Breakfast

Carmen’s Cafe Nicole – Plymouth Waterfront

Carmen’s Cafe Nicole

Plymouth, MA

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Carmen’s Cafe Nicole is located on the Plymouth Waterfront at 114 Water Street, in Plymouth, MA.  It has spectacular views of the Plymouth waterfront and it conveniently located near some historic sites such as the Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower. There is a parking lot and parking meters close by.  It is kid friendly and an affordable place to grab some fresh seafood for lunch or a Mexican style breakfast.  It is located right across the street from the water and has a casual and beach-y atmosphere.

Café Nicole’s has a blend of tastes for everyone. The lunch menu includes fresh seafood like their Lobster Roll and Fisherman’s Platter, Mexican style food such as the Fish Tacos and Enchiladas, traditional American food like the Hamburger or the Cranberry Walnut Salad, or you can go Italian style with the Sweet Italian Sausage Sub.

I came here last weekend on a Sunday. Our server, Aria, was friendly and seated us within 5 minutes. She brought us menus and waters right away.  She knew the menu inside and out. Our drinks and food came out right on time and served hot. I was able to ask her about the menu and what are some of the most popular food items on the menu. Here is her reply: “I would have to say people flock to the cafe for the Mexican cuisine breakfast and fresh local fish for lunch. But we have such an even amount of everything. I literally see a ton of people ordering the Tuscan Poboy or the Pilgrim wrap for lunch as well as the Enchiladas de Carne Fish Tacos, and Fish N Chips or the Fisherman’s Platter. Breakfast is all around, from our lemon ricotta French toast to our bananas foster French toast. Not a lot of breakfast places offer these specials. As well as the California Omelette, the Pedro and the chili cheese, you can’t go wrong with any of the fluffy fresh egg options”.

They serve an elaborate menu in which they prefer to serve one at a time and it’s in the bester interest for the customer. The quality of the food is plentiful and fresh.  Café Nicole has a full bar, but they don’t make frozen drinks or martins, just simple drinks. This is after all a breakfast and lunch café.

This is an allergy friendly restaurant.  They have an abundance of customers that come into the café with allergies including gluten, dairy, and nuts. The café carries all products and they have been successful in accommodating everyone’s dietary needs without any problems.

Here are some pictures and descriptions of what we ordered:

Taco Del Mar (Fish Tacos)

Your choice of Tacos: Fish or Shrimp – sautéed with cabbage, topped with lettuce, monterey cheese and pico de gallo.  Comes with a side of rice and your choice of black beans or homemade refried beans.

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These fish tacos were so good and the fish that day was haddock. It came with a mini corn muffin too!

Greek Goddess Wrap: Mesclun greens, protabello mushrooms, swiss cheese, artichokes, roasted red peppers served hot on a wrap, asparagus, and spinach.  I ordered it with a side of perfectly cooked sweet potato fries.

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I loved the Greek Goddess Wrap because it was served hot so the cheese was melted and it was a healthier option.

Carmen’s Café Nicole serves breakfast & lunch daily in the summer months.

Hours:

M-F Breakfast 7-11am, Lunch 11:30 – 3

Sat – Sun Breakfast 7– 11:30/12 and lunch until 3

After Thanksgiving, they only serve breakfast from 7 am to 12 pm.  Lunch returns in March.

Dinners are served starting Memorial Day weekend, and then Friday’s and Saturdays.  They are hoping to serve dinner Wednesday through Sundays in the future.

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Disclaimer:  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Del Frisco’s Grille

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This weekend I attended Blog and Tweet Boston’s lunch at Del Frisco’s Grille in Chestnut Hill.  There were about twelve other Boston bloggers there and we all had a great time.  We received excellent service and the food was fantastic.  This location opened in 2013 and is under the ownership of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group and is slightly more casual than Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in the Seaport that I went to in March.

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Once you enter the restaurant and make your way up the staircase made out of Japanese charred wood and steel, you see an eye catching Del Frisco’s Grille sign that instantly provokes the contemporary, yet sophisticated atmosphere.  The restaurant has a modern and fun environment with a variety of seating styles including high tops, booths, traditional low tables, and bar seating. Windows up to the ceiling surround every wall letting guests have a view of Hammond Pond Reservation.  The menu is seasoned with top quality steaks, plentiful salads, appetizers to share, and creative entrees.  They use local and fresh ingredients to create inspirational dishes.

VIP

VIP

As soon as we arrived to our dining area, we were pleasantly greeted with DF’s signature cocktail, the V.I.P.  This drink is made with fresh pineapple juice and clementine vodka which is so good and refreshing.  Then we sat down to enjoy a variety of different dishes involving seafood, salads, flatbreads, and steak. Below are some pictures and descriptions of the meals we tried.

TunaTacos CheeseSteakEggRolls

Ahi Tuna Tacos with Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Spicy Citrus Mayo

Cheesesteak Eggrolls with Sweet & Spicy Chili Sauce, Honey Mustard

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Wood Oven Baked Flatbreads

Wild Mushroom – Fontina Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Baby Arugula & Lemon Vinaigrette

Shaved Brussels Sprout – Smoked Bacon, Caramelized Onions & Mozzarella

Flatbreads

Jumbo Lump Crabcake with Cajun Lobster Sauce

Deviled Eggs with Truffle-Chive Vinaigrette

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12 oz Filet & Crab Cake

Prime Beef Short Rib Stroganoff with Pappardelle Noodles & Crispy Onions

Steak&CrabCake ShortRibStroganoff

Seared Asian Tuna Salad: shaved Napa cabbage, arugula, mango, avocado, almonds, tomato, chilled noodles, with a ginger-sesame dressing

Salad

Lemon Doberge Cake – Six Layers, Lemon Buttercream Icing, Lemon Glaze

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Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge, with the exception of gratuity, which we happily paid for the great service. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Artisana

Artisana Organic Foods is a US. manufacture of raw and organic nut butters.  The company offers peanut free, dairy free, gluten free, and GMO free products and everything they make is 100% vegan. They were so kind to send me some samples of their nut butters.  I received a variety pack including coconut oil, nut butters and chocolate spreads to review on my blog.  Artisana also has recipes on their website for baking, cooking, and even making your own hair and body treatments.

 

artisana butters

 

Healthy and organic butters packed with essential vitamins and minerals

 

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Perfect for spreading on rice cakes or toast

Pecan Butter

Haymarket

This open marketplace is located between the North End and Faneuil Hall right next to the Haymarket T stop. It’s open every weekend, Friday to Saturday, from dawn till dusk.  At Haymarket, you can bargain for a variety of fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheeses, and flowers.  Looking for  potatoes, pineapples, pears, or prawns?  How about some strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries? They have it all.

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The produce sold here is usually the extra food that did not sell in the grocery store that week.   The fruits and vegetables are very ripe so you have to be careful when picking out the best ones.  They have great bargains and are some of the lowest prices I have found in the city.

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Tip: Shop early for the freshest produce or shop late on Saturday to find cheaper prices.

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Tip: Don’t buy too much at once because it doesn’t last very long

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SEAFOOD

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CHEESE & NUTS

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J.P. LICKS Ice Cream

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Blogger Ice Cream Social hosted by Jessica Dennis, Gluten Free Boston Girl.

My sister, Jessica, partnered with J.P. Licks for a night of ice cream tasting and socializing with other bloggers and friends at the Beacon Hill location.   We were able to sign up through Eventbrite, a website designed to find, manage, and plan events. We learned all about J.P. Licks ice cream and the history of how it all began in 1981 in Jamaica Plain.  After the tasting, we were all given a little ice cream in any flavor we wanted. My friend, Laura, and I both LOVE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, so we ordered that and Jess got the vegan Madagascar Vanilla Coconut. They also sell sundaes, smoothies, cakes, and pies!

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I tried the soft serve Baked Apple, Peanut Butter, and Tiramisu as well as the three ice cream flavors listed below:

Baileys Chocolate Chip Cheesecake: Irish cream liquor, cheesecake ice cream, graham crackers, and chocolate chips

Cow Trax: Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, mini peanut butter cups and chocolate chips

Leprechaun Brew: Green ice cream made with Sam Adams Beer (limited time only)

Mint Irish Lace: Green mint ice cream with bits of chocolate (gluten-free)

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(Picture: Laura – LoSo Fancy & Jessica – Gluten Free Boston Girl)

J.P. Licks offers a few gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan ice cream options, and serves only Kosher certified products.  J.P. Licks began roasting their own coffee in 1999. They also sell breakfast items such as egg sandwiches, savory croissants, fruit, and baked goods. They get involved with their communities by supporting local charities, schools, and non-profit organizations.

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~ Kitchen Surfing ~

Chef Sean O’Brien

My sister and I booked a chef through Kitchen Surfing to have dinner one night together after work.  Kitchen Surfing is a website where you can find a chef to cook for you in the city you live in.  You can choose to have them come into your home and give you a cooking lesson, cook for you and your guests, or just drop off a meal.  It’s very easy to do; first, request a chef, the date and time, your budget, and then work with your chef to customize a menu.

We chose Sean O’Brien because of his positive reviews and we heard he was a great chef. We suggested a few dishes that we read on his website that looked appealing to us and asked for the dinner to be gluten-free and dairy-free because of my sister’s food allergies. Chef Sean O’Brien was very accommodating and put together a delicious and healthy menu for us.

The chef arrived on time and the food was warm and ready to eat. He came in and showed us each meal and what was in it. The food was packaged neatly in separate, labeled containers. We started with the Roasted Stuffed Eggplant, then the Salmon Sliders, and finished with the Lamb. Below are more detailed descriptions of the menu items and pictures of each dish.

Mahshi Batinjaan (Roasted Stuffed Eggplant): Baby bell eggplant stuffed with a combination of onion, fresh tomato, herbs, and pine nuts, roasted and finished with butternut squash oil. The eggplant was very delicious and soft and the veggies were tender.

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Salmon Dosa Sliders: Herbed Salmon patties with brown mustard seed, carrot, fresh coriander, onion, and ginger with a mint coriander chutney.  These are usually served on fresh made Dosa cakes, but since our meal was gluten-free, he left those off.  The salmon patties were so moist and full of flavor from the Indian spices, cumin, coriander, and ginger.

SalmonPatties

Lamb Tagine: Tender lamb, slow cooked with purple carrots, sweet potato, celery root, and a blend of Mediterranean herbs and spices. So good! The lamb was cooked perfectly.  It was flavorful and very tender. The Indian flavors were subtle and not too overpowering.  There is a balance of sweetness from veggies and spice from the Mediterranean herbs.

LAMB

Pumpkin Berry Oat Bars

(Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

Pumpkin Berry Oat Bars pic

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 3 oz. Apple Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Raw Almonds
  • ½ Cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Flakes
  • ½ Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Salt

You will need:

–          1 large mixing bowl
–          9×9 inch baking pan, ungreased
–          Mixing spoon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix the pumpkin puree, apple sauce, and honey together in the large bowl.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin puree mixture.  Stir until all of the ingredients are combined and sticking to each other.  Spread the contents of the bowl into the baking pan evenly and pack down firmly with the back of a spoon.  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When cool, refrigerate for 2 hours and then cut into bars and enjoy!  Keep refrigerated.