Great Quality Sushi: Fish Market, Boston

21 Sep

My husband and I have been in search of good, affordable sushi from the moment we first moved to Boston. A new favorite is the Fish Market Sushi Bar in the Allston area of Boston.

Fish Market - avocado ballThe Avocado Ball appetizer won a “most memorable dish” award in 2010. Thin slices of avocado are wrapped around chunks of red and white tuna and diced cucumber, then drizzled with a light wasabi mayo and topped with flying fish roe. It comes with two mini spoons, making it a cute sharing dish for date night.

Fish Market SushiSalmon and maguro sushi above. The fish is terrific, and melts in your mouth. The rice is also good, and not packed too tightly. I really like their scallop sushi – two large rounds of scallop slices overhang the sushi rice. I could eat these all day long.

IMAG1572From left to right: kappa sashimi maki (wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber), spicy scallop maki, eel and avocado maki, spicy tuna maki topped with tempura bits, jalapeno twister maki, and rainbow roll.

Fish Market - White Tiger MakiWhite Tiger maki – tuna, cucumber and avocado wrapped in white seaweed. Unique and beautiful!

The sushi at Fish Market is a bit more expensive than at other restaurants, and the setting is definitely very casual. It would be difficult to seat a group larger than four people. Parking can be tough in the Allston area, so taking public transit is recommended. Nevertheless, Fish Market’s sushi is worth the drive!

Food: 5/5 | Atmosphere: 3.5/5 | Value: 4/5

Info: Fish Market Sushi Bar, 170 Brighton Avenue, Boston, MA 02134, USA

Fish Market on Urbanspoon

What’s in a Chicken McNugget?

13 Sep

In high school, I loved McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. Crispy, meaty (maybe?), and so dunkable in barbecue or honey mustard sauce. Of course, I’ve discovered much better food over the years (not being completely broke helps), and now I avoid fast food chains as much as possible. Recently however, after a long and tiring business trip, my husband stopped by McDonald’s during a brief lapse in judgement. He brought me back a box of Chicken McNuggets…

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What are in McNuggets, anyway? Turns out, there really is white meat chicken in these things, not pink goop! This is how Chicken McNuggets are made. Nevertheless, nowadays I don’t find McNuggets tasty enough to eat an entire box all at once. I ate a couple pieces and stuck the rest in the fridge. Here they are after 5 days, looking a bit sad and dry:

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Were they still edible? I broke one open…the batter layer cracked open to reveal a hollow pocket, with what appears to be a bit of shriveled chicken. All I know is that when I cook chicken breast pieces and leave them in the fridge for 5 days, they don’t shrink to nothingness… I guess it’s no surprise that second on the list of ingredients for McNuggets is water (see page 10).

DSC00871Yup, definitely a food picture that doesn’t make you salivate!

Trendy Seafood: Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston

7 Sep

I‘d had my eye on the Island Creek Oyster Bar for a while, so we came here for my birthday. It’s got a trendy, yuppy-ish ambiance in the front with a large U-shaped oyster bar and several high-tops. Further back in the restaurant are the tables where a slightly older crowd and families were seated.  The mood was lively with lounge-like music in the background.

Island Creek Oyster Bar (ICOB) - oyster sliderWe started with oyster sliders (ordered individually) – yum!

ICOB - clam chowderThe clam chowder was fantastic – creamy, with tons of fresh clams

ICOB - bluefish cevicheBluefish ceviche.

ICOB - bassThe menu is constantly changing, but the fish entrees are all delicious, served with seasonal vegetables. I had the sea bass over shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy.

ICOB - bluefishHubby had the bluefish over sweet corn, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce.

ICOB - donut shortcakeThe only disappointment of the night was dessert. Our server spoke highly of the donut shortcake, so we decided to give it a try. It was a stale, dry, plain donut topped with whipped cream and strawberries, surrounded by sweet cereal. It seemed like something a 5-year-old might make.

The Final Word: ICOB is one of my favorite places for seafood in the Boston area. I’m excited to see what creative entrees will be on the menu the next time I go. But I’ll stay away from the desserts!
Island Creek Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Info: Island Creek Oyster Bar, 500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA USA

Boston’s Best Baklava and Pastries: Armenian Market & Bakery

1 Sep DSC00865

Could this be the Boston area’s best baklava? Quite possibly. From the outside, the Armenian Market & Bakery in Watertown doesn’t look like much, on a side street across from the enormous parking lot of a second-rate mall, home to such fine establishments like Target, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and the Old Country Buffet. But step inside the market, and you’ll find shelves full of spices, cheeses, filo pastry…and a counter full of house-made baklava.

Armenian Market - baklavaI had never been a fan of baklava…I found it to be overly sweet and sticky, getting my fingers dirty and getting stuck in my teeth. Until now. The Armenian Market makes their filo dough from scratch, so it doesn’t dry out, and they don’t need to add extra sugar to keep it shiny and pretty. Layers and layers of extra sugar are what make inferior baklava so incredibly sweet. One bite into a sample of the Market’s pistachio baklava and my husband and I were immediately sold. We bought several different pieces of pistachio baklava, a couple of the walnut variety, and a Nutella piece (the box of baklava above came to $7.66).

To be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference between the different pistachio pieces – they tasted very similar….but which is to say, they all tasted amazing. Flaky, delicate, and with just the right amount of crispness and sweetness. I could eat these all day long.

Armenian Market & Bakery

At the other end of the counter you’ll find delicious savory pastries.

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The perfectly golden-brown pastry is a crispy, thin layer, surrounding generous amounts of spinach and cheese (above) or ground beef (below).

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It’s worth making the trip out to Watertown for these goodies!

Info: Armenian Market & Bakery, 23 Elm Street, Watertown, MA, USA

Armenian Market & Bakery on Urbanspoon

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