tommy’s three: The best things I ate – week of July 17, 2016

Another week of great food has come and gone.  Not quite as incredible as the week of July 10, but nonetheless pretty amazing.  Some really good stuff didn’t make the list, including mint ice cream with Thoreos, 80 Thoreau’s take on an Oreo.  Also an entire meal at Woods Hill Table, lead by their pork rillettes, which I always love, didn’t quite get there. I made a pretty good pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, spinach, wine, and feta cheese, but it just missed out. So did a very nice steak from Grill 23 and the buffalo chicken sub from Ma Magoo’s which I always love. One meal which I expected to be much  better was my burger and fires from Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers in Harvard Square.  It used to be one of my favorite burgers, but it was average at best, a big disappointment. But why focus on what didn’t work when we have these three great experiences:

3. Peach Cobbler from Grill 23
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Who can say no to peach cobbler?  Why would you want to?  This one was a little more modern than I would like, but still had a moist, delicious cake and a ton of peach flavor. It was served with cinnamon ice cream, but I swapped that out for vanilla.  I have tried cinnamon ice cream a bunch of times and never like it, so for now it is in timeout. Maybe the best part of the dessert was the praline pecans that were very sweet and very addictive. I would have like a bowl of them, but its probably better that I didn’t have that.

2. Homemade Green Chile Chicken
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I have been making this recipe for about ten years now and it is one of my favorites.  I make it more from scratch than I did many years back.  I’m not sure it tastes any different, maybe it’s not even as good, but I like to cook from scratch so that’s what I do.  For the first time I used two jalapeños, which made it just a little spicy.  That was a nice adjustment I’m sure I will retain.  I need to share the recipe with the blog, but it is my best and I don’t know if I want everyone knowing it just yet.  Maybe it will be published posthumously.

1. Duck Confit from 80 Thoreau
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So even though the Thoreos didn’t make the list the duck did.  At first, I was disappointed because the sausage dish was off the menu, but I’m glad it it was.  It forced me to get the duck. The meat was juicy and fatty (in a good way) and the skin was crisp and salty. They serve it with lentil pancakes, rhubarb, and almond.  The whole dish is a masterpiece. Here is the crazy thing, it’s only fifteen dollars. If you want a gourmet meal on a budget, the bar at 80 Thoreau is your best bet. Plus, they have a really great staff over there so if you haven’t tried it out yet I highly recommend it.

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