Tag Archives: Boston

Boston Summer Bucket List

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in Boston, especially during the summertime. It can be hard to choose which patio to visit, which events to prioritize, and which tiki cocktails to drink. Today I’m here to try to help you do just that, and am sharing my Boston Summer Bucket List.

Swizzle Sundays at The Hawthorne

Typically when I’m in Kenmore Square it’s because I’m visiting Eastern Standard, but on many Sunday evenings in the summer you’ll find me next door on The Hawthorne‘s patio, enjoying delicious tiki beverages.

At each Swizzle Sunday, different brands and the bartenders or ambassadors that represent them set up shop with cocktails specially curated for the occasion. Swag is handed out, and good times are had by all.

Jagermeister takeover.

Privateer Rum takeover.

Swizzle Sunday doesn’t take place every single Sunday though, so I recommend liking The Hawthorne’s Facebook page to stay in the loop. As of now the next couple of events are scheduled for 7/23 and 7/30.

Boat Cruises on the Harbor

Both Odyssey Cruises and Mass Bay Lines offer plenty of options when it comes to setting sail (or motor) in the Boston Harbor. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion with a sit down dinner and plush upper deck chairs, check out the Odyssey. Jeff and I recently were hosted for a Monday evening dinner cruise and had a lovely evening smoking cigars on the deck, sipping cocktails, and taking in the harbor views. The food was also really good; I went with zucchini cakes with tzatziki and orzo for my entree, while Jeff selected short rib.

However if you want to keep things casual, drink things on a boat, and just have a fun night…I recommend one of the many “booze cruises” hosted by boats from Mass Bay Lines. Last month we attended a Yacht Rock Industry Cruise on the Samuel Clemens, complete with a cash bar, hot dogs, and live music. Mass Bay Lines also offers tall ship, sunset, and moonlight cruises.

Basically, find a way to get on a boat out in the Harbor this summer. We live in a coastal city, and should take advantage!

Patio at Pier 6

Speaking of living in a coastal city…Pier 6, a seafood restaurant in Charlestown, has a great patio right on the water, complete with an outdoor bar. While open year round, summer is definitely Pier 6’s peak season. They make a delicious Painkiller, and when my sister came to visit last summer we took her there so she could sample the clam chowder. Some other favorites of mine from their menu include their chopped salads, the calamari, and the burger.

Vodka martini (patio version).

Sis and I waiting on our chowda.

His & hers Painkillers.

Trillium Beer Garden on the Greenway

Until now, it was not possible to taste through multiple Trillium Brewing Company options and buy cans in the same area, as their Fort Point location doesn’t pour. But thanks to the new Trillium Beer Garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, it’s possible to sample multiple craft beers and then take the short walk to Congress Street to buy cans of what you liked.

My brother used his visit to the beer garden to determine which cans he’d buy.

For those who don’t drink beer, the Garden also pours local wine from one of my faves, Westport Rivers! And for those who are the opposite and are craft beer aficionados, the lineup of beers being poured changes often. I’ve been a couple of times, and Jeff three times. We both saw almost entirely different options during each visit.

My mom loves IPAs, so I had to take her there when she came to town.

Some other favorites of mine that I don’t have as many photos for, but still love, are:

  • Rooftop at Revere (this usually ends up on Gilt City every season!)
  • Coppersmith in Southie – great food and drink, plus plenty of outdoor space
  • The Automatic‘s patio – it’s dog friendly!
  • Kayaking on the Charles – I did this once for Kaitlin‘s bachelorette and it was a blast!

What are some of your Boston bucket list items?

What I’m Loving Lately #2

The first thing I’m loving lately is the fact that summer is finally here!!! Of course my car and apartment A/C both broke when we entered a legitimate heat wave, but one is fixed and the other is close to being fixed, so I’m staying positive. Mild temps are on the way too, and I’m hoping for another sunny weekend so I can spend as much time as possible outside.

Anyway, let’s get to the rest of what I’m loving lately.

Trillium Beer Garden: I visited with Jeff and my brother the first weekend they opened on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and loved it! I also like that they offer local wine in addition to beer. The food trucks are a huge plus too…I enjoyed a huge burrito after this picture was taken.

Nightshift Brewing Shark Jumper IPA: Speaking of beer, we tried quite a few during my brother’s visit. After the beer garden we went over to Nighshift in Everett, which has been one of my and Jeff’s favorite spots for awhile. I fell in love with their Shark Jumper, an IPA infused with Meyer Lemon. Super refreshing and the perfect summer brew.

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Signature Crafted Fun at McDonald’s

I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions my own.

There was a time when I took pride in saying I never ate fast food. I’ll be honest, I looked down on people who did eat it. But over the years as I have worked on bettering my relationship with food, my opinions have definitely changed. I don’t eat fast food every day, but when I do, I enjoy and savor every single bite. I’m all about treating myself to a Big Mac or those signature golden McDonald’s fries when I’m craving them. So when I found out that the closest location to my apartment, the newly renovated two-story McDonald’s in Everett, wanted to host me and a group of bloggers to try their new Signature Crafted sandwiches…I was 100% in!

The McDonald’s in Everett is one of 11 new “smart” locations that now feature ordering kiosks and table-side service – a “Just For You” experience. Though the classic cashier option remains, those who prefer a digital experience can order from easy to use stations that accept credit card payments.

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Rocking the Guac (Judging) at Painted Burro

Every now and then I take a look at my schedule and notice just how many of the awesome plans on my calendar are a result of this blog. It leads me to have what some may call a “pinch me” moment. Never when I started Cait Plus Ate did I imagine it would give me the opportunities it has, from awesome events to sneak previews of restaurants to fantastic vacations and staycations. Today I wanted to share one of those pinch-me moments with you all: the chance to be a judge in a guacamole competition!

This past Sunday was Painted Burro‘s 5th annual guacamole making contest, and I was asked to be one of the four judges. Proceeds from ticket sales benefited No Kid Hungry, and attendees were able to taste all ten guacamole recipes. We four judges determined the grand prize winner, and the audience voted on a People’s Choice winner as well. The prizes were pretty awesome: $400 to the restaurant, the winning guacamole featured on the menu for a week, and the best prize (to me)…anytime reservations for a year.

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Latest Boston Eats & Sips

It’s been awhile since my last round-up of awesome food and drink I’ve had lately in Boston! But that doesn’t mean I’ve been short on items to share. In fact, I’ve just been short on time to do so because there has been so much to taste these days. My Restaurant To-Do List never ceases to grow, and neither does the list of spots I hit up regularly. Here are some eats and sips I’ve tried recently, at restaurants both old and new.

The Jesuit @ Ruka Restobar

Ruka Restobar, located inside the Godfrey Hotel in Downtown Crossing, is from the same folks behind Yvonne’s and Lolita. While the food hasn’t necessarily been calling my name (just not my type of cuisine), the creative drink menu is right up my alley. Upon visiting the bar area with some coworkers, I immediately noticed a beautiful drink being served in some of the coolest glassware I’d ever seen. I knew I had to try it.

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FitReserve vs ClassPass

FitReserve gave me no incentives or compensation for writing this post…I just thought others would find it interesting!

When ClassPass got rid of their unlimited class option, I knew I was going to have to make a switch. The maximum amount of classes offered per month is now ten (for $120/month), and if I wanted to go with that option, I would have had to buy another studio membership elsewhere. This was not something I was willing to do. And before you ask…no, I did not consider just getting a gym membership. My gym days are far behind me in the sense that I now recognize just how much better the workouts I get in classes are than doing weights, the StairMaster, etc, on my own. And I’m willing to pay a premium price to get those better workouts.

But I was NOT willing to pay over $200/month for fitness classes, so I decided to give FitReserve a try. The fact that the first month was 20% off gave me the extra push I needed to take the plunge, and I’m glad I did. FitReserve is currently active in Boston and NYC, and unlike ClassPass, they offer a 20 class package. It costs $185/month, but if you use all 20 classes, that comes out to less than $10/class…a steal when you think about the price of a membership at some studios. But ClassPass’ unlimited option was a steal too, so what makes FitReserve different from ClassPass? What are the pros, and cons, to making a switch?

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Cooking with CourseHorse

I received a complimentary ticket to this cooking class from CourseHorse in exchange for a blog post about my experience. However all opinions are my own, and my already-established enthusiasm for Tavern Road’s classes can be read here.

I remember a couple of years ago when, because I was still having a hard time working out less than seven times a week, my therapist suggested I look into taking some fun classes that weren’t fitness-related. I wish something like CourseHorse had existed in Boston back then, because it would have made me much more likely to take her advice (instead I just bought a new coloring book).

Photo by Paul Garmon

CourseHorse is a discovery and booking tool for local classes. Their community outreach manager recently contacted me about sharing an experience at one of the classes listed in their directory. Naturally I picked a cooking class at Tavern Road because I already knew I’d love it, but there were tons of other cooking classes in Boston listed. Cooking isn’t the only activity you can find. Though still in beta here in Boston, CourseHorse already has classes listed in arts, tech, fitness, language, and more. You can search by neighborhood, price point, time of day, and even skill level. Once they officially launch, the amount of classes listed will be even more extensive.

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A Best Dressed New Year

I received a complimentary dress rental in exchange for an honest blog post about my experience. All opinions are my own. Read to the end for a special discount!

I started thinking about New Year’s Eve a few months before December 31st, because Jeff and I made our New Year’s plans pretty early on, the second we found out the Timberfakes (Boston’s Justin Timberlake cover band) were going to be playing the Middle East in Cambridge. We did the same thing last year, and knew it was a solid way to spend the last night of the year.

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The Restaurant To-Do List

People who know me or just follow me on social media know that lately there hasn’t been much variety to where I go out to eat. I spend a ton of time at Eastern Standard. Ward 8 is a great local spot. Bar Mezzana in the South End is incredible. Other than that? Up until recently, I was drawing a blank.

The eggs benedict at Eastern Standard, enjoyed after a kick-butt workout with a side of session IPA.

The farro tagliatelle with duck ragout at Bar Mezzana – a truly incredible dish.

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What I’m Loving Lately

I actually had to search my own blog to see if I’ve previously done a post with this title, because it sounded so familiar. But good news – I haven’t! So here’s a little round-up of a few things I’m loving lately, because I don’t want to write a whole blog post on each of them (and I don’t think that would be nearly as fun for you to read, either).

Blaze Pizza

I’ll start with full disclosure…Blaze sent me two free pizza vouchers, and those are what Jeff and I used the first time we tried this place. But we have also been talking non-stop about it, and have made plans to return on a couple of occasions. (Both plans were foiled for a variety of reasons, but that’s not important.)

blazepizza

I describe Blaze Pizza as “Subway, but with pizza”. For a flat fee (thick crust is extra…and worth it), you go down the line and pick as many toppings as you want. Then the pizza is fast-fired at an extremely hot temperature, and ready for you in minutes. You can also add finishing touches after the pizza is done, like balsamic vinegar or – oh baby – ranch dressing. While I was happy with the creation I made above, I was very jealous of Jeff’s pizza, which escaped into his stomach before I could get a photo of it. Guess we’ll just have to go back so he can recreate it and I can get my picture! Blaze is a national chain so look for your closest location here.

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