Saturdays in the South End: My Weekend in Pictures

photoThis weekend, one of my very best friends, Tori, came to town, and we, along with my other friend Grace, had the ultimate blast.

After we met up at the train station (and I engulfed them both in a powerful three-way bear hug), Grace declared herself more than a little famished, so we headed over to the South End Buttery, a cafe and restaurant combo that I’ve been meaning to return to since stopping by this summer. Since Saturdays and Sundays are optimal Brunch days, the line was, understandably, pretty long. But it was no matter really; Tori and I decided to wait outside on a bench while Grace waited for her food.

There’s something you really have to know about Grace and Tori: they are die-hard dog lovers. And when I’m with them, I become just as die-hard. If we so much as hear the possibility of a clinking dog tag, our heads swivel around so quickly, frantically searching for our next doggy encounter. And this weekend, I think I met the man of my dreams.

photo I’m speaking of course about the bulldog.

It’s a weird/interesting/funny story, I suppose. There we were, perched on a bench, admiring all the sights and sounds that go along with typical Saturdays in the South End, when all of a sudden we spotted him: Rocky, a 19 month old bulldog, happily trotting along with his owner. But the two were all the way across the street, and by the looks of the half-full basket of clothes in his owner’s hand, it looked like the pair was right in the middle of Laundry Day. And I’m not sure of this, but either the man saw us eyeing his adorable puppy, or Tori and my uncontrollable cooing was more audible than usual.Whatever the case, Rocky and his owner made a beeline for our bench. And before I knew it, his owner had picked Rocky’s front half up, walked him on his hind legs, and literally wrapped the dog’s arms around my waist. I instinctively hugged him because, honestly, what does one do in this situation? But one look into those beautiful eyes, and I was a goner. Rocky is a rescue originally from Texas, and is featured in this great local book, Dogs in Thought

After meeting him, I totally want a bulldog. And he’ll have a cool name like T-Bone, and wear muscle tees all the time. Or I’ll name him Herbie, and he’ll be a sensitive soul who wears sweater vests.

Welcome to my mind.

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What’s really cool about the South End Buttery, is that there are actually two locations. The first, is the traditional cafe, but the second, located just down the block, is a totally awesome little market. On the shelves are imported loose leaf teas, and locally made ice creams, and in the cases are the most delicious looking treats like cupcakes, quiches, and specialty cookies. Honestly, have you ever seen anything cuter than those Oscar cookies? Now I wish that I’d gotten one.

photoFinally. FINALLY after WEEKS of wanting to check this place out, I FINALLY made it Farm and Fable. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s this charming, freshly renovated, cooking boutique. It’s got everything from vintage cookbooks, to antique copper pots, to adorable, independently made recipe and greeting cards. And that’s just the upstairs! The lower level of the shop is equipped with a full demonstration kitchen, which is home to tons of events from a Cookbook of the Month Club where members each make a recipe out of the featured cookbook, to private cooking lessons.  I feel like I’m not doing this place enough justice, so here’s a write-up about it in the Globe

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We found ourselves feeling a bit peckish after the trip to Farm and Fable, and though the initial plan was to grab some Vietnamese food, Grace’s breakfast sandwich looked way too good to pass up. I never say “no” to breakfast food, no matter the hour. So guess where we ended up?

photoIf you guessed the South End Buttery, then you’re a great guesser. Two o’clock in the afternoon, and we tucked in at the bar for a spontaneous brunch. There are only a few things these days that remind me that I still live in a big city, and one of them is brunch. No matter where you go in Boston, you will find brunch, or it will find you. There’s no escape, so you just have to give in to it. And just LOOK at how fluffy those pancakes are! I have to admit (maybe I shouldn’t) that I’m a bit of a pancake snob (she said pretentiously). Not everyone can do it right, and the South End Buttery did it absolutely right.

Those pancakes, mixed with the wonderful feeling of being tucked away in the back portion of the restaurant, mixed with delicious coffee, mixed with amazing friends who make you laugh so hard and loud that you feel slightly embarassed made for the best Saturday.

photoT’s back home now, and I miss her already. BUT, for my birthday, I’m planning a trip to New York to visit her, and I CAN’T WAIT.

What’d you do this weekend?

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