Brunch on the Towne

My goodness, it has been a packed couple of months. So much has been going on! Travel for work, travel…travel…and more travel.

Anyway, so let’s talk brunch. It is one of my favorite things. Ever. I mean, where can you combine all the carby goodness of the most important meal of the day with a solid cocktail?! I’m not really a “breakfast” person, per say, but I LOVE breakfast foods. Just not in the 6-9am timeslot.

Not that long ago, I was able to attend a brunch at Towne Stove and Spirits in Back Bay with a bunch of other awesome people (bloggers, Yelpers, and all around great people) courtesy of Boston Brunchers, and I have to tell you I was super impressed. I’d only been to Towne for drinks before (they do those well, too), and I hadn’t ever set foot beyond the bar. I’d never set foot in the restaurant section, let alone know they have an absolutely stunning upstairs!!

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Our group got there at 11, and was seated at a huge round table (perfect for getting to know each other and scoping out what other people put on their plates!). Minus another couple, we were the only ones there (the brunch starts at 11 so we beat the crowds) so we all rushed to get some pictures in of the untouched buffets….yes, plural. They have EVERYTHING. There were carving stations, hot stations with HUGE cast iron skillets full of eggs benedict, potatoes, salmon…yum!!…an omelet station, a raw bar (yes, I helped myself to plenty of oysters), a dessert bar (we’ll come back to that), fruit selections, and – saving the best for last – a HUGE cheese bar.

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Towne was kind enough to pour us all a little prosecco and we sat down, plates full, to sip and stuff ourselves with tons of amazingness (I never said I’d be breaking out the SAT vocab here…). My first round was mostly raw and cheese bar items. Humboldt Fog and Brie spread with honeycomb… to my face.  Maybe cheese and oysters don’t seem like a natural pairing, but pshhh. Whatever. It was delicious. Round two included a waffle, eggs benedict and various other carbohydrates. Priorities.

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We all ended on the dessert bar. Ate a little bit of everything. However, the consensus was the the chocolate chip bread pudding won brunch. And rightly so. It was delicious…warm, buttery, gooey and just seriously sinful. Oy. I think I gained 5lbs just thinking about it.

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So yes, it was really delicious – however, the buffet, at $38 per guest ($14 for kids under 12) is not necessarily realistic for everyone. It was a fantastic treat (would be great for special occasions!), and if you’re considering it, I’d absolutely recommend it. I definitely ate $38 worth of food…probably in oysters and cheese alone. haha

Disclaimer: I received brunch free of charge as part of the Boston Brunchers, with the exception of gratuity. As always, all opinions are my own.

Blog post back up – Part 2: Cruisin’ and brunchin’ with Odyssey Cruises

A few weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity via Blog and Tweet Boston to hop on board the Odyssey Boston yacht and cruise around Boston Harbor all while boozin’ and brunchin’ with blogger friends (I was so tempted to say “buds” just for the alliteration…say that 5 times fast =)).

My friend Katharine and I arrived at Rowes Wharf just before noon on what was a seriously gorgeous day in Boston. We hung out, caught up (she just moved back up to Boston from Florida) and waited to board the boat.

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We joined my fellow blogger friends – Stacey, Rachel and Jen (plus, guests) – and a bunch of other bloggers and …well, tweeters… and quickly made our way to the bar. I mean c’mon what’s brunch without a little bit of booze. Champagne, anyone? We worked our way through a wedding party and made our way up to the top deck of the boat to enjoy a little sunshine and –of course – take pictures. After that we managed (not gonna lie, we struggled a bit to find where our group was) to find our way to our little section and settled in for the buffet.

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This was not a diet brunch (what fun would that be, really?). I fully embraced it and piled my plate with French toast, bacon, eggs, home fries, and my FAVORITE smoked salmon – though I was bummed that their bagels weren’t anything to write home about. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had French toast so I was a super happy (and full) camper.  They did have a bunch of lunch options (pasta, chicken, etc) but I skipped out of those in favor of a few more servings of smoked salmon. My obsession knows no bounds.

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I digress. The food was good, and it was nice to sit by the windows and watch the city roll by from the water. Boston’s just beautiful. No denying it.

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After we’d stuffed ourselves, we made our way up to the top deck where we finished out cruise out with some fun Boston facts that I never knew about (did you know they turn Castle Island into haunted houses at Halloween – one for adults, one for kids, and that Nix’s Mate isn’t just a bar in the Hilton in the Financial District but an island that “legend-has-it” they used to hang pirates off of as a “warning” to other sailors?).

Stacey, me, Rachel

Stacey, me, Rachel

Overall, I had a great afternoon cruising around Boston on an absolutely gorgeous day with awesome people. The Odyssey would be a great option for special occasions. Like I mentioned, there was even a wedding party on board when we were there, so plenty of space!!

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Just a lil’ bit of wind

Thanks to Blog & Tweet Boston and Odyssey Cruises for the complimentary ticket/meal/alcohol. While I was provided the ticket for free, in exchange for a blog post, my opinions are my own. 

Bar 10 Brunching

I’ll admit…a few…actually 4+ (yikes!)…years ago when I first started writing this blog the idea of actually *meeting* other bloggers scared the crap out of me. What if they didn’t like me? What if I was totally different than they thought I’d be? Taller? Weirder? Quieter?Louder? (I’m all of those things…haha)

What if they weren’t who I thought they were?

I mean honestly, I don’t know why…these are people who share their whole lives on the internet…I probably know more about their lives than I do about my own brother’s. Who would really “pretend” to be some girl eating overnight oats every morning? It would take a lot of effort.

But hey, weirder stuff has happened…and as a chick who probably STILL would not do online dating (I meet enough questionable people in “real life”)…the idea of meeting people from the internet is still a little…strange and I guess I’m a skeptic at heart.

“Oh look! Here’s comes my date. Met him on the internet. He’s a French model.”

I digress.

However, things have definitely changed, and now one of my favorite things about blogging in this city is the awesome people I’ve met and opportunities it’s given me. This blog is no longer chronically everything I put in my mouth, it’s about experiences – most of them out of my kitchen — though probably 80% of the photos on my phone are of food… (Hi, my name is Jil, and I take too many pictures of what I eat…)

I had the change to get together with some other bloggers and the Westin Copley’s Marketing Manager, Anna, for Derby Day brunch at Bar 10 in the Westin Copley in Back Bay. I’ve walked through the Westin a million times…my company had our National Sales Meeting there this year, the Starbucks there is always a go-to when Boylston and Newbury are jam-packed with tourists and it’s a nice *air-conditioned* cut through to the Mall at Copley Place. But…I’d never been to Bar 10. It’s tucked away beyond the main reception area, and is a lovely open space with a big bar and cozy booths.

Tracy, Jodi, Kerrie, Amy, Stellina, Stacey, Jane, Jen, Semirah and I got the chance to try some awesome eats. We got to pick our meals (crab eggs benny? yes.) and they let us try other items on the menu, like their burger, steak & eggs, hashbrowns, and they even brought Jane out little something sweet for her birthday! It was all delicious…and while definitely not discount dining…you get huge portions.

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What else?

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It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new local bloggers, writers and food lovers.

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Jen, me, Stacey

 Bar 10, it get s a thumbs up  – I devoured everything put in front of me. Self-control? Out the window. And it was a pretty stellar start to the Derby Day/Cinco de Mayo weekend. Thanks to Jen and Kerrie for organizing and Anna for having us – it was a great experience!!