Pastry Shop Guide

Ass all my lovely followers know, I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE foodie. And this semester I had to do a video project for one of my journalism classes where I chose a topic and reported about it. Naturally I decided to make it about food (because it would be really immoral to turn in a video about how much I like going to clubs). I decided to concentrate on North End dining, and while you may be thinking, she already did a post about dining in the North End in february, this time I decided to focus on all the Italian pastry shops in this lovely area. Click on my video to see what I believe are the best Italian pastry shoppes in the North End. There is even a surprise appearance by me, making it the first time you will ever hear me talking!

Bon Apetit!

Boston Christmas Events

As the weather gets colder, and the year draws to an end, most of us ‘tis the season to be naughty. This means calling in sick to work more often than were supposed to and getting drunk during our huge family gatherings. However, with the amount of Christmas events Boston’s offering this year, you might want to reconsider your highly anticipated holiday bender and actually go out and enjoy the city’s holiday cheer. From shopping, to ice skating to unusual versions of the nutcracker here is a list of events you might want to check out if you decide to get creative with your Christmas plans.

We understand you’re tired of seeing The Nutcracker every Christmas, but this year you can watch a more modern version of this classic. For the 5th consecutive year The Slutcracker will be playing at The Somerville theatre (55 Davis Sq.) and it’s a burlesque version of our beloved story except this one contains strippers instead of proper well-to-do little girls. We don’t feel we need to mention this, but The Slutcracker is most definitely not kid friendly so for those of you who still wish to enjoy The Nutcracker with your little ones, Tchaikovsky’s original ballet version of the story will be playing through Dec 31st. at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St.).

As for other Christmas shows, for three days only (Dec 26th-28th) you can get in touch with your cheesy side and go see probably the largest amount of glitter and hairspray you will ever see in your life. That’s right, this year Boston will have its own version of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular- Rockettes included!! The show will be performed at the Citi Performing Arts Center (270 Tremont Street) so even if you are stuck in Boston for the holidays, you can feel almost as if you had a vacation in New York (right). Given we are on the subject of cheesy, you can also head to Symphony Hall (301 Massachusetts Av.) and check out the Boston Pops holiday special, which plays through Dec. 26th and features a special appearance by none other than Saint Nick himself.

Now we assume after seeing the old bearded guy, you would get in the mood for some Christmas shopping. What better place to do so than in the SOWA Holiday Market (74 Union Park St.), which is the Christmas version of the famous SOWA open market and features more than 80 local artisans and designers. Think of it as a two for one deal, not only will you get amazing gifts for you and your loved ones, but you will also be helping the local economy grow! Happy Holidays to all our loyal readers. DWN.

The Unmarked Door

When one walks through the North End-specifically Hanover street- it is impossible not to get distracted with the amount of restaurants, bars and pastry shops the neighborhood has to offer. It’s hard to believe that a place so small (is less than 1 sq mile big) can offer so many sources of entertainment. One particularly charming thing about this neighborhood is its European-style coffeehouses, where you buy your coffee and actually sit down to drink it. Does this not sound like a marvelous idea? Well in the north end you can find a wide range of cafes to do that, including the famous Caffe Vittoria (290 Hanover street) which was the first Italian coffee house to open in Boston.

However, before serving the best espresso in Boston, Caffe Vittoria was prohibition era’s biggest and most important speakeasy in the city. Here, for the nifty price of $2000, you could buy a key that represented a membership to the place. This gave you the right to booze and debate with your fellow members til’ the sun came up. Now how exactly did Caffe Vittoria work during prohibition? Well Stanza dei Sigari once used to be a part of Caffe Vittoria, and its members would walk in through the espresso bar and go through a narrow set of stairs to the basement of Sigari, which served as the Caffe’s speakeasy. Even today, when you visit Sigari you can see that it has multiple hidden exits that served as escape ways in case the police ever raided the place.

Although it is no longer prohibition and one can drink freely, both Caffe Vittoria and Stanza dei Sigari continue to exist. Caffe Vittoria is not one of Boston’s most popular coffeehouses which is really popular among local politicians, and Stanza dei Sigari is an cigar bar and one of the few places in Boston where you can still smoke indoors.

Hungry? There’s an App for that!

It seems like the popularity of food trucks and the love of street food is growing at a lightning bolt pace here in Boston. Every week we hear of a new food truck that has just opened its doors (or started its engines?) and is traveling around the city. What used to be reserved only for hot dogs and fast street food has now become a fad  that compiles a wide variety of foods ranging from  breakfast foods to health foods to a good old fashioned lobster roll (Lobsta Love anyone?) and even food trucks devoted exclusively to dessert.

 However time is scarce and no one wants to eat at a food truck that is out of the way, or waste time looking them up on Google. And since they are constantly moving around, you can only follow so many food trucks on twitter to know where they are located at that day. So in a city as fast paced as this one, how does one keep up with the locations of the aforementioned trucks? Well in a place where smart phones seem to be more of a necessity than a luxury, you can now download an app that allows you to follow your favorite and not so favorite food trucks around the city.

This app is called “Boston Street Food” and what it does is that it pinpoints your location and displays all the food trucks that are around your area. They are displayed either on your phone’s Google map or in a list format ordered either alphabetically or in order of which one is closer to you at the moment. But that’s not all, if you are especially fond of a certain truck you can click on it on your map and it will tell you where it will be parking within the next five days and, its hours of operation as well. If you are absolutely and madly in love with that truck you can also rate it for other people to see how much you love it. If you are a fan of trying new things this app also gives a detailed description of what each food truck serves and how other users have rated their food. So now you won’t only have a variety of gourmet food driven to a street close to you, but you will be able to “follow” them around from the comfort of your phone.

New York vs. Paris

Anyone and everyone who knows me knows that New York City is the love of my life. However I have always had an affair with Paris. In this little video you can see an animated comparison between my love and my lover. Who knows, maybe you too will fall in love with the bright lights of these big cities.

NY vs. Paris

Video Brought to you by Buzzfeed

TRADITION

(I don’t mean to offend anyone with the following joke)

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Dear Egyptians of the Arab Spring,

Careful with the Pyramids, we will not rebuild.

Sincerely,

The Jews.

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I’m not a fan of soup, I only eat the Matzo Balls.

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Usually during Shabbat you light two candles. However my family has a tradition where we light a third one for those who are no longer with us.

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Believe it or not this dessert is kosher for Passover.

In search of NY’s best burger

In search of Ny’s Best Burger

In case you got lost in translation, here’s the English version of our article about NY’s Best burger!

Most New Yorkers love to eat, and many call themselves “foodies.” In this city you can find pretty much any type of cuisine from any part of the world and for every type of palled. However there are certain dishes that have become gastronomic icons of this city. One good example of this is the Hamburger.

Restaurant critics have argued endlessly about who makes New York’s best burger and no one seems to agree on a single one. I can assure you there is now New Yorker that doesn’t have his o her favorite burger joint. You cannot consider yourself a native of this city without claiming which one is your own.

Here at INstanative we have dedicated ourselves to rounding up what we believe are the top burgers of this city!

Time Out, Best Burgers 2012

Back Forty 190 Avenue B # 1, New York, NY‎ – (212) 388-1990‎
Market Table 54 Carmine Street New York, NY 10014- (212) 255-2100
Petey’s Burger 30-17 30th Avenue, ASTORIA, NY‎ – (718) 267-6300‎
Corner Bistro 331 West 4th Street, New York, NY‎ – (212) 242-9502‎
Paul’s 131 2nd Avenue, New York, NY‎ – (212) 529-3033‎

Zagat Guide, Best Burgers 2012

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien 119 W. 56th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Aves.) 212-708-7414
B&B 25 W. Houston St. (bet. Greene & Mercer Sts.) 212-334-7320
DuMont/DuMont Burger 314 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; 718-384-6127
Bare Burger 33-21 31st Ave. (34th St.) 718-777-7011
Corner Bistro 331 W. Fourth St.; 212-242-9502

According to us:

The Spotted Pig

This gastro pub is perfect for after-work drinks or to unwind after a long day of exploring the city. Around 5 o’clock the bar fills up and that’s when the good stuff happens. It’s really hard to find reservations here, however if you arrive early or during lunchtime you are likely to find a seat. The burger here comes with Roquefort cheese and French fries and the bread is soft but toasty. Don’t be surprised if you become addicted!!

314 W 11th St at Greenwich St (212-620-0393). Price: $17.

DBGB

There’s three types of burgers here: the “Yankee” the “Piggie” and the “Frenchie.” The three of them are delicious in their unique way and prepared with the finest meat. DBGB is the more casual Daniel Bouloud restaurant and it is considered a hybrid between a French “brasserie” and an American pub.

Price $11-17

Minetta Tavern

This tavern isn’t your typical “burger joint” but more like the New York version of a French Bistrot. Its style is very “downtown chic” which makes it a perfect place to see and be seen. Its food is very good but the hamburger is outstanding. Price $17-$26

113 MacDougal Street New York, NY 10012-1201 (212) 475-3850

En búsqueda de la mejor hamburguesa en Nueva York


Los neoyorquinos aman sus restaurantes y la mayoría se hacen llamar “foodies”
En esta ciudad puedes conseguir cualquier tipo de comida, no importa la nacionalidad o tus restricciones dietéticas, aquí hay algo para cada quien. Sin embargo, hay ciertos platos “básicos” que se han convertido en iconos gastronómicos de Nueva York. Por ejemplo, las pizzas, los cupcakes y las hamburguesas…
Las discusiones con los locales sobre donde conseguir la mejor hamburguesa puede fácilmente terminar el pelea. Y no hay neoyorquino que no tenga un lugar favorito. Hacer un recorrido por los “Top Burger joints” son visitas obligadas en cualquiera que quiera ser un local.
Esta semana, nos hemos dedicado a devorar hamburguesas, y a leer decenas de reseñas. Aquí esta un resumen. Buen provecho!

Time Out, Best Burgers 2012
Back Forty 190 Avenue B # 1, New York, NY‎ – (212) 388-1990‎
Market Table 54 Carmine Street New York, NY 10014- (212) 255-2100
Petey’s Burger 30-17 30th Avenue, ASTORIA, NY‎ – (718) 267-6300‎
Corner Bistro 331 West 4th Street, New York, NY‎ – (212) 242-9502‎
Paul’s 131 2nd Avenue, New York, NY‎ – (212) 529-3033‎

Zagat Guide, Best Burgers 2012
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien 119 W. 56th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Aves.) 212-708-7414
B&B 25 W. Houston St. (bet. Greene & Mercer Sts.) 212-334-7320
DuMont/DuMont Burger 314 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; 718-384-6127
Bare Burger 33-21 31st Ave. (34th St.) 718-777-7011
Corner Bistro 331 W. Fourth St.; 212-242-9502

Insta Native
The Spotted Pig
Este gastropub es un lugar perfecto para tomarse un trago a la salida del trabajo, o luego de un día de turismo en la ciudad. A partir de las 5 de la tarde, el bar se llena y empieza la fiesta. Es muy difícil conseguir reservación, pero si llegas temprano, o a la hora del almuerzo no deberías tener problemas. La hamburguesa viene con queso Roquefort y papitas y el pan es suave, pero tostadito. Es fácil convertirse en un adicto!
314 W 11th St at Greenwich St (212-620-0393). Precio: $17.

DBGBs 
Hay tres tipos de hamburguesas: la “Yankee” la “Piggie” y la “Frenchie.” Todas deliciosas y preparadas con carne de primera calidad. DBGSs es el restaurante del galardonado chef Daniel Boulud donde se unen la sofisticación de una brasserie francesa y la informalidad de una taberna americana.
Precio: $11-$17

Minetta Tavern
Esta “taberna” no es un típico “burger join” es más bien un bistro francés “neoyorquinizado”. Tiene un estilo “downtown chic”, un lugar para ver y dejarse ser. En general la comida es muy sabrosa, pero la hamburguesa es de lo mejor. Precio $17-$26
113 MacDougal Street New York, NY 10012-1201 (212) 475-3850

Rosa Mexicano

Isn’t it great to re visit a place from your past and realize its just as good as you remembered it? it also makes you wonder why you stopped going in the first place.

That happened to me this weekend during my visit to NY. I went to one of my old favorites, Rosa Mexicano (61 Columbus Avenue, New York NY 10023) and was happy to find out that it is still every bit as good as when I was an habituee there.

Rosa Mexicano is very casual yet it has a very lively ambiance. It opens late so its good for groups and after theater dining. Their guacamole is by far one of the best i’ve ever tried (no really! its amazing) and their unmissable dish is of course the beef short ribs.

Paris Nightlife for the American Tourist

When people think about visiting Paris they usually think about going to museums, art exhibits and shopping. But they don’t imagine that Paris is one of the European cities with the most amazing nightlife.  According to the World Tourism Organization, Paris receives 45 million tourists each year, 60% of whom are between the ages of 18 and 25. Between the amount of young tourists this city receives and the variety of nightclubs and bars you can find, Paris turns in to a very fun place after dark.  I was one of those who chose to visit Paris and quickly discovered how amazing Paris by night can be.

When visiting Paris don’t be surprised if you encounter a new and different culture. French people are very different from Americans. They drink wine with every meal, close their stores and restaurants for naptime and eat cheese for dessert. The same goes for French nightlife, going out in Paris is very different from going out in America. Parisians love techno music and dress up to go out. This can be very fun, but after a while you can grow tired of such a different lifestyle. With the amount of young international people you find in Paris you don’t have to limit yourself to French nightlife. There is a wide variety of bars and restaurants oriented towards foreigners, including Americans!  If you are an American tourist in Paris and find yourself in need of a little piece of home, these are the places that you should check out.

American oriented restaurants:

Bound: If you are looking for beautiful people and tiny portions of food, you have come to the right place. Located in the very glamorous rue George V, is this posh decorated restaurant. In here you will find a great variety of people from all over the world, and hear almost every language you can imagine except for French. The cuisine is French- Asian fusion, meaning the menu consists of anything from steak tartar to sushi. If you plan on going there I recommend you dress up a notch- no shorts or flip flops- since they can turn you down for being underdressed. This place is so American oriented that even the menus are in English! By the end of the night you won’t know if you’re in Paris or in New York. Bound: 49 avenue George V 75008 / 0153678460

Kong: After appearing in an episode of Sex and the City, this restaurant has become a Parisian landmark that no American can miss. Located on the 5th floor of the Kenzo building, it’s an excellent place to dine with a view of The Seine River. Its elegant Philippe Starck decor gives this place a modern elegance that surprisingly matches the classic Parisian view. The food is also Asian-French fusion but the portions are larger than in Bound. Prices range from 30 to 40 Euros per person and the dress code is business-casual. Kong restaurant: 1 rue du Pont Neuf 75001/ 0140390900.

The Pershing Hall: If models and celebrities are your thing then this is the place for you. It is located in the indoor patio of a hotel that goes by the same name. This celebrity hot spot is where both tourists and locals come to get a bit of stars in their eyes. Prices range from 50 to 70 Euros per person so if you don’t feel like spending the fortune it costs to dine here; the bar is also a very popular spot to visit. The food is your traditional French cuisine. In this menu you will find a variety of seafood and French dishes such as escargots (snails) but the portions are so small you need a magnifying glass to find your meal. The attire is casual, meaning you will not get turned down if you go in jeans but most people wear outfits you would see in a fashion show to go there. The Pershing Hall: 49 rue Pierre Charron 75008/ 0158365800

American oriented bars:

The Frog and the Princess: When you walk in to the Frog and the Princess you’ll immediately feel like you have been transported to your local American college bar where they sell draft beer and lots of college style shots such as Jaeger bombs. The music is the same that you would hear if you turned on an American radio station, some nights they even play football and basketball games on the TV’s. Located in the very hip neighborhood of Saint Germain, it’s a great bar to chill out with some friends and have a few drinks. There is no dress code and prices range from 1 Euro for a shot to 4 Euros for a drink. The Frog and the Princess: 9 rue Princesse 75006/ 0140517738

Latin Corner: This bar is not recommended for people who are disturbed by male waiters walking around in their underwear or lamps that have bras hanging from them. But if this doesn’t bother you, then Latin Corner is a great bar to have some drinks while listening to Latin music. Located on the famous rue de la Huchette, this bar is a Parisian must-see. It’s crazy décor and sexy waiters have made it one of Paris’s most famous spots. It’s oriented mostly towards girls, but guys too, can enjoy themselves at this bar. There is no dress code and prices are 12 Euros for a drink. Latin corner: 27 rue de la Huchette 75005.

Dogstar: If you are the kind of person that enjoys smoking Hookah while watching your favorite sports, then this is the place for you. It’s decorated like an American sports bar with booths and sports posters. The people who come here are mainly Americans wishing to watch basketball games or other sports. The attire is jeans and the prices are about 6 Euros for a beer. If drinking is not your thing they also have great hamburgers here! Dogstar: 122 rue de la Boetie 75008 / 0142251060

American oriented nightclubs

Queen club: Located on the famous Avenue de Champs-Elysees “Queen” is the oldest most famous nightclub in Paris. As its name suggests, this club is oriented mainly towards gay people, yet it has a strong appeal towards Americans. You’ll actually find more straight Americans in this nightclub than Parisian homosexuals. Its resident DJ’s include: Ofer Nissim, Paul Van Dyk and none other than David Guetta. The attire is jeans except for Wednesdays, which is ladies night and people dress up more. Queen Club: 102 Avenue des Champs-Elysées 75008 / 0153890890

VIP Room Theatre: This movie theatre turned nightclub is one of the hottest and trendiest spots in all of Paris. This club is filled American celebrities and A-listers. It’s a good place to run into celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan or Akon. Since Parisians see this place as snobbish and flashy they avoid it at all costs. The music is a variety of hip-hop, dance and techno which is a nice change from the electronic music they play in all the other French clubs. The attire is semi formal meaning girls go in dresses and heels and guys are not allowed to enter in jeans. The prices are as high as they come, about 20 Euros for a single drink. VIP room theatre: 188 rue de Rivoli 75001/ 0142325002

Le Cab: It’s considered on of Paris’s most fashionable club. Its hip-hop music and Carousel du Louvre location make it a very attractive spot for American tourists. It might be considered a less fancy version of VIP room but this doesn’t mean the parties that go on in here aren’t every bit as great. The crowd is mainly international, the attire is fashionable and chic and the prices are 25 Euros as a cover charge and 10 Euros a drink. This is my personal favorite nightclub in all of Paris. Le cab: 2 place du Palais Royale 75001/ 0158625625

The morning after:

After a long night of partying you might wake up hungry. If you wake up craving an all American breakfast consisting of pancakes, eggs Benedict or waffles, Coffee Parisien is the place to go. Located right across the Frog and the Princess, this restaurant serves nothing but American food. Although the name says otherwise this is as close as one can get to an all American diner. Coffee Parisien: 4 rue Princesse 75005/ 0143541818.