Monthly Archives: October 2014
Today, I suddenly felt a strong urge for clam fritters from Ronnie’s. This is a seafood place in Auburn, MA where I used to go all the time growing up. I’ve barely gone there at all since starting college. Maybe once a year. They make an amazing lobster roll.
The clam fritters are balls of perfectly fried savory dough dotted with small pieces of clam. I don’t remember them being particularly greasy, which is an impressive feat considering they’re made in the fryer… They’re so delicious, so comforting, so exactly what I want to eat at this moment.
Sadly, I don’t know if the restaurant is still open. It’s a seasonal place, starting some time in April and ending either in September or October. If they are still going for the year, chances are very slim I’ll get a chance to go. So if you’re in central Massachusetts, consider going there and eating some clam fritters for me. If they are still open, there might be a bit of a line. Just stick it out, the food, generally is worth it.
(Just don’t go there and order a burger. GET THE SEAFOOD. That’s the entire reason for going there.)
You can’t call yourself a foodie unless you have an opinion on some kind of artisanal local/lesser known microbrew. I don’t call myself a “foodie” in any case, but that is the topic of today’s post. Specifically, I’m going to throw my hat into the ring (I don’t even know if that’s the right use of that phrase…) regarding Downeast, which is a brand I have personally enjoyed.
Since it’s now officially been fall for over a week, the general desire for cider here in New England will do its usual turn up to 11 (yes, I just made the Spinal Tap reference. Side note: Spinal Tap would be a great name for a bar or pub. A skeleton bar?). And while I’ve enjoyed regular old apple cider both cold and hot for as long as I can remember, since I became a legal drinker I have also favored alcoholic ciders. I’ve had many different brews, so I have some experience with them–but this is purely my own opinion of the beverage, so I guess you’ll have to get some to judge for yourself.
I first had Downeast’s traditional style cider at two different restaurants where they offered it on draft. I loved the flavor and the fact that it has that cloudiness that I was used to in regular, family-friendly cider but never saw in the adult version. When, many months later, I saw a display for it in a liquor store, I just had to buy some… it turns out, they make a range of flavors, and I decided to try some that would be new to me. First I went with the honey cider. It sounded delicious to me. It turns out this is a mead, or a mead-cider blend, and I don’t think I’m that much of a mead person. While I did like it, I much prefer the regular flavor and probably wouldn’t buy the honey variety again.
Most recently I tried the cranberry flavor. I really enjoyed this one. It feels very fall-appropriate, and might be a great choice for Thanksgiving. I decided it would be best consumed poured into a glass with a slice of lime. I am far from the first person to make use of the cranberry-lime combination, but I would venture to say that I’m probably among the people who love it the most.
I think the lime really added something to the flavor that made me, personally, enjoy it more. I also believe pouring it into a glass added to the experience. I’ve never really been into drinking out of a can (aside from soda, which I don’t drink much of anymore).
My decision after having Downeast three ways is that it is a good brand that I’m happy to support. I do think that from now on I’ll most likely try to get it on tap/draft, and buy something else to drink at home–unless I’m really craving the cranberry cider, because I’ve never seen that from any other brand.
Until next time,
*I know that people have different ideas of what “local” actually means. For some it only applies to products made within the same state or town/city. This is not my view of it, but as the good people of Downeast let me know in a comment, they are currently based in Boston, which is my area. After they commented I actually went to look up their website (downeastcider.com) and found that they’ll be at SOWA Open Market until the end of the season! I definitely want to go if I can, but regardless, you should go check them out if you’re in the area.