Boston – Food Truck Throwdown!

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I had been looking forward to the Boston vs NYC Food Truck Throwdown all week. I love food trucks all the time, but especially when there are a whole bunch in one spot! Sidenote: I also really love food courts. I can totally relate to the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and Lorelai introduce Emily to the food court with a sampling of every type of cuisine available. I’ve also always wanted to compile my own food court smorgasbord. I am quite indecisive though, so it’s kind of odd that I enjoy the variety so much.

I thought the trucks might be serving smaller, sample sized portions, but everyone seemed to have their regular menu. I went in with the intention of trying NYC food since I see a lot of the Boston trucks around all the time. That didn’t happen, but I’m really happy with what we tried! Paul was standing in line at an NYC truck while I scoped out other menus again. I kept passing Penny Packer’s and couldn’t deny the amazing smell hovering over their area. I had never seen their truck before, they had a fairly short line, and their specialty, the Porchetta sandwich, was only $5 so I hopped in and grabbed one. They were cranking those sandwiches out – they got it down! Paul was still in line and said he just read on a forum that the Porchetta is a must-try and the place he was waiting on had only ok reviews. So in less than 5 minutes he had a Porchetta in his hands too.  This sandwich was AMAZING! Delicious, juicy, flavorful pork with a layer of crispy skin, plus a fruity relish (with whole cherries!) and a toasty, but soft bun. Whew, that mouthful. It was like, the perfect sandwich. I can’t believe it was only $5 because I was stuffed. Now, I had imagined that I would sample lots of stuff at the event, but I was so full! We decided to leave and come back for dinner, but that didn’t happen either. Oops! Even though we didn’t take full advantage of all the trucks, I think we made a good decision. I don’t know who won/what awards were voted on, but as we were leaving Penny Packer’s I heard one of the judges on stage say it was the best Porchetta he had ever had. Score!

Update: They won best Boston AND best overall!! I knew we picked well. Nuchas was the NYC truck that I wanted to try because I love empanadas – wish we had because they won best NYC! Shucks.

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Boston Places – Clover

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Ahh this is the second time I’ve tried to write this post (my browser crashed last time without saving)! Even at my first attempt, it was 2 months late and now I think it’s almost been 3 months since I visited Clover! However, I still think this is appropriate because May is here and food truck season is in full swing. At least in my mind. Plus, this food is so bright, fresh and perfect for the warm weather. I ate at the Harvard Square location when I took these photos, but now I really want to pay a visit to a truck. Should be easy to find – they are everywhere!

I remember when we were here, it was really cold and gloomy. I was so happy to walk in and enjoy some colorful, summery food and drinks. This place is called a food lab for good reason. They are always trying out new ways to make health food super tasty. I actually didn’t even realize the place was vegetarian until after I ordered because I saw words like ‘barbecue’ and ‘BLT’. The menu changes seasonally and as they concoct new things, but the really good stuff stays put. The order dude was pretty honest and told us that some of the seasonal drinks were fun to try, but not the best, like the maple soda. We stuck to some tried and true favorites (according to him) and got the chickpea fritter. I’m sure you guys can tell how absolutely huge this thing is. Even though it was messy and too big for me to finish, I really enjoyed it! Very satisfying without feeling too heavy because all the ingredients taste so fresh.

I really like the idea behind this place and the fact that they pay so much attention to where their ingredients come from. I love any place that can make me happy to eat healthy because goodness knows I’m a sucker for cheese and carbs when it comes to eating out (and eating in general). I want to eat healthy so bad, but I can’t quit the cheese! Eating at Clover was really fun. I like the open atmosphere that lets you watch the assembly process and they had a band playing too. It Seemed like a fairly popular place for those Harvard kids to study…I mean, not only do they serve brain food, but they also serve beer. So yeah, heh heh.

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Hibiscus and some kind of fruity lemonade. I’m not sure what drinks they have now, but these were pretty refreshing!

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Too. full. for. fries. But I still ate some and liked it.

DSC_1866A monster.

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Watching them work. You can also watch from the seating area above them.

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Harvard kids love to color. Fun!

Boston Places – Cutty’s

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We’ve been meaning to check out Cutty’s for months. Many times we’ve thought, hey! let’s finally go to Cutty’s! only to remember that they are open until 3pm and we missed out. Well, today was finally the day and it was definitely worth the wait. Paul got the Ham Dijon and I got the Spuckie (Italian meats, mozz, and olive-carrot salad). The cashier recommended room temperature for Paul’s. For mine she said you can’t go wrong, but go with grilled if you want the flavors to melt together with gooey cheese and crispy bread. If you want to be able to taste all the individual flavors, stay at room temperature. I leaned towards grilled until she offered half grilled, half not. Cool! I was excited. I’m really glad I got to taste it both ways. She was exactly right about the differences in flavor. I think if I got it again and had to choose one way, I would go for room temp. The carrot and olive salad is so good and you can really taste it when it’s cold.

Paul’s sandwich was much smaller and prettier than mine. It’s a simple sandwich – from my one bite I was especially impressed by how yummy the ham was! Paul really liked it, but said his jaw hurt after chewing on the super crusty baguette! He liked mine a little better. He also got chips, which were way better than a bag! I got the Cutty’s Limeade and holy moly it was fantastic! The really cool thing about Cutty’s is that everything is made in-house and they display where all of their ingredients come from. One downside is the very little seating space – we were lucky to get a table! I would love to go back soon and try something else. Maybe on another Saturday because they have two Saturday only sandwiches that I’ve heard are awesome!

DSC_1641ham dijon + chips

DSC_1649my grilled half and cold half + limeade

DSC_1650check out those layers!

DSC_1651we were happy to see two Colorado towns up there!

20130126-210308.jpgGuy was here! And we saw this episode. This is the second time we’ve spotted one of these and both times we can’t help but imagine Guy’s intern/assistant diligently placing the graffiti spot. 😛