Tag Archives: events

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.

My fellow judges were my good friend Matt of @SimkoSays, Tiffany of the fantastic @BostonFoodies, and local meteorologist Michael Page. (Be sure to check out Tiffany’s blog post if you want to see some awesome pictures of the guac entries.) While we judged, we got to sip on drinks from Painted Burro’s amazing cocktail menu. I stuck with the house margarita, and it was delicious.

The creativity of the contestants, in both their recipes and presentation, really impressed me. Some brought out cocktail pairings, one sang a song, and another had a handmade sign for her guac.

Recipes featured creative ingredients like cactus, pomegranate, plantains, and hominy.

In the end I had two entries tied for first on my scorecard, and it turned out the other judges agreed with me, because those both took the top prize – a never-before-seen event at this competition! The two guacamoles that came out on top were the Chorizo Con Queso (add cheese to anything and I’m all in) and the Anything But Plain-tain-amole, a super creative guac that featured – you guessed it – plantains. In a very generous move, Painted Burro did not ask the tied winners to split the grand prize, and rather gave a grand prize to each of them.

The judges and the winners!

Not only did judging this competition give me the chance to try more guacamole than I ever thought possible, but it also helped me discover an awesome new restaurant. I had never been to Painted Burro before, and was so impressed by the cocktails, service, and atmosphere! During warm weather the windows are open, making this an ideal summer day drinking spot. I can’t wait to go back and try more of  the food!

Overall it was a great day of rocking the guac for a good cause. I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to consume anything avocado-related again, but I’d give it maybe a few more days.

What’s the most creative guacamole you’ve ever tried?

Signs of Spring

The weather is FINALLY warming up here in Boston, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Winter has gone on long enough and I’m ready for patios, sundresses, and rosé.

Last weekend was Cochon555, and I was thrilled to attend the event for the first time ever. But more notably, I was thrilled by the fact that I was able to attend this indoor/outdoor event in merely a sweater and leggings. No jacket, no problem. Plus the warm weather made the above pictured Fernet Branca Menta Cold Brew all the more refreshing.

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28th Birthday Celebrations

As usual, this year I felt like I celebrated my birthday (I turned 28 on March 22nd) for at least week. From get-togethers with friends, to a day off from work, I had a blast.

I decided to switch things up (from the usual, Highball) and do my “friend birthday party” at Capo Restaurant in Southie. I fell in love with Capo’s new downstairs Supper Club lounge during my first visit, and knew right then and there that it would be the perfect spot for a birthday gathering.

Obviously I wanted to look my best, so I enlisted the help of the ladies at Best Dressed, the dress rental shop that dressed me for New Year’s Eve. Once again, they picked something off the rack I never would have tried on my own. But I went into the Charlestown location hoping to find a jumpsuit, and find one I did. (Full disclosure: I received 50% off my rental in exchange for showing Best Dressed so much-deserved love on this blog and on social media.)

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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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Cooking Classes at Tavern Road

Though I received this experience free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Though I haven’t been writing too much lately thanks to an issue with my comments (they all disappeared and I’m not sure where they went…has this ever happened to anyone else?), that doesn’t mean I haven’t had anything to write about. I’ve got a few upcoming posts planned, sharing both fun events I’ve been to and some cool stuff I’ve got coming up. This post falls into the former category. Last month, I got the chance to try one of Tavern Road’s new cooking classes with my friends Matt, Georgina, and Jeannie. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night!

Tavern Road is located in Boston’s Fort Point, between the Seaport and Southie. The food, drink, and decor of the restaurant mirror the creativity and innovation often found in the neighborhood (there seems to be public art around every corner). The bar program, headed up by Insta-celeb Tenzin Samdo, is a go-to of mine for both funky and classic cocktails. Chef Louis DiBiccari’s menu of “street food” is mostly small-plates, influenced by global cuisine while composed of an impressive amount of local ingredients. Personal favorites include the burger, anything involving bluefish pate, and all of the tacos.

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Though Tavern Road has hosted wine and guest chef dinners for awhile now, Chef Louis recently started teaching these weekly cooking classes with a focus on using ingredients purchased from the farmers market as recently as that afternoon. Each Tuesday at 6:30PM, students gather for hands-on learning – and eating. And let’s be honest, if there’s eating involved, I’m very likely to say, “I’m in!” So, I did.

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Nantucket Wine Fest 2016

I actually started this post as a “Five Highlights Of Summer” thing, but quickly realized I had too much to say about and too many pictures from Nantucket Wine Fest to not make it its own post, despite the fact that the event took place three months ago! But wine, parties, and fabulous New England destinations never get old, so let’s get to it.

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My favorite spot on the island (and unfortunately the most expensive) is Cru!

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Cheesin’ in the Vineyard Vines store in town.

ACK Wine Fest weekend took place during my last two weeks at 90+ Cellars, and I can’t think of a better send-off. This was my third (and definitely not last) time in Nantucket for this crazy whirlwind of work, parties, food, wine, and general ridiculousness. And I got to bring Jeff with me and share the fun with him!

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Pub Run with True Runner

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner. All opinions are my own.

I was recently invited by True Runner, an athletic retailer in The Shoppes at Chestnut Hill, to participate in one of their community running events. The second I heard the words “Pub Run”, I was interested. A workout followed by pizza and beer has my name written all over it!

True Runner was kind enough to send me some cool socks and a really comfy tech tee for the run! But obviously I also needed a bottom component so I headed to the Chestnut Hill store to browse for just that.

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ClassPass to Cocktails

Oops…I went MIA for awhile there. Sorry about that! Those who follow me on Instagram already know that I just returned from a trip to Orlando, FL with my family and boyfriend. I’ll be posting a vacation recap soon, but it already seems so far away given all that I have coming up in Boston this week!

For awhile now, ClassPass has been taunting me with an intro offer of $19 for two-weeks of unlimited classes. I just have been waiting for a period of time to come along with no trips, even short ones, before I activated those two weeks. Well that time is finally here and I’m already addicted! I’ve been taking more days off from the gym and eating/drinking more than ever simultaneously. This has led to me gaining weight and not feeling good about myself at all. I figured ClassPass would be the motivation I needed to work out each day, and so far I’ve been right. I love researching and finding new classes, or classes that I already know I love but at studios I don’t have memberships to. So far I’ve taken Flywheel and Cyc, and have Recycle Studio, Barry’s Bootcamp, and a kickboxing class lined up for the next few days. I don’t remember the last time I felt this psyched for working out!

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Valentine’s Day Weekend in Boston

Usually I just look at Valentine’s Day as an annoyance, since the holiday makes restaurants extra busy. But this year I actually had a Valentine to celebrate with, and I do love indulging a cheesy holiday when appropriate, so I didn’t mind the crowded restaurants. I just made sure to make a reservation!

Red Hook and Manhattan. (Photo by Jeff)

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Friday February Check-In

It’s been a week since I shared my two goals for February – not drinking when I stay in and blow-drying my hair once a week – and I thought I’d check in on this Friday to share how that’s going so far.

It’s…kind of going!

Monday night went well. After an hour of spin class I really wanted to reward myself with a glass or five of wine, but cooking dinner was the perfect distraction. Once Jeff and I sat down and started eating, we totally forgot about having a drink. Oh, and Courtney’s Spaghetti Pie turned out awesome, though more like a casserole since I didn’t have a pie dish to use. I highly recommend this recipe!

It also helped that we had a fun event to look for on Tuesday night – a pop-up at the fabulous Envoy Hotel in Boston’s Seaport, to raise money for the New England Center & Home for Veterans and promote the food and drink of Envoy’s restaurant, Outlook Kitchen & Bar.

The champagne was so good! I didn’t even bother with cocktails; just stuck to the bubbles.

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