Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I've Been Eating -- pre-vacation (nicer pictures)

The Crumpin-Fox Golf Club

And now for the nicer pictures of What I've Been Eating, from the times I actually had my camera with me!

First we have Zeke's Smokehouse Grill. Full disclosure: this restaurant is actually owned by the company I work for. Before, Zeke's was a little place to grab a quick bite after a round of golf. They had the usual: soups, sandwiches, salads, and so on. However, now that the restaurant will be open year-round, the company decided to make it into something a little extra special. Zeke's is now a fully Cajun and BBQ inspired menu, and it is seriously awesome. Everyone I work with knows about my blog, and the president of the company even popped his head in my office saying "try Zeke's! Blog about it!" so, how could I say no? I promised that if I liked the food, I'd give it a good blog entry. If I did not like the food, out of respect for my place of work, I just wouldn't blog about it.

Guess what. I liked it.

One particularly sunny day I decided to try it out with some lunch. I am a pulled pork FIEND so I knew right away what I needed to order. I was also intrigued by the fried okrah, since I'd never tried that particular veggie before, so even though I knew my lunch appetite would not be big enough for both dishes, I decided to risk it anyway.

Fried Okrah

The fried okrah was lovely. It reminded me of fried zucchini, and the ranch dipping sauce was the perfect creamy component to the crispy fried veggie. The pulled pork was great--they serve the BBQ Sauce on the side, so that if you like your BBQ the traditional way (sans sauce) you can do that. I, of course, slathered that sucker with all the sauce in that little cup. It was great, I loved the juicy pulled pork PILED onto the bun, and the sweet yet spicy sauce. 

But the real winner here was the baked beans. Oh goodness. Not since my Dad's Special Baked Beans had I had such a wonderful little pot of bacon-greased, brown sugary goodness. If you're going for a side, definitely choose the baked beans.

The pulled pork is escaping the bun here.

You can be sure I'll be spending many more sunny days this summer on Zeke's patio nomming on the rest of the menu. I'd like to try some more Cajun-inspired dishes next time!

Om nom nomming
Zeke's Smokehouse Grill, Parmenter Road at the Crumpin-Fox Golf Club in Bernardston, Massachusetts.

Next up is a place that holds a sentimental spot in my heart: the Bluebonnet Diner, which my family and locals call "the Bucket"--I have no clue why.

I call it "The Nana Place"--whenever I meet my Nana for a meal, I always choose the Bluebonnet Diner (or Friendly's, but mostly the Bucket). And, I always get one of two things: The French Dip, or the Lobster Salad Roll. Something about this place just brings back memories of my childhood, and special days with my Nana, as she used to babysit my brother and me a lot when we were little. Usually this would be a lunch after a day at Look Park, another special Nana treat. The food isn't gourmet by any means, but it's good stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. The fries are always perfection, and the spicy seasoning they sprinkle on top puts them over the top. The lobster salad roll is served year-round, so it's definitely not fresh-caught lobster, but it's delicious all the same. Served on a toasty, buttery bun, it's probably my favorite lobster salad roll out there!

Bluebonnet Diner, 324 King Street, Northampton, MA.

And, finally, we have Bistro Les Gras. This is from about a month ago, when they were doing Restaurant Week. I'd been meaning to try this place out and Restaurant Week was the perfect excuse--3 courses for $22. What's great about Bistro Les Gras is that their menu is all locally-sourced, so it changes frequently. I love local food, it just tastes so fresh and amazing. Plus, it's all French food, and you know those French know their stuff! The ambiance and food immediately transported me back to Europe and made my heart ache for Paris. Le sigh. These are the seared scallops with creamy dill sauce and white beans. Sounds like a strange combo, but I inhaled this thing it was so good. I'm sure it would be off the menu by now, but it was a great introduction to the restaurant and I hope I have the chance to go again soon!

Bistro Les Gras. 25 West Street, Northampton, Massachusetts.

And that's what I've been eating in Western Mass! Stay tuned for my Bahamas-Themed post, coming up next. And then, I promise, I'll get back to the recipes ;)


  1. So much yumminess!!!

    (oh and btw, I'm not always a big pancake fan either-waffles are superior :P)

  2. Guess I need to get out to Western Mass more!! Seriously, Zeke's looks awesome! Can't wait to see your Bahamas food posts!


    1. Definitely! Do you or your new hubby golf? Crumpin-Fox has been rated the #1 course in Massachusetts, and you don't have to be a member to play :) I love when my marketing assignments involve Zeke's or Crump--I don't golf, but it's really a gorgeous course.

  3. So many good eats here! though I love okra, I've never had real fried okra. Need to try it!