(Un)Chain My Heart

I’m all about independence. Looking in my pantry and seeing shelves filled with good food that I selected, purchased and carried home in my reusable bags gives me pleasure. Writing that check the other day for the property taxes on my home gave me a twinge of happiness that originated in the realization that I can make this thing called life work. This penchant for independence carries over into many areas of my life and influences my decisions on a regular basis. For instance, if there is a choice between two items, one made by an individual and the other mass produced, well, it’s a no brainer. My optician is a real person in an office that bears his name. And no, his name isn’t America’s Best or Lens Crafters. I can’t imagine ordering pizza from Papa John or Domino’s or choosing cheesecake from a Factory when we are blessed with Cheesecake Machismo.

Once in a great while, however, an exception presents itself. As in Mr. Fussy’s predilection for Chipotle or the love I have for a perfectly prepared Caramel Machiatto from Starbuck’s. Rules are made to be broken, no? Which brings me to the fondness I have for a chain (gasp!) restaurant I was turned on to in Boston. It all began a couple of years ago on Labor Day weekend. I had arrived in Boston hungry – and clueless about where to go to rectify the situation. If you’ve traveled with me before you know I refuse to go to chain restaurants preferring to find something representative of my location. I’m also kind of particular about what I eat. I just don’t feel good about eating poorly prepared or overly processed foods, so I avoid them. Walking down Newbury Street seemed my best route to find something good and my obsessiveness patience was rewarded when I encountered a couple exiting a place that looked promising – The Capital Grille. In my defense, I had no idea this place had multiple locations. The menu looked good, the departing diners were very enthusiastic about their experience and the bar was inviting. I was in.

Everything about my meal was enjoyable – the carpaccio, oysters and salad, the wine selection by the glass, the nice folks I talked to throughout my meal. Not a single bump in the road. Then dessert came along…

I was in Boston last weekend – eating this was my motivation for a run!
Holy coconut cream pie!! Have you ever seen such a gorgeous hunk of creamy, toasted coconut goodness in your life? The pie is served in an individual shortbread-ish and coconut shell that could easily serve three polite sharers. The filling is creamy with a hint of rum and the topping is miraculously light, even with that drizzle of caramel sauce. Unfrigging believable. I tracked down a recipe that looks promising and may attempt it this weekend. I make no promises other than if I do, I will visually share my results. 

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