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The Gallows – South End Pub

1395 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.thegallowsboston.com (617) 425.0200

*In the South End, on Washington St, about the intersection of Monsignor Reynolds Way

Seth & Ren + John & Makeda

  • –Drinks–
  • Old Hickory20130320_210837
  • Wildfire
  • Slice of Life
  • Murdered Manhattan
  • Unita Hops Notch beer (x3)
  • Coffee
  • –Plates–
  • Cod Fritters
  • Lamb Rillette
  • Duck Belly Tacos (!)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Colcannon (mashed potatoes, pork belly, and kale)
  • Clover burger
  • Southern Comfort pulled pork burger
  • Hangtown burger
  • –Dessert–
  • Free mini ice cream cones
  • $163.71 w/tax ($64 in Drinks)

Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

Seth: **I apologize as I write this about six weeks after we ate here. Ignore any 20130320_194948discrepancies**   We arrived a little buzzed after out Bully Boy distillery tour with a good appetite. We started with our usual round of cocktails. After a slight hiccup with my first drink that Ren talks about we moved on to cocktails and entrees. The duck belly taco was absolutely delicious. We also got a Rillette and cod fritters for appetizers that were also good. Ren went with two appetizers for her entree, John and Makeda got two different burgers and I had a burger with pulled pork on top of it. I shall continue my stance that beef and pork will always be delicious when paired together! I ate the entire burger as well as tastes of everyone else’s and we found ourselves, for one of the first times in this blog’s history, too full for dessert. We told our waitress we’d pass and take the check. Undeterred, she brought us each back our own mini ice cream cone! Just about one big bite, it was a sweet close to a pretty good meal. My favorite thing: the pork belly taco, Yum!

Ren: A trip to Bully Boy for a liquor tour led us to look for a restaurant in the near vicinity.  I stumbled across the Gallows in my search. The menu looked good and I’d heard it was good from a few people so I thought we’d give it a try. Despite looking a little busy from the20130320_201204 outside we didn’t have to wait to be seated. We started the meal off with a few cocktails. Mine contained rum, cider, and fresh lemon a nice way to look forward to the spring that will soon be arriving. Seth made the mistake of ordering the fat washed whiskey drink believing the fat wash to be a bitters thing alas it was bacon and duck fat which made for a very strange drink. After the drinks we had cod fritters, lamb rillette, and duck belly tacos as our appetizers. The tacos were spectacular, juicy, and flavorful.  The fritters and lamb were pretty tasty and well made. For my entrée I decided to have two sides brussle sprouts, and the colcannon. The colcannon was the best of the two with more flavor though the potatoes were a little soupy. The brussle sprouts were ok but a little under-cooked  Everyone else had a burger which were very tasty and juicy. I finished my meal with a cup of coffee and after deciding their one dessert wasn’t for us our waitresses treated us two mini soft serve cones which were thoughtful and delicious. As a side note the menu this evening was Irish themed due to St. Patrick’s Day, I think I would like to return sometimes when they have their regular menu. All-in-all this place is worth a visit especially if you’re in to burgers which seem to be what they do best. Next time I’ll stick to meat dishes though not meat washed drinks. My favorite thing: the amazing flavorful 20130320_194936tacos!

Food: Seth 7.5 Ren 7 Food Average 7.25 Pretty decent elevated pub food. It seems their specialty are the burgers which they executed well

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 The waitress was attentive and helpful. She took back the funky cocktail and suggested a new one. Also the free mini cones were pretty cool

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8 A neatly decorated pub. Some interesting stuff on the walls and a good layout.

Total Average: 7.833 If you’re in the area and wanting a good beer and cocktail, go check it out. Some good food and excellent service

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Russell House Tavern – New American

14 JFK St. Cambridge, MA 02138

www.russellhousecambridge.com (617) 500.3055

*In Harvard Sq. near the intersection of Brattle St and JFK St

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Always Sunny cocktail20130223_174513
  • My Triumphs cocktail
  • Burgundy Nights cocktail
  • Fratelli Sling
  • Pretty Things Ale
  • Racer 5
  • Irish coffee
  • –Plates–
  • Oysters (x9)
  • Braised Beef Tongue Meatballs
  • Roasted Bone Marrow
  • Steak Tartare w/ Toasted Caper Brioche and a Quail Egg Yolk
  • Small Dirty Caesar salad
  • Shredded Lamb’s Tongue Pizza w/ Preserved Lemon, Mint, Capers, Sardinian Cheese
  • Crispy Pork Belly sandwich w/ Green Curry Aioli, Pickled Carrots & Jalapenos, Mint, Cilantro, Basil Leaves
  • 16oz. 40 Day Aged Bone In NY Strip w/ Harvard Beets, Marrow Butter, Crushed Fingerlings
  • Berkshire Pork Trio w/ Herb-Grilled Loin, Confit Belly and Smoked Shoulder with Anson Mills Grits and Sauce Vinegar
  • –Desserts–
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • $231.66 w/ tax ($66 in Drinks)

Seth: After finding out about this place from an experience with the chef we made reservations and took the Red line out to Cambridge. We were sat immediately at a round 20130223_181408table for four. We ordered our cursory first round of drinks and started picking our appetizers to share. We split the steak tartare, roasted bone marrow and beef tongue meatballs. Ever since Cragie on the Main I’m a fan of the marrow. On a nice toast it was rich and a great start. Ren, Makeda and I split 9 oysters and we ordered our entrees. I went with the Crispy Pork Belly sandwich as I don’t think I could have really chosen anything else. I wasn’t disappointed as the aoili and pickled veggies made for something incredible. John’s streak was as an aged steak should be. Cooked nicely too. Makeda’s lamb tongue pizza had a richness to it that was enjoyable and finally Ren’s pork trio was excellent. The confit belly and smoked shoulder were especially well done. After the first cocktail, I followed up with a delicious Pretty Things beer and we ordered one dessert to split. The pudding was ok but not really what we were expecting. We took our time here, the waitress great a fantastic job and we had one of our better meals in a while. Well worth a visit. My favorite thing: my pork belly sandwich

Ren: An excursion the previous week filled with delicious lamb at the Lamb Jam in the Charles Hotel lead us to discover the Russell House Tavern; the winner of the evening. Thus we decided to venture there this week for our blog night. It was an excellent discovery. I started the evening of with a ferenet cocktail to prepare my stomach. Then for20130223_183559 our appetizers we ordered steak tartar, bone marrow, caesar salad, and beef tongue meatballs. Our waitress also brought us the deep-fried broiled eggs. Everything was incredible and well prepared especially the meatballs which melted in my mouth and were deliciously cheesy. For my entrée I ordered the pork three ways which was shoulder, loin, and confit belly over grits topped with arugula. It was truly amazing one of the best dishes I have had in a while. The best part was the confit belly which had a slight crisp on the outside and tender melt in your mouth center. The grits were a perfect pair that acted like a sauce. The only defect in my eyes was the pile of arugula on the top of the dish which I thought should have been more of a garnish the a salad on top of the dish. The steak John ordered was well cooked and tender, Seth’s sandwich was juicy and flavorful, and Makeda’s pizza I though lacked flavor dynamic but was still good.  We finished the evening with a toffee pudding which was ok but more like a bread pudding and not exactly what we expected. I also had a Irish coffee which is my favorite finish way to an evening. My favorite thing: The incredible pork belly confit was truly out if this world. Russell House Tavern is really worth a visit

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Great meal all around with original uses of ingredients and attention to detail

20130223_183606Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Our waitress made good recommendations, she brought us a free plate when she notice how much we enjoyed the others, and our napkins were folded when we left our seats. Great Service

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 There’s the ground level bar then the dining area is one floor down. A little darker there with a nice atmosphere. Nice place for a first date or friends gathering

Total Average: 8.333 Tasty food, nice place, good service. Next time you’re in Harvard Sq check this place out.

One bad thing: Perhaps the misstep with the dessert

Fogo De Chao – Brazilian Steakhouse

200 Dartmouth St. Boston, MA 02116

www.fogo.com (617) 585.6300

*On the corner or Huntington Ave and Dartmouth St next to the entrance of the Copley Mall

Seth & Ren, +4 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Pineapple Mint Caipirinha
  • Strawberry Caipirinha20130126_213029
  • Passion Caipirinha
  • Guarana
  • Bottle of Luigi Bosca Res Malbec
  • –Plates–
  • We didn’t order plates. Just six dinners of unlimited food!
  • –Desserts–
  • Fogo de Chão Signature Papaya Cream
  • South American Flan
  • Crème Brule
  • Turtle Cheesecake
  • Molten Chocolate Cake
  • $393.21 w/tax ($81.25 in Drinks)

Price/Person for all-you-can-eat: $46.50

Seth: We’ve been meaning to get to a Brazilian Steakhouse for a while so we decided this was a good a time as any. This place had opened not too long ago and had some good reviews behind it. We arrived early but were sat about 45 minutes late. I’ll always hold my peace but for some reason got a little fired up this time. I spoke to the hostess, who had me speak to the manager. He was more than accommodating, sitting us personally and making sure we were attended to. We started out with the salad bar and a nice bottle of wine. I didn’t want to fill up too much before the unlimited cuts of meat came, so I picked sparingly little at the bowl of bacon (!) and cheeses. When we sat we were explained that 20130126_221928the little round card next to each of us indicated whether we wanted more or not. One side was red, and the other green. When you had it flipped to green, a waiter with some sort of new cut of roasted meat was there every other minute cutting off a fresh piece right from the skewer. I tried the filet mignon, top sirloin, rib-eye, beef ribs, lamb chop, pork ribs and the cured pork sausage. Some of them were absolutely divine  others a little over cooked or under seasoned.  I learned to turn down stuff quick and pick just what I was interested in. After eating what must have been far more than I possible should have the manager didn’t skip a beat and returned with 5 desserts for the table. I really liked the flan and the papaya cream. I walked out of there a little heavier than I went in but enjoyed myself. I’d like to compare this to another Brazilian Steakhouse sometime. My favorite thing: The pork ribs and the huge bowl of bacon!

Ren: A recent desire for large amounts of steak lead us to the choose a Brazilian steakhouse for this weeks blog. Due to it being a Saturday, and us towing along a fairly large group, we had to set the reservation for 9:30. We got there a few minutes early and two of us decided to have a Caipirinha while we waited. Only it was more than a few minutes until we were seated. In fact it was almost 10:15 when we were finally shown to our seat. The manager apologized profusely saying there were several large parties that sat longer than predicted. We commenced the meal with a delicious bottle of Malbec and a trip to their salad bar. I snagged a few pieces of charcuterie, smoked salmon, fogo salad barasparagus, mozzarella balls, and bread. The charcuterie was the best part of my choices and everything else was average, though it was hard to fully appreciate because at that time the passing of the meat had commenced. It was an onslaught of beefy proportions!  A little overwhelming and exciting at the same time. The meat was decent. Some of it excellently cooked such as the top loin and the lamb, yet overall I was slightly disappointed by the flavor. After eating more than our stomachs could handle we finally ceased the onslaught and took a deep breath. Just when we thought it was all over they delivered one of each of their desserts to our table as a way to apologize for getting us to our table late. This was very appreciated. I especially enjoyed the wonderful flan but all of the desserts were fairly delicious. I’m not sure I will be making a return visit here but I do suggest it to anyone who has a large appetite and a hankering for a ton of beef.  My favorite thing: The flan and the endless choices

Food: Seth 7.5 Ren 6 Food Average: 6.75 Tasty grilled meats and a pretty decent salad bar. Perhaps what it lacks in above average quality it makes up in quantity.

Service: Seth 8 Ren 8 Though we were sat 45 minutes after our reservation, (I did make a little stink to the hostess) the manager made every attempt to make up for it. Sat us personally, had extra waiter attention our way, then gave us 5 complimentary desserts!

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 6.5 A neat floral arrangement above the salad bar and some Brazilian type artwork on the walls, but not terribly much flair.

Total Average: 7.250 A slow start and a stronger finish. A whole lot of good food but a little pricey for the quality. I think I wanna go check out the Brazilian place in Eastie.

One bad thing: Missing our reservation

Link

400 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA 02144

 www.fivehorsestavern.com (617) 764.1655

*On the corner of Grove St. and Highland Ave.

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Tea
  • Harpoon Coffee Porter
  • Stone IPA
  • Julius Dunkel
  • Bear Republic Heritage
  • –Plates–
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Drunken Wings: tequila, chile, beer marinated, lime and salt
  • Two Tacos: Tuna & Pork Belly
  • K.F.Cornish Guinea Hen x2 : with jalapeno cheddar mashed potatoes, pork belly spiked mac and cheese
  • Duck Three Ways : hoisin marinated duck breast, chicken fried duck leg, confit duck thigh spring roll, garlic Chinese broccoli, baby carrots
  • Roasted Chicken: 1/2 chicken, mashed potatoes and mesclun salad
  • –Dessert–
  • Nutella Banana
  • $139.58 w/tax ($31 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

threee

Guest (John): I heard good things about Five Horses from a few friends so I decided to suggest it for a blog review visit. Over all I was slightly disappointing after the exceedingly high reviews. It was decent for bar food but lacked the depth my spoiled taste buds were craving. (This was due to a recent visit to Menton). The drunken wings were a bit limey, the

twoo

tuna taco was underwhelming, however I thought the pork belly taco had the best flavor combinations of the night. The cornish hen was cooked very well but lacked seasoning.

The mac and cheese was good but a bit overwhelming in richness and became too much after a few bites. The mashed potatoes weren’t as flavorful as I expected despite the cheese and jalapenos mixed in. The dessert was average. If you’re looking for slightly upscale pub food with a twist I might recommend this place. They had some really great ideas but might need to work a bit on the execution. My favorite thing: The pork belly taco.

Ren: This week we headed corralled the gang and headed over to Five Horses Tavern near Davis square. The atmosphere walking into the restaurant was welcoming and cozy and we were immediately shown to a table. Though I wish it had been one of the comfy looking leather booths. I was told ahead of time that the pork belly taco was a must have. So we commenced the meal with a pork belly taco, tuna taco, baby bok choy in a oneevinaigrette sauce, and an order of the drunken wings.

The pork belly taco was all I hoped it would be with crisp shell to the pork and tender succulent inside. Everything else was good though I thought they could have dialed down the lime on the wings as it overwhelmed the flavor a bit. I chased down the appetizers with a delicious Julius Dunkel an excellent Belgian beer with a good balance of hop and smoothness.

Our entrees came shortly after the appetizers. I ordered the duck three ways which consisted of a duck spring roll, battered fried duck drum, and sliced duck breast. The veggies were well prepared, the drum was very tender and the spring roll was quite tasty. I was however a little disappointed by the slight dryness of the duck breast. The mashed potatoes on Makeda’s plate was very tasty and the pork belly mac and cheese on John and Seth’s plates was definitely one of the stars of the night with its cheesy rich glory; though maybe a little over rich. Though we were quite full at the end we deemed in necessary to sample one of the dessert on the menu for the sake of the blog. We went with the nutella and banana on brioche, crust cut off and a raspberry dipping sauce. It was delightful but simple and reminded me off all the times I sat down with a banana and a jar of nutella for a snack. All in all it was a good evening. I would recommend Five Horses to anyone looking to hang with friends at a bar with decent food, at decent prices, and a decent beer selection. My favorite thing: The wonderfully executed delicious pork belly taco.

fourr

Food: John 6.5 Ren 7.5 Food Average: 7 Some tasty above average bar food with a decent beer selection. Food was creative.

Service: John 6.5 Ren 7.5 Fairly attentive server. Everything was satisfactory.

Decor/Atmosphere: John 7 Ren 8 Relaxed atmosphere with attractive decor and cozy leather booths. Good place to hang out with friends for a laid back and friendly evening.

Total Average:   7.167

One bad thing: Everything was fairly satisfactory if there had to be one complaint it would be the lack of napkins on the table when dessert arrived.

Brown Sugar Cafe – My Thai

1033 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

www.brownsugarcafe.com (617) 787.4242

*On Commonwealth Ave, after Babcock St and before Packards Corner

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Sparkling wine
  • Singha beer x3
  • –Plates–
  • Chicken Lollipops: batter fried de-boned chicken wings w/ seasoned ground shrimp, chicken and mushroom stuffing
  • Brown Sugar Spareribs
  • Fresh Rolls w/ House Special Turnip sauce
  • Bird of Paradise: salmon, shrimp, sea scallops, squid, mussels and vegetables in hot & sour broth spiced w/ exotic lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil
  • Roast Duck Curry: honey roasted duck in delicious red curry with pineapple chunks, tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves
  • Brown Sugar Duck: glazed with chef’s tangy sauce
  • Pad Thai w/ Duck
  • (I think we got a lot of duck in this one…)
  • –Desserts–
  • Fried Espresso Ice cream
  • $135.52 w/tax ($29.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

Seth: Makeda is a huge Thai fan and had been talking up this place for a little while. When a reservation attempt at a Mediterranean place didn’t work out this was our next choice. We made our way down Comm Ave, into the restaurant and into our seats without a wait. It mostly filled up as dinner went along but it doesn’t appear it’d be a problem in the future. I convinced my dinner companions that starting with a bottle of Champagne was a good idea and we moved right into the appetizers. The stuffed chicken lollipops were an original a tasty idea. The fresh rolls were just that, rolls of bright fresh veggies in a really nice dipping sauce. The Spareribs, I couldn’t turn down and I’m glad we didn’t. Perfectly cooked a with a slightly sweet glaze, they didn’t disappoint. I picked the Duck Curry hoping for a little zing with my favorite poultry option. The entrée was delicious. I agree with Ren with her Pad Thai being top-notch. I’ve always been a fan and this version was really superb. John’s duck was in a fantastic!! sauce and nicely cooked. Makeda’s dish came in a rich flavorful broth that I likened a little to Pho in its complexity. We chatted and ate and snuck in a round of beers before the food was completely gone. Once again, when it’s the four of us, we do not turn away from a dessert, splitting a deep-fried espresso ice cream that closed out the meal quite well. My favorite thing: that sparerib sticks in my memory

Ren: Schedule conflicts lead us to have our first ever Saturday night blog night which also brought a difficulty in making reservations. Thus we ended up at Thai restaurant Brown Sugar were no reservations are necessary and we didn’t have to wait. We started the evenings festivities with a bottle of champagne  an order of spareribs, wings, and Thai rolls.  The ribs fell off the bones, the wings were paired with an excellent sauce, and the rolls were made with fresh veggies. They were brought out one by one which allowed us to enjoy each dish. My entrée of duck pad thai arrived soon after. I would have to say it was the best pad thai I have ever had, which could also be because it was the first duck pad thai I ever had. We finished the evening off with a beer and espresso fried ice cream which was very well executed with the perfect amount of crust. Definitely a must for any Thai food fan, I will be returning for the pad thai. My favorite thing: The flavorful pad thai

Food: Seth 8 Ren 8 Food Average: 8 Tasty Thai food. Original and interesting appetizers. Some great food to check out

Service: Seth 7 Ren 6.5 Very average to a little below service. Not really around when we needed her and a few mistakes

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Nicely done spot, making use of their space. The requisite fish tanks and a really gorgeous tapestry on the wall. Wait till you see their version of Happy Birthday to a guest. Makes all the other ones you’ve ever seen pale in comparison

Total Average: 7.583 Take away the spotty service which may very well be the exception with this spot and you have one of the best Thai places in the city. Go check it out

One bad thing: The service miscues and perhaps John’s under-cooked veggies

Tupelo – Modern Southern

1193 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02139

www.tupelo02139.com (617) 868.0004

*In Inman Sq. in Cambridge at the intersection of Cambridge and Tremont St

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Cote du Rhone
  • Abita Amber
  • Monk’s Blood
  • Ommegang
  • Peak Organic x2
  • Abita Turbodog
  • zombie killer
  • Mulled Red Wine
  • –Plates–
  • Fried Oysters w/ Tabasco aioli and house pickles
  • Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!) *Night Special*
  • Triple-Fried Chicken wings *Night Special*
  • Deep fried Crispy Grits squares
  • Small Cajun Gumbo w/ pulled chicken, fresh okra and smoked andouille sausage
  • Southern Fried Chicken w/ hominy mashed potatoes, collard greens and pickled red cabbage
  • Crawfish Chowder *Night Special*
  • BBQ Pulled Pork w/ collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes
  • The King’s Favorite Meatloaf w/ jalapeño mac&cheese, collard greens and pan gravy
  • Texas Style Beef Chili w/ cheddar cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapeño peppers
  • –Dessert–
  • Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • $211.86 w/tax ($65 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Back out to Cambridge we went to check out some Southern food this week. Our search had put us to this location as well as a spot on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had a reservation and arrived a little late but was promptly sat. Our server was energetic and excited about our dinner. We decided on splitting four appetizers and got our first round of drinks. I had Peaks organic first and was especially excited about the Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!). When it came it was delicious but the pork wasn’t as tender as I was hoping for. The oysters and wings were really good and I liked the originality of the deep-fried grits squares. For my entrée I decided on the meatloaf. It had good flavor and was tender enough. The accompanying collard greens were perfect and the mac & cheese was good though reminiscent of Velveeta. Bites of the Southern fried chicken highlighted the tasty crust and the Chili was good spicy, nice and hearty and flavorful. Ren’s BBQ pulled pork was cooked well and with one of the pickles proved an enjoyable mouthful. I had a another beer as I finished off my dinner and once again, though quite full, we decided on splitting a couple of desserts. I really liked the pie, which had a fantastic crumble on top. The Mississippi mud pie was decadence and too much for me after a couple small bites. My favorite thing: Either the pulled pork or those fried oysters

Ren: The smell of BBQ and the yearn for grits brought us over to Tupelo in Inman Square. Southern style comfort food is just what we needed to warm our bellies and incite conversation. I started the meal with a delicious Saison. For appetizers we split a pork belly corn dog, deep-fried grits, triple fried wings, and fried oysters. Everything was incredibly delicious, succulent and paired with excellent sauces. For my entrée I chose the bbq pulled pork with collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes paired with a cherry mead. The collard greens were the best I have ever had and the rest was pretty good. Everyone else’s dish was very good especially John’s craw fish chowder with Gruyère biscuits. We ended the meal with a slice of cranberry apple pie and a slice of mud pie. Both were a little sweet for me but definitely tasty so I ordered a glass of mulled wine to finish my meal. Tupelo is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious southern food. My favorite thing: the wonderful crawfish chowder

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average:  8.5 *Certified Dericious* Delicious appetizers, great concepts of the food, some Southern classics and some modern updates. Execution on a few dishes fell a little short, but awesome overall

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Our server was friendly, original and gave us as much advice and recommendations as we asked for, plus some. The service was timely and he worked with our requests for timing and bill splitting

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8.5 A cute little place in Inman Sq. Good place for a date. I’m glad they took reservations as the place was pretty filled up. Decor on the walls was well done

Total Average: 8.333 Really good food, fantastic service and another great Date Night spot

One bad thing: A couple of food execution errors. The Southern Fried Chicken was a little over done and the Chowder may not have been seasoned as well as it could have been