Friday, September 15, 2017

Real Gusto

So guess what? We went to another restaurant. It's right in the center of town and has been there since 2015. I was mistaken on my last blog when I said it was a few months old. This couple came to the U.S. a few years and visited New England. They particularly liked Boston and the surrounding area because they thought there was a certain European flair to the area. They were also surprised at how many Italians lived in Boston and the suburbs. Long story not so long we went there last night ( Thursday 9/14 in case I don't finish this today) and we were knocked out. It's a lovely place that overlooks the river in the back. I'm not sure that opening these doors on a hot, steamy summer day would be a great idea. The owners were most gracious and the food was out of this world! It was Mediteranian. Arlene had chicken masala and I had a simple dish of homemade raviolis stuffed with ricotta, beef and pork with a simple but delicious red sauce. Both meals were outstanding! Then we did something we never do, we had desert. Arlene had tiramisu and I had the cannoli. On top of that the coffee was out of this world! Here are some pictures I got off the restaurant website.

The owners at the back of the restaurant that overlooks the river.




The imported this pizza oven from Italy. And though we didn't have pizza their pizzas looked wonderful.

We did however have an appetizer called arancini (orange in color and shape, which are fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella, beef, pork and peas. They were as good if not better than others I have had.

Here are some pictures of other appetizers that I have no idea what they are called. These dishes could serve as main courses I suppose.



Some pasta dishes.

Pasta Fagiole or beans and macaroni. I grew up with this dish. I still make it. 

The deserts. I had the cannoli's, well most of them. One had crushed chocolate, the other had crushed hazelnuts. Arlene had tiramisu. I don't think I have a picture of it but I can assure you it was delicious.

I'm not sure what this is but I'll bet it's tasty.

I have to admit that this looks like a devil dog with chocolate syrup.

I'm not sure what the next two deserts are but I'll bet they're good.
I'm not sure if this is a desert or an appetizer.
You could also buy their fresh homemade pasta made from imported flour. What difference that makes is beyond me. On the right you can see the ravioli that I had. There were other displays of imported items.
Ten or fifteen years ago this city had the usual array of fast food places and pizza parlors. There was an Italian restaurant which has been around for at least as long as I have. It's in the south part of the city, not surprisingly, the Italian part of the city. There's nothing wrong with this restaurant but parking is an issue. It's more of a neighborhood place. You can't park on the side streets because you have to have a neighborhood parking sticker. But there are more than enough people in the neighborhood to keep this place going though I would have to say Real Gusto is a step above. Aside from that place if you wanted a really good meal you had to travel a bit. Add a hotel because of our close proximity to Boston and presto a whole bunch of very good restaurants. They probably won't all survive but the economy around here is doing well at the moment and it's good to see the city buzzing with activity even though getting around can be tough. Below  
So I have to say Arlene and I may have found a new favorite restaurant. The food and deserts were wonderful. The restaurant was nicely decorated. The staff was friendly with one young lady sporting what we would call a southern accent. It's a bit pricey. The most expensive meal was $26,00. Add in a drink or two, an appetizer and it can add up. Still we will go again just not for a few weeks.  Below is a video on the restaurant from YouTube. Below that is a link to a video on the restaurant's web page. The owners tell the story of coming to this country and opening their restaurant. At this point I don't know if it work.
Oh well I guess I'm outta here. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This, that, and the other.

Ok I've mentioned several times that I have fully retired from the working world. I am a lucky person. The Star Market Company took good care of me. When I joined them they were the Cadillac of supermarkets around here. We were the best paid and had great benefits. I know I mentioned this in an earlier blog but the family who founded Star Market were the people who started the First Night celebration on New Years with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops back in the '70s that eventually was shown nation wide and spread to other cities. The Mugar family is well known around here. Anyway there were many tough times for the company in the 80's to the present but I always worked and I was able to retire comfortably. However there was one thing I never gave thought to when I retired. I now have to go food shopping. Aside from going food shopping with my parents I never went food shopping in 46 years. I was in a supermarket 5 or 6 days a week. I always picked up what I needed after work so I never had to actually leave the house to shop for food. Now if I want to eat I have to actually leave the house and go to the local Stop and Shop as my old company has no stores locally. Now I'm not going to complain about the prices because they are actually pretty good. They are large company with stores  throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. They even have two stores on Martha's Vineyard which Arlene and I found handy compared to a local chain which I guess wasn't big city enough for us. But I can't stand having to leave the house to go buy food. I find it quite annoying. The store is always busy and is laid out in a manor I don't like. They have the florist over by frozen foods  instead of next to the produce department. That's at one end of the store and if you start at the other end you have the bakery first then you have the produce department. Why would you have soft items such as bread or rolls the first thing to put in your shopping cart? Alright I'm being picky and whiny. I should have bigger problems.

Alrighty then here's a video from the PBS series This Old House that took place in my hometown. The house you see would go for something like $600,000 to $700,00. This is not a complete episode it's just Bob Villa talking a bit of the history around here though he does leave out the writing of Jingle Bells and the invention of the first modern roller skate by James Plimpton. For 3 years, going to high school, I walked by the "Over the river and through the woods..." house always wondering how out of place the house looked in our neighborhood with it's columns. It looked like something you might see down south. I had no idea until just a few years ago that this is where the song was written and the very river I went over on my way to school was the same river as in the song. 

So that's it for now. Tonight Arlene and I are going to yet another new Italian restaurant that opened a few months back. It's called "Real Italian Gusto". It's only a few doors away from another Italian restaurant called "Salvatore's" which is quite good.

Yesterday, the 13th I had jury duty. Now the courthouse is in the next town over to the east. I was not completely sure where the court house was though I was called once before back in the '70s. Arlene, who I will admit is better at directions than I, am tried to explain it to me. I kept trying to explain to her that I hadn't been to Malden since the early '80s because there was a music store that my friends and I used to hang around in from time to time. The only thing I ever bought there were guitar picks. We were no big time spenders. Well she tried to explain how to get there and I had to be at the court house at 8:30 AM. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. Well it wasn't. My portable GPS was empty of maps. It needed to be updated. I set off at 7 AM and I ran into a gigantic traffic mess. People heading in all directions. Not being able to make it through intersections and blocking traffic for people trying to cut across. I couldn't read the street signs because they were on a wire suspended across the street and the sun was in my eyes. If I had stayed on my present course I would have run intro the ocean.  I finally recognized one street because my company had a store on this street and I used to work there, only the store  was at the other end. Good old Broadway, not in New York but in Everett Ma. That was a slog and at the other end was a parkway with two notorious rotary's. Long story short, I made it home before 8:30, went on line hoping that I still had time to request a change. I lucked out and got it postponed until Oct. 30th. Driving south into Boston is much easier the going east or west. As wonderful an area as this is, many of the roads are 300, or close to it, years old and it is very densely populated. As much as I love it here and on the Vineyard there are times when I hear New Hampshire calling me. It's about 25 miles north of here and there are less people in the entire state than there in downtown Boston on a daily basis.    

So that's it for now.
I'm outta here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

So let's try this again

I have started several blogs since the last one I published. I think I became all blogged out. I've been doing it for about 9 years. I've made many good friends from all over the U.S. and a few in Europe and Australia. Things in life change. In 2016 I moved twice. It's a long story soon to be a major motion picture starring Victor Mature. Moving generally speaking is not fun and doing it twice in one year is double the unfun. I essentially am in the same house only I live upstairs now. Still I really don't have much to complain about though getting used to being fully retired since Jan, 5, 2017 is still an ongoing adjustment. Arlene had some health issues last year but has recovered nicely. We will be going back to the Vineyard in early mid October. Same hotel. I'll never forget the first time we went to the Pequot Hotel in 2010. The first person we spoke to as we registered turned out to come from the same city Arlene and I live in though admittedly it's not like we traveled halfway around the world. It's about a 70-90 minute drive to Woods Hole on Cape Cod and if we get there quick enough sometimes we can get on an earlier ferry and be on the island in about 45 minutes. The tourist should be sparse in number at this time of the year and it'll be nice to get away from all the construction, the god-awful traffic, the crowds and though the weather has been nice the winter is coming.
Ok what's next is from a blog I started a couple of months ago about Boston's North End, (or as you might hear, Nawth End) home to Paul Reveres' house, the Old North Church and Boston's' Little Italy. You'll hear the North Ends' version of the Boston accent in this short promo for this film. I have not seen the film. I didn't even know there was a film but I found this promo by accident. I'm not making any claim that this is the best little Italy in the U.S. but it certainly is a place where you can get a wonderful meal in about 90 or so restaurants and caf├ęs. As somebody said, "You can smell the meatballs in the air." It's also part of my heritage. Both my grandfathers came from Sicily to the U.S. in the early 1900's and lived in the North End. They both lived in the same little town back in Sicily. I remember when I was young my mother showing me which apartment building they lived in. 

Well that's it for now. I better publish before I think of another reason to keep writing.
I'm outta here.