MaryJo continuously falls in love with the Boston food scene. She believes that Boston chefs embrace unwavering courage to be leaders in the culinary scene as they constantly experiment with varied ingredients. So innovative and so eager to try new combinations, they remain confident with every plate they serve. One of the most impressive factors is that they are so young! Their millennial attitude toward entrepreneurship lends to the development of Boston’s culinary scene; they’re the curators of the trending food items.
Here are culinary eateries she enjoys every time she visits:
1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA | Middle Eastern Bakery
Sofra is a small, bustling, and cheerful space with an open kitchen and communal seating. It’s definitely a place where foodies come together and share lots of “oohs and ahhs.” It also has a market of select specialty food items. During her past visit, MaryJo ate an incredible spinach falafel on flatbread that was accompanied by beet tzatziki, arugula & pickles. Although MaryJo doesn’t partake in consuming many desserts, you can always find her drooling over the decadent sweets menu (particularly the tahini shortbread) created by the extremely talented Maura Kilpatrick. Make sure to visit their sister restaurants Oleana and Sarma, part of Ana Sortun’s Oleana Restaurant Group.
Ring Rd Boston, MA 02199 | Modern Mediterranean
The charm of Porto is that it is both elegant and rustic, which is very reminiscent of being on the coast in the Mediterranean. Each dish that came out of the kitchen was beautifully plated. While MaryJo was there, she ordered oysters that came out in galvanized buckets, which were filled with ice and topped with a dozen succulent oysters. MaryJo considers herself a connoisseur of oysters, and these were divine. Her opinion is that grilled octopus is rarely prepared properly, and as she was savoring it, a tear slid down MaryJo’s cheek. She has never had a perfectly grilled tender octopus dish until she ate at Porto. Seriously she cannot stop waxing eloquent over this octopus.
One Kendall Square, 15 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139 | Jewish Delicatessen
When MaryJo stepped foot in Mamaleh’s, she was blown away. Mamaleh’s is a modern take on an authentic Jewish deli; they serve cocktails, spiked milkshakes, and house-made pop, too! MaryJo claims it is THE BEST JEWISH DELI EVER. Since she lived in Manhattan for a great portion of her life, she’s quite the judge! She devoured the 50/50 sandwich (half hot corned beef & half pastrami), which is hand-sliced on house-made marble rye and served with potato salad and an assortment of yummy pickles. When her lunch companion could not finish the rich and savory chopped liver sandwich, MaryJo confesses she ate the rest of it, too. They also brought out a tahini cookie that was incredible. Julie had fun trying out the recipe they shared with Bon Appetit. Don’t forget to pick up some Soom at the front retail area!
268 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118 | Specialty Market
As one of two Formaggio Kitchen locations in the Boston area, this specialty market redefines the word “special.” The curation of products, which range from local produce to handmade Italian pasta, is picked to perfection. The cheese selection is outstanding; the cheesemongers are not only highly educated, but also very enthusiastic in imparting their knowledge with their customers. The market’s friendly staff always has amazing suggestions and information to help new customers build the perfect shopping bag. Reasonably priced to be such a gourmet shop, Formaggio manages to make carefully sourced, high quality products accessible to everyone. MaryJo wanted to buy the whole store.
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 | Modern European
Yes, there’s a line at Toro. And yes, it’s worth the wait. This award-winning Spanish Tapas restaurant in the South End is so good, it’s ridiculous. The modern spin on European classics elevates every dish to a new level. If someone comes to you asking for a trendy and cool restaurant to visit while in Boston, this is the place to go. The atmosphere has a happening vibe that resonates throughout the restaurant. Thankfully, MaryJo had two dinner companions while dining at Toro because she wouldn’t have been able to eat all of the small plates she wanted by herself. Julie asked MaryJo what her favorite dishes were; her reply: all of them. When pressed for a proper answer, MaryJo narrowed it down to these faves: the Filete a la Plancha (an incredible hanger steak), the Zanahorias (Ethiopian-spiced carrots), the Ventresca Montadito (Spanish tuna belly confit), and the Ensalada Cortada V (with an amazing Soom tahini miso dressing!). All of the small plates were gorgeous, perfectly prepared, and incredibly unique. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong.
Interested in getting your hands on Soom Tahini, too? Head to our shop page to explore and purchase our products.
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