One Potato, Two Potato…

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 3 Potato 4, Vegitarian/Vegan | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

A tiny shop that sells French fries that aren’t fried? We had to check it out right away, so last week, we sought out the weeks-old 3 Potato 4. It’s located inside Ben & Jerry’s on Washington St. in Salem, with a take-out window around the corner on Lynde St. Just look for the funky retro rocket logo.

It was one of those really-wish-I-had-thought-of-that moments as we were handed a paper cone of hot, crispy steak-style “fries” and offered our choice of sauces. The small is only $3, and it’s not tiny; sauces are $1 extra, but worth it. We loved the curried ketchup and the peanut satay. Other choices include pesto mayo, barbeque, and Thai chili. If you’re looking for grease you won’t find it here, but the fries are hearty and tasty.

3 Potato 4 is a new concept that owner Guenevere Blanchard hopes to franchise around the country. The idea is simple: organic potatoes are cooked crispy in about four minutes in a special convection oven—with no fat and a sprinkling of sea salt. It’s a healthy, satisfying snack that gets gussied up with a quick dip in one the highly-flavored sauces. Vegetarians will approve, and vegan sauce and topping choices are available.
3 Potato 4
60 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-7500


Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of (Local) Rum

Posted: May 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Event, Ipswich, Turkey Shore Distilleries | Tags: , , | No Comments »

As New Englanders, we love a good story. We also love local products—especially the kind you can make cocktails with. So it was with great pleasure that we attended a party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Turkey Shore Distilleries and the launch of their Greenhead Spiced Rum last weekend.

The company was formed by Mat Perry and Evan Parker, who grew up as neighbors and friends on Turkey Shore Road in Ipswich. It turns out that barrels of molasses from the West Indies were unloaded at a wharf in Mat’s backyard along the Ipswich River on their way to John Heard’s local distillery from 1770 to 1836. In fact, rum making was a major New England industry in colonial times. Today, Perry and Parker use table-grade molasses to create artisanal rum using a 250-gallon copper pot still built in Kentucky.

We took a tour of the small operation, taking in the gorgeous still, the fermenting tanks, and the tiny bottling operation. Mat told us that the company’s barrels are unusual in that they are smaller than most and built for them from white oak. Most rum these days is aged in barrels already used to age scotch, but the colonials used new barrels, so Turkey Shore does as well.

Along with Old Ipswich White Cap Rum (which we tasted in a fantastic adult version of lemonade) and Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rum (bolder than White Cap and truest to the original New England rums), Turkey Shore is now offering Greenhead Spiced Rum. Delicious and unusual, it has notes of lemongrass, spearmint, and green tea.

We enjoyed meeting the Turkey Shore team, sipping their terrific rum, and learning about their operation. We’ll definitely be seeking out their product, which is available at Kappy’s in Danvers and Peabody, Main St Liquors in Beverly, Cape Ann Liquors in Gloucester, Marcorelles Liquors in Ipswich, Haley’s in Marblehead, Port Wine and Spirits in Newburyport, and Quality Liquors in Salem. It’s also at some of our favorite restaurants, including Hale Street in Beverly, The Farm in Essex, 15 Walnut in Hamilton, and Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich. For a full list of stores and restaurants, please visit the their website.

If you’d like to see the distillery for yourself, you don’t have to wait until their next anniversary to check out Turkey Shore. Tours are available between 12pm and 5pm Monday through Friday and also by appointment. You can see more photos from the anniversary event on our Facebook page.

Turkey Shore Distilleries
23 Hayward Street #8, Ipswich
(978) 356-0048


Dinner in a Diner, Nothing Could be Finer

Posted: May 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Diner, Event | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

While we often write about fine dining and fabulous foodie finds here on the Dish, more pedestrian diners and roadside joints have always held a place in my heart. Whether it’s the excitement of a road trip, the glamour of chrome and neon, or the call of bacon and eggs served at a Formica counter with a swivel stool, classic diners have developed large following.

One of the most dedicated is the intrepid Larry Cultrera, whom I had the pleasure to meet several years ago. As a diner historian, Larry has been chronicling the history of diners and collecting memorabilia for more than 30 years, and he has just published a terrific book: Classic Diners of Massachusetts. (The History Press, 2011)

An engaging book chock full of history, anecdotes, and photos, one chapter is dedicated to the North Shore and Northern Suburbs. “This region of Massachusetts historically had a high concentration of diners primarily because of the mill/factory cities of Lynn, Peabody, Salem, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell, as well as the port city of Gloucester,” he writes.

Each chapter has a full list of diners in the area and highlights a handful of them. The North Shore chapter lists 24 diners and has sections on some of our favorites, including the Capitol Diner in Lynn, the Salem Diner in Salem, and of course the Agawam in Rowley.

Like a father fond of his many children, Cultrera, whose favorite diner meals are eggs and sausage or grilled cheese, refused to single out a favorite when I asked. He did mention the Capitol is a must-see, though, as it’s one of the last operating Brill diners in the country. He also had great things to say about George and Zoe Elefteriadis, owners of the Salem Diner since 2008.

Whether you’re a die-hard diner fan or have recently developed an interest, I highly recommend Classic Diners of Massachusetts. The history of dining cars and those who operate them is accessible and fascinating, and the lists of diners by area will come in handy on those summer road trips.

If you’re interested in meeting Larry and hearing more first-hand, head to the Saugus Historical Society, 30 Main St., tomorrow night at 7:00 (May 9). He will be giving a talk and slide presentation on classic diners and will have copies of the book on hand to sell and sign. You can also keep up with everything diner-related on Larry’s website, Diner Hotline, and his Facebook Page.