Life Lately {May 2014}

May seriously flew by, no?

Life Lately

Tim and I didn’t have many nights to stay in together in May, but one that sticks out is the night we made a homemade chickpea crust pizza. It came out pretty good!

Chickpea Crust Pizza

Then there was Katrina’s shower and bachelorette party:

Katrina's Bachelorette: Black Rose

Bottling homemade beers at Hopsters:

Hopster's Brews and Boards: Bottling

Running my first obstacle 5k race with my fellow staff members:

AHA Heart Challenge 2014

A fun gym friends night out at BoMa in the South End. LOVED it there.

Gym Friends at BoMa

Mother’s Day at Marina Bay and out to eat at The Aegean:

Mother's Day 2014

Slesh’s crazy NYC bachelorette weekend:

Slesh's Bachelorette

A tour of Heaven’s Harvest Farm in New Braintree. This is the farm that the wellness program at work is partnering with for our first CSA offering for staff:

Heaven's Harvest Farm

My brother’s birthday dinner at Bonefish Grill:

Tony's Birthday 2014

Dinner with Tim at Jerry Remy’s:

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

A new grill!

New Grill Tim

Memorial Day day trip to Falmouth:

Falmouth + Memorial Day 2014

My cousin’s 15th birthday party:

Gregs 15th Birthday Party

Unpictured:

  • Blog friends date dinner at Park in Harvard Square to kick off the month. A fire alarm ended our night earlier than expected, and I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of us!
  • Hanging out with my home friends Shannon and Baka at Carrolls in Medford
  • A catchup dinner date at The Cottage in Newton with my friend Erin

PHEW!

June is well underway, but I didn’t want to get too far into the month without giving May some love.

–Let’s chat–
What happened in your May? What are you looking forward to in June?

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Restaurant Review: Jerry Remy’s Athlete’s Menu

A couple of months ago, I was invited to try the new Athlete’s Menu at Jerry Remy’s on Boylston in the Fenway area. Even though the new menu launched in mid-March, I didn’t get the chance to check it out until Memorial Day weekend because of my crazy busy spring. Better late than never, right?

Let me just say, I love the concept of the Athlete’s Menu. Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu options at a sports bar?! As someone who is very health conscious and mindful of what I eat, I often dread going to sports bars with friends because I know the healthy food choices will be limited. If I’m not in a splurging mood, I usually end up ordering a Cobb salad or a burger without the bun, which gets pretty boring after a while. Also, sometimes these aren’t even options to choose from. This weekend I was at the Baseball Tavern, and the only healthy thing they had on the entire menu was a veggie plate. With an overflowing cup of ranch dressing. Even the salads wouldn’t be worth ordering with their gross iceberg lettuce and croutons. Gah. Case in point.

When I opened the Athlete’s Menu at Jerry Remy’s (I didn’t look at it ahead of time), I was pleasantly surprised.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

First of all, how awesome is the menu’s opener?

“Hey, good-looking! Yeah, we’re talking to you with the great body. You play hard and you want to eat healthy, which isn’t that hard. We’ve created choices to suit your lifestyle and keep lookin’ good. So look no more! See what we’ve got cookin’ with our new Athlete’s Menu. P.S. You don’t have to be an athlete to try the new menu. It’s for anyone that loves fresh, tasty food and cares about how you fuel your body.” 

Yup, sold.

Tim and I could try anything we wanted on the menu, so we spent some time talking to the manager, Corey, for recommendations. He recommended the honey roasted pork belly “tacos” and the roasted beet salad, so that’s what we started with.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu: Pork Belly Tacos

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu: Beet Salad

Corey was spot on with his recommendations, and Tim and I could not stop talking about how flavorful and delicious these dishes were. We were also psyched when Chef Padlo came over to our table to talk about the food with us. We learned that the pork tacos are the top-selling paleo option on the menu. They were seared crisp over pico de gallo, fresh avocado, grilled pineapple, and cilantro, and served in a lettuce wrap with lime wedges.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu: Pork Tacos

I realize pork belly is definitely a fattier cut of meat, but the grilled pineapple really cut through the fat, and the pico de gallo provided a nice fresh crunch for some texture. This was definitely our favorite of the night.

The beet salad was awesome too, mainly because most sports bars are not willing to tackle many types of salads beyond your typical house, caesar, or cobb. This wasn’t the case with the roasted beet salad, as it consisted of hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted artichoke hearts, pine nuts, pomegranates, fennel, rosemary, cashew cheese, and roasted vegetable vinaigrette.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu Beet Salad

The restaurant was out of pomegranates that night, but it didn’t even make a difference. I am just obsessed with the unique combination of flavors in this salad! It still includes your everyday cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, but then it really branches out with the other ingredients to enhance the flavors. I mean, cashew cheese!? I loved trying that. Also, the vegetable vinaigrette was made out of zucchini. Now we’re feeling inspired to try something similar at home.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

Our servers, Alyssa and Sam, encouraged us to try a few more items on the menu before we left, so we took them up on their offer. We figured even if we could only eat a few more bites, we’d have leftovers for lunch the next day. We opted to try the flat-iron grass-fed steak and the quinoa tabbouleh wrap next.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu Steak

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

The steak was made from local pasture raised beef, and it was dry-aged 28 days, all natural, hormone free, and antiobiotic free. It was churrasco marinated and grilled and served over a bed of grilled vegetables. I love that this just comes with the veggies because it eliminates the need to be THAT restaurant goer who asks to swap out the fries or potato for something else.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu: Steak

The meat was perfectly cooked, and Tim said he really liked that it was hanger steak and not steak tips, another testament to the folks at Jerry Remy’s really trying to differentiate themselves. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about in this dish was the chimichurri sauce drizzled on top. It was alright, but we thought it was missing something or maybe it was too parsley heavy? I couldn’t pinpoint it!

Last up was the quinoa wrap. Again, this wasn’t your usual suspect, as most veggie wraps in sports bars either 1) have raw veggies and are too crunchy with zero flavor, or 2) are cooked and dripping with so much oil that it defeats the purpose of ordering the veggie wrap in the first place. This wrap had hearty components such black beans to fill me up, along with a variety of veggies (fresh greens, carrots, cucumber), and whole grains to add extra protein and an added crunch. Hummus and a light tahini dressing added an extra flavor without too much oil too.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu: Quinoa Wrap

I was pumped to eat most of this quinoa wrap for lunch the following day after a strength workout. Perfect.

The only thing that I was disappointed about was not being able to sit on the restaurant’s newly renovated roof deck! Since it’s been so chilly in Boston this spring, the roof deck seating was closed on the night we went. I was bummed about that, but it was still nice to just hang out in the bar area and unwind with good food and a beer.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

Oh and one more thing, the Athlete’s Menu also includes lighter adult beverage options as well. Paleotail, anyone?

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

I really wanted a beer that night, so I didn’t try any of these drinks, but that paleo bellini looks right up my alley.

Tim and I found ourselves back at Jerry Remy’s on Sunday night after my Bridget’s award ceremony at Fenway Park, and we couldn’t wait to have the pork belly tacos again! We recommended everything to our friends, and they enjoyed the food too. Bridget and I also split the kale and crisp apple salad (massaged kale, carrots, jicama, toasted almonds, cucumbers, avocado, celery, green onions, red peppers, and lemon vinaigrette), and it was definitely nice and light.

Jerry Remy's Athlete's Menu

Tim and I really enjoyed our experience! Our service was excellent, and I highly recommend checking out the Athlete’s Menu for yourself if you are heading to a Sox game this summer.

–Let’s chat–
Have you tried the Jerry Remy’s Athlete’s Menu? What dish described in this post sounds the best to you? Do you find it hard to eat healthy at sports bars?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but Tim and I were both provided with free meals in exchange for writing this review. We happily paid for gratuity, and I paid for the food that we ate in our second visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Weekly Eats {Salad Club Lunch}

I swear that someday I’ll start reading blogs again and will revive my F&F Friday Favorites.

For today, let’s chat food.

Last week my group at work had our second salad club lunch.  This is something we started in my group after I transferred (can you believe a year ago now?!), when instead of ordering pizza or everyone bringing in fattening crock pot meals, everyone brings in an ingredient you would find on a salad bar!

Salad Club Lunch

Salad Club Lunch

My contribution was a quinoa dish I made with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and parsley.  I tossed in a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and topped with s&p.

Quinoa

You can also see my new favorite foodie find in the back of this picture, The Good Bean.  Julia brought me a pack of these roasted chickpeas about a month ago, and I’ve been on a hunt for them ever since.  I seriously can’t find them anywhere, so I was psyched when she brought them in again for salad club.  Has anyone else tried these snacks before?  If so, I want to know where you bought them.

Anyways, here are some of us during salad club!

salad club lunch

Here are some other food highlights from last week!

A huge batch of chicken salad for the week:

Chicken Salad

I enjoyed the chicken salad ON salad for several lunches last week, topped with tomatoes, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and sliced kohlrabi.

Chicken Salad

Dinners included summer squash taco boats on Sunday and Monday night (thanks Cate for the idea!):

Summer Squash Taco Boatss

Eggplant and zucchini casserole with Swiss chard on the side on Tuesday and Thursday:

Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

If you are wondering what happened to Wednesday, we celebrated my dad’s birthday at The Aegean.  I ordered lamb kabobs and a Greek salad, Tim and I split spanakopita, and we all had a bite of birthday cake.

The Aegean

Then came the weekend, when Erica visited.  We started off with a breakfast date with Slesh.  I baked my whole wheat blueberry banana muffins and put together a big fruit salad, and Slesh brought over eggs and whipped up some scrambled eggs for us.

Breakfast with Erica

Lunch was leftover quinoa salad from salad club, but then the splurging began.

Fishbowl at the Landing

Dinner was at Jerry Remy’s by the seaport.  We ordered nachos for the table, and for my meal I ordered a huge stacked taco salad full of grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, red beans, chick peas, diced avocado, and romaine hearts tossed in a cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Stacked Taco Salad Jery Remy's

For our beach day on Saturday I made a batch of cucumber salad for everyone.

Cucumber and Black Eyed Pea Salad

But honestly my favorite highlight from our beach eats were the gorgonzola snack bites from Trader Joe’s.  CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP.
(Context:  A few weeks ago I snap chatted a picture of myself chowing down on the bites to Tim.  With the caption “can’t stop, won’t stop.”  The box was empty when he got home.  Shoot). 

For dinner we ended up at Russell House Tavern (where I went a few weeks ago with Ashley and Monique), and we ordered some small plates and pizzas for the table.  No pictures because I was not in blogger mode!

Anyways, last weekend was definitely a splurge weekend with my friends (especially with some of our late night snacks), but I tried my best to balance it out by having healthier breakfast and lunch choices prepared ahead of time.

This week has been a “week of salads” — grilled shrimp “nicoise” salad, grilled eggplant and tomato salad, Whole Foods salad, etc.  Will recap those in next week’s Weekly Eats post!

What is one snack that you associate with the phrase “can’t stop, won’t stop?!”

Happy weekend, friends!