Weekly Roundup: Week 8 – 2023

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Sunday 2.19
Today I visited the Boston Children’s Museum for the first time. We went with my son’s friend and his family. It was a fun time. On the way to the museum I had some homemade chex mix. After the museum we all went next door to The Smoke Shop for barbecue. My wife and I shared an order of the Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders. I was very clear that I wanted them “hot as cluck,” but sadly they weren’t even spicy. I also got a brisket sandwich and brussels sprouts. The service was off but the manager Rob was great and made things right. We normally go to the Harvard Sq location where we haven’t had an issues. The Smoke Shop is a favorite of ours, maybe just not in the Seaport. (It was still better than Pink Taco.)

Monday 2.20
Today was Mardi Gras prep. It actually began last night when I went to the store to get my gumbo ingredients. I will note that the produce at Wegman’s is a disgrace. I couldn’t even get a green pepper. They were all rotting on the shelves. This morning, I went over to Wilson Farm to see if they had a King Cake. Sadly they only had ones with nuts which my family can’t eat. But I ended up buying more vegetables because they were a good price and much better quality. I also found better Andouille sausage.

After shopping, we stopped at Mario’s for lunch. I split the meatball sub with my wife and stole a couple of my son’s chicken fingers. The meatball sub is amazing and today it was better than ever. I can’t recommend that sandwich enough.

I had to go back to the store tonight to get a little more for tomorrow’s celebration. Before I left I needed a snack so I finished the box of Dots I started the other day.

When I got back from the store I started on my gumbo. It’s best if you make it the day ahead. I also made a gumbo tart. I sautéed green pepper, onion, and celery seasoned with paprika and cayenne. Then I added that to puff pastry along with chicken, swiss cheese, and andouille sausage. It was really good. I also made remoulade for tomorrow’s alligator po boy. I had a very busy day.

Tuesday 2.21
Happy Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday is one of my favorite food holidays. It is an annual tradition that I make gumbo and this year’s batch was outstanding. I use shrimp, andouille sausage, and chicken and I always make it the night before so that the flavor has time to come together. Knowing I would eat so much, I had a light lunch of a chicken sandwich with some pop corners.

My friend Michael made french bread for the po boys, so while I was cooking, we sampled some of it with swiss cheese. My brother gave me some frozen alligator for my birthday and I decided there could be no better time than Mardi Gras to make it. I cut it down into nugget sized pieces, then breaded and fried it. It was a little intimidating, but everyone enjoyed it. Of course it didn’t hurt to wash it down with a Hurricane in my Pat O’Brien’s glass I brought back from NOLA as a souvenir.

As I said, the gumbo was fantastic this year. I served it with white rice, scallions, parsley, and lots of Tabasco sauce. For dessert my wife made a king cake. It was good and I probably ate half of it myself. With that I made some sazerac cocktails. Great night.

Wednesday 2.22
Last night was Mardi Gras which makes today Ash Wednesday. I still keep the tradition of fasting and not eating meat. I was also hungover so I really didn’t have an appetite until this evening anyway. I made a quick shrimp fried rice with a bunch of stuff I had around and that was all I ate today.

Thursday 2.23
Today was my one day in the office this week. Before I left the house I had a piece of king cake for breakfast. When I got home, I made a little salad with lettuce, carrot, yellow peppers, tomato, scallions, and deli ham. For dinner I had the last of the gumbo with some leftover toasted bread. For dessert I had a coconut chocolate from the Valentines Day candy I got for my wife.

Friday 2.24
We decided we would try the Twin Seafoods in Acton for lunch today. I asked them if they were connected to the one in West Concord. It turns out that at one point both locations were owned by twin brothers, but they had a falling out and one took the Concord location and the other took the one in Acton. I got a fish sandwich with fries. My early verdict is that the Acton location is nicer and friendlier, but the Concord location has better food. For dinner I just had some of the chocolate chip-banana oatmeal bread my wife made. That is always good.

Saturday 2.26
Today we had tickets to see Hamilton. I had avoided seeing it because I generally don’t like things that are over-hyped. It turned out though that I really enjoyed it. Before the show, I had a half of a ham and cheese sandwich with some pretzels, just to tide me over. (We also stopped at French Quarter next to the Opera House for a cocktail, a French 75.) At the show, I had some chocolate covered pretzels that my wife wanted.

After the show, we went to Boston Chops in Downtown Crossing for dinner. We started with popovers and wagu dumplings. Then we moved on to the 20 oz. chateaubriand which was very good. For sides we had an insane tower of onion rings and a more ordinary plate of asparagus. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding with rum raisin ice cream.

Two exceptional meals this week, but I was having so much fun it was hard to find time to write about it all. Mardi Gras was a blast and we had a really good dinner at Boston Chops. I hope to do a few posts in the near future and I still owe everyone my write up of O Ya. Hopefully I will have more time to write this week.

quick bite: The Smoke Shop BBQ
hot as cluck
quick bite: Mario’s

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