Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun in Framingham!!

Yes, we said Framingham, as in Framingham, Massachusetts!

Last weekend we decided to take a little day trip to cross a few fun errands off of our list. We wanted to get out of town for the day, but not travel too far. And of course, we wanted to go somewhere with great food (such a shocker!).

So with those parameters, we settled on Framingham as our destination. Because of our love of great food, we have traveled to Framingham many times just to buy groceries. Why you ask? Because Framingham has Trader Joe's, the best gourmet grocery store. Trader Joe's sells really great, upscale products, but many of them are store brand and have fantastic prices. We buy all of our Olive Oil there, along with great buys on wine, cereal, pasta and anything else that calls to us from the shelves.

Another great store in Framingham is the Container Store. This is the Mecca for all things to organize. You can get lost in the aisles there, just discovering there are thousands of ways to keep your home/office/bath/garage/kitchen tidy.

So once we arrived in Framingham, our first stop was the Container Store. This was our first visit to an actual live store (not the website) so we just thought we would look around. The store was very impressive and offered more than just containers. It was almost a life-changing place of endless ideas!

We left with a couple of sports memorabilia containers and Nicole was so excited to leave with a case of 20 plastic shoe boxes!

Photo courtesy of the Container Store

These boxes stack really nice on top of each other and can be used for much more than shoes. We (okay, really Nicole) was really excited to get them into the closet!

So after we did some shopping, we made our way over to our lunch destination. Because we are HUGE Red Sox fans, and Nicole is an even bigger fan of David Ortiz, we decided to visit Big Papi's Grille for lunch. We were not disappointed!

Big Papi's is described as having American cuisine with a hint of Dominican-infused flavor. This is the perfect description.

This is a great destination for any Red Sox fan to visit, but the food truly stood out on its own. The decor inside was very modern with many photos that fans would enjoy, but it still felt like a class act restaurant.

We started off with Sirloin Empanadas an an appetizer. They were terrific and very flavorful.

Sirloin Empanadas
Since we were just having lunch, we ordered burgers..Now when you think of a burger, you really don't always expect to be WOWed. Well, these burgers were fantastic! They really were.
The were cooked to perfection and just made you want another one as soon as it was gone.

Nicole had the Big Papi Burger. This burger had sliced avocado, pico de gallo, and cheddar jack cheese....YUM!

Jeff ordered the Spicy Dominican Chimichurri Burger. This burger had flavor! It was sirloin mixed with red onion, red pepper, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Big Papi's enfuego hot sauce!

Spicy Dominican Chimichurri Burger

Finally, we ordered a tasty Vanilla creme brulee for dessert. It had the perfect sugary crunchy top (the best part) and a great mixed berry sauce on the side!

Creme Brulee

After we finished eating, we wandered into the bar and found this huge mural. Very cool!

After lunch, we finally decided to head over to Trader Joe's. We just needed a few things and then decided to grab a few treats too! We found a great bag of organic popcorn with Olive Oil..It was so tasty! And then we decided to pick up some of Traders Joe's wine- The Famous 2 Buck Chuck. The real name of this wine is Charles Shaw, but in California, this wine is actually only $2 a bottle! In Massachusetts, it actually retails for $3 a bottle. Still, an amazing deal! If you go to a Trader Joe's near you, you must pick up some "2 buck chuck.".

So overall, we had a great day in Framingham. If you are ever returning to Albany from Boston, just hop off the Mass Pike to enjoy this great area!

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