Phase One – ReOpening. Can we go out to eat?
Here in Massachusetts we’ve all been in a two-month lock-down since mid-March due to the pandemic. This week the announcement we’d all longed for and feared was made. Phase One of re-opening the state has started. Exciting but scary. It’s been a long Spring with no chance to go out, working from home for hours far longer than I usually work, and the dreaded COVID-19 haircut. Thank God hair grows back!!! My dogs have started to wonder if they’ll ever have the run of the house again (not that they had it before!).
I’m all for wearing masks if it helps us get out there. I’ve been fortunate to continue working from home for the past 8+ weeks, so I really can’t complain. But I have found myself wondering, how do you eat when you’re wearing a mask?
Who doesn’t love a good restaurant?
I love exploring new restaurants. Setting up a date with friends, researching menus, finding places that offer something unique. It’s an adventure. Over the years I’ve been brave to try new places, and discovered that I love Ethiopian food. Indian food has many varieties and I love all the spices. I’m a fan of medium-hot, not hot-hot! I’ve also tried regional specialties; farm-to-table dinners on Main Street, pop-up restaurants in New Orleans, BBQ from a container in Nogales, and a lone hot dog spot in the middle of nowhere near a gorgeous park. It’s like a treasure hunt.
I’ve discovered that good food can be found anywhere. My thought? If it’s local and recommended by locals, let’s give it a try! I travel for conferences at least once or twice a year. That alone offers constant opportunities to try new places. One of my favorite conference discoveries in Las Vegas is China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan. This is a noodles and tacos place. Exactly, Chinese Mexican fusion.
I was hesitant at first, but I’m a believer now! The combination is a work of art. One night I sat at the open kitchen that doubles as a bar for three hours eating and watching (people and the chefs). I had a late flight, really late. It was a long and entertaining evening. Believe me, when that plane took off just after 1 am, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up ’til we landed in Boston.
I do have my favorite restaurants though, don’t you?
I’ll be honest. When I discover a restaurant I love, I go back again and again. I try different dishes and different locations. One restaurant in Boston falls into this category. I’ve been to 5 of their 8 locations! In the early morning, during the lunchtime rush, or late in the afternoon after a busy day, this is my go-to place in Boston/Cambridge. It’s Flour Bakery/Cafe. My favorite item on the menu? Their Chopped Greek Salad. Exactly, my favorite item at a bakery is a salad. The dressing on that salad, a Green Goddess style that should be renamed to Empress of the Green Gods, just makes my mouth water. It’s the one thing I think about and automatically wonder if it’d be worth the drive. Even when I’m an hour plus away.
Any time of day, it’s Flour!
Flour Bakery is so popular in my household we look for a chance to eat there whenever we can. The morning after a formal business event in the Seaport district, we got up at the crack of dawn (after a very late night out) and walked a few blocks in dawn-lit streets to discover the tiny bakery lit up brightly, and serving exactly what we were looking for.
If you’re looking for a place for lunch or breakfast, in Cambridge or Boston, I’d highly recommend Flour. Due to the pandemic, they are closed at most locations, with one or two offering curbside pick up. They’re also offering cooking classes online and have collaborated with other local restaurants to offer curbside pickup of complete dinners for the celebrations we’ve all been staying home for.
Have you been to Flour? I’d love to hear what you think!