Sunday, August 3, 2008

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Pop Goes the Deliciousness

Last weekend Alex and I ventured into the South End again. I'd like to say that we are getting more adventurous in terms of South End eating, but the truth is that the Red Sox were in town and we wanted to stay local. I hate saying it, but I can't wait until our lives aren't dictated by a sports team's schedule. It will be nice to feel free to move in and out of the city without worrying about the ridiculous amount of traffic associated with home games. Anyway, back to the food...

We went to Pops in the South End because the menu attracted us. The restaurant is centrally located and while it's small, it's full of spunk. The best way I can describe the decor is funky vintage. It has silver tiles with intricate designs on the roof that gives the restaurant it's vintage feel and it has a yellow and brown wallpaper that gives the restaurant a funky feel. They make the best use of space by having tables set up in front, in the middle, and in the back of the restaurant along with seats that line and look into the kitchen. We were seated in the area looking into the kitchen and at first we were bothered because it wasn't your typical or expected seating arrangement (we were side by side) but I loved it because I got to look into the kitchen and see how they prepared their dishes. We even made a game of guessing what dishes they were preparing. The best part of sitting where we did is that we got a peek into how the kitchen is run and how much pride they take in presentation; there was even one person (we are assuming he was the owner) that looked over every single dish and made sure it looked crisp and clean.

I started the night off with a Coconut Pineapple Mojito. The mojito was delicious and refreshing with a hint of pineapple juice.

We ordered the Truffled Sweet Pea Ravioli and it came with a fried ball of goat cheese. This dish was incredible. If all vegetables tasted like sweet pea I don't think Alex and I would hesitate ordering dishes with vegetables. The ravioli were overstuffed with pureed sweet pea and were pan-fried. Because the goat cheese was in a fried ball, the cheese was very creamy. What I liked the most was how the cheese didn't lose its saltiness once heated and melted. The saltiness of the cheese was a perfect complement to the sweetness of the ravioli.

For the entree I ordered the Saffron Fettuccini with Sausage. Since this is a South End restaurant I was expecting a small portion. I was in no way prepared for the mountain of sausage and 1-inch think fettuccini pasta I was served. The dish was great. The pasta was buttery and the sausage was mild. The whole dish came together beautifully and the tastes merged to create a pasta that was light and fluffy.

Alex ordered the Kobe Meatloaf. Now when I say that Alex got a meatloaf, I am not kidding you. He must have been served a 1-lb loaf of ground beef. The meatloaf was topped by caramelized onions and blanched carrots. It was also served with mashed potatoes and fried mushrooms. The meatloaf itself was succulent and juicy. Even though Alex found the meatloaf delicious, it was too much meat for him (he even complained about a cow trying to break out of him).

We shared Pop's Cookie Box for the dessert. This dessert came with an assortment of bite-size cookies like oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, and chocolate. It also came served with a glass of chocolate milk topped with whipped cream. The cookies were great, although not like mine (hehe). I really liked the chocolate milk because it tasted natural (like real chocolate) but Alex didn't like it because it wasn't chocolatey enough (it didn't taste like Nesquik syrup).

The atmosphere of Pops is fun and the food is a great South End value. If you want to go to a restaurant that serves flavorful food and takes pride in presentation, then Pops is for you. I know that the next time we go, we are going for burgers because those things looked monstrously delectable.

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