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Visit to my Alma Mater after 2 years- Boston!

April 10, 2012

I’m sure all of you guys- who have kept up with my blog and have read my ‘Who’s This Priyanka page- know by now that I lived in Boston for 4 years. No, not just for shits n’ giggles, but I actually attended undergrad there- yes, Boston University.

Me and my mommy at my Economics Graduation

Oh, what pleasant (mostly fuzzy) memories I have from my time there. Boston is a beautiful city, but having been born and brought up in NYC and suddenly moving to a much smaller and quieter city is not exactly fun. I felt like Boston was boring with no variety in things to do, places to see, and most importantly in places to eat! Hence, why I did not visit for nearly 2 years once I graduated and got out of there.

Boy, was I in for a surprise this time around. There were many reasons as to why I wanted to visit suddenly, but one thing in particular really got me ready to go- this can be discussed later. In general, I have quite a few friends who still live in Boston so this was a great time to reconnect and see everyone. My boyfriend and my best friend both live in Boston and attend grad school there- the dorkiest of the kind- Med school and Law school. So I guess you can see I had 2 huge incentives to visit Boston.

My bestfriend- Janice- lives in Newton (just outside of Boston), as she attends BC Law School, so I took a bus that goes straight into Newton.

Shortly after, my boyfriend picked me up from her place and we headed to the South End area of Boston (where he lives). Now, I know you’re probably getting excited thinking that this post is about my social endeavors while in Boston, but it’s actually about the amazing food I ate- all thanks to my boo :)

I also met up with some of my other really good friends and even crashed my friends surprise birthday party- yes, classy move on my part.

My boyfriend and I started the weekend off at Toro- this really yummy Spanish Tapas restaurant in the South End of Boston. It’s a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations but is always packed- yeah, it’s one of THOSE. Before we get into details, here are some Quick Rates on Toro:

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 9
  • Beverages: 7
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: 8
  • Price: 7

We walked in pretty late around 10:45pm and it was packed! There weren’t any tables available, so we opted to sit at the first open seat at the bar. It was actually a good idea cause the service was really fast. They set up our place mats and cutlery and we were on our way to tapas land. My boyfriend had been to the restaurant a few times before, and even though is a carnivore he knew exactly which veggie dishes to order- let’s just say he has pretty good taste :) I ordered a house sangria, which was pretty good, but definitely not the best that I’ve had (Carmen’s next to my house in Staten Island is near and dear to my heart). We started off with Hot Peppers with Sea Salt (obviously this had my name written all over it):

Tortilla Espanola- egg, potato & onion omelet with aioli:

Smoked Mashed eggplants with garlic (similar to my Baba Ghanoush) and of course last by not least their Grilled Corn with Queso Cotija- a traditional Mexican street food. All was served with fresh crusty bread. Everything was so yummy- and I don’t say that very often, but the peppers were roasted to perfection with just the right amount of coarse sea salt. However, they were not spicy at all which was a bit disappointing. The omelet was served in 3 perfect little squared, all perfectly layers with thinly sliced potato and onion and the aioli was so garlicky- it was definitely right up my alley! My favorite was definitely the corn. The first time I ate corn like this was actually from a street vendor in Acapulco, Mexico and it was absolutely amazing, and the corn at Toro was a close 2nd to my original experience! 2 cobs were cut in half and rolled in a generous amount of aioli dressing and topped with a a delicious amount of queso cotija and spices. It was messy and oh so scrumptious.

We also ordered a small Vegetable Paella, but we were so stuffed from the tapas, that we barely even touched this! But it was so good- fresh paella topped with charred-grilled veggies and seasoned just right. I could’ve used some jalapeños, but the taste was very good. Us after our fabulous meal:

The following day for lunch, my boo treated me to another fabulous dining experience at an African- actually Senegalese- restaurant called Teranga. It was actually right next to Toro on the same street. Most of the restaurants in the South End of Boston have their own unique appeal and are pretty much one of a kind. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at an African restaurant (besides a really disappointing Ethiopian restaurant in NJ a few years ago), so I was excited to try it! Here are some Quick Rates for Teranaga:

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 7
  • Beverages: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: 6
  • Price: 8

I ordered the Ginger Root juice, even though i was warned that it will be really spicy, however I like ginger and drinks that have a bite to it. My boyfriend ordered the Bouye juice, which is a juice from the  baobab tree. It was sweet and resembled the texture and look of an Indian lassi- actually it tasted like a sweet lassi to me. Mine was lighter and made from fresh ginger root and mixed with pineapple juice, orange blossom water and vanilla sugar.

It was sweet and spicy and warmed my throat as I drank it- I really liked it! Honestly, it might have been a bit strong and overpowering for people, but I like strong and bold flavors. Before I get into detail about our food, I had to say I was very excited about their separate vegetarian menu! In general the food seemed very Indian-ish to me- smiler spices, nutty and warm flavors. For starters, we shared the Accara which were black-eye pea fritters served with a tomato-onion chutney. They tasted very similar to Indian pakoras, but without veggies or spice. I liked them, as they were simple yet satisfying. For my main course I had ordered the Yassa- Marinated grilled vegetables (eggplant, red pepper, green pepper) cooked in a lemon-caramelized onion sauce and served with jasmine rice. My boyfriend ordered the National Dish, which consisted of some herb-stuffed dish, so it really wouldn’t make sense to go into details about that on my blog hehe. My dish almost resembled a Thai curry dish- it came with perfectly cooked pepper, potato, carrots and caramelized onions in a semi-thick lemon sauce with a side of fluffy jasmine rice.

I also asked for hot sauce and they gave me a habanero chutney- YUM!! My dish was really tasty, but just a bit too lemony for me. However, when I added the habanero chutney, it cut a bit of the sourness and tasted really good. The service was also really good- we had a really sweet waitress, who seemed to be amused by my obsession with chilies and spice. All in all it was a great experience, partially because of the food, but mostly because of the company :)

Like these Restaurant Reviews? Check out these in NYC! 

 Richard Sandoval’s Zengo

 Fresco by Scotto

  Mariebelle Chocolate Bar

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 11:15 am

    This sounds like a blast! Your grad photo is gorgeous!

  2. April 10, 2012 4:59 pm

    Awesome pictures! :) Must have been great, returning to Boston!

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