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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMG_6553By now you may have heard that Stephanie Cmar (Stacked Donuts) and Justin Burke Samson (Trademark Tarts) have officially partnered up and re-branded to Party of Two LLC.

IMG_6554What have they been up to this summer? They have been on a whirlwind tour – taking their sweets on the road to LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Brooklyn and Portland, ME. And they have been getting some great coverage: Boston Magazine in April, again in July,  Lux and Concord, and Eater.

IMG_6569I stopped by State Park on Friday to chat and get some treats. Justin made fruity pebble pop tarts.

IMG_6579And cookie dough candy bars…a little melty/messy but boy was is tasty.

IMG_6575Stephanie rolled out a chocolate Guinness stout donut.

IMG_6571She also made a white chocolate cherry donut and a sugar bruleee donut (not pictured). Did you miss them on Friday? Don’t worry, they will be at Fairsted Kitchen on Monday, September 8th at 10pm serving up boozy versions of tarts and donuts!

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IMG_4724Latin Spoon is new to the scene this year. We caught them over at City Hall Plaza one afternoon. My coworker had the Pata Cone ($7-$9), a green plantain cone that is gluten free. Inside was avocado sauce, cheese, pink sauce and sofrito. You can get it with carnitas or chicken but my coworker picked the veggie which comes with carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and cucumbers.

IMG_4726I tried to order the empanadas ($3) but they only had one left, so I chose a side of rice to supplement. The line wasn’t that bad, but we waited a good 15 minutes for our food. The food itself was delicious, so we are hoping that they work on their execution a bit before we go back for another round.

The Latin Spoon

Latin Spoon (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4516Evan’s deli started out as a brick and mortar in Marblehead but this season has branched out to a food truck. You can usually find them on Mondays by the Rings Fountain on the Greenway.

IMAG0234What’s my go to? Pastrami sandwich with cheese of course! Sandwiches run around $9.

IMAG0235Also great from their truck, the knishes. The potato knish might be my favorite. Carbohydrates on top of carbohydrates! YUM!

IMG_4559They’re pretty consistent with their food and you are in and out fairly quickly. They are out at 11am, so you can also get breakfast from the truck. They serve bagels and breakfast sandwiches.

IMG_4560My second favorite would be the sweet potato knish! And I’m dying to try the pastrami knish – but it seems elusive! Check out the website to see where the truck will be.

Evan’s New york Style Deli

Evan's NY Deli on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4236This post seems to have missed the whole Philly set of posts. No matter! When you go to Philly, one of the must try things (besides a cheese steak) is a pretzel. You’ve had a pretzel before, maybe Auntie Annies? You can’t even compare these to other pretzels you’ve had.

IMG_0417Located in the Reading Terminal Market, Miller’s twist offers delicious hot and fresh pretzels that are soft and chewy, buttery and delicious.  I go for the original but they also come in flavors like cinnamon, garlic, and sour cream and onion. You cal also get things like a pretzel dog or a chicken cheese steak. And if that isn’t enough, they also have ice cream! My only regret is that I only went once and that I only bought 1 pretzel.

Miller’s Twist

Reading Terminal Market

11th Avenue and B, Philadelphia, PA

Miller's Twist Pretzel's & More on Urbanspoon

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imag1327I have to admit, in the weeks building up to the opening of Janky Donuts, I was actually pumped at the thought of a new donut shop. Yup, Janky Donuts, you fooled me. If you don’t know by now, Janky Donuts is an art installation (which opened in July) – creatively marketed like it was going to be a new restaurant -I even saw it show up on Urbanspoon for a minute.

imag1326The installation was the brain child of five friends: Colin Driesch, Winston MacDonald, Luke O’Sullivan, Dominic Casserly, and Andrew Meers. See the Individuals Collective website here.

imag1325The “donut shop” is a front for a back room gun operation.

imag1328_1All the pieces in the installation are for sale.

imag1323Move into the back room and that is where things get interesting.

imag1324Fake guns made out of salvaged materials line the walls.

imag1330Getting ready to put a gun in a donut box with a false bottom.

Loved the exhibit and the marketing behind it was brilliant. I attended on a night when Tavern Road paired up with the team to offer real donuts for one night only. Thank goodness, because after huffing up 4 flights of stairs, I deserved some real donuts! Ha.

This exhibit is now closed.

Janky Donuts

145 Pearl Street, #5, Boston, MA

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Located on the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Commonwealth Ave. I always seem to forget about Deuxave. Only odd because it is on the corner of two very major streets in Boston. My parents were in town and wanted to take us out for dinner. The service here has been good on previous visits, and this time was no exception. Our server drives all the way up from Rhode Island and really seems to take pride in his job. His attention to detail is impressive.

IMAG0616“Night Moves” Scituate Lobster with Gnocchi: Potato Gnocchi, Mushrooms, Green Grapes, Curried Walnuts & Pearl Onions, in a Citrus Fricassee  ($19). A really lovely and flavorful dish. A little pricey for an appetizer, but worth the money!

IMAG0624My dad gets the 9 Hour French Onion Soup: Slowly Caramelized Onion Soup, Beef Bone Marrow Crouton, Comté Cheese ($14) which was delicious, even if it is hard to eat politely, and the lobster appetizer for his meal.

IMAG0617My mom gets the salad which she can’t stop raving about throughout the entire meal.

IMAG0618Not only is the presentation beautiful, it also tastes delicious.

IMAG0619I order the pork three ways, which is really out of this world.

IMAG0620We order the Duo of Giannone Chicken & Local Tomatoes: Crispy Skinned Breast, Housemade Sausage, Sweet 100, Tomatoes, Pumpernickel Roulade, Lolla Rossa Lettuce, Heirloom Egg Green Goddess Aioli, Smoked Jus ($29).

IMAG0627My mom has the creme brulee, her go to dessert anywhere we go ($12)

IMAG0631We order the deconstructed opera cake for dessert.

IMAG0628I order the native strawberries, a delicious and not too sweet dessert with tres leches cake (AMAZING), variations of strawberry, lemon verbena gelee, roasted white chocolate and avocado ice cream ($14). Lovely presentation!

IMAG0632When the check comes, our server also brings us over caramels and lavender chocolates. While this restaurant isn’t always top of mind for me, I always love it when we dine here.


371 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA

Deuxave on Urbanspoon

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imag0743M and I went to Alta Strada after the Jeni’s Ice Cream Demo. It was clearing out as it was on the later side, so we had the full attention of our waiter. I had the Spicy Chitarra with Lobster, Shrimp, Tomato, and Basil ($23). It was a little spicy, but really delicious. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was cooked perfectly.

imag0744M went with her all time favorite the Handmade Cavatelli with Spicy Sausage, Broccolini and Pecorino Romano ($21). I can see why she loves it – such a classic dish, but certainly crave-worthy.

imag0746We are stuffed, I even take half of my meal home, but we still order the Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel ($10). Really rich and quite tasty, I’m embarrassed to say that we couldn’t finish it! As I mentioned before, service was great – per usual. He realized we were busy chatting and stay back a bit, checking in at only the right moments.

Alta Strada

92 Central Street, Wellesley, MA

Alta Strada on Urbanspoon

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Cafe Madeleine 15I was able to pop in to the newly opened Cafe Madeleine on Thursday after work. At 6:30 they were almost fully sold out, a great sign after only being open for 4 days!

Cafe Madeleine 9The space is open and bright, designed by EMBARC studios, the same architecture firm that designed Liquid Art House. I had the pleasure of sitting next to (and chatting with) Dartagnan Brown, at the Christofle dinner at Liquid Art House. He couldn’t have been nicer and more down to earth. EMBARC does primarily residential projects but has some great commercial property work under their belt. Cafe Madeleine has large windows and counter seats for 6.

Cafe Madeleine 3Cafe Madeleine serves high end pastries at neighborhood prices.

Cafe Madeleine 5Customers can look through the large glass window and see the chefs making each and every dessert.

Cafe Madeleine 1Owner Frederic Robert is a 2007 James Beard award winner for his book Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Deserts and Pastries, which he co-authored with Alain Ducasse, whom he partnered with for over 25 years. Fred and Alaian’s partnership began in 1987 at the 3 Michelin Star Louis XV Monaco at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and included the 3 Michelin Star Plaza Athenee, Paris; 3 Michelin Star 59 Avenue Poincare, Paris; The Essex House in New York; Mix, New York; 1 Michelin Star Spoon, Paris; Spoon Byblos, St. Tropez; Spoon Tokyo; Spoon London; 1 Michelin Star Abbaye de la Celle, Provence; and 1 Michelin Star Auberge de Moustiers, Provence. From 2004 to 2011, Fred was Executive Pastry Chef at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. From 2011-1012, he was Executive Pastry Chef at PB Boulangerie & Bistro.

Cafe Madeleine 13In addition to mouthwatering sweets, Cafe Madeleine also offers a variety of savory items: Croque Monsieur ($9.50), Quiche Lorraine (slice) –( $4.50) or ($5.50) with Salad, Vegetable Crudite Tart – ($4.50) to name a few.

Cafe Madeleine 8In addition to their house made coffee, Cafe Madeleine offers La Colombe coffee, which is a real treat!

Cafe Madeleine 7For cold beverages, they offer French nectars and juices, which look AMAZING ($7).

Cafe Madeleine 4The girls prepping some coffees.

Cafe Madeleine 6Pastry Chef Hana Quon. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Hana changed careers from working with the National Endowment for the Humanities to pastry cook at the National Harbor convention center. She later transitioned to working as sous chef to Chef Frederic Robert at PB Boulangerie & Bistro, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Hana received her certification in Paris, France in classic French pastry, doughs, gateau de voyage, petit fours and macarons at the Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, where she studied under M.O.F. Jean Michel Perruchon. Hana talked to me about the great mentor/protege relationship that she and Frederic have. She raved about how talented he is and how rare it is to have an Executive chef that is so hands on.

Cafe Madeleine 14The croissants ($2.75) are light with a buttery flavor.

Cafe Madeleine 2They carry fresh baked bread  from Clear Flour Bakery: French Baguette, Rustic Italian, and Pain de Mie.

Cafe Madeleine 11The fruit tart ($5.50) is almond cream baked in a sweet pastry crust, topped with vanilla pastry cream, fresh local fruits.

Cafe Madeleine 10The vegetable crudite tart ($4.50) was a work of art.

Cafe Madeleine 12The large berry tart.

Cafe Madeleine is open from 6:30am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Stop in for a delicious treat!

Cafe Madeleine

517 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA

Café Madeleine on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4609We spent the day in Portland, getting lunch and walking around. We stopped into the Standard Baking Co. and I was in love instantly. With so many delicious things behind the counter, it was hard to choose what to get. I wanted one of everything!

IMG_1377The chocolate hazelnut tart was sweet but not too sweet. You would think that with that much chocolate it might be overwhelming.  Not so. And the flakes of sea salt sent this over the top for me.

IMG_1381The lemon tart was equally delicious! It was sweet and tart….really quite delicious.


We grabbed a blueberry scone to go – usually my experience with scones has not been good – they are usually quote dry, but not these. Simply delicious! I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the Portland area.

The Standard Baking Co.

75 Commercial Street, Portland, ME

Standard Baking Co on Urbanspoon

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imag0797We headed over to Harvard Square on Sunday afternoon for brunch. We missed the window to sit outside, and they unfortunately closed their patio.

imag0790We grabbed a corner table inside. You may know the Sinclair as a live music venue, but have you tried their food?

imag0789No donut holes, bummer. So we go with the brunch tots ($8) that come with cheese sauce and red jalapenos. They were good but a little difficult to eat with a fork.

imag0791I had the baked French toast with salted bacon fluff (whaaaaat!?!?!?!), maple syrup and fresh berries ($13).

imag0793We also had the waffle burger, grass fed beef on a buttermilk waffle bun with shallot jam, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, fried egg, and maple syrup with a side of tots ($15). One word. AMAZING. All of my favorite things wrapped up into one sandwich! It was little messy to eat, but oh so good.

imag0796And the  turkey hash ($14) with turkey, crispy potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, 2 poached eggs and five spice. Another really great, really flavorful dish. Service was ok, considering that it was the tail end of brunch. Will definitely be back again for brunch, everything on the menu looked and sounded delicious.

The Sinclair Kitchen

52 Church Street, Cambridge, MA

The Sinclair on Urbanspoon

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