The Meat House: Disney World for Social Foodies

September 10, 2011 at 10:41 PM (Food) (, , , , , )

A quick glance at my Foursquare feed would probably reveal at least one recent check-in at The Meat House in Coolidge Corner accompanied by “omgomgomgomnomnomnom” or some variation thereof. It’s a specialty grocery store filled with all kinds of deliciousness (including a solid beer and wine selection) and super-helpful staff – oh, and a heckuva butcher. Even better, The Meat House embraces social media to almost no end. It’s a wonder the place isn’t called Brittany Falconer Land, but I’m sure marketing is working on that.

I’ll yap about their online presence first, but then I’ll sing the praises of their good ole’ fashioned customer service. The Meat House opened in Coolidge Corner maybe about a year ago, and since then I’ve become somewhat hooked. At first I went in just to see what was up – with a name like “The Meat House,” I was bound to find something I liked. Sure enough I did, made my purchase, which came with a free package of steak tips for my first-time visit, and went on my merry way. A short time later, I saw a familiar name in my daily Groupon Email: $20 for $40 worth of fare at The Meat House. I didn’t have to think long about that one. After that, the other online channels made themselves known to me: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and SCVNGR.* Finding a place with a neighborhood feel that connects with me both online and offline and offers fantastic food and service is quite the boon, and as a result The Meat House has earned a spot on my top five favourite regular places in Boston.

The Meat House: Go ahead and tell me you're not salivating, liar.I did note that the store connects both online and off. Let me tell you about the Brookline staff (I’ll drop names where I can). For starters, you will not be ignored. Within 10 seconds of entering the store, someone is going to ask you how you’re doing and if you need help finding anything. If it’s your first time visiting, you’ll be offered a quick tour (did you know you can order alligator or whatever other exotic meat you want?) and a package of The Meat House’s delicious steak tips (grill them). Need a recommendation? Ask anyone there – the entire staff is incredibly knowledgeable and more than happy to share expertise on pairings, preparation tips and anything else you may be wondering about culinarily. While The Meat House is a chain, it certainly doesn’t feel like one. When I walked in today I think at least 50 percent of the staff knew my name, and the rest recognised me at the least. Granted, I go probably twice a week, but I’m sure everyone else is treated just as warmly. Speaking of not feeling like a chain, each store is unique in stocking as much local fare as possible. I think Brookline’s store carries at least 30 percent local goods. Translation: buy delicious, and be nice to the local economy.

In addition to being able to order alligator, or venison, or ostrich, or whatever unconventional animal you enjoy consuming, if you have a hankering for a specific beer or wine, go talk to Steve. He’s responsible for the store’s alcohol content and will work with you to get your beer or wine of choice (assuming the store is already working with the distributor). I had been looking for Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter – it’s amazing and you should be looking for it right now – for months. As far as I know, it isn’t exactly mainstream in the Boston area (but it should be). Once I spoke with Seth about it, he introduced me to Steve who checked the database and, sure enough, was able to ship some in for me. I’ve received some great treatment at Boston restaurants, but never has a grocery store gone above and beyond for me to provide me with the best experience possible.

Finally, obligatory shout-out to Jamie, the marketing person in town who, as far as I know, is responsible for the Groupons and Facebook updates. Once again, her work expands beyond the online realm. I’ve seen her in the store as well as at countless events, spreading The Meat House Gospel (often with coupons in-tow). Her job is awesome, as is she. Say hi if you see her in the store. And then tell her to do an interview with me for beyond 140. 😉

If You Go
The Meat House
1285 Beacon Street
Coolidge Corner
Brookline, MA 02446
Open Daily – Summer: 9am – 9pm

*I don’t use SCVNGR, so I don’t actually know what having a presence on the site/app does, but I still wanted to include it.

Today’s Tunes
Black Sheep, Martin Sexton

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Walking for the Jimmy Fund (Please Donate!)

September 6, 2011 at 6:00 AM (Events, Goals) (, , , , , )

No point in beating around the bush: I’m walking five miles for the Jimmy Fund in honour of a colleague who was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) about a year ago and would greatly appreciate a donation from you – no matter how small. Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous growth in one of the ducts that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. It, along with every other form of cancer, is a bugger that needs to be wiped out. The Jimmy Fund supports cancer care and research at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. To date, the walk has raised over $73 million, and I need your help to contribute.

I’m only about $30 away from my goal of $250. If the average of 18 people who read this post today donate just $5 each to my team, I will surpass my goal and tap-dance with glee. Of course, if you’re feeling more generous than that and wouldn’t mind donating a bit more, that’s awesome sauce, too. If plain old altruism just doesn’t cut it for you, perhaps some charitable purchases will convince you . . .

Do you like food? Or being pampered? Fancy that: I have a few deals that may interest you! Courtesy of goodtwo, you can buy a coupon for Club Cafe, G’vanni’s or Toscana, save some dough on your next visit, AND donate to my walk. Everybody wins! Details below.

Club Cafespend $25 for $50 credit toward food (Jimmy Fund receives $6.25).

G’vanni’s – spend $25 for $50 credit toward food (Jimmy Fund receives $5.00).

Toscana – spend $45 for $90 credit toward spa services (Jimmy Fund receives $9.50).

So, really, you have no reason to not donate. \Okay that’s not true, but I’m trying to make it as painless as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.

Today’s Tunes
“Normandie,” Shout Out Louds
“Second to None,” Phoenix
“Armistice,” Phoenix
“Too Young,” Phoenix

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Reblog: Untappd: Foursquare for Beer. Yes.

September 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM (Food) (, , , , )

This post originally appeared on my agency’s blog, RaceTalk.

If you know me personally, you can skip to the next paragraph. If not, finish this one: Hi, I’m Brittany. I love beer and location-based social media. If I found anything that married the two, I would consider marrying it.

One of the reasons why I was most excited about finally getting a smartphone – aside from no longer having to make excuses along the lines of “Sorry, my phone rides the short bus” – was all the applications and bookmarked mobile sites that would inevitably accompany it. I of course anticipated the usual suspects – Twitter, Foursquare, Angry Birds, Words with Friends – you know, all those little megabytes that have become all but staples of our livelihood. What thrilled me even more was the thought of perhaps the most magical, albeit less mainstream, mobile site to grace the lives of social beer-drinkers the digital world over: Untappd. Haven’t heard of it? Read on.

Untapped: think Foursquare for beer.

I first heard about Untappd via the Twittersphere many months ago. Being an avid consumer of beer, the prospect of being able to check into which one I was drinking sounded nothing short of incredible – especially when you go to as many beer fests as I do, and keeping track after the eighth sample can get tricky. Untappd lets you track what you’re drinking, where you’re drinking it, and what you think of it.

After that first glorious (sometimes not-so-glorious) sip, visit m.untappd.com and search for whatever it is you have in your hand. Find it – or add it – add your two cents, and check in. Simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Like many Bostonians, while I do have a few go-tos, I really love trying different brews, and I only have so much brain space dedicated to beer. Untappd is turning into my handy little Rolodex of draughts and bottles and making some recommendations at the same time based off my check-ins (although I haven’t tested that out yet – has anyone who can share their thoughts?). Like Foursquare, it also lets me keep tabs (pun unavoidable) on my beer-inclined friends to see what they’re drinking. Possibly even more fun, I earn badges (also like Foursquare) for my drinking habits, which serve no purpose other than bragging rights (and perhaps a VIP pass for an AA meeting).

Have you tried Untappd yet? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments!

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A Note to Tavistock

September 1, 2011 at 1:45 AM (Food) (, )

Dear Tavistock,

Congrats on the purchase of Back Bay Restaurant Group, and as a result and more importantly, my beloved Atlantic Fish. A piece of advice from a regular, if I may: consult the bar manager (Joe, in case you’re not familiar) about which beers to order. I suggest this specifically in response to the revelation that my treasured watering hole now carries Beck’s.

Beck’s? Who drinks Beck’s? Joe will direct your booze budget toward something way more profitable.

Best of luck with the latest addition to the Tavistock family.

Sincerely, Brittany

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