Previously I was putting these photo reports at the end of every Boston Monthly Meet-Up announcement, where I think that they go underappreciated by the RF community. Perhaps this move will increase traffic to our group and our cause: to enjoy each other’s company whilst chowing down on Boston’s best food. I’ll continue to add to this thread after each meeting, so please let me know what you think — and join us, by all means! We welcome any and all newcomers to our friendly fellowship…
I’m a month behind in posting, so I’ll begin with October. Paul took the reins in planning this month with two fabulous stops: Spalla’s/Culinary Delights
in Natick and the Dudley Chateau
in Chocituate. The fine folks at Spalla’s/Culinary Delights
were waiting for us with multiple samples in addition to their main selling points, namely an authentic Chicago-style dog and Italian beef. We also were meeting up with Bostonhotdogman, a/k/a Rob Merlino, to witness his eating the 100th
hot dog in his travels throughout New England and beyond. His blog, Hot Dog Stories
, chronicles his adventures and this particular stop
on the hot dog trail (and we even got our photo included!).
Our group this month included Paul, Karilyn, Joyce, Amy & Chris. As soon as we sat down, chef/owner Alex Palterman introduced himself with a plate of various turnovers:
Some were stuffed with slow-cooked cabbage…
…while others were stuffed with herbed chicken. Both were incredible, and Paul proceeded to order some extra cabbage turnovers to take home!
Alex kept us busy with excellent cold cuts, namely brisket and garlicky salami:
Amy grabbed a tarragon soda from the cooler and this odd cream-like soda with the comical label. If you’ve tried Armenian basturma before, this tarragon soda is sweet and perfectly cuts any garlic taste:
Cara Spalla is the mastermind behind the Spalla’s
side of Culinary Delights
, and she whipped some truly great Chicago dogs for us, with every authentic element intact. This sign in front of the counter tells it all:
I must admit that I was skeptical about the taste, but Cara really pulled it off here: this dog was actually better
than a few we’ve had in the Windy City! You may think that’s a ridiculous statement, but I’m totally serious — the freshest, most vibrant tasting ingredients in every bite:
These dogs with BBQ sauce, banana peppers & onions were great, too, but not as divine as the Chicago dogs:
Paul spied some chopped liver, which we also sampled:
Alex brought over some salami with a parmesan crust (amazing!)…
and some pickled garlic sprouts, which looked curiously like asparagus but tasted like long green beans and only slightly garlicky:
Then came Cara’s pride and joy, real Chicago Italian beefs, with a thin gravy that she said some folks like so much that they want to drink it!
To conclude the Chicago experience properly, a cup of lemon Italian ice for true refreshment and palate cleansing: Culinary Delights
had an impressive display of European groceries and delicacies:
We said farewell to Cara, Alex, Rob and Little Miss (his daughter), dragged ourselves back to our vehicles, and headed over to Dudley Lake and the Chateau
This neighborhood bar & grill is renowned in these parts for their burgers, so we ordered graciously. The Cochituate Burger, topped with beef & bean chili, hickory smoked bacon and cheddar, was incredible…
…as was the Warrior Burger, stuffed with blue cheese and topped with bacon:
These burgers were among the best we’ve had in greater Boston, and it didn’t surprise me that the Chat
has won numerous local awards for Best Burger and grub.We ordered minis, the smaller versions the burgers, and still had halves to take home and eat the next day. I'd like to see someone polish off a full-sized burger in one sitting, because there is no way that we ever could! I must also note that they stocked one of my favorite root beers, Saranac from Utica, NY:
Paul’s picks were fabulous, and we’ll definitely be visiting both places again soon! Thanks for reading/drooling!
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