Taco Bell, Plaza Las Americas, San Juan

In Plaza Las Americas we had Papas Supreme, the glorious holy grail of non-US Taco Bell’s. Since Taco Bell in the States does not offer this dish, I am so thrilled we finally got to enjoy the french fries, salsa, sour cream and taco meat concoction for $2.69. We have made Papas Supreme at home and surprisingly one of the most popular posts on the blog.

Our recipe, is much better than the in-store version, because of the pico and meat, but it was great to try something I have been yearning for and finally have it.

Crispy french fries, sour cream, salsa and meat, crunchy, creamy, savory and salty in one. We also had the cinnamon twists, some burritos and soda. I think its time to make another at home version.

Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale, Downtown Crossing, Boston

Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale is a speakeasy which serves pub fare and is located at Temple Place (the Newbury Street in the 1800’s). I have heard through the grapevine it’s a great after work place in Downtown Crossing and has great craft beer and beer on tap selection. My friend mentioned about Stoddard’s when we were dining at Rafiki Bistro and instructed I try their mussels.

The bar area is spacious, has outdoor street lighting and a cozy atmosphere. The tin lined ceiling was quite intricate and I found it interesting that Stoddard’s used to sell fine cutlery and was a retail operation selling and assortment of items from sewing machines to bait.

The front dining area features vintage undergarments and corsets once sold at Stoddard’s.

We enjoyed some Rapscallion Honey and other uniquely named beers. Indeed, Stoddard’s has a vast selection of beers.

I am a huge fan of fondues, especially beer based fondues (love Cleary’s). Stoddard’s Aged Gouda and Cask Ale Fondue made with local cask-conditioned ale was served with house made pretzels & crudité ($10). The fondue was perfect with the soft and chewy pretzels, as well with the apple, however with the zucchini and broccoli, the flavor of the fondue was too hoppy and distinctly bitter.

The Iceberg wedge was lightly grilled and slathered with bleu cheese and roasted sweet tomatoes ($8). The salad was nothing spectacular, but my friend thought it was good.

The P.E.I. mussels were amazing. The light and creamy curry sauce was nicely spiced and really enhanced the ocean flavor of the fresh mussels. I would definitely order these again and was glad my friend suggested them to me, especially paired with the house made french fries. The bread should have been a nicely toasted and buttered crostini versus the soft bread, which seemed like an after thought versus contributing ingredient. The thick slices of bread lacked texture and flavor which made me want to set them aside.

The house cut fries with aioli ($6) were nicely crisp on the exterior, tender on the interior and seasoned well. We definitely finished these off and even ate the little potato bits.

We would definitely return to Stoddard’s and try the burger, steak frites and lobster hush puppies. The tub style sink was fun to use and a unique design touch.

Stoddard's Fine Food And Ale on Urbanspoon

Huevos Estrellados

Huevos estrellados arfried eggs, sunnyside up, diced chorizo splattered over fried chips. We had them in Barcelona at Tapacs 24 and tried to replicate them ourselves with a shortcut of store bought french fries. I love how the runny egg yolk and chorizo oil creates a rich, spicy dipping sauce for the crispy french fries.

Adapted from 80 Breakfasts

Serves 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 chorizo, diced
  • 1/2 package of frozen french fries

Toast fries at 425 degrees F for 35 minutes. Heat the the pan and add the chorizo pieces and fry until nicely browned. Remove the chorizo and use the same pan with the chorizo oil to fry eggs. To assemble, lay the french fires, diced and fried chorizo on a plate, and top with the fried egg.  Serve with toasted bread or by itself.

Chorizo diced
Chorizo set aside
Frying egg in chorizo oil
Toasted french fries or one could make own homemade french fries
Huevos Estrellados

Eastern Standard, Kenmore Square, Boston

I had been to Eastern Standard for drinks and tried the cheese board a few years ago when it opened. Recently we went for dinner. The atmosphere was buzzing with people, the bar area was pretty casual and dinner was a wonderful experience. The service was gracious, warm and first class. Everyone in our group loved the well crafted cocktails, appetizers and experience.

The one item not photographed that had rave review was applewood smoked pork porterhouse, garlic mashed, grain mustard and grilled asparagus. Several folks in our group had the entree and I tried a bit as well. It was to die for.

The roasted bone marrow with gremolata and sea salt was served with toasted bread and it was creamy and had great flavor for $8.

The fried calamari was light and matched the smoked paprika aioli very well for $11.Tender pork meatballs with a light romesco sauce, leeks, green garlic cream for $11

I love fig jam and cheese and this dish was no exception. The cast iron kept the cheese melty and the sliced figs combination was unreal.

Daily charcuterie for $14My own mini charcuterie plate

A few friends had several of these Lemon fizz and exclaimed they tasted like a better lemonade. After their exclamations, I had to try it as well. The vodka, egg white, limoncello and soda had perfect balance of tart and sweetness.

I split roast beef sandwich and really enjoyed the tender slices of roast beef. The crispy onions and spicy and creamy horseradish mayo was awesome with the crispy fries ($12).

We ordered the gouda mac and cheese side and passed it around to the entire dinner party. Everyone loved the rich flavor and bubbly cheese. I particularly enjoyed the  texture of the melty gouda and toasty breadcrumb, which tasted very buttery ($10).

I also split the turkey, cheese and tomato panini sandwich and fresh fried potato chips. The sandwich was such a hearty serving I had to bring it home and have some the next day. The panini was really good toasted the next day ($12).

The market soup was tomato that evening and I really enjoy a warming tomato soup, so I ordered it. It was a bit too acidic and didn’t taste as fresh as other soups I have had elsewhere ($7). 

My friend ordered the daily special, the lobster gnocchi and meyer lemon brown butter. The gnocchi was soft and fluffy and had the infused lobster flavor, however she said she loved the applewood pork her husband had even better. I thought the gnocchi were pillowy. The sauce itself didn’t enhance the lobster nor gnocchi, which made the overall dish lackluster ($29).

We tried the hand rolled ricotta gnocchi, ragout and peccorino and the gnoochi absorbed the vegetable flavor and tasted very hearty ($18).

The chocolate hazelnut terrine with popcorn ice cream and pomegranate syrup was a must get. It tasted like kettle corn and nutella ($8).

Eastern Standard on Urbanspoon

Marseille, Hells Kitchen, New York

A few friends and I went to Marseille for brunch for steak frites, omelets and pastries several years ago.

We decided to revisit Marseille, located off of Times Square, in Hells Kitchen, for dinner. The French bistro has a relaxed, cozy atmosphere, attentive service and well executed bistro food.

I chose the 3 course prix- fixe for $35 and started my meal with some bread from the bread basket and a garden salad, bibb lettuce, hazelnuts and vinaigrette. Granted, I swapped out the mustard vinaigrette for balsamic, but the salad was a bit too simple.

Moules Frites. The mussels with white wine, garlic and tomatoes were perfect, a balanced combination of flavors.

The frites were good, crispy and lightly salted, but I have had better.

My friend raved about her fish dish. She had the grilled salmon, white and green asparagus risotto with lemon and tarragon oil. I had a bite and it was heaven, salmon tender and well cooked, risotto was light and tasty. I wish I ordered what she had.We all split the Chocolate tart, with banana fritters and salted caramel ice cream. My favorite part of the dessert were the warm fritters and caramel ice cream and wish there was more of those to aspects of the dessert.  Marseille on Urbanspoon

B. Good Burger, Back Bay, Boston

B. Good has many locations throughout Boston and Cambridge. I’ve frequented the Dartmouth Street and Newbury Street locations.

The food seems like a healthier alternative to most fast food locations and with full transparency, they list calories and nutritional information on their menu and website.

I am happy to frequent B.Good for their Turkey Burgers, seasonal shakes, and baked fries. I really enjoy their crispier fries, two versions sweet potato and regular. You can sub out fries for veggies and make it a combo with fruit or yogurt shakes for a $10 meal.

This is the buffalo turkey burger, which is juicy, the bleu cheese and buffalo has the right balance of heat and tang. The fries are crispy for baked fries. I would suggest El Guapo and there are great seasonal salads.

There are specials including the Goomba burger (swiss and mushrooms) which is to die for.

B Good on Urbanspoon

Papas Supreme (Fiesta Supreme Fries)

Taco Bell in Puerto Rico sells papas supreme or supreme fries, a tasty concoction that is basically a beef taco over french fries for $1.29. Taco Bell in the United States does sell french fries, but only at select locations. None of them, at least to our knowledge sell papas supreme.

To recreate this zesty snack or brunch item, we decided to use beef taco filling, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese smothered on top of store-bought french fries.

  • 1 bag Ore Ida Crispy Crunchies- seasoned, battered fries
  • 1 1/2 ground beef,  80% fat
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • a generous handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 2 C shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a glass dish or on a cookie sheet, arrange the frozen french fries in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

While the french fries bake, in a large skillet on medium high heat, sauté half of the onions in olive oil. Add the ground beef and stir to break up the clumps. After the beef has browned, drain the excess fat from the skillet. Add 3/4 C water and the taco seasoning. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

To prepare the pico de gallo, combine the lemon juice, tomatoes, remaining onion and cilantro in a bowl.

Once the french fries are crisp, evenly sprinkle half the shredded cheese on top. Then layer the beef taco meat on next. Dollop on the sour cream and smooth it out. Plop on the pico de gallo and finish with the remaining cheese. Pop the tray back in the oven to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.