Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Obsession with Food Finds an Outlet:

I recently discovered, a community reviewing site which allows users to post reviews of Boston-area services ranging from restaurants to media outlets to car repairs. Since this is what I love to do, I now dabble on the Web site when I'm waiting for my pasta to boil or for a slow page to download. It's helpful because it assigns you an individual URL (in my case, where all of your work is nicely arranged. It's democratic, because it doesn't require businesses to purchase a listing before customers can comment on it--I was even able to be the first to list my boyfriend's business, Nitro Tone Music, and review it (with full disclosure about our connection, of course). And it's instantly gratifying because you can receive compliments, messages and other feedback from readers and even from the Website staff, which singled out my review of the Flour Cafe as their "Review of the Day" on July 13 and later sent it out in their weekly e-newsletter as a "favorite review of the week," extra exposure I wasn't expecting, which was nice.

Flour Bakery & Cafe
1597 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 267-4300

"This place is apparently a favorite among Yelpers [there had been several reviews for this place already], but among Bostonians in general it's still a little-known hideaway. South Enders, however, seem to be flocking to Flour; my guess is that the sunny see-and-be-seen patio is a draw (for people-watchers and dog owners especially), as well as the gourmet goods inside. Another detail that sold me recently was the chalkboard inside, which features foodie quotes every day, and last week had a notation from gourmet doyenne MFK Fisher. These people are really passionate about food; the dishes might be a little rich (in price and in calories!), but you should know that much more love and talent goes into their preparation than any Starbucks.

This is an adopted neighborhood place for me, so I know it is an excellent place to stop by and soak up the sun after a long night out (that's me in the walk-of-shame heels and annoyingly big glasses with the Sunday paper--hi! good morning!). Try the new lemon-ginger-mint spritzer for a non-caffeine pick-me-up, along with the delicious portobello panini special for the perfect combination of refreshing and greasy (yes, grease is still sometimes a good thing, even on the ever-gentrifying Washington Street)."


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