Taj Update!

We’ve been busy at my job the last couple of months with Easter and Mothers Day being big brunch holidays! I’ve been lucky enough to get the chance to practice showpieces and really experiment with new flavors and designs. It’s been a lot of fun! Check out some of the work my teammates and I have been up to!

 

Restaurant Review: Sarma

To round out my sister weekend, I wanted to cross another restaurant off the bucket list! We chose to go to Sarma located in Somerville at 249 Pearl Street! We chose to drive as the restaurant is in a semi-secluded location. There’s plenty of street parking available but for real, this restaurant is worth the extra effort!

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Sarma is affiliated with the restaurants Oleana, Sofra and the vendor Sienna Farms. I’ve been to Sofra before and am a biiiiig fan. Check out my review by clicking here! And I’ve also visited the Sienna Farms storefront and am impressed with their product quality and knowledge. Sarma was not a disappointment in any way shape or form!

Sarma had such a cool vibe. Very laid back and hipster with their tastefully worn down furniture, urban hanging light fixtures and textured plates lining the walls. There was a bar and high tops as well as the regular tabled seating to choose from. We made reservations a few days in advance and unless I wanted to chance a seat at the bar, I would call in advance again.

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We had a great waiter who explained their menu- there’s a bunch of categories ranging in snacks, to share plates to “entrees”. He told us that based on their size, 2 people could be very happy sharing 4 to 6 plates. And of course being the gluttons we are, we ordered 6 plates, one from each category.

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The menu was super helpful and provide a glossary on the side in case you weren’t familiar with a lot of middle eastern cooking terms (which of course, I wasn’t). We got this awesome flatbread with spices and olive oil for dipping to start. Our first official course was from the meyhane snack category:

Parsnip Fritters- cilantro, walnut, sesame, pepitas

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This dish was so beautiful, that I instagrammed it (no filter!) the second it came out! While beautifully presented, I thought this dish could’ve been a little more flavorful. I was a big fan of all the crunchy bits that opposed the soft parsnip on the inside of the fritter though!

Meze: Almond Fried Cheese- ratatouille, arugala pesto, dates

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I NEED this dish in my life every. single. day. I wish I didn’t have to  share with my sister. Anything that is fried and has cheese has my name written all over it. The ratatouille was super flavorful as well and perfectly paired with all of the dishes components!

Vegetables: Asparagus- avgolemono, egg katayif, black truffles, dill

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I’ve become a big fan of asparagus lately as well as yolky eggs. I loved the texture contrast between the phyllo dough and garlic butter sauce that the asparagus laid in. So delicious!

[avgolemono= egg and lemon, katayif= shredded phyllo]

Pancakes, Pie and Pide: Nettle Spanakopita- cucumbler sorel tzatziki, za’atar, walnuts

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Nothing is more classic than spanakopita! We were getting super full at this point..

Sarma: Pomegranate Glazed Lamb- green wheat, swiss chard, parsnip

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I was a big fan of the parsnip puree but the texture of the lamb was throwing me off a bit. Great flavor though and an awesome share dish!

Shish: marrow bean plaki, whipped feta butter, pita crumb

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This last dish was so tender and amazing! I love love loved the pita chip crunch and really savored the meats flavor.

Overall, we left super stuffed and happy! I felt like this food was very genuine and made with love. Sarma proved to be an awesome place to explore a new cuisine all the while making it accessible and affordable to the audience. This place is definitely high on my recommendation sheet!

Next Food for Thought Thursday, I’ll be sharing some of my work from the Taj Hotel from the last couple months! Thanks for reading and have an excellent weekend! I plan on celebrating with my friends this Friday for my Birthday de Mayo! Party complete with pinatas and fake mustaches! Bon weekend!

 

Cape Cod!

I suck at posting lately! I’m working on getting back to myself and focusing on the things of importance in my life. I was getting a little too wrapped up in some personal issues but now I’m re-focusing back on my avenues of creativity. I have a few things to share with you guys in the upcoming posts. I’ve been to some great restaurants and visited new parts of Massachusetts which leads me to today topic: Cape Cod!

My sister came up for a visit a few weeks ago and she’s a great person to explore with! I’ve been living in New England for the past six years and I SOMEHOW managed to never go to the Cape. Since my sister was visiting in the off season, we knew not much would be open but the weather would suffice for exploring and hiking!

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We found this amazing bed and breakfast called the Snug Cottage on Bradshaw Street, only blocks from Commercial Street in Provincetown. Commercial Street is the main street on the “island” of Provincetown and it’s host to many shops, clubs, restaurants, art galleries, etc. Provincetown is known for being very LGBTQ friendly and is filled to the brim with visitors over the summer. In the off season, only about 2000 residents live there as opposed to 75,000 visitors per weekend.

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Tim, the owner and innkeeper of Snug Cottage was super welcoming and hospitable. Since we were the only guests of the weekend, he upgraded us to the best suite! The room featured a fireplace, adorable window seating, a small lounge area and a spacious bathroom. Breakfast was so sweet too, served at 8:30 unless otherwise requested. They featured hot, fresh muffins, granola and yogurt, hard boiled eggs, toast with an assortment of jams and milk/orange juice/coffee. There was tons of great memorabilia around the house and a ton of history about Tim’s life, past visitors to the inn and Provincetown itself.

Steph and I got dinner at a restaurant that overlooks the water and would have incredible views at sunset. The next morning, we went exploring through the town, up and down Commercial Street and visiting the Pilgrim Monument. We took some time down by the fishing docks and drove around the “island” taking in the sights! I had a great time and would definitely visit again when the weather is nicer, later in the season.

To finish off my time with my sister, we went to Sarma restaurant in Somerville which I will be reviewing next! Check back soon for another mouth-watering post!

Restaurant Review: Bistro Du Midi

This restaurant was listed on my Bucket List post from a couple weeks ago! One of my friends from college, Devon, is an assistant pastry chef at Bistro Du Midi and received an awesome employee of the month gift card in recognition of her hard work! She decided to share the gift card with me so we could eat our hearts out!

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Bistro Du Midi is located at 272 Boylston Street, Boston MA. It’s a 2 minute walk from the Arlington T stop on the green line so it’s very easy to find. The restaurant is two floors with the kitchen being on the second floor. The view from the second floor overlooks the Boston Public Gardens! This place is definitely full of class, so dress up! The food and drinks were amazing too so let’s not dilly dally anymore:

Devon and I each ordered a crudite, entree, two sides to share a la carte and one dessert. But since she works there, we ended up getting…

Amuse Bouche: Smoked White Asparagus Soup with Escargot Beignet

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Fluke Crudite with Fried Squid Ink and Bottarga Consomme

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Faroe Island Salmon Crudite with Parmesan Crisps and salmon roe

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Pate Plate with Crispy Pork Belly Pate

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Duck Breast with Sweet Potato, Artichoke, Almonds and Duck Jus

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Thyme Garganelli Pasta, Lamb neck, Morels, Spring peas, Manchego

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Spring peas, favas, crispy pork belly

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Mushrooms, trumpet royale, hen of the woods

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Earl Grey and Elderflower Souffle

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Ice Cream Flight with Black Sesame , Caramel and Ganache, Marshmallow and Red Velvet Ice Cream

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Wild blueberry cheesecake, hazelnut cremeux, lavender sponge cake

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Mascarpone beignet, citrus sugar, pear cardamom butter

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Everything was so yummy! My personal favorites were the Smoked Asparagus Soup, Salmon Crudite, Duck Breast and the Ice Cream Flight! Such a great experience and service was impeccable. We each got awesome drinks that were well balanced and tasty. I definitely recommend this place for a splurge night out! Devon’s gift card was for $150 so after that, her employee discount and the free plates that were sent to us, the bill was ONLY 12 DOLLARS! I literally couldn’t have asked for a better deal or experience!

I have a couple more posts planned coming up but I’ve been busy at work working 6 day weeks consistently so my time is tight! Stay tuned for more things to come!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

 

 

Weaving a Web of Lies!

I have found that my life so far is a slew of awkward situations and stories carefully held together by scotch tape and homemade gorilla glue. It’s messy but interesting, never dull and consistently leaves me peeling dried glue off my hands at the end of the day. That being said, I have some news.

For some unknown reason the big man upstairs/the flying spaghetti monster has taken pity on my life and allowed A BOY TO LIKE ME. And it just so happens that I caught a few feelings in return. Here we are, two people pretending to be adults in mutual like with one another yet pretending to the outside world that we’re nothing more than friends.

Why, might you ask? This is where things get a bit complicated…. Up until recently, we were co-workers spending 3+ nights a week together tending to every whim and fancy of the upper class. In the midst of slaving away, I started to realize we had a lot of common interests/morals/passions/weird childhood obsessions and things started to click. Did I like him? No no, we’re coworkers. Did I catch a case of the feels? Hell to the no, the thought never crossed my mind. Was I interested in trying to make a move? Maybe when Donald Trump wins the presidential election (I’m still crossing my fingers for a fat chance in hell).

You can ask any of my friends- I’m super stubborn and refuse to face my emotions. I would panic when my best friend would try to talk to me and completely shut down. I finally woman-ed up, told myself to be brave and there is no shame in making yourself vulnerable in an effort for companionship. Well, at least that’s what I preached after 3 shots and a cocktail. Oops?

What started as innocent sessions “let’s watch Sherlock together and hang out after work” aka Netflix and chill, I realized that I was ignoring my own feelings. I was interested and wanted to make a move without jeopardizing the separation of work and personal. After a couple weeks of hanging out and sitting closer and closer on the couch until we were only a few inches apart, I finally made a move and the rest has been history.
In an effort to keep our work and personal lives separate, we were pretending like we weren’t dating one another at work. I didn’t want to be a part of the rumor mill or a source of gossip; plus I wanted my role to remain serious and professional. While this hasn’t been a problem at work, I have run into a few occasions that could’ve blown my cover- BIG TIME.

Only a week or two after we started dating, I wanted to go on a date and do something active. Maybe go to a bar and spend some quality time together. We planned on going one night after work to grab a drink. We were taking a T together when immediately across from us are the roommates of my co-worker ONE OF WHOM happens to be the infamous CHRIS from my Tinder Meets Real Life post!! EEK. My cover was totally blown!! I immediately started sweating, couldn’t figure out what to do with my hands and was panicking on the inside. We had to say hi and make awkward small talk like nothing was wrong… OH MY GLOB IT WAS SO AWKWARD.

We got off the train and I immediately had to figure out how to cover this up the next day at work. I couldn’t pretend like we hadn’t been hanging out in case my co-worker found out from her roommate… but I had also lied and said I was hanging out with “some friends” after work. *insert inner monologue: OKAY I GOT IT! My friends cancelled on me, but I still wanted to go out. So I asked Nick if he wanted to grab a drink when we casually bumped into Chris and the other roommate on the T. That’ll work, Abby! Reeeeaaaaal casual.*

Somehow I got away with it. It seemed normal enough that Nick and I would hang out after work, as we had done it before. PHEW! Crisis averted. In another instance, Nick was going to meet me after work so we could go to a café around the corner. Turns out it was our friend’s birthday and they were going out for drinks. I lied and said I made plans already but would try to rearrange them. Buuuuut since I already solidified plans with Nick, I didn’t want to be rude and cancel. Minutes after I left work and said goodbye, I met Nick a few blocks away. We kissed hello and headed into the café WHEN ONE OF MY COWORKERS WALKED OUT OF THE FRONT DOOR. OH MY GOD. How could I possibly cover this up!?
All three of us awkwardly said hello and quickly ran by each other… I literally just lied to her minutes ago saying I was meeting up with “a friend” but now I totally looked suspicious!! After shooting her a text, she promised to keep it to herself for the time being which made me feel immensely better. So much sneaking about and lying!! I can’t live like this!

Another couple months have gone by, and I’ve been dying to tell my co-workers! I’m terrible at lying when they ask how my weekend was, or if they’re curious what shift Nick is working and I happen to know. I’ve also been dying to write about all of these shenanigans but was too nervous they’d find out! After some time searching, Nick found a new job and we came clean. I don’t think I’m made for secret “office” romances!

I’m sad to say that I won’t have any OKCupid updates or stupid Tinder stories to share for awhile (hopefully anyway!) but I’m sure I’ll have fun, new stories to share as I’m understanding what it’s like to be in a relationship again after years of singledom.

On Thursday, I have a new foodie blog post to share! Stay tuned!

Burnt Out

Fellow blogging community!

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been feeling a little lackluster with the blog posts feeling like I’m confined to this schedule of posting. I’ve also been feeling like my content is suffering and I’m just writing something for the heck of it. I know that this  is something I completely put on myself but when I decided I needed to make a schedule for more regular posting, I was the one who needed some structure in my life.

Thankfully, I’m in a much better place in my life where I have more of a balance between work and social. I feel like I’m finally comfortable with making baby steps into adulthood whether that’s making regular doctors appointments or buying a new rug for my living room. But it took a long time and a ton of patience to finally feel like I’ve achieved this balance.

I’ve decided that I need to sort of take a step back from blogging on a weekly basis and find the foundation of my voice again. I want to make posts that I’m proud of and excited to write about. I will continue to write about anything food related in my life and of course all of the awkward, weird and cool things that happen in my social life as well. That being said, I do have a few things so share over the next couple weeks, so it’s not a means to an end! I’m just exploring new ways to renew my inspiration and share it passionately with this community. Posts will still appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the future!

All of this being said, I think it’s important that us young professionals of the world figure out what that point of exhaustion is and how to avoid it. I spent the first year of my professional life sleeping 4-5 hours a night, working 2 jobs 60+ hours a week, regretting the fact that I didn’t have any time for a social life and only finding solace and control in my ability to go to the gym and write this blog. All of which felt very isolating and quiet.

I kept lying to myself that it was only temporary, that I was paying my dues in the food service industry and making a sacrifice for a better future. And while this is true, everything comes at a cost. I consistently made myself sick and caught colds left and right. I had anxiety about my job every night and would restlessly sleep for the few hours I could catch on a regular basis. I got pink eye from either the gym or the kids I used to babysit which caused me to miss days of work and worry about my paychecks. Not to mention, I got in two very expensive car accidents during the worst winter of my life attributing to my stress thus causing shingles to perpetuate in my body.

I cried by myself, to my roommates and my parents on a daily basis but refused to acknowledge that I had the power to make a change. Through lots of encouragement and persistence, I got a new job and the entirety of my life changed for the better. I cannot stress the importance of caring for and putting yourself first. It isn’t selfish and it isn’t weak. At the end of the day, no matter how much support you have in your life, you’re the only one accountable for you.

You have the power to dictate the way you live your life and seek out what brings you happiness. It’s 100% okay to be lost in that journey. That’s what makes it an adventure. But everything can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle. Thats the beauty of it all.

Happiness is not a limited resource.

 

Food Porn!

As most of you know, I’m a professional pastry chef and I’m obsessed with the food industry. I’m constantly on the look out for new trends, great restaurants and amazing chefs. Instagram is my go-to guide to  inspiration, without a doubt.

I follow almost twice the amount of people who follow me with at least half of them being food instagram accounts of people  I don’t know. I love waking up in the morning and drooling over delicious breakfasts, getting ideas about what to make for dinner or even inspire me to make something new at work!

If anyone is a self proclaimed foodie like myself, this is the post for you! Here are some of my top favorite Instagram accounts!

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And of course, best for last… Me! Follow me to stay up to date about what I’m up to at the Taj Boston!

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Thanks for reading and be sure to check back on Tuesday for another post!