The statements made on this website are the personal opinions of Laura and Diane. If we feel that a restaurant visit is not up to par, please remember it is our opinion. If you disagree with us, feel free to write us at info@newenglandbites.com.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Best Of: Food Pictures

To whet your appetite and make you go mmm ...


                                   CHOURICO & CHIP DINNER

CACOULA SANDWICH / red peppers




BIFE a REGIONAL (Portuguese steak plate )

FILETES a LUSITANO ( spicy scrod plate )






BAKED STUFFED SOLE /seafood stuffing

PECAN CHICKEN / butternut squash ravioli





So, are you hungry yet?  Want to get even hungrier?  Visit our friends at MENUJOY for a great list of area restaurant menus.  To learn more about any of these meals, just click on their restaurant links.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bite of the Week - Antonio's Pickled Onions

ONIONS , WATER , VINEGAR , SALT , SPICES AND SODIUM METABISULFITE ( what ? ) , those are the entire ingredients in a jar of ANTONIO'S PICKLED ONIONS . That's it , 6 ingredients . And that's always good .

These things have been around in our area for ages . And we've been buying them for years . As a matter of fact BABY LAURA ( who's now almost 32 ) used to cry for them while stuck in her high-chair at the dinner table . You couldn't imagine the face of a 2 yr. old chomping down and licking a pickled onion . Hilarious , but I couldn't get it away from her . She LOVED them ! And she still does .

I got a 16oz. jar at STOP&SHOP for only $ 1.99 on sale ( regularly $ 2.79 ) .Quite the bargain . Plus they're packed by LISBON in near-by New Bedford , Ma.

They make a great addition to any table or menu when you want to add a spicy bite to your meals . Use these in place of pickles or olives for a different crunch with sandwiches . Or pack them in your picnic basket for a tangy treat . As for their taste , take it away Laura ........

VERDICT : I really don't know how to describe it.  Mom's description is very accurate, however, nothing can prepare you for the taste.  It's a very sharp bite and if you're not ready for it, you'll be in trouble.  My face gets all red and sweaty when I'm eating these, and although the taste is terrific, you really can't eat a lot of them in one sitting (or at least I can't anymore).  My mouth is actually watering right now because I'm remembering the intense flavor of the onions.  Think salt and vinegar chips swimming in extra vinegar with red pepper flakes on top.  Yeah, it's that hot ... but sooo good.

And don't forget our friends at Menujoy.com for the newest area menus.

Bite of the Week - POM Iced Coffee

For weeks now Laura and I have been seeing this cute little bottle of iced coffee in the fresh veggie aisle of our local STOP & SHOP . Why the fresh veggie aisle ? Beats me . I guess because it's where all the other POM products are showcased ( even though coffee's not a veggie .....is it ? ) . So there it sits with the POM and other specialty juices in their own little section . We've looked at it before but always put it back because it contains 30 grams of sugar per 10.5 oz.bottle . That's quite a bit . But our curiosity got the best of us and we decided to plunk down our hard-earned $ 2.99 and get us a bottle . LOL

The back of the bottle informs us that the POM iced coffee is chocked full of caffeine . In fact , it has 175 mg. of caffeine per bottle . THAT'S BUZZY !!! It is also fat-free and full of antioxidants like POM , which is listed as the ANTIOXIDANT SUPER EXTRACT . Plus they use RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED ARABICA BEANS . So if you need a caffeine boost , this is certainly a healthy and ethical way to get one . We tried the chocolate-flavored drink but they also have a regular variety . They just didn't have it on this day . LOL

VERDICT : Delicious ! Laura and I shared the bottle ( so we only got about 5 oz. each ) but what we tasted was GOOD . Chilled and poured over ice , this definitely makes a smooth and creamy treat with a nice caffeine jolt . Nice to keep in the house when you want that coffee flavor but don't feel like running out to the nearest coffee shop . I know I'll try some again . I just wish it wasn't $ 2.99 a pop . 

Visit their website at healthybuzz.com, and visit Menujoy.com for local restaurant menus.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bite of the Week – The Snapples of Celebrity Apprentice

Hey folks!  Laura here.  I'm exhausted. Why? Because I’ve spent the past two days trying to track down the new Celebrity Apprentice Snapple flavors, and apparently the Bret Michaels version is impossible to find (or was – thanks for the suggestion, Melissa C.). Being psychotic, I drove to East Providence, RI, (22 minutes away) just to buy the beverage … and it was worth it. Hey Bret, you owe me gas money!

When I first watched the show and saw the Snapple flavors that Bret and Holly Robinson Peete had created, my friend Scott and I decided that we had to try them. Actually, we were really interested in Bret’s diet flavor “Trop-A-Rocka” because it had vanilla, cinnamon, pear, and a bunch of other ingredients that we both liked. As for Holly’s drink – “Compassionberry” – Scott proclaimed that he “would never buy a drink that was flavored with passion fruit.” Plus, he thought that Holly was an ass on the show, so that was probably another reason why he wasn’t interested in the drink. I should mention that Bret’s drink sales benefit the American Diabetes Association, and Holly’s benefit her own HollyRod Foundation for autism awareness. Oh, and in case you didn’t already know, Bret won. Hooray!

After the show ended, I casually looked around for the Snapple flavors. I checked Stop & Shop and 7-Eleven first, to no avail. I asked Scott if he’d seen them anywhere, and he hadn’t. His friend Greg, who was also a fan of the show, had also been searching for the drinks and kept coming up empty-handed. It wasn’t until I saw that my friend Melissa had tried Trop-A-Rocka that I was determined to find it for myself. Who knew that it would take two days and a lot of gas money?

Since Scott and I live in different cities, we decided to split up. I started my heavy-duty searching on Monday, and he began on Tuesday. I think he said that he visited seven stores, and I think I hit between 12 and 15. I had read online that the drinks were being spotted at Cumberland Farms, so of course, that was my first stop. To my surprise, I found Holly’s drink on Monday at the Swansea store on GAR Highway, and the Westport store on Route 6. Since Scott wasn’t totally into it and Mom hates fruit drinks, I bought one bottle for me to have (and for Scott to sample). I brought it to work on Tuesday and the two of us spent about 10 minutes in his cubicle sniffing, swirling, and tasting that Snapple like it was a Chardonnay.

As for Bret’s drink, as a last-ditch attempt at finding one, I decided to call the Cumberland Farms on Broadway in East Providence. Melissa had told me that there were Snapple sightings at that store, but I wasn’t about to drive all that way for nothing. A guy answered the phone and I asked him for the drink. He handed the phone to someone else (I heard the words “something about a Snapple”) and it was verified – they actually had Trop-A-Rocka. Immediately, I threw on my flip-flops and drove all the way there – GPS in hand. I went in and spotted it – about seven feet off the floor on the top shelf of the cooler. WTF?! Short people need drinks, too. I almost had to ask someone for help, but I figured that I was pushing my luck with this store after asking them to check for a specific Snapple flavor. Who does that? Anyway, I got a Trop-A-Rocka for myself, one for Scott, and a third for Greg. I also got Greg a Compassionberry, which is also sold there. I figured it was a “now or never” situation, although the drinks will probably be everywhere in the coming months. When I plopped them at the cash register, I revealed myself to be the nut job who called earlier. The cashier said, “Which one?” Apparently, everyone has been calling about the Snapples! Another cashier shouted, “What is going on in that bottle?” After some discussion about who the guy was on the front of the Trop-A-Rocka (one guy shouted “Bret Michaels” just before he realized that it was Donald Trump), and after having forgotten to turn in my 75-cents-off-two-Snapples coupon, I was on my way home.

THE VERDICT: Bret’s Snapple was definitely a winner over Holly’s. Not only did it have less calories and sugar (10 vs. 180 calories; 0 vs. 44 sugars), it had a much more pleasant taste. The Trop-A-Rocka was flavored with mango, pear, vanilla, cinnamon, and many more subtle fruits, while the Compassionberry’s predominant flavors were passion fruit, strawberry, and basil. If it weren’t for the basil, this drink might have been a bit harder to deal with because it was quite tart. What Scott liked about Holly’s drink was the smell; it was very fruity and fragrant. Other than that, he said that although it wasn’t horrible, he was definitely glad that he didn’t buy a bottle for himself. Bret’s tea, on the other hand, was mildly fruity at first but had a vanilla aftertaste that was really delicious. We both enjoyed it very much.

As for Greg’s opinion? He, along with Scott, thought that the Compassionberry tasted like a salad because of the strong basil flavor (which wasn't as noticeable for me as it was for them).  Scott compared it to the tomato and mozzarella salad from Starbucks.  Greg went into this taste taste thinking that he would enjoy the Compassionberry more.  Wrong!  He preferred the Trop-A-Rocka, which seems to be the general consensus among my other friends who have since tasted the drink.  Yay Bret!

I’m so glad that the Snapple search is over!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Best Of: Ice Cream Hideaways

You know when you're taking a nice summer drive and all of a sudden you come upon a bunch of cars parked by the side of the road ? You wonder ----is it an accident ? a yard sale ? is GEORGE CLOONEY in town ? ( sigh ) Nope ! You've come upon one of many little ice cream shops that dot the New England countryside . Some are hidden away in woods and near farms . And some are not so hidden ----they're right on the side of a road . They often have home-made ice creams and you'd be wise to stop for a delicious treat . Here are some of our favorites that you may or may not have encountered on your travels .

LICKETY SPLITS is right on Rt.6 in Westport , Mass. You have to try the peanut butter soft -serve . It tastes like cold , creamy Reese's peanut butter in a cone . It's soooo good .

OXFORD CREAMERY is on County Rd. in Mattapoisett , Ma. . It makes the BEST old-fashioned sundaes ----- using the finest ingredients ( Richardson's ice cream and their HOT FUDGE is to die for ) . A nice stop on the way to the Cape .

KOOL KONE is located on Marion Rd. in Wareham , Ma. ------another nice stop on the long Cape Cod drive . They are famous for their delicious seafood but they have an equally famous ice cream window . Get your cone dipped in one of their great flavors . You'll feel like a kid again .

WHITE'S FARM HOMEMADE ICE CREAM is on High St. in Ipswich , Ma. It's right down the road from the famous CLAM BOX plus it's on the side of SAL'S PIZZA ( home of the delicious 3 lb. pizza ) . So this would be pleasure - eating nirvana . This ice cream is most definitely homemade and comes in several unique flavors . The ones we tried were so thick , creamy and flavorful . Ah .....memories .

LEWIS BROTHERS HOMEMADE ICE CREAM is on Commercial St. in Provencetown . It's right in the middle of the downtown area ---so you can't miss it . They were making a fresh batch of ice cream while we were there and we got to taste some . I can honestly say I've never had ice cream taste SO close to the flavor it was supposed to be . My WHITE RUSSIAN tasted like I should have been eating it leaning on a bar .

SALVADOR'S ICE CREAM is on Smith Neck Road in South Dartmouth . This was such a surprise to find . We were traveling down a country road and were confronted by a HUGE milk can . LOL How often does that happen ? Well , here in New England --quite a bit . New England LOVES milk cans . The ice cream itself was fantastic . They use GIFFORD"S ice cream here --- a premium brand . Yum .

UNCLE ED'S FRONT PORCH ICE CREAM is on Winthrop St. in Rehoboth , Ma. This place looks so cute by the side of the road . And it really is set up inside to look like someone's front porch . But the ice cream is the star . It's made on the premises and if you're nice , the man who makes the ice cream will take your suggestions for new flavors ( even though he comes up with some pretty spectacular ones on his own ) . So , if you've got an idea for a new flavor stop by . Actually stop by anyway ---excellent ice cream .

SOMERSET CREAMERY is right on Rt. 6 in Somerset , Ma. If you live in this area , you've probably visited a time or 10 . LOL Great ice cream , made on site , fantastic flavors ---what more could you ask for ? Oh yeah , shorter lines . LOL

WOOD'S PREMIUM ICE CREAM is on Adamsville Rd. in Westport , Ma. This place gets plenty busy at night with all the locals , but try to squeeze yourself in anyway . You'll be treated to some great ( GIFFORD'S of MAINE ) deluxe ice cream . They have a chocolate that even I , a non-chocolate fan , will order on occasion .

ESKIMO KING is on Market St. in Swansea , Ma. This place is a local legend and it should be . Over 200 ( YES - 200 ) flavors and they take suggestions for mixing up your own . They have a system of using different BASE flavorings and just mixing and matching from there . Plus they have special drinks and sundaes ---it's an ice cream paradise .

GRAY'S ICE CREAM is on East Rd. in Tiverton , RI. Award winning ice creams , "BEST" coffee frappes , this place is a drive-to destination . In the beautiful 4-Corners area of Tiverton , this is the place to spend a relaxing summer evening , outside of your car , licking great ice cream . Ummmmmm.

SIMCOCK FARM is on Marvel St. in Swansea , Ma. This place is in the boonies . We came upon it just by accident traversing Swansea backroads . Seems everyone knew it was there , except us ( as usual ) . Watch out what size you get . We got the smalls and they were TOO big ------FOR US !!!! LOL We now get the kiddie size .

THE DAILY SCOOP is on County Rd. in Barrington , RI. Very cute place with extremely tasty ice cream . Coffee is my favorite flavor and they have one of the best . It's got a deep , rich coffee flavor that almost gives me a jolt . LOL

MISTER PEEPERS' ICE CREAM is located on G.A.R. Highway in Swansea , Ma. Unlike most ice cream places , this place is open year round . So if you're Christmas shopping and NEED a nice big cone of something sweet & cold , this is the place to be . They have yummy ice cream cakes too.

BARLOW'S CLAM SHACK is on Scenic Highway in Bournedale ,Ma. As it's name suggests , it's a clam shack . But they also carry fabulous ice cream . It's right across from the Cape Cod Canal so what a view ! Sitting on a picnic table , ice cream in hand , watching the boats ----doesn't get better than that .

So that's a list of our favorite non-chain big deal ice cream shops . Some are out of the way on little dirt roads and some you'll find right on the major highways . And not that we don't like the chain ice creams ( we love you ---- COLD STONE CREAMERY ( not so much ) , NEWPORT CREAMERY ( LOVE ) , FRIENDLY'S ( blah ) , DAIRY QUEEN (yum ) , BASKIN ROBBIN'S (not) but these little out of the way places are special and make summer fun . So lift a cone and salute the warm months ahead . You'll be glad you did .

And visit our friends at MENUJOY for some great area menus.