Forage – Cambridge, MA in my overalls… #fobstyle

Oh hai!  It’s been awhile since Yeah I wore overalls, made me feel like a forager lol jk… totally didn’t do it just to dress for the restaurant.

So the night of the big fight on Saturday… Mayweather vs McGregor (FYI where was Bieber? Ha!) I first headed to Forage in Cambridge to grab a quick snack to eat… I say snack because we all know that house parties and any sports game will be plenty of beer, booze, and of course delicious fat-inducing food… which sadly I didn’t take any pictures of. But let’s just say I was pupu-sa’d out from ha! Pupu was, fried shrimp and wings, chicken and beef tacos, etc… the list goes on.

So first off.. Forage is hidden in the middle of a residential area in Harvard Sq. You have to walk down into the basement of what looks to be an apartment complex. The interior is very homey and it looks pretty much like it was an apartment turned restaurant. An inviting bar as soon as you walk in, they have a crazy cocktail list…. but Narrow ways to walk through to get to the bathroom and kitchen…. I was bumping into people just to go pee.

They had gorgeous mushroom artwork like this, which was next to our table, all over.  Wait for staff was a little slow… but being for a Saturday night at least we were seated immediately with no reservations. We were finally given two cherry tomatoes, one each… and salt to dip it in.

I felt like Oliver Twist but I found myself wanting to ask for more. Hungry. Slow wait staff. Waa. When are you gonna take our order?

When we finally got our order taken, btw, not hating, they were super gracious and even apologized straight off for being slow….. we got the bread!!!  They had amazing fresh baked bread… screw my gluten allergy. I eat what I want. They, also simply, just serve it with some delicious extra virgin olive oil… poured right in front of you. Crunchy crust (my favorite!) and a fluffy soft interior… yummy.

We finally got our orders in and the food came out really fast. We ordered three appetizers to share… didn’t realize the portions. “This is what he feeds me when he takes me out on a date!” Haha jk! But I joked about instagram-ing that phrase so I figure better here than nowhere.

This was actually a pretty tasty dish. But the name is definitely not what I thought I’d get. “Cured Fish Plate”

Cured Fish Plate
Cured Trout, Lacto Carrots, Clam Ice Cream, Whipped Brookford Cottage Cheese and Scented Geranium

What made me want this dish was the clam ice cream [duh!] you guys know me too well!  And it was AMAZING!!!!…  I was also curious about what was “lacto carrots” because I just think of lactose, am I right?!?!?!… But seriously. It was ONE piece of trout.  And it didn’t taste like anything, let alone fish or smoked.  Fail.

Anyways next up was the highly antisipating “Confit Lobster Mushrooms”  I love mushrooms… remember when I went on that rage and just ate as many different mushrooms as I possibly could from the farmers market?!…. It was like like 30+ kinds but still :]  So here it is……

DUN DUN DUN *cue music* — oh wait I already started it

Confit Lobster Mushrooms
Cantalope, Blackberries, Salt Brittle

Concept was good.  Execution, not so much.  First of all, the mushrooms were overpowered by everything else, and everything was overpowered by the brittle [which was, btw, not salted]  I felt like this needed some green and some acid to really round up the dish.  Each part on it’s own was great – but come on, it was cut up cantaloupe and blackberries on plate.  Not sure how they did the mushrooms, but definitely not the taste of lobster mushrooms when I’ve cooked it myself.  The texture was meaty but it needed a mushroom taste.. I say add some lemon-y herbs and have a variety of mushrooms to amp up the plate.

And here it comes, what D was coming for — the “Cured Beef Plate”

Cured Beef Plate
Jerky, Biltong, Bresaola, Dried Liver, Mustard, Pickles & Toast

The Biltong was definitely missing from this dish but instead we had a delicious Beef sort of Paté with a big thick disc of beet in it [didn’t really have much taste to it though…. so definitely not pickled].  Yeah I suck at descriptions about this because I couldn’t hear the waiter well.  The Bresaola was tasty, a bit too salty for me, but tasty…. and the Jerky was chewy and full of that good packed in beef condensed flavor.  Gnaw gnaw gnaw.

And then… ” Where is the liver?”

But alas, regretfully, I found it in the parsley and onion salad.  Super condensed, rich flavored liver, dried out and grated onto the salad.  It. Was. INTENSE.

I don’t like liver, aside from foie gras, so this was just eye-twitching for me.  Just a few small flakes packed SO MUCH PUNCH… Now I know why they paired it with the onions and parsley, the mellowed it out a ton — but once I had that liver taste in my mouth I couldn’t get it out.

It was all paired with a great fresh house-made mustard, tons of horseradish in it.  I liked it.  D, not so much haha. MORE FOR ME :]

And for dessert, we got complimentary Tomato Sorbet…. and then two savory ice creams.  A Gochuchang ice cream with Kimchi and a Cilantro ice cream, both with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.  My taste buds were confused, but apparently the highlights of the night for me were all ice creams.  The sorbet

Me: So how does it taste?
D: Tomato-y
Me: Really? That’s a great description….
D: You try it…
Me: *takes a bite*
D: So how does it taste?
Me: Super tomato-y

This was literally a tomato bomb in your mouth!  Refreshing, smooth, and absolutely amazing!

I had a bite of the kimichi and it was a cauliflower.  They gave just the right amount to balance the sweetness… the gochuchang was seriously ridiculously mind-blowing MIND-F.  Like what is going on?!  Slightly spicy, salty and a good amount of sweetness.  The cilantro I loved… and actually would’ve paired great with the mushroom dish we had above.

So pretty.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad meal, it wasn’t a great meal.  Not sure whether or not I would go back, but then again I only had some appetizers.  XXXOOO

More than just half a dozen oysters… @ Saltwater

Yayyy.. the Detroit blogs continue. Yes I know you’re excited.. that I’m still alive ;D TEEHEE

ANYWAYS — at this point, I’m pretty sure the MGM Hotel Room Service knows me by now and shudders when I call for food. I also usually just pay for it by card so it probably annoys them to death walking up and down, to and fro, but aside from that, I’ve made friends with the food senders hehe.

Lunch was a chopped vegetable salad [capers, tomatoes, celery, greens, feta, pinenuts, etc the WORKS] and this:

Spicy Tuna Tartare with avocado, pickled ginger and sesame wonton crisps. Delish!  Definitely helped with my sushi craving as well…  I can never get enough of raw fish!

The crisps were SO freaking good, DEEE-VOURED. I think I was supposed to eat them WITH the tuna but I inhaled all the creamy tuna first, put the avocado on my salad and then crunched on the greasy wontons.

BTW. I had the truffle chips with blue cheese the other day. SO GOOD, but SO BAD. I got SOOOO sick from them :[ Guess they were too rich and greasy for my stomach to handle. WTF is going on with me and being sick lately? It’s like I got a bug that’ll never leave. That or my tapeworm is the one getting sick hahaha. BTW, see how it says “Seasonal Soup of the Day”? Just for kicks I called them to ask what their soup of the day was… EVERY DAY and it’s always asparagus soup. HAHA. Just say no to stinky pee.

Ok onwards. Workity workity but I had oysters on my brain. CONSTANTLY. So I decided to throw on some clothes and visit the boyfriend at work.

It was pretty empty when I first walked in and plopped myself at the bar. After too much booze the last time I was here, sober dinner it was. Well, snack rather… I ordered a half a dozen oysters… and got so so much more :]

And look, W came out just to shuck some oysters for me personally :]

I’m a spoiled little princess!

I ended up with a dozen GORGEOUS, perfectly shucked, delicious oysters.. and a few raw clams as well :] YUM!

I thought that was it, but W texted me from the kitchen saying that there was another dish….

And then out came these:

If you can’t enjoy fresh radishes with butter & salt, I duno if we can be friends anymore.

Crunchy. Beautiful. Fresh. Crisp. OHHHHH JOY.  I was SOOO HAPPY!!!! My neighbors got radish envy so they got some too :] Compliments of Chef W <3 HEHE. BUT THAT WASN’T THE DISH!!!!! There was another surprise in store for me….

Fresh gorgeous raw tuna on cubes of cheese.. tasted like a mild feta and some crushed/crumbled croutons and EVOO – AMMMMAZE BALLS!

Damn. Now I’m craving radishes….

LA LA LA. Joy!

Small Cheap DELICIOUS Eats All Day Long: 小南門 點心世界 & Agnes b. Cafe Revisited

I got my “cupcake” skirt on and headed out into the, now, chillier weather for a quick bite and shopping and exploring

I’ve been craving somse REAL Taiwanese Potstickers so off to 小南門 – 點心世界 at Breeze Center I went

Difference between what you call a potsticker and a Taiwanese one?! Well first.. the size/shape and the way they’re made…

“…the Taiwanese potsticker is an elongated wrapper that houses a thin strip of filling, most commonly pork with cabbage, but other varieties do exist (curry, kimchi, shrimp/pork, crab/pork are the others I’ve seen), that gets pinched in the middle, but not at the ends. They’re basically like mini burritos that are open at the ends. Unlike traditional wontons which get boiled first, these go straight into a covered wok with a slight amount of water and a fair bit of oil, coming out with charring only on the flat bottom side. As a result, you end up with a string of potstickers that are conjoined in rows of fried dumpling perfection….” [Source]

Seriously.. once you’ve had one of these you’ll forever say no to takeout potstickers.. well, maybe – But I still prefer homemade ones, my mom makes delicious ones BUTTTTTTT…. I love Taiwanese ones the most.


Regular potstickers = Still tasty [Source]

Okay back to the main point… we got a nice seat in the back of the restaurant… it was already 1:30/2ish so it wasn’t as packed… it was the same seat I sat in the last time I was here

Some mini dishes while we wait for our order of potstickers and soup

One of my favorite veg dishes to eat in Taiwan..

龍鬚菜 Gracilaria Lemaneiformis [thanks to MyInnerFatty & Jackson for helping me out on this one]

It’s sort of like an algae?! But then I thought it was a fern.. STILL CONFUSED… and “Zemanta” isn’t helping :P.. and strangely in chinese translation according to google it’s like an asapargus?! But literally translated into long dragon’s beard or whiskers or something like that. Whatevz. DELICIOUS!  The flavor reminds me of fiddleheads in a weird way but I guess it’s an algae?! Awkward… google told me they find red ones grown in ppl’s freaking fish tanks HAHA… they just end up in my belly ;D

Braised Bamboo with Scallions & Chili Peppers

A bit oily but bamboo is really good for soaking up that oil and helping you poop it out :] Yep, I said it here on my food blog. POOP.  Bamboo is great :] I love it and like I’ve said, it’s always made super fresh here in Taiwan.

Bitter Greens & Enoki

My mom makes this bitter green really good with tofu and lots of chili peppers… I think it’s a mustard green but I have to double check with chinese to english translations.. this one was kind of weird tasting to me… it tasted a bit like cleaning solution, maybe it was just super bitter and since it was just blanched and not spicy it was different from what I’m used to.

Mini Anchovies and Fried Tofu Strips with Hot Chilis

Yep! One of my favorite cold side dishes to eat! You’ve seen it many times on this blog already.

Sweetened White Bitter Melon

Another familiar dish that needs no explaining on here!  But white bitter melon needs to be grown or imported into the States now! Same with that….fern/algae veg I love hahahaha…

Pig’s Blood Cakes [豬血糕] with Peanut Powder

Haven’t had this in awhile, I usually just have it at night markets and on a stick.  But it’s my favorite form of pig’s blood.. I prefer my pure blood cakes to be goose or duck… this is mixed with rice and steamed and lots of peanut powder on it makes it even more yummy!

Sauteed A-Cai

A bit too greasy and salty but STILL SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!

Their famous Taiwanese Potstickers!!!

I have to admit, while the skin is crispy to perfection and the filling is SOOO good… the filling was lacking.. in amount.  There used to be so much more. Damn recession. I’d rather pay more $$ for the real deal than half assed filled dumplings :[ POUT.

Baby Clam Soup

Lots of ginger, a light sprinkling of scallions and lots of baby clams.  Since clams are already salty you don’t need any seasoning. This is how I make clam soup at home, just water, clams and ginger. YUM!

Can you believe all of that food was only for a few bucks?!?!?! That’s what I love about Taiwan, some of the most delicious foods I’ve eaten here is simple and complex in flavors all at the same time and soooo easy on the wallet – and you wonder why I eat so much of it :] Fourths please!!!

After shopping around Breeze Center we stopped by Agnes b. Cafe for a breather…

Chloe

Hazelnut, Chocolate, Feuilletine, Sponge Cake

Sadly this tasted like it was in the fridge for too long. :[

Marion

Nougatine, Caramel Custard, Puff Pastry

Crispity crunchy sooo good and not too sweet :] LOVE it.. the top was crunchier with a nice sugar coating and a chocolate and the bottom was just plain puff which was fluffy.

Dinner was 3 of us at the food court. Yep, THREE of us, ALL this food only for less than 20$ !!! Just look below and have your jaw drop and drool come out. ALL THIS FOOD FOR ALMOST NOTHING!!! YUM!

三杯鸡 [Literally, 3 Cup Chicken] with Soup and 3 Side Dishes

3 Cup Chicken [三杯鸡)

Why 3 cup chicken? 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of sesame oil and 1 cup chinese rice wine :] YUM!

Vegetarian Mushroom Hot Pot Meal w/ Side Dishes

I ordered the seafood hot pot but they accidentally gave me the vegetarian mushroom one…

Vegetarian Mushroom Hot Pot

Tons of various mushrooms, and mostly nice big and meaty oyster mushrooms.

I realized this after I tasted NO seafood and could only find veg and TONS of mushrooms in it. Not complaining but just wanted a refund since the seafood pot costed more… BUT they apologized and the lady gave me a FREE seafood hot pot. Yeah so I ate both. #fattie

Seafood Hot Pot

Full of shrimp, squid, tofu, veggies and of course, more mushrooms. YUM. Very light broth.. ohh and there were some thin slices of beef sirloin in it as well :]

Oyster pancakes, beef ball soup and veggies

Fried Tofu

You’ve already seen these dishes…

After some shopping at SOGO I ate two bowls of red bean soup with dried longan and lots of mochi black seasame balls [黑芝麻湯圓].

Chanel Tree?!?! My dream come true!!

battle of the soup dumplings

Ah, one of my favorite foods, 小籠包 (xiao long bao) aka soup dumplings…

Last nite we went to 高記 (Kao Chi) which is right next to our hotel. Had high hopes but it failed to meet our expectations…. not so great dinner :[ (but a lot of it was due to my mom & aunt complaining about how Din Tai Fung’s dumplings were better hahahaha) Highlight was the stir-fried greens and the dessert.


Xiao Long Baos :D

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