It’s no secret by now that I’m a total foodie, and I jump at the chance to try any and everything new – this area is the mecca for amping up the taste buds in a variety of ways. We went to a place called Northampton yesterday, and within 10 minutes walked by Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Mediterranean, and French places.
It should come as totally no surprise to you that our first weekend here left me at LEAST five pounds heavier.
To kick it off we went to a restaurant called Plan B. I”m really glad I didn’t balk at the name, because what was inside was totally worth it.
It’s a burger bar by the Basketball Hall of Fame, but it boasts so much more than meat patties. First of all – and I noticed this at another place we went to on Sunday – the hostess takes your cell phone and TEXTS you when your table is ready. How smart is that? You’re free to wander, not out of range with some silly buzzer thing that looks like a terrifying taser and vibrator all in one (I am looking right at you, La Tolteca).
We were told there’d be a 40 minute wait, but five minutes into hanging about a waitress came over to tell us that the dining area we were standing in – of high top tables and elevated booths – was first come, first serve, so we dashed to the one we saw had literally just opened up. Wait time taken down extensively!
I ended up with the New Englander, a burger topped with tomato, lettuce, gouda cheese, a corn spread, and LOBSTER. No, I don’t have a picture of it because it went down THAT FAST. The corn spread was so nicely tucked up under the gouda cheese, which was plastered to the bun. The lobster sat somewhat haphazardly on the patty and I did have to break the pieces up to spread them throughout the entire eating experience, but once all the flavors melded together it was heaven.
I did, however, snag a photo of our appetizer, a dish I have been craving every day since we left: Blue Chips. A gorgeous plate of homemade potato chips topped with tomatoes, bacon, red onion, jalapenos, and warm blue cheese. Honestly, the secret to this is all in that blue cheese. I know that warm creaminess may not sound the most appetizing but, trust me, it is. Just look at this shit.
If it’s possible, the warmth actually made the tang of the blue cheese come out even more than usual, which was a great combination with the coolness of the tomatoes and the crunch of red onion. (I shirked the jalapenos. I am not of the hot flavor persuasion.)
I also really enjoyed the atmosphere of Plan B. The decor involved meat hook lights, installed on rails, like you would see in a butcher shop. The bar background was of tall wood shelving, and I especially enjoyed that the bathroom doors read “Pink” and “No Pink,” just as they asked you to request how you’d like your burger done.
See? Meat hook awesomeness.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people in this area are health conscious. A lot of gluten-free, a lot of organic and, my favorite, a ton of locally grown products. Plan B, for example, specifically stated that you could ask for your burger “In the Grass,” with no bun and instead placed atop organic iceberg lettuce. You could also get it on a whole wheat roll, AND there was a gluten-free menu available.
That theme even ran on with Sylvester’s, a spot in Northampton that’s been voted Best Brunch/Breakfast by local magazine The Valley Advocate since 2007! You could actually request wheat batter for your pancakes.
I ended up with a white mocha raspberry coffee in a mug as big around as my face, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and white chocolate chips. I took my Greek omelette sans spinach, but the feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives certainly brought the flavor regardless. So much salt. So much good.
The toast is also homemade there and there was just something about it that really struck me. It wasn’t too thick or thin, and it held the right amount of crunch, even when soaked with butter and strawberry jam.
Saturday’s meal wasn’t so unique, but I’ve never had Hooters wings before, so it was a first for me.
Honestly? Best wings ever. To quote Boy, “Dudes could be serving these up and I’d still come here.”
I had Teriyaki Samuri sauce and got breaded wings (because Boy said ordering them naked calls for “someone coming out of the kitchen and punching you in the tit, because that’s just stupid”) and it was so filling. The wings were moist, the sauce was sweet, and I think this is the first time I actually sucked every single wing right down to the bone. Just LOOK at that sauce – it was thick enough to easily lap up with my curly fries and have no rogue sauce (there was enough of it on my face and fingers already).
The other cool thing about Hooters was that the Bruins were in a playoff game at 3 p.m., pretty much the exact time we sat down. The place was a sea of yellow and black (Or is it gold and black? I feel like I’ll get yelled at for saying one of those.), and people were clapping and cheering.
I felt home. I mean there wasn’t ever a time I haven’t felt home yet in being here, but Saturday was pretty great.