Typically, I am in the Allston area to spend time with a few friends who live in the area or to enjoy Korean fried chicken (Bonchon), hot pot, Vietnamese food or shop at 88 Supermarket. I recently attended a blogger luncheon at The Common Ground, which was purchased by Bob O’Guin.
After crossing the intersection of Brighton and Harvard Ave, I spotted the gastropub. The green holiday wreath and garlands were very festive and I could not miss the bold silver signage.
We were greeted by our warm hosts, Nancy, Mia and Bob, the owner of The Common Ground. It was refreshing to meet non-food bloggers in the education space and a few food bloggers Sam and Beth, who I have seen around at Boston Brunchers events.
I have never been to The Common Ground before and several bloggers mentioned when they had been a few years back the clientele was a rowdy bunch. Under new leadership the warm interior, the reasonably priced food and 15 beers on tap are certain to draw a relaxed community to meet at The Common Ground.
What also caught my eye was the themed nights and I now know that Monday nights are Trivia Night from 8pm – 10pm and Friday Night is 90′s Night from 10pm to 2am.
The bartender was super friendly as he was providing drinks for bloggers. There are a lot of beers on tap at the bar, including DogFish-90 Min, WoodChuck Cider, Stone IPA, SmuttyNose Pale and Black Hops.
My lunch tasting included a smörgåsbord of the grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cuban sandwich, beef skewer, beet salad and a ramekin of chowder.
The Margarita Chicken Skewers and Marinated Beef Skewers (each $5) were tender and well marinated. The soft mac and cheese ($10) was very creamy from the three cheeses and I liked the flavor from the peas and country ham.
The light chowder broth was really tasty, chock full of Wellfleet clams, smoked bacon, potatoes and fresh herbs. One of my favorite aspects of the luncheon was enjoying the chowder with a bite of the grilled cheese, which has both American and cheddar cheese inside.
Although I do not eat deviled eggs, I tried the house made bacon which was nestled on top the egg. The chunk of bacon had a perfect ratio of little bit of skin, rendered fat and salty meat. Chef Jaime Suarez, originally from Colombia, is credited for making sure the Cuban made the menu and the very popular duck salad (dried cranberries, green apples, maple vinaigrette, balsamic glaze for $9).
At the end of the luncheon, there were a few lucky winners of some beer glasses and each blogger was generously presented with a t-shirt and gift card. Along with Sam and the B’s, Brittany (holding up her beer glass raffle win) and Beth, we chatted about our holiday and New Years plans, recent travels adventures and trends in the mobile payment technology.
I also had the opportunity to solicit pocket camera suggestions from the amazing photographer and blogger, Justin Ide. While Justin had a very professional camera with a proper lens, hopefully Santa surprises me with a Canon S100 or S95 for my novice uses.
I can not reiterate enough how much I enjoyed the Beet and Feta Salad ($8) peppered with feta, candied almonds. The interplay between the saltiness of the feta, sugary crunch and buttery flavor of the almonds and sweetness of the maple dressing was fantastic.
As I left the bar, I noticed on the side of the building a painted lettering indicating that there is a patio out back. Thanks again Nancy, Mia and Bob for your hospitality. I will be sure to return to check out the crowd for trivia night or the patio and try the tater tots, disco fries and tomato soup.