Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 3 {Back Bay/South End/Fenway}

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a restaurant roundup for you. I meant to do it as a 3 or 4 week installment, but clearly the weeks got away from me and I never finished this series! I’m here today with a bunch of restaurants in the Back Bay, South End and Fenway area. I grouped these together since they are all in ‘that part’ of the city, as I usually say. Although they each have their own distinctive name and area, you get to all of them by going in the same direction, so that counts for some type of similarity, right?

Before we get to these restaurants, make sure you check out my other Boston Restaurant roundups pertaining to different areas of the city:

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 2 {Seaport District/Southie & East Boston}

Back Bay

    • Douzo Sushi– Here’s another great sushi restaurant. The sushi is a little pricey, but it is worth it! I’ve been for lunch and dinner and enjoyed both so much. They have a really good wine selection and they validate parking in the garage nearby- $5 for 3 hours, which means you can park, eat, shop and only pay $5!

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    • Cafeteria– My sister and I have gone here a few times for lunch and always love it. The menu is small, but there’s always something that catches our eye. They’ve got a great outdoor dining space and the whole “school” theme is really fun. The prices are reasonable for this part of the city.

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    • Back Bay Social Club– I’ve always loved this restaurant- both for brunch, dinner and just drinks. Again, they have outdoor seating, which is always on my list of “must haves” for summer dining. Brunch cocktails are tasty and the bar tenders are always really nice. I had dinner there and loved the salad and scallops. They’ve got wine on tap, too ūüėČ
    • Sonsie– I’ve eaten at Sonsie a few times and have always enjoyed it. My sister and I went there recently and had an awesome lunch some great drinks. I love that it’s right in the heart of the Back Bay and has great windows that open up onto Newbury Street.

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South End

    • Gaslight– The first time I went to Gaslight, I hated it, however, when I went back some time after, my thoughts were completely changed. I recently went back for lunch and was again, happy with the experience. I love French cuisine, and this place does not disappoint! The Croque Madame was top-notch.

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    • The Gallows– My friend Jess and I went here and I was so thankful that she introduced me to it. It’s a dim-lit, crunchy type of restaurant with a good list of “small plates” for sharing. We ordered some tacos and a butternut squash dish and a few other things and I loved everything.

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    • Stella– I’ve only been here once, but have been dying to get back. The food is fantastic and they have 2 bar areas so you’re two times more likely to get a seat at the bar ūüėČ They also have a gluten free menu and everything we had from it was fantastic! This is one of RM’s favorite restaurants in the city.

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Fenway

  • Eastern Standard– This restaurant is also a favorite in Boston. The last time I went, we sat at the bar and had a great time trying new drinks, watching the bar tenders do their magic and ordering different things from the menu to try. Another thing I love about ES is the fact you can tell the bar tender that you’re waiting for a spot at the bar to eat dinner and will reserve a place for you when spaces open up. This eliminates the need to always be hovering and¬†watching for people who look like they might get up, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

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  • Yard House– If you’re looking for a good bar with lots of beers on tab, Yard House is the way to go. There are always games on TV and always a good bar scene. And, out of all the sports bar restaurants in Boston, Yard House has the best food (in my opinion). There’s also a Yard House near my office in Lynnfield that’s huge and conveniently located amongst lots of shops.

By the looks of this list, I think I need to start going out to eat in the Back Bay/South End/Fenway area. My girlfriends and I are going to Stephi’s on Tremont tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll be adding that to the list after.

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these restaurants? Do you have a favorite restaurant in this part of the city that I didn’t mention?

Also, I want to wish my parents a very happy anniversary!! I love you both so much!

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A jam-packed weekend full of working out & dining out

Do you ever have those weekends where you’re so busy you feel like you need another day just to breathe and catch up on everything you didn’t catch up on over the weekend? That was me last weekend… and, well, all of last week, actually. I have spent the majority of the beginning of this week catching up on everything I wasn’t able to do last week or this week- my floors need to be washed desperately, but that keeps getting pushed further and further down my list, which is totally ok ūüôā

Anyway! After work on Friday, I met up with someone for drinks at Vintage Lounge, which I hadn’t been to in years! From there, we headed to Sakurabana for sushi (as a Catholic, I’m not supposed to eat meat on Friday’s during lent, so sushi was a perfect option!).

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Saturday started with kickboxing (loved seeing Jen, Mary, Valerie, Dani and all the other familiar faces!) as my first workout and then I met my sister at Exhale Spa for a Core Fusion Cardio class with my sister. We met up with our friend, Jessi, for lunch at Anthem. It was such a beautiful day in the city- perfect for walking around and having lunch out (actually, who am I kidding- any day is a great day for lunch out in my mind!). We shared a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the Fondue (cannot go there without getting it- SO SO SO good) and a pizza.

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I did some serious bar/restaurant hopping on Saturday night, which was great at the time, but not so great when I had to wake up at 7:45am on Sunday to teach a 9am class, after having gone to bed at 1:30am and losing an hour of sleep due to the time change. Womp. Oh well, I made sure to not drink too much so at least I wasn’t hungover! My Saturday night locations included: Prima E Dopo, Back Bay Social Club, M Bar at the Mandarin Hotel and finally Towne… phew! I wasn’t kidding when I said I hopped around ūüėČ

Sunday I taught my 7th class of the week, puttered¬†at Target and then did my CPR recertification. Not really my favorite way to spend a Sunday, but I didn’t really have a choice!

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Lunch at Pizza Etc.¬†after the recertification did make me happy… I’ve missed their Greek salad with grilled chicken. When I lived in Brighton, Rachel and I would get that salad once a week!

By the time I grocery shopped and got home, the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner. I ended up going to Santarpio’s¬†to grab pizza… not the healthiest choice, but I had been craving it for a while so I decided to just do it. It did give me a crazy bad stomach ache later on- I wonder if it was the pizza or just the fact that I had eaten out literally all weekend.

By the time Monday rolled around, I was so ready for my usual clean eats! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out and would never deprive myself of it, but my body just likes it better when I don’t eat out consecutively for days in a row. I used to let it bother me when I would eat out a lot, but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten to a place where I just let it go and enjoy it because I know as soon as Monday rolls around, I’ll be back on track with my eats. No better way to do that then kale & onion stuffed turkey meatballs served over spaghetti squash and saut√©ed veggies, right?

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I’ve been enjoying this all week!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you try any new workouts/classes/studios? Did you go to any new restaurants? Have you been to any of the ones that I went to over the weekend? Do you beat yourself up after indulgent weekends of eating out and drinking? What’s the first thing you do to get back on track?

Excessive Dining Out

Dining out- do you do it often or not? I know it may seem like I dine out a lot, but in all honesty, I really do eat at home more often than out at a restaurant. I make my lunches every day and I try to cook at least one big meal every Sunday so I can have leftovers throughout the week. I rarely order pizza out anymore and always try to find a way to eat what I have in my fridge/freezer/cabinets.

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But, with that said, over the past few weeks I’ve been eating out a LOT more than usual. Most of it has been related to work travel, which is unavoidable, but I’ve also gone out to dinner more and splurged on getting lunch out on the weekends in the middle of running errands.

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Granted, I’m trying to choose healthy or healthier options when I eat out (Subway, sushi, salads, etc.), but on the past work trip I had a lot more French fries, chips and generally not-so-healthy meals. For instance, here are the meals I had when I was in Ohio for work earlier this week:

  • Sunday-¬†PinkBerry¬†at the airport as a “snack” and a chicken quesadilla for dinner out of ease since there were not a lot of options, it was late and I just needed a little something to take back to my room since I cannot go to bed on an empty stomach (and it was the lowest calorie option on the menu).
  • Monday-¬†Breakfast was healthy and normal, but lunch was a turkey club pita with chips… of which I ate more than I would like to admit. Dinner was a turkey burger and beer & cheddar coated sweet potato fries. Even though I didn’t eat the bun and only had a small amount of taters (and had a salad, but it was basically iceberg lettuce and 1 cucumber. no joke!), pair that with beer and it’s not the healthiest meal.
  • Tuesday-¬†again, healthy breakfast, but lunch was French onion soup and half a BBQ chicken wrap… oh, and sweet potato tater tots. See the reoccurring¬†theme? Dinner was at the airport… a nice, big salad… and another quesadilla.

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For me, these eats were normal for me, but you know what? It’s ok. Now that I am back home I’m able to get back on track with incorporating more veggies in my meals and less French fries and chips.

I got to thinking, though, that when I go through phases where I dine out a lot, I try to follow a few “rules” (I put that in quotations because I hate rules regarding food and eating… so it’s more like guidelines that I like to keep in mind) to help keep me somewhat on track. I thought I’d share those with you today!

Stay away from fruity drinks

When dining out, it’s almost assumed that drinks go along with that, at least with my friends, family and coworkers. I always try to stick to wine or lighter beers and always have water alongside them. Before automatically saying “yes” to another drink, I take a few minutes to drink water and decide if I actually want another drink or not. If I feel like I’m having one just to have one, I’ll generally skip out on another round, but, if I really want another drink, I’ll have one.

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Choose a healthier option on the menu

If something sounds so deliciously good that you know it cannot be healthy, it’s probably not and it’s probably the total opposite: really unhealthy. On the other hand, I know not to order a boring salad because it will leave me hungry and unsatisfied, which is also a bad situation. I try to choose something in the middle: something that is a little bit of a splurge and will satisfy me, but something that won’t leave me feeling gross and heavy after eating it.

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Include a salad in at least one meal

Even if it’s just a side salad, it’s important to get some greens into your diet! Also, if you have a salad before your meal, it will curb your hunger and you will generally eat less of your main meal. Eating more salad and less French fries is never a bad thing ūüėČ

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Start off with a healthy breakfast

Do NOT skip breakfast in anticipation of eating lunch out and splurging on a big sandwich and chips/fries. It’s so important to “break your fast” first thing in the morning with a healthy meal. I always incorporate fruit, carbs and protein, which keeps me full throughout the morning. Kicking off your day with a meal that makes you feel good will set you on a better path for your meals throughout the rest of the day.

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Workout

Even if it’s just a 20 minute¬†workout, it’s something and that counts! It’s so easy to go into “vaca” mode when on the road, even for work travel, and therefore workouts usually go out the window in favor of cocktail hour (or you skip your morning alarm since you were out late the night before). I always try to make workouts a priority when on the road because it helps to counteract a few cocktails ūüėČ

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Drink water throughout the day

A lot of time we think we are hungry when in fact, we are just thirsty. Before you reach for a snack or office treat, have some water. You’ll be surprised by how much that can help your “hunger”. It’s also easy to drink coffee throughout the day to help keep you awake (see above, you might have had drinks and/or stayed out late), but the coffee will only end up causing you to be more dehydrated. Water will keep everything flushed out and also cause you to have to get up and go to the bathroom more… thus getting more movement into your day!

Your turn! Did I miss any? When you know you’ll be enjoying drinks and indulgent food¬† throughout the day night, what do you do to help you stay on the right track? It doesn’t have to be anything big, because I’m a firm believer that every little bit counts! I want to know your “tricks” for¬†staying healthy in not-so-healthy situations.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m having a low key night tonight, teaching tomorrow, running errands and then going to my friends’ (Rachel and Dan) Halloween Party!