STANDING IN LINE AT MIKE ‘ S PASTRY

This bake shop in Boston was founded in 1946 in the North End by Mike Mercogliano.

Hence the name, Mike’s Pastry.

The bakery sells cookies, pies, cakes, gelato, but it’s their assorted canolis that locals and tourists stand in line for in front of the bakery that’s located at 300 Hanover Street .

The bakery is opened everyday at 8am, but on Fridays and Saturdays , they stay open until 11pm instead of 10pm on the other nights .

Don’t even think of busting out that Visa or Master Card to pay for those gut busting desserts.

Cash only here, my peeps .

They will even ship your goodies for you to enjoy wherever you are in the United States by UPS on Mondays, Wednesday , and Thursday .

Now about that standing in line business .

Once you enter the store, which has more room than you imagine , the service is very fast, but just know what you want before the cashier takes your order, and if you want to, leave a tip.

These cashiers work hard to get everyone out and on their way to enjoy these goodies .

Besides the store in the North End, which is Boston ‘ s Little Italy , they have stores in Harvard Square in Cambridge , and Assembly Square in Somerville , Massachusetts .

You can tell someone went to the bakery by the distinctive blue and white box that says, Mike’s Pastry splashed all over it.

My friend and I waited for canolis , which are huge, and other pastries for about half an hour maybe.

While waiting , we struck up a conversation with the couple behind us, who were from Toronto and were in town not only for the baseball game , but the football game in Foxboro as well.

Me, of course, being the Sports Diva, just had to do one of the things that she loves best, talk about sports, especially baseball and hockey .

( Shoutout to Anthony and Sarah , btw, and I hope you both make it to Madison Square Garden to see a New York Rangers hockey game, even if you both are Toronto Maple Leafs fans , lol)

What did I get?

I got three of the pastries that Mike’s is famous for.

Canolis.

One regular , one Amaretto , and one Limoncello .

Sorry, not sorry, but three weren’t enough, but I didn’t get more.

Boston isn’t that far from New York City , so I can always get more or even have them delivered to me.

If you happen to do your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Boston , make a trip down to Mike’s Pastry .

Your stomach might be sorry but not your wallet.

EATING GOOD AT THE ACE RESTAURANT

While in Atlantic City, my auntie, cousin and I could have eaten at one of the many restaurants on the Boardwalk.

Instead, we ate all of our meals at the restaurant inside of the Showboat Hotel, the ACE Restaurant.

This restaurant was remodeled and is located on the first floor of the hotel.

There was once an Italian Restaurant and the House of Blues restaurant in the hotel, but they’re both closed now.

The restaurant opens at 8am and closes at 11pm, although the last night that we were there, it closed at 10pm.

They have a breakfast special that’s served from 8am until 11:30am and costs $8.50.

The special consists of home fries, toast, two eggs, and meat, which is either bacon, sausage or pork roll, which is very popular in New Jersey .

Trust me, the breakfast special was worth it .

As we ate the majority of our meals here, I had the chance to try almost everything, and believe me, I did.

The Buffalo Chicken Wings were tasty, with extra sauce on the side.

The Onion Rings were to die for and put all those fast food onion rings to shame.

The hot dog that I had for lunch was one of the biggest , juiciest hot dog that I have ever had, and it was loaded with onions.

No, not raw onions or onions with tomato sauce like you find in New York City , but carmelized onions, like they came off the grill.

Maybe I was hungry, but adding the onions made my hot dog even more juicier and mouthwatering.

The salad that came with dinner entrées wasn’t just any old salad with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.

The salad came with lettuce, cucumbers, Jersey tomatoes, which, sorry, not sorry are some of the best tomatoes ever.

(Jersey Beefsteak Tomatoes are big and plump and oh so good.)

The hotel kicks their salad up several notches with red onions and cranberries.

You don’t even have to ask them to put your salad dressing on the side.

It’s as though the restaurant knows that you want that Bleu Cheese, Ranch, Honey Mustard or Balsamic Dressing on the side.

(Don’t look for French, Italian , or Russian Dressing, they don’t have it at the restaurant, just the ones that I mentioned. If you want any other kind for your salad, BYOB, bring your own bottle of dressing.)

The only food order that I wasn’t feeling was my Chicken and Waffles, which I had for the last evening.

Y’all were a little stingy with the chicken, people .

A couple of Chicken Wings or a Chicken Thigh on top of the waffles would have been wicked awesome and worth the $18 thatI paid.

Just throwing it out there, guys.

Like most of the hotel , the restaurant didn’t have a lot of people eating there.

The restaurant has another section to it called The Surfside Bar.

They had Happy Hour Specials.

Need I mention that it was ALWAYS full of people?

All in all,I did enjoy eating here.

The Hot Dog, Onion Rings, salad, and Chicken Wings held me down.

I didn’t even want to go to any of the other places that had buffets.

If you happen to go to Atlantic City and you don’t want to go to a buffet or spend a lot of money for a decent meal, ACE Restaurant is the place for you .

Oh did I mention that you can have a nice quiet conversation here with the person next to you without being overwhelmed by the music in the restaurant ?

You can, and that’s another plus in my book.

LOADS OF FOOD AT CARMINE’S

For once, the Sports Diva wasn’t at home watching some sporting event.

Nor was I on another 30 Plus Teams Tour, getting ready to go to some sporting event.

Instead, I went to Carmine’s Restaurant for a late birthday dinner, courtesy of my nephew and sister in law.

There are two Carmine’s Restaurant branches in New York City .

There’s branches in the Theater District of New York City , and branches in Atlantic City , Washington DC , Las Vegas and even in the Bahamas .

The one that we’re going to is on the Upper West Side on Broadway at 91st street.

Reservations are required and make sure if you make a reservation for four people, all four of you are there when the host or hostess is getting ready to seat you, otherwise you won’t be seated.

Everyone in your party must be there.

You’ll notice that the restaurant seems to be loud.

It is and it’s not just because you’re in New York .

The tables are close to each other .

It was my first time at Carmine’s .

I’m so glad that I hadn’t eaten either a big breakfast or lunch.

The amount of food is amazing .

When you’re shown to your seat, your waiter greets you and tells you the specials for the evening.

Once you order, you’d be amazed at how big the portions of food are, even if you order an appetizer .

There were three of us at the table, and there was so much food that we ended up bringing home leftovers , even salad and bread.

Once your food is ready, your waiter brings your food out on a platter .

He or she then puts your plates on the table and proceeds to serve your food to you on the plates.

It’s a lot of food as you can tell by the pictures.

I apologize that the pictures are dark, but you can see how huge these platters are.

To say that this is a lot of food for one person, let alone two or four, is an understatement .

You definitely won’t go home hungry at this restaurant .

If you do, there’s something wrong with you.

The food not only looks delicious, it is at this family style restaurant that has been around since 1990.

Prices are higher for dinner than they are for lunch .

The restaurant on Broadway and 91st is open for lunch and dinner every day .

When you come to Carmine’s , enjoy yourself and definately bring your appetite with you.

Carmine’s Restaurant

Upper West Side

2450 Broadway at 91st Street

New York , NY 10024

212-362-2200

Sunday-Thursday 11:30am until 11pm

Friday – Saturday 11:30am until 12am

GOOD EATING BEFORE A GAME IN NEWARK  – MERCATO TOMATO PIE

If you happen  to  be  doing a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  /New Jersey  and you’re  looking for a place to eat before you go to  a New Jersey  Devils  game at Prudential  Center ,  you have a couple  of  options . 

You could go to the Newark  branch of  Dinosaur  Barbecue , which some people  do.

You can’t  miss  it , it’s  right across  the  street  from the place affectionately  known by hockey fans in New York and  New Jersey as “The Rock “.

It’s  right in front of  the  huge grey statue  of a hockey player in Championship  Plaza.

There is however, another place to eat before a Devils  game, and this is the place where most of them go.

It’s  called Mercato Tomato Pie, and in spite of the huge wood fire ovens cooking pizza  non stop, you’ll  find more than pizza there . 

There’s  salads, mozzarella  sticks ,  chicken  wings, and some of the biggest and juiciest  looking hamburgers you’ve  ever seen . 

Now, if you’re  vegetarian or don’t  eat beef, they’ve  got you covered too with Veggie and Turkey burgers.

They also serve  fountain soda  drinks as well as alcohol, not to mention  those mouth watering  old fashioned  milk shakes.

The restaurant  is located at 212 Market  Street  in Downtown  Newark and it’s  open every day from 11 am until 10 pm.

It’s  a few blocks away  from Newark ‘ s Penn Station  and right around the  corner  from the arena.

If you walk to the exit door that’s  in the back of the restaurant ,  you’ll  see the parking  lot.

That building  right across the street  with the pictures of the hockey players on it, is the place you want to be if you’re  going to  see  New Jersey’s team.

There are tables and  chairs  plus booths to sit in, but wait for the host or hostess to seat you.

If you’re  lucky ,  one of  the  owners of this very friendly  establishment  will seat you himself.

The atmosphere  is very friendly  here and everyone  seems to know everyone . 

If you go to the restaurant  enough, the waitstaff will greet you by name and say hello  among other pleasantries . 

They’ll  even ask you if you want what you usually  order when you come to Mercato.

Prices are very reasonable ,  something  you don’t  see at some of  the restaurants or sports bars across the river in New York  City . 

Of course, since this is across the street  from a sports  arena, there are televisions  set to different  sporting events.

One word of warning though, if you go to Mercatos and the Devils are playing either  the Rangers, Pittsburgh  Penguins ,  Philadelphia  Flyers ,  New York  Islanders  or Boston  Bruins . 

PLEASE GET THERE EARLY!

You might be waiting  a long time to be seated anywhere in the restaurant . 

As I mentioned  before, if you’re  going to a game at the arena, or just happen  to  be in downtown  Newark and want a friendly ,  inexpensive  place to eat , get yourself  to Mercato  Tomato  Pie.

You’ll  definitely  come back again and again . 

Mercato  

Tomato  Pie

212 Market Street

Newark ,  New Jersey  07102