Brunch with Bear: Thanksgiving Special 2013

This year, Thanksgiving was split between friends and family in Boston and New York. Commence many bus rides back and forth, and traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike was as slow as traffic on Brunch with Bear lately! Due to our delay, we thought we’d bring you a fun Thanksgiving post filled with food photos and stories of the things for which we are thankful. And so we present: Brunch with Bear’s Thanksgiving Special:

A proper New England Thanksgiving began with cold rain and wind, and a very long bus ride on Thanksgiving eve. Thankfully, Cambridge’s takeout scene is premium. One of my favorite places to grab grub in the Boston area is called Wagamama. (“Waga-whatta?”) Wagamama has awesome Japanese/fusion food, and they are super upfront about allergies. Unfortunately, they have yet to come to NYC but we’re still crossing our fingers! Nothing says welcome to Cambridge like some hot chicken katsu curry. Our server was incredibly nice about us rushing in fifteen minutes before closing, and threw in some extra utensils and napkins in case I felt like sharing. “Not that you’re going to want to share the chicken katsu curry. You’ll want it all to yourself.” Wagamama’s a winner.

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A big part of being on vacation is being able to eat as much Cup Noodles and Top Ramen as you want (and possibly can). While many people may roll their eyes and mumble, “College kids,” they will secretly Google how cheap it would be to buy a couple dozen cups of Cup Noodles in bulk. (It’s pretty cheap.)

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And now we reach Thanksgiving dinner itself. One of my best high school friends lives in the Boston area and his mother has been feeding me Thanksgiving for the last couple years. She said she wouldn’t make turkey or stuffing again this year, but clearly that was just a lie. Everything on the table was delicious and I went in for seconds (and thirds) before closing with some tea and the most amazing biscotti and cookies ever.

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I left Thanksgiving with an enormous supply of biscotti and cookies, to be later enjoyed in NYC (pictured below). These cookies are famous for keeping several freezing cold teenagers (my friends and I) alive during a traumatic and upsetting camping trip where we went white-water rafting on the Klamath River in our junior year of high school. We call them “river cookies,” even though I can pretty much guarantee none of us will ever be getting back on that river. (Also pictured are Babycakes brownies, of which I have dozens in my apartment for reasons unrelated.)

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Before going back to NYC, I also discovered Au Bon Pain for the first time! Affectionately called “ABP” (which I really enjoy saying), they had an interactive video screen which, though hard to use, detailed all the ingredient and allergen information of all their products. Sometimes I dream about the concept of just picking up a soup-and-sandwich-combo, like a regular New-Englander/everyone else without allergies, and it came true! Chicken salad sandwich and chicken noodle soup, as if I don’t eat enough chicken.

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Back in New York, we discovered Caffe Bene, which was a very crowded, but very warm coffee shop in the middle of Times Square. They had a lot of books that seemed like they should be old, but were very new. I was able to get a cup of tea for less than three dollars, which is basically free in the middle of Tourist Haven.

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Before everyone departed this morning to go back to their respective schools and other destinations, we had a great dinner at Westville in Chelsea. I got my usual steak sandwich and fries, and spent the evening catching up with friends and family!

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I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving or at least a good weekend (if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving). Let’s face it: Thanksgiving, wonderful as it is, really just marks the day after which I can play Wham! and Mariah Carey nonstop for a full month. As I head into finals week, I’m thankful for such a lovely weekend, for good company and good food, and for readers like you!

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