2.23.2006

2.98 Pineapples for Fresh Crabapples



Pineapples for crabapples? Aww... how droll and self-reflexive.

Stop yelling. I wasn't trying to be cutesy. I just want to prove a point from a week or so ago -- that people actually buy crabapples. After taking a closer look, I'm pretty sure that Martha could make some sort of styrofoam-based wreath using these nasty mutants; alternately, you could also use them to make fruit tarts.
For babies. Without tastebuds.

In any case, you can get them for $2.98 per bushel at Russo's Farm Stand on the Watertown/Waltham line.

[Quick Curtsy: Thanks to the staff at Russo's for letting me clog the doorway to nab some shots during the lunch rush.]

As a sidenote, they also have fresh lobster ravioli for $4.98 a pound... and "homemade" BBQ sauce for $5.29 a bottle. Now, please don't consult me as to how BBQ sauce can be homemade--- I have visions of a ketchup-alfredo concoction being bundled in tin-foil and thrown on a big outdoor grill, but I'm willing to bet my bottle that that's not quite how it works.

Tomorrow, I will ask the nice man that let me take my crabapple pics.

So... that said, let me slide along to the actual point of this here post: my obsession with snack mix. More specifically, my obsession with snack mix served in Boston's swankypantsiest bars. It's one of my favorite discussion topics, and it's about time it made it to the big screen, or at least a screen approx 1024x768.

Without further la-di-da or miniature fruits, the rankings:

Bronze: OM Restaurant on Winthrop St. In Harvard Square.

Okay, so this is probably a poor choice to introduce the topic, since it's not technically snack-mix-proper. It's more of a popcorn-based treat. But it's still wicked totally good. And free. The lounge area serves this caramel corn with chili powder that's all clumpy (in a good way) and crunchy. Even I loved it... and I tell people that I hate caramel (although I possibly made that up years ago and began to believe it). I think the chili powder serves the same flavor-enhancing powers to the caramel as it does to chocolate (as explained in the aptly-titled film, Chocolat).

The cocktails here are swell as well-- my champagne and lemon "Fred and Ginger" was served with a big lovely chunk of candied ginger on the rim. Well, it was lovely for... let's call it... 2 seconds... until I popped it in my mouth in one fell swoop because it looked like candy and was sparkly and sweet and it was getting in the way of my sipping.

Just pleeease don't go upstairs. The lounge is trendy but comfy (and the bartender-- the same one on each of three visits --not only mixes a mean Manhattan, but also eerily resembles Michael Stipe); erstwhile, the restaurant itself reflects the truffle parmesan oil they priggishly squirt on the popcorn up there. And the waiters would likely choke on the word "squirt."

::14 pineapples for the down low, but 17 crabapples once you ascend.


Silver: Noir at the Charles Hotel

Bronze and silver for H-Square? Flag on the play? Nope, it's true. Again, please stop yelling.

Most of you know that Noir is one of my favorite places in Boston...uh, Cambridge. Along with sultry red lighting, beaded curtains that amazingly don't look kitschy, and mahogany/black leather furniture that I would try to steal if it wasn't heavy and I didn't wear bright pink way too often, they have a mixed nuts bowl for 3 dollars.

The cute black misshapen bowl is filled with toasted almonds and cashews and corn-nuts (I know...but these are supersized and actually tasty) and plump wasabis. The only drawback-- they mud up the mix with pretzel nuggets still reeking of cello-wrap from the Snyder's bulk bag. Boo. On the drink front, hit up the Chinatown (with a baby umbrella that is kitschy, but I'm kindly reading it as tongue-in-cheek) or the Maker's Manhattan (self-explanatory).

::29 Pineapples for my go-to dark corner.


Gold: Bar Ten at the Westin Hotel

My history with Bar Ten goes back to my online dating days, when I had a scary blind date here with a guy wearing a suit jacket and shoddy-cakey keds. Fortunately, the selection of scotch is wonderful. On a later visit, the waiter introduced me to Hendrick's gin before Hendrick's gin was cool [oh...right...this just in: Hendrick's gin is cool]. It has this sweet little kick of cucumber and pine trees. So good.

And then the magic: a dreamy snack mix of dried pineapples, cranberries, and apples, mingled with roasted almonds and peanuts and sesame sticks. The sweet and the salty play so well together-- like two precious boarding school twerps and their She-Ra dolls. Except in a bowl.

The snack mix here is free, hence my intense love and devotion. It's a great place to take the edge off an angry stomach before your dinner plans empty your wallet anyway. And the waitstaff will bring you as much as you want without looking at you like you are a stupid freeloader (which, of course, you would never dare to be).

::55 Pineapples for perfect pineapple pairings.

I should probably mention that the cocktails at any of these medal-winners range from about 10-17 bucks. Whatever. I'll pay for good whiskey, but I shouldn't ever have to pay for good Corn-nuts.

4 Comments:

Blogger kate.d. said...

thumbs up for dried pineapple. i used to get these little bags of snack mix at the UMass student union for 25 cents, and i always saved the big chunks of dried pineapple for last. once, i was having a conference with my creative writing professor, and he asked if he could have some of the snack mix, and i said sure (he was kinda cute). then he ate my biggest pineapple, and i was like "oh no you didn't!"

i'm pretty sure he thought i was crazy.

oh, and by the way, i can only spend 10-17 bucks on a cocktail once every six months or so, but thanks for the options if i ever happen to be in boston at said six-month mark.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous katers said...

Now see here. How can you get the job of being THE snack guru for all places cool? then you can cultivate each snack recipe to perfection AND get paid. I say investigate. Like, now.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous JT said...

Your medal count is spot-on, though I must say that bronze metal should be a bit scratched up or perhaps dented -- OM as a bar is nowhere near the league of Noir and Bar-10.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not been to any of these places. I am filled with shame and snack mix envy.

Can we get the flip side? 3 worst snack mixes and ways in which they can be improved... like by the addition of wasabi peas which I currently am eating a bag of.

7:53 AM  

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