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

Dim Sum Buffet at Lotus Flower

It’s a buffet, I’m not a huge fan of chinese buffets in general because I’d rather have quality than quantity. But for only 15$ it was a pretty decent spread of Taiwanese style dimsum and some eats….  Off to Lotus Flower in Framingham it is… sister restaurant to others around such as Lotus Blossom in Sudbury, Water Lily in Wayland and Chang So in Cambridge.

As my mom and I were walking in for our much-needed mother/daughter date, STARVED to death, a father and son came walking out of Five Guys asking if this place was good. hahaha.. I duno, this is my first time.

And YES it’s ACTUALLY next to a Five Guys [and a Boston Market], as soon as we parked and got out of the car, I could smell burgers in the air.. YUMMM.. #craving – almost went in there instead. Buttttt… it was dim sum I wanted..

This ain’t no chinatown or Asia dim sum… we came for the last hour of the “Sunday Brunch” so while they had everything, they weren’t really putting anything new out anymore. So we grabbed EVERYTHING!!… well, that we wanted.

Round 1.

Xiao Long Baos, Shumai 乾蒸燒賣, Taiwanese Panfried Dumplings, Pork Belly Baos, Shrimp Dumplings, Chive Pies, etc…

The Chive pie had good filling but they were not bulging with filling and I think since they were the last batch of the day, the crust was getting a bit soggy in the steamer…  the Shrimp Dumplings were good but the skin was a bit too thick for me and they were pan-fried not just thin-skinned and steamed like I’m used to.  Taiwan dumplings were good, but they were small and more like gyoza than Taiwanese dumplings…

Peanuts, Eggplant, Scallion Pancakes, Sesame Balls, etc..

I liked the Xiao Long Baos [Soup Dumplings] and Shumai the most so I ended up getting a plate PILED with them.. like 10 each HAHAHA… #fattie. INHALED.

Sao Bin 燒餅 and Fried Dough 油條

Obviously dipped in and eaten with soy milk 豆漿… something about Chinese soy milk that is SOOO different from american soy milk. SO SO GOOD.

The soy milk wasn’t too sweetened and tasted fresh…. definitely helped cut through the greasy fried dough – it’s not the best 油條 I’ve had but it’s pretty good.. just wish they were big rods of them, instead of cut up smaller pieces….

大䁑麵綫 Large Pig Intestine with Noodle Threads… SOOO GOOD… great spices and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. YUM.

You have to ask for this on the side, and it comes with the buffet… as many bowls as you want.  But you have to ASK for it, along with congee, and sometimes tofu pudding and oyster pancakes – which aren’t always available.  While the flavors were great and the noodles were yummy, there wasn’t enough intestines, I had like 6 pieces of so but my mom had NONE. That’s so disappointing :[ Should be more consistant, need bigger pieces and each bowl needs a good amount.

Sweet Rice Soup/Milk 米浆

This was thick and delicious but a bit too sweet for me.  I prefer my mom’s more but she never makes it anymore :[  Here’s a fun recipe I found tho…

Turnip/Daikon Cakes, Pig Ears, Sliced Beef, Szechuan Pickled Cabbage

After this I got another plate of just xiao long baos and shumais :] NOM

Fruits, more Sesame Balls, Cake and some Ribs & Tofu

The ribs were a bit too sweet…. but I love me some balls :D A bit sweet but nice mochi outside, fried and red bean paste in the middle, NOM!

Cake, Melon, Mangoes

Hope is the best stimulant of life.

Agreed.

Hope drives me, inspires me and pushes me in the right direction.

So does my new bag of Easter candy….