Thursday, December 23, 2010

Homeward Bound, In Reverse, Part I

Good day everyone! Well it’s December 23nd and that means only 2 days till Christmas! Holy Crap! This also means if you left your holiday shopping until now you’re pretty much screwed. Try finding a size you need at the mall-turned-war zone or reach for that last Christmas Ham and tell me why it has the strange smell wafting from it. I, by contrast, have all my shopping done and am now counting down the hours, sans smelly ham, until I get to rip into what Santa has for me under the tree. Can’t wait, man I love this holiday.

However, with all the commercial frenzy that surrounds the holidays, sometimes a simple day trip to get away from your responsibilities and mounting credit card bill is in order (not to mention the crazed shoppers with fists instead of smiles, yikes!). So that’s exactly what I did. I packed an overnight bag, bought a bus ticket, and headed to my former home base of Boston, MA. With my wrapped Christmas gift for my friend in tucked under my arm, I departed Maine leaving the stress and holly jolly bloodbath behind. And two hours later, with some iPod time and a few articles in Rolling Stone Magazine, I arrived excited, refreshed and needing a restroom (I was totally not dealing with the one on the bus, please).

The moment I was picked up by my friend, we went straight to brunch at Masa Southwest Bar and Grill, and man I love this place. A South End institution, it’s the type of restaurant that is familiar yet exciting, upscale yet comfy. When we arrived, the restaurant was decked out in festive holiday decorations, with a Latin bent, to make it extra festive. It really is the space itself you notice first when you arrive. Beautiful warm colors, metal ceilings, and white linens combine tastefully, making the meal you have here as visual as flavorful.

Here is a picture of the dining room, from Masa's website. Beautiful, right?

On this particular Sunday, the place was chock-full of diners, literally wall to wall. (Always a hallmark of a good restaurant, FYI). Luckily there was one table open. It was brunch on Sunday, so this isn’t a surprise, but what was a shocker was the service. They, even being as busy as they were, were prompt, friendly, and always ready with water, another Mimosa or anything else we needed. Brownie points!

Our meal started with complimentary spicy corn bread and a trio of Chipotle Butter, Raspberry jam, and a spiced marmalade. These flavors are what take center stage here; Latin inspired, upscale food, but always with a bit of whimsy and modernity too. All of this goes very well with their Mimosa, maybe the tastiest one I’ve had yet.

For the main event, I ordered the Huevos Rancheros, and another mimosa (can’t help it). A favorite of mine, the Sunnyside-up eggs in a savory Ranchero sauce, over a bed of corn tortillas and refried beans, I have to ask, is there anything better? Theirs was very good, and it was the perfect size, I finished the whole thing. My friend got a breakfast burrito, which was also good, because I got a bite.

Huevos Rancheros, yummo! (pulled from

After all of this, I wasn't able to order anything else, I was just too full. Even though I really wanted to order more because its hard to find this kind of cuisine in Maine, and sometimes just as hard to find this kind of dining experience this far up I-95. But fully sated, we left to go on our next adventure for the day, appreciating the time just to sit and talk for an hour or so. I let the delicious brunch wash over me and savored a rare moment, before the big day December the 25th were I could do nothing but enjoy.

So rating time? Yes please! This is a 4 Fork restaurant, but there should be no surprise there. The food is suburb and inventive, the environment festive and classy, and the waitstaff attentive and friendly. Go here, and you will not be disappointed, at all.

*Since this post has been published, I have been back to Masa on a Thursday and all night long they have half off appetizers! This is amazing considering that their appetizers combination plate is only $10 normally, and that same plate becomes only $5. Get here on a Thursday, after work, and you won’t be disappointed. Sangria and tapas happy hour? Yes sir!  

Now on to… Words for the Day!

As stated above, Christmas is two days away. This is the time to reflect on the past year, surround you with family and friends, and understand the true spirit of the season is to love one another, dammit! And if dynamite food happens to sneak into your plans too, all the better. Merry Christmas everyone! Eat, Drink, and be Extra Merry!


  1. Matt- Masa is one of my favorite places in Boston, and this post is making me hungry. Why am I not on the East Coast any more?
    (Also, your blog backdrop reminds me of the Abercrombie wallpaper you had up in Beard)

  2. hahahaha too funny Meg. I'm glad you like the post, how are you?