Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a very warm, happy, and food-filled Thanksgiving!

Considering the challenging year 2011 has been, I am thankful for so many things that I used to take for granted before. I am thankful for
1. having such a loving mother and 2 great sisters who teach me a lot about life and its many challenges.
2. My friends who show endless support and love toward me no matter what.
3. Boston. Coming back to Boston has been the greatest decision I have made thus far.
4. My job. I am so thankful that I love what I do and the people I work with. Work never feels like work. What more can I ask for?
5. My blog. I am so thankful that people read my blabber because it truly has changed my life and given me the most fun hobby ever!
There are many other things I am thankful for such as health, my apartment, silky hair etc etc (LOL) but won't bore you all to death!

Enjoy your feasts! What are YOU thankful for today?

November 15, 2011

Sorelle Bakery & Cafe, Seaport

Shortly after lunch @ Trade, I ventured over next door to Sorelle Bakery & Cafe. Normally, I don't blog about places where I buy coffee or dessert, but Sorelle is worth noting. Also located in the Seaport District, Sorelle is a cafe dressed in upscale attire with a not so upscale price point! The architecture and design of the place is so NYC. (I know I didn't enjoy living there, but I can definitely appreciate the interior design of restaurants and lounges of NYC)

The cafe offered so many delicious sweets that made my mouth water! I got a mini fruit tart to go... it was so SCRUMPTIOUS. Thinking about it right now, hours after having devoured it, I am still craving some. Sorelle had so many options of goodies... I am jealous of anyone who works nearby. If you are in the Seaport/Financial District area and want a cool, trendy place other than Starbucks to get your coffee and pastries, I highly recommend Sorelle!

TRADE, Seaport District

This afternoon, I went to Trade, one of the newest restaurants in the if not already, up and coming neighborhood of Seaport District in downtown Boston.

Trade is owned by critically acclaimed chef Jody Adams (pictured to the left) alongside Sean Griffing and Eric Papachristos. First things first, the ambience and design of the restaurant must be applauded. The restaurant is beautifully designed in a modern, chic, and innovative fashion. I love the color scheme of yellow, grey, and white. Really trendy. Secondly, the location, how much more fabulous can you get then being in the Seaport area?

I walked in at the most perfect time - lunch in the financial district. In other words, all the sexy salt and pepper suit clad investment bankers chowing down their expensive meals before heading back to work. So many beautiful sights. Sigh.

Trade offers an eclectic menu. The dishes are inspired from countries all over the world (as the owners are all avid travelers) My only complaint about Trade is that there was no bread service. You know how much I love my bread LOL. Besides that, Trade is a fun, full of energy, latest addition to the Boston restaurant restaurant scene. Definitely a refreshing experience after Sibling Rivalry...

Sibling Rivalry, South End

I have always wanted to go to Sibling Rivalry because the premise of the restaurant intrigues me - 2 sibling chefs competing against one another. I also will use any excuse to go to the South End.

Sunday night, I went to Sibling Rivalry with one of my friends. The hostess sat us down at a table right next to the window which was great. However, right next to us was an unkempt table that had not been cleaned up for what it looked like, quite some time. 15 minutes goes by, and my friend kindly asked the waiter to have someone take care of the table adjacent to us as it wasn't a good look. As if we asked him to clean a bathroom! He looked so offended and told us that they were getting to it and the people had just left... right. I also had to ask for bread which I think is quite absurd considering fine dining restaurants are almost always supposed to present bread to you right away! Not to mention, the bread was awful! It was like crappy hotel room service bread - ugh.

Anyway, we order our food, which like I mentioned before, I think it's cool that you get to choose from either chef's menu's. The food was good - I will give the restaurant that. (I do wish though that the actual chefs were there though! Just sayin')

As far as presentation and decor is concerned, I think that Sibling Rivalry has a lot of work to do. First of all, the restaurant had no music on which could have made a subtle change in experience. The color scheme reminded me of a diner. It wouldn't hurt to place candles on the tables as the restaurant is so dark! It was FREEZING in the restaurant.. burrrrr!!! What I found the funniest was the wine list. Their expensive wine list was presented in sheet protectors in the same trapper keeper that I probably used in middle school.

Service was ok. The waiter acted completely different once I finally told him I was reviewing the place. Decor not so great especially for a place that is supposed to be considered upscale. The ambience is definitely not consistent with the restaurant's price point. Location is wonderful. Food was not bad although I got an awful stomach ache shortly after! Overall, it makes me sad to say that this was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! I am sure the intentions of Sibling Rivalry are great but very poor execution. I really hope that this was just a fluke in the system or something... but if not, then I do not recommend you spend as much as they charge at this place :/...

November 13, 2011

5 Napkin Burger, Back Bay

Guest Blogger: Bennett Himmel

Hi I'm Bennett Rapz and I've got 3 words, I LOVE FOOD.

First things first, the food. 5 Napkin Burger serves good ole' American comfort food. For lunch this afternoon, I ordered the hamburger from the kid's menu. Be warned it's very big and difificult to fit in your mouth. But thankfully my mom cut it up like a pizza which made it a lot more enjoyable to eat. The french fries were DELICIOUS! Flower ordered the veggie burger with a side of sweet potato fries. We all agreed that the sweet potato fries were not fully cooked. She and I both like salty foods. She found her veggie burger to be extremely heavy on beets so our waiter was kind enough to switch her burger for a simple, delicious grilled cheese. My mom ordered scrambled eggs with tomatoes and cheese - not as exciting as our food.

Now, as far as reservations are concerned, I find it odd that we had to make a reservation for a burger joint. The decorations are very cool. It makes the restaurant chic in a really fancy way. I like how the restaurant is located in the Prudential Center very close to Pinkberry so that I can get something sweet after my burger. If you are more of a chocolate person, you can also go to the Godiva store in the mall. The music makes me feel bored but due to the chic look, I'd be happy to come here again. My mom seemed to enjoy the oldies music. I was hoping to hear more electro music... oh well. Don't forget to check out my blog where I talk about delicious eats and the opposite! Hope you enjoyed the post.

Peace out
Bennett Rapz

Theme Song: Crash Your Party by Karmin

Budda C Asian Bistro, Brookline

Almost every Monday-Friday for the last year and a half, I have walked past Budda C. Though I never dined there prior to last night, I always wondered about how oddly situated the restaurant is... the entrance is inside of a medical office building / apartments. Strange.

Last night, we went to Budda C for a birthday dinner. I wasn't impressed when I initially stepped into the restaurant because of the awkward entrance, but once I walked in a bit further, I saw the giant Buddha and things changed LOL. Budda C is like a well kept secret in terms of decor. You would never know how trendy and lounge-y it is from the outside. The restaurant made me feel right at home with the red walls and candles lit throughout the restaurant.

The food was good. Nothing spectacular or mind-blasting (like Duozo) but nevertheless enjoyable. Sushi always hits the spot for me, especially sushi that isn't ridiculously expensive like Budda C's. To wash down the sushi, I had a lycheetini. THIS was the only disappointment of the dinner. That was probably the worst lycheetini I've ever had. Sad because I really love lycheetinis. Oh well.

Anyway, Budda C is not amazing but it's not bad. Don't know that I would come again unless I want to be mesmerized by the giant Buddha again. With Fugakyu across the street, it's no wonder I never hear anything about this place!

Theme Song: Cantamilla by Tranquility Bass

November 08, 2011

On an aside... Kaskade's Fire & Ice

I feel like loving Kaskade is like a Boston thing. None of my friends in Jersey or NYC really listen to Kaskade but in Boston, WE LOVE HIM!

This past weekend, one of my best friends gifted me with his newest and highly anticipated album - Fire & Ice. The album has gotten mixed reviews but here is mine in a nutshell...AMAZING! I can't stop listening to it! So many great artists have collaborated on the album such as Late Night Alumni, Marcus Bentley, Dada Life, Skrillex and more. I love how there are club mixes (fire versions) and classic Kaskade chilled out versions of the same songs (ice mixes) I am sure that I'll be hearing a few of the tracks in the upcoming winter season at Bijou, W, Estate et al.

If you are an avid Kaskade-r like myself, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the album! It is so worth the $18 or whatever they charge for cds nowadays. My favorite track is How Long (Kaskade's Ice Mix) - makes me feel ultra sexy... Have a listen at some of the amazing tracks on Kaskade's Fire & Ice... ciao ;)

PS. Til date, one of my most memorable nights out in Boston was April 30, 2010 @ Royale when my friends and I were standing 2 feet behind Kaskade's DJ booth while he played his most famous tracks... sigh :)

November 07, 2011

The Oceanaire, Government Center

On this lovely, strangely warm November day, I had lunch at The Oceanaire Seafood Room, located at 40 Court Street in Government Center. I haven't had good ole' traditional Bostonian seafood in a long time, so I thought, why not?

The Oceanaire is huge inside! The minute I stepped foot into the gargantuan restaurant, I instantly felt like I was on a ship or a cruise LOL. Maybe it was that Nyquil I had to take last night... Anyway, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with its large white columns highlighted by the scattered blue lighting. (I am a sucker for blue lighting) Most of the guests dining at the restaurant were more "seasoned" if ya know what I mean ;) all clad in their business attire enjoying giant crab cakes and afternoon wine.

As far as food is concerned, all I have to say is I embarrassed myself by eating as much of the complimentary bread as I did. But I must defend myself. Firstly, I was starving and secondly, that is some really good bread! Not to mention, shortly after, I dropped an entire glass of H20 on myself and had to move to another table. LOVELY.

I ordered a crab cake sandwich that was coupled with super skinny french fries that were so so delicious! I have to say, I really enjoyed my meal. The portion was a little on the larger side but the tastes were just right. I enjoyed eating American cuisine after a long time.

As far as service is concerned, I was pretty impressed considering that The Oceanaire is a franchise. Usually with franchises, such as Legal Seafood, don't care too too much about their clients' happiness - I like to call that kind of service Cheesecake Factory Service. But The Oceanaire proved me wrong. Our waitress who was dressed from head to toe like a seafood chef was very accommodating and patient. Overall, I think The Oceanaire is a great restaurant providing a lovely atmosphere, delicious food, and stellar service! Ciao...xoxo

Theme Song: Rock the Boar by Aaliyah

November 06, 2011

Teatro, Theatre District

Hello... I am Sarah, a good friend of Flower's and an avid foodie. I have lived in a variety of cities from the west coast to the east coast and I can say in full confidence that Teatro is my "Go To" restaurant in Boston. I define "Go To" to encompass location, food quality, and ambience. Teatro means "theatre" in Italiano and likewise is located in the theatre district of downtown Boston. The location itself merits the restaurant as a go to destination because it is easily accessible from the Boylston T stop. Its spot across from the Boston commons offers you to the option to stroll through the park afterwards. Who doesn't like going for a relaxing walk after eating a delicious meal?

If you are like me... ambience is a HUGE seller if your mission is to spend a decent amount of time eating, enjoying the flow of conversation, and simply enjoying a full bodied glass of wine. The architecture of Teatro is unique to any restaurant that I have eaten at in Boston. The white brownstone walls boast a tall neo-classical height that has a rococo-esque decor on the upper 3 feet of the wall. The open plan seating arrangement is limited by its large vertical length and narrow horizontal width- however, I must note that with this space limitation they were able to create an amazing blue light effect that is followed lengthwise and met horizontally with a red light display hovering above the kitchen and where the very talented chef works. I will admit that I originally chose to eat at this restaurant by the architectural design alone and although it is on the smaller size for one of the Columbus Group's restaurants they designed the layout to make one feel comfortable and very sexy. When I say sexy, I mean that the lighting truly does wonders to illuminate one's make-up, carefully blow dried hair and cute outfit. And lastly, when I say comfortable I am referring specifically to spacial dimensions- I wasn't distracted by anyone sitting near by and I didn't feel squished whatsoever when I walked to my table. The restaurant's atmosphere can cater to a romantic date and yet also be a great dinner spot for a couple (3-4) girlfriends for the evening.

Now for the most important part... the FOOD!!! I would classify this restaurant as a nouveau American restaurant- they create dishes with traditional European (particularly French & Italian) accents but remain humble to the freshness of local American ingredients and style. The chef seasonally rotates dishes on the menu, which in my opinion is quite smart because not only are they addressing what is in season, but it also creates an element of surprise for the returning guest who may just be looking for a new dish to try! For the evening, my date and I had...

Gorgonzola Formaggio with grape jelly on toasted baguette bites
Garbanzo, red chile, garlic, olive oil paste with baguette
Breaded Calamari with a dual garlic aioli and marinara sauce
Tuna Carpaccio with diced cucumber and a citrus vinaigrette drizzled on top
Grilled octopus sauteed with red onions, mushrooms, red skin skin potatoes and salami
Seared Scallops on a yukon gold potato blend with brussel sprouts, diced apples and onion
Vanilla Panacotta, with a honey glaze and candied walnuts and almonds as a topping

Overall: the food, location, and ambience make Teatro a complete "Go To" restaurant. There are of course other great elements to this restaurant including top notch service and reasonable price points that make this a fantastic, guilt-free dining experience. I suggest it to EVERYONE.


Theme Song: Breathe by Telepopmusik

Guest Bloggers on!

First of all I would like to thank everyone for reading my blog and giving me support! :)

Secondly, I am really happy to announce that I will now be featuring guest bloggers on the site. This will be a fun way for my readers to get some variance and for other bloggers (my friends mostly) to have a platform to write their reviews on places either I have not been to or have already.

If you or anyone you know are interested in guest blogging, email me at Ciao ;)

November 04, 2011

On an aside...Death Strikes Where Bargains Were Born

A couple of days ago, I found out very unfortunate news... Filene's Basement has filed for bankruptcy and will be shutting down their stores :( HOWEVER, as a result of this, the already discounted store that offers us Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Juicy Couture and so much more at amazing prices, will be discounting even further - which to me, is like an early Christmas present! Anyway, I thought I would share this good/bad news to all of you who were not aware of Filene's demise... happy shopping!

November 01, 2011

Dok Bua Thai Kitchen, Coolidge Corner

Contrary to my previous post, tonight for dinner I went to a not so high-end restaurant, Dok Bua located on Harvard Ave in Coolidge Corner.

When I'm not scarfing down eel & avocado rolls, my stomach craves Thai food - another cuisine of weakness for me. In particular, I can't get enough of a particular dish called pad see ew. Have eaten it at hundreds of times over the past 4 years or so and still will not order anything else but this when I go to a Thai restaurant. What can I say, when I like something, I really like it.

So, I went to Dok Bua tonight which happens to ALWAYS be busy no matter which night of the week it is. I imagine it is because of quick service, cheap prices, and really good food. For $10.95, I got my pad see ew, tom yom soup, and 4 spring rolls. If you ask me, that is what I call a DEAL! Half for dinner tonight, the other half for work tomorrow - perfect. If you are looking for yummy, cheap, and fast Thai food, go to Dok Bua. It is truly one of those holes in the walls that serve off the chain food. (It's actually not that much of a hole in the wall) YUM!

Douzo, Back Bay

If you know me, you know that I absolutely LOVE sushi. I could eat sushi everyday for the rest of my life and never get sick of it. To me, sushi isn't just one of the most delicious tasting food but also an art. Douzo proves my point exactly.

Sunday night, I went to Douzo with one of my friends for dinner. I have been wanting to go to Douzo since it opened back in 2008 but never made my way around to it. Alas, I had the privilege of dining at this wonderful, exquisite restaurant in the great neighborhood of Back Bay.

You already know, I am a big time nerd and really appreciate interior decorating and innovative restaurant styling. Douzo's interior design does an impeccable job at delivering style, class, and simplicity throughout the restaurant. The decor is not overdone at all but all the simple elements of design combined make a statement.

Now, getting to the main part - the food. The sushi here is PHENOMENAL! Given the restaurant's reputation and location, you'd think that they would charge an arm and a leg for their selections however, the menu is surprisingly very reasonable! As an appetizer, my friend and I ordered edamame doused in garlic, spicy seasoning. This was literally the best edamame I have ever had. That extra touch of seasoning really made a significant impression. The sushi was straight up beautiful. The presentation, the taste, ah, so delicious - thinking about it is making my mouth water! The sushi was displayed so beautifully that I felt bad eating it - that sentiment didn't last too long as the sushi was screaming my name!

If you love sushi and have not yet been to Douzo, you MUST go here! I promise it is so amazing. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! Ciao!