Great Eats North of Boston

My parents were in town (from Hawaii) last week, and while they’ve visited me on the East Coast twice before, this is the first time they’ve come since I left the city. Since we’re a family that loves food, I took them to a few foodie gems we’ve found closer to home, as well as a couple of great places in the city. If you’re visiting New England, I highly recommend stopping by any of these dining establishments to grab a bite.

Blue Fin

Good Eats North of Boston

We live just outside of a forest and within a stone’s throw of several farms, yet somehow we also have a fabulous Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood as well. Asian restaurants here are often fusion, with Chinese places serving sushi and Thai restaurants serving Chinese food (confusing!), but at Blue Fin you’ll only find real homestyle Japanese food and incredible sushi. The sashimi is always fresh. The sushi chefs are artists. And they serve up a pretty mean martini. Insider tip: the bar is the most comfortable, relaxed place to sit.


Good Eats North of Boston

Just down the street from Blue Fin is Richardson’s dairy farm, which is a New England institution. I can’t tell you how many times James and I have finished off our sushi, only to drive two minutes down the road for dessert at Richardson’s. My favorite is the cherry vanilla ice cream, but I haven’t had a bad scoop there yet, and I’ve tried a lot of them! Mini golfing and batting cages are on the premises, but the real excitement is that there are cows! The ones that make the milk that goes in the ice cream! I mentally thank them every time we drive by.


Good Eats North of Boston

My dad’s number one request: New England clam chowder. James pointed us to Shea’s, which is a cozy restaurant on the water with award-winning chowder. I’m not sure if we’re just lucky, but we’ve never had to wait there, despite the fact that the fried clam place across the street is always insane and the food here is awesome. The chowder is perfect, and the sandwiches and salads are equally mouthwatering. You can easily get to the beach or to a bunch of antique stores from Shea’s, so it’s a perfect stop on the North Shore.

Mill River Winery

Good Eats North of Boston

Before heading to Shea’s, we stopped at this gorgeous little winery on the North Shore, in Rowley. The space is relatively new–airy and bright. They produce a wide variety of wines, and for just $5 you can taste them all. Although the chardonnay is award winning, our favorite was their crisp, dry Riesling. We might not be Napa, but this is a definite must for wine lovers. (Find a more comprehensive review, complete with actual wine vocabulary, at The Eats.)

I’m considering featuring more local places here on Frock Files with first-hand photos. Let me know if this sounds interesting to you. There are so many good ones; this is just a start! Where do you take people when they’re visiting your hometown?

Photo Credits: Blue Fin | Richardson’s | Shea’s | Mill River Winery



Miniature Musubi

Mini Musubi Party Appetizer // Frock Files

It’s taken me awhile to post this recipe because I often receive comments and emails asking for recipes to be vegan. But then I realized: Aha! Top this with avocado or cucumbers (vegan) or egg (vegetarian) or chicken/tuna (everyone who’s scared of Spam), and you’re all set.

Spam musubi (moo-soo-BEE) is one of those foods from Hawaii that people are leery of until they try them. And then they’re huuuuuuuge fans. I’ve seen the magic happen with my own eyes. James will attest to being a convert, himself!

And in miniature, I think these are the perfect little appetizer for warm weather parties.

Mini Musubi Party Appetizer // Frock Files


3 cups cooked white rice
2 slices Spam
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
Nori (15 strips cut to approximately 3/4″ x 3 1/2″)


1. Brown the Spam in a frying pan. While it’s browning, mix the soy sauce and sugar in a bowl, then transfer it to a flat, rimmed plate, baking dish, or bowl.

2. Place the browned Spam into the soy sauce/sugar marinade. After five minutes, flip the Spam over. After another five minutes, pan fry the Spam until it reaches the desired doneness. (Some people like it REALLY dark. I like mine golden brown.) Slice each piece into 5 even strips.

3. Form the rice into small, long pieces like nigiri. You can do this by wetting your hands with water, forming a small amount of rice into a ball, and shaping it in the space between your palm and your second knuckle. This video gives a great tutorial on shaping the rice:

4. Wrap each with a strip of nori. Seal the ends with water. Try not to eat them all by yourself!

Frock Files | More Simple Recipes

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