kick-off to summer. But, it is much more than that. The funny thing is that the importance and significance of Fiesta has probably also changed throughout each individual’s life time depending on their age.  At times the religious celebrations have been of upmost importance… and later the rides. At times maybe the five day celebration was all about family… and later it was all about hanging out with friends.  At times it was about hoping to get a glimpse of that certain “crush” under the ferris wheel and years later it was all about air guitar at Old Timers or trying to cut in line at The Gloucester House. Still later, possibly you’ve come full circle, and celebrating with loved ones makes the Fiesta a time to truly be treasured.  At times the parade reigned supreme….and later, maybe the fireworks.  For many years playing on the beach during the seine boat races was more fun than actually watching them….and later cheering for a certain crew was equivalent to the Kentucky Derby.  The Greasy Pole has always been….well, the Greasy Pole.  Whether you love it for the tradition or the insanity, the sport or the absurdity….whether you watch it from Pavilion Beach or by boat in the harbor…there is nothing quite like it.

I’ve been there for all of them.  I have fond memories of the Fiesta that range from being a very young child, to a preteen, to a teenager, to a college student, to a bar-crawling 20 something year-old, to a “grown-up”, and now as a parent….who feels blessed to be sharing the experience with my own children. I have Fiesta memories that involve holding my grandfather’s hand as he guided me through the crowd and later memories of holding his hand as I supported him. I have Fiesta memories of holding the hand of long ago boyfriends and later Fiesta memories of holding the hand of my now husband.  Maybe the best memories are the newest….as just today, I held the hands of both of my sons while jumping from ride to ride.

So, as the mother of a 5 and 7 year-old, St. Peter’s Fiesta to me so far this year has been all about the rides, the games, and the food.  It is all about the color, the sounds, the smells…and the way they all seem to blur together.  While I may have desired to capture other aspects of this year’s Fiesta and I would love to get that “perfect shot”…..I have found myself enjoying it through my children’s eyes.

And this is how they see it.

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CRAIG’S FAV JOINTS – SURFSIDE PIZZA & SUBS

This is the inaugural episode of my new series that showcases anything I’m really diggin’ at the moment. And right now, I’m feeling me some SURFRIDER PIZZA. You may know that they have great subs on fresh baked bread, but do you know how awesome the pie is there? This place churns out some amazing specialty pies, one of my favorites being the Pollo Pesto, trust. But in this episode, I go in deep for the classic: pepperoni and cheese. For me, it’s all about hand tossed, freshly made thin crust. I’m not about some sweet sauce either, that’s just wrong. Some call in New York style, I call it proper. Whether it’s a white garlic pizza, pesto, red sauce, you name it, SURFRIDER has something for ya!

 

 

All the ingredients for a great restaurant at Short & Main right here in Gloucester

For the past few weeks, Vickie and I have been even more insanely busy than normal, which is pretty insane to begin with.  On Tuesday night when, at the last minute, our son went off to the movies with friends, we had a chance to dine alone — so we went where people have been urging us to go for nearly a year: Short & Main. What a perfect treat!

This place is an adventure.  Now, before you quiver with fear and say, “Ohhh, I don’t like adventure when I go out to eat — I just want comfort food,” check this out.  It IS comfort food.  Oysters, Pizza, Meatballs, Smoked Cod, Salads, Breads, Crème Brûlée, Ice Cream, Unique Cocktails, Excellent Wine & Beer.  It’s what they do with some of the foods you eat all the time that is so adventurous.  I’ll give you just one example: Pizza made with mozzarella, red onion, arugula, prosciutto and Parmesan.  But this is no ordinary pizza.

Anna (L) and Nora from Short & Main

Anna (L) and Nora from Short & Main

I asked Nora, who was nice enough to answer lots of questions, how hot the oven was and she said about 950.  This is NOT something you try at home.  Now, the arugula and prosciutto aren’t cooked, just warm, so you get a taste, texture and temperature sensation like nothing else you’ve ever experienced before.  And that’s just one dish.  EVERY dish is this much fun.

Plus they take sourcing their ingredients very seriously.  They get a pig every week — and they use the whole thing.  Ask about that next time you’re there.

But good food alone does not a great restaurant make.  For that you need what most of us refer to as “atmosphere”.  In my view, atmosphere is comprised of 10% decor and 90% personality.  Short & Main exudes the personality of people, who are 100% in love with food and have invited you into their warm, cozy, friendly and (most importantly) fun establishment.

Here’s an example: After Oysters, Pork Rillettes, Greens w/ Smoked Cod and a some excellent wines, our son calls just as our individual pizzas are ready.  We had over-estimated the running time of the film (that’s what we get for not checking).  So we ask our server, Anna, if we can get them to go.  Then we have an idea.  Get the kid and bring him back.  So, Vickie leaves and when Anna comes back with the pizzas, beautifully boxed, I ask if we can change our plans and add our son, who would like the meatballs.  “No problem,” she replies enthusiastically and moves me to a larger table.  Then she suggests I speak with Nora, who can answer some of my more specific questions about sourcing, etc., while I wait.  When Vickie and John return, we’re treated like long-lost friends weary from an arduous journey, which matches exactly how we feel (almost spooky isn’t it).

You put what on my burger??? Stones Pub Perfection

I was a bit skeptical about this one folks. I love me a proper burger, and nobody fire grills one in this town better than Stones Pub….but Dayum! May I introduce to you, The Peanut Butter Bacon Burger from heaven!!

At first glance, it appears to be a fine example of a perfect bacon-cheese burger. No silly stack of off-season tomatoes and tired lettuce here, just bun, bacon, cheese, and burger..Right?

But with closer observation, a powerful and mysterious ingredient melts it’s way around the pile of swine. What is that oozing down that perfectly grilled mound of meat? Is it mayo? Mustard? Special Sauce? That red stuff southerners put on dogs?? Nope, it’s peanut butter! And if you love your momma, and this country, you better get your ass down to Stones and show that you have a pair!

Once you start, it’s on! Your mouth, and your soul, cannot believe what’s happening at this moment!! You are now part of a love affair you swore you would never be a part of, ever. Soon you will realize it’s True Love.
Now, if you can’t find it on the menu, or specials menu, just ask! Stones Pub and Eatery, dear Geezuz, it’s a life changer! If you dare to dabble, please let me know what you think of your first peanut butter bacon burger experience!

Wenesday’s with Fly ~ Special Guest: Renee Dupuis 8-11 March 12th

rhumb

Wednesday, March 12th
Special Guest: RENEE DUPUIS!

photo by Louise
photo by Louise

This week, the lovely, joyful and talented Renee Dupuis breaks
from her tight schedule with the Bandit Kings to be my musical
guest at the Rhumb.  This is the very first time we share a stage
and I’m really looking forward to it.  We’ll be joined by “Kings”
bassist, Joe Cardoza.  It’s gonna be a treat, for sure! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Plus – Check out Fred’s rockin’ new wine menu!
Next week..
3/19…
Marina Evans

DSC05779

Visit: http://www.therhumbline.com/

Looking forward……to seeing you there!  :-) ~ Fly

Sclafani’s does it again

Having just gotten back from vacation, I don’t have much food in my fridge, so today I went across the street to grab a sandwich from Sclafani’s (49 Washington St.) for lunch. It’s only the second time since I moved here (I don’t eat out often when I’m alone).

I got a small turkey sandwich with provolone and all the toppings except hots (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, oil with spices…). As you can see from the photo, “small” isn’t exactly tiny – more than enough for someone like me. The meat and cheese were freshly cut, and the veggies tasted fresh and were not at all wilted or soggy. Of course, the bread was also fresh and delicious! And it only came to $4.28, which is a great price for a sandwich that filled me up! Granted, I usually have a small appetite, so a small sandwich might not be enough for everyone, but the “large” is only a little more expensive, and the quality is great. It seems to have been a while since Sclafani’s got any significant GMG love, but from my experience, they sure deserve it!

They are open Mon – Sat: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.

- Matthew Green

Did You Know? (National Sushi Day)

madfish grille_hungry yet

That June 18th is National Sushi Day?  There is no other place to be on June 18th than Madfish Wharf for their amazing sushi.  But you don’t have to wait until the 18th.  Go to Madfish Grille any time (Tuesday through Sunday) for lunch or dinner of the best sushi you’ve ever had.  Check out Sushi Chef Jordan holding a tray of his amazing surf and turf with steak and lobster. 

Sushi not your thing?  I went a couple of nights ago and being a perpetual seeker of the perfect burger, I had to try their’s and I have to say, it was possibly the best burger I’ve ever had.  Perfectly charbroiled and dripping with cheese and carmelized bacon and onions.  And doesn’t that softshell crab sandwich look amazing?

E.J. Lefavour

Strawberry shortcake, plants, home-made preserves and pastries, antiques, and more!

Being sold this morning at St. Ann’s Church (70 Pleasant Street) as a fundraiser for Holy Family parish! Come get goodies for your garden and for your tastebuds!

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Finding treasures in The Cave

It’s been a while since I stopped by The Cave, but the other day I received an unexpected cash gift, so I decided to treat myself to something special! Laura always has good things in stock, so I headed over to her Main Street store.

There was someone in front of me in line, and as always I was impressed overhearing (sorry!) Laura help them pick out just the right assortment of cheeses based on flavor, texture, etc.  I ended up buying a nice bag of delicacies, including cheeses:

Some were things I’ve tried before, like blueberry honey – fantastic! – and the clothbound cheddar, which is a favorite of mine.  I also got two new items: First, cheddar with caramelized onions, which made a perfect companion for dinner (pork baked with onions, potatoes, and other veggies). Then, “Sir Francis” Bacon Chocolate Peanut Brittle!  No kidding! Bacon, chocolate, and peanut butter all together. How much goodness can you pack into one package? I had a piece in the evening. It is an amazing combination, but not the sort of thing I’d eat a lot of at once, as the flavors are fairly intense. (That’s good, because it’s not cheap!) I recommend it as a gift for your baconoholic friends!  In general, The Cave is a great place to find fine cheeses and other specialty foods. Laura will help you to find something just right!

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

We can enjoy this weekend with family and friends and delicious food, thanks to generations of men and women who fought, and many of whom died, to protect our freedom.  Thanks and prayers for all those who made the sacrifice of laying down their lives for us! May God grant peace and rest to them, and consolation and support to their families!

And for a delicious coffee roll from Mamie’s Kitchen…

- Fr. Matthew Green

Dinner at Latitude 43

On Tuesday, a friend of mine was visiting from New York. He loves good food, so we had planned to head down to one of Gloucester’s fine dining locations on Main Street.  We had settled on the Franklin, but when we got down to Main Street, we found out about the broken water main and saw that all the restaurants were closed.

We ended up going down to Rogers Street and trying Latitude 43.  I had only been there once before, quite a while ago, and it was the first time for my friend.  We were both impressed by the decor as soon as we walked in. The metal sculptures of the octopus, fish, etc., are quite something, as is the mural of the shoreline over the bar!

Our waiter, Zorba Kinigstein, was enthusiastic, friendly, and very knowledgeable about the menu, giving us tantalizing descriptions of how the different dishes are prepared and the different flavors and textures we could expect.  My friend ordered the lobster bisque and the pan-seared halibut special; I opted for the clam chowder and the crispy potato sushi roll (tempura asparagus, lettuce, avocado and cream cheese, topped with fried sweet potato and served with a spicy mustard sauce!) which you can see in my photo at the beginning of this post.

Everything was delicious! I’d read a lot about Latitude 43 on GMG before, but I don’t eat out often on my own and usually aim for more inexpensive options to fit my budget. I am glad that circumstances (and my friend’s generosity) led us to eat there!

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

Easter Brunch at Olivia’s

Fr. John Kiley and I went to Olivia’s at Good Harbor for brunch on Easter.  The staff were dressed up for Easter:

I had Grand Marnier French toast with extra crispy bacon, and Fr. John had roasted ham with potatoes and veggies:

Full disclosure: I was invited by the chef.  But in all honesty, the food was delicious! And the portion sizes were generous; Fr. Kiley took half of his food home for later, and I had enough bacon to go with all the French toast (three good-sized slices of bread and something like six or seven slices of bacon, nice and crispy as I requested).  Apparently word is getting around, because the place was pretty busy!

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

“Olivia’s by the Sea” is under new management, renovated, and almost ready to roll

“Olivia’s by the Sea”, formerly “Amelia’s” (near Good Harbor Beach), is under new management! It has been taken over by the same people who run the new Cape Ann Diner in Brown’s Mall.  It has been renovated, and work will continue until the summer.  The new layout includes an informal, tray-serving-style dining area, designed to be comfortable for beach-goers:

and a smaller, more formal area where there will be waiter service and a more comprehensive menu.

Outside, the plan is to have an ice cream window on one side of the outdoor eating area.  In short, something for everyone!

On Wednesday, the restaurant opened for a breakfast test run “on the house” so that a small number of people could try the food and meet the staff. I was invited, so I showed up for a late breakfast.  The menu has a wide selection of scrumptious sounding breakfast food, with reasonable prices (although not as inexpensive as the Cape Ann Diner, which is to be expected for the location and style). I opted for a scrambled egg with bacon, home fries, and beans, with a mug of decaf coffee.

It was delicious!  And the owner, Ron, and the greeters and servers were friendly and cheerful.

They will be opening fully for business sometime next month.  I look forward to it!

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

Anticipated St. Joseph Feast at Sista Felicia’s

 

The feast of St. Joseph isn’t until the 19th, but the celebrations are getting started!  Felicia’s St. Joseph Altar was the first one I have blessed this year, and I was very happy to join the family and friends for a magnificent feast yesterday.

 

The fish was wonderful, and came in many varieties!

 

They made literally piles of home-made pasta for the occasion.

 

Fish was just half of the story; there was a variety of salad and antipasto.

And, of course, there were desserts! I particularly liked these nacho-style cannoli!

 

And of course, Joey was there with is family, along with several other members of the GMG team.  Thanks again, Joey, for inviting me to be a part of the GMG family!

 

- Fr. Matthew Green

Cape Ann Museum After Hours

Last Friday, the Cape Ann Museum had one of its “After Hours” events, featuring custom-made music installations in three galleries, refreshments from The Azorian restaurant, a raffle, and an artistic scavenger hunt! A good crowd showed up for the event.

There were lots of familiar faces in the crowd.

Rev. Bret Hays (left), rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gloucester, was chatting with CAM’s Curatorial Assistant (and talented artist) Leon Doucette (on the right, with the beard, which – alas! – he has since shaved).

Nathan Cohen, who teaches music in Rockport public schools, designed (composed?) the music installation for Gabrielle Barzaghi’s exhibit in one of the galleries.  Gabrielle told me she loved what Nathan had put together, and posed for this photo with him and his magnificent beard:

I also ran into Ken Steiner, who I photographed at the museum before while he was playing the bass as part of a jazz trio in the museum courtyard. Here he is with Sue in front of some work by the Folly Cove Designers:

 

 

I only noticed afterwards that all three photos I picked to post had men with beards in them… Perhaps my own facial foliage adds a subconscious bias to my selection process?

Any event at the Cape Ann Museum is bound to be interesting, because of the amazing art collection and friendly staff.  It’s even better because of the great Cape Ann community that meets there to enjoy the art and each other’s company.

“At the shrine of friendship never say die, let the wine of friendship never run dry” – Les Miserables (Victor Hugo).  The wine didn’t run dry last Friday night!

 

I hope someone ate the wine-soaked fruit afterwards…

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

Caveman Chili!

What hot food do they sell at The Cave? Caveman chili, of course!

_chili info

If those ingredients look good to you, you’ll love the way they taste!

_Caveman Chili

This chili is NOT your run-of-the-mill generic chili. I tried some the other day, and found that it has a more well-rounded flavor than most chili I have tried.  Maybe it’s the combination of the high-quality meat and the cheese… or the wine! I just know it’s really tasty. Only mildly spicy, which is the way I like it. I’m sure it would also be great with some Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, if you want more kick to it!

When I stopped in, they were out of their 4-cheese macaroni and cheese, which sounds amazing too.   I have to stop by some morning before it sells out and get some! I’m betting that the chili and the mac-and-cheese go together really well.

Get it at The Cave, 44 Main St. in Gloucester.  Plus, they always have tasty samples of cheese and/or other goodies available.

_The Cave façade

 

- Fr. Matthew Green

Cape Ann Diner follow up

To put my money where my mouth is, I had lunch here yesterday!

Right away I was offered coffee or tea, so I opted for a hot cup of decaf tea.  The soup options for the day (my first stop practically everywhere) were corn chowder and Southwest chili.  They let me try the chili before ordering, and it was very good, but a bit too spicy for me to eat a whole bowl (my stomach is a bit sensitive).

Instead, I ended up getting a Grilled Veggie Wrap on a tomato basil wrap, with potato chips (other options were mashed potatoes and home fries). It was served piping hot!

The waitress was very attentive and friendly. The wrap, chips, and cup of tea, came to $8.29.  On my way out, I was also given a coupon for a free 16oz cup of coffee (their special this month: egg nog coffee!) or a jumbo fresh-baked muffin! Here are some of the muffins:

 

I think I will get one of these muffins with my coupon, maybe on Saturday…

- Fr. Matthew Green

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