Horror Movies, Here We Come: Halloween Popcorn and Cocktail

With Halloween falling in the middle of the week this year, and a Frankenstorm a-brewing, it’s definitely time for a classic horror movie fest. You’ll need Kubrick’s The Shining, Spielberg’s Jaws, and any Hitchcock film—plus a big bowl of popcorn and some frightfully delicious cocktails to get into the spooky spirit.

Our take on an espresso martini is inspired by the delicious version we order at Lucca on Hanover Street in Boston. It’s a combination of vodka, espresso, slightly sweet Kahlua and a splash of velvety Baileys Irish Cream. While sipping the eerily dark libation, we nibble on decadent sweet and salty popcorn that incorporates two of our favorite guilty pleasures: peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. The combination of the nutty, sticky sweet crunch of the popcorn with the exhilarating zing of the drink is the ideal combination for any movie gathering, especially on a chilly weeknight.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff Popcorn

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Endless Road Trip Boston: Ye Olde Union Oyster House

On our Sam Adams tour, we heard references to the Union Oyster house several times during the two hours we were there. One memorable reference was to their food, while the other was to a beer that they brew only to serve at that one location. So obviously, our post-brewery eating agenda was set.

Of course, what’s a trip to Boston without a little history?!  The Union Oyster House claims to fame because of its food, yes, but also its history. It’s the oldest restaurant (in continuous service) in the United States. The restaurant has seated members of the Union Army, those damn Red Coats (I’m sure), presidents and politician, including plenty of those Kennedys. Apparently JFK had a favorite booth upstairs that is now dedicated to him—“The Kennedy Booth.”

It’s also more in more demand than we thought…with a three-hour wait, we had reservations at 10:00 P.M. It was also worth it…

Oyster House Clam Chowder

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Endless Road Trip Boston: Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale

If you’ve never been to a brewery before, you may be expecting some mechanical experience where you are watching them brew on the other side of a glass window. Maybe you expect to see a bunch of hoses shooting beer from one place to another, leading to a huge bottling machine. Maybe, if you’re lucky—you’ll get a free sample of beer. Not the case at Sam Adams…and that’s a good thing.

The tour starts out in a small tunnel shaped like a keg. From there, you show them your “ticket” which is a Sam Adams label. Then, you literally walk right through the brewery. You’ll see some dudes with kick-ass beards working on the freshest brew. Oh, and you’ll be smacked in the face with the delicious smell of grains and can go touch the huge vats that brew “America’s World Class Beer”.

*Impress your friends*: One piece of info that many of you may not know – Sam Adams is one of the breweries around that makes sure their beer is like no other – they harvest their own yeast. So, no – you can not completely replicate any of their brews. Impressed? (with me, obviously…) You should be.

On to the best part of the tour: the bar.

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Endless Road Trip Boston: Mike’s City Diner

We’ve made a bit of a tradition out of seeking out restaurants featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Cheesy and touristy? Sure, but we haven’t been disappointed so far. The quest continued with Mike’s City Diner in Boston. You’d think it’d be well known in the entire Boston area, so I asked the folks at Sam Adams what the best means to get to the diner is. They had no idea of where it even was, so either my perspective on the size of Boston was horribly off, or maybe they just never make it out to that side of town. Either way—they are missing out. Mike’s City Diner does not disappoint, and there’s a reason why Guy Fieri was “Rollin’ Out” to Mike’s City Diner in Boston. Here are the highlights:

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America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized

Our recent article on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, but no one was more riled up  than a group of spunky vegan bloggers. Their de facto leader, Namely Marly, explains:

We read this article with great curiosity but it didn’t take long until the curiosity faded and was replaced with something else. OK. We were grossed out. Particularly at one sandwich that referred to an ingredient called suckling pig. We hoped this was a reference to something other than the obvious, but it appears it is exactly as it sounds. Only one of the 10 sandwiches appeared to be vegetarian. We felt like a cross between Stan Laurel and Rodney Dangerfield, scratching our heads with a half whimper and half scowl thinking, “Why don’t we vegans get any respect?”

So they decided to demand their own respect, teaming together to create tasty and healthy versions of each cholesterol-laden entry on the list of America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches. Hence, America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized. Here are all ten of ’em. Follow the links for recipes.

10. The Vegan Spuckie

We called this olive-carrot-mortadella goodness from Cutty’s in Boston “the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness.” Drop the meat part and it’s still drool-worthy. Trina Jaconi Biery of Your Vegan Mom made her own meat-free mortadella, featured here on a ciabatta roll topped with vegan mozzarella and a sweet carrot-olive salad.

Recipe: The Vegan Spuckie

(Photo: Trina Jaconi Biery)

9. Vegan Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

When Allyson Kramer of Manifest Vegan learned there was a Bulgogi Steak Sandwich (from Koja in Philly) on the list, she jumped at the chance to veganize it. As a child she used to eat bulgogi steak sometimes twice a week. Now a vegan, she’s been hankering to try a veggie-friendly version. Served on a hoagie roll (Allyson even provided a recipe for gluten-free hoagie if that’s to your liking), marinated tofu is topped with caramelized peppers and onions, chili garlic sauce, and melted vegan mozz.

Recipe: Tofu Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

(Photo: Allyson Kramer)

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America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches

Forget who piles pastrami highest or fits the most varieties of cold cuts onto one hero roll. A great sandwich has come to mean more than just bigger, better and meatier. Across the country, a new breed of sandwich artisans are taking lunchtime to a whole ‘nother level. From California to New England, here are Endless Simmer’s top ten favorite new sandwiches.

10. The Spuckie — Cutty’s, Boston

spuckie sandwich cuttys

Spuckie is a term used by old-school Bostonians to identify any sub sandwich, but it’s increasingly associated with this year-old Brookline shop. It’s also probably the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness. Super-thin slices of fennel salami, hot capicola and mortadella are layered on an oversize ciabatta, then topped with gooey, hand-pulled mozzarella and a fresh olive-carrot salad. For even less traditional sandwich-lovers, there’s also an eggplant spuckie available.

9. Bulgogi Steak Sandwich — Koja, Philadelphia

bulgogi steak sandwich

At the risk of outraging an entire city, we’re going to say it: the Philly cheesesteak is boring. With no disrespect meant to the age-old art of slathering fake cheese on top of a mound of meat, we just think this is one classic sandwich that is ready for a creative update. Enter University City sandwich truck Koja, where the chewy cheesesteak meat is replaced with bulgogi, Korea’s signature thinly-sliced, spicy BBQ beef. It’s served on a hoagie roll that’s coated in sweet chili oil and accented by sauteed peppers and onions. Koja also offers bulgogi pork and bulgogi chicken variations, but the best part is the unbelievable price — $3. Read more about this amazing sandwich at My Inner Fatty.

8.Crispy Drunken Sandwich — Baguette Box, Seattle

crispy drunken chicken baguette

Have you ever dug into a steamy styrofoam container of General Tso’s chicken and thought, “this is delicious, but it would be even tastier on a bun?” Of course you haven’t, that’s the most insane thing we’ve ever heard. But crazy is sometimes genius, as is proven at this tiny Seattle sandwich shop, where hunks of tender chicken are deep-fried and glazed in a tangy brown sauce, then served on a crispy baguette with caramelized onions and cilantro. The result is a supremely sticky, but utterly satisfying sandwich. (Photo: Sevius)

7. Cheesy Mac and Rib — The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles

cheesy mac and rib

Another new West Coast outpost that achieves genius results by thinking outside the bun, LA’s great cheese-on-wheels purveyor offers several list-worthy grilled sandwiches, but none is more awe-inspiring than this. Sharp cheddar mac-and-cheese, strands of sweet BBQ pork and caramelized onions are all stuffed into two perfectly buttered-and-fried slices of white bread. Yes, it sounds like the horrifying 3 a.m. creation of a stoned college student. Yes, it actually works. 
(Photo:
Grilled Cheese Truck)

6. Pibil Torta — Xoco, Chicago

XOCO Pibil

Upgrading Mexican street food has suddenly become a hot task of haute chefs around the nation, although the results often have us pining for the real thing. Not so at Rick Bayless’ Chicago sandwich shop, where tortas baked in the wood-burning oven take Mexican to levels we didn’t know existed. In this sandwich, silky strands of roasted suckling pig are served on crusty bread spread with black beans and achiote paste, then finished with a layer of pickled onions and habanero salsa. The Pibil may be one extra ingredient away from being a Top Chef disaster story, but as is, it’s perfection on bread.

Next: The top 5

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