This will be the longest picture post in a while (since WD-50?), as it depicts some festivities of the past week’s celebrations associated with commencement.
A night to remember: Commencement Ball
Stopping by the Boston Public Garden for some paparazzi action:
Tracy’s Trolley Troupe
Some lovely ladies I’ve known since freshman year:
Friends from China can play in Boston too:
Su and Me
Some classy Heightsmen who I wish would’ve serenaded me:
John and Jason
My fave Top Model:
Ceej and Me
The lovely ladies of Gonzaga 401:
Me, Mon, D9, Ili
Wao Mao -2
pRob the smartest guy I know at BC:
Rob and Me
Chi-Towners/my fave dancers:
Ceej and Jose
Unfortunately, the sky decided to rain during the morning of commencement. We made the best of it nonetheless:
Class gathering on Linden Lane before the procession. Oh and that golden ‘eagle’? It’s a falcon.
After arriving a bit late (as procession was just starting), I eventually found my fellow CSOM grads:
Mike and Me
Kathy and Me
The last words of advice before procession: “When you proceed down the [million dollar] staircase, remember to try and stay vertical.” Wise words.
I’ll Miss The Workout You Always Give Me, $taircase
Oh hey, Deneen. Thanks for coming–fashionably late [as always], and with bangin’ hair [as always] 🙂
D9 y Yo
I’ll miss you more than the Chocolate Bar’s Oreo Frappes you used to make me:
Alex Rios y Yo
Me, Lucia, Vicky, Angel
Way to rain on our parade. In the words of Deneen, we were “not havin’ it.”
Drab in Drab
I had lower expectations for the picture quality on such an overcast day but they ended up okay.
Our entire row (the Ch’s) at the CSOM ceremony was Asian. No surprise there:
Again, fashionably late. This is why I love D9 (besides the fact that she had the best diploma receiving hurrah of all the A-K’s in CSOM):
Attractively Sporting A Sandwich
Mon and Grandma look like handbag models. Okay, Grandma looks like a Patriots’ Day float:
Me, Mom, Grandma
We were excited to bail after the L names were announced and grab lunch. Sorry M-Z’s, Grandma was hungry (Okay, so I was too…):
Dad, Me, Mom
Thankfully, Aquitaine was open until 3pm and BC 09’ers and their parents didn’t know about the hidden gem on Rt. 9. Yay for no wait!
Mom and Dad ordered Turkey Club with French Onion Soup
Soupe a L’Oignon with Melted Aged Gruyere and Amontillado Sherry, Turkey Club
I had the Turkey Club and Pea Soup:
English Pea Potage with Taragon Crème Fraîche and White Truffle Oil Drizzle, Turkey Club
Grandma had the Friend Shrimp Po’ Boy on Baguette with Chipotle Rémoulade, Sweet Basil Pesto and Frites, however before I could capture it, she’d already scarfed half of it down. Oh Grandma…
The bistro food was executed flawlessly. We finished the meal off with coffees (minus Grandma who stuck to the hot water. No caffeine necessary for the young at heart) and a not-so-surprising-nor-coincidental encounter with my BC French professor, Margaret Flagg and her husband, Jeff.
A few errands and hours later, I had dinner at Elephant Walk (the Boston location on Beacon by Fenway) with Shelly. I’ve been meaning to try it for years and when I finally did, this is what ensued:
The use of herbs in these Cambodian Spring rolls reminded me of Vietnam:
Cambodian spring rolls filled with ground pork, crushed peanut, bean thread, carrot and onion; served with fresh greens and herbs for wrapping and tuk trey on the side for dipping
The sauce was great but the crispy jasmine rice was bland and replacable:
Ground pork simmered in coconut milk with sliced garlic, crushed peanuts and chili pods; served with crispy jasmine rice
This soup was refreshing, however it could’ve been portioned smaller as it became too acidic many spoonfuls later:
Chilled Avocado Citrus Soup
Freshly squeezed orange and lime juices, avocado, tomato, and button mushroom; garnished with cilantro
A must-have, these mussels were perfectly cooked and the accompanying flavors of cooked basil were intriguing and delicious:
Steamed mussels in a savory Asian basil broth
The description of this dish had my mouth watering. I love noodles, especially Shanghai noodles. The presentation was the first sign of disappointment. Noodles should be served in a bowl. Secondly, the noodles were too greasy, especially when paired with the salty braised short rib. They were a complete let down, as they reminded me of awful Chinese take-out. The short ribs were mediocre–a bit salty for my taste, however flavorfully braised. I guess as a third course on a prix-fixe, the chef’s aim may have been to strengthen the dish with saltier notes and reawaken the diner’s palate with such audacity. Had the noodles been boiled and not stir-fried, I think the dish could have been saved. The highlight of this course was the 2006 Rioja Gran Familia my waiter suggested, which was smooth yet dry on the finish.
Khar Saiko Kroeung with Shanghai Noodles
Braised boneless short ribs with Shanghai noodles sautéed with baby bok choy, beansprouts and scallion
Shelly had better luck with the beef tenderloin. The garlic sauce and the fact that the beef was cooked perfectly tender anchored this dish. Again, the presentation was lacking.
Sautéed, cubed beef tenderloin, lightly caramelized in black pepper, garlic and mushroom soy
served over shredded lettuce with a lime and black pepper dipping sauce
Overall, if I had to go back to Elephant Walk for a family lunch or dinner, I probably would. I’d recommend it for those who have never had Southeast Asian flavors before and I’d recommend certain dishes over others. However, I have other places to try before I return there again, especially given what I paid. Even if it was an ‘off-night’ for the chef, every night is a live performance and so every night should be impeccably executed.