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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Breakfast and Pastry at Tatte

Ever have a moment where you bite into a dish and you need to close your eyes to have a quiet moment just savoring the beauty and the bite? This happens for me frequently at Tatte. It's the home to the best breakfast, pastry, coffee drinks and warm vibe in the Boston area. I've been going to the Tatte by the St. Mary T stop for a few years now. Recently, I learned that they are doing an 8 week renovation starting January 1, 2016. This means that once we get through winter, we'll be greeted with double sized Tatte!

Once I learned that my favorite local bakery and quick breakfast spot would be closing and renovating, I decided the best thing to do was to eat there as much as humanly possible for its last week. The good news was, I had the week off so it was an achievable goal. 

Avocado Tartine
The first day I stopped by of my Tatte week, I made it up to the counter at 11:27. Thankfully there was still time for me to order breakfast. I was intrigued by the avocado tartine. I learned that this dish is homemade bread with avocado, a fried egg, arugula, dill, tomato and radish. It's a great dish to share with a friend because you get two of these hearty toasts. I think theoretically the open faced sandwich is supposed to be picked up and eaten, but I chose to use a fork and knife and to break the yolk. The combination of the fresh flavors of the veggies, with the avocado, egg and homemade bread made me take a deep breath and smile. 

Pain au Chocolat
I only got through one avocado tartine because it was so filling. I also got a pain au chocolat. These pastries are flaky with semisweet chocolate and they're made with real butter. There is a huge difference to me between a pastry from Tatte that's made fresh daily and a pastry from a grocery store or national chain. I highly recommend any of their homemade pastries! A trick I learned is that they go on sale late in the day, they're less fresh and less money. I think it's worth the whole price to get one early in the day.

The next day after my avocado tartine and pan au chocolat, I went back to Tatte and it was snowy and rainy and crowded, as it does get. I lucked out though, I won the sat battle and got a seat. I ordered shakshuka which is a very tasty, fresh, hearty and warm breakfast. At Tatte they make theirs with tomatoes, peppers, poached eggs and feta. It's served with Challah toast and is again big enough to share. Since I was by myself and I know how much I like it, I opted to order it without the lamb meatball add-ons but next time I go I may try them.

This dish is also excellent and hearty. The homemade bread complementing the skillet of warm food is a perfect way to start a damp day. But let's be honest, it's also a great way to start a sunny day in the summer outside.

Where to go while you wait for the renovation
The good news is that Tatte has a few locations around the Boston area that we can go to while they renovate and expand their Brookline spot. I have visited one in Kendall Square and it's big, bright and airy with even more food than the Brookline spot. Only a few more weeks...

I recommend that if you enjoy good, fresh food, that you make your way to one of the Tatte locations get yourself a dish or pastry and a latte and close your eyes for a few seconds and enjoy the perfection.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I am constantly examining how food and technology impact communities. I do aspects of each in my personal and professional life. I think that food brings people together and can create and build community. I initially started this blog to have an outlet to discuss food, friends and fun and I am committed to these discussions happening more frequently in 2016 in a potentially different way.

As we're all talking about resolutions at the beginning of the year, I resolve to write more. Eating and sharing experiences brings me joy as I hope it does for you reading it. This year, I'll be sharing information on restaurants, recipes and great events. I initially started the blog thinking that I'd only write about a restaurant once, but I am going to open myself up to write more if it's a new visit after a while. 

When I initially started this blog, I was in grad school which meant that I had a lot more time. I needed something to divert me from the hundreds of pages of reading a week and as a writing warm up. Now, I'm in a full time demanding job and food is still a huge part of my life as are friends and fun. Again, I need a creative outlet-- a way to share my passion with who wants to read about it. I started this blog completely as a passion project to share my love of food and what I learn about community events with whoever wants to read. I also was curious how different channels brought traffic to the site. Back to technology and its impact on community. Since graduating a lot more of my food life has been happening offline, but not to worry, it's still happening!

Some new year's thoughts
During 2016, I want to think about how to have more fun with the blog and share more. I initially started writing this blog as "Fun Foodie," but I am thinking about sharing more about who I am. Part of why I use the anonymity is for anyone who is reading. I want to share the experience of another diner without any perks that come with being known as a diner to watch who may get different service. However, this means that my personal Instagram posts (which are predominantly food related) are not linked to the blog or when I connect with someone in the food scene, I don't write about it because I'm afraid I'll be identified. This seems counter intuitive as I reflect because there are some great stories about people I've met in the industry who are interesting, kind and who I've built a rapport with. As I continue to evaluate the direction of the blog, please feel free to share what you think. My feeling is it's fun to hear good stories and learn about great places to go and if I can continue to provide that more frequently, that is beneficial to all.

Another reason, I'm thinking about writing more without anonymity is I really love sharing and meeting new people and making recommendations. I often diagnose my friends' and family with the right restaurant for an occasion and price point or organize group dinners. I would love to connect more with people through food and volunteering this year and I think that this can happen more. 

One idea for connection comes from a trip my boyfriend and I took to Canada at the beginning of the summer. We went on two food tours. We had the best time and enjoyed meeting the people. I have been thinking about how these food tours could work in the Boston area.

What about eating in?
Most posts for this blog are focused on food or community events that have food. That is only half of the fun we can have together! I've been cooking and baking a bit and think that some of these recipes and discoveries are worth discussing. Expect more posts about cooking as well as eating out.

And the fun?!
As I discover new opportunities for fun, that will be shared too. This could be a trip to a new market, yoga studio or a vacation.

Expectations for 2016
This year, 2016, is already off to a great start and I think that the new year is a great time to reflect and think about how to be better and how to have more joy and more fun in life! You can expect somewhat of an evolution to FoodFriendsNFun and more-- more posts, more joy, more food and more fun. I want to figure out a way to have more community, so that will happen too. The best way to get up to date information about this evolution is on the blog and on twitter.

Happy New Year to you and I look forward to eating my way through the year with you and having fun while we do!