By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
Thanksgiving is the one time of year when you can eat as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. Naturally, it’s one of my favorite holidays. There’s so much to choose from at Thanksgiving dinner; from turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing to arroz con gandules, ensalada de papa and jamon…well, I grew up in Miami, so that’s my tradition #fakehispanic.
But at the end of the night with two (or maybe three) helpings, don’t you just feel like going into a food coma? We tend to blame it on the turkey because that’s our tradition too. Eat lots of turkey and then blame our sleepiness on eating so much of it. What if I told you that our tradition of accusing the turkey for our “after-dinner hibernation” is just a myth? I know, mind blown.
Now, before you go crazy like a headless turkey, just remember, I’m helping you out because who wants to miss out on the main course? So eating turkey can make you sleepy, but so can other types of meat like chicken or beef. Turkey has this amino acid called tryptophan, which our bodies use to build proteins and help us function properly. It’s used to make serotonin, which is a chemical that affects our sleeping patterns. So, we’ve found the culprit, right?
Actually, no. Remember, lots of foods we eat contain tryptophan, other than meat, like eggs, fish, soy and spinach and I certainly don’t feel like dropping into a deep sleep eating tilapia. What makes eating turkey on Thanksgiving any different?
Well, on top of turkey, we’re eating a lot of carbs, which triggers a release of insulin. These carbohydrates give us a higher amount of insulin than normal and with all the pumpkin pies, Snickerdoodles and pudding, we’re probably getting the highest levels of insulin we’re had all year.
The increase in insulin is important because insulin helps amino acids to cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus, we get a rise in serotonin and melatonin in our brain. Because these both regulate sleep, we’re at a higher risk of getting a food baby and knocking out. Eating a lot can make you tired too, just saying. The real culprit isn’t turkey or tryptophan, it’s insulin (dun dun dun).
I know, you feel betrayed and think that there’s no way to escape a food coma, so just give in. Unbutton your pants one notch, take a nap if needed and go back for dessert, because who wants to miss out on the one day a year where you can eat lots of turkey and gravy and top it off with the best dessert ever, flan (if you’re in Miami).
If you still feel like you’ve been jipped since you can’t call out the turkey anymore, don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s gotten tricked. Charlie Brown feels the same way about tradition, but while you’re watching, sit back, put a pillow over your stomach (and welcome that food baby), while you have another piece of pie, just for kicks
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
The North End: a tiny slice of Europe just a T ride away. You know it’s there, but the appeal of delivery and the unwillingness you have to get out of bed keep you from actually spending the $2 to visit Boston’s Little Italy.
The North End is actually a college student’s best friend. With delicious food at this price, you’ll never order Domino’s again. Or maybe you will but either way here’s our quick-and-dirty guide to eating cheap in the North End:
GET A LOAF OF BREAD: Bricco’s Panetteria
Hidden in an alleyway off Hanover Street, Bricco’s bakery serves up the best baguette in the North End. Crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside, still-warm-and-toasty bread is yours for under three dollars, and you know it’s fresh — you can see that heavenly ciabatta coming out of those fire-burning ovens as you order.
DRINK SOME COFFEE: Caffe Dello Sport
Caffe Dello Sport is one of the secret gems of the North End, with straight-from-scratch cocoa you can see those beautiful servers shave straight into your mocha. Make sure to visit Caffe Dello Sport on a game day (Italia, obviously) — the place is crawling with locals and it’s quite the scene. Grab a latte or a drink and enjoy that classic Italian American Ambiance.
EAT A CANNOLI (and not the one you think): Maria’s Pastry
Everyone’s heard of Mike’s Pastry. The line stretches around the corner, and the cannolis are good – but not worth an hour out of your day. Modern, down the street, now boasts a line that rivals Mike’s as the official Mike’s replacement. Maria’s, which rests on the edge of the North End, makes a chocolate-dipped cannoli that might beat Mike’s without the wait. And come December, don’t forget to pick up a homemade Panettone, an Italian Christmas tradition.
TREAT YO’SELF (and don’t break the bank): Giacomo’s Ristorante
Giacomo’s almost always has a line, but if you suck it up and eat like a grandma (as in, at 4 p.m.), you can get into Giacomo’s with little-to-no wait time, and trust me: it’s worth it. At $16 a plate, you get more than enough of the most refined, silky, homemade lobster raviolis in a garlic cream sauce I dream about at night. Not to mention, all bottles of wine are $18 — and you can take those suckers home with you after the meal.
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
If you think you know Boston, think again.
Last year, I participated in Boston University’s annual Amazing Race, which is based off of the CBS reality television show of the same name. The event was exactly what it sounds like: one massive scavenger hunt and a race against time to find clues leading to a certain destination, and sometimes even completing tasks at those destinations to receive the next clue. The last team to arrive gets eliminated.
I was one of eight people that made up a team representing my favorite club, the Boston University Filipino Student Association. I was excited beyond belief to run around this amazing city we call home and (hopefully) earn a monetary prize for my club. But, there were some things I wish I had known beforehand – and that’s where I extend my knowledge onto you.
This year’s race will be held on Nov. 16. Here are some helpful tips and tricks on what to expect:
- Brush up on knowledge about Boston and the neighborhoods within it; bring maps and guidebooks if you can. These are vital, since all cellphones and electronic devices will be taken away the morning of the race. Having some sort of prior knowledge beforehand or a few resources you can turn to during the race will save you precious time! Be prepared to approach total strangers for help as well.
- Get a day pass for the T. You’ll be running all over the city, so you might as well save some money while you’re at it. A 1-Day Pass costs $11.00 and gives you unlimited travel on the MBTA. I highly recommend purchasing one before the day of the race.
- Bundle up – wear layers! Boston weather is highly unpredictable and you’re bound to get hot and sweaty at some point. Be comfortable but practical.
- Bring a small, light drawstring bag or backpack with you. Bring a small supply of snacks to keep you energized throughout the day (granola bars, fruit, etc.) and maybe a water bottle or two. You can also stash your guidebooks and maps in here! A couple of Band-Aids or a small first-aid kit never hurts, either.
- Get a decent amount of sleep the night before. Pretty self-explanatory. You’ll need all the energy you can get, so rest up!
And last but not least, expect to have fun and make a handful of memories!
Some of the most memorable tasks we had to do last year in order to receive the next clue included acting out a scene from a Shakespearean play, walking into an antique store and asking someone to draw a portrait of one of our team members, and making a cheer for one of Boston’s many sports teams at the TD Garden.
Last year, I only got four hours of sleep the night before, wore horrible shoes and sprained my ankle while my team sprinted to get to the next clue. Talk about a major fail on my part. But with the help of my teammates and at least a dozen piggyback rides later, we were able to finish at a decent time before getting eliminated.
To those of you participating in this year’s Amazing Race, I wish you the best of luck.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
The gorgeous marbled floors and beautiful outside facade should be enough to reel any passersby inside the Hillel House at Boston University. But if the architecture isn’t reason enough to get you to step inside Hillel, I’ll give you one now: free Friday night dinners.
That’s right folks, for those of you who don’t have an unlimited meal plan or just want a break from the dining hall food, you get a chance every week to meet some new people and enjoy a tasty, feels-like-home-cooked meal.
In order to claim your wonderful Hillel dining experience, the first thing you gotta do is secure a meal ticket. All it takes is a few minutes to sign yourself up on the BU Hillel website and you’re set.
After signing myself up, I waited for Friday to finally come around. Religious services started at 6 p.m. and went on for about an hour and a half. Afterwards, everyone made their way to the third floor of the Hillel house.
The dining room layout was almost like a wedding: round tables with seats surrounding them with dinner rolls and grape juice (mimicking wine) as the centerpiece. Once everyone was settled, someone came out and said grace, or Kiddush, and the meal was finally open.
Our first food option was matzah ball soup. What’s matzah ball soup, you say? It’s a broth based soup, usually with carrots and celery, which also consists of dozens of fluffy soft balls made from ground up matzah and spices. They become so delicate from sitting inside the soup and soaking up all the juices and spices, which makes for a delicious and hearty appetizer. That, accompanied with challah, an eggy, sweet bread, made this meal like one from my grandmother’s house.
After the soup and bread, there was much more to come: salad, brisket, chicken, vegetable medleys and roasted potatoes were all delivered to each table to make up the bulk of our meals. The food was absolutely scrumptious and it felt like a huge shift from what I’m used to having at Warren.
In addition to the wonderful food, the atmosphere of the dinner was great. Everyone was talking to each other and it felt very comforting being in a place with so many friendly people. Jews and non-Jews alike attended the festive meal, enforcing BU’s emphasis on diversity and learning about new cultures and people.
Though I can’t fly down to Houston on Friday nights to eat a family dinner, it feels nice to find a place where I can still feel comfortable with my new family in Boston.
By Abbie Lin, Staff Writer
An excerpt from Eatabl: “This was no ordinary lobster roll. The vessel was a cross between a traditional hot dog bun and a steamed asian bao – it was lush and malleable and held in its arms all of that precious, succulent lobster meat. The lobster was topped with a brown butter vinaigrette (!) and petite scallion shards.”
To read more about The Maine Event click here.
By Erica Schwartz
Magazines manipulate us into believing that fad diets are an easy and simple way for weight loss and that, “after only a short three weeks,” we’ll look just as good as Victoria Secret’s model, Miranda Kerr, who claims to have done the same diet on their ad campaign. Not so fast!
While looking skinny is most peoples’ priority with losing weight, getting healthy is actually the most important. Fad diets defeat that purpose. If anything, those quick and effortless diets are so “quick” and “effortless” because they are not long-term.
I know a number of people who have turned to ridiculous diets and lost some weight by pretty much depriving themselves of any real food. However, after the weight loss, they went back to eating and working out in the same routine as they had done beforehand. As a result, they gained all the weight back. Unfortunately, most gain even more weight back.
It happens mostly for two reasons. One: they had missed their diabetes-inducing junk foods so much during those three weeks of eating cardboard, that they later overdid it. Two: their body got accustomed to the dramatically lower calorie intake, so bouncing back confused the body and resulted with it wanting to hold onto those foods more afterwards.
Fad diets are popular because they are short and require no determination. Most people don’t want to put in the work of going to the gym or skipping a nighttime binge.
This old mindset reappears when avoiding the gym during winter because it’s not bikini season or while eating one pound of cookie dough ice cream while watching White Chicks (yes, these have actually happened to me).
Fad diets don’t make you feel healthy and they surely don’t make you feel like you accomplished anything. That’s why I like to call my everyday health and fitness routine a “lifestyle change” and not a “diet.”
Could you eat one triple bacon cheeseburger, one order of fries, one root beer and one eight-scoop super sundae in 30 minutes or less? On Tuesday, three Boston University students representing different groups on campus took on the feast known as Rhett’s Challenge. Former managing editor and current men’s hockey writer Tim Healey stepped up to the plate, or more appropriately the tray, to represent the FreeP. Watch the video to find out if Tim succeeds.
By Heather Hamacek, Staff Writer
Cupcakes are delicious; there is no denying that. Probably because they’re miniature cakes! Everything tastes better when it is miniature. Treat Cupcake Bar, which recently opened a location in Chestnut Hill, knew exactly how to take a cupcake shop to the next level. The customer becomes part of the experience at Treat’s make-your-own-cupcake bar, where customers are able to mix three toppings of their choice to create a custom frosting, much like Cold Stone Creamery. The custom-made frosting then tops a cupcake of the customer’s choosing.
Not only do the customers get control of the components of the cupcake, they can even do the mixing themselves if they want! Customers then get a naked cupcake, a cup of frosting and their three chosen toppings to mix in and design.
“Treat is focusing on the fact that everyone loves cupcakes. Our initial branding was more kid-oriented,” said Adie Sprague, head baker and general manager. “A lot of cupcake stores target adults with nostalgia, [but] we went right [back] to the beginning. It doesn’t have to have a nostalgic vibe, it [cupcakes] can just be fun.”
Treat mixes a fun activity along with a delicious treat, making it an excellent place to visit after dinner or on a date. The pre-made cupcake flavors are quite ingenious, ranging from Fluffernutter to seasonal treats, like Sprague’s favorite, Blueberry Pancakes.
Treat caters in addition to having a café. It has two locations currently, the new shop at The Street— an outdoor collection of shops and eateries in Chestnut Hill— and the original shop is based in Needham.
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, MUSE Editor
There’s a tiny foodie mecca hidden across the bay, a five- to ten-minute walk from South Station. Perhaps you’ve seen it on a visit to the ICA or the Atlantic Wharf. It’s a bizarre contrast between modern Los Angeles glass and classic Boston brick architecture: the waterside docks perfect for a quick dip of the toes, the restaurants for miles, indie gourmet groceries and Asian-fusion small plates.
Also known as the Innovative District, Fort Point has been exploding with new restaurants. In March alone, three different food vendors opened in the area, alongside half of Barbara Lynch’s tiny empire (Sportello, Menton and Drink). Here’s your quick guide to eating your way through Fort Point:
Blue Dragon: Ming Tsai’s Asian Small Plates are a hit since opening earlier this year. His second restaurant, Tsai, keeps his atmosphere casual and fun, with tasty Asian twists on classic gastropub fare.
CHECK OUT: The escargot, dan dan noodles, shepard’s pie, and the Dragon burger
Tavern Road: This modern edition to “Restaurant Row” (Congress St., over the river) serves cool small(ish) plates late at night, with a very young atmosphere and innovative menu.
CHECK OUT: The moulard duck, grilled octopus, and the gnocchi
Sportello: Barbara Lynch’s take on a diner. This “Italian lunch counter” serves sandwiches and homemade pastas that will make your head spin.
CHECK OUT: The gnocchi, the spicy tomato soup, and the sweetbreads
Bee’s Knees: This gourmet grocery opened last month, and we’re so glad. Bee’s Knees offers a wide variety of locally and internationally sourced cheese, produce, wine, and other food items that are sure to make any foodie smile.
CHECK OUT: The cheese selection, the café
Flour: Almost everyone knows and loves Joanne Chang’s popular indie bakery, but most of them didn’t know it was located in this tiny foodie paradise.
CHECK OUT: “Pop Tarts”, sandwiches, and sticky buns
COMING SOON: Row 34, Pastoral
By Danielle Focarile, Staff Writer
Let me ask you a rhetorical question: why are you so delicious? I know I’ll never receive an answer from you, so let me tell you my theory. You are the perfect balance of creamy, fresh and bright. You are good on a sandwich, on salad or as a dip. You are as versatile as you are tasty. With you, I can make flavorful guacamole or a healthy and smooth pesto. Whether a Haas, Reed or Fuerte, your smooth green goodness makes any dish better.
It saddens me that your silky and rich flesh is only in-season during the spring (so I will have to stock up now). It makes no difference to me if you are from the East Coast (Florida) or the West Coast (California); any coast that has you is the best coast.
Are you a fruit or a vegetable? Does it really matter? Avocado and bacon, avocado and crab, avocado and corn are some of my favorite ways to eat you. Not only are you yummy and good for my health – as you are filled with Omega-3’s – but you also have magical effects to make hair shiny and face smooth.
So, even as the spring comes to an end and the warm temperatures of summer rolls in, just know that I am waiting to see you at Shaw’s next year.
An Avocado Enthusiast