Winter is the perfect time of year for all the warm and hearty food we crave. Homemade soups, macaroni 'n cheese, pot roast.... but what should you do when you're too tired to shop and prepare an amazing dish after that aggressive shoveling we all know too well? When your back hurts and your toes are chilly take solace in the fact that there are places here in Duxbury and the surrounding South Shore to pick up dinner that you could even pass off as home cooking if you want to tell a little white lie.
Here is a list of my favorite take home meals and where you can find them yourself-
1. Pot Roast
I swear it takes just like my grandmother's recipe. Slow cooked and tender with copious amounts of gravy and a side of creamy mashed potatoes. This dish leaves nothing to be desired. Find it at the Wildflower Cafe & Tavern located on Depot Street.
2. Macaroni & Cheese
I consider myself to be somewhat of a mac 'n cheese connoisseur. However, when homemade just isn't an option I bop over to Foodies Market. There you can expect a think cheese sauce covered elbow pasta that isn't overpowering and just the right amount of Ritz Cracker topping to add a great texture. Foodies has really outdone themselves with this fabulous recipe.
3. Chicken Piccata
I always say feta makes it betta, but that's only if capers didn't exist. Nothing is better than a lemon butter sauce and capers. The chicken piccata from Depot Street Market is pretty grand. It comes fresh or frozen- I prefer fresh because the bake time is significantly shorter. My only criticism is that there aren't enough capers, but then again there are never enough capers for my taste. I bake it and add a few more tablespoons and serve it over angel hair pasta. It's deliciously dreamy. Did I mention they also have a gluten free menu AND they deliver?
4. Clam Chowder
The Snug Harbour Fish Market is not to be overlooked just because it's not summer anymore. They cook fresh and tasty food year round, but during the colder months there's one very special item on the menu- New England clam chowder. It's thick and creamy and incredibly fresh. The clams are a good size and the potatoes are perfectly tender. Many places think they make good chowder, but Snug Harbour is on top of their chowder game.
5. Shrimp Scampi
The Milepost Tavern has great comfort food and fabulous seafood. The lobster roll is always delicious, but one of my cold weather favorites is the shrimp scampi over linguini. The shrimp is fresh and tender, and the linguini is perfectly al dente. This dish is available as an entree or an appetizer and I find the appetizer portion to be so large I order it as my main meal.
6. Family Style Dishes
If you want to look beyond Duxbury for some exceptional food look no further than Bloomy Rind in Hingham Center. Bloomy Rind is an artisanal cheese shop with some great imported foods and home cooking that is to die for. The owner makes large family style dishes that change daily. They always have great sandwiches as a grab and go option, but the hot food selection is some of the best I've ever seen. Don't forget to pick up a nice selection of olives while you're there.
7. Homemade Soups
Chef Oz at The Pub at The Kingsbury Club knows his way around a good soup. A popular choice right now is the corn chowder topped with a fresh piece of white fish. My personal favorite is the butternut squash bisque. It has a bit of cinnamon and maple syrup, but isn't too sweet. After all, the pub is located above the gym so healthy food isn't hard to come by. You don't have to be a member of the club to try out Oz's delicious homemade soups.
Considering we just got hit with another foot of snow I hope these suggestions make you feel a little bit better about the weather. Oh, and did I mention there are 39 days until spring?